How to Weld Exhaust Pipe? Everything You Need to Know

Exhaust pipes are responsible for channeling the exhaust gas out of your vehicle. But if there are leaks or cracks in the exhaust pipe, optimal operation may not be possible. In that case, you need to fix the exhaust pipe. You should also consider modifying the exhaust pipe, and these operations need welding.

So, how to weld exhaust pipe? You should clean the welding area with a wire brush first. Then, you should wear safety equipment and use the right type of welder to weld the exhaust pipe. I will elaborate on the process to inform you of every little detail about welding exhaust pipes. Let’s get started.

What Tools Do I Need to Weld Exhaust Pipes?

The tools required for the process may vary depending on what type of welder you use. Still, here is a general idea.

  • Welder (As per your choice)
  • Filler Rod
  • Safety Gloves, Helmet, and Glasses
  • Wire Brush
  • Angle Grinder

How to Weld Exhaust Pipe? Step-by-Step Guide

Welding an exhaust pipe is a multi-step process where you need to complete every step with care. Here are the detailed steps.

Step 1: Choose Your Welder

You need to consider various factors before choosing the right welder. MIG or TIG welding is more common nowadays. MIG welding is easier for beginners and you can use this for stainless steel or mild steel exhaust pipes.

But TIG welding can give a better result if you have a thin exhaust pipe. Stick welding is also a good option if you have the right expertise.

How to Weld Exhaust Pipe Step-by-Step Guide

Step 2: Cleaning and Prepping the Area for Welding

This is an important step where you must ensure the weld area is free from contamination.

  1. First, remove the exhaust pipe from the assembly. Do it carefully because the exhaust pipes can be too hot.
  2. After removing the pipe, scrub it with a wire brush. It will clean any loose debris from the exhaust pipe. If there is any sign of rust, you should clean that too.
  3. Then, apply some solvent to the exhaust pipe to remove any oil or grime. It might take some time.
  4. Take an angle grinder and grind the weld area. Remember, the cleaner the weld area, the better will be the result.

Step 3: Wear Protective Equipment

Maintaining proper safety is a must during any welding operation. So, make sure to use the following safety equipment.

  • Heavy-duty welding gloves are necessary to keep your hands safe. I prefer leather welding gloves.
  • Wear a safety helmet and a pair of safety goggles to keep your head and eyes safe.
  • Wearing a welding vest is optional, but I suggest you do that.

Step 4: Set Up the Welder

Before you start welding, check if the welder is set up properly.

  • The power connection should be compatible with the welder.
  • Correct settings should be selected using the knobs on the welder.
  • Keep filler rods handy and check if the shield gas is flowing properly.

Step 5: Tack Weld the Exhaust Pipe

Tack welding is a process where you weld small areas at even spacing to keep the welding parts together.

  •   First of all, align the adjoining piece to the exhaust pipe properly. If it is difficult to hold the pipe with one hand, you can use a clamp or vice to hold it in place.
  •   Tack weld the area carefully. Make sure the welder isn’t in operation for a long time to avoid burnt areas.

Step 6: Complete the Welding

This is the most important step in the whole process.

  • Hold the welder and filler rod at a convenient angle. Maintain the right working distance from the pipes, which can be 3/8 inches to 1/2 inches.
  • Weld a small area at a time and be consistent with the welder movement.
  • Keep an eye on the beads so that they are even. Otherwise, you need a lot of finishing work later.
  • Rotate the pipe if necessary and weld the whole joint.

Step 7: Clean and Grind the Welded Area

After welding, turn off the welder and let the pipe cool for some time.

  • There will be slags on the pipe. You need to clean the slags with a wire brush.
  • Then, lightly grind the welded area to give it a smooth finish.

Watch this video to have a better idea.

How To  Weld Exhaust Pipe With Flux Core?

Flux core welding is mostly applied to ferrous materials, and it is desirable to have a DC power source for this welding method. It’s also a good choice for exhaust pipe welding because it minimizes the chances of weld defects like cracks, incomplete fusion, undercuts, etc. 

Here are techniques and tips for welding exhaust pipes with flux core.

