Exhaust Pipe Size & Custom Exhaust Tips | Summit Racing Quick Flicks

Exhaust Pipe Size & Custom Exhaust Tips | Summit Racing Quick Flicks

Hi I am Mike and on this installment of Summit
Racing Quick Flicks we are going to discuss exhaust pipe sizing. When building a custom
exhaust system out of miscellaneous 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, collector reducers all are going to be sized differently from one another
to ensure compatibility and to make sure they mate up with one another. What we are going
to discuss is the difference between the measurement of these items when it comes to OD in comparison
to ID and what components are going to go ahead and fit together with one another as
an end result. The first component we are going to discuss is in building one of these
systems is exhaust piping. Most exhaust piping is going to be measured using OD dimensions
which is outer dimensions of the pipe or the outer diameter. That means if you were to
purchase a three inch pipe let’s say like the one we have here the outside diameter
of this pipe would actually be three inches. This creates a situation to where this pipe
is then designed to be a slip fit or slip into a component that has a three inch inner
diameter. That will essentially create what is known as a lap joint between those two
components where one fits within the other component. This is important to understand
because sometimes you have to connect one pipe to another say from a collector reducer
over to the pipe itself. This creates a situation now where the two items cannot actually be
slipped in one another and it makes it not possible to have that lap joint like we mentioned
this is what is known as a butt joint instead. Exhaust system components such as mufflers
and exhaust tips normally use inner diameter dimensions on the piping used to build these
components most of the time this does create a lap joint fit when it comes to connecting
this pipes to these components in the system. The most common type connection when connecting
a piece of exhaust piping to a component such as a muffler is what is commonly known as
a lap joint connection which is essentially means that we are going to be able to insert
the pipe into to component as shown here. This type connection is probably easiest to
deal with as well because you can typically take a standard saddle clamp or the proper
band clamp and get these two connected to one another or you can just weld the seam
between the two as well for a leak less fit essentially. These will always have some measurable
leakage though if using a clamp to connect the two because what will happen is you will
always have that seam between the two components that is going to give it the ability to have
just a small amount of leakage between the two. The other type of connection used in
a system is what is known as a butt joint meaning that both components are going to
have the same outer dimensions as one another. Exhaust piping is a common area where you
are going to encounter this. This means that when you try to go connect the two pieces
you will notice that if gives you a seamless fit but at the same time you are going to
have trouble getting the two components connected to one another without the proper clamp or
being able to weld the two components together. This can prove to be difficult for the do
it yourselfer who doesn’t own a welder is at home in their own garage trying to build
a system independently of buying a preformed system specific to their vehicle. Here at
Summit Racing we carry a couple different clamp designs that are going to be used depending
on the type of joint you are trying to connect together. The first two we are going to be
focused on are lap joint connection clamps, first being the saddle clamp which we are
probably most used to seeing this clamp here is going to use a U shaped bolt essentially
and a saddle bottom which is basically going to crimp the two pieces of pipe together to
create the seal. We do have another option though which is what is known as a band clamp
and a lap joint band clamp is going to be evident because you are going to notice that
one side is going to be visibly larger than the other its literally going to taper meaning
that you have one pipe that is going to be fitting on the inside of another, these do
not clamp as much as they hold the two pipes stationary and create a full 100% seal via
this seam internally here. These being more desirable of the two clamp designs because
you don’t get any distortion of the pipe when they are connected together. In comparison
when connecting a butt joint connection your only option in the clamp world is going to
be to use a band clamp reason being is that a saddle clamp will not have enough meat to
connect the two with a saddle clamp design. If you look at the difference between the
two band clamps out there you will notice that lap joint has the tapered end on it whereas
the band clap used to connect the butt joint is going to be the same diameter throughout,
there is no tapered edge it’s the same internal diameter. This is a good solid way to connect
the butt joint but the best way to connect the butt joint is via welding. There is a
way also to go ahead and convert your butt joint over to a lap band joint, we sell this
tool here at Summit Racing Equipment this is a tubing expander that is basically going
to go ahead create the extra clearance internally inside the tube to make it so that whatever
component your trying to connect will now slip into the component that you are expanding.
This is a good option if you want to go ahead and use the saddle clamps as an end result
to build your system.

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. oh,zing! jajaja, you really got me with my own joke on that one…btw i love the "over compensating" screen name…im going out on a limb here and going to say you dont have a 426 or a phaser but do have a sweet pad in your moms basement

  2. Okay im a little confused. The exhaust tubing on my truck is 2.5" on the outer dimension. The exhaust I want is 2.5" inner dimension. So the exhaust will slip over the pipe on my truck from the catback? So all i need is a 2.5" Lap joint band clamp to secure it and im good to go? Now, also What would I have to do if I was to get the muffler thats 3" inner dimension? Sorry for the confusing question, any help I appreciate it!

