Permanent Pipe Packing Possible?


11 replies to this topic
  • ThumpMe

Posted May 27, 2015 - 02:14 PM

#1

 I had mentioned this a few weeks back in another thread as I am tired of repacking all my pipes about every year or so.

 

 I bought a Stainless packing kit last year right after I re-packed one of my bikes with a ceramic mat and could tell it was time to do it again. This time I took some pics. So here is the process I used.

 

 The kit came with a screen that looked pretty much like what you see in a screen door but this screen material it is made with Stainless Steel. It also has a Stainless Steel Wool Mat about two foot by five feet and maybe a half inch thick. Also came with some wire to help hold it in place at assembly. You cut the matt and screen with real sharp scissors or tin snips to the size needed. I found the length should be about an inch to an inch and half LONGER than the can as it compresses upon re-assembly so a little bit more length gets the can more full.

 

 The last time I packed this pipe I had used this ceramic packing as it stands temperatures up 3200 degrees so I figured it would outlast fiberglass. WRONG! It does not stand up to the pulses of the engine and lasted just about the same time as fiberglass. Probably got 2500-3000 miles out of it. About a year or so of use.

 

 I did a bunch of research on the stainless and found like the ceramic they recommend you wrap the perforated pipe center piece with the screen FIRST to help protect the wool or matt from extreme heat and engine pulses. They also say you can use a combination of stainless mat as well as fiberglass or ceramic but I decided to go with nothing but stainless. 

 

I found if you stick a small wire into each end of that perforated pipe and then through one of the holes in the screen about an inch in from the ends and about an inch in from the edge, then pull it in towards the center and go back through one more hole in the screen and pipe. This will allow you to tighten up that screen real nicely around the perforated pipe. Make a mental note or even draw an arrow on one end so you know in  which direction you are tightening everything up as you want the matt to be tightened up in the same direction as the screen for easier assembly.  By only going through two holes with each piece of wire you can still pull that wire out once you have the screen where you want it, all tightened up, and then about 2-3 wraps of wire around it to hold it in place. I wrapped the perforated core three times with screen. 

 

 Next I cut and wrapped it three times with the stainless steel wool mat and put three wraps of wire (one near each end and one in the middle) around that to hold it in place. On both the screen wire and wool/matt wire I folded over the twisted ends of the holding wire so they would not snag anything when I twist and push it all together. 

 

 It was MUCH easier to push it together than any fiberglass or ceramic matt I had ever installed. It worked so well I did another bike that was getting real loud the next day! The second pipe even had four pop rivets that I thought would catch the matt and snag or cause me to have problems pushing everything back into the can, but it went together real nice! Second pipe was also oval in shape and those usually a re a bear to do with standard packing, no problems at all using the stainless.

 

 I forgot to weight it prior to repacking but after it was all done the whole can only weighed 3.5 pounds.

 

 Only problem is that it is now so quiet I am hearing all sorts of engine noises! HA!

 

 

 

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  • Krannie McKranface

Posted May 27, 2015 - 03:21 PM

#2

Yeah, that's gonna get hot, brittle, and blow right out the tail pipe.

If it can't stand temps of 400 degrees, it won't last a week...

 

This is an old subject, since 1971, and nothing beats dense fiberglass batting for sound AND life.



  • ThumpMe

Posted May 27, 2015 - 07:25 PM

#3

Will see. It is so much easier to use if it makes it just twice as long I will be happy. Of course it is about twice as costly as fiberglass or ceramic packing.

 

I have machined boatloads of stainless steel over the years and when you machine it the chips turn a pale straw color when machining speeds/feeds  are correct. Sort of looks like the gold color of a nice running polished up all stainless exhaust system turns after a good hot Summer. Chips that have been heated/tempered in this way are really tough and hard to break. Hopefully something similar will happen to the wool, but as it is metal I believe it will stand up better to the heat and pulses than the glass does.  

 

 I cannot say for sure what is happening to the stainless wool in the pipe, yet, but it is far enough away from the real heat that I do not think it will burn out that fast. Most of the real heat should be shoved down that middle perforated center pipe and out, just leaving mostly sound and exhaust pulses to make it though to the screen and stainless wool. The canister on one of the pipes I re-packed is carbon fiber and it does not even have any signs of heat crazing, and it was only about half full of packing, and has been on the '99 since I bought it, so it will be a good experiment.

