Installation Instructions for a Flex Pipe

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A flex pipe connects an engine to its exhaust system. Flex pipes dissipate the stress produced by the vibration of a vehicle's engine and transmission, protecting more valuable parts from damage. They also help absorb the structural flexing of the vehicle's chassis and body, instead of transmitting it to the exhaust pipe. Finally, they provide a break point if the exhaust system gets caught on something or damaged. They often need replacement, and the procedure to do so is quite simple.

Things You'll Need

  • Wrench
  • Flex pipe
  • Flashlight
  • Raise the vehicle on an auto lift, or slide underneath it on your back.

  • Locate the exhaust downpipe and muffler. The flex pipe will be connected to a flange on the muffler on one end and to the exhaust pipe on the other, often using a pipe elbow.

  • Remove the bolts holding the pipe elbow to the muffler.

  • Loosen the clamp holding the flex pipe to the exhaust pipe. Pull the flex pipe out of the clamp and discard both.

  • Pull out the gaskets in the flanges where the flex pipe entered the muffler, then clean the flanges with a wire brush.

  • Hammer out any dents in the exhaust downpipe. A round pipe will ensure a good seal with the new flex pipe.

  • Loosen the bolts holding the muffler and exhaust pipe in place. This will allow them to move around a little to accommodate the new flex pipe.

  • Cover both the muffler gasket and the end of the exhaust pipe with exhaust sealant, then slip the new flex pipe over the end of the exhaust pipe and into the gasket.

  • Adjust the position of the pipe and muffler to ensure that the flex pipe is straight, isn't twisted, and is not under any tension.

  • Put a new clamp over the end of the flex pipe that is sitting over the end of the exhaust pipe. Tighten the clamp down with a screwdriver.

  • Insert new bolts through the holes at the connection between the flex pipe and the muffler flange. Tighten the nuts with a wrench.

  • Re-tighten all the mountings for the muffler and exhaust pipe and cut any plastic ties that the flex pipe shipped with. You now have installed the flex pipe.

Tips & Warnings

  • Hearing increased noise from your vehicle's exhaust system is a good sign that it might be time to replace a flex pipe. If it is visibly frayed or damaged, you definitely need to replace it.

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References

  • Photo Credit Nick M Do/Photodisc/Getty Images
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