Boy, I wish I could weld...

Reprise

Original poster
Lifetime VIP Donor
Jul 22, 2015
2,450
The new (to me) Sierra has a Flowmaster installed. While it's neat-sounding (and encourages copious application of the go pedal!), I don't want to be listening to it drone for hours on end with the trailer in tow. Nor do I want to be waking up my neighbors with it, when I'm in a campsite. And with it on, it's difficult for my old ears to hear anything that might be going 'wrong' with the truck. (yeah, I've reached 'get off my lawn' status...my AARP magazine comes once a month, and I'm waiting by the mailbox for it... j/k!)

So... I looked up Midas & Meineke, to see what they were charging for mufflers, these days.
Hmm...neither one seemed to have that info (apparently, OEM stainless exhaust systems have caused them to focus on other things like brakes & tires). Off to Rock...where I find a Walker for my 6.0L, for about $140. But I can't weld it.

Next day, I take a run to the local Midas, with the truck. First question: Will they weld on a customer-supplied muffler. They will. Pleasantly surprised, as a lot of shops won't install any parts but the ones they source.

They offer to put the truck on the rack all immediate-like, and give me an estimate to replace the muffler. I figure, what the hell - if they're somewhat close, I'll just make it easy on myself. I ask them to include taking off the little 'applique' on the tailpipe, too (one of these days, I'll take a pic of it before I remove it - some real ghetto sh!t, IMO)

A few minutes later, they come in with the estimate - almost $750.
750 f*cking dollars - for a MUFFLER? WTF? 😱

Turns out they source their mufflers from NAPA, so there's two sets of markup on that Walker (yep, same muffler), and it runs $380. We're talking ONE muffler - it's not like I have duals (yes, I know the 6.0L trucks have dual to the muffler -- and maybe someday, I'll finish the job that GM started. But not now)

Welding is $175, the new (!) tailpipe is $100, and throw in 3 clamps at a few dollars each.


I'll be putting in my order with Rock shortly, and getting a new blade for my sawzall for that 'applique'. Not to mention shopping around for the welding service. Time to make the chimichangas... <bzzzzzzttt...> ✂✂✂
 

Mike534x

Hobbyist
Apr 9, 2012
708
Yikes....I remember hitting the midas down the street from me once. They wanted $200 to compress the springs for my new struts, not including another $100 to install them and possible extra labor charge to remove the "seized" bolts that broke with a breaker bar and PB Blaster.

When I had my stock muffler swapped for a Magnaflow, I took mine to USA Muffler & Brakes. Only charged me $80 to swap them out, which ended up being about $160 total for what I spent on ordering it from Amazon.
 
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Jul 6, 2014
9,130
The stock 6.0l muffler is dual in and out. It uses a Y st the actual tip to neck back down. (At least on the 2500s)

If you cut the flowmaster tight you should be able to just slip on the new one. The factory muffler is just clamped in place.
 
OP
Reprise

Reprise

Original poster
Lifetime VIP Donor
Jul 22, 2015
2,450
The stock 6.0l muffler is dual in and out. It uses a Y st the actual tip to neck back down. (At least on the 2500s)

If you cut the flowmaster tight you should be able to just slip on the new one. The factory muffler is just clamped in place.

Well, I guess that's another of the 'rare' differences between 1500HD and 2500 -- on mine, it's a twin inlet, single outlet. I had heard that the frame differs on the 1500HD right after the rear axle (& sits 2" lower as a result) -- perhaps that's why the exhaust differs on them as well?

Once I get the new muffler in hand, I'll measure the circumference of the exhaust leading up to the muffler, and the muffler itself. Nominally, I know the muffler is supposed to be sized for 3" pipes -- I'll see what things look like after I measure. And take a look at some YT vids on the 2500 mufflers / attachments. Appreciate the info - maybe I can skip the welding (-?) 🤞
 
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Mooseman

Master Blaster
Moderator
Dec 4, 2011
21,832
Ottawa, ON
You could also use band type clamps. I've had great success with those and seal tight. And if you want to swap the muffler again, it's easy peasy. Went through this on the old EXT while experimenting with different mufflers.
 

