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DIY Aftermarket Muffler- No welding; is it possible?

1997Legacy Outback 2.5L EJ25D

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27 replies to this topic

#1 pginter96

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 01:17 PM

Hey everyone
I just have some questions relating to the exhaust on my 97 Legacy, was wondering if anyone has experience that would be most helpful. I recently put UEL headers on (with questionable success) and after replacing the stud I broke I am dissapointed at the lack of noise. Im looking at a Magnaflow 14832 (No fart cans!) however the inlet size on that is 2.25 inches. Can anyone tell me what the stock exhaust diameter should be on a 97 Legacy?
Also, since I am operating on a college budget and do not have access to a welder, what would be the best method of coupling the muffler, pipe, and most likely adapter together? Ive seen butt joints and slip joints with sleve clamps (and copper RTV silicone) on them. How reliable are these? Ive already put up with horrible exhaust leaks and do not want to go back and "unbreak" stuff again. What would be best? Or should I just give up and pay some shop to do it for me before I find out its not possible?

#2 86BRATMAN

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 01:35 PM

Stock exhaust on your 97 is 1 7/8th, that's quite a bit of difference in size. Your best bet would be to have a shop do the install, around here they wouldn't charge more than $30 for that, I've had full catbacks made for under 100 if I supply the muffler.

#3 Fairtax4me

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 04:43 PM

You can use 2.25-2" reducer and just clamp it.

#4 heartless

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 07:12 AM

yup, use a reducer to get to the 2" inlet size - the 1-7/8" pipe will fit nicely inside of that.

 

if you want a nice rumble - not obnoxious, but definitely noticable, I can highly recommend the Cherry Bomb Turbo style (oval can) - cost was about $30 - 2" inlets, 1 end centered, 1 end offset.

It can be mounted in either direction (reverse flow capable)

Mounted mine with the offset inlet towards front and drivers side of car, centered outlet to back - fit the stock muffler location very well.

I made a rear hanger out of some plain steel rod - 3/8" i think it was - bent to the shape of the muffler can (under side), then bends to go thru the rubber hangers on either side at the back of the car - trimmed to length so that the ends of the rod stuck thru the rubber hangers about 3/4" or so when installed. drove the car for years like this.

 

If you want more noise - go Cherry Bomb Glasspack... :lol:



#5 Rooster2

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 03:05 PM

You can use 2.25-2" reducer and just clamp it.

Yea, auto stores like Autozone sell the exhaust system reducers, which can be bolted to an exhaust system using muffler horse shoe shaped clamps. I have used them, but they don't last much more then a year. Guess they are made from cheap steel that rusts and breaks.

 

I recommend going to a family owned muffler shop, not the large chain stores like Midas, or Car-X. like Bratman86 said, you can get the muffler welded on for cheap, like $30. Yea, a cherry bomb glass pack will add some nice sound too, and not sound like one of those lousy fart can mufflers.



#6 pginter96

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 03:12 PM

Well I tried the clamps. Got them as tight as I could. After driving around all day, it seemed to fare well. Sounded amazing. As I turned up the road I live on, I could tell it came disconnected and I was suddenly running straight pipes. (Luckily) As I turned into my driveway, the muffler fell off and pole vauled the a$$ end of my car clean off the ground.
So... Its at my neighbors, waiting to be welded.

#7 grossgary

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 06:04 AM

ha ha ha ha ha...really, it pushed the rear of the car up?!? wow.



#8 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 09:08 AM

cheapest is probably a 'turn-down' - not as loud as you'd think but 'loud', might be worth trying.

 



#9 MilesFox

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 09:18 AM

If you cut off the muffler and use couplers and clamps, cut it flush to the muffler as it is hard to make proper fitment if you cut it too short, as the bend is right there and is not perfectly round anywhere in the bend.


Edited by MilesFox, 23 July 2014 - 09:19 AM.


