Muffler restoration is it worth it?

What the best way to clean a muffler. I am wondering if cleaning out a muffler that has been used for 10,000 miles is worth it. Will cleaning it improve performance, and most importantly If I can't find a new gasket is there anything I need to know about using homemade gasket for muffler,base conection

Karl

Re: Muffler restoration is it worth it?

Mufflers are all different but all two-strokes burn oil and collect carbon. Exhaust restriction kills performance. Exhaust restriction is also a method of limiting top speed (and so conform to import laws, for instance)

My Honda muffler has a large bolt in it's side.. what the heck is it for? A drain? After finding a junk muffler and cutting it open i found out. A tiny baffle-tube that ALL the exhaust must travel through is directly in front of that bolt. Remove the bolt, stick a rod in the bolt hole and clear that tube out.

So, manufacturers sometimes provide ways to easily clean the critical parts of a muffler.. maybe the baffle assembly slides out or the pipe halves can be separated. Most times a silencer assembly stuck up the rear is secured by a nut or some screws.

So, how to clean it well enough to restore performance depends on the muffler.

What kind of gasket does your pipe use? A copper washer or a asbestos-type flat gasket or something like a large, compressable sparkplug washer?

Re: Muffler restoration is it worth it?

Jason Luther /

yeah, you never know whats under all that oil and sludge. all the mufflers ive had my hands on (three) have set screws in the back that holds the baffles in. although they usually are sealed together with 1000s of miles worth of oil residue. if you can look at a repair manual, or post pistures of the muffler, because it propably is similar to those on other peds and learn how they come apart. when first took my puchs exhaust apart about 75% of the holes were completely clogged with carbon. ramble ramble ramble-jason

Re: Muffler restoration is it worth it?

when i got my puch i had the hardest time getting the baffle out because the pipe had some dents in it but after getting it out i saw that all of the holes in there were filled with carbon so i took a screw driver and started chipping away

took me 3 hours to clean it all out

Re: Muffler restoration is it worth it?

are there any special fluids that can dissolve that gunk, three hours chipping off carbon is an inefficient use of my time so is there anything out there that i could just pour on and let is disappear?

Re: Muffler restoration is it worth it?

I am currently cleaning out a Puch Maxi muffler and I have found WD-40 seems to soften the carbon-oil-gas tar that has invaded the internals. I just spray it on a couple of times and wait a half hour and then scrub with an abrasive pad. I am thinking of getting a gun cleaning rod and brass brush to rod out the internals. It may take time but when you think a new one is more than $50. it seems worth it.

Re: Muffler restoration is it worth it?

A direct attack on carbon is tough. There probably is something you could soak a muffler in for a day or two and soften everything up. Hard carbon deposits resist just about all chemical attack under normal temperatures and pressures but if carbon deposits are mixed with oil and gasoline residue, a strong detergent or soap might get in there. Flamable solvents are probably too dangerous to use. Once softened and it's bond is weakened, the engine might blow it out while running.

This really sounds like a big mess.. gallons of filthy liquid in a large tub.. makes me wanna consider just burning it out with a torch.

I remember a trick for combustion chambers.. i think it was a water mist, injected into the carb.. and the steam pressure blew the carbon off the surfaces. Sorta like steam cleaning. But i also remember a big caution about this method.. may have had something to do with cracked heads and blocks.

Some gasoline additives claim to remove carbon.. Gun cleaners do remove carbon but all carbon is not created equal.

Re: Muffler restoration is it worth it?

Well, I 'll say this: Every time my mechanics in the past decarbonized my exhaust(s), it made a significant difference on the bike. That said, my current mechanic burns it out with a propane torch (if the exhaust is not chromed). If it is chromed (like Puchs), that's a problem. What I tried to do was this: Saturate it with oven cleaner, jerryrig a metal "brush" from a piece of #2 steel wool wired onto a length of 3/8" metal rod, scrub the bejesus out of it, then rinse with as much water pressure as possible. This cleaned out the inside pretty thoroughly, though you have to let it dry in the bright, hot sun for a while. What I cannot say is whether or not the baffle end of the Maxi exhaust ALSO was thoroughly cleaned out. I am still looking for info on how that piece (supposedly) is removed. They offer replacements, so it must come out. How?

Re: Muffler restoration is it worth it?

