Specifics on '97 exhaust replacement (1 Viewer)

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So, yes, I've searched and, yes, I've found a lot of information. I just wanted to put up a parts list and ask if anyone sees an issue that I haven't considered yet. So, here goes...

So just like the title says, I have a '97 with about 240K miles on it. I am not the original owner but based on maintenance records and visual inspection the vehicle seems to have been taken care of. Lately I've had power loss and I wasn't sure what the culprit was. After consulting MUD and several different people more knowledgeable than myself, I finally removed the No1 O2 sensor completely to see if there was some sort of exhaust blockage causing my issue. Sure enough, truck drove fine. No acceleration issues. No power loss. Just some loud exhaust blasting out of the O2 sensor port. So, based on that evidence, it would seem that my catalytic converters are clogged.

Now, I knew that I had some exhaust maintenance to do even before the cats bit the dust. The hangers are broken, which has led to my tailpipe hammering itself into an oval on the frame. My muffler is cracked. I also have a hole downstream of the muffler. Finally, I'm fairly certain that the entire system is original except the muffler itself which means plenty of rust. All things considered, I've decided to do a manifold back replacement. I intend to keep this vehicle so I don't see the point in welding/bolting in new cats when I will have other repairs to do before long.

Now, I wish I had the money to just write the check and put all OEM parts back in. Unfortunately, I don't think that's gonna be an option. That being said, I want something that works and I'm not looking for the very cheapest replacement either. Below is my current parts list:

Manifolds: Dorman (ceramic coated)
Y-pipe/cat replacement: Magnaflow (CARB compliant, ceramic coated)
Second Cat: Magnaflow (CARB)
Cat-Back: Bosal direct fit
Hardware: OEM (hangers, bolts, nuts, exhaust gaskets, O2 sensors)

I know some of you are probably scratching your heads asking "Why the Bosal cat-back when you said you didn't want the cheapest option?". Good question. The answer is I intend to wheel this truck fairly hard whenever I'm able and I think the odds of me crushing a tail pipe or a muffler are high compared to the cats being damaged (protected by built-in skid on sliders). The cats and y-pipe being the most expensive part of the system, I don't want them to be garbage or rot out in a year or two. I've heard good things about the Magnaflow part and I thought getting a ceramic coating on the manifolds and y-pipe would add an extra layer of protection against corrosion. All said and done, this won't be a cheap solution but I believe it will be cheaper than OEM and hopefully better in some aspects. Please share your thoughts about this set up along with any experiences you've had with these specific products. I haven't ordered anything yet so suggestions are welcome.
 

jfz80

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I dont really see the point/benefit of new manifolds unless the iold ones are cracked/failed somehow. Being cast rust should not be an issue. Seems that money could be better spent elsewhere.

I imagine you have read bosals “direct fit” is subject to speculation. Nothing you cant heat hammer and make work just been noted a few times its not so direct.

Id likely weigh the option of local mom n pop shop running your pipe as desired against the bosal unless you really want to do all the install yourself or if your location doesn't lend this to being an option. This will allow you a few benefits. Up and over the frame after cat to prevent crushing the pipe. A greater risk in my eyes than the tail exit. And on that note.... it would allow you to exit the pipe in a less likely to be crushed manner than bosal offers. And to further that thought you could add a flange or v band to make the last 2-3’ easily replaceable should you incur damage.
 
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I dont really see the point/benefit of new manifolds unless the iold ones are cracked/failed somehow. Being cast rust should not be an issue. Seems that money could be better spent elsewhere.

I imagine you have read bosals “direct fit” is subject to speculation. Nothing you cant heat hammer and make work just been noted a few times its not so direct.

Id likely weigh the option of local mom n pop shop running your pipe as desired against the bosal unless you really want to do all the install yourself or if your location doesn't lend this to being an option. This will allow you a few benefits. Up and over the frame after cat to prevent crushing the pipe. A greater risk in my eyes than the tail exit. And on that note.... it would allow you to exit the pipe in a less likely to be crushed manner than bosal offers. And to further that thought you could add a flange or v band to make the last 2-3’ easily replaceable should you incur damage.

