One of the parts of your car that works hard to ensure everything is sane with your vehicle is the exhaust pipe. It has to dispose of waste and combustion out of your car. That means it works continuously. As a result, it wears out often to the point that you’ll need to repair it or change it.

Now, here’s the tricky part. Your car’s exhaust pipe is prone to needing repairs as many times as you can imagine. That means that, without basic knowledge on how to mig weld your exhaust pipe. Or else, you’ll often take your car to the mechanic, spend money and time every time you need to weld your stainless exhaust pipe.

To save you valuable resources, we’ll show you how to weld your exhaust pipe when it next breaks down. Trust me, welding an exhaust pipe yourself is easy, and it comes at a reduced cost. You need to understand the basic technique required to weld your automobile’s exhaust pipe successfully. Without further ado,

Let’s dive in

Exhaust Pipe & MIG Welding Requirement (Is Gasless Welding Possible?)

MIG welding requires three things to be successful. The first is electricity, electrode, and shielding gas. The electrode works to generate heat that’s needed for welding your exhaust pipe. You’ll need the electrode for filling the joint. But you won’t need too many electrodes. With a small electrode, the operator would be fed to control the amount of weld that happens.

The MIG gun has a trigger. To weld your exhaust gas, you have to pull the trigger of the gun. Once you pull the gun trigger, you’ll charge the electrode to work. The MIG gun nozzle feeds the exhaust gas to the pipe to protect it from the air. You can also choose to deploy automatic welding where a robot does the welding for you.

Now, MIG in MIG welding means Metal Inert Gas. In essence, it seems like the gas is an essential part of the MIG process. But the question “is it possible to MIG weld exhaust pipe or any metal without gas (shielding)?” is frequently asked. The reason anyone would ask this question is as a result of the hazards associated with MIG welding. These hazards potentially affect the MIG welder and people within proximity of the welding work the MIG welder is doing.

On the flip side, while it is impossible to MIG weld without gas, people refer to another MIG welding process as gasless welding. But the truth is, it is not possible to MIG weld without gas. The gas protects the weld pool from getting contaminated by the surrounding air or oxygen. Hence, the work of the gas is to replace oxygen or the atmospheric air. It’s easy to see why it is mainly referred to as gas-shielded welding.

However, what people refer to as gasless MIG welding is called self-shielded welding by professionals, and it isn’t too different from MIG welding with gas. The only difference is that this Self-shielded MIG welding deploys gasless wires, similar to gas shielding.

The self-shield wire was designed with metallic tubes that have flux-core. The flux-core in the tubes helps you MIG weld without gas, as the flux-core protects the weld pools from oxidation and getting contaminated by the atmospheric air.

How to MIG weld exhaust pipe with no gas MIG Welder Machine (step by step)

mig welding exhaust pipe without gas
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Trust me when I say that there are many benefits to gasless MIG welding. As a beginner MIG welder, gasless welding is perfect for you. Although you won’t do as much of a solid job as when you gas weld, you’ll do a safe and clean job with a flux-core wire.

Besides, gas welding for beginners can be scary as you’ll need first to mix the required chemicals in the correct quantity. Once you have your MIG machine and flux-core wire, you’re good to go as regards gasless welding your exhaust pipe. Below are the procedures for gasless welding.

