How to Straight Pipe an Exhaust

by Caprice Castano
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Motorcycle exhaust image by Crisps85 from

Straight-piping an exhaust can resolve several issues with a custom exhaust for your car. It's less expensive to build your own system, you can create a performance-based exhaust, and you can get a better flow to your system. The less bending and curving, the less back pressure you are likely to have. Building a straight pipe exhaust is not necessarily a technically challenging job, but it does require some mechanical knowledge and the right tools to do the job yourself.

Step 1

Determine the correct size of muffler you need for your vehicle size and type. The capacity of the muffler itself is important to prevent back flow in the system. The kit should include a pre-silencer if necessary and a straight line muffler with a simple flow-through design.

Step 2

Work on the vehicle in a garage with a car lift. If you don't have one or the other large tools needed for this job, ask someone who has a garage if you can use the space or rent you some time. Lift the car with the hoist. Check the existing exhaust system closely and note where the hangars and mounts are located. Sketch out your new system on a sheet of paper, making sure to calculate the bends you will need to create to skirt the mechanicals on the underside of the car.

Step 3

Remove the existing exhaust from your vehicle. Use silicone lubricant to loosen parts before removing the clamps. Disengage the catalytic converter but do not remove it. This part of the system is necessary for the performance of your car and generally required by law. Make note of any hangers or clamps that are damaged and need replacing as you remove the old system.

Step 4

Lay out and cut the mandrel bend sections for your new exhaust. Go back and forth beneath the car to test-fit the sections.

Step 5

Tack-weld the system together. Check for fit and alignment before permanently welding the pieces together. Treat the metal for corrosion with heat-resistant paint if the system is not going to be chrome or stainless steel. An untreated system will corrode if the metal is not treated in some fashion. Finish welding the pipe sections and muffler together. Mount the system on the vehicle and weld it in place.

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