This video is from our YouTube channel: Big Red Media. Following is a transcript.
Loud mufflers are embarrassing, and trying to drive your car with a broken muffler to the shop past your neighbor’s houses? Man that just brings shame on your head. But the question is, can you replace your muffler in your own garage? Well, most people don’t want to do that because it means, like in this car you actually have to cut the muffler off of the car to replace it. But I’m going to show you how you in your own tiny garage can replace your own muffler yourself.
I’m Big Red, and I’m going to show you how you can do a tough job like replacing your own muffler in a tiny two-car garage. You can break this repair down into three basic steps: diagnosing the problem, locating the parts, and getting the right tools for the job.
Diagnosing the Problem
To diagnose the problem, you’re going to have to get down and dirty so I’m going to pull out the jack, put it under the car, jack this car up so we can see what’s going on under it. Before I jack this car up, I want to make sure I chop those wheels, make sure the car doesn’t roll forward. So give me just a second.
Jacking up the Car
Let’s go ahead and jack it up now. With the car all jacked up, I’m going to put some stands under it because I don’t really want to trust China freight with my life.
Okay. Now that we got it off the ground, let’s go take a look under and see what’s going on with that muffler. All right, so you see the muffler there, and oh, there’s our problem.
That right there this muffler is just split. It looks like um somebody might have tried to fix it here. They didn’t do a good job, but you can see the rest of the muffler here.
Examining the Muffler
The rest of the muffler pipe is good. Everything down here looks good all the way down. Way down there you can see that everything looks good. The rest of the muffler seems like it’s in good shape, but because of where this problem is the whole muffler is going to have to be replaced. So what I’ve got here is a spray bottle with soapy water. It says Windex and bleach but it’s soapy water just some Dawn and a little bit of water. Okay so we’re going to go back under the car. You got the tailpipe there. The muffler is hanging on this rubber piece right here. I don’t know the name of that thing, but the muffler hangs on this rubber piece. To get that out, what we’re going to do is spray some soapy water on that. Squirt it in there where the rubber and the hanging part meet. That’s so that we can slide this this piece right here out of the rubber piece there. And let’s go around to the other side.
So for this repair finding a muffler was tricky, because this is a 2006 Pontiac Torrent and that was discontinued back in ’08. So parts to fix that car are hard to come by. Luckily, I was able to find a substitute which, is the Chevy Equinox, so I was in business. Back in ’08, a whole bunch of GM cars were discontinued. Do you own one of those cars? What do you do with a discontinued car? How do you repair it? How do you find parts for it? Let me know in the comments.
Also, in addition to the muffler you’re going to need a way to attach the muffler to the muffler pipe. I’m using this exhaust two and a half inch exhaust clamp. Two and a half inches I think, is about the size of most GM cars. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were about the same for other cars, but with this clamp you can attach the muffler without welding. So that’ll be a nice way to solve that problem. So when it comes to tools, changing a muffler surprisingly only needs a couple of tools: maybe a couple of wrenches, but you’re really going to need something to cut the exhaust pipe. What I found at AutoZone was something called a chain cutter. It cuts up to a four-inch pipe this pipe on the Pontiac Torrent. The Chevy Equinox is only two and a half inches, so it should work just great.
It’s the next day and we had to stop yesterday because the tool that I rented from AutoZone that I told you about– the chain cutter? That thing was bad. Man this thing was not cutting. We kept working with it, and working with it, and finally we had to stop and come back the next day.
Cutting the Exhaust Pipe
So I got the right kind of tool here. This solves all cutting problems–a handy dandy Sawzall. So we’re going to go under the car and cut these pipes off using this Sawzall. I need eye protection. Ready for vertical. I’m going to be using a Sawzall for the first very first time ever in my life. I’ve never even held one of these things before today. I’ll try not to cut anything off of the car that we are going to need later.
Okay, I think that needs to go faster.
Wow, it does work, but it also throws hot metal on your hands. First time ever using a Sawzall. You don’t want to get rid of anything that you might need later for other things.