#10 pginter96

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 04:47 PM

If you cut off the muffler and use couplers and clamps, cut it flush to the muffler as it is hard to make proper fitment if you cut it too short, as the bend is right there and is not perfectly round anywhere in the bend.

Thats exactly what happened. I cut as close to the muffler as my sawzall would let me.
It wasnt funny when it happened, but now I cant help but laugh every time I see the giant divot in the road...
Glad I didnt go for a cheap fart can, that would have crumpled like paper. The Magnaflow has a small dent in the tip, thats it. Left some dents and scrapes under my car, nothing serious. Glad I can reuse the muffler. Conversation piece haha

#11 pginter96

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 05:00 PM

ha ha ha ha ha...really, it pushed the rear of the car up?!? wow.

Yeah. Dug the muffler about 3 inches into the road. The tip hit the rear crash bar and lifted me right up. Surprisingly not damaged too bad. I had to use a screwdriver to get the road out of my muffler...


Attached File  image.jpg   96.92K   39 downloads

Attached File  image.jpg   88.38K   38 downloads

#12 pginter96

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 09:26 PM

Magnaflow muffler and hardware- $200
Bathroom renovation equipment- $3
Booger welds- Favor
Redneck ingenuity- Priceless

Attached File  image.jpg   69.91K   42 downloads

So to answer my own question,
NO, you cannot do your own aftermarket muffler without welding. At least on this car. And at least if you want it to stay on for more than a day.

Oh well, at least this cant end worse than the last time that muffler was put on. Knock on wood... Haha

#13 987687

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 08:07 AM

I've heard of exhaust systems doing that before... I had my catback fall off on the highway once. It was hitting the road making a terrible noise, and I just KNEW as I drove over the rumble strips to pull over it was gonna catch.... And catch it did! Fortunately it was so rusty it just crumpled like a pretzel instead of pole vaulting my car into the woods.



#14 Rooster2

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 09:49 AM

Magnaflow muffler and hardware- $200
Bathroom renovation equipment- $3
Booger welds- Favor
Redneck ingenuity- Priceless

attachicon.gifimage.jpg

So to answer my own question,
NO, you cannot do your own aftermarket muffler without welding. At least on this car. And at least if you want it to stay on for more than a day.

Oh well, at least this cant end worse than the last time that muffler was put on. Knock on wood... Haha

Over the years, I have done my share of red neck custom exhaust work and repairs. IMO, I think it is possible to attach the muffler to the pipe with muffler clamps without welding. I looked at your photo to gather some thoughts. I would recommend installing a pipe hanger at the junction of the pipe and muffler, as help is needed to support the pipe & muffler weight, and also to keep the pipe and muffler from flexing at the connection, where by it could work itself loose. I suggest using 2 muffler clamps,  if there is enough room, where the pipes join to gain more clamping strength. Attach the hanging strap to one of  the muffler clamp You may need to drill a hole in the under side of the body to attach the end of the hanging strap. Be sure to use a rubber insulator on the hanger, or else the exhaust vibration from the exhaust system will get transmitted to the car body, and be felt everywhere inside the car.



#15 pginter96

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 07:21 PM

Over the years, I have done my share of red neck custom exhaust work and repairs. IMO, I think it is possible to attach the muffler to the pipe with muffler clamps without welding. I looked at your photo to gather some thoughts. I would recommend installing a pipe hanger at the junction of the pipe and muffler, as help is needed to support the pipe & muffler weight, and also to keep the pipe and muffler from flexing at the connection, where by it could work itself loose. I suggest using 2 muffler clamps, if there is enough room, where the pipes join to gain more clamping strength. Attach the hanging strap to one of the muffler clamp You may need to drill a hole in the under side of the body to attach the end of the hanging strap. Be sure to use a rubber insulator on the hanger, or else the exhaust vibration from the exhaust system will get transmitted to the car body, and be felt everywhere inside the car.

