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ChrisMiddleron 04-02-2007 09:47 PM

How to DIY Exhaust pipe bending

I am wanting to know if you guys have any advice on how to bend exhaust pipe for the DIY'r. I am wanting to build my own turbo setup for my mustang and was hoping someone had some decent ways to bend exhaust pipe without spending two thousand or more dollars on a pipe bender.

Any threads or knowledge would be appreciated.


Will H 04-02-2007 10:52 PM

Here's what I have done: Make a good drawing with accurate demensions of what you want and take it to a muffler shop. Try to stay in the shop with the guy making it and answer any questions he has. You will probably get away for less than a sawbuck.

ljjjrome 04-02-2007 11:45 PM

most people i have seen do turbo hot parts by buying mandrel bends and welding it together.


brian0605 04-03-2007 12:58 AM

Chris, I have seen it done both ways, just depends on your equipment and knowledge. Good luck Brian

ChrisMiddleron 04-03-2007 07:08 AM

Ok thank you guys I figure I will just buy some muffler shop scrap bends some other random bent pipes and piece it together. If I cant get a couple of areas ill just take it to the shop.

Thanks guys,

farna 04-03-2007 01:45 PM

You can pack the tubing with sand or some other firm yet pliable material, then make a jig and bend it without collapsing. The problem is you need a lot of leverage to bend the pipe, so you have to use rather long lengths to make your bends. Because of all the waste pipe, it's better to buy the bends then cut and weld. JC Whitney sells mandrel bends (no "crimp" on the inside of bends) in various angles. For headers make sure you get a few U bends at different radii. Then you can cut whatever degree turn you need.

redsdad 04-03-2007 05:01 PM


Originally Posted by ChrisMiddleron
Ok thank you guys I figure I will just buy some muffler shop scrap bends some other random bent pipes and piece it together. If I cant get a couple of areas ill just take it to the shop.

Thanks guys,

You have to buy mandrel bent els. Most muffler shops don't do mandrel bends. When you cut through non-mandrel bent els, you will have an egg shaped hole, not round. You won't be able to line this up properly with the next straight or partial el. Mandrel bent els have a virtually round cross section through the bend. That will allow correct alignment with the next piece.

302 Z28 04-03-2007 07:44 PM

Best way is to purchase mandrel bent tubing and weld it together. I have not seen any local muffler shops that can bend tubing without crimping it. A mandrel bending machine is usually way out of a traditional muffler shops budget $$$$$.


fiscus 04-03-2007 07:54 PM

The way most people do it is just order the bends from a supplier/store, you can get them in a U shape and cut out the sections and weld them together.

70bird 04-03-2007 11:57 PM

I bought some 3" mandrel bent pipe and a 3" x-pipefrom this guy (Ubendman) on ebay a couple years ago. I just did a search and he is still on ebay.

Mandrel Bent Pipe

I called him up and he is real easy to talk to and seems to be a pretty nice guy. I had him make 4 bends in 3" pipe with XX amount of pipe before and aft plus the 3" x-pipe I purchased on ebay. The grand total was $110 shipped from New York to California. Bob's Muffler (15 miles from me) wanted $40 per bend and seemed like an A** (or he had something stuck up it) when I talked to him on the phone. Several other's I've talked to have had the same experience with him.

Here's a link to Ubendman's website:

ubendman 11-11-2012 07:32 AM

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vinniekq2 11-11-2012 08:58 AM

If you need 3 inch mandrel bent pieces Jere Stahl also sells Them.Ive also seen people cut pie slices out of straight pipe then weld them back together.Probably cheaper to have them made,unless you want to learn welding or enjoy welding?

malc 11-11-2012 09:14 AM

I bought mine from Summit.

emwolb 11-14-2012 10:00 PM

summit and jegs sell bends, u-bends, j-bends, of just about any size you could want. also jegs sells hooker exhaust pipe sleeves for welding and they sure make for a nice weld without any slag on the inside of the pipes. i'm currently building a set of 3 into 1 headers for my rocket III triumph motorcycle, and the headers will flow great because of no internal restriction from weld material. the hooker weld sleeves make for a really nice weld area on the outside of the pipes too.

ODD Jim 11-14-2012 10:59 PM

Bend it yourself? Why Not?
I bought a tubing bender from Harbor Freight Cheap! And, it is cheap. But, if you are willing to spend your time upgrading its weaker points- it will work. I had to re-invent the set screws on the 36" diameter manual steel wheel that you turn like steering a boat. It takes a bit of strength. You get ability to make some tight bends. They also have a hydraulic unit.
But, NOTHING beats a guy that has been doing it for years behind a professional hydraulic bending machine.
If you are nuts like me- you will do it yourself. But, beating your brains out on poor equipment is a real character building experience. If you have plenty of time, and no money- here is an answer.
Eventually, I converted my unit into a metal strip rolling press. Attached is a photo where I made it roll out Hispano Suiza running board strips. Good luck

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