Muffler change

March 14, 2010

So there was nothing actually wrong with Bridget’s pipes. Just stock VW mufflers, looking and sounding like what they are. Following some folks on the TD Replica forum a while back I bought the EMPI single exhaust muffler.  Figured it’d make her look a bit more TD-ish and that installation would be easy.

EMPI PN 3487

Anyone else have any trouble getting the pan out so you could reach the bolts holding on the old muffler? Mine wouldn’t budge no matter how I turned it. I got a few exhaust bolts out by propping the pan up with a screwdriver and working around it (OK, actually broke two bolts off, but no harm; they were going away anyway). (Also unscrewed one of the starboard studs with the nut that was on it).

Finally got backed into a corner, couldn’t reach the driver’s side bolts no how, so I just snipped the pan.

hated to do it but didn't want to take the body off the pan either

Came out easy then.

Found a use for those shim plates left over from the driver’s door. I’ll drill another hole or two in them and put some oval head screws through them and the pan will be good as new–modified for TD use!

this'll work

things got moving smartly after that, until I reached the last nut. It seemed to be turning smoothly enough. Then…


! Broke it off in the head. Not a lot of room to work here either.

ratza fratza...stud

My right angle drill attachment just about fits, but with no room for a drill bit. Hoping there’s enough sticking out that I can get a vicegrip on it and maybe ease it out.

March 16:

After hearing good advice from a couple smarter TD reppers, I tried getting a vice grip on the broken nub. Tried putting the nut on, banging on it a bit, loosening the nut and banging some more, thinking I could jar it lose from the threads in the head. Got the vicegrips on it and…no go.

The wisest advice was to tack-weld a nut to it, but I don’t have a welder yet and don’t know how to weld. Don’t even have a torch. Figured welding a nut to a stud probably not that hard, but maybe not a first-timer project. So it was on to the drills. Luckily, didn’t have to drop the engine out.

getting the bit lined up straight

Had to drill it twice, since it was off center. Then the right-angle tool was getting hot. Took it apart and greased it.

At about 9 pm (3 1/2 hours after beginning) found myself here:

That's the original gasket sitting on the last drill bit.

Never did get any of the stud out intact.

Now the all important question: just tap the hole or helicoil it?

–And hearing that tapping is fine, I went out and bought a brand new metric tap & die kit. a 3/8 inch coarse would’ve worked just as well…until someone took it apart and got the studs or bolts mixed up.

Maybe some day those metric taps’ll come in handy again. And I can say Bridget still has the correct 8mm studs holding her exhaust pipes on. Not that I could lay my hands on actual 8mm studs.

Bought some long bolts and cut them, then straightened out the threads.

My excuse for doing this, instead of just bolting the pipes on, is that I have the theory that turning the bolt might be harder on the tapped hole than turning a nut on a stud would be. I think it might be just a tad easier to strip the head with a bolt. If anyone knows better, chime in. I much prefer to take shortcuts whenever feasible.

With the idea that someone, some day, might have to take this apart again, I used the recommended anti-seize compound.

Bugger went in straight. Bloody miracle.

Now we’ll see if I can remember how all those little pieces fit together.


About stuntmidget

I'm a poor mechanic and general wisenheimer. I love old cars and the stories behind them, true or not.
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