Replacing The Exhaust System (Cat-Back)

By Andy Woo

Created : 980608
Last updated: 980608

When I changed my exhaust system for a performance exhaust... I thought it was going to be difficult. But actually... it's fairly straight forward except that it's happened that people have had trouble in the past removing certain bolts on their H-pipe when replacing their exhaust system. But otherwise, it's really not that difficult.

Essentially, there are three big pieces that get replaced : The H-pipe, the left muffler, the right muffler.

1) Jack up the back of the car. See other "How Someone ..." for suggestions of how to jack up your car.

2) Remove metal bar to get access at bolts holding front of H-pipe. There are four 12 mm bolts that hold this bar in place.

metal bar under H-pipe

3) Before proceeding, make sure that you can loosen the four 16 mm bolts holding the H-pipe to the front of the car. These are likely the bolts that you will have trouble with. Do not remove them... just loosen them. If you have trouble.... liquid wrench may work. I've heard some people use heat. And at an extreme... some people have drilled them out. For me, we just used a lot of muscle.... and a not-so-safe trick. We put a rachet bar on the bolt, and then the jack underneath the handle... and cranked up the jack and used the weight of the car to crank the bolts off. It didn't take much effort... but in retrospect, I don't think this was very safe. My friend Ake came up with the "brilliant" idea.

four 16mm bolts holding H-pipe to front

4) After you have loosened those four bolts, you are pretty much on easy street. Ok... don't remove the bolts... this is keeping the H-pipe suspended for now. At the other end of the H-pipe... are connected the left and right mufflers. Loosen the two bolts connecting the muffler with the H-pipe (16 mm). Remove these bolts from the left and right muffler.

bolts holding muffler to car and H-pipe

5) Once you've done this to both mufflers, the H-pipe will drop down and you can pull out the other 4 bolts holding the H-pipe to the front of the car. At this point, you've removed the H-pipe. You'll notice that gaskets are placed between the H-pipe and the front... and between the H-pipe and the mufflers.

6) Now you have two mufflers suspended underneath your car. Remove the side 12mm bolt that will then allow the mufflers to 'dangle'.

side bolt holding muffler

7) Your mufflers should be kind of tilted now, and suspended by three metal 'prongs' on the muffler that are inserted into three rubber fittings that allow the muffler to be suspended non-ridgedly.

Simply push these metal prongs out of the rubber fittings. There is one on the side of the muffler. I just used my thumb and pushed the prong out of the rubber fitting.

side muffler prong in rubber fitting

And there are two towards the back of the car on the muffler, just next to the tail pipe.

two rear muffler prong in rubber fitting

So, that's it. Pretty easy when you think about it. To mount your new performance exhaust... just reverse the process.

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