Join Date: Jun 2001
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Re: Doing muffler for 1st time- welding required?
When making the decision to weld or clamp, I look at how the system went together. Look at it this way - when the next exhaust system component fails (mid-pipe/tailpipe/etc.), will you be able to cut out the bad section and replace it, or will you have to replace the entire exhaust because you welded it and you'd ruin the still good muffler trying to cut it out?
IMHO, most systems I wind up clamping together. I would rather undo the clamps next time that have to trash still good parts because I welded them. If you take the time to make sure you have a good joint to clamp on (pieces sleeved together at least 2"), then the clamps won't leak. I live in the Northeast where they put salt on the roads like it's going out of style. I've had clamps rust off but the joint never leaked. Just replace the clamp and you're on your way. When it comes time to remove it, a oxy torch and a dead blow/rubber hammer work pretty good to break the rusty joint loose, then you can reuse the still-good pieces.
LEVE also makes a good point - most people with limited welding experience will have a hard time making a good weld 360* around the tube while underneath a vehicle that's not on a lift.