How to use an exhaust pipe expander

Updated July 19, 2017

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.

Clamp the pipe in a bench vice. Most bench vices 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 vice, but tighten the vice 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 centre 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 centre bolt.

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

Things You'll Need

  • Bench vice
  • Exhaust pipe expander
  • Wrench set
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About the Author

Lee Sallings is a freelance writer from Fort Worth, Texas. Specializing in website content and design for the automobile enthusiast, he also has many years of experience in the auto repair industry. He has written Web content for eHow, and designed the website. He began his writing career developing and teaching automotive technical training programs.