northcreek

Guru
Jan 15, 2012
2,825
WNY
re: Reprise ...With the amount of tinkering that you do a mig welder would be your best friend, anybody can learn to weld with those and I'm amazed at how often it is that I use mine.
Maybe something down the road to squeeze into the budget...:twocents:
 
OP
Reprise

Reprise

Original poster
Lifetime VIP Donor
Jul 22, 2015
2,450
re: Reprise ...With the amount of tinkering that you do a mig welder would be your best friend, anybody can learn to weld with those and I'm amazed at how often it is that I use mine.
Maybe something down the road to squeeze into the budget...:twocents:

I've thought about it, actually, and now that you bring it up, I looked up some resources. MIG does sound simple enough, would meet 'my' needs, after reviewing it just now, and I've seen the HF 'my first welding kits' that they sell for $200 or so. Although I might look for something w/ a little better quality than that - some of the components in that HF kit look flimsy, and I don't want to hurt myself (eyes) or burn my house down. That would be mucho no bueno. 🔥🔥🔥 🧯


I'll come back to this in a couple of weeks, b/c right now, I have to focus on the intake issue. I need to haul some stuff around in this truck, and want to get the (immediate) fuel / air issues fixed, so I can get the truck back online w/o worrying about causing more issues by not fixing it. BUT - I want to thank you for the inspiration / idea. I may learn welding, yet!

Off to shuffle the cars & start taking apart the intake...
 

TollKeeper

Platinum Donor
Dec 3, 2011
6,401
Brighton, CO
I would call some of the local yards, and get a factory setup, if available used. Then its just bolt on with all the exhaust flanges the exhaust should have.
 

Maverick6587

Hobbyist
Dec 16, 2018
730
Sterling Heights, Michigan
I used two exhaust butt connectors and JB Weld on my GF's Rendezvous, for a hole in one spot and to connect one-half of the exhaust system to the other. Her exhaust pipe broke right before the muffler and fell off the vehicle. her exhaust is right in the middle of the vehicle.

Anyway that was supposed to be just a short-term fix until I could get to my dad's house to weld it but, months later there hasn't been a noise from the exhaust at all.

JB Weld is just a plastic anyway, so if you needed to remove it, you could just use a torch. The JB Weld will melt back to liquid form, not reusable. The butt connectors are usually $6-$20, depending on the store/website.

Has anyone had any luck with those HF mig welders. I was thinking of getting one of those as a starter. I wouldn't use it very often anyway. I do most of the hard/time consuming work at my dad's house.
 

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Mooseman

Master Blaster
Moderator
Dec 4, 2011
21,832
Ottawa, ON
Those "butt connectors" are also known as band type clamps just in case anyone is wondering.
 
Jul 6, 2014
9,130
Those "butt connectors" are also known as band type clamps just in case anyone is wondering.
That's how I have the vette put together. They work well.
 
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MRRSM

Lifetime VIP Donor
Oct 22, 2015
5,714
Tampa Bay Area
Related to @Reprise more recent inquiry about Welding and since he is also the "OP" on this same subject, this is a pleasant On Topic 20 Minute foray into a wide range of Welding Issues and the different kinds of equipment to consider using in these various situations.

The Video was created by THE Man Himself (Andrew Camarata), who literally Welded an entire Metal Castle Home over a Garage together in the side of a West New York Catskill Mountain out of about 6-8 HUGE Overseas Shipping Containers.

These are his suggestions and some Food for Thought about what to use and when to use it to Cut and Weld Metals together:


...and in THIS Video... Andrew... "Walks The Walk" after "Talking The Talk" about Practical Welding and Repair Problem Solving Engineering Techniques:

 
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flyboy2610

Registered Member
Aug 24, 2021
97
Lincoln, Ne.
For welding mufflers I would suggest a true MIG welder, using solid wire and inert gas. I use C25, myself. Flux core wire welding, sometimes referred to as "gasless MIG" welding, runs hotter and can more easily burn through thinner steel.
MIG welding needs to be done indoors, or at least with good screening around the work area, or the slightest breeze will blow away the shielding gas and you will have porosity in the weld. Porosity looks like craterous little holes.
If the welding must be done outdoors, then flux core is the way to go, but keep in mind that it is easier to burn through thin steel with it.
Learning to weld is easy. Learning to weld really well takes a lot of practice. But anyone can learn how.
 

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