When to weld the exhaust system? - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 3rd, 18, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
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When to weld the exhaust system?

I'm restoring a '68 El Camino SS to original. Right now the engine, transmission, rear end, suspension, etc. are all done and sitting on the frame. The body is on a rotisserie. The new Gardner exhaust system is in place. The mufflers are clamped on the exhaust pipes with U-clamps.

I want to weld the mufflers to the pipes. It would be easier to do that now, rather than later after the body is in place. Should I weld up now or should I wait until the body is on the frame and the suspension is in its normal stance? The only adjustment that I can make before welding is to slightly move each muffler on the pipe from the exhaust manifold and the tail pipe.

Recommendations?

Thanks,
Greg

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 3rd, 18, 2:12 PM
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Re: When to weld the exhaust system?

If it were me and I had to live with the results, I would wait to weld. Sure the factory did things a certain way, but we don't have the benefit of all the drops, sub-assemblies & factory parts to replicate it.

Look at it how the factory did it. They would take the easy & practical route, but they also had the benefit of parts & time.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 3rd, 18, 2:26 PM
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Re: When to weld the exhaust system?

I'd wait as well, but I wouldn't want it welded anyway.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 3rd, 18, 2:44 PM
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Welding or just a tack?

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 3rd, 18, 2:54 PM
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Re: When to weld the exhaust system?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg P View Post
I'm restoring a '68 El Camino SS to original. Right now the engine, transmission, rear end, suspension, etc. are all done and sitting on the frame. The body is on a rotisserie. The new Gardner exhaust system is in place. The mufflers are clamped on the exhaust pipes with U-clamps.

I want to weld the mufflers to the pipes. It would be easier to do that now, rather than later after the body is in place. Should I weld up now or should I wait until the body is on the frame and the suspension is in its normal stance? The only adjustment that I can make before welding is to slightly move each muffler on the pipe from the exhaust manifold and the tail pipe.

Recommendations?




Greg


Thanks,
Greg



Greg, I would weld it now. Your welds will come out better. The tailpipes are clamped and you can adjust them if need be. I did this on a few Corvettes I did frame offs on. I never had to adjust any of the system. Gardner's exhaust fit nicely.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 3rd, 18, 6:59 PM
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Re: When to weld the exhaust system?

Show pics when you are done with the install, I would like to see a Gardners system installed.
I hear they do a great job.

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Last edited by Cal Malibu; Aug 3rd, 18 at 7:20 PM.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 3rd, 18, 7:31 PM
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Re: When to weld the exhaust system?

im not an exact restoration guy but unless i had templates or measurements on exactly where the floor gas tank etc i would wait untill the body was on. you can drop it down to weld it after mocking it up
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 4th, 18, 12:06 AM
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Re: When to weld the exhaust system?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg P View Post
I'm restoring a '68 El Camino SS to original.

I want to weld the mufflers to the pipes.
Greg
Quote:
Originally Posted by gnicholson View Post
im not an exact restoration guy but unless i had templates or measurements on exactly where the floor gas tank etc i would wait until the body was on. you can drop it down to weld it after mocking it up
If restoring to original, was it originally welded in the spots you want to do ? If there were not welds there originally, then adding them would not have it retain originality unless you are restoring it to a point that it was welded at some point in it's life.

I'm with gnicholson in that I would mock up everything first with more things assembled that might have issues with interference.

I bought a reproduction exhaust from Waldron since they offered a system for an inline 6 that is in my car and I put the the car on a drive on lift and after removing the old system I fitted the new system all together under the car, supported it in spots while the clamps and parts were all loose, tweaked it a little this way and that way, pushed a pipe a little more into another or not as much in another spot and then stood back to see how the exhaust end came out from under the car, how level the muffler was left to right, checked the clearances on the floorboards, rear axle, shocks, emergency brake cables, gas tank, and so on and then slowly started snugging up the clamps and hangers, checked things again for any shifting and then went around for the final tightening of the clamps and hangers. Started the car up checked for leaks and had none. This took me a whopping 45 minutes and would have been quicker if not having to answer questions from others in the shop at the time.

It's up to you but my exhaust was never welded in any spot so it's closer to retaining originality with just the clamps and didn't really take that much time to put on an assembled car.

I know we would all like to think that a quality reproduction exhaust such as the ones from Gardner or Waldron would go right on with no issues but whose to say on a slip over fit on a pipe to another pipe exactly how much of the one pipe has to be pushed into the other ?. One might need to be pushed in until it cannot go in any further while another may not need it to be pushed in as far but still in enough for the clamp when tightened clamps both pieces together.