  3. In the industry, exhaust pipe is measured on the outside diameter while mufflers are measured internally. That way the mufflers will slip over the pipes for best seal. There are also adapters available if you decide to jump up to 3 inch. Give us a call on our tech line and we can assist you in picking out the correct parts. 1-330-630-0240. Thanks for watching!

  4. Well, you mention “Cat-Back” so I’m assuming you have to run a catalytic converter; that being said, with that size motor and potential horsepower run a 2.25” Y-pipe to your Catalytic converter and then a 3” Cat-Back system

  5. Great video!. My car is a 2000 camry 4 cyl and I was wondering what size is the best size for my catback exhaust pipe. Assuming the original diameter of the pipe is 2 inches, do you think I will get more pronounced sound open the catback exhaust pipe to 2 and a quarter inches. I currently have a 2.25 magnaflow muffler on my car and I just need to know if bigger pipe size equals to more sound and hp. Thank you very much.

  6. A slight increase such as 2.25” will work out just fine! Going too large will actually slow exhaust flow due to the extra surface area inside the pipe and hamper the scavenging effect.

  7. John, a 3” diameter pipe will do just fine on your truck even with some mild upgrades like an air intake and a programmer. Your flow increase will come from the aftermarket muffler and number/size of tailpipes you choose!

  8. I have a 2001 daewoo lanos that i just got straight piped. the tailpipe is about 4 inches back from the bumper so you cant see anything. I wanna get an exhaust tip but have no idea what size inlet i need to get. and also if you get a clamp on thats lets say an inch bigger than the tailpipe diameter, could it still fit? Im kindve confused about what sizes to get for weld/bolt ons

  9. Hi IVIakeltHappen,
    We apologize for the delayed response, your comment was flagged as spam and we did not notice until now. Can you supply the outside diameter of the pipe? Once we get the outside diameter, we can find an exhaust tip for your vehicle. Thanks for watching!

  10. If I have 2.5" true duals would I need to get 2.5" inlet tips? Also does the tip length affect the sound much. I was thinking 2.5" inlet x 4" outlet x 16" or 18" length

  11. Hi Rob King,
    Yes, if you have a pipe that is 2.5” O.D., than a 2.5” inlet on the tip you choose will be correct. You are also correct in your assumption that the tip will not affect the overall sound of your system providing the tip is open internally. In other words, as long as the tip has no baffling or packing of any type.

  12. I have a 1.5cc 4 cylinder 12 valve carburater engine. what muffler size should I use? Also, does it need to be same size as the exhaust pipe? (the whole piece connecting from the front to the muffler)

  13. I have the L33 5.3L in my Silverado. WIthin the next month I plan on buying the Dynomax Bullet from y'all with the case length- 12", overall length- 16.5", inlet/outlet- 3", and putting a 9" turndown with a 3" inlet/outlet as well on it. Could you tell me if you think that would hurt my low end power at all? If it makes any difference, the only other mods I have on it are the Vortec PowerCore CAI and a Vortec throttle body spacer.

  14. Hi AramisDeVannes,
    The muffler body size is more dependent on the area beneath the car that you have available to hang a muffler in. A full exhaust in a 2” diameter pipe consistently from front to rear would be a good choice for your application. Thank you for watching!

  15. Hi Muddybowtie,
    By running that free flowing muffler and just dumping it at the axle, yes, you may lose some low end torque. Consider having the vehicle’s computer tuned locally while be run on a chassis dyno!

  16. So if I have an application where the tips go directly on to the end of the muffler, do I need to get tips with an inner diameter that's more than the size of the muffler outlet? For example I want to use an SLP Powerflo muffler with a 2.5 inlet/outlet. What inlet size do I need for the tip? I have tips with 2.5 inlet laying around and they do not fit.

  17. Hi desertfox2020,
    Exhaust tips and mufflers are designed to slide over top of exhaust pipe. You just need a short piece of 2.5” pipe and some clamps to mate the two together.

  18. So, I have a 2.4L 4 cylinder and I want to run a 2.25" inlet/outlet high flow cat, to a 2.5" inlet/outlet aeroturbine resonator out to a 3" pipe (not muffler). Would the 3" muffler/pipe cause low end torque loss? Would I retain power/torque by using a 2.5" muffler or a 2.5" pipe instead of 3"? Would a muffler be better than using just a pipe from the resonator?