Its hard to tell from the picture, but there are actually 2 clamps where you seggested already. I thought about installing a hanger in the front of the muffler but the clamps are freaking tight. I made sharpie marks at every connection and check for movement. One of my jobs is (on a good day) 30 minutes away (I live in the middle of nowhere) and after driving to and from there hasnt been any movement. When my two jobs give me a chace Ill improvise another hanger there. Still paranoid about it falling lol...

EDIT-
Heres a better pic of the connections
Attached File  image.jpg   125.6K   33 downloads

Doesnt look as trashy as it could. I need to adjust my high dollar custom fully adjustable hanger so its not sagging as much
Attached File  image.jpg   154.88K   37 downloads
And thanks to the UEL headers, it sounds like a real Subaru. I turned the head of a WRX driver (boy did he quickly look dissapointed), so I consider that a success! Lol

Edited by pginter96, 24 July 2014 - 07:32 PM.


#16 Rooster2

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 04:29 AM

Yea, now I see what you have done with a second clamp. IMO, if you added a hanger before the muffler, you would not have to worry about the muffler falling down, even if the pipes disconnected, the hanger would hold up the muffler to prevent it from dragging on the pavement. It looks like you are using a pipe size adapter to mate a different size pipe to the inlet of the muffler. IMO, I would consider adding another muffler clamp, as insurance to tighten up the pipe joint. Clamps are cheap, so what the heck. Since you live in NY state, expect salt rust to attack the pipe, especially the pipe adapter. Sounds crazy, but some rust will help tighten up the pipe connections as well.

 

I would like to hear the exhaust sound with your custom system. Can you up load a video with sound to this forum? Bring it on!!

 

Another thought, in the past with this type of work, I have used anti-seize compound on surfaces, where I slid one pipe inside another. The anti-seize acts as a lubricant to slide the pipes together for a smooth fit, and also years later, it helps in pulling the pipes apart for any future work.


Edited by Rooster2, 25 July 2014 - 04:36 AM.


#17 pginter96

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 09:16 AM

Well I went to run some errands this morning and wondered why my car was so quite and sounded like garbage...
Turns out that after adjusting my custom super high-dollar fully adjustable hanger, the redneck repair on the axleback-midpipe connection (surprisingly) failed. Looks like either the RTV silicone split or what's left of the gasket split again, so that video might be a few hours. Lol it's like a Rube Goldberg of fail under here...

Attached File  image.jpg   148.76K   20 downloads

Believe it or not, this worked well. However there was a lot of stress put on it during fabrication to be less of an angle on the axleback for mounting the muffler.

#18 pginter96

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 05:14 PM

I would like to hear the exhaust sound with your custom system. Can you up load a video with sound to this forum? Bring it on!!


I couldnt get the file compressed enough to upload it here, so heres a link to youtube. The only recording device I have is my phone, so it sounds a lot worse than it does in person.

https://m.youtube.co...h?v=zr5xBspLJTg

#19 Rooster2

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 05:50 PM

I couldnt get the file compressed enough to upload it here, so heres a link to youtube. The only recording device I have is my phone, so it sounds a lot worse than it does in person.

https://m.youtube.co...h?v=zr5xBspLJTg

Yea, I like that sound......got some character and attitude to it. Your UEL hearders must be of unequal pipe lengths to produce the "rumble rumble" throbbing sound. I think that is how the exhaust note is produced on the WRX and STI motors.

Edited by Rooster2, 25 July 2014 - 09:18 PM.


#20 pginter96

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 06:14 PM

Yea, I like that sound......got some character and attitude to it. Your UEL hearders must be of unequal pipe lengths to produce the "rumble rumble" sound. I think that is how the exhaust note is produced on the WRX and STI motors.

