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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

I have some questions about exhaust system welding...I now have a pair of the Summit 1&5/8" ceramic coated headers. I haven't installed them yet, so my question is about welding the standard 3" header reducers to the 2&1/2" exhaust pipes. I haven't welded in about 20 years, so I'm a little rusty to say the least.

Should the pipes be arc,mig or gas welded together? I have access to an arc welder and a Acetelyne/Oxygen torch welder, but not a mig welder. So I could practice up on some scrap exhaust pipe beforehand.

My car is currently in storage and is not street legal due to no insurance, so driving it to an exhaust shop is not an option. Taking the long exhaust pipes to an exhaust shop is a BIG hassle, but do-able. I want to avoid that hassle if possible. Just looking for a little advice....

Thanks,
-Mark P.
 

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Not being an expert, I'll offer my advice anyway. I would think unless you are very good, a buzz box arc welder would be a difficult method. I'm sure I'd burn holes through the pipes! Gas welding would be my second choice - again, I think it's and art form that takes a lot of practice. It used to be the method of choice for exhaust work. Most muffler shops, at least those I've been to, use a wire feed MIG welder these days. It's what I used on my system. It doesn't take a huge amount of skill to get a decent weld, but practice on the same thickness material would still be advised. I used a 75/25 mix of CO2/Argon.

If you can line up a MIG welder that's what I'd do. And trust me, if I can weld with one anyone can weld with one! Good luck!
 

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Ceramic coated pipe is a boogar to weld. I'm not sure what would be the best method. You'll probably find you have difficulty establishing an arc. Might be a good candidate for tig.
 

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Gas welding would work if you cant get access to a MIG. Practice a bit on some scrap. Keep the weld pool moving and watch out for blowing holes through the material.

Bob
 

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Originally posted by dnult:
Ceramic coated pipe is a boogar to weld. I'm not sure what would be the best method. You'll probably find you have difficulty establishing an arc. Might be a good candidate for tig.
Dave,

The reducers - at least those I've seen - come uncoated. (The reducer being the part that gets welded to the exhaust pipes and bolts up to the collectors on the headers)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys,

Yes, the reducers are just plain uncoated mild steel.... I'll try to practice a bit with the Acetelyne torch on some scrap exhaust pipe and just see how that goes...If that doesn't work out, I'll cart the exhaust pipes & reducers down to the exhaust shop.


-Mark
 

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You might be able to mock it up and tack the reducers exactly where you want them before hauling it all to the muffler shop.....I'd actually be very surprised if your headers wind up in exact alignment with your existing exhaust system.(I'm assuming you're hooking to an existing system)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
You're right guys, in the time I spent "refreshing" my welding skills, I could just take the pipes to the muffler shop and be done with it...Even though it's a hassle to haul the exhaust system the 35 some odd miles round trip to the nearest muffler shop... it probably would be best to just mock up the exhaust to the new headers and let them do the welding.

-Mark

[ 01-23-2005, 07:28 PM: Message edited by: Granny's 69 ]
 

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MIG would be my first choice also, but stick will work too.

Just practice on scrap before hand and keep the heat on the low side. You're not making a structural weld, so good penetration isn't a big deal -- you're only sealing the pipes IMO. Less heat will help prevent burn throughs.
 

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I had mine expanded at a muffler shop so it would slip over the exhaust pipe. Then used those 'band type' clamps.

[ 01-24-2005, 08:42 AM: Message edited by: RickD ]
 

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Granny 69 don't know if this will help you or not, but you can but a rider on your insurance policy to cover a car under repair, this should allow you to get in back and forth to the insurance shop. I don't think liability on the car would cost you much more than $50 and you could cancel the policy after one month.
 

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Any form of welding "can" work fine for what you are doing. Gas, MIG, TIG, or even arc. Arc would be my last choice on thin material. Gas welding it should be fairly simple. My first choice would be MIG, faster and perfect for the application.
 

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I like to TIG weld everything, but unless you're going to a real high class exhaust shop, you wont find anything but Mig welders.

A Mig weld can look very nice if its done by someone who knows what they're doing. A Mig weld is quickly written off as something anyone can do, but a quality MIG weld is done by an experienced weldor.

it depends on what you want to get out of this project, if you want to get the experience of having done it yourself, weld it yourself, maybe bring it to a friends house who has a mig and have him show you to use the machine.
If what you want is the finished project then cut/fit and tack the pipes and have someone else weld it.

I'm no welding expert, nore do i claim to be, however thats my opinion.
 

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Al,
Unless everything is a slip fit, there is no way I would drive a car anywhere with tack welds. If it doesn't break it will no doubt bend or move around. Now if it is a slip fit system then tack weld would be fine to get to the shop (IMO). Some people never even weld their slip fit systems (just clamps). Personally I would weld them.

TIG welds are pretty and very strong but, not really needed on an exhaust system (unless it's stainless or aluminum). On a show car I could see TIG'n the exhaust. TIG welding is a slower process and fairly expensive (consumables), so labor charges will be higher (unless you have a buddy that can do it or do it yourself).
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The reducer to exhaust pipe isn't a slip-on fit, it's just a butt joint. So I'll just trial fit it all together and then tack it in place...then it's off to the exhaust shop.


-Mark
 
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