I related in the Frame Paint
episode how, after we took the bed off, I noticed how sad the rusty
frame looked and decided that it would be a good time to put on a coat
of paint. Well, with the bed off I could also see the sad
condition of the exhaust system. And so, I decided this would
also be a good time to put on a new exhaust system.
If your looking for some insight on
installing a state-of-the-art dual exhaust system with 3"
aluminized pipes, X cross-over, and Turbo mufflers, then you'll be disappointed.
Consistent with my goal to keep Maych as stock as
possible, I resisted the temptation to put on a "bad"
sounding dual exhaust system and just went with the stock system -
standard crossover, 2 1/4" exhaust pipe, standard muffler, and 1
1/2" tailpipe, all mounted in the original hanger locations.
The first step was to remove the
old exhaust system. Luckily, Al (my paint and body guy) let me
use his reciprocating saw. Using the saw, I cut the
exhaust pipe on both sides of the
muffler and where the exhaust pipe attaches to the cross-over
pipe. The I unbolted the hangers and removed the three pieces
with the hangers still attached. The photo shows the two hangers
on the rear frame. The only other hanger is on the frame about
halfway under the cab.
The only thing left to do was
remove the cross-over pipe from the ram horns. The only thing
hard about removing the cross-over
pipe is that you have to do it will lying on your back. Luckily,
I was able to remove all of the nuts that attach the cross-over to the
exhaust manifold without breaking off any of the studs or snapping off
a flange corner. Only one nut would not come off the stud, but fortunately
the stud and nut came out together without breaking.
It occurred to me after I removed
the exhaust, that I hadn't bothered to check with the parts store to
see if they had a replacement. I went to the local CarQuest auto
parts store and they didn't have the parts in stock, but could get
them in a few days. That was ok with me. I gave me a good
excuse to call it a day and it gave me a chance to clean up the
The hangers were rusty, but they
were sound and the rubber bushings was in pretty good shape, so I
decided to clean them up and put on a coat of paint. The only
part of the hangers that was not repairable were the original saddle
straps. But, that was ok because I could use regular u-bolts in
I cleaned the rust off best I could
with the wire wheel on my
grinder. Then I wiped them down with lacquer thinner to remove
the residue and any oil or grease. I decided to paint the
hangers with a brush rather than spray paint because I
spray paint them without getting paint on the rubber bushings. I
painted them with Rustoleum high-temp gloss black
paint. After I painted the hangers, I zinc coated
the nuts and washers with my Tin Zinc Electroplating System
The next weekend I stopped by
CarQuest and picked up the new exhaust system, along with the u-bolts
I would need. I was sort of dreading installing the cross-over
pipe it would be near impossible to keep the pipe on both manifold
flanges at the same time while trying to get the nuts on the studs on
one side. The new cross-over solved this problem because it was
made in two pieces. After attaching one side loosely, you slip
the other side into the first and then attach it to the flange.
I was still a struggle will lying on your back, but much better than
it would have been if it had been one piece.
Before I could attach the passenger
side cross-over, I had to replace the one stud that came out when I
had removed the old one. As luck would have it, I couldn't get
the threads on the new stud started by finger and I was afraid to use
a wrench for fear of cross-threading the stud in the flange.
Luckily, Al had a set of tap I could use to clean up the threads and
after that, the stud went in with ease. I had bought all new
brass nuts for the other studs and they all went on with no problem,
except the last nut (it's always the last one - go figure). This
one was on the passenger side and the stud was next to the starter
which left very little room to maneuver. My arms finally gave
out after about 20 minutes of struggling to get the nut on and I
crawled out from under the pickup to ponder what to do next.
About that time, a friend of Al's came over and asked how it was
going. I told him I could get one of the nuts on but I'd tackle
it again I rested up and had a can of refreshment. He must have
taken pity on me, because he proceeded to crawl under the
pickup. With him on the bottom and me on the top holding the
flange we were able to finally get the nut on. Out of gratitude,
I treated him to a can of my refreshment.
The rest of the exhaust went on
without much trouble. It did take me a few trial and errors to
figure out how the exhaust pipe was routed around the frame. It
had been a week since I removed the old one and I had forgotten
exactly how it was routed. Luckily, it'll only really go on one
way, so it's just a matter of playing with it until you find the
correct way. I did hit a little snag when I went to attach the
tailpipe to the rear of the muffler. The pipe on the muffler and
the tailpipe were the same diameter. Nothing to do but go back
to CarQuest and see how to fix the problem. I told the CarQuest
guy what the problem was and he said he forgot to give me a union
piece that is used to attach the tailpipe to the muffler. When I
got back to the shop it occurred to me that I would need two u-bolts
to attach the union and he had forgotten to give me that also.
So, one more trip back to the part store.
I finally got all the parts I
needed and I got the rest of the exhaust system installed without
further problems. After everything was connected and all the
hangers in place I did a little adjusting here and there and then
tightened every thing up. I'll probably go back and tighten
things up again after I've driven a few miles, just to make sure
nothing falls apart.
The other mechanical system that
needed attention was the cooling system, but I'll save that adventure
for the next episode.