 

Now the heat shield on that same bike which is also carbon fiber but bolted to the head pipe is another matter. It is turning brown and crazing as well. I mention this just to sort of emphasize that the exhaust can should not be seeing near enough heat to cook stainless out. The mid pipe gasket on this pipe is even made out of aluminum, so temps at that point HAVE to be less than 1400 degrees or it would melt. I have a heat gun and will check that out.

 

 What I really liked about it while packing it was how easily I could squish the wool in around the pipe and how spring like it was as this really helped fill all the voids in the pipe...especially the one that has an oval can.

 

 This is pretty coarse wool too, heavier than any of the steel wools I have ever seen or worked with. The company says lasts five to six  times the length of fiberglass, but I sort of take that with a grain of salt.

 

 Time will tell, BOTH these bikes been getting a real workout this year so far and hopefully that will continue.

 

 Put on 40 hot slow miles yesterday clearing trail and it was still real quiet at the end of the day 



  • Krannie McKranface

Posted May 27, 2015 - 08:04 PM

#4

Dude, people have been trying this for DECADES.

 

I used to think it would work in my 1968 Bonanza mini-bike silencer. It just burns up in about 10 hours.

 

IF you used Stainless Steel window screen before the Fiberglass (must be batted fiberglass, NOT loose wool) it will extend the life of the fiber glass several hours.



  • ThumpMe

Posted May 28, 2015 - 05:21 AM

#5

That is probably true BUT technology and materials have been getting better and better over the years.

 

 Back in 1968 you were probably using just regular steel wool as I never even saw stainless steel wool till about 6-8  years ago. It may have been around longer than that but regular steel wool is more common and made using oil which is what gets it started burning. It is also much finer than this stuff I just used. Not the case with stainless steel wool made for exhaust systems. It is a heavier grade or thickness, less likely to break from pulses, and not affected by water or exhaust, or so the manufacturer says! They even say some exhaust manufacturers pipes are made with it but do not elaborate on that. I believe they said it was a 400 series of stainless. Different series of stainless have different qualities.  

 

It does makes a lot of sense that wrapping that center perforated pipe with several wraps of the screen will help with the engine pulses which is what breaks down both fiberglass and ceramic packing, and probably will do the same with the stainless packing given enough time. Also key with ANY packing is getting it as tightly packed as possible, I am sure you already know this given your time working on bikes..

 

 Once glass or ceramic packing get a void where the hot gases can pass through them they go away fast as that heat combined with the pulses can really do a number on it.  This stainless is said to withstand temperatures of 800 degrees C which is a around 1400 F. Then again, the ceramic I packed it with last year is said to withstand temps up to 3200 degrees so it tends to reason the pulses are harder on it than the heat is. Metal is way tougher than glass or ceramic so it will be a case of how much flexing it can take.

 

 Stainless is sort of odd in some of it's properties. If you take a stainless wire and start flexing it back and forth, like steel it will get real hot at the flex point. Steel will get weaker as it heats up, get easier to flex, and break at that point pretty fast, but stainless (depending on what series stainless it is) does what is called work hardening (with an endmill, drill,  or other metal cutting tool it turns that same gold color I mentioned earlier and gets so tough you need carbide to cut it and even then sometimes carbide will not touch it). This work hardening causes that wire to get so tough that it will stop flexing in that same spot once it gets hot and work hardens. It then resists the bending and the bend area moves to the area right next to where it was flexing and work hardened till that new flex area gets work hardened. Of course if you keep causing it to flex in that same work hardened area it will eventually break as well.  

 

 As I already mentioned I am not sure exactly what is going on in the pipe. I am sure the pulses tend to flex the stainless in areas so it will be a matter of seeing how well it holds up to the constant pulses and flexing.

 

 I am VERY pleased with it so far, in fact gonna go put some more miles on it today!



  • stevethe

Posted May 28, 2015 - 06:52 AM

#6

That is probably true BUT technology and materials have been getting better and better over the years.

