If your car exhaust system stops working and you want to fix the issue on your own. Being a DIY car owner has its advantages. But when it comes to repairing your car exhaust system, you need the right skills & tools to deal with the problem. So, while fixing your car’s exhaust system, you either use exhaust clamps or weld the exhaust pipe. You might be interested to know which option is better, between exhaust clamps vs. welding?
Well, both procedures have a few pros and cons in the contest between exhaust band clamps vs. welding. However, exhaust clamps are easy to fix and require a minimum skill, while welding the pipe involves a lot of training and expertise.
In this blog, we will discuss how exhaust clamps and welding work for a broken exhaust. Moreover, we will give you a walkthrough showing how easy it is to replace clamps.
Let’s dive deep to explore which of the two works better for you!
- Overview Of Exhaust Clamps
- Overview of welding the exhaust pipe
- Ending Notes
Overview Of Exhaust Clamps
Exhaust clamps are versatile tools primarily used in automobiles to connect the exhaust pipe to mufflers. These are like nuts and bolts, available in various shapes and sizes. It improves the car’s performance, reduces acceleration noise, and prevents car exhaust leakage.
You can tighten the exhaust clamp by turning the bolt clockwise. It must be tight enough, so there is no leaking, yet not so tight that it damages the exhaust pipe. Tackling all exhaust pipes interchangeably may cause security concerns and other problems.
Only a few clamps are compatible with holding a muffle pipe tight. Ensure you use the suitable clamp for broken exhaust. However, we recommend a U-bolt clamp, V-bold clam, and bend clamp for better results.
Easy steps to install exhaust clamp
The exhaust clamp is the most common method to fix a car’s exhaust system. The exhaust pipe’s primary purpose is to let the toxic fumes out from the engine. It also stopped carbon monoxide from setting foot in the car. Thus, it is essential to install the clamp properly to avoid any future mishap.
Following are simple steps to clamp your car’s exhaust system easily.
1- Wear your safety gear:
To ensure your safety, always wear safety goggles and gloves before doing any repair work.
2- Detect the broken clamp:
Inspect the vehicle physically to locate the broken or damaged clamp.
3- Spritz water-displacing spray on old bolts and nuts:
Once you find the broken clamp, spritz the penetrating oil on rusted bolts and nuts and leave it for a few minutes. By doing this quick extra step, the corroded jammed bolts and nuts will be loosened.
4- Disassemble the old clamp:
Now, take a ratchet and socket wrench, unscrew the hex nuts, and remove the old bolts from the exhaust clamps. Once the bolts have been removed, you can easily pull off the clamp from the exhaust pipe.
5- Attach the saddle:
Clean the exhaust area with steel wool and place the saddle over the exhaust pipe in the same direction as the old clamp. Now slide the hex nut in both legs of the bolts.
6- install a new clamp:
- To install a new exhaust clamp, you must put pressure on the exhaust pipe to make it seat correctly.
- Take a socket according to your hex nuts size and hand tighten it until you reach the support; put the second nut on the other side of the clamp and do the same.
- Now tight both screws with the ratchet or boxed-shaped wrench. Make sure that both sides should be equally tight.
- Finally, reassure the tightness by pulling the clamp with a gentle tug.
Your exhaust clamp is all set now. Although, you have to be vigilant in checking the clamp regularly to ensure it is still tight.
Overview of welding the exhaust pipe
Are you a welding enthusiast and want to weld your car’s exhaust pipe instead of clamping it? Then let me tell you one thing while choosing between exhaust band clamp vs. welding. Welding will give you a strong bond that will last for a long time and a good appearance, but it will take time, skills, and more money than clamps.
Whether you are a beginner welding hobbyist or a welding professional, you know the basics of welding. That is joining two pieces of metal through melting and making them apart. Here we talk about a few types of welding by which you can weld your car’s exhaust pipe. Exhaust pipes are made of stainless steel, titanium alloy, cast iron, and carbon steel. While welding the exhaust, it is better to know the material you will fuse. Like for carbon and stainless steel, argon arc welding will do a good job.
Following is a brief rundown of welding the exhaust system using different welding techniques.
Easy steps to weld exhaust pipe
Stick welding is often referred to as shielded metal arc welding (SMAW). It is the simplest type of welding and uses an electric current to fuse two metal pieces. It is recommended to use MIC or TIG welding to weld exhaust pipes for a solid bond. However, if you want to do it yourself, then you can use stick welding for this purpose.
Warning: Always wear personal protective equipment PPE before starting weld and work in an open environment or well-ventilated area.
