How to Make a Straight Pipe for a Truckby Russell Wood
In the pursuit of higher horsepower, one thing that you can do is to remove restrictions in your exhaust, making the exhaust gas flow smoother. Catalytic converters are restrictive, and many people install a straight pipe in their car or truck to eliminate the catalytic converter completely. This may not be legal depending on which state you live in; but if you're using the truck for drag racing purposes only, then it shouldn't be an issue.
Raise the vehicle using the jack and secure it on jack stands. Double-check that the vehicle is secure prior to crawling underneath it.
Locate the catalytic converter on the exhaust. This is an oval section of exhaust that swells out from the rest of the tubing and, depending on the year, may have louvers or vents on the face. Use the reciprocating saw and the metal blades to cut the catalytic converter from the exhaust, making sure to keep the saw perpendicular to the tubing to have a nice, straight cut.
Hold the replacement exhaust tubing against the area where the catalytic converter was and mark the tubing with a permanent marker so you can cut it to length. Use the reciprocating saw to cut the replacement tubing to the mark.
Hold the exhaust tubing between the two cut sections of the stock exhaust and use the MIG welder to tack-weld the tubing in place. A tack weld is a small, quick weld that secures two pieces together but can be easily removed. Make sure the tubing is aligned correctly and there are minimal gaps in the joints between the tubing before proceeding.
Put the welding gloves and welding helmet on, then fully weld the exhaust tubing together, using the MIG welder. Make sure there are no gaps in the exhaust; otherwise, you'll have an exhaust leak.
Lower the truck off of the jack stands with the jack.
- Allow the vehicle to cool before working on the exhaust. The catalytic converter can store a large amount of heat, and you risk burning yourself otherwise.