How to Install a Corvette Side Pipe

Written by david curtis
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How to Install a Corvette Side Pipe
Enhance the sound of your Corvette with side pipes. (Classic American Sportscar image by kenmo from

Corvette side pipes can dramatically enhance the performance and sound of your car. Aftermarket side pipes are available in many different finishes, including black matt, ceramic, chrome and stainless steel, and will fit most C2 and C3 models of the Corvette. Be sure to research the benefits and costs of the different finishes before installing new side pipes on your Corvette. You should also make sure to obtain the proper set of side pipes for your car.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Hydraulic jack
  • Jack stands
  • Penetrating lubricant
  • Socket wrench set
  • Sawzall
  • Screwdrivers
  • Drill

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  1. 1

    Place your Corvette in park and set the emergency brake. Raise the car with a hydraulic jack and place jack stands under each corner for safety. Make sure the exhaust system is cool to the touch.

  2. 2

    Remove the current exhaust system by spraying penetrating lubricant on each of the exhaust mounting bolts. Allow it to soak for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the nuts and bolts with a socket wrench. Use a Sawzall tool to cut out the areas where you cannot remove the bolts. Pull the pieces out of the way and remove them from the car. Remove all pieces up to the exhaust manifold.

  3. 3

    Remove the side rocker mouldings by removing the mounting screws with a Phillips screwdriver. Use a drill to remove the heads from the screws if they are very rusted.

  4. 4

    Slide the pipes up to the exhaust headers and attach them together using the supplied bolts and nuts. Check the clearance just behind the front wheel under the rocker moulding. Mark the area and remove enough material so the side exhaust does not rub underneath the lower part of the fenders.

  5. 5

    Attach the exhaust pipes to the side of the car at the rocker panel connecting points with the screws provided. Some aftermarket systems are equipped with extra brackets to mount to the frame rails. Hold the bracket to the frame rail and mark the holes. Drill them and attach the brackets with the screws provided in the kit.

  6. 6

    Remove the jack stands and lower the car. Perform a test drive to make sure there are no rattles or leaks.

Tips and warnings

  • When installing side pipes on 1968-1982 Corvettes, some models require an exhaust spacer to match the exhaust manifold opening to the mounting flange of the side pipes. Some aftermarket pipes also use mounting brackets to connect to the #3 and #7 body mount bolts. These types allow for the reinstallation of the rocker mouldings.
  • Always use gloves and eye protection when working under a car.

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