Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Northern VA, USA
It could be TIG welded with some work. My friend did this: A small square section (like 1”x1”) was cut from an old exhaust pipe of the same diameter (that way the curvature is maintained) and it gets wire wheeled on both sides to provide a clean surface. Then the curved square section is tack-welded over the hole. Instead of running a continuous bead all the way around the perimeter, he instead made numerous tack-welds until the tacks formed a continuous bead. That way he did not risk burned thru the very thin gage metal.
I know you stated other then welding … for solutions but I thought I would share one way that I know worked.
Of course finding someone willing to help/work in this way may be difficult to find.
94 Black Laredo 4-Liter with QuadraTrac (42RE trans & NP249 TC) 200,000 + miles purchased new
88 Cherokee 2-door with 5speed manual 139K miles(deceased) purchased new