How to Use an Exhaust Pipe Expander

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The exhaust system in your vehicle is made up of sections of exhaust pipe that fit into each other and are then clamped together. To replace a section of exhaust pipe, use an exhaust pipe expander to make the pipe closest to the rear of the vehicle large enough in its inside diameter to slip over the pipe ahead of it in the exhaust system. Simple and easy-to-use, exhaust pipe expanders are available at most auto parts stores and are designed to work with most common sizes of exhaust pipe.

Things You'll Need

  • Bench vise
  • Exhaust pipe expander
  • Wrench set
  • Clamp the pipe in a bench vise. Most bench vises have round jaws located below the flat jaws to securely clamp pipes and other round parts without damage. Be careful not to crush the pipe by over-tightening the vise, but tighten the vise enough to hold the pipe steady while expanding it.

  • Insert the pipe expander into the end of the pipe to be expanded and turn the center bolt on top of the expander by hand until it extends against the inside of the pipe. Begin expanding the pipe using an adjustable wrench to hold the expander body and 9/16-inch or 5/8-inch wrench, depending on the pipe expansion tool, to turn the center bolt.

  • Expand the pipe a few turns of the center bolt and then loosen the center bolt and remove the expander. Try to insert the second pipe into the expanded end of the exhaust pipe clamped in the vise. Continue expanding the pipe as required until the second pipe fits snugly in the end of the first pipe. Unclamp the pipe from the vise and install it in the vehicle.

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