Talking While I Work
“Nope, sorry can’t brush my teeth…” “Got some metal in my mouth and I certainly don’t want to be under this thing.’ “Left some hot metal there too. “All right, so we’re going to slide these off; get them out of the way. The next cut is a little bit more tricky. I got to cut this off here. Let me get my super wide soapy water. “Yeah, ear protection is probably not a bad idea. But yeah, my ears are old.” “Sure don’t want to break that blade I tell you what. But I want to cut down through it and just get it off so…”
(Offstage): You ok?
Removing the Old Muffler
Oh I’m fine. I’m really threatening to break this blade because I just bent it and I need to be able to make one more good cut after this. But I’m going to get this muffler out of here. I’m going to cut this loose and that’ll free up the whole muffler from the muffler pipe. And then that will allow me to remove this this whole muffler piece and let me make a nice straight even cut. come under that’s what i’m going to do
Now I just need something to pry this hanging thing off here and all the handy dandy tools you always use when you don’t know what to use like, well pliers and a screwdriver. One thing I didn’t grab was a hammer. Got that off. And this one’s coming off easy too.
Fitting the New Muffler
Okay, so we got the muffler out and with it out, it’ll be a whole lot easier to bring the new muffler in and see how it lines up with the exhaust pipe. So let’s go ahead and do that now.
I think I should hang this new muffler up, mark where it’s going to line up. Let’s get some more soapy water in there–way more than we need.
Let’s hang this guy up this side. Come on. Getting in there yeah. Oh yeah that slipped right here.
Marking the Pipe
“Don’t be hard to go on that would be nice. Answers that question.” “Let me mark it right here so that with some sweaty finger.” So what I use here is a white paint marker to mark where on the exhaust pipe I’m going to cut but I think you can use anything that will make a mark. Like a black marker or what have you. Anything that’ll make a mark should be fine. I’m just going to use this one because it’s a paint marker and it’s what I have available.
There, down between marks, I’ll have a little bit extra over here. I think the farthest possible I could cut and it’d be it’d be good to be right here. All right, so let’s go ahead and pull this down.
Cutting the Exhaust Pipe, Part 2
Now this is the tricky part of cutting the pipe. You want to cut it really straight. This pipe is pretty thick, so I’m going to cut it right through the middle there. Boy that hot metal started going down to my shoe.
“Yes indeedy, turning to a little sissy boy there for a little second.” All right so now that we got that cut that’s a nice even cut, let’s see if I can fit this on here I might need to cut just a little bit more off the end. Come on.
Installing the New Muffler
All right I bet this is going to be a tricky deal right here. Line up that hole and line up this rubber hanger. Come on. There we go, slide this back and forth looks like the cut was perfect. So I’m going to slide this over to get this pipe all the way up. There we go. There we go. There we go.
Slid on there just right. Man that was much easier than I thought.
Using Brackets Instead of Welding
So now we’ll go ahead and click on this u-bracket two and a half inch u-bracket screws on there This bracket doesn’t have any washers on it, so I’m just going to assume you don’t need any and I’m going to leave these hanging straight down. So now what size is that? It’s like a 10. I’m going to use trial and error to tighten these. I’ll try to make them just about the same length so it can even tighten. It looks like it might be okay. I’ll tighten it down really tight but something tells you to put some tape on that too just to make sure–I don’t know. Let’s just tighten this tight as I can get it without breaking something.
It looked on; it’s hanging up. You might want to take this plastic off of here. That’d be good. Taking it all off would be really good because it is said that the exhaust can get to be as high as 800 degrees.
Starting the Car
Now that we’ve got the muffler in and tightened down, we’ll go ahead and start the car up, see how it sounds.
Well. That’s pretty quiet.
So. Got the muffler right here: brand new runs quiet as a… really kind of loud kid.
So that’s going to be it for today. We got the Torrent a new muffler he’s running great he’s nice and quiet.
We’re going to go ahead and take off. Give us a like. Subscribe to us and ring the bell, and if you want to know more about how I swapped my engine out of my SUV, visit us on bigred.media. I’ve created an instructional video that has everything in it that you would need in order to swap your own engine in your own tiny two-car garage. That includes high-resolution video from multiple angles. Everything is indexed we’ve got a list of all the tools, we got a list of all the problems that we’ve had and solved, and everything is based on the GM service manual.
So we’ll see you next time.