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Muff shop failure, installing Z06 exhaust into base car

Old 05-25-2018, 01:54 PM
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buckmeister2
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Default Muff shop failure, installing Z06 exhaust into base car

Guys, I am at my wits end, and really don't know what to do...

To recap, I have a '12 base Vette, with A6, completely stock. I want to put several parts from a Z06 exhaust into my Vette, which is a relatively common swap.

I have installed the Z manifolds and downpipe/cats. I am going to leave the stock mid-pipe and over-axle pipe. This means what I have left to do is connect the mid-pipe using new 3" flanges and a reducer, and cut off the original muffs, and put on the Z muffs.

The shop called in their best exhaust guy, who just told me it could not be done without completely dropping the rear suspension. The estimate was $1500. He even said he could not connect the midpipe to the downpipes because "it is stainless steel and will crack".

I am not so naive as to just accept what he says. It looks to me like he simply does not want to do the job. In any case, this puts me in a real bind.

Vegas has a shortage of decent muff shops, with the only one that I think might know how to do this being 22 miles away. I would have to make that drive with the exhaust open from the downpipes, back.

Several weeks ago, I started checking with "local" shops to see what they would charge, and nobody, except the guy who now turned me down, wanted to do it. Is this job really that damn difficult????

Last edited by buckmeister2; 05-25-2018 at 01:56 PM.
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Old 05-25-2018, 02:30 PM
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hmmm the Jobs not to difficult. Those guys are giving you the run around it looks like...


https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums...-question.html
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Old 05-25-2018, 02:59 PM
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I went to a Meineke muffler shop to have them install just an axle back Borla exhaust (2 pieces on each side). The owner supposedly had his most experienced guy work on it and he spent about 2 hours trying to install it and finally gave up and said it would not install or wrong parts (I had already verified it was the correct system). He put the stock exhaust back on and gave up.
Since I was afraid to bring to another shop and have the same issues, I decided I had to at least try it in my garage on jack stands. I was able to do it in about an hour with no real issues.
Afterward, I was in disbelief that someone whose entire profession it was to install exhausts could not do this. It was very straightforward.
Yours sounds a little more complicated, but you should probably get a few more opinions because dropping the rear suspension sounds crazy.
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Old 05-25-2018, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by buckmeister2 View Post
Guys, I am at my wits end, and really don't know what to do...

To recap, I have a '12 base Vette, with A6, completely stock. I want to put several parts from a Z06 exhaust into my Vette, which is a relatively common swap.

I have installed the Z manifolds and downpipe/cats. I am going to leave the stock mid-pipe and over-axle pipe. This means what I have left to do is connect the mid-pipe using new 3" flanges and a reducer, and cut off the original muffs, and put on the Z muffs.

The shop called in their best exhaust guy, who just told me it could not be done without completely dropping the rear suspension. The estimate was $1500. He even said he could not connect the midpipe to the downpipes because "it is stainless steel and will crack".

I am not so naive as to just accept what he says. It looks to me like he simply does not want to do the job. In any case, this puts me in a real bind.

Vegas has a shortage of decent muff shops, with the only one that I think might know how to do this being 22 miles away. I would have to make that drive with the exhaust open from the downpipes, back.

Several weeks ago, I started checking with "local" shops to see what they would charge, and nobody, except the guy who now turned me down, wanted to do it. Is this job really that damn difficult????
If you have jack stands, do it yourself. The only "difficult" part is snaking the Z06 mufflers (one-piece) up over the axles. It takes patience and getting just the right angle. After that, it's cake.
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Old 05-25-2018, 03:11 PM
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Update: I called the other shop I knew about, 22 miles away. They said, yes, they have done quite a few. All day job, about $800. I don't get it. Many guys on the forum say they have done it in their garage, except for the welding, in a few hours.

So, I am probably going to do the over-axle swap myself, then find someone who is willing to weld it all up.
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Old 05-25-2018, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Must_Have_Z View Post
If you have jack stands, do it yourself. The only "difficult" part is snaking the Z06 mufflers (one-piece) up over the axles. It takes patience and getting just the right angle. After that, it's cake.

Musthave: did you drop the rear cradle, and still have the difficulty snaking it back in place? Or, did you leave everything where it was, and just work with it until you got it out/back in?
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Old 05-25-2018, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by buckmeister2 View Post
Guys, I am at my wits end, and really don't know what to do...

To recap, I have a '12 base Vette, with A6, completely stock. I want to put several parts from a Z06 exhaust into my Vette, which is a relatively common swap.

