Instructables

How to fix your car exhaust, without welding or power tools.

Step 1: Materials and tools.

This is a fairly simple job (it only took me half an hour), but you do need some specialist materials:

  • Wheel ramps or axle stands. Do NOT attempt any jobs underneath a car supported just by a jack. People die like that.
  • Eye protection (unless you enjoy rust, dirt and toxic chemicals being dropped in your eyes...?)
  • Metal snips.
  • Jubilee clips.
  • Screwdriver (flat-head, to match the jubilee clips).
  • Assorted pliers, spanners and thumpy things.
  • Exhaust repair paste (available from any car spares store).
  • An empty tin can.
You should also wear appropriate clothing - spare a thought for whoever does the laundry in your home, and be aware that you could quite easily get un-removable gloop on your clothes. An old hat might help as well.

Step 2: Find your problem.

Easy.

If your exhaust isn't snapped through, but is still blowing, then you will be able to hear it - your car will sound as if the engine gained an extra couple of litres.

If you can't see the hole, just move your hand along beside the exhaust until you feel the breeze of escaping fumes - feel along both sides, above (if you can) and below, but be careful, the exhaust pipe gets a lot hotter than you'd think.
 
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rsk115845 months ago

hi kiteman,
i am ravi from india saw your method and got an idea to fix exhaust pipe crack in my motorcycle, took a deo can cut it and wrapped around the pipe and used hose clips. thanks for the instructable

Kiteman (author)  rsk115845 months ago

Cool!

rsk11584 rsk115845 months ago

i also used silicon sealant to keep away the heat from deo can.

dreid93 made it!8 months ago

I fixed my exhaust system (on a 2000 civic) when plagued with the same problem depicted here. My fix stemmed from this instructable though I used several different components for the fix.

Rather than using a tin can I used a piece of metal piping, roughly 4 inches long. Rather than jubilee clips I used metal wire. Jubilee clips were not need because bolts were present that held the joint, and the part in which the bold clamped to was what had snapped. I would suggest only one jubilee clip to be used (around the pipe), and metal wire replacing the jubilee clip that is not around the pipe.

I also substituted the repair paste with high heat JB weld (http://www.jbweld.com/product/j-b-highheat/).

I don't have a picture of the fix yet, though should in the next few days to attach as well :)

1609985_10152250803578729_1253054178_n.jpg
ndjalva1 year ago
NEVER EVER trust a ramp to hold your automobile up! Jack stands, blocks, old tire rims.
From me 40+ years as a mechanic and from CPSD, DOT and other places.
Kiteman (author)  ndjalva1 year ago
Ramps are fine if they have, as these, an area designed to prevent the wheels rolling off and you can leave the handbrake on.

I may not have quite your decades of experience, the only people I know of hurt working under a car were using jacks. The professional auto mechanic I borrowed the ramps from knew of nobody hurt by a car rolling off a ramp.

However, safety is the responsibility of the individual doing the work, and few people are hurt by too many safety precautions.
Bravo! A repair an unemployed schoolboy could appreciate. A repair could have been negotiated by a bored welder with nothing to do for 20 minutes for $25.00 possibly. Or you could have applied the $25.00 to a 115 volt wire feed welding machine which typically can go on sale for $99.00. Factor in a $45.00 auto darkening helmet, and a $21.00 2lb. spool of .030 flux core steel wire, and you would be a hero to your wife with all the little repairs this would enable you to accomplish. BTW the welder I described is one of the easiest to master, runs on household 20 amp breaker, and you will kick yourself for not buying one sooner. 18 gauge mild steel up to 3/32' inch with 2 heat settings.Really opens up the world to creating quality:Instructables, instead of glue and nuts, bolts and clamps.
Kiteman (author)  rudolphdiesel2 years ago
Small problem - UK homes run on 13A.

The point of the project was to fix it without a welder.
I understand the premise of the project. I made a simiar repair when I was 17 years old. It''s a get by till you make a real repair. BTW your siganature tag states "happiness is a shed full of power tools." Perhaps wiring a seperate breaker to supply more than 13 amps. That will barely run a shop vacum.
Here's the mix up. UK 240 volts at 13 amps ~= US 110 volts at 30 amps.
Kiteman (author)  rudolphdiesel2 years ago
They're hand power tools - nothing larger than a drill or a small scroll saw.
i live in the same situation but i still have a welder i run it of my dads petrol generator ( he is a home construction contractor )
I am not trying to be insulting or condescending. If I have than I apologize. All I was saying is that besides skill and Intelligence of with I believe that you possess both. More advanced equipment (which is available to the average person) if they acquire slowly, opens the door to so much more. Many inventions in the UK as well as America started in sheds.=)
frankvanw11 year ago
Great Instructable:
Jubilee clips is also called hose clamps. I am in Canada.
Jubilee clip was a common brand in the UK and has become the way to describe the product; much like 'Hoover' for vacuum cleaners.
latemtech5 years ago
you could have just cut off the flange, clean the area, and put an adapter over it and use muffler clamps. $10 at autozone.
Kiteman (author)  latemtech5 years ago
...plus the cost of the tools to do the cutting ;-) (I did say it was a bodge-job. I don't even have the car any more, I sold it for spares.)
I have the same problem on my car. I'm gonna try your solution tomorrow, but I'm gonna cut the flange off of the muffler and put a tin can inside and OUTSIDE of the tail pipe (for longevity's sake...). It's too bad the tail pipe couldn't have corroded in a more convenient spot... Oh well, here goes nothing!
Kiteman (author)  KIRBEAST1 year ago
Take photos, write your own version - this one is over four years old now.
I salute your "Captain Obvious' solution.
KIRBEAST1 year ago
Well done! I like the use of a tin can to save a few bucks! I also like the idea of simply cutting off the flange of the muffler. This way, you can clamp the tin can on the outside and don't need to mess around with all the putty. Plus, this way would probably last longer...
Kiteman (author)  KIRBEAST1 year ago
Thanks!
dlunn11072 years ago
I've used a tin can, but found that cheap rolls of tin can be found in the
home improvement store where I work...plumbing aisle; used for wood
stove stacks ....works great!!
A good trick my father taught me, If you had a small hole in your exhaust, Or anywhere in the engine. Simply epoxy a 2 pence piece to it & It'll hold up... We've fixed many leaks with that method.
JonC2 years ago
Interesting Instructable, never underestimate the power of temporary repairs, its worth knowing how to do them just in case. In the uk you can actually buy a kit with a curved sheet metal section to wrap it, adhesive and clamps, never used one but I guess its pretty well the same thing but probably more expensive and not as readily available.

