North Shore Jeeps went up to run some trails in Hooksett, New Hampshire today. We ended up with 7 rigs in total, and had an absolutely great time. There was only one stock rig, and it was a JK that belongs to a friend of mine that recently bought it to replace is 5-9 Grand Cherokee (although he now keeps both!). CrawlingForward came with us, and his YJ did great.
Only problem for me was that 3/4 of the way through, my muffler got the s*%t kicked out of it, and literally was bashing into the driveshaft. I ended up pulling it entirely off (yep, I was able to remove the muffler from the cat & tail pipe on the trail) and to continue on. That left the cat which was flailing.... a little bit of bailing wire later, and it was tied to the frame and silent from bashing on the front driveshaft. What luck I've got. Guess it's going in for a new exhaust soon, unless I weld a few hangars on and don't bother running a muffler.
Also did some trail maintenance and cleaned up some downed trees to help out others. Winch worked great.
Okay... so after taking the muffler out ON THE TRAIL!!! I really need to step up to the plate and tackle the issue of my exhaust. No thanks to Monroe muffler for their "(very) limited lifetime warranty". The funny thing is, the system without a muffler and tail pipe doesn't sound bad at all. It's actually respectably quiet, and even Steph commented on the fact that it was quieter on the drive back from NH than on the way there. My dad even made a comment yesterday about the same thing. This leads to some questions - are mufflers necessary in the state of Massachusetts. After some research, I have found predictably vague answers. Most state that the law says "mufflers are required only to keep the noise of the exhaust respectably quiet" (which the state defines as 102dB)... does this mean that if my exhaust with NO muffler is quiet than 102 dB, I'm okay?
That being said, I could simply weld some new hangars on the cat pipe and be done with it. We all know Jeeps breathe a lot on the inside even with hard tops on, so I don't think C02 poising is that big of a concern. So maybe I'll do that, and run a half-assed exhaust? I don't need to pass inspection again until next August anyways.
OR- I can get the Banks Monster exhaust (2.5" pipes) and weld the bolt-on kit to my existing cat. I found the exhaust online for $255 with free shipping from eBay, so that's a lot better already than the $570 quote from Lous. I don't have a problem installing it myself if I can keep my original cat/pipe system.
Anyway, I'm off to hack out my old tail pipe, and look at my options for securing the cat pipe again.
I've been meaning to say this, but I haven't been able to due to the power outage at my house. Let me give you another suggestion before you go off and spend $300-400 on exhaust.
Didn't you say you wanted to do a tummy tuck? If so, won't you have to change the position of your exhaust when you raise the t-case skid plate up?
If I was in this situation, I would buy a muffler, weld it to the cat, weld a hangar on those two and be done with it. then, when your t-case is raised, you won't have to chop off what you just welded on. Just my two cents.
All in all, any decision you make with the exhaust at this point is better than whats on their now...which is nothing.
Thanks Clay - and yeah, tummy tuck is next. The problem is that it would take some serious McGuyvering to get this cat to stay on. I'll post some pictures under here of the exhaust in its current state. The cat front pipe doesn't look like it's on for much longer where the header is, BUT if I can re-clamp it, I can re-weld the cat bracket onto the original hangar (which also somehow broke off...) Honestly at that point I'd rather run with no muffler until the tummy tuck is all set and then re-do the front and back together.
Sorry I'm so all over the place here. Just trying to figure it all out.