How To Measure Exhaust Pipe (4 Easy Steps)

When you want to change or built a new exhaust system for your car or motorbike you need to measure the inner and outer diameter of your exhaust pipe as these pipe gets connected with other pipe systems later on. 

So when you know the measurement of your exhaust system your work will get a lot easier and you won’t have any problems while doing fittings. If you don’t know a correct but easy way how to measure exhaust pipe then you must check the steps explained down below.

What Does An Exhaust Pipe Do?

The exhaust system is maneuvered to withstand extreme conditions. Such as high exhaust temperatures, corrosive gases, and the sault and water it will encounter on the road. The exhaust system on any vehicle performs several important functions. 

One of them is the reduction of vibration and noises which arise during the combustion process in the engine. To terminate noise and vibrations one of the most used key elements of the exhaust system is applicable the flexible pipe. 

All elements of the exhaust system are constantly exposed to potential damage caused by excessive vibrations or running over objects on the road. These elements can also get destroyed when exposed to corrosive road salt and moisture. 

Exhaust Pipe Sizing 

When building a custom-made exhaust system out of various components it is important to understand how the industry sizes different components that are going to be necessary to build that system. 

Exhaust piping, mufflers, collectors reducers all are going to be sized differently from one another to ensure compatibility and to make sure they are made up with one another. So what we need to discuss is the difference between an OD measurement (outer diameter) and an ID measurement (inner diameter). 

Like most piping exhaust piping is measured in both OD and ID dimensions. This means when you purchase a three-inch exhaust pipe if you run a tape measure across the pipe opening it will measure three inches across as the pipe is designed to slip inside another component most commonly a muffler. 

Mufflers and exhaust tips are normally measured in ID dimensions. These components are designed to form what’s known as a lap joint. So when you see a three-inch muffler and a three-inch exhaust pipe advertised this will mean that the pipe will slide into the muffler openings. 

The lap joint is probably the easier connection to deal with because it can be secured using a saddle clamp or the proper band clamp. You can also just weld the seam between the two components for a 100%  leak-free seal.

In some cases, you may need to connect two pipes both being of the same outside diameter. In these situations the two items con not be slipped into one another to get the lap joint and you instead are left with what’s known as a buck joint where the two components butt up against one another.

Secure the butt joint you will typically either use a band clamp or else weld it. To the novice, the band clamp is probably the easier option. There is a third option which is to turn the butt joint into a lap joint using a tubing expander which will do exactly what its name implies it will enlarge the pipe opening so that the other pipe or collector reducer will fit inside it.

How To Measure Exhaust Pipe

To measure the inlet diameter and the outlet diameter you’ll need a flexible measuring tape and not a regular measuring tape. But other than this type of tape a fabric tape that you would get like in a sewing kit works well in this case. 

As these tapes are flexible. The numbers are large, you can wrap it around the pipe, and get your measurement wherever the two parts meet. So if you are looking to measure your tailpipe or exhaust pipe, let’s say for getting some aftermarket exhaust tips follow down below:

How To Measure Exhaust Pipe

Step 1

If you have a straight cut pipe the process will be pretty simple. You can just measure from the center of the pipe from outside to outside and that’s going to give you the diameter of the pipe or your inlet size for your exhaust pipe. 

Step 2

Now if it’s not giving you an exact measurement don’t worry just round up to the next closest inlet size. Now if your exhaust pipe has a slanted cut you can’t measure it the same way. Because you’re no longer measuring a circular area you would get a different measurement.

Step 3

If you measure it up and down then you would if you measured side-to-side so. So what you are going to do is, you can use a soft ruler or a piece of rope and you would wrap it around your tailpipe. 

Get that measurement if you’re using a soft ruler you’re gonna have the number. When you’re using a piece of rope you’re going to have to hold this against a ruler to get your measurement and that’s going to be the circumference of your pipe.

Step 4

Now take that number and divide it by 3.14 or paid and that’ll give you your diameter or gain your inlet size for your exhaust pipe tip. 

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Final Verdict

With all that discussion about exhaust system, sizing, and how to measure exhaust pipe details we hope you’ve finally found your desired solution and are ready to apply it while working on your vehicle. 

I'm Jimmy, the creative mind behind Drawing from extensive expertise in home improvement, I founded this platform to help individuals transform their living spaces. My dedication lies in empowering homeowners with dependable advice, ensuring that every DIY project not only elevates your home but also enhances your lifestyle. Join me as we redefine homes, one project at a time.

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