The information listed below is for individuals who want to repair a dented exhaust pipe without having to spend a lot of money. There are numerous ways to seal, heat and reshape an exhaust. The methods listed below will be the most cost effective and efficient. You will be able to restore an exhaust to 95% of its original condition with the information below.
Tools you will need:
Oxygen & Acetylene set-up or MAP GAS hand held gas cylinder with tip attachment available at most hardware stores. Map Gas cylinders are very effective in removing dents, are somewhat cheap and last somewhat long. The only downside is the amount of time it takes to heat a dented area thoroughly. These cylinders can also be fitted to a dual system, e.g.:
1- Oxygen cylinder and
1- Map Gas cylinder. Using any dual system will provide more heat, which is best for exhaust repair. The handheld dual systems do run out of gas rather quickly so paying the utmost attention to gas usage is important here.
-Automotive style expansion block plugs in the same diameters as your exhaust pipe, on both ends. It is better to buy a big plug as they are easy to downsize, small plugs will not work at all. To downsize, take a plug and burn the entire outer edge, then take a towel and wipe off a few layers, whatever is required to make the plug fit. I found this to be the easiest way to down size the plugs.
-Three total vise-grips, two for the header end of the exhaust and one small one for the silencer end. There are other ways to seal your exhaust, but none work as easily as vise grips. You can also make a plug holder that fits onto the header using some plumbing fittings but the easiest, cheapest method is to use vise grips.You will need to fit the header plug with a threaded schrader valve assembly; this will allow you to attach your air compressor for pressurization.
We can supply you with all sealing tools (minus vise grips) for a price of $45.00. This will consist of two sealing plugs, a Schrader attachment for one plug and a 3’ section of hose. Overall, we make less than $10.00 on one of these kits. The time it takes to find these items and assemble them is well worth the extra $10.00.
-Oxygen and Acetylene or Map Gas and Oxygen hand held cylinders that are connected as a dual system.
-Arc welders can be used on pipe seams…ONLY! Only experienced welders should attempt to use an arc welder on non-seamed areas. If you are not experienced at arc welding do not attempt using this method. You can quickly melt holes in your exhaust if you are not familiar with arc welding thin metals. If you must use an arc welder, remember this; weld a ¼” of an inch at a time or less to prevent burn through.
-The best welder to have is a heli-arc welder but wire-feeds also work. Operator experience is very important here. Small quick beads are the best way to prevent burn through.
-If you don’t know how to weld then take your pipe to a muffler shop for any minor welding that may be needed.
Smashed/Squashed repair tools:
-Hydraulic pump. Used units are available through us for $50.00-$80.00. This is truly the best way to reshape a completely smashed exhaust pipe. If you need more info on this type of repair please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Actual Repairing Info.
Prior to sealing an exhaust it is a good idea to make sure the inside of your exhaust is free of fresh gas deposits. To do this, simply run water through the entire exhaust. Do this 2-3 times to make sure all fresh gas deposits have been removed. If the exhaust has excessive carbon deposits, remove all accessible deposits prior to pressurization.
Seal both ends of your exhaust and tighten the automotive style block plugs. You want the plugs far enough in the ends of the exhaust to be able to attach vise grips to the end of the pipe. The vise grips act as stoppers and will prevent your plugs from blowing out under pressure. Make sure your vise grips are tight and attached at 180 degrees to each other. The silencer end,
only requires one small vise grip and can be attached at any angle.
Now it’s time to pressurize your exhaust. It is best to have your pipe hooked up to an air compressor at all times, as leaks are inevitable. Pressurization can range from 80 to 120psi depending on the damaged area. If a dent is in a seamed area stick with the lowest possible PSI that will get the dent out (this will help eliminate the need to weld a split seam).
Once pressurized, it’s time to heat the dented areas. Heat all dents to a red glow and BE Careful not to melt the metal. If you’re using hand held MAP gas containers (not the dual system) be aware that it takes a little while to get the metal hot enough for repair. Most dents will start to come out at this point, so heat the metal SLOWLY and always keep the heated area’s pointing AWAY FROM YOU. Once the area is red and glowing take a finishing hammer (or any hammer with a flat non blemishing head) and tap out the dent, going in circles around the entire area. Your hammer is your shaping tool. Using a hammer will get out 95% of all dents under pressure, so if it’s not coming out you’re missing something. When heating seams be exceptionally careful as they can split causing air to leak excessively. Heating seams SLOWLY is the best way to possibly prevent this. When this happens the seam needs to be welded before you can continue in this area. If you are taking your exhaust to someone for welding I suggest attacking all dents first to cut down on the amount of trips to your welder.
For pipes older than 1990 you may have an additional step. Some older exhaust pipes have seams that are “stamp welded” which means they were stamped under heat and pressure at the seams. These seams will come apart exceptionally easily and can be quite dangerous. Before attempting any repair on these types of seams you will need to weld them together first. If you’re not sure what kind of seams you have simply send us an email (email@example.com) with photos if possible or send the year and model of the bike the pipe is for.
How to remove discoloration
Once you have removed your dents you may need to remove discoloration (nickel/chrome pipe) this is actually an easy process. Simply take a drill and attach a wire wheel to it. Wire wheel the discolored areas and use a generous amount of pressure. After you have removed the discoloration you can then polish the exhaust.
To make your exhaust look as good as possible take a quality chrome polish and wire wheel it onto the areas you just removed discoloration from. Then take a towel and polish your exhaust using a generous amount of elbow grease (effort).
If you have any problems repairing your exhaust or if you have other questions please send an email explaining the problem to firstname.lastname@example.org
Below is an example of what this info. can do for you…