Tips on Changing Harley Davidson Exhaust Pipe – Detailed Explained

Maybe you are buying a new Harley Davidson motorbike. Even why won’t anyone love to have Harley on their preference list? Bikes from this manufacturer are world famous for their look, design, performance, fuel efficiency, and customization. Following its customization, people often change the exhaust pipe or muffler to get the unique roaring sound from their Harley. 

Many riders consider it a way to improve riding performance. You may think that changing the exhaust pipe is a mechanic’s job. Nonetheless, you may accomplish it at home following our suggestions on how to change exhaust pipes on Harley. 

Theoretically, unbolting and tossing on the new pipe is the general way of changing the Harley exhaust pipe. A few more things or tricks can do the job better. And these are things I am discussing here in this guide. After reading this guide, you will learn:

  • Changing tips on Harley Davidson exhaust pipe
  • Safety features while changing the exhaust pipe 

Tools Required to Change Exhaust Pipe:

You need several hand tools to remove and install the replacement pipe. Sometimes you may need one or two Allen wrenches and a compatible socket set. Thus, experts suggest using some anti-seize compounds between threaded and sliding connections. You can find these compounds made of copper or nickel-based ingredients. Besides these two items, you can also find the graphite-based version. 

How To Change Exhaust Pipes On A Harley

How To Change Exhaust Pipes On A Harley

How to Change Exhaust Pipes on a Harley

Changing the Harley Davidson exhaust pipe isn’t a tactful job. You may easily complete the exhaust pipe replacement job with the following steps. 

Precautions you should follow:

Inspect the default factory (OEM) exhaust quickly to identify what you need to do most. Do you need to change the entire exhaust or other major components? Some liquid-cooled Harley bikes may require the radiator’s removal or loosening to access the front cylinder’s head pipe. 

Ensure the exhaust needs a full dismantling task or an easy knock. Many mechanics recommend comparing the fasteners’ head sizes to the tools. For example, you may find it odd when a 14mm socket rounds off the 13mm head of the bolt. Son, ensure that you have the right Allen wrench and socket. 

Another thing to do is check if the new system blocks or limits access to the oil filter or drain. If it happens, try changing the oil. Finally, you may start by checking out things laid out properly and matching them to the default parts’ list. 

Removal of Old Exhaust:

In this part, you will learn how to remove Harley exhaust pipes. Once you remove the existing muffler, you are all set to install your favorite exhaust pipe in the Harley motorcycle. Depending on your preferred sound, you may choose from a wide range of Harley mufflers. 

Firstly, you should know how to remove the Harley exhaust. You can start it by loosening the nuts and bolts first. Likewise, you don’t need to loosen the head pipe if there is a need for muffler replacement with a slip-on. 

Remove the bolts from each part and gradually release the parts, starting with the muffler. If you see the muffler is stuck or has rust, you may use a rust-repairing liquid like WD40, CRC556, etc. Apply the liquid and leave it for a couple of minutes. Later, pull the muffler backward by twisting it. 

After removing the muffler, start removing the Harley head pipe. It is good to cover nearby painted items with old rags, towels, or pieces of paper. Consequently, some bike models may complicate the head pipe removal. In those cases, you may pull or pry to remove the part. 

You may find several models with one-piece exhaust systems. Fortunately, they are very effortless to remove and change with newer ones. The process will be: loosen the bolts, support the system, use a small jack or technically placed wire, and remove the bolt and exhaust system as a unit. 

Clean and repair any damage to the accessible area of the old pipe. You can install the new pipe with mounting brackets at this point.

Installation of Replacement or New Pipe

In this step, you can learn how to change exhaust pipes on a Harley. To start this, remove the existing exhaust gaskets and inspect the ports to find any loose carbon that resists the seating of the new pipe correctly. Use grease or an anti-seize item to install the new gaskets now. Then, put the head pipes onto their place rightly. Apply some anti-seize on the bolts and tighten the retaining collars. It will prevent the pipes from wilting around. 

Apply the anti-seize lightly at the open end of the exhaust. Then, slip it on the collector or muffler. You will see all the items fit together with a light force. Avoiding the sledgehammer used in the whole pipe changing task is better. 

Now, apply some anti-seize with a light coat inside the muffler interior. Install the muffler onto the pipe and take time after bolting it loosely. It will ensure that everything happens fine. Thus, you may need a bit of modification if you see any nuisance here. It is better not to force everything together. The tension combines with the vibration to snap off the mounting bracket or crack the pipe after several miles. 

Finish the replacement job and test the exhaust pipe:

Once everything is installed and aligned correctly, tighten them by starting from the cylinder head. Then, ensure the head pipe sits in the port and is sealed against the gasket. 

You may look forward to the next step when you get the collar bolts snug-fit. Tighten all the parts and reinstall any subsidiary components you removed earlier in the process. Now, you have the time to test that the exhaust pipe is working correctly for what it is made for. 


Exhaust pipes are responsible for the performance and roaring sound of Harley motorcycles. Many riders prefer changing the actual OEM exhaust pipe to enjoy their favorite rumbling sound. Following their requirements, this guideline on how to change exhaust pipes on a Harley Davidson motorcycle will be useful for sure. 

The guideline is described with step-by-step instructions. So, you don’t need to visit a mechanic to remove and change your favorite Harley’s damaged or new exhaust pipes. Just choose the right one for your Harley model and replace it with the new one. You may even perform the task without welding, which is a great benefit. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1.Can You Replace Harley Davidson Exhaust Yourself?

Ans: You can remove or install exhaust pipes on Harley bikes if you have the correct tools, time, parts, and interest. 

2.Do Exhaust Band Clamps Work?

Ans: Band clamps are good for hangers and slip-fit Harley pipe connections. You can use them to attach the Harley exhaust pipe with the right fitment properly. 

3.Can You Replace An Exhaust Pipe Without Welding On Harley?

Ans: Of course, it is possible to replace an exhaust pipe without welding. There are methods to replace the exhaust pipe that don’t require welding. For instance, you may use band clamps. 

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