Jeep gets new exhaust

So literally the day after we bought the Jeep.  The Check Engine light came on.  Took it to Autozone to read the code and it said “Catalytic Converter Efficiency Low”.  Basically on these new fangled things, it has not one, but two oxygen sensors.  One in front of the cat converter, and one behind it. It compares the two readings and if they are too close, it deduces that the cat isn’t doing its job and should be replaced.

And because I want to save the planet… we’re fixing it.

I test fitted everything together.  We got all the parts from, since the local Autozone & O’Reilly’s couldn’t get the front pipe.  With a handy discount code that almost payed for the shipping, everything came out to just a couple bucks over $300.  Not bad considering a exhaust shop was going to charge $400 to JUST replace the cat.

Getting the tailpipe out was definitely the hardest part.  I tried cutting the pipe, but the exhaust pipe cutter I got on load from AutoZone was junk.  So luckily the old muffler was so crusty, I just hammered on the pipe until it popped out of the muffler.

My little jack is small, but it has served me well for the cars we’ve always had.  The Jeep is about 6 inches higher off the ground though.  And fully extended my jack didn’t even reach the undercarriage!  Forced to make do with what I had, I came up with the above scary setup.  Luckily I didn’t have to actually be underneath the Jeep while it was jacked up like this.  Because that’s some serious red-neck engineering right there.  If I want to keep working on this thing, I’m going to have to get a bigger jack, that’s for sure.

I had to jack it up to get the tail pipe over the axle, and I had to unbolt the track bar and drop that down too.  After that, it was pretty easy to pull the old crusty one out and slide the new one in.  Then I promptly put the wheel back on and got the vehicle back on the ground and off of that crazy ass setup!  I could just see a cinder block exploding and the whole thing crashing down.

I had to make one more cut in front of the cat and after that, everything came out with relative ease.

The whole job was prompted by the check engine light, but it was also a good excuse just to redo the whole exhaust because it had some definite leaks.  The old muffler was just plain wore out.  It had pinholes from corrosion all over it  and as you can see above was super crusty.

I didn’t get any pics of the re-assembly process because once it all started going together, I got on a roll.  Hardest part was getting everything lined up and tucked up as good as possible.  I probably straightened that muffler 10 times before I tightened everything up and it’s still crooked… oh well.  Nothing I can do about it now as it’s all locked in place.  And it’s not like anyone will see it anyway.  It is nice to see the fresh exhaust in there.  Feels rewarding.

Seems like it did what it was supposed to.  It’s definitely quieter.  We cleared the check engine code with our new code scanner.

I have to say, it was super nice working on something that wasn’t rusted solid like our other old cars.  The O2 sensors and even the bolts going into the exhaust manifold all came loose with relative ease!  Is this why people don’t usually drive 30 year old cars?  Haha.


Posted on October 21, 2012, in Cars, Hells Yeah!, Projects. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I love the fact that you just went and replaced the entire exhaust system at one time… AND did it yourself… I have a silver ’96, and love it!

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