Replacing a Tailpipe

courtesy of Bob, The Auto Answer Man

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Hi Bob,
I would like to re-attach the tail pipe to the muffler on my '93 Mercury Villager, and do it myself. How difficult is it to do something like that? When the darn thing fell off, I thought..."hey no problem I have a lifetime warranty on the muffler, I'll get it fixed for free." Much to my dismay when I called to find out about the repair, I learned that only the muffler it self is guaranteed and this would be a separate $100 repair. The little bit I know about 'how' they attach a new that it's just clamped on somehow, no welding, just clamped. So, I would like to try and do the repair myself. What do you think, and what do you recommend? Thanks much. Your advise will be appreciated.
Cindy S

Yes, it is clamped and it is something you can do yourself. Go to the auto parts store and purchase the correct pipe for your car. Ask the clerk to also give you the necessary clamps and hangers (if a hanger is necessary). The clamp will be a U shaped screw with nuts on both ends. At the open end of the U, there will also be a bar of some sort.

Basically, you disassemble the clamp, place the U screw over the pipe, place the bar across the screw ends and firmly against the pipe, screw the nuts on, and tighten them evenly with a wrench or socket. However, before you go with the clamp, do a dry run. Basically put the pipe in place and determine the orientation (you may have to spin it to get the bends in all the right places). Do not let the pipe rub against anything. This could cause several problems. One, the pipe does get hot, so something may melt. Two, it will vibrate or rub or bang into some other metal piece under the car. This will cause very disturbing sounds inside the car.

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The hanger, there may be some sort of rubber device (it may even look like a rubber doughnut). Once the pipe is dry fitted in place, it should be obvious where it goes. If you take your time, this project should take you about 30 minutes. Also, please ensure that when you jack the car up, you do it safely and put a separate stand underneath. Never rely on just the jack to hold up the car while you are under it. To be even more safe, once you get the car up and you think it is secure, without anyone under or near, give the car a little nudge to see if it is stable and secure. If it looks good, then continue with your project.
Good Luck!
Drive Safely!
Bob, The Auto Answer Man

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