  • Step 1: Start by cleaning the area to be welded. Use a wire brush or sandpaper to remove any rust, dirt, or debris from the area to be welded.
  • Step 2: Ensure the welding machine is properly set up for flux core welding. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for specific settings.
  • Step 3: Position the flux core wire about the distance you want it from the tip of the welder.
  • Step 4: Use tack welds to hold the exhaust pipe in place before making the final welds. This will help ensure proper alignment.
  • Step 5: Hold the welder’s gun perpendicular to the exhaust pipe and start welding from one end to the other. 
  • Step 6: Use a down-and-up motion while welding rather than trying other techniques like pulling up or pulling down.
  • Step 7: Move down the pipe, continuously going down and up, to create a stacked dimes or fingernail effect.
  • Step 8: Adjust the machine settings, including wire speed and heat, according to the thickness of the exhaust pipe being welded. It may require some trial and error to find the right settings.
  • Step 9: For thinner pipes, it is important to avoid staying in one spot for too long to prevent burning through.
  • Step 10: Perform a pressure test or a visual inspection to ensure the exhaust pipe is securely welded and free from leaks.
  • Step 11: Practice these techniques on overlapping joints before attempting to weld butted-up pipes.

How To Weld Exhaust Pipe With Stick?

Stick welding, also known as shielded metal arc welding (SMAW). It is a type of welding process that uses a consumable electrode coated in flux to join metals together. It is a commonly used welding method that is reliable, versatile, and cost-effective. 

Stick welding is often used for welding thick materials and in outdoor or remote locations where other welding processes may not be feasible.

In stick welding, an electric arc is created between the electrode and the base metal, melting both the electrode and the base metal. 

To weld an exhaust pipe with a stick welder, here are the steps to follow

  • Step 1: Clean the area around the exhaust pipe where you will be welding. Remove any rust, dirt, or debris to ensure a clean surface.
  • Step 2: Make sure you have the correct settings for welding the exhaust pipe. The recommended settings for welding an old exhaust pipe are as follows:

1. Amperage: 70-80 amps

2. Polarity: DCEP (or DCEN)

3. Electrode: 2.5 mm 6013

  • Step 3: Hold the stick welder electrode at a slight angle, around 10-15 degrees. Make a series of short, overlapping weld beads along the joint of the exhaust pipe. 
  • Step 4: Move the electrode in a steady and consistent motion to create a strong and secure weld. Continue welding along the entire length of the exhaust pipe
  • Step 5: Ensure to keep a consistent arc length of 0.10 inch between the welding rod and the exhaust pipe. This helps to ensure a stable and controlled weld.
  • Step 6: Let the weld cool down before removing any clamps or vises. This helps to prevent distortion or warping of the exhaust pipe.
  • Step 7: Inspect the weld for any defects or weak spots. Look for proper penetration and a smooth, even bead.
  • Step 8: Clean off any slag or spatter from the weld using a wire brush.

How To Weld Exhaust Pipe With Wire Welder?

Welding the exhaust pipe with a wire welder involves using a wire electrode that is continuously fed from a spool into the weld puddle. This helps create a strong, durable bond between the exhaust pipe sections. 

The wire welder provides heat and current to melt the wire electrode and fuse it with the metal of the exhaust pipe. It offers benefits such as faster welding speeds, increased productivity, and ease of use compared to other welding methods.

To weld an exhaust pipe with a wire welder, it is advisable to follow the technique of welding hot and fast. Here are the steps:

  • Step 1: Prepare the exhaust pipe by removing any rust, dirt, or debris using a wire brush or sandpaper.
  • Step 2: Adjust the wire welder settings according to the thickness of the exhaust pipe and the type of wire being used.
  • Step 3: Position the exhaust pipe that needs to be welded together. Use clamps or magnets to hold them in place if necessary.
  • Step 4: Start welding by tacking the exhaust pipe with quick tack welds. Make sure to give the work time to cool between each tack.
  • Step 5: Weld along the entire length of the exhaust pipe once the tacks are in place. Use a continuous welding technique, moving the welder steadily and smoothly along the joint. 
  • Step 6: Weld along the joint, filling it with a series of overlapping weld beads. Maintain a consistent speed and distance from the joint to ensure proper penetration.
  • Step 7: Control the heat at high amperage to prevent burn-through and ensure deep penetration. However, be cautious not to overheat the exhaust pipe, as it can cause distortion or damage.
  • Step 8: Allow the exhaust pipe to cool down after welding completion. This helps to prevent distortion or warping of the exhaust pipe
  • Step 9: Use a grinder or sanding disc to smooth out any rough welds or high spots. 

How To Weld Exhaust Pipe With Mig?

