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Old 12-12-2002, 11:23 AM
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Question Making your own exhaust.

Has anyone here fabricated their own exhaust? Is it possible to bend exhaust tubing with those hydraulic benders (like the simple ones with the jack that you can get a Harbor Freight)? I know there is a difference between tubing benders and pipe benders, but I'm just looking for one that is affordable and will work pretty well. I know most of you can relate when I say that I really don't want someone else working on my car, especially one of those run-of-the-mill muffler shops. Most are not concerned with neatness or accuracy. I was also thinking about buying some elbows and u-bends and welding the pieces together, but I will still have to make some slight bends to tweak it.

I want to do a side exhaust, and to make it work properly, everything has to be just right.

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Old 12-12-2002, 11:39 AM
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I have seen people use pvc pipe and elbows to make the exhust then take it down to the muffler shop and have them make a copy of it. Then you can hang it the way you want. Just a thought.

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Old 12-12-2002, 12:50 PM
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I fabbed the exhausts on my Deuce. I used a 90 degree bend from each header to each pipe, welding a flange to one end and the other end to the pipe. I needed a slight bend on each pipe further along and achieved this by cutting slots about an inch apart until i got the correct curve. Then I welded the slots up before grinding and painting with high temperature paint.

When the pipes wear out I can use them as a pattern for stainless ones next time.

[ December 12, 2002: Message edited by: Deuce UK ]</p>
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Old 12-12-2002, 01:09 PM
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I get several U-bends that they s3ell for making headers and a few pieces of straight pipe and cut and weld them in place just like I would make a header. Start at the exhaust manifold and work your way back. Works like a charm.
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Old 12-12-2002, 04:11 PM
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Check out JCWhitney, I just bought all my bends and straight pipe from them. Prices are pretty good and the bends are all mandrel bent. Just start cutting and fitting, take your time so you don't have to do it over and you'll do alright....GlennK
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Old 12-12-2002, 05:04 PM
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The hydraulic benders that you see in Harbor Freight catalog (and others) will not bend exhaust tubing smoothly. You will end up with crimps and reduced diameters. Your best bet is, as others have mentioned, buy a set of header flanges and several mandrel bends and some straight pipe. Making headers is a time-consuming project, but if you take your time and have patience, you can fabricate a nice set of headers. Just don't forget to check details, like leaving room to get the spark plugs in and out, etc. Have found that it is real hard to fabricate headers with the front sheet metal on the car too. But if you do take the fenders off, keep the inner fenders handy so you can check fit there. Am speaking from experience!

EDIT - just re-read your original post. Thought you were talking about building your own headers. Making an exhaust system is even easier, just remember to design plenty of clearance around everything and use plenty of good quality hangers.

[ December 12, 2002: Message edited by: engineguy ]</p>
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Old 12-12-2002, 06:48 PM
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I have done some exhaust work on various projects. I started with a pile of 90 degree mandrel bends in the pipe size I needed. You can use a band saw or sawzall to cut the mandrel bends and make the curves you need. It is time consuming, but if you are patient you can make a very nice exhaust system very cheap. Here is a picture of what I am talking about.



Chris
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Old 12-12-2002, 09:53 PM
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I was talking to this one guy a long time ago and he had this custom car and he said that he had made the exhaust himself. I asked him how and he said that he placed the pipe in some kind of bin or something that was full of sand, and had sand on the inside and outside of the pipe and used a mallet or hammer or something... it was a long time ago so I can't remember details. I don't know if he was just giving me a line of bull or not. Has anyone ever heard of anything like this??
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Old 12-13-2002, 04:12 AM
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Yup, in the "old days" we used to fill a straight piece of exhaust tubing with sand, then weld up both ends. Then bend the pipe to the shape needed, while heating the pipe with a torch. The sand would keep the pipe from kinking and would result in a nice bend, almost like a mandrel bend. Then cut off the ends remove the sand and cut the pipe to the desired length. Problem is, this is very time consuming, dirty, hot, etc. Now that mandrel-bent tubing is readily available in many sizes and shapes, you are much better off just buying several bends and cutting to fit.

[ December 13, 2002: Message edited by: engineguy ]</p>
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Old 12-17-2002, 04:59 AM
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What if I were to fill the tubing with sand (and seal it off) and then use the hydraulic bender. Why wouldn't that work?
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Old 12-17-2002, 05:29 AM
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Yes, that would work, but you would waste a lot of time and effort. You can buy real nice mandrel bent tubing in all kinds of sizes and configurations for a very reasonable price. Do not dispair, you will find a project to use your Harbor Freight bender for . . . maybe a wrought-iron gate or fence for the yard??
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Old 12-17-2002, 11:38 AM
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Hey Turbo S10: I'm impressed. I know that what you have done is not easy. Nice work.
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