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Can you solder an exhaust pipe?

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Old 07-25-2000, 03:43 PM   #1
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Can you solder an exhaust pipe?

I was just wondering if one of those really powerful soldering guns could do a job similar to welding. I'm not talking about really a hardcore weld but just enough to maybe keep 2 pipes together or stop a leak.
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Old 07-25-2000, 04:01 PM   #2
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Exhaust pipe is usually pretty nasty, unless it was brand new it would be very hard to solder. It also is a really good heat sink, it would take a propane torch. It might work if you are far enough away from the engine to not soften or melt the solder from heat. I would put a soldered exhaust system about in the same category as one held up by coat hangers. It may work, but it sure isn't anything like the right way.

[This message has been edited by Dr. Pepper (edited July 25, 2000).]
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Old 07-25-2000, 05:01 PM   #3
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Not worth even thinking about.

First, there are no soldering guns that could get hot enough to get the metal hot enough to melt the solder (about 600°F).

Second, even if you could get the metal hot enough, lead/tin will not adhere to iron/steel, even if you used an acid flux. Solder will work on non-ferris metals like copper, bronze, brass, etc., but by no means will a strong bond be achieved.

Best method of heating the pipe would be with an acetylene torch, but then if you had one of those, it'd be a simple matter to just weld it together. After welding, my second choice would be brazing it.

To make a cheap/fast repair, I'd sway more toward getting a sheet of sheet metal (home centers sell small pieces of it) that I'd cut to fit over wherever you have the leak, and put some stainless steel hose clamps over it to keep it shut. Maybe you could put some gum under it to help seal it - haha.

Cheaper still? How about some aluminum foil, wrap several layers over the area you want to seal, and then wrap some wire (coat hangers?) over it to keep it in place.

Actually, I think coat hangers would be a step up from what you were thinking of.

Cheers

[This message has been edited by Stuart Moss (edited July 25, 2000).]
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Old 07-25-2000, 06:14 PM   #4
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Easy. I do it all the time at work. However, the catch is you must use "silver solder" and a gas torch.

Just wire brush the area clean, use silver solder paste flux, heat it on a mild gas flame, and apply the silver solder. Once it is set up, it will stand up to any heat you can put in the exhaust system.

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Old 07-25-2000, 08:02 PM   #5
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soft solider would work too, but it wouldn't be very effective. to make a good joint it must be clean or rust, greese, and anything else that can contaminate the joint.
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Old 07-25-2000, 09:36 PM   #6
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just get some of that muffler tape. wrap it around it and start the car to get it warm enough to melt in to it. works pretty good on small repairs

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Old 07-25-2000, 11:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tom Keliher:
Easy. I do it all the time at work. However, the catch is you must use "silver solder" and a gas torch.

Just wire brush the area clean, use silver solder paste flux, heat it on a mild gas flame, and apply the silver solder. Once it is set up, it will stand up to any heat you can put in the exhaust system.
Tom,

I was about to pipe-up with silver solder as an alternative, but you beat me to it. It WILL adhere to steel and iron, and WILL withstand all but internal catalytic converter heat. I've made my own 'T' handle wrenches that way, and usually the Allen wrench fails where it was annealed before the joint lets go. It also makes a fair radiator repair.

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Old 07-26-2000, 07:32 PM   #8
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silver solder on an exhaust system?! I'm taking an air conditioning class, and the instructor is always talking about how great silver solder is, but how expensive it is too. To my way of thinking, if you're trying to do something other than welding, you're doing it to save money. if a pipe rusted through and you want to make a semi-permanent repair, cut the pipe all the way through and get some of that flexible exhaust tubing to cover the break. clamp it on and you're done. I do that when I need to buy some time until I can do the job right.. you're lucky if you can get that stuff to last through one michigan winter.
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Old 07-26-2000, 08:53 PM   #9
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im not sure of the exhaust temp on the chevy v8, but i know that some 4 cylinders exhaust gas gets up to 500 C, which is well beyond the melting pt of solder. Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 02-14-2001, 03:41 AM   #10
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Don't solder an exhaust system! do it right, use a welder (oxy/acetylene or whatever). I would think that the exhaust gets hotter than the melting point of the solder. If its a leak then brazing should work...
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Old 02-14-2001, 02:40 PM   #11
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Since I've done quite a bit of plumbing in my life I'll add my two cents. I do not have much expierence with silver solder or other types of solder made to adhere to ferrous (iron) metals. However, you have to get that sucker red hot to melt the solder upon it and I guarntee what you're soldering won't get red hot anytime during normal operation (you need and extreme lean condition or a very clogged cat to do this). I would consider it a viable option, not better than just zapping it with a MIG but you have go to use what you have.


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Old 02-14-2001, 09:28 PM   #12
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Re: the silver solder...yes it would work, but only if there was a slip fit from one pipe to the other...don't think you could butt the two together and have it hold.
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Old 11-23-2015, 07:55 AM   #13
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Re: Can you solder an exhaust pipe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stuart Moss View Post
Not worth even thinking about.

First, there are no soldering guns that could get hot enough to get the metal hot enough to melt the solder (about 600°F).

Second, even if you could get the metal hot enough, lead/tin will not adhere to iron/steel, even if you used an acid flux. Solder will work on non-ferris metals like copper, bronze, brass, etc., but by no means will a strong bond be achieved.

Best method of heating the pipe would be with an acetylene torch, but then if you had one of those, it'd be a simple matter to just weld it together. After welding, my second choice would be brazing it.

To make a cheap/fast repair, I'd sway more toward getting a sheet of sheet metal (home centers sell small pieces of it) that I'd cut to fit over wherever you have the leak, and put some stainless steel hose clamps over it to keep it shut. Maybe you could put some gum under it to help seal it - haha.

Cheaper still? How about some aluminum foil, wrap several layers over the area you want to seal, and then wrap some wire (coat hangers?) over it to keep it in place.

Actually, I think coat hangers would be a step up from what you were thinking of.

Cheers

[This message has been edited by Stuart Moss (edited July 25, 2000).]
Hahah this freaking guy!!! Had to make an account just to comment on how funny this s**t is. Coincidentally, I'm doing my exhaust as I type this and I'm using plumbers solder with the aluminum foil overlay clamped down with rubber clamps.
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Old 11-24-2015, 09:44 AM   #14
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Re: Can you solder an exhaust pipe?

Exh temp = many many hundreds of degrees

Melting point of lead-based solder = around 300 degrees

Doesn't sound like a good match of material to application, to me. I'd be expecting the solder to melt and drip off as soon as the exhaust gets hot.

It's always great to hear the "I'm gonna" type stories about something obviously suspect like this.

Come back and let us know how that works out AFTER it's been done.
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Old 11-24-2015, 02:47 PM   #15
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Re: Can you solder an exhaust pipe?

LOL!
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Old 01-03-2016, 01:22 PM   #16
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Re: Can you solder an exhaust pipe?

there is a one worded answer for this, No. maybe "Hell no" followed by a dirty look.
the fact that this thread had a discussion behind it makes me laugh
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Old 01-05-2016, 08:09 AM   #17
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Re: Can you solder an exhaust pipe?

The fact that this thread is 15 YEARS old makes me laugh
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