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ZeeksChopShop 05-29-2004 09:24 PM

Bending Exhaust pipe
I have some 2 1/4" exhaust tubing that I want to bend. I don't have a pipe bender or anything like that. I was just wondering if there was any makeshift way to bend the pipe myself without taking it to a shop. I'm sure that taking it to a shop would be a lot easier, but I want to make this exhaust by myself. Plus this exhaust system is a lot of trial and error so I'd have to do the bending a little at a time. I was thinking of a couple ideas using a jack sort of like a hydraulic press, but I doubt a jack has enough force anyways. I was also thinking of heating up the joint the area that i want to bend it around something, but I don't have a torch. This is probably a stupid question, but would a wood fire get hot enough to get that pipe cherry red? I have a deep fire pit in my backyard and the coals in there get pretty damn hot. But I don't know what the temperature is. I wish I had an acetylene torch right about now. Any suggestions? Thanks a lot.


lluciano77 05-29-2004 09:47 PM

You need to have a bender with a shoe or the inner diameter of your 2 1/4" pipe will end up much smaller. This means the pipes will not flow well as well as they should. Go spend the $$$ and have it done right.

tresi 05-29-2004 09:53 PM

A good bed of coals and some forced air will get the tubing red hot but don't bother. If you heat it up and try to bend it the tubing will just collapse and kink. The only way that you're going to do any good is to get a bunch of 90's and 45's from the parts store and that will only work if it's a rather simple system to make.
For more complex systems you'll need a bunch of universal bends or sometime the header companies will sell you a box of header primary tubes. these are usually bending errors. Then you cut them as needed and tack together to make your bends,then add straight tube where needed. You will soon find out just how cheap most muffler shops are.

lluciano77 05-29-2004 11:07 PM

Or go find an electrical shop that has a conduit bender. Have any friends that are electricians?

84_sportcoupe 05-30-2004 09:22 AM

heh ive bent some pipe ghetto style before. its not hard just time consuming. i made a wooden shoe and filled the pipe with sand from home depot to keep it from collapsing. it worked, but i wouldnt want to do it again. find someone to bend it for you. its not that expensive.

6speedwagon 05-30-2004 09:31 AM

what about pre bent sections you could weld together?

cboy 05-30-2004 02:28 PM


Originally posted by 84_sportcoupe
it worked, but i wouldnt want to do it again.
What problems did you run into that would prevent you from doing it again? I have a project in mind (non-exhaust obviously) that would require a bend with about a two foot radius. Would this be doable with the sand in the tube technique?

ZeeksChopShop 05-30-2004 09:08 PM

Hey guys, thanks a lot for the replies. After considering everything it probably would be better to just have some local shop do a couple bends for me. I just have to pre plan and figure out the degree and radius of the bends first so they know exactly what to do. The exhaust I'm working on is for my daily driver, 94 mustang GT. I custom fab'd dual side exhaust for it a couple years ago, and I've just decided I'm not completely happy with the way it sounds because the fact that just 4 cylinders are exiting on each side, so the full range of sound really isn't there when you're listening to one side or the other. What I'm thinking of doing is routing the exhaust just like the stock formation except bending the ends of the tailpipes towards the middle of the car and having them exit out through a cutout at the bottom of the rear fender. My side pipes now have about a 75 or 80 degree bend in them that I can cut and use, so I'll use that joint for the bend around the rear of the car. That was my biggest concern right there. I'll probably finish off the end of the exhaust with 4 small chrome oval tips. Thanks again for the advice.


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