I have installed the Z manifolds and downpipe/cats. I am going to leave the stock mid-pipe and over-axle pipe. This means what I have left to do is connect the mid-pipe using new 3" flanges and a reducer, and cut off the original muffs, and put on the Z muffs.

The shop called in their best exhaust guy, who just told me it could not be done without completely dropping the rear suspension. The estimate was $1500. He even said he could not connect the midpipe to the downpipes because "it is stainless steel and will crack".

I am not so naive as to just accept what he says. It looks to me like he simply does not want to do the job. In any case, this puts me in a real bind.

Vegas has a shortage of decent muff shops, with the only one that I think might know how to do this being 22 miles away. I would have to make that drive with the exhaust open from the downpipes, back.

Several weeks ago, I started checking with "local" shops to see what they would charge, and nobody, except the guy who now turned me down, wanted to do it. Is this job really that damn difficult????
Not difficult, but you did make it a little harder by wanting to retain your entire OEM X pipe. If you used a Z06 H pipe and put the 3" to 2.5" reducers in somewhere after the connection to the downpipes, but before the hanger, you could use the rest of your 2.5" X pipe and your OEM axle back.

It really only requires good measuring and one cut on each of the mid-pipes to insert the reducer. You can even use everyday muffler "U" clamps instead of welding. It's how I helped my friend do it on his '10 GS in the garage on jackstands.

Whatever you do, don't go back to that muffler shop ever again. The guy is a liar.
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Old 05-25-2018, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by HOXXOH View Post
Not difficult, but you did make it a little harder by wanting to retain your entire OEM X pipe. If you used a Z06 H pipe and put the 3" to 2.5" reducers in somewhere after the connection to the downpipes, but before the hanger, you could use the rest of your 2.5" X pipe and your OEM axle back.

It really only requires good measuring and one cut on each of the mid-pipes to insert the reducer. You can even use everyday muffler "U" clamps instead of welding. It's how I helped my friend do it on his '10 GS in the garage on jackstands.

Whatever you do, don't go back to that muffler shop ever again. The guy is a liar.
No, I won't be going back there.

I can do any version of connection at this point. I can use the Z06 mid-pipe, over-axle, etc. I was just trying to make it easier on the shop guy.

My hangup is that I cannot see any way to cut off the old muffs without removing the over-axle pipe in order to get at the back of the muffs. Since that seems to be the case, why not just reinstall the one-piece Z06 muffs and over-axle pipe? Since it looks like I have to drop the cradle to take out the muffs so they can be cut, why not just reinstall the 3" muff system? If I do that, I can then use the Z06 mid-pipe.

what am I missing?????
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Old 05-25-2018, 04:24 PM
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Shaolin Crane
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I just did this last weekend, I however used all Z parts front to back. The mufflers come out and go in easily, you just have to place and wiggle lighly until they slip over. It really is cake. It's harder to get the slip connections together than it was to get the mufflers over. Even if you had a muffler shop make an x pipe it should be no more than $250 out the door.
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Old 05-25-2018, 04:28 PM
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z06 is a manual car and you have an auto tranny , i thin that where it might be getting complicated.
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Old 05-25-2018, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by buckmeister2 View Post
Since that seems to be the case, why not just reinstall the one-piece Z06 muffs and over-axle pipe? Since it looks like I have to drop the cradle to take out the muffs so they can be cut, why not just reinstall the 3" muff system? If I do that, I can then use the Z06 mid-pipe.

what am I missing?????
The indy garage I used fixed a fluid leak on my manual transmission. To pull the transmission they had to drop the rear suspension, differential and exhaust so I thought removing my stock axel back exhaust and installing my Corsa Sport would be easy for them.

I dropped off the Vette and the Corsa exhaust and went back home. They called my a couple hours later and said it would be a 6 hour job because they would have to drop the cradle. I told them that didn't sound right and I would be right over. I picked up my Vette and exhaust and took it up to West Coast Corvette. They did it without dropping the cradle in just a little over 1 hour. The bill was $115.00. The muffler shops in the area said it was a 2.5 hour job.

The indy garage and muffler shops couldn't compete. It was a 4 hour round trip for me but worth it.
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Old 05-25-2018, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Batman75 View Post
The indy garage I used fixed a fluid leak on my manual transmission. To pull the transmission they had to drop the rear suspension, differential and exhaust so I thought removing my stock axel back exhaust and installing my Corsa Sport would be easy for them.

I dropped off the Vette and the Corsa exhaust and went back home. They called my a couple hours later and said it would be a 6 hour job because they would have to drop the cradle. I told them that didn't sound right and I would be right over. I picked up my Vette and exhaust and took it up to West Coast Corvette. They did it without dropping the cradle in just a little over 1 hour. The bill was $115.00. The muffler shops in the area said it was a 2.5 hour job.

