How to Remove an Exhaust System

Easy to follow step by step guide on how to replace or remove an automotive exhaust system, though appearances may vary, the process is the same on most vehicles.

Difficulty Level - 4

Tolls and Supplies Needed

  • Mechanic's tool set
  • Pry bar
  • Hammer
  • Shop towels
  • Protective eye wear and gloves
  • WD40

Begin with the vehicle lifted enough to access the exhaust system while using jack stands for safety, wear protective eye wear and gloves.

Step 1 - Start by removing the negative battery cable to help prevent electrical short circuits while the job is being done (Note: preset radio stations will be lost).

Disconnect Battery

Step 2 - To remove the exhaust system, begin by applying WD40 to all mounting and manifold flange bolts to ease removal, (Note: Because the exhaust system deals with heat the mounting nuts and bolts can be rusted or seized).

WD 40 Exhaust Mounting Bolts

Step 3 - Remove tube connector nuts to start to disassemble.

Remove Exhaust System Nuts

Step 4 - Remove rear exhaust system hanger bolts to allow more room which will ease removal.

Remove Exhaust System Hanger Bolts

Step 5 - Grasp the tube firmly and twist back and forth while pulling outward to disconnect, a mallet can be used to help jar the tube loose, repeat for both sides. The "back half" of the system will be loose and hanging by the rear differential, it will need to be wound and turned for complete removal (Note: To gain additional room for removal, disconnect the rear shocks while supporting the differential with a jack, then lower).

Twist to Remove Exhaust Tube

Step 6 - Once the back half has been disconnected or removed, locate and disconnect all oxygen sensors

Disconnecting Oxygen Sensors

Step 7 - Locate and remove flange mounting nuts or bolts, the primary section of the system will become loose.

Remove Exhaust Flange Nuts

Step 8 - Once all mounting nuts and bolts have been removed, the primary system will need to be pulled back away from the exhaust manifolds before complete removal.

Exhaust System Hangers

Step 9 - Firmly grasp the primary system and pull outward to remove.

Remove Exhaust System

Step 10 - Once the system has been removed, inspect the exhaust manifold flange for damage, (Note: Some systems use a gasket to seal the head pipe to the flange.) reverse these steps to reassemble system.

Exhaust Manifold Flange

Helpful Information

Use new gaskets to ensure a proper seal when reassembling the system. Inspect mounting bolts and nuts and replace if stripped or broken

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