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Old 03-15-2010, 07:34 PM   #1
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Exhaust questions...

I have a couple issues with the exhaust system on my bus. It all started with the tailpipe. I knew that it had fallen apart behind the rear wheels and was just tied up to the frame. I finally got under the bus and pulled the pipe out so that I could clean up the ends and have the end expanded so that I could weld it back into place. Unfortunately, as soon as the muffler shop started to expand the end of the pipe, it split! The pipe had way too much rust inside. I measured the pipe and it is 2.75" pipe. Of course I cannot find anyone with that size pipe locally, I can find 2.5" or 3". I decided to look underneath again to see how hard it would be to weld a 3" pipe onto the over-axle pipe that was still in place. Upon inspection I found that the front of that pipe, where it connects to a straight section going forward to the muffer was barely hanging on by a sliver of metal. I unbolted this section and it fell right out. Now I have no tailpipe, and no over-axle pipe on the bus. Again I found it full of rust and soft spots all over in it. This pipe was also 2.75". The strange thing is that someone replaced the straight section from the muffler towards the rear with 2.5" pipe. The muffler appears to be okay, rusty, but seems intact and no holes. The pipes from the manifolds are 2.5" pipes with rust, but again, no holes and seem okay. This leaves me with a few options:

1) Cut the pipe off at the exit of the muffler, put on a 3" elbow and 3" pipe out the left side of the bus
2) Cut the pipe off at the exit of the muffler, run 3" pipe back and out just in front of the left rear tire
3) Leave the 2.5" pipe in place and add an elbow and exit with 2.5" pipe out in front of the left rear tire or
4) Have a new over-axle pipe made and run new 3" pipe from the muffler to the rear bumper (expensive!)

The engine is a Ford 370 on Propane, so I don't want to do anything that will decrease my fuel economy. Of course with that long section of 2.5" pipe after the muffler it may be choking it off as it is. Factory pipe was all 2.75" past the muffler. I am thinking 3" pipe would be a better choice, especially if I keep a long run of pipe. Also, is it important to exit the exhaust at the rear, or is it just fine to exit out the side? I need to keep the costs down as much as possible and have been quoted about $15/foot for new 3" pipe and $14/foot for 2.5"
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Old 03-15-2010, 07:42 PM   #2
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Re: Exhaust questions...

Run 3 inch and those prices are outlandish. What are they quoting you for gauge and material? It should not cost much to have an exhaust shop make the few bends you need and run the pipe back. A bus is gravy work because there just isn't anything in the way unlike a lot of hot rods, etc.
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Old 03-16-2010, 07:04 PM   #3
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Re: Exhaust questions...

I figure I can get 10' of 3" pipe and have them make a little less than a 90 degree bend at the 8' point. Then I can weld it onto the 2.75" outlet of the muffler and it will run straight back past my propane tank (exactly where the exhaust currently was running) and then turn out around the propane tank and exit just in front of the right rear tire. It will be a little short to make it to the side of the body, but that is where a good 3" chrome exhaust tip would make it look good and clear the edge of the body. I was concerned about exiting the right side instead of the left as I was initially thinking, but really, I don't think it is going to matter that much and it saves a lot of extra pipe and bends. I am going to drill a hole in the pipe ahead of my muffler and do a pressure test to see if I have any blockages in the muffler before I commit to this method. If I have to get a new muffler, I am just going to go with dual exhaust and be done with it. At that point I may even weld up an X pipe for a real high performance exhaust!
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Old 03-16-2010, 09:26 PM   #4
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Re: Exhaust questions...

Well...good news. The muffler appears to be good. Hooked up a pressure gauge to one of the pipes ahead of the muffler and found less than 1 psi at idle as well as 3000 rpm. Guess I am just going to go with single 3" pipe from the muffler. Found a 10 ft stick of pipe for $45. That is a LOT better than the $15/ft I was quoted by a local muffler shop. I better not forget to weld the hole that I drilled back up when I weld on the new pipe.
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Old 03-16-2010, 10:43 PM   #5
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Re: Exhaust questions...

This is where the pipe currently ends. It is the end of an 8' section of undersized pipe coming off the muffler. This is the pipe that I will replace with 3" pipe then bend and come out right in front of the rear tire on the right side.
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