Welding an exhaust pipe with MIG (Metal Inert Gas) involves using a MIG welder to join two pieces of metal together. MIG welding utilizes an electrode wire as a filler material and shielding gas to create a strong weld. It is a quick, affordable, and effective method for repairing exhaust pipes.

To weld an exhaust pipe with MIG (Metal Inert Gas) welding, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Clean your workspace and ensure it is free of any flammable materials. Remove the exhaust pipe from the car if necessary.
  • Step 2: Set up the MIG welder with the appropriate amperage (between 30 – 140 amps) and a variable wire speed control. Adjust the settings according to the thickness of the exhaust pipe.
  • Step 3: Use a wire brush or sandpaper to remove any rust, debris, or paint from the area you will be welding. This will ensure good weld penetration and a strong bond.
  • Step 4: Secure the exhaust pipe in a stable position, making sure it is properly aligned for welding.
  • Step 5: Hold the MIG welder at a 10-15 degree angle and position the wire electrode close to the joint. Start the arc and move the welder in a steady motion along the joint.
  • Step 6: Ensure that the wire melts into the joint, creating a solid weld.
  • Step 7: Check for leaks or cracks. If necessary, perform additional welds or repairs.
  • Step 8: Clean off any slag or spatter from the weld using a wire brush. 

How To Weld Exhaust Pipe With Oxy-Acetylene Torch?

Oxy-acetylene welding is applicable in welding thin metal sections, releasing frozen bolts and nuts, and heating heavy stock for bending or performing soft soldering tasks. 

It is also commonly used for manual brazing and braze welding, as well as metal forming, preparation, and localized heat treating. Benefits of oxy-acetylene welding include its flexibility, portability, and ease of use

To weld an exhaust pipe with an oxy-acetylene torch, follow the following steps:

  • Step 1: Wear all the necessary protective equipment, including gloves, goggles, and a welding helmet, to ensure safety 
  • Step 2: Clean the metal surface of the exhaust pipe using a wire brush or sandpaper to remove any dirt, rust, or debris 
  • Step 3: Apply chemical flux mix with isopropyl alcohol to the welding zone. Flux helps to remove impurities and improve the quality of the weld 
  • Step 4: Set up your oxy-acetylene torch by connecting the oxygen and acetylene tanks to the torch handle and adjusting the gas pressures. The recommended oxy pressure for welding with oxy-acetylene is between 0.7-2.0 bar. Acetylene pressure for welding with oxy-acetylene is between 0.3-0.5bar
  • Step 5: Place the torch tip against one end of the exhaust pipe and slowly move it in circles to heat the metal until it turns red-hot 
  • Step 6: Remove the torch from the pipe and quickly insert a metal rod into the flame when the metal is heated. This will help join both ends of the pipe together as soon as they touch 
  • Step 7: Keep moving the torch around the welded area to ensure an even and strong weld. 
  • Step 8: Allow the weld to cool completely before handling the exhaust pipe.

Here is a video on the use  of oxyacetylene to weld exhaust pipes:

How To Weld An Exhaust System With Stainless Steel?

The steps outlined below will help achieve effective welding with stainless steel.

  • Step 1: Obtain necessary equipment like a welder, stainless steel exhaust tube, an extra argon line, and aluminum foil.
  • Step 2: Prepare a well-ventilated area with a welding table or workbench. Ensure you have all the necessary safety equipment, such as welding gloves, a welding helmet, and protective clothing.
  • Step 3: Clean the tube thoroughly using a degreaser or stainless steel cleaner to remove any dirt, oil, or contaminants.
  • Step 4: Attach the extra argon line to your welder’s argon gas supply. This will help to create a shielding gas atmosphere during the welding process, preventing oxidation.
  • Step 5: Take a piece of aluminum foil and wrap it tightly around the joint area of the stainless steel exhaust tube. 
  • Step 6: Using the appropriate welding technique for stainless steel (such as TIG welding), begin welding the exhaust system. 
  • Step 7: Maintain a steady hand and a consistent welding speed for a clean and strong weld.
  • Step 8: Weld each joint of the exhaust system, ensuring the aluminum foil remains in place to maintain the gas-tight seal.
  • Step 9: Carefully inspect the welds for any defects or imperfections. If necessary, grind or polish the welds to achieve a smooth finish.

How To Weld Exhaust Pipe Without A Welder?

