How to Weld Aluminized Carbon Steel Exhaust to Stainless Exhaust Tips

Written by c.l. rease
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How to Weld Aluminized Carbon Steel Exhaust to Stainless Exhaust Tips
MIG welds hold stainless steel tips in place. (double exhaust pipe image by green 308 from

The aluminium coating applied to a carbon steel exhaust system reduces corrosion. This extends the life of your vehicle's exhaust system. When welding decorative stainless steel exhaust tips to aluminised carbon pipe you need to use a welding method that keeps aluminium from entering and cracking the welded joint. To avoid weld joint failure you need a welding electrode compatible with both types of metal. Using the wrong electrode will result in the weld adhering to one metal and not the other.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 4.5-inch wire wheel
  • Angle grinder
  • Bench vice
  • Tri-mix shielding gas
  • Adjustable wrench
  • MIG welder
  • Spool of 308 welding wire
  • Wire cutter
  • Welding hood
  • Leather welding gloves
  • Can of anti-spatter

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  1. 1

    Attach a 4.5-inch wire wheel to an angle grinder. Secure the aluminised pipe into a bench vice with one end of the pipe extending 3 inches past the vice jaws.

  2. 2

    Depress the trigger of the angle grinder to spin the wire wheel. Remove the aluminium coating from the end of the pipe with the spinning wire wheel. Clean the edge of the stainless steel tip with the wire wheel to remove oils, dirt and grime from the tip.

  3. 3

    Hook a bottle of Tri-mix shielding gas to a metal-in-gas welder, commonly called a MIG ("mig") welder. Thread the gas regulator attached to the MIG welder to the valve located at the top of the shielding gas bottle. Tighten the regulator with an adjustable wrench.

  4. 4

    Connect a spool of 308 welding wire to the MIG welder. Turn on the MIG welder. Depress the trigger of the MIG gun to feed the wire through the welder. Cut off the end of the wire with a pair of wire cutters.

  5. 5

    Put on a welding hood and welding gloves.

  6. 6

    Align the end of the stainless steel tip with the ground-clean end of the aluminised carbon steel pipe. Align the welding wire with the aligned pieces of metal. Lower your welding hood. Pull the trigger of the MIG gun for a brief moment to tack weld the pieces together. Loosen the bench vice. Turn the assembly 1/4 turn and place a second tack on the two pieces of metal. Repeat the process--continue turning the assembly 1/4 turn and tacking--until you have four tack welds holding the pieces together.

  7. 7

    Loosen the bench vice. Hold the pipe steady with your non-dominant hand. Lower your welding hood. Pull the trigger of the MIG gun. Turn the pipe with your (gloved) non-dominant hand while you weld along the joint.

  8. 8

    Allow the welded piece to cool for one hour before removing it from the vice.

Tips and warnings

  • Wear protective equipment when using an angle grinder with a wire wheel.
  • Do not allow people to be in the area when you are welding.

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