The thing about safety is always err on the side of caution, if you have any doubt about a part being able to support the car don't use it. I own both ramps and 2 sets of axle stands and both are quite good for different jobs. But either way be very careful and make sure it's secure, and if you're not confident, find someone who knows what they're doing to help or take it to a professional.

For those discussing UK power, yes it is as standard 13A but its at 230V rather than 110V so the effective power is about the same as 25+A at 110V. A standard uk wall socket is quite capable of supplying enough power for welding even some quite thick metal.
rimar20002 years ago
Sustained applause and cheers, Kiteman!

I am thinking to establish a 3WGP (3rd World Grand Prize) for repairs like this.
Kiteman (author)  rimar20002 years ago
Thanks!

I don't actually own this car any more, and I've had two since, but I'm still quite proud of this simple bodge.
We used to use a beans can like this for melting down pop cans while camping. It would stay red hot for about 2 hours or sometimes more before it finally broke. Since I have an axhaust leak, I will have to try this. Thanks Kiteman.
emuman4evr6 years ago
Would PVC pipe work?
No, not unless you found some incredible PVC that could withstand temperatures of over 400 deg.C... Exhausts can get very hot, especially near the engine!
probably would work really near the end of the tailpipe, no closer though, Burning PVC dosnt give the healthiest fumes.
As compared with nice healthy exhaust fumes :-) hehe
I was wondering the same thing. Could regular (or even special plumbing) PVC be used after the muffler instead of steel pipe? Not sure how hot the exhaust gets that far away from the engine.
I wouldn't use pvc, but I have used 2 inch galvanized steel pipe (bit heavy, but did the job). I also suggest coating seams with some high temp gasket maker (I used some wood burning oven sealant that was laying around) if you need to go through emissions testing.
starpenchal5 years ago
hey man, I also did the same today, but around the pipe still leaking, so i just put some addhesive materil, let me see what will happened. This so much useful. Thanks a lot, i just spend 6 $ for this process. Thanks man
puffyfluff6 years ago
Nice. I like the intro: "The old clunker's exhaust was blowing a bit, so I sealed it. Then it fell off."
ermockler6 years ago
I used to use furnace cement, which hardens with heat. A dedicated glove for shmearing while the car idles. you can also use window screen to wrap the muffler for strength. I have done a lot of this (and don't miss it), it doesn't last very long, you will probably only get 2-3weeks out of the repair. The cement cracks when you hit a bump.
Sunny1246136 years ago
WOW your on a roll with instructable making!!
Babyshoes6 years ago
Nicely done for a bodge job! Just a couple of points I would like to add: 1) When you say to move your hand along the pipe to feel for leaks, remember that it will get HOT, so be very careful. You can also listen if you can get far enough underneath to move along the pipe. 2) Never use exhaust paste upstream of the catalytic converter - if any breaks off inside the pipe it will smash up the blocks inside the cat which could stop your car from working, especially if it has a Lambda sensor. 3) You could have put exhaust paste around the 'male' section of the tin before putting it inside the pipe to make a better seal. Only put it on the outside of the 'male' pipe though, so that any excess paste gets pushed out not inside, where it can cause problems - see above. Oh, and as for the comment asking about rust-free exhausts, they are available but being made of stainless steel cost a lot! Also, the high temp paint wouldn't work terribly well to stop rust, as exhausts rust from the inside first. Did you know that a litre of petrol produces nearly a litre of water when it is burned (plus various nasties that cause pollution)? Most of that enters the atmosphere as steam, but when the car is cold it collects in the exhaust, which is why the back box tends to rust first, as it is furthest from the heat of the engine. The only way to stop exhausts rusting using paint would be to dip them in it, which would cost more and probably cause other issues!
Kiteman (author)  Babyshoes6 years ago
1. Ah, good point - I will edit that.

2. I didn't know that, thanks for the info (it's not mentioned on the tub of paste)

3. I thought of that, but decided that I didn't want to risk restricting the gas-flow any more than I really had to, since the back-pressure can have a big effect on the engine.
2. It probably wouldn't be mentioned on the paste as it is designed for mechanics who SHOULD know these things, but often don't! 3.Fair point, I see why you didn't, but if you used a thin layer and had excess squeeze out I doubt it would make much of a difference to the back pressure. Better safe than sorry though, I guess, especially with an old engine. Also, depending on the brand of exhaust paste you use, gloves may be a very important safety device! Some of them are quite caustic.
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