Vanagon – making a muffler

As if I don’t have other things to do, I’m making a muffler for the van. I’ve had the idea for years so why not give it a go eh? Scrounged materials used:

– perforated stainless tubing for the straight through internal pipe, 2.25″ diameter, wall thickness about 3/32″

– a section of 6″ diameter stainless tubing for can, again about 3/32″ wall.

– 2″ diameter stainless tubing for in and out pipes, 3/32″ wall.

– some stainless sheet for end caps, a hair under 3/32″ thick this time.

– stainless swarf from some big ass lathe for internal packing.

I made a start yesterday, got good buddy Dave to do the TIG work, hope to have it finished in the next couple of days.





  1. #1 by Ed on December 4, 2012 - 11:23 pm

    cool, interested to see how it works out!

    • #2 by albell on December 5, 2012 - 12:28 pm

      Yeah, well, you know how it is – you have to try somethings πŸ™‚ The can is about the same length as stock muffler, so we’ll see how a straight through of similar length performs.



  2. #3 by tanami on December 5, 2012 - 1:26 am

    Ok that’s it. Seriously? I’ve had it with you. I can now only hope you stuff it up so I feel at least a little competent. love your work.

    • #4 by albell on December 5, 2012 - 12:30 pm

      Ah come on now, how could I not try and make a muffler with all the scrap SS I have hoarded over the years? I have to do something with it πŸ™‚ To tell you the truth, I am not sure that the ss swarf I am packing the can with is not a bit too coarse.



  3. #5 by famillysyncro on December 7, 2012 - 4:56 am


    Did you think about making it like a 2 strokes motor bike muffler?
    Usually it is packed with high temp mineral or synthetic wool that can be replaced when getting old if necessairy. Not sure if we are talking about same temperature here but usually dirty bike run hot too.
    Anyway, you are going to get more from your motor with a free flow exhaust like that.


    • #6 by albell on December 7, 2012 - 8:59 am

      Hi Jerome,

      to be honest, I just had a quick look at what straight through exhausts were using as packing these days, looks like often it is a combo of fine strand ss wool around the perf tube and coarser ss wool in the rest of the space. I toyed with the idea of making one end of muffler removable, but then got lazy and made it all welded. I also just used what was easily available πŸ™‚
      I hope to get rest of welding done today.



  4. #7 by Simon on December 7, 2012 - 9:04 pm

    Quality Control here: you’ll want to pick the old leaves out from the ss shavings πŸ™‚
    How will you be setting it up? Rusty old stock brackets or something more interesting?

    • #8 by albell on December 8, 2012 - 9:47 am

      The leaves, my friend, are an integral part of the advanced sound-absorbing matrix πŸ™‚

      I have to make new brackets, the rusty old ones are not quite big enough to go round the new can.



  5. #9 by edbee on December 8, 2012 - 11:48 am

    so, any guesses how noisy it may end up being? I remember MANY years ago putting a pair of Thrush ‘glasspack’ straight-through mufflers on my old mustang (it has a 6.5 litre engine and hooker headers) and well… it was pretty noisy. As I recall I got pulled over by a Port Moody cop within a few days of getting it on the road and he suggested I need to get some new mufflers. I said ‘they are brand new.’ He told me to get some quieter ones and bring it to the station within one week or pay a fine. Anyhow πŸ™‚ don’t ‘spose your van will be anywhere near as obnoxious as the mustang was, but maybe louder than stock?

    • #10 by albell on December 8, 2012 - 12:59 pm


      I have no idea how loud the muffler will be. It *should* be quieter than the old Thrush for perhaps 4 reasons:

      1 – the perfed tube is different

      2. the overall length is, I think, adequate fo the WBX

      3. the heavier weight of materials might silence things more

      4. carefully engineered SS packing material πŸ™‚

      But really, I repeat, I have no idea.It is worth a try, if worst comes to worst, I have a small resonator I can plumb in the line to help.



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