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Old 03-07-2014, 10:24 AM
Roger Roger is offline
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2003 F-250 exchaust replace -- difficult?

I have a 2003 F-250, 5.4L gas, now with a hole in the exhaust system. It has about 52K miles. I used to replace exhaust systems on cars many years ago, but have not done so in a long time, nor have I done any exhaust work on this pickup. With about 5K miles per year, all short trips, pulling my trailer with lawn equipment, residence to residence through neighborhoods, finding it rusted out is no surprise. The heat is not in the system long enough to burn out condensate.

I searched this Forum to see if others had posted anything about an exhaust repair. I find nothing. I searched YouTube, but didn't find much (diesel, turbo models).

My question is simple: Is the replacement difficult?

I think the hole is behind the cat. I've not crawled under yet to learn for sure. How far forward is typical to replace? Getting the old off is always more difficult than getting the new mounted. I do not have a SawzAll, but have hacksaws, cut-off wheels. I do not have a lift, but a flat place on my driveway. I have a jack and jack stands. I have lots of hand tools (no impact wrenches). If the entire system needs replacing, starting at the exhaust manifold, then the task is outside my domain. I work solo, so do not have extra hands, nor the flexibility to reach difficult places.

Does anybody have experience or thoughts about a self-imposed task to make the replacement? I want to get this done soon before work season begins.

Thanks.
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Old 03-07-2014, 11:07 PM
Roger Roger is offline
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I crawled underneath today. I learned the break is at the rear of the muffler. The tailpipe is breaking loose from the connection to the muffer.

There is a break in the line between the cat and the muffler. It has a clamp at the break. The clamp and the hangers are very badly rusted -- lost of metal is gone. From what I can see, the replacement tailpipe may need to be two pieces in order to get over the rear axle. Access is good, if only the muffler and tailpipe need replacing. it appears the major problem will be to get the two pieces apart at the break. The pipe can be cut (hacksaw, cutting wheel?) behind the rear axle to get the old parts out.

Anybody made this replacement, and willing to share their experiences?
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Old 03-07-2014, 11:18 PM
ztman ztman is offline
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Lots of videos on you tube. Here is one showing replacing the entire system.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KY_ikqDZiPA
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Old 03-08-2014, 03:20 AM
ColliCut Land Mgmt ColliCut Land Mgmt is offline
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I just did this on my '02 F-250 about a month ago. I ordered a Flowmaster catback system from Summit Racing, which replaced the entire system from that clamp you mentioned all the way back to the tip. The system was too short so I had to get a small piece of pipe made at a muffler shop to extend it, but other than that, it was a good experience. I was able to do it all with the truck on the ground, and I'm a pretty big guy. You will definitely need a helper, a breaker bar, a hacksaw, a big hammer, and a strong helper... But it's doable and a lot cheaper than paying a shop to replace it with stock stuff. My setup is not loud at all, just had a nice throaty tone. Feel free to PM me for more info.
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Old 03-08-2014, 08:28 PM
Roger Roger is offline
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ztman, I had already watched that video. The truck was a desiel model, four wheel drive, and raised. The person was using a lift and had air tools. It appeared that parts had little rustl, so they all came off easily. But, it was helpful. Thanks for the tip.

Colli ... Thanks, ... your post is what I was looking for. I was tracking, until "... need a helper." Do you make this suggestion because having help is a necessity, or makes the job lots easier? I suspect the muffler could be quite heavy -- it is long and large diameter. Holding the weight, getting it positioned right for the connection could be difficult. Is this where the helper is needed?

Your post may have killed the job for me. I am by myself, with no helper. By now, most of my friends are walking with canes, having trouble getting out of a chair, and are at least 50# overweight. Yea, yea, ... I like them alot, but that is reality. Expecting them to lay down under my truck is beyond expectations.

Thanks.
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Old 03-08-2014, 08:42 PM
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Patriot Services Patriot Services is online now
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Doesn't Midas or Mufflerman still do exhausts up there? Growing up in Buffalo exhaust rustouts was the bane of my existence. I just found it way easier to sub out that part. Broken manifold studs are almost guaranteed, plus a torch is a must for frozen fasteners and cutting out the old crap.
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Old 03-08-2014, 08:45 PM
whiffyspark whiffyspark is offline
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You may save both time and money going to an exhaust shop. I had a cat back installed for $145. Included the muffler.

I have a turn down over the rear axle I don't like seeing exhaust tips
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Old 03-09-2014, 04:44 AM
ColliCut Land Mgmt ColliCut Land Mgmt is offline
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I say need a helper because of the weight of the old system, as you guessed it. You could pull it off alone if you cut it into small pieces to take it out. It took us a lot of beating on that old slip fitting (between the catalytic converter and muffler) to get it apart; that was definitely the worst part of the job. Putting the new stuff in place is relatively easy.

Also, forgot to mention, slip fittings almost always leak. I took it to a muffler shop after I was done and had the seams welded. Surprisingly, though, the old rubber hangers were still in perfect shape.
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Old 03-09-2014, 04:03 PM
Roger Roger is offline
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Thanks for all the replies.

Yes, I have a Midas shop about two miles away, and an indy shop only about half mile away - the shop that does the required state inspections. I know the indy shop goes good work, so would not hesitate to take it there for the work.

As for "why not take it someplace," I've owned vehicles for over 50 years, and I have never had somebody else replace an exhaust system. The exhaust systems in the past 15-20 years are sooooo much better than those before that time. Replacement in earlier years were typically made every two to three years. In other words, exhaust repairs used to be a very routine matter, something often done by the owner.

I did stop at NAPA. The portion needing replacment comes in three sections, a short pipe between the OEM break (behind the cat), the muffler, and the tailpipe. Parts #1 and #3 would not be heavy, but don't know about the muffler. The weight was not listed. The cost for #1, #2, and #3 is about $125. With some clamps, it probably would add another $10.

Colli, ... you don't mention three pieces. Did your replacement come as a single unit, pipe, muffler, and tailpipe? If in three pieces, would a helper be needed? I suppose some support system could be built to temporarily support the heaviest part, the muffler.
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Old 03-09-2014, 07:03 PM
ColliCut Land Mgmt ColliCut Land Mgmt is offline
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I don't mind you asking at all... Since mine was an aftermarket kit, the muffler was larger than stock and was "supposed to" replace both the muffler and your piece #1. However, as I mentioned earlier, it did not reach and I had to go have a custom extension made locally... So in the end, yes, mine was a 3-piece system (plus the chrome tip).
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