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Muffler repair - Shasta Motorhome

repair or replace?    

Repairing a broken muffler on a 1980 Shasta motorhome.     This is the remains of my motorhome's muffler.

    I think now might be a good time to point out that I am not a "muffler guy." I've owned numerous vehicles but apparently the muffler gods have taken pity on me because I've had no major muffler problems. An old car that I owned briefly when I was a kid had the straps break that hold the muffler up against the underside of the vehicle. When those straps broke, the muffler fell and was actually dragging on the pavement. I wired it back up as best I could and thought no more about it. Wire isn't going to work this time.

    So what to do? Well, fortunately I know a muffler guy and much as I'd prefer to keep this "in-house" I think this is one of those tasks that require at a bare minimum an outside consult. If it's doable and I've got the tools, I'd prefer to take care of it myself. I may wind up outsourcing the whole thing but not before I check all my available options out. Option number one is always to look online. Lots of muffler repair services and offers to do it for you but very little information on how it's actually done. The members of ehow.com advise letting the professionals handle it and it may turn out that's what I have to do.

One end of the broken motorhome muffler.     This is one end of the muffler. There's not much to work with and I don't have a welder so I'm probably dead in the water as we speak. What I'm looking for online is some sort of muffler repair kit, but googling on that exact phrase turns up limited results. What I had envisioned in my mind, and maybe I'm just totally imagining this, was a type of metal sleeve with clamps on either end that fit over the broken ends of the muffler pipes. You get the muffler positioned where you want it to be, and then you slide this sleeve over both ends of the pipe and tighten the heck out of the clamps. Broken muffler fixed.

The other end of the broken motorhome muffler tailpipe.     This is the other end. Somehow I was under the impression that there were "do it yourself" muffler repair kits available and that these types of fixes weren't, as most people seem to be suggesting, temporary, stopgap measures implemented only to tide you over until you can reach a qualified muffler specialist, but permanent fixes that would stand the tests of time. Something with JB weld maybe?

7/12/2007
    Muffler's fixed. Yee Haw! Now that it's done I have to say that this was one of the easiest and most affordable vehicle repair projects I've ever taken on.

2 1/4'' muffler clamp - $2.50
Small grinding wheel that fits on drill - $2.99
Metal strapping for support - $5.00
Fixing the dang muffler myself - Priceless!

Small grinding wheels that will fit in an electric drill.     The first thing I had to do was grind the metal burrs and weld splatters off both ends of the pipes (muffler and exhaust). I don't have an actual grinder but for a couple of dollars I bought a small assortment of grinding wheels that would fit on my power drill. It would have been a lot faster to use a real grinder but I was trying to get out of it as cheaply as possible and the grinding wheels were the perfect solution. Total time involved in grinding was appx. thirty minutes.

continued on page 2 >>>

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