How To Bend Exhaust Pipe Properly- Step By Step Guide (2022)

There are tons of ways how to bend exhaust pipes. You can use mandrel pipe bending equipment to bend the pipe and can also bend the pipe without any bender. It is thought to be a very cost-efficient way of replacing or even adjusting the exhaust pipe.

Further, you will get the best fit by bending the pipe by yourself. This is because you are adjusting the pipe according to the needs. Moreover, improper bending might cause a crease on the pipe which might damage the exhaust pipe.

The easiest way is to use the mandrel pipe bending equipment. However, you can use a filled pipe technique to bend the exhaust pipe. Let us proceed ahead with the mandrel bending technique.


Mandrel Bent Technique

You will use mandrel-pipe bending equipment to bend the exhaust pipe by yourself without causing any possible crease. Further, this will ensure better airflow. The mandrel pipe bending equipment has hard equipment. That insert is placed inside the pipe to prevent any kind of deformed shape.

Firstly, you need to measure the pipe from its end to where the bend will occur. Then you need to mark the position. Note that this measurement is from the pipe’s edge to where you desire the far wall to be placed after the bend.

At this point, you need to align the mark with mandrel-pipe bending equipment. Note that the appearance should be like a triangle or a diamond.

Finally, bend the pipe with the mandrel-pipe bending equipment to the angle you want. Make sure to check if the pipe is correctly bent. Moreover, you can correct the bent if it is not accurate and place it accurately.

Note that the mandrel pipe bending technique is the most reliable and accurate way of knowing how to bend a exhaust pipe. However, the downside of the mandrel pipe bending technique is it is expensive. That being said, mandrel-pipe bending equipment will cost you around $10,000 to $50,000. Therefore, many people never go for this technique and proceed for the cheaper way like at-home techniques.

Now, we will go for the cheaper at-home technique like the filled pipe to know how to bend a exhaust pipe.


Filled Pipe Bending Way

The filled pipe bending system is the cheapest way to bend the exhaust pipe without using the expensive mandrel bent tubing. You will use sand to prevent the deformation of the pipe while bending. The steps on how to bend the exhaust pipe with the filled pipe technique are shown below.


Step 1: Measure Bend

First, you need to measure from the end of the pipe to where the far wall will be after bending it. Make sure you keep about three inches of pipe for overlapping.

This is where you will clamp the pipe inside the car. Further, do not forget to mark the pipe that you will use later.


Step 2: Filling Pipe Using Sand

Make sure you fill the pipe using sand. As we are not using mandrel-bent tubing, it is essential to use sand to prevent deformation. Further, ensure that the pipe is tightly filled with sand.

Finally, use a cap to seal inside the pipe to prevent sand from getting out. However, you can also use a bunch of newspapers to seal the pipe if you do not have a cap.


Step 3: Using Vise To Secure Pipe

Use the vice to secure the pipe firmly. Align the vice to the mark you did earlier. However, leave some space so that the mark is visible. Finally, make the vice tight so that it firmly holds the exhaust pipe. However, do not over tighten as it might dent the metal.


Step 4: Heat Bent Position

In this step, you need to heat the tube where it is bent with a heat gun. You need to continue to heat the metal unless it becomes soft. Further, heat the tube from the inside rather than the outside.

Outside portion of the pipe is much fragile to crack. Therefore, heating from inside will prevent any possible tear or crack.


Step 5: Making The Pipe Bend

Finally, pull the pipe towards you to make it bend. Make sure to wear safety gloves as the metal tube might be seriously hot. Now, gently pull the tube without any roughness as it might crack or cause creases.


Step 6: Confirm The Bending

Now, lift the pipe to fit in where you desire it to be. Further, make adjustments according to the needs if necessary.


Step 7: Re-Adjusting If Necessary

You might need to adjust the bent again. Therefore, place the pipe back on the vice and heat the tube again to bend it according to the needs. Finally, fit the pipe again to check if it fits properly.


Step 8:  Wash Pipe Using Water

This is the last step on how to bend exhaust pipe. You will need to wash the debris inside the exhaust pipe once you perfectly shape the pipe. Firstly, you need to remove the cap from the pipe and drown all the sound out of it. Further, some sands will be covered around the inner wall inside the pipe. Therefore, you need to flush water inside the pipe to wash out all debris.

Finally, make the pipe dry after washing the pipe with water. Drying will ensure there is no moisture to help corrosion and rusting. Now, fit the bent exhaust pipe to your vehicle.



Now you know how to bend exhaust pipe with and without mandrel-bent tubing. Note that you will be able to get precise bending through mandrel-bent tubing. However, it is very expensive and people often tend to opt for the less expensive in-house process.

The filled pipe bending way is an impeccable way to bend the exhaust pipe. The process is cheap but will require much more effort.

Further, bending the pipe by yourself will ensure better precision as you will know how much to bend. Moreover, you can adjust the bend if necessary. However, do note to wash the pipe after the filled pipe bending process as sand might still be stuck inside the pipe.

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