Excellent points about making the tailpipe removable/replaceable. I'm still on the fence about going over the frame. I agree that the added clearance and protection would be great but I'm a tad concerned about the exhaust being so close to the rear floorboard. I don't want to cook the paint off the body and create a rust issue I didn't have. I've heard that some guys use the heat shield from '94 and older 80's to solve this problem but I don't know much about that yet. My thought with the Bosal for the cat back was that it will probably rust out in a few years but at least if I damaged it I'm only like $200ish in the hole. I drive through a decent amount of water when I take the vehicle out so I wasn't sure if routing a custom exhaust was worth it if it's going to rust away/possibly get damaged or bent. But as you say, that may not be the big deal I thought it was if I'm clever about it.
 
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I also want to be CARB compliant because I'm military and there's a good chance I will be in California in a year or two. REALLY don't want to cut out the exhaust I just put in like a year ago just to pass smog. With this in mind, wouldn't it be difficult to route over the frame? I was reading that the second cat (which would be mandatory for CARB) gets in the way.
 
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Everything I just talked about is the motivating factor to go kinda cheap after the cats - so it can be easily replaced without needing a shop. I'm even thinking of having someone fab up a skid for the under-frame exhaust bend. There's a thread on here about it - seems like a cheap solution for a common problem until I have the money to put SS from the cats back.
 

sxp

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I needed to replace my muffler on my '96 (275xxx miles). I went to a custom exhaust shop. They installed a new stainless muffler, cut and turned my cats, went frame over, and moved my resonator to my empty spare tire well. They used the existing ss pipes, and added where needed. Total cost was under $600.
 
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I needed to replace my muffler on my '96 (275xxx miles). I went to a custom exhaust shop. They installed a new stainless muffler, cut and turned my cats, went frame over, and moved my resonator to my empty spare tire well. They used the existing ss pipes, and added where needed. Total cost was under $600.
That's pretty awesome. Unfortunately, as I already pointed out, my cats are shot, my pipes are rusted, my muffler is broken, and I have a least one place that's rusted through....so I'm gonna need more than someone who can cut and weld. I need new parts.
 
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The more you drive it, the longer the carbon steel (aluminized) exhaust will last. It needs to be fully heated and burn off the moisture that accumulates.

Buying a complete Toyota system is well over $2700 just for the parts, but it is bolt-on and will last a long time, provided you don't smash it.

If you only drive it once per week, make sure it is at temp for a while to help get rid of excess moisture.
 
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The more you drive it, the longer the carbon steel (aluminized) exhaust will last. It needs to be fully heated and burn off the moisture that accumulates.

Buying a complete Toyota system is well over $2700 just for the parts, but it is bolt-on and will last a long time, provided you don't smash it.

If you only drive it once per week, make sure it is at temp for a while to help get rid of excess moisture.
Good to know. That makes a lot of sense but I actually wasn't aware that regular use could prolong the life of the aluminized pipes. We drive this vehicle at least once a week, sometimes more. It was actually a DD until a few months ago.
 
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That $2700 price tag is the only reason I'm considering aftermarket options. It's looking like I can get all the parts I mentioned (including the ceramic coating) for less than 2K. If the price for OEM was more competitive I'd be more tempted.
 
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Good to know. That makes a lot of sense but I actually wasn't aware that regular use could prolong the life of the aluminized pipes. We drive this vehicle at least once a week, sometimes more. It was actually a DD until a few months ago.


I'm an old car guy and I have dealt with cars that sit a lot and ones that drive a lot.

As it says in my sig, dis-use is harder than mis-use. The exhaust really falls into this category. When it sits, it goes through 2 condensation cycles per day. If it is driven every day, maybe to work and back, the rate of change is fast and it burns off the moisture so it doesn't have time to oxidize the steel it is condensed on. Yes, it will still rust over time, but keeping it hot is better.