  19. I ordered summit headers an summit street an about to order strip mufflers for my 1995 k1500. The headers are 2.5 should I run 2.5 all the way back an will exhaust tips change the sound. I want a deep throaty sound

  20. I'd like to know the advantages and disadvantages of side pipes (off header pipe and headers that run out the side) vs rear exit pipe, if you guys have time and haven't already made that video. I can't find it if you did. These videos are great, thanks for the help.

  21. Hi summit racing, I have a 2011 genesis coupe 2.0t 210hp it currently has a straight 3"pipe with a muffler at the end, but i feel the car looses torque or hp. What size of exhaust is the best option for my car, thanks

  22. Hoping you can help me I have 2 inch exhaust pipes stock. I want to straight pipe my car. The problem is I don't know what size I need to get for the lap joint band clamps. I am assuming I need a 2 inch one but what is the size difference in the two ends of the band clamps. Would I put a 2 inch pipe on one side and a bigger pipe on the other or can I use two 2 inch pipes

  23. Hello need a bit of help. I have a 1995 suburban with the 5.7 I am looking for a true dual exhaust system. I have my eyes on one in summit it's the dynomax dual kit 89003. I believe my trucks pipe diameter is 2.5 but the one at summit is 2.250 will this be a major problem?

  24. I recently bought a 2.25in glass pack for my 3.4l Impala I was wondering what size muffler tip do i need to connect it ?

  25. If your exhaust pipe is 2.5 od and tip is 2.5 od a muffler shop can expand or shrink the pipe enough to slide in and connect and weld it shut. Clamps should only really be used on tips. Anywhere else on the system you still get leaks and it will go into your vehicle! Had a flowmaster outlaw installed on my challenger every clamp leaked. So the shop welded every seam shut and looked a lot better then seen clamp bolts poking out!

  26. I have two 3" exhaust pipes that are about 1.5" apart from one another. Can I use the butt joint band clamp to connect them even though there is a slight gap?


  27. I just finished building a straight pipe system for my MK7 Golf. one thing to look out for, mandrel bends are not 100%. better than crushed bends be far, but it has some ovality as will as in consistent wall thickness

  28. Hi, as many of the comments, I need help. I want to put a glasspack on my 2004 Chevy Silverado. The exhaust pipe on the truck is 2 3/4 inch, stock. The problem is that there are no glasspacks made for 2 3/4 inch exhaust. Should I get a 3 inch or 2.5 inch glasspack for the truck? I will have to attach with adapters. I dont want to lose too much back pressure but also dont want to restrain the engine with a 2.5 inch. Help?? Thanks.

  29. I'm trying to change the exhaust on my car. This is my first time to I have so many questions, my car has a small pipe the exit on my cat is 1 7/8 and the exhaust system is 2.5 is it okay to use an adapter and weld the seams? I don't really know of any other ways to connect it.

  30. I got a sweet expander from rdmotorsportsinc on eBay, it uses hydraulics to expand, comes out awesome! Check it out, its item number 112302812824. He also sells air over hydraulic and thats a bit more $.

  31. Just don't try this expander on a flowmaster muffler to expand it even a few centimeters, this expanders threads stripped before working & took a big o shit right on my project forcing me to abandon my idea and visit a muffler shop..Total waste of cash, sit'n in my trash!

  32. On a lap joint…what if you used a high temp silicone in the lap to seal the exhuast would there still be a leak?

  33. If I'm trying to swap in a catless pipe for a cat, is the butt joint band clamp a viable option or will vibrations from driving loosen them?

  34. Tried both. Butt connected pipe to muffler with a band clamp. Leaked horribly. Tried to expand a pipe to fit over a muffler. Expander split in the middle. No luck

  35. If I have exhaust pipe with 2.50 OD would I get an exhaust tip with an inlet of 2.50" for it to slip over the pipe?

  36. So, if I have a 2.5 OD can a 2.5 ID GO INSIDE THE 2.5 OD? Also if I have a 2.5 OD CONNECTING A 2.5 OD what size butt joint clamp would I need?

  37. Hi awesome vid! Any fitting vids on those clamp? Also would the over lap joint work on the exhaust tips? What size would I need for the 2.25inch pipe? Thanks

  38. sanavaa beeshhh 🤔😨😱so only at summit I can get this shhietT 🙇🙇🙆🙇🙆🙇🙆🙇🙆🙇🙆🙇🙆🙇🙆🙇🙆🙇🙆🙇🙆🙇🙆🙇🙆🙇🙆🙇

  39. Informative.
    But let me guess….guy is from the Sales Department.
    (Wonder when he last got grease under his finger nails.)

    Very "salesy."


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