The indy garage and muffler shops couldn't compete. It was a 4 hour round trip for me but worth it.
Phil, that is exactly what I am pissed about. Two guys, both at "shops" say it will take all day, with price from $800 to $1200. And, you know someone who can do it in an hour.

I am not going to pay for some shop person's education on how to do this right the next time.
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Old 05-25-2018, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by buckmeister2 View Post
Phil, that is exactly what I am pissed about. Two guys, both at "shops" say it will take all day, with price from $800 to $1200. And, you know someone who can do it in an hour.

I am not going to pay for some shop person's education on how to do this right the next time.
Why noy just use the Z mid pipe and put the mufflers in yourself?
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Old 05-25-2018, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Shaolin Crane View Post
I just did this last weekend, I however used all Z parts front to back. The mufflers come out and go in easily, you just have to place and wiggle lighly until they slip over.
Crane...Did you drop the rear cradle? If not, you are the first person I have ever heard who said the over-axle pipes were easy. Please let me know if you dropped the cradle. It looks like I am going to use all Z06 parts, too. I don't weld, and can't even find someone who wants to do the welding!!!

Yes, mine is an auto. All the people who have done it tell me it is a little tighter with the auto, but still doable. The guys at the shop did not know the first thing about what I wanted, so we did not even get to the auto vs. manual part.

I will just attempt to do it myself.
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Old 05-25-2018, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by buckmeister2 View Post
Crane...Did you drop the rear cradle? If not, you are the first person I have ever heard who said the over-axle pipes were easy. Please let me know if you dropped the cradle. It looks like I am going to use all Z06 parts, too. I don't weld, and can't even find someone who wants to do the welding!!!

Yes, mine is an auto. All the people who have done it tell me it is a little tighter with the auto, but still doable. The guys at the shop did not know the first thing about what I wanted, so we did not even get to the auto vs. manual part.

I will just attempt to do it myself.
Call West Coast Corvette and talk to the shop manager. He is very helpful. I called him after I was told the cradle had to be dropped. He said it didn't and explained how it was done. He said you have to be careful on one side (I believe the passenger) because of wiring. The other side is easy. He explained how it is done before I told him to make an appointment for me to bring it up.

Last edited by Batman75; 05-25-2018 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 05-25-2018, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by buckmeister2 View Post
Crane...Did you drop the rear cradle? If not, you are the first person I have ever heard who said the over-axle pipes were easy. Please let me know if you dropped the cradle. It looks like I am going to use all Z06 parts, too. I don't weld, and can't even find someone who wants to do the welding!!!

Yes, mine is an auto. All the people who have done it tell me it is a little tighter with the auto, but still doable. The guys at the shop did not know the first thing about what I wanted, so we did not even get to the auto vs. manual part.

I will just attempt to do it myself.
I did not drop the cradle. Laying directly under the cradle I placed the tube through the path it's normally routed, held the tips with my right hand and guided the back tubes with my left hand, I left the mid pipe un bolted, slipped the mufflers into the mid pipe and then attached the mid pipe to the cats. You have to twist it back and forth some but it eventually will go where they belong.
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Old 05-25-2018, 08:27 PM
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[QUOTE=Shaolin Crane;1597275132]Why noy just use the Z mid pipe and put the mufflers in yourself?[/QUOTE

that is what i have decided to do.
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Old 05-25-2018, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Shaolin Crane View Post
I did not drop the cradle. Laying directly under the cradle I placed the tube through the path it's normally routed, held the tips with my right hand and guided the back tubes with my left hand, I left the mid pipe un bolted, slipped the mufflers into the mid pipe and then attached the mid pipe to the cats. You have to twist it back and forth some but it eventually will go where they belong.
Thanks for this info, Crane. I will likely start on it Sunday afternoon. I will keep you, and everyone, posted.
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Old 05-25-2018, 08:33 PM
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Just be aware that once you weld it isn't an easy take apart.

Joining the down pies with the mid pipe via a weld isn't a good idea.

Better idea is what HOXXOH already mentioned in post #7. And try and get them to mate the reducer with clamps. Just an easier job if it every needs to be taken apart.
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Old 05-25-2018, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Boomer111 View Post
Just be aware that once you weld it isn't an easy take apart.

Joining the down pies with the mid pipe via a weld isn't a good idea.

Better idea is what HOXXOH already mentioned in post #7. And try and get them to mate the reducer with clamps. Just an easier job if it every needs to be taken apart.
There's nothing to weld, he has Z mufflers and mid pipe, it will all install normally.
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