There are ways to connect exhaust pipes without welding. The methods are

  • Using an exhaust clamp
  • Using a Clamp Sleeve Coupler 
  • Using an exhaust flex pipe braid

Connection Using an Exhaust Clamp

This clamp is used to secure and connect the exhaust pipes together. Here are the steps to use the exhaust clamp to connect the exhaust pipe

  • Step 1: Measure the diameter of the exhaust pipe in order to choose the right size clamp.
  • Step 2: Ensure the pipe is positioned correctly and aligned with the other pipe you want to connect.
  • Step 3: Use a wrench or socket to tighten the clamp. 
  • Step 4: Test the connection If you notice any leaks, you may need to tighten the clamp further or reposition it for a better seal.

Connection Using A Clamp Sleeve Coupler

This provides a secure connection between the pipes. Here are the steps to use the clamp sleeve coupler to connect the exhaust pipe

  • Step 1: Measure the diameter of the exhaust pipe to ensure you get the right size clamp sleeve coupler.
  • Step 2: Clean the ends of the exhaust pipe to remove any dirt or debris. 
  • Step 3: Slide the clamp sleeve coupler onto one end of the exhaust pipe. Make sure it is centered and aligned properly.
  • Step 4: Use a wrench or socket to tighten the clamp on the sleeve coupler. 
  • Step 5: Slide the other end of the exhaust pipe into the other side of the clamp sleeve coupler. Tighten the clamp on this side as well.
  • Step 6: Test the connection  If everything sounds and looks good, then the connection is successful.

Here is a video showing the use of   an exhaust clamp:

Using An Exhaust Flex Pipe Braid

An exhaust flex pipe braid is a flexible pipe that can be used to connect the exhaust pipes. It allows for some movement and flexibility in the exhaust system. Here are the steps to do it:

  • Step 1: Measure the length and diameter of the exhaust pipe you need to connect.
  • Step 2: Purchase an exhaust flex pipe braid that matches the diameter of your exhaust pipe.
  • Step 3: Cut the exhaust pipe to the desired location and ensure that the ends are clean and free of debris.
  • Step 4: Slide one end of the flex pipe braid onto one of the exhaust pipe ends. Use clamps or other securing mechanisms to hold it in place. 
  • Step 5: Repeat the same process for the other end of the braid and the other exhaust pipe.
  • Step 6: Tighten the clamps or securing mechanisms to ensure a tight and secure connection between the exhaust pipe and the flex pipe braid.
  • Step 7: Test the connection. If everything is secure and functioning properly. Once it’s successful, it means that you have successfully connected the exhaust pipe without welding.

Here is a video showing the use of an exhaust Flex Pipe Braid:

Precautions for a Safe Welding

Keep the following factors in mind to avoid risks during welding.

  • Don’t keep any flammable gas or other materials close to the welding area.
  • Only press the trigger of the welder when you are ready to weld.
  • Don’t use a high amperage to weld exhaust pipes, as it can burn the pipes.

Pro Tips to Make Your Welding Perfect

These tips can help you achieve the desired weld.

  • Choose the filler rod carefully, depending on the pipe material.
  • Before the actual welding, try welding on scrap metal to perfect your techniques and adjust settings.
  • You can use an anti-spatter spray to reduce spatter while welding.

Frequently Asked Questions For Exhaust Pipe

Check answers to some commonly asked questions regarding welding an exhaust pipe.

Q: Is it safe to weld an exhaust pipe?

Yes. As long as you remove the exhaust pipe from the assembly, it is safe to weld it. But if you do minor welds with the pipe on the car, use a heat shield to protect the car’s body.

Q: What is the best welding method for an exhaust pipe?

As exhaust pipes are typically thin, MIG welding is the best method for them. It requires less experience to perfect and costs less than other welding methods.

Q: Can a rusty exhaust pipe be welded?

It depends on the rust condition. If the rust is not widespread, you can weld the exhaust pipe. But if most of the area is rusty, welding won’t give a long-term result.

Final Thoughts

Welding is a very serious task to handle. When it comes to welding sensitive parts like exhaust pipes, you need to be even more careful. Besides knowing how to weld exhaust pipe, you should also clearly know the safety precautions.

In this guide, I tried to compile everything required for a successful weld. Choose your preferred welder type and prepare the area well to have a clean and long-lasting weld. And don’t forget to wear safety gear during the welding operation because safety comes first.

Michael is the owner of Michael's Plumbing. He has experience over 15 years solved thousands of plumbing issues. 100% customer satisfaction made him best in this sector. Finally he decided to share his skills, experience and techniques through this PipesYard blog. Hopefully each and every post of this blog will be helpful for people seeking piping help.

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