Good lord this exhaust repair has turned out to be a nightmare(long, but with questions)...

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Jan 25, 2007
Winter Park, CO.
First off, thanks to everyone who has done this in the past and posted up about it! :cheers:

I have some questions listed at the bottom. So if you don't want to read my little rant, feel free to scroll on down. ;)

I went into this project well informed and was ready for anything to happen. Almost. :worms: I had all of the parts assembled and ready to go, however, the magnesium chloride bulls*** that's used on the roads here in Colorado has corroded everything all to hell. :mad: 20 year old parts I can understand but the o2 sensor nuts, which are 5 years old, are almost gone. I had to cut out almost all of the exhaust to get it off the truck as all of the other fasteners were toast as well. I was able to get the front o2 sensor nuts off once off the truck with some vose grips. The rear nuts? That's another story. The shield is in the way so I'm going to try a nut extractor(fingers crossed).

My plan is(was?) to keep things mostly stock and replace what is necessary. That meant replacing the front pipe w/cat and muffler section, all gaskets and fasteners, while keeping cat 2 and the tail pipe. I got the front pipe from Magnaflow and went with the OEM muffler section. The OEM front pipe was just too expensive for me.

Well, it appears that I have to order more stuff. Sux. 3 of the 4 EM->front pipe studs came out with the nuts, and one of them has some jacked threads on the pipe end so I'll be replacing the three that came out. I don't want to touch the one that's still in there. With my luck, it'll break off, inducing a round of tourettes :censor: that will wake the dead. I also need a rear hanger cushion as I didn't expect to have to remove the tail pipe at the end. The studs just twisted right out. Sux, x2. I had to cut off the band that holds the front pipe up by the manifold so that needs to be replaced. I've been looking for the part number for that but can only come up with the whole assembly. It looks like the resonator has developed a rust hole on the top of it so that will have to go as well. :( <===This project has got me beat down.

So, I have a few questions if anyone can help me out here:
1) How in the world does the tail pipe come off of the truck?!?! I have tried moving thing all around and the flange just gets jammed between the body and the frame crossmember. Does the truck have to be up on a lift? I can cut it out, but getting the new one in looks to be a serious challenge.

2) Has anyone had any luck using one of those nut extractors on the o2 nuts? Will I be wasting my time? I can try to cut off the nuts, but I don't want to lose the shield if I can help it. In that, does anyone have the PN for the shield? I can't find it on the online resource I know.

3) Is the band that holds the front pipe to the hanger available by itself, or is sold only as part of the hanger?

Thanks in advance for any answers, help, advise, razzing, etc. Any/all is much appreciated! :cheers:
I've started into similar hell. I'm not sure that this isn't one to pay a shop to do - it's just next to impossible to make any progress.
I spent some time driving around talking to different exhaust shops in March when I had roughly your dilemma. Also needed a muffler. I eventually found a guy who did everything, and routed it all up out of harms way, for under $200. No brainer. I had other quotes up to $800. He fixed the o2 sensor situation by cutting out the old bungs and welding in new. Screw rust.

EDIT: He was a one man, good ole boy shop and not on the main roads but he IS a legitimate business. And into custom trucks.

Someone had told me to run the copper nuts like @96Cruiser says. Thanks for the reminder. I'll try to grab some next week.
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I recently gave up on fixing my exhaust and took it into Meineke. I've got all the tools, welder, sawzalls, etc, but I ran out of patience.
Bosal cat back system seems to be the best bang for the buck factor and several members here have decent luck with them. Not sure how they will stand up the CO Mag Chloride crap they put down but maybe worth a shot. This will eliminate ALL headaches with the removal of rusted crap. Be warned, the sound of this system is louder than stock, which I didn't care for. So I installed a small, oval tailpipe muffler to return the sound back to stock. Somewhere on this board should be some pics of my exhaust that's routed up and over the frame then connecting to the Bosal system
I bought a bosal system and found the pipe diameter to be smaller than stock and the way they bent the pipes in the center muffler section has a lot of kinks and dents sticking into the exhaust flow, so they may rob you of a couple squirrel power. But the price is great!

Bosal "resonator" isn't a resonator at all, it's just a slightly larger section of pipe, like a dummy cat. So no surprise that it's louder overall.
Are they copper, or copper clad? It seems the VW ones I was looking at were just clad, and I figured they'd rust in a few years anyway.
Thanks for the link. The price can't be beat.

im not sure, I needed them before I could get them shipped, so I used that p/n and went to my local bmw dealer and they had them, I never really checked them out, I just knew that the oem nuts I cut off were not very old and these had to be better than those.......

my rear section is a borla, been on since 2006, and the rusted oem nuts I cut off were put on new when I did that borla install and have eroded the o2 bung studs a bit, next time I have to work on it I will have to drill those studs out and replace.......sigh
So I got the nuts off using one of these: 7-pc POWER-GRIP™ Set - Tools - IRWIN TOOLS. It worked well. Just tapped it on with a hammer and used a ratchet with a 1/4" socket. I like the copper nut idea. I got some of the Toyota nuts, but I think I'll try the copper nuts and see how they do. They can't be worse than the stock nuts.

I would've looked into having a shop do the work for me but the closest place is about 100 miles away and my front pipe was toast so I wasn't going to drive it that far.

I'm waiting for the EM=>front pipe studs and the tail pipe section before I can finish this job. I don't mind going OEM(except the front pipe) as it lasted 20 years so what I'm doing now should last the life of the truck, unless the stupid mag chloride gets it first. I'm still trying to get my head around how the tail pipe flange goes over the frame crossmember. Unless the flange is not welded in place, which would give it just enough room to pass over.
I'm still trying to get my head around how the tail pipe flange goes over the frame crossmember. Unless the flange is not welded in place, which would give it just enough room to pass over.

I think I had to jack it up in the back, and do some serious twisting around of the old oem rear section, but it was back in 2006 so I cant rememeber exactly what I did lol
Just finished replacing my all of my exhaust. That rear part with the resonator was a pain. I jacked the rear end way up and fiddled around and it finally went in. Granted that involved a couple of cool down periods when I got frustrated and tools were about to fly.
Success!!! Thanks for all of the help guys!

The tail pipe section acutally was a breeze. I did jack up the rear end as high as I could get it, but what made it easy was removing the heat shield that is above the section of pipe that goes over the frame crossmember. Until I removed that, it wasn't coming out without force, which usually breaks stuff, if not me.
I use a muffler shop... Cheaper on the long run.
My exhaust was shot. Hole in the cats, needed both O2 sensors, and muffler. I'd recommend taking it to a shop. I started doing this myself and it turned out to just be more of a pain in the ass than its worth. Bolts and hangers breaking off, etc.

$700 and I got all new everything.

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