Jim

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 4th, 18, 2:13 AM
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Wink Re: When to weld the exhaust system?

It would be "more" correct to weld the head pipes to the mufflers as the original exhaust was made with the head pipe and the muffler as a single assembly. That means you would need to cut the stub off of the front of the muffler and butt weld it to the head pipe, then grind the weld to make it look as seamless as you can. This would need to be done with the engine installed and the body off. The reason the folks who make the exhaust systems don't build them like the factory is that freight costs would be exorbitant to ship an assembly that's over six feet long.
The tailpipes are installed conventionally with U bolts at the muffler end and circular clamps over a suspended hanger at the rear. I'd install the body and adjust the tailpipes as needed for clearance, then clamp them down. If you're worried about it leaking, use some NAPA Part:BK 7651516 sealant on the joint.


FYI, unless they have changed, the hangers supplied by Gardner are not correct. The "U" bolt is slipped over the pipe with the closed end of the"U" at the bottom, then through the clamp saddle, then through the hanger and the nuts are installed at the top. Gardner's hangers are made so the open end of the "U" faces down. If you still have the original hangers, you can call Gardner and ask them to supply the rubber strap and rivets to use on your factory hangers. The pics show the correct hangers.
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Last edited by Ark68SS; Aug 4th, 18 at 2:30 AM.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 5th, 18, 9:26 PM Thread Starter
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Re: When to weld the exhaust system?

Thanks to everyone for your timely replies with comments based on your various experiences! That's what is great about this site.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Streib View Post
If restoring to original, was it originally welded in the spots you want to do ? . . . I'm with gnicholson in that I would mock up everything first with more things assembled that might have issues with interference. . . . I know we would all like to think that a quality reproduction exhaust such as the ones from Gardner or Waldron would go right on with no issues but whose to say on a slip over fit on a pipe to another pipe exactly how much of the one pipe has to be pushed into the other ?. One might need to be pushed in until it cannot go in any further while another may not need it to be pushed in as far but still in enough for the clamp when tightened clamps both pieces together. Jim

I had been making the assumption that the mufflers that were installed at the factory were welded to both the head pipe and the tail pipe. What I'm hearing now from more than one source is that the muffler was welded to the head pipe but not to the tail pipe. That's good news as it obviously allows for some adjustments for how the tail pipes hang. It appears that a critical measurement will be how far away from the bottom of each quarter panel does the exhaust tip hang? Each side needs to match. If the tail pipe can be "twisted" at the muffler because it's held by a "U" bolt, then each side can be matched.

Basically, everything else that attaches to the frame of my El Camino is in place now. I don't see anything interfering. The fuel tank, a possible interference point, sits behind where the exhaust tips point out so I don't see an issue there.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cam View Post
If it were me and I had to live with the results, I would wait to weld. Sure the factory did things a certain way, but we don't have the benefit of all the drops, sub-assemblies & factory parts to replicate it.
Well . . . welding would be easier now, so I'm trying to take advantage of that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ark68SS View Post
It would be "more" correct to weld the head pipes to the mufflers as the original exhaust was made with the head pipe and the muffler as a single assembly. . . . The tailpipes are installed conventionally with U bolts at the muffler end and circular clamps over a suspended hanger at the rear. I'd install the body and adjust the tailpipes as needed for clearance, then clamp them down. . . . unless they have changed, the hangers supplied by Gardner are not correct. The "U" bolt is slipped over the pipe with the closed end of the"U" at the bottom, then through the clamp saddle, then through the hanger and the nuts are installed at the top. Gardner's hangers are made so the open end of the "U" faces down.
I am very interested in originality, but at some point I need to draw the line. I'm not up to cutting off the stub at the front of the muffler and butt welding to the head pipe. I'll just weld at the stub. Thanks for the info about the orientation of the "U" bolt. It appears that the system I got from Gardner is correct. Cal asked for some pix of the installation. I'm including those, plus a closeup of how the front hangers I have from Gardner are configured.

Again, all comments and suggestions are appreciated.

Greg
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 5th, 18, 9:50 PM
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Re: When to weld the exhaust system?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg P View Post
Thanks to everyone for your timely replies with comments based on your various experiences! That's what is great about this site.

Again, all comments and suggestions are appreciated.

Greg
When I replaced my system, I used a lot of the information found in my one reprinted factory manual. It showed a lot more than I thought it would and while who's to say how close it was to being originally installed to those specifications, it was helpful.



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