I removed the complete assembly from the engine and removed a nut and washer from the rear. You can then remove the chrome megaphone piece from the exhauste pipe. Then I took a long handle (24") 1/2" socket driver and slipped it into the small end of the megaphone and lifted and droped it several times and the muffler assembly fell right out. 50cc nl has that piece for I think 5 euros. I chose to scrape it and get as much gunk off it as I could and reused it. I may remove it again and try that oven cleaner suggestion on it. It is a really sturdy piece so it should be able to take the abuse of the oven cleaner. I have seen that stuff melt the small pieces found in many stoves such as unplated screws and nuts so be careful and use eye protection and hand protection.

Re: Muffler restoration is it worth it?

Hey Guys,

I want to thank everyone for responding. Take a look at this pic. As you can see there is alot of carbon every where. The muffler to base connection doesn't have a gasket. And the muffler has chrome. So any of you guys have any ideas on my next steps with these three parts. Does the cylinder wall look to toasted and can I possible just soak this stuff for a week

Karl

1104994170_muffler_001.jpg

Re: Muffler restoration is it worth it?

The lack of a header gasket is probably responsible for the mess around the exhaust port. Look in a manual and get an idea of what the gasket looks like. Exhaust leaks are loud, messy and alter proper engine breathing.

i guess the cap on the end of that muffler comes off. If carbon build up is serious in any one place, that's where i suspect it would be.. somewhere in the pipe.

the cylinder looks pretty normal from here. The bore could be measured to see if it's worn beyond limits (as could the piston). but i see no deep scratches and no deep ridge (near the top) so it's probably OK mechanically.

A worn cylinder / rings could negtively effect power output by reducing compression but it's no big problem compared to a badly clogged exhaust system. Sometimes the exhaust port on an old uncared for bike is carbon filled and only a hole the size of a pencil remains.

Don't use oven cleaner or any caustic / strong alkalis on aluminum or the metal will dissolve into hydrogen gas and .. aluminum hydroxide (?) .. i forget exactly.. but it bubbles and disappears pretty quickly.

Re: Muffler restoration is it worth it?

The muffler not having a gasket is by design I think. It doesn't mention one in the parts manual. There is alot of crap that is really dense. I don't want to use anything corrosive but I have to soften it up. What would be the best thing to soak it in that's not too corrosive

Re: Muffler restoration is it worth it?

Steamboat Aka J. R. Stevens /

Ask a local garage how much he would charge to to soak the whole thing in his parts cleaner over the weekend and then clean it out.

Re: Muffler restoration is it worth it?

ok.. I see in the photo it's clamped on. This style is easy and convenient but it's hard to get a good seal. While the engine is disassembled and after parts are clean, do whatever it takes to fit that exhaust pipe to the port properly.

The clamp might be fatigued and will not tighten enough. File away some metal so it can close farther. The slot cut into the end of the pipe may be longer than needed and exhaust leaks from there. You could hard-solder or braze or weld the portion of the slot that extends wider than the clamp width.

As far as cleaning, i think the best info i found was from a cooking website... the carbonized gunk thats burned onto iron pots and pans is near the same stuff. One page recommended applying oven cleaner, put the pot in a plastic bag to delay the cleaner drying out prematurely. Leave overnight and repeat if needed.

I've never seen any part of a stock moped exhaust made of aluminum so the oven cleaner soak is probably safe and worth a try.

Take the pipe apart as far as it's assembly allows and make a decision based on that. All you need is a clear pathway all the way through the pipe. Partially blocked passages are the target, not the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.

Re: Muffler restoration is it worth it?

Hey Joe,

I thought I'd show you a pic of the piston. I had a good laugh. Anyhow I thought it might be restorable but I found a new one online and thought I'd go that route.

Karl

1105074898_cylinder_001.jpg

Re: Muffler restoration is it worth it?

So here are some more items I am wondering about. Probably will have to take it easy on the al. gasket but it still needs cleaned, but what should I soak these parts in. I really don't want to chip at any of the carbon, I would probably scrath it.

1105075296_cylinder_003.jpg

Re: Muffler restoration is it worth it?

That looks like a normal everyday piston to me. .. no deep scratches and no dents .. Rings are intact. (I'm running on one ring since one snapped a few months ago.) Maybe the photo doesn't show some defect that you can see.

The carbon build up is more or less normal. If that thing's got 10,000 miles on it without a cleaning, it's in great shape imo..

What prompted you to look for another piston?

Re: Muffler restoration is it worth it?

Lacquer thinner overnight, then lay it on a flat surface and use 000 or 0000 steel wool lightly. That should do it. Or take it to a bike shop that has one of those cool new ultrasonic parts cleaners. They are incredible!

Re: Muffler restoration is it worth it?

bob I called a bike shop and they said to come on in so thank you

Re: Muffler restoration is it worth it?

lacquer thinner? what's that? something to do with paint?

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