From time to time, your vehicle’s exhaust pipes may require service or repair because the mufflers are constantly used; hence they can wear and tear anytime. However, if you have some welding know-how, you can repair your car’s exhaust pipe without calling a professional or taking it to the garage. It will help you save some cash.
It is easier to weld the exhaust wipe at home. This article will help you understand basic welding techniques that you can apply to the weld exhaust pipe.
Essential welding steps
First, to successfully carry out the welding process, you require tools such as a circular chain saw, grinder, hacksaw, and welding mask. Here are some basic welding steps that you need to follow:
Step 1: Cut the exhaust pipe
Cutting may seem easy, but it is a bit challenging because the way you cut the exhaust pipe will determine its end appearance. You need to scrutinize the tube and find out where to cut it. Then, using a hacksaw, cut the exhaust pipe. Ensure you cut it in a straight line to get high-end results. Use the grinder to make the edges smooth and refined. It will also help eliminate any paint, rust, or dirt on the metal surface for a clean weld.
Step 2: Clamp the pieces together
Using the C-clamp type, put the exhaust pipe pieces together. Make necessary adjustments to ensure that the two parts are perfectly placed. It will ensure the parts are well on hold before you start to weld.
Step 3: Spot weld
Spot welding is the most recommended because exhaust pipes are thin. Spot welds help to hold the tube in place since the gaps formed on the opposite side can easily be bent. It also helps to prevent warping due to extreme heat generated in the welding process.
Step 4: Finish the weld.
Here you need to fill in the gaps. Weld every side of the exhaust pipe perfectly to ensure no leaks will occur later. Make sure you have a sturdy weld to provide a long-lasting solution.
Since you now understand the welding step. We will discuss how to weld your vehicle’s exhaust pipe using different welding types.
How to Weld an Exhaust Pipe using Flux Core Welding
This type of exhaust pipe welding is not much advocated for though it is still used to repair the muffler. When using this technique, make sure you clean the exhaust tube thoroughly to eliminate the spatter generated frequently. Ensure you change the amperage settings since the flux core welding generates extremely hot arcs. Also, adjust the wire feed to attain tiny beads and burning in the pipe due to hot arcs.
Advantages of using Flux Core Welding
- It is less expensive compared to other types of welding
- You do not require a gas shielding tank
- Flux core welding eliminates the need to change the electrode regularly
- It offers deeper penetration than MIG electrodes
- Flux core machinery is less costly than TIG and MIG welding machines
Disadvantages of Flux Core Welding
- It generates a lot of spatter
- Flux core welding can burn with ease
How to weld exhaust pipe using Stick Welding
Many argue that stick welding is not suitable to repair exhaust pipes. But when used correctly, the technique will give impressive outcomes. The method needs more expertise and care. First, you need to select the best rod. 6011 rod is the most recommended while using stick welding. Using these rods, you will be in a better position to weld the muffler’s entire round. It is advisable to clean the metal surface even if rust, dirt, or paint does not interfere with stick welding. The technique can be applied anywhere, be it a workshop or home.
Advantages of Stick welding
- You can use it in any weather condition.
- Stick welding machines are less expensive and easy to use
- It is applicable everywhere, whether in the workshop, garage, outdoor, or home
- The technique is not affected by rust, dirt, or paint compared to other types of welding
Disadvantages of Stick Welding
- It uses numerous electrodes
- Stick welding can generate slag that can cause leakages if not done perfectly.
How to weld an exhaust pipe using TIG Welding
TIG welding is the most recommended for exhaust pipe repair, but it needs a lot of care. This is due to its ability to transverse via thin metal sheets easily. The technique is ideal in handling exhaust pipes from sensitive alloys such as stainless steel. Clean the tube well and make sure you do not leave any residue. You can use acetone raced lag to clean oil residues on mufflers. Also, ensure the base surface does not have any dirt, paint, or rust. In TIG welding, you are supposed to use a 3/32-inch rod, and filler rods should be as small as possible. Use the foot pedal to aid in the overall heat output adjustment based on the metal thickness.
Advantages of using TIG Welding
- The technique generates less heat than other welding types
- It is widely used to weld different kinds of alloys and thin metals
- TIG welding gives a neat and clean weld that is slag-free with a great appearance
- The method is the best choice to weld thin metal sheets such as exhaust tubing
Disadvantages of using TIG Welding
- It is time-consuming since it needs a lot of cleaning
How to weld exhaust pipe using MIG Welding
MIG welding is ideal for exhaust pipe repairs than flux core welding and sticks welding. The technique neatly fixes the mufflers, making them appear almost new. When using this method, you need first to clean the base metal. Use the metal brush to clean the tubing to make sure it does not contain any debris or dust. It is advisable to use a mixture of argon and carbon dioxide for you to have a high-end MIG welding. Make use of the medium amperage range to ensure you don’t burn the exhaust pipe’s soft surface.
Advantages of using MIG Welding
- MIG welding is versatile, making it ideal to weld alloys
- It does not produce any flux while welding the exhaust pipe; hence no need for slag
- The technique is better and quick compared to stick welding and flux core welding
- MIG welding allows you to use both full and semi-automatic techniques
Disadvantages of using MIG Welding
- You cannot use MIG welding in windy conditions or somewhere outside
- It is demanding since you must have an external shielding gas tank
Safety tips for using while welding your exhaust pipe
- Always wear non-flammable clothing, welding gloves, and a welding mask to get rid of any fire risk
- Ensure you wear earplugs and a face shield to prevent your ears and face from welding sparks and fumes
- Wear closed-toe shoes to prevent your feet from sparks
- Put on welding goggles for your eye protection from extreme heat and harmful UV rays.
Welding your vehicle’s exhaust pipe is easy, but it needs a little knowledge. Before you start to weld the exhaust tubing, it is essential to know its material. Some exhaust pipes are made from alloys while others from soft metals. Select the best welding technique for you to perform a clean and neat weld. TIG welding is the most suitable for exhaust tubing.