  • Protect Yourself: Flux core MIG welding requires you to protect yourself. The reason is that as you weld your exhaust pipe, it unleashes unhealthy fumes and flashing lights that are pretty intense and can hurt your eyes. It’s essential that before you involve yourself in any flux-core MIG welding task, you should protect your body and the other sensitive parts like your eyes, etc. We’ll dive into details about the gears you need to protect yourself from the dangers of Flux core MIG welding.
  • Do A Metal Cleanse: Before you start welding the metal you intend to work on, you should clean it. The truth is, the exhaust pipe would have gathered debris, dirt, sand, etc., from working and overworking itself. While you can skip this second step and get right to welding a dirty metal, you’ll notice the welding effects better on your exhaust pipe when you clean it before getting down to business. The best part about this step is that it is not a difficult thing to do. You only need a brush or cloth to brush or grind the sand and debris from the surface of the metal. You’ll thank us later.  
  • Adjust The Setting Of The Welding Machine: Start by setting the amps you’ll need for the task at hand. Depending on the welding machine you choose to use, it shouldn’t be a difficult task at all. For instance, some welding machines come with control panels that make adjusting the setting easy. Note that the material you’re welding determines the amps and other parameter settings of the MIG welder.
  • Setup The Machine: Here, you’ll need to load the wire into the machine. Beginners can always refer to the MIG welder’s manual to load the wire into the machine. Once you’ve successfully loaded the device, plug it into a safe power source to prevent ugly accidents from happening.
  • Decide The Current Strength: Current strength is a feature you should fix once you turn on the MIG welder. A rule of thumb for the required current strength for your project is; the thicker, the higher. That is, thicker material and metal require higher current strength. You won’t need too much current strength for aluminum material. However, you’ll need a lot of current strength for steel exhaust pipes.
  • Adjust Wire Feed Speed: To adjust the wire feed, you’ll need to install a specific gear. You have to know the right speed for the metal you’re welding. But you’re in luck if your MIG welder comes with an automatic field.
  • Run A Quick Test: If you’re a professional, feel free to skip this step. However, beginners should test the MIG welder on materials they don’t intend to use. You don’t want to get down to welding your material directly without testing the settings. But ensure you try it out on materials that are not too different from the material you intend to weld. While testing the machine, check out the effect of the strength and the size arc on the material.
  • Weld: The thing about MIG welding is that you can’t rush. You have to take your time. Rushing won’t give you a well-detailed job. If you’re working with Steel, ensure that you do not reduce the strength of the steel.
  • Round Off After completing your welding process, proceed to turn off the machine and set it down in a safe corner. Ensure that you leave the workshop before you take off your mask. That way, you’ll inhale fresh air and not chemical-induced air from all the welding in the workshop.

Safety Measure To Consider

Before you proceed to MIG weld with or without gas, there are specific measures you should take. The first is to protect yourself. Protecting yourself requires you to wear protective gear to prevent danger. Some of these protective gears include;

  • Flameproof skull cap
  • A long sleeve, collar, no button shirt with no pockets
  • Handheld helmet with filter lens
  • Eye safety shield
  • Fire-resistant Gauntlet gloves
  • Fire-resistant clothing with no cuff.
  • Safety shoes

Furthermore, ensure no fire-causing elements close by and let there be a good source of ventilation.

MIG Welder Settings For Exhaust Pipe

The welder setting for the MIG welding exhaust pipe varies based on the material of the exhaust pipe. Exhaust pipes are made from different materials, but four significant materials are popular and suitable for exhaust pipes. They include Steel, Stainless Steel, Titanium, and Nickel Alloys.

You have first to figure out which material your exhaust pipe is made from before you attempt to adjust the setting of your MIG welder. As a beginner, the easiest way to determine the MIG welding setting for exhaust pipes is to consult professionals.

They’ll guide you in the way to go regarding all the basic settings you need to adjust.

Last Words

MIG welding without gas is possible, but not in the way you imagine. If you’re a beginner, you should start welding with the gasless MIG welding method. In place of shielded gas, this MIG welding method deploys self-shield gas and wire electrode to weld your exhaust pipe.

One of the advantages of gasless welding is that you won’t be affected when welding in windy conditions, unlike with gas welding. But that doesn’t mean gasless welding is for beginners. Professionals can also try this welding method.

The only seeming downside to gasless welding is that you’ll need a lot of patience. You can’t rush the process. For the sake of being detailed, you’ll need to take your time.

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Maidul Islam

Maidul Shakil has an extreme love for welding. Welding metals and joining them is his hobby and he has also got a vocational training on welding. He strives to learn and teach welding processes and different gears to beginners and newbies. Cutting metal, fusing them and polishing to a shiny surface seems interesting.