On the show cars that get started, moved, then shut off, the exhaust rusts out quickly from the inside out. The acids and condensation work together to eat the steel. I have seen people complain about their Flowmaster mufflers only lasting two years. Because they only drive them a few miles, then shut them off, then they sit.

On my Studebaker, I have had many thousands of miles on the exhaust (about 60K) before they finally rusted out and that car doesn't have cats to bake out the moisture and convert the acids.

Taxicabs, police cars, fleet cars that never shut off get hundreds of thousands of miles on factory exhaust because they stay seated and never have time for the acids to sit.

Your sig line states Florida. Yet you are asking about CA smog requirements. Be aware that Magnaflow has TWO DIFFERENT sets of cats and pipes for the CA Carb compliant and the non-compliant.
 
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I'm an old car guy and I have dealt with cars that sit a lot and ones that drive a lot.

As it says in my sig, dis-use is harder than mis-use. The exhaust really falls into this category. When it sits, it goes through 2 condensation cycles per day. If it is driven every day, maybe to work and back, the rate of change is fast and it burns off the moisture so it doesn't have time to oxidize the steel it is condensed on. Yes, it will still rust over time, but keeping it hot is better.

On the show cars that get started, moved, then shut off, the exhaust rusts out quickly from the inside out. The acids and condensation work together to eat the steel. I have seen people complain about their Flowmaster mufflers only lasting two years. Because they only drive them a few miles, then shut them off, then they sit.

On my Studebaker, I have had many thousands of miles on the exhaust (about 60K) before they finally rusted out and that car doesn't have cats to bake out the moisture and convert the acids.

Taxicabs, police cars, fleet cars that never shut off get hundreds of thousands of miles on factory exhaust because they stay seated and never have time for the acids to sit.

Your sig line states Florida. Yet you are asking about CA smog requirements. Be aware that Magnaflow has TWO DIFFERENT sets of cats and pipes for the CA Carb compliant and the non-compliant.

Yes I am aware of the two different part numbers for the CARB compliant cats and y-pipe. I'm actually more aware than I would like to be because if I didn't need to worry about moving to CA I could save several hundred dollars by going with a singe, non-CARB cat.
 
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I just don't want to get stationed in CA, have to pass smog, fail, then get told I have to cut out a perfectly good cat and spend $500-$800 on CARB compliant ones.
 
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I just don't want to get stationed in CA, have to pass smog, fail, then get told I have to cut out a perfectly good cat and spend $500-$800 on CARB compliant ones.


Check with other Commifornicans about the laws of your truck being out there as temporary due to military service. You May NOT have to smog as long as your "permanent" address is in another state.
 
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Check with other Commifornicans about the laws of your truck being out there as temporary due to military service. You May NOT have to smog as long as your "permanent" address is in another state.
You may be correct. However, what reading I have done on the subject seems to indicate that military members don't have to register their vehicles in CA if stationed there (provided you are registered in the state you came from) but you do have to pass an initial smog test. That is my current understanding. I could be wrong though, might try to call CA DMV directly and talk to someone.
 
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, might try to call CA DMV directly and talk to someone.

This is very misleading based on what MANY of the folks here have stated. It all depends on WHO you talks to, whether or not they know ANYTHING, and if they are actually WILLING to help.

I would bet folks on here would know better than the DMV itself. A number of people actually bring copied of the code book with them when they bring in trucks or get them registered because they know more than the yahoo behind the desk, unfortunately.

Do a little searching for DMV or make a new post about military and CA DMV and smog testing.
 

sxp

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That's pretty awesome. Unfortunately, as I already pointed out, my cats are shot, my pipes are rusted, my muffler is broken, and I have a least one place that's rusted through....so I'm gonna need more than someone who can cut and weld. I need new parts.

I understand. I guess my point was more about going to an exhaust shop to see what they can do for you. A local mechanic quoted me $700 for a Bosal setup, but the exhaust shop was able to hook me up with a ss muffler, and custom work for less. Sometimes trying to price and piece things together through the net can cost more due to lack of buying power.
 

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