Thanks, after this its nice to hear a compliment lol
Well thats what UEL stands for, Un-Equal Length. Thats how I got suckered into buying them. Theyre knock offs of knock offs (the only genuine UEL headers that fit my car are Borlas, over $350), so the welds are pretty poor quality. Ill touch those up once I learn to weld. Overall not bad though. Definately worth the time and money to turn heads in a slightly rusted 97 station wagon that hasnt been washed in 5 months! :D

Attached File  image.jpg   99.73K   7 downloads

Heres the headers when I got them. I put heat wrap on them, but that only soaked up the oil leaking from the timing belt cover (probably a crank seal) so I took that off within a week.

Edited by pginter96, 25 July 2014 - 06:16 PM.


#21 Rooster2

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 07:23 AM

Okay, so UEL translates to unequal length. Now why didn't I think of that?? You should be able to use something like JB Weld to seal up any minor exhaust leaks on the header. I have had good luck doing that in the past. I can tell you are getting a lot of satisfaction and giggles with your fake hot rod exhaust on your 97 OBW.

 

BTW, my 99 OBW is the same exterior paint color as your car. Subie sold a lot of cars pained that blue/green. I can tell your car from the pixs is a 97 model. The 97's had that large grab bar on the outside of the back hatch door. Later years don't have that grab bar.

 

A nice upgrade to any OBW is the addition of front leather seats, if not already so equipped. They are just so much more comfortable then the cloth seats. Look around wrecking yards, and you can find them.



#22 pginter96

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 02:24 PM

Okay, so UEL translates to unequal length. Now why didn't I think of that?? You should be able to use something like JB Weld to seal up any minor exhaust leaks on the header. I have had good luck doing that in the past. I can tell you are getting a lot of satisfaction and giggles with your fake hot rod exhaust on your 97 OBW.
 
BTW, my 99 OBW is the same exterior paint color as your car. Subie sold a lot of cars pained that blue/green. I can tell your car from the pixs is a 97 model. The 97's had that large grab bar on the outside of the back hatch door. Later years don't have that grab bar.
 
A nice upgrade to any OBW is the addition of front leather seats, if not already so equipped. They are just so much more comfortable then the cloth seats. Look around wrecking yards, and you can find them.


Haha oh yes I am... Driving to work today I got a very questioning look from a WR blue STi.
I thought about doing a Limited interior, I have sources and I was at a junkyard yesterday and saw one or two. I'm slowly picking up the wood grain trim pieces but I personally prefer the cloth seats because they're cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter
I've put a lot of RTV silicone on it but it didn't hold up to the pressure. Works everywhere else though

#23 86BRATMAN

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 03:05 PM

Looks like you have the same type uel header I'm running. Love the sound, but mine keeps blowing the gasket between it header and convertor section. Pretty annoying, and I'm yet to one that will properly seal to the smaller flange.

#24 Rooster2

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 03:23 PM

Haha oh yes I am... Driving to work today I got a very questioning look from a WR blue STi.
I thought about doing a Limited interior, I have sources and I was at a junkyard yesterday and saw one or two. I'm slowly picking up the wood grain trim pieces but I personally prefer the cloth seats because they're cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter
I've put a lot of RTV silicone on it but it didn't hold up to the pressure. Works everywhere else though

Yea, bet the WRX/STI guy gave you one confused look. He has to know what a WRX/STI sounds like, and it does sounds like no other car. To have your OBW come close to that exhaust note, he has to have thought............What the F......how can this be?????? Has this guy dropped in a WRX or STI engine????

 

RTV silicone can have many uses, but it is a sealant, not made for stress, or weight bearing applications.

 

Yea, leather is hot in the summer, cold in the winter, it just doesn't breath like cloth. Still, it is the leather seat design, and unique foam padding that makes it so much better to sit on for a lengthy period of time.



#25 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 05:54 PM

Looks like you have the same type uel header I'm running. Love the sound, but mine keeps blowing the gasket between it header and convertor section. Pretty annoying, and I'm yet to one that will properly seal to the smaller flange.

 

 

I don't know what sizes they come in but, I was told, there is an upgraded gasket made with sinteredt  metal (???) for my car.

 

maybe someone else knows about those - anyone ?







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