1- First, you must choose a suitable electrode for this purpose. You can use anyone from 6011 or 6013 electrodes. Both are easy to use and work best for thin metals.
2- Second, Using a chain pipe cutter or hacksaw, cut the pipe. It is good to mark the pipe before precision and ensure you cut it correctly because it will influence the welding outcome.
3- Next, By using C-clamp align the tubing and fix them so that you can weld them easily.
4- Start spot welding the joining part three to four times around the exhaust pipe to get a solid bond. Inspect the tube and weld the remaining gaps to prevent any leakage. Ensure that you fuse all the holes well.
Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) is the widely used welding technique for alloys like stainless steel and other thin metals. A non-consumable electrode, mainly comprised of tungsten and an argon gas shield, is used in TIC arc welding.
The welder uses a high voltage current in TIG and operates it with a foot pedal, causing the metal to remain hot for a long time. The argon gas protects the welding area by cooling the weld joint. This inert gas is provided by a compressed gas cylinder and run with a pressure regulator and flow valve. TIG gives the best result, but It requires a professional welder to do the job perfectly.
Just like TIG welding, Gas metal arc welding (MIG) also requires an inert gas, i.e., carbon dioxide, to protect the weld from oxidation. MIG welding uses consumable electrodes. It is popular among beginners for its easy-to-use techniques and is often referred to as a hot glue gun by professionals.
Automated workshops primarily use MIC welding due to its automatic handling. It is essential to mention that MIG is best for welding thin metal sheets. So it is better to use MIG for lightweight metal exhaust pipes.
Flux-cored welding is similar to stick welding but has flux inside the consumable tube. Though experts say, it is not the best option because getting a decent-looking weld through a flux-core welder may take a lot of practice. Anyhow, if you have left with this option only, you can use a flux-core welder for welding the exhaust pipe by fusing short tacks. You must overlap the joints and start welding short approaches, then wipe, cool, and repeat until the desired result is achieved.
Exhaust Band Clamps Vs. Welding: Quick comparative analysis
While fixing your car’s exhaust system, you want a quick and easy solution. it is a better choice to use clamps than welding because it is easy to repair or install a new exhaust system while using clamps. Exhaust clamps are far more accessible, less expensive than welding, and take less time.
On the other hand, welding is suitable when you are a hobbyist and have the right tools and skills. It is also better for a high-performance vehicle where you want to weld the exhaust pipe and prevent any leakage permanently.
However, clamps are always a better choice for repairing an exhaust system because you can not easily weld around the pipe, and the exhaust system seldom needs complete replacement.
1- Should I weld or clamp my exhaust?
Exhaust clamps are devices used to attach exhaust pipes to exhaust headers or mufflers. There are a variety of clamps, but they all serve the same purpose. If you are a DIYer who wants to repair exhausts, go for clamps.
The clamp is easy to install and requires less time and money. However, exhaust clamps needed regular inspection to ensure it is still tight.
Though, Welding can give you a long-lasting bond with a professional appearance than a clamp. But it requires expertise and skills to weld the exhaust pipe. Welding also consumes a lot of time and cost.
2- How do you join an exhaust pipe without welding?
You can use exhaust clamps instead of welding. Exhaust clamps will do the trick in terms of helping your exhaust system hold up. They are fast and easy to manage, as well as relatively inexpensive.
You can quickly repair and replace your exhaust by using clamps. First, you need to dislocate your old clamp. Next, put a saddle on the exhaust pipe and screw the nut on each leg but do not make it so tight at this stage. Adjust it to the right place with some pressure on the exhaust pipe.
Next, take a socket matching your hex nuts size and hand tighten it, put the second nut on the other side of the clamp, and do the same. Now tight both sides of the clamp with the ratchet, ensuring that both sides are equally tight.
Finally, make sure the clamp is fully tight by pulling it gently.
If you also want to know how to join two metal pieces without a welder, read our article: How to Weld Without a Welder? 【7 Smart Alternatives】 – WeldRun.com
The information found in this article regarding exhaust clamps vs. welding has examined both methods concerning the most beneficial for fixing a broken exhaust system.
In any case, both approaches are excellent ways of repairing an exhaust pipe or muffler. A clamping can provide better support to the pipes in your system than welding, and it is also much easier to repair when something goes wrong or needs adjusting.
On the other hand, Welding is a durable option for exhaust repairs. Though, it’ll be expensive and require a lot of experience. Finally, it all boils down to your preference, as each method has advantages and disadvantages.