Installing an Avanti Stainless Steel Exhaust
In my efforts to upgrade our Avanti I decided to remove the rusty old aluminized exhaust and replace with beautiful Stainless Steel.
Not only will it last much longer but it will look much better and sound like a true muscle car. I would never go to a local
muffler shop and ask them to make me one from the old exhaust. This is only asking for trouble as it would not be made right and
only a business that specializes in Studebaker exhausts would get a good fit. Not that we have a great many businesses to choose
from But if you want the best then go to Silvertone Exhaust which is owned and operated by Don Simmons
from Ingersoll, Ontario. In 2005 I bought a Stainless steel exhaust for our 1964 Cruiser from Don and 12 years
later it still looks new and is well worth the extra cost. I put an aluminized Exhaust on my Ford F250 3 years ago
and its already has lots of rust and developing small holes in the outer shell so you only get what you pay for.
The Avanti Exhaust is made up of eight sections of pipe and 2 mufflers plus 4 x hangers. I also have a adapter plate on each
side of the header pipes to fit which connect to the Exhaust manifold of the 327 SBC. You also need 10 x 2 inch exhaust clamps
which you can get in standard or stainless steel but these are at an extra cost but available through Don. Don attends many of the
Studebaker Swap Meets so once you order your exhaust he will find a way to get it to you. I phoned up and within 10 days
I was meeting him to pickup my exhaust. Great service.
Now many of you won't crawl under a car to remove an old exhaust so find a muffler shop that you are comfortable with
and get them to give you an estimate to take the old one off and install the new one. I don't have any problems doing this chore
as the only time our Studebakers go to the shop is for a Provincial Safety check which only a registered approved mechanic can do.
If you have access to a Car Hoist all the better but if not this method will get the job done.
Tools required - Ramps, Jack Stands, Ball peen hammer, Rubber Mallet, 9/16 and/or 1/2 inch wrench,
9/16 long socket with ratchet, Exhaust pipe cutter.
1. Drive car onto ramps & jack up rear of car car and put rear two wheels up on jacks stands
2. Starting from the rear of the car removed exhaust clamps and remove one piece of exhaust at a time. Do not loosen off the front header pipes at this time as you need to ensure the pipes do not move when removing each section. If you wish to try and salvage any parts then use the mallet or Ball Peen Hammer and wood to separate the pipes. If the exhaust is rusted on then use the exhaust pipe cutter. Some persons will attempt to use a propane torch or cutting torch to remove an old exhaust but this can be tricky if it's you first time and the gas tank isn't too far away so I did it the old fashioned way for safety reasons. Most of us will throw the old exhaust in the metal bin so take you time and note how things come apart. Take photos if necessary for reassembly. I keep the old left and right exhaust pieces apart to ensure that I had all pipes in the right spot during installation.
3. Once all of the exhaust is removed then take off the header pipes with an extension and 9/16 long socket.
4. Check all Exhaust hangers and install new ones where necessary. I added 2 more just behind each Muffler for a total of 6. This was to ensure that I had the pipes up high enough to ensure no pipes were hitting the frame.
5. Install you new Header pipes along with donut rings and then the two front extension pipes ensuring you have the proper pipes in place and thread them through the X member.
6. Attach the two mufflers ensuring if they are marked with an arrow that this goes to the rear for proper flow.
7. Install exhaust clamps finger tight on the Header pipes and the rear of the two Extensions which connect to the mufflers ensuring that the pipes are in the center of the access hole and up high as possible to avoid contact with the frame.
8. Install rear Extension pipes (they are identical) with Exhaust Clamps to rear of Muffler and then thread the Tailpipes over the differential and to each extension pipe ensuring that they are centered and not near any place they can hit the body, frame of differential housing. Put all exhaust clamps on finger tight.
9. Starting from the front tighten the Exhaust clamps while holding up the exhaust in the desired position. Do one side at a time and work you way to the rear of the car. Go back the front and tighten all clamps very tight to ensure they don't move and are not in contact with any part of the frame. Go to the rear and grab the tailpipe and shake, it shouldn't move at all. If their is any movement then it's too loose and you will need to retighten all clamps ensuring you get the mufflers up and all pipes away from the frame.
10. Do the same to the other side and do a visual inspection to ensure you secured all Exhaust clamps and that all parts have been installed.
11. Final inspection is to grab each exhaust and attempt to see if any parts hit - metal to metal. If you are unable to get any exhaust parts to hit the frame then you have successfully completed the installation.
12. Final test is to remove the jack stands and start the car and listen for any metal on metal contact. If done right their should be nothing but the roar of you new exhaust.
13. If you hear "metal to metal" contact you will have to put it back on the ramps/jack stands, inspect the exhaust and look for places that it is too close to the frame and then adjust the pipes to stop this from happening.
Newly installed Stainless Steel Exhaust