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Old 10-27-2005, 06:38 PM   #1
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Need Ideas on Removing Exhaust Pipe

I recently cracked one of the flex pipes that act as collectors from my headers and make the transition into my exhaust system. I got the replacement and set about removing the old one yesterday.

I cutoff the bulk of what was left of the flex pipe (the flex pipe made a clean break but about 3" was still still sticking out of the 2.5" exhaust pipe. Then I tried my "normal" technique of cutting a slot (using a metal cutting blade on my jigsaw) on the inside of the inner pipe then hammering a punch and/or large screwdriver to try and fold the inner pipe over itself so it could slide out.

After a lot of cutting and hammering all I had was a very stuck and very hacked up looking inner pipe. I put my tools down and went home.

Today I had the bright idea that an air chisel might cut through the remaining inner wall (I felt like the jigsaw would not reach back far enough). Five minutes into air chiselling, I managed to push what was left of the inner pipe further into the outer segment. Now it's unreachable and incredibly stuck.

So now, I'm trying to remove that outer segment at the next junction (the H pipe). Before I repeat this process, eventually working my way to the tailpipe ....does anyone have a suggestion or special trick for removing the inner pipe from a clamped system?

It seems like exhaust systems are always a RPITA but this one is new and I while I don't mind replacing a 2 foot stick, I can see the parts list getting out of control quickly.

I'm putting my tools down again and will work on this over the weekend so please feel free to chime in.
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Old 10-28-2005, 04:15 AM   #2
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Steven, you have the sympathy of all shade tree mechanics who have been in this sort of position. In desperation, I would try to jam something ( perhaps a bolt, cut to length) across the pipe beyond the jammed piece. The bolt would need to be very closely the same length as the inner diameter of the outer pipe. I would bind turns of stiff fencing wire round the middle of the length of the bolt , and use the wire, backed up with duct tape, to manouver the bolt into position across the pipe beyond the obstruction. I would then try to get some hardened steel rod with a hooked end, hook it over the bolt, and use a slide-hammer effect on the other end of the rod. This could be done by grasping the end of the rod with a ratchet wrench, and hitting the wrench with a hammer, or by threading or welding a large nut on the end of the rod to act as a stop, and slide hammering on that. I would first spray some penetrating fluid all over the joint. As an alternative to the hooked rod, you could insert a length of the flexible galvanized steel strap that is used in roofing. This has a series of holes along its length, and the strap is about an inch wide, and about a sixteenth of an inch thick. The bolt coud be centralized on this with two nuts, and the strap could be used for inserting the bolt if there was a little slack where the nuts trap the strap. Another bolt could pass through the strap outside the pipes, and this could be used for the slide-hammer system. When this failed, and I had bandaged the inevitable hand wounds, I would probably exhaust my repertoire of vile oaths, have a shower, and head for my Glen Moray single malt.
Nick.
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Old 10-28-2005, 06:54 AM   #3
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Steve, I'm trying to visualize what you're up against but am at a loss. I the flex pipe stuck in the exhaust side or header side?
Are you going straight (bent) from the collector to the exhaust or are you reducing to the exhaust?
I've got a bend in the connector from my reducers to the exhaust and if you're stuck in the exhaust side I'd pull that side down and cut the pipe and then swedge a new section on to correct the length.
Is it possible to have a new section bent to fit rather than use flex again? Flex pipe always seemed to me to be a weak link. While the collector / reducer bolts always seem to be on my check list when I roll the creeper under the bus.

"I just look at my tool box and my hands spontaineously bleed! "
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Old 10-28-2005, 07:00 AM   #4
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heat

Try getting in there with a torch, and getting the pipe very hot, then sliding it out. Failing that, take a hacksaw blade in a bayonette holder, and cut the inside pipe so you can curl it and twist it out.
Good luck with it.
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Old 10-28-2005, 08:18 AM   #5
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guys,
Thanks for the tips. I like all of them. For clarification here is a quick and dirty diagram of the problem.

Flex pipes are a weak link but a somewhat necessary evil on a motorhome. Since the exhaust is almost 20' long and weighs a bunch, it needs a little "give". Besides, I'd rather break a $7.00 flex pipe than crack a weld on the header.

FWIW - these are not those flex pipes you find in the "repair ailse" at Pep Boys. Instead they are 3" collector reducers which have flex pipes welded into them.

Terry - heat...sounds like a plan. Maybe that combined with the slide hammer might work.

Did I mention how much I hate working on exhausts?
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Old 10-28-2005, 10:41 AM   #6
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Steven, If you go with heat I would use MAPP GAS. It's the same size canister as propane and a flexible nozzle. MAPP gas is about four times hotter than propane, and the tank can be turned to any position when in use (also good for silver solder and small weld jobs). Good luck. Hope this helps, NYE
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Old 10-28-2005, 02:42 PM   #7
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Diagram

Helps if I actually attach the diagram
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Old 10-28-2005, 06:12 PM   #8
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STEVEN, after looking at your diagram, how about cutting about a foot off that extension pipe and have your local muffler shop make you an adapter with one end or both ends expanded to fit over your pipe. Most muffler shops have the equipment to do this. Make sure it's made with the same diameter pipe. Hope this helps. Nye
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Old 10-29-2005, 08:09 AM   #9
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Steve, I'm looking at redoing my exhaust from the collectors back and was talking to a friend of mine. He cautioned against going 3" all the way back as the reduced back presure might reduce torque at the bottom end. Lucky for me my system dumps out in front of the rear axle.
How big are your pipes/mufflers back of the collector/reducers?
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Old 10-29-2005, 12:07 PM   #10
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Why don't you try a slide hammer. Screw something with q head into the end of the hammer, catch it on the insede edge of the pipe, and gently work around using the slide. It has worked for me!
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Old 10-31-2005, 09:36 AM   #11
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Glen,
I heard the same about 3" pipes. My collectors reduce to 2.5" pipes all the way back. I bought everything from Jegs all at once. Mine is made up of Hedmann headers (for the P30), flex collectors which transition into 2 foot long 2.5" pipe, then an H pipe crossover kit which sits behind and below the parking brake drum. Then two more 2 foot pipes into Jeg's free flow mufflers. I bought two 8' sticks from my local NAPA which take it to just in front of the back wheels then 2 90 degree mandrel bent turns (from Jegs) and about three feet out on each site. I capped the ends with 2 Stainless tips from Pilot (impulse purchase but it looks cool).

Other than breaking these flex collectors, it's been a great system. I now think the collector failures were my fault. I noticed, during this repair, that the exhaust system hangers are pulling the system rearward. I also think I did not have enough hangers or support to help prevent twisting. I'm doubling the number of hangers this time which I think will take a lot of stress off of the collectors.

BTW - I finally got the pipe out. It laughed in the face of heat and slide hammers. I ended up cutting a slot in the outer pipe...just enough to get it out. This is going to be a short term fix for this season. I can see now I should invest in some SS clamps to allow me to connect the front sections without u clamps. I also want to go to SS collectors. Just don't want to spend the bucks on it going into winter.
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Old 10-31-2005, 10:37 AM   #12
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Sometimes it takes a little more persuasion... tips for your Chevy 454 might be nice...like these.

They're on my list of parts.
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Old 11-15-2005, 12:21 PM   #13
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o.k. so I picked up a rock or two but now am wondering how I put two holes into the opposit ends of one of my mufflers??? Just ordered new Flowmaster 70's from Summit and included the new bowtie tips you see above. The 70's are oval and will sit up high to avoid more road damage maybe.
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