Spent WAY too much on exhaust mod (My Saga)... - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 11-17-2007, 08:15 AM
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Angry Spent WAY too much on exhaust mod (My Saga)...

After waiting patiently for 2 month I finally decided to ditch the muffler and straight pipe. A fairly simple and common upgrade, yes? My goal was to spend no more than 1/3 of what a full system would cost. Well, I decided to do it a little different and, in the end, wound up spending almost 2/3 of what a nice 4" would have cost!!! Here's my story:

The first problem encountered- there's no such thing as "straight piping" a stock exhaust. There's about a 4" rise from inlet to outlet (thanks, Ford). Naturally, possesing the "let's just get it done, but done right" mentality, I finally found a shop in my area that specialized in pipe 3.5" and up. My original plan was to just get 36" of pipe and have it angle cut to fit between the pipes and be on my way. Total cost for this would have been about $15 for the pipe and $50 for install. Not too bad. Then the friendly counter guy suggested that I follow him into the back to see if there was anything else I needed. BIG MISTAKE!!!

It was like Walmart, K-Mart, Home Depot and Lowes all rolled into one! They had every sized pipe, bend and angle known to man, along with lots of really cool tools and toys you can't find anywhere but online. I just couldn't help myself. Figuring I could make this install look neat and maybe flow a little better I naturally grabbed 2 90's and headed for the counter. Total, along with a 12" piece of the 3.5 straight pipe, came to $72 (getting expensive, but still manageable).

Finding a reputible shop, I had them cut out the muffler, cut the elbows down to size, and weld everything back up. I had to wait about 2 hours but kept telling myself it would all be worth it. Cost: $120. Total: $192 for 3 pieces of pipe and labor. As I said, for another $40 or so I could have gotten a full system and put it in myself.

The results: at idle it sounds really close to stock, with a slight rumble. At full throttle it has a definite roar. At cruising it's a little louder than stock, but not bad. Fuel economy may have gone up 1 or 2 mpg, as well (hitting the road Wednesday to FL. I'll know when I come back). A decent upgrade with one regret: I should have just cut the muffler and outlet pipes off and rolled. Cost would have been a couple of bucks. Pictures follow as soon as I get a new USB cable (keep checking my garage for pics).

Last edited by nc1500; 11-17-2007 at 12:45 PM.
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Old 11-17-2007, 08:19 AM
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For another 40 dollars you could have gotten a full 4 inch exhaust system. Where do you get your stuff at. Even Farmboys is not that cheap.
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Old 11-17-2007, 09:05 AM
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I am interested in pics of your creation. the local shop here said for $65 they would cut off my muffler and put a pipe in its place keeping the over the axle pipe in place.

I am leaning on saving that $65 and getting a 5 inch that guy with the pic of the can in his pipe is what sold me! haha
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Old 11-17-2007, 09:13 AM
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my local shop Dunks Performance has at least 4 pre bent and cut 4" muffler del pipes their like 75$ installed
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Old 11-17-2007, 09:23 AM
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i just bought a mbrp muffler delete, so we'll see how it goes its for my mufflered 4" mbrp
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Old 11-17-2007, 09:36 AM
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Gregory's Fleet Supply on Cleveland St in Virginia Beach has all the needed pipe in stock. Check out the site: Machinery Performance Parts, Engine & Driveshaft Repair. Virginia Beach, VA. If you live in the Hampton Roads area this is the only place I've found with everything needed in stock. They also have the top chemicals, every light known and all sorts of HD truck accessories (cb antennas, stacks, mirrors, etc). Nice, knowledgeable folks there. At least the elbows had nice flowing mandrel bends.

Now that I've calmed a bit I've thought it through. My cost included the install labor. SO, let's add that to the cheapest system I found (RPM outlet 4-inch Turbo Back Aluminized Steel Exhaust System 99-03 Ford SUPER DUTY POWERSTROKE DIESEL) for $230 (including stainless 5" tip) + about $35 for shipping ($265) +$100 average install= $365. With that perspective, $190 for a custom install isn't too bad (I guess).

I'm dreading replacing it now. When all is said and done I'll have enough into it for a nice 304 4" or 409 5"!

I jumped the gun and painted before I got the pics. I'll have to take some thinner to the welds to show them off. It actually looks pretty trick, although I would have felt MUCH better if I had a welder and chop saw (at least the saw and a couple of pipe clamps. I could have had a shop weld up the rest for a few bucks. Live and learn).

As for the 4" replacement pipe, i've seen them online, but didn't want to go that route. If you think about it you'll be going from a 3.5" to a 4" back to a 3.5" pipe; not good for flow. If going that route I suggest you check out99-03 Ford 7.3L Powerstroke Diesel Stock Muffler Delete Pipe. At least it's the same diameter and shouldn't create pressure differences. It will also have the necessary bends. Another bonus is it will be cheaper to install due to no fab time, just cut and install. I only did it my way because I'm both impatient and have no local address to ship stuff to.

Once I get the USB I'll post this week in my gallery, along with all the other promised pics (way to easy to sit on it this long).

Last edited by nc1500; 11-17-2007 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 11-17-2007, 11:49 AM
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At least ya did it bud

you tried to do it a different way, and it was still cheaper

props to jumping in and trying to do it on your own
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Old 11-17-2007, 12:06 PM
Jon
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Well

Straight pipe is a term used to say that there is no restrictions in it. It doesnt pertain to the shape of the pipe. If you would have just taken a piece of pipe and angled the ends that would have been fine. Thats how people have been doing them for years. The 90's add restriction anyway.
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Old 11-17-2007, 12:16 PM
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i did mine without any 90's what i did is cut the piece in front of the muffler of as tight to the muffler as possible, loosened the clamp for that section of pipe and spun it 180 degrees that made it almost perfect to do without a 90
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Old 11-17-2007, 12:19 PM
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Thanks for the kind words, everyone. The 90's have been cut so much they're more like 30's now (REALLY cut down and shortened to fit the two halves, so not as much restriction as a straight 90). Dumb me; I thought "straight pipe" meant just that, as it is on my Chevy. I thought about doing the angled piece of straight pipe, also, but it seemed to me that a straight cut would restrict more than the smooth curves (that's like saying you want to take the tow mirrors off to cut down on wind resistance. OH, wait...NEVERMIND). Yeah, at least I did it. Hey, Stroke, you wanna see the handi work first hand? I'll be comming in tomorrow morning for a few hours and leaving about 4 or so.

Dave, great suggestion. I didn't think about that. Pipes are probably rusted solid, anyway. Next time I'm under there I'll have to peek.

Hey, Blue, glad to see you and the family made it back. I hope you enjoyed PM.

Last edited by nc1500; 11-17-2007 at 12:36 PM.
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