Can You Braze Exhaust Pipe? (Explained)

Whether you are restoring an exhaust pipe or repairing it, there are several methods you can explore. One of the most common is brazing. There are a lot of mixed opinions about brazing exhaust pipes.

Some prefer welding, claiming that it’s much better. However, others believe brazing is the best option when joining two exhaust pipes.

As a person interested in fixing an exhaust system, you may be wondering if brazing is the best method for repairing exhaust pipes. That’s what we are going to discuss in today’s article.

exhaust pipe brazing

What is Brazing?

Before we go much deeper into the possibilities of brazing exhaust pipes, we must define what happens during brazing. Experts in the metal industry refer to brazing as joining two or more metal items by using a filler metal attached to the joints.

The filler metal is often required to have a lower melting point so it can connect easily. Unlike welding, brazing is a reasonably straightforward process whereby the workpieces aren’t melted.

Also, brazing is slightly different from soldering since you will be working with closely fitted parts, and there is no need for extremely high temperatures.

Is It Possible to Braze an Exhaust Pipe?

Yes, you can braze an exhaust pipe. However, there are specific requirements. Brazing exhaust pipes will only work if you have slip joints. One part of the exhaust pipe needs to be smaller than the other so it can fit easily.

You can’t braze two exhaust pipe ends that don’t overlap. If you find yourself with joints that don’t fit into one another, the best course of action would be to cut or shape one end to ensure it fits inside the other. From there, you can easily spread the filler to hold the two joints.

As you can see from above, brazing an exhaust pipe is possible. However, the pipes need to overlap one another.

If you have two pipes of the same measurement, you should consider using a pipe expander. This device is fixed inside a pipe and comes with an impact gun intended to expand the pipe.

How Long Do Brazed Exhausts Last?

If done correctly, a brazed exhaust can last for many years. The problem usually arises when the wrong metal filler is used.

Also, the method of brazing the pipes plays a critical role in determining how long the final exhaust piece will last. If you want this project to last for long, you must ensure that you get everything right.

How to Braze an Exhaust Pipe?

Brazing an exhaust pipe isn’t rocket science. As mentioned earlier, different people have varying opinions about brazing. Some think it’s easy, and others believe it’s the hardest thing to do on the planet.

According to us, brazing an exhaust pipe is a relatively straightforward process. All you need is some guidance. Below is a quick overview of how to braze an exhaust pipe.

Step 1 – Gather Essential Materials

You will need a couple of things to braze two exhaust pipes. The first is a propane torch, and the other is a brazing wire.

You already have two exhaust pipes that can fit inside one another. If you don’t, you should look for a pipe expander. That will ensure the pipes are brazed perfectly.

Step 2 – Clean the Two Exhaust Pipes

The presence of a metal filler doesn’t eliminate the need for you to clean the exhaust pipes. The presence of a contaminant can interfere with the longevity of this project.

Before brazing, begin by cleaning the pipes. You can use sandpaper to remove any oxidation or corrosion on the exhaust. Let it dry before starting your project.

Step 3 – Position the Two Exhaust Pipes

In most cases, the connected exhaust pipes should be able to stand without support. But if they can’t, or it’s your first time handling such a project, you will need to create a working surface.

The exhaust should be held firmly when brazing. A binding wire can be of immense help.

Step 4 – Initiate the Brazing Process

Brazing, as mentioned earlier, is pretty simple. Begin by heating the two exhaust pipes you want to join. Heat them on the ends. Start applying the brazing wire when the metals reach the brazing temperature.

You must be very keen about temperatures when running such a project. When you reach the required temperature, you should apply the brazing wire and heat it until it melts into the joint.

Once you are done, give the metal some time to cool. When brazing an exhaust pipe, ensure that you wear protective gear and work in a well-ventilated area.

DIY Exhaust Brazing vs. Taking It to a Muffler Shop

There are two kinds of vehicle owners. Those who prefer to do the work themselves and others who prefer to have an expert do it.

Both types of car owners have their pretty valid reasons. However, there are scenarios even DIY enthusiasts have to outsource specific jobs.

Exhaust brazing is pretty simple. However, it requires some knowledge and experience to do a perfect job. We may give you the knowledge, but you must learn through experience.

You need to be able to identify the ideal time to apply the brazing rod and how to ensure the molten brazing rod fills the entire joint.

Also, you will need equipment such as a propane torch. The source of heat you intend to use should be able to reach the ideal brazing temperature. Make sure that you confirm this.

On the other hand, taking an exhaust pipe to a muffler shop for brazing comes with only one challenge. You will have to dig into your pockets and pay for this service.

Considering how most of us hate paying for services, you need to evaluate whether the service you get is worth the things you must do.

First, taking the exhaust pipe to a muffler shop is a brilliant idea if you are inexperienced in welding and don’t even have any tools. That way, you are assured of a flawless job. Secondly, you won’t have to borrow or hire a propane torch.

Brazing vs. Welding Exhaust Pipes

When you do more research about brazing exhaust pipes, you will come across many recommendations about welding. Welding is considered a better alternative to brazing exhaust pipes. We will explain why most people have such an opinion.

First and foremost, welding strengthens the joint in the exhaust pipe. It is much stronger than the filler used to attach exhaust pipes. Secondly, welding the ends of the exhaust pipe need not be of different sizes.

You can weld two ends that are of the same size and thickness. That’s an added advantage over brazing. The only drawback of welding is that you need to use a higher temperature. This, however, isn’t a big problem considering how easily available heat sources are these days.

Even though both welding and brazing have features that make each stand out, when you compare the joint strength offered by welding, it’s much higher than that of brazing.

Are There Any Drawbacks of Brazing an Exhaust Pipe?

As you may already know, brazing, soldering, and welding have drawbacks and advantages. We have already seen the good that brazing can do.

It will be fair that you also learn about the drawbacks. This way, you can know what to expect. Here are some of the disadvantages of brazing an exhaust pipe.

• The joints are much weaker compared to welding.

The first and perhaps the biggest drawback is that the joints of brazing exhaust pipes won’t hold up for as long as compared to welding. This is a clear indication that welding is indeed a better alternative.

• Secondly, the joint’s color will be different from that of the base metal.

If you are brazing the exhaust of a motorcycle or that of a car located in a visible area, the aesthetics may be compromised. You will be forced to paint or powder coat the exhaust, which results in more expense.

• Another drawback of brazing an exhaust pipe is that it won’t be effective at high temperatures.

The brazing melting point of the filler is lower than that of metal. Therefore, the filler material can become ineffective if your exhaust gets pretty hot.

• Some skills are needed to braze an exhaust pipe properly.

The filler metal needs to seal the joint accurately. If done incorrectly, any openings can act as leaks in the exhaust system, affecting your vehicle’s performance. The joint needs to be adequately filled. So you will have to ensure the brazing filler gets into every gap.

Is the Exhaust the Only Thing That Can Be Brazed?

Brazing has got a wide range of applications. You can braze stove castings, engine blocks, transmission housing, and other metals in your car. Before brazing any other part, it is crucial to perform adequate research.

Was this article helpful?

Leave a Comment