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Fun with Glasspacks

07-15-2011, 10:54 PM
It's been over a year since I did this fix, and I can report that the muffler sound is a little deeper now, but definitely not unbecoming of a minivan. I had a golf ball sized hole in the mid muffler (suitcase muffler) on my 96 3.8 Windstar, and after the sticker shock of a stock replacement I decided to go cheap and easy.

I got the longest glasspack they had at Advance Auto that would fit the 2.25" piping (I think it was 35" long overall) and took a hacksaw to the original piping, cutting out the old mid muffler. It was heavy- I replaced a 40lb hunk of steel with a 5lb thrush glasspack. I used exhaust clamps because they're easier than welding, but I did have to fabricate and weld on my own hangar... it was basically a piece of thin roundbar stock from Home Depot that hung from the stock rubber exhaust mounts, no biggie.

The long and the short of it is- this cost less than $40 and took all of a half hour to do, and going with a glasspack that long really doesn't make for too loud of an exhaust note at all... the muffler does blow out over time, but the first time I started the van I really didn't hear a difference over stock. My Windstar is an old POS- so when she needs repairs I try to focus on doing them as cheaply and quickly as possible to keep the old girl running.

07-15-2011, 11:06 PM

That is some great advice, especially on older vehicles.

Going for a stock replacement wouldn't have added anything of value to the car, and the glass pack is something you can install yourself.

07-16-2011, 08:37 AM
You would have ended up cutting and replacing in pieces anyhow.
If you look up on the Rockauto website, the Walker "direct fit" replacement system shows the parts that you end up using.

When one of my catalytic conveters started rattling inside (verified that it was the inside....NOT the heat shield) I had sticker shock that the CHEAPEST OEM that I could locate for the "Y" pipe was $1200 plus shipping.
I went with the Walker "Direct Fit" for $321 at the time.

The OEM exhaust system does seem to last a long time on the thing that they put some quality into.
I had over 229K miles on my '96 when I sold it last spring....and the rest of the exhaust system was factory original and I was not close to needing anything with it.
NOTE......the small hole in the rear most "resonator" is there from the factory to let water drain out.

Exhaust sytem I'm sure you can agree not fun work.

07-16-2011, 05:32 PM
Exhaust sytem I'm sure you can agree not fun work.

I don't know anyone that enjoys it, even those who do it for a living.

It's always dirty, always hard to undo bolts and you always need to cut or weld something.

It's a shame stainless isn't cheaper. :icon16:

07-19-2011, 02:28 AM
It would be nice to see a picture of the install, good job though.

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