 

 Back in 1968 you were probably using just regular steel wool as I never even saw stainless steel wool till about 6-8  years ago. It may have been around longer than that but regular steel wool is more common and made using oil which is what gets it started burning. It is also much finer than this stuff I just used. Not the case with stainless steel wool made for exhaust systems. It is a heavier grade or thickness, less likely to break from pulses, and not affected by water or exhaust, or so the manufacturer says! They even say some exhaust manufacturers pipes are made with it but do not elaborate on that. I believe they said it was a 400 series of stainless. Different series of stainless have different qualities.  

 

It does makes a lot of sense that wrapping that center perforated pipe with several wraps of the screen will help with the engine pulses which is what breaks down both fiberglass and ceramic packing, and probably will do the same with the stainless packing given enough time. Also key with ANY packing is getting it as tightly packed as possible, I am sure you already know this given your time working on bikes..

 

 Once glass or ceramic packing get a void where the hot gases can pass through them they go away fast as that heat combined with the pulses can really do a number on it.  This stainless is said to withstand temperatures of 800 degrees C which is a around 1400 F. Then again, the ceramic I packed it with last year is said to withstand temps up to 3200 degrees so it tends to reason the pulses are harder on it than the heat is. Metal is way tougher than glass or ceramic so it will be a case of how much flexing it can take.

 

 Stainless is sort of odd in some of it's properties. If you take a stainless wire and start flexing it back and forth, like steel it will get real hot at the flex point. Steel will get weaker as it heats up, get easier to flex, and break at that point pretty fast, but stainless (depending on what series stainless it is) does what is called work hardening (with an endmill, drill,  or other metal cutting tool it turns that same gold color I mentioned earlier and gets so tough you need carbide to cut it and even then sometimes carbide will not touch it). This work hardening causes that wire to get so tough that it will stop flexing in that same spot once it gets hot and work hardens. It then resists the bending and the bend area moves to the area right next to where it was flexing and work hardened till that new flex area gets work hardened. Of course if you keep causing it to flex in that same work hardened area it will eventually break as well.  

 

 As I already mentioned I am not sure exactly what is going on in the pipe. I am sure the pulses tend to flex the stainless in areas so it will be a matter of seeing how well it holds up to the constant pulses and flexing.

 

 I am VERY pleased with it so far, in fact gonna go put some more miles on it today!

 

Interesting who's kit did you use.



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  • bikedude987

Posted May 28, 2015 - 06:53 AM

#7

I agree that fine steel wool will burn up quickly (touching a 9v battery to some is a good fire starting technique if you're in a pinch...), but if the SS wool is sufficiently coarse, I would imagine it to be durable.  You'll have to track the hours it lasts and report back.



  • adnohguy

Posted May 28, 2015 - 10:57 AM

#8

Wood stove door gasket.
Looks like white Braided rope.

Not cheap but it will last longer than anything else that I have ever used in the past.
Very easy to install.

  • offrd beatr

Posted May 28, 2015 - 02:11 PM

#9

Wood stove door gasket.
Looks like white Braided rope.

Not cheap but it will last longer than anything else that I have ever used in the past.
Very easy to install.


If it's old stuff then it's asbestos. Not so great for the people riding behind you I suppose. Haven't looked into the newer stuff though. Wonder what it's made from?

  • zotis777

Posted May 28, 2015 - 02:20 PM

#10

If it's old stuff then it's asbestos. Not so great for the people riding behind you I suppose. Haven't looked into the newer stuff though. Wonder what it's made from?



I think it's a fiberglass kinda material

  • adnohguy

Posted May 28, 2015 - 05:23 PM

#11

If it's old stuff then it's asbestos. Not so great for the people riding behind you I suppose. Haven't looked into the newer stuff though. Wonder what it's made from?


No it would not be asbestos, that's for sure! At least not out here in California.

  • ThumpMe

Posted May 29, 2015 - 04:13 AM

#12

The kits I got were from International Steel Wool. I bought a couple of the muffler kits they make that are for full sized cars/trucks as one of these kits has enough materials to do at least two motorcycle pipes and are just a few dollars more than the kits they sell for bikes and quads. Of course you do need to cut it to the correct size but good tin snips slice right through it. The kits I got were part number MP20.5x60 . The MP stands for Muffler Packing and the 20.5x60 is the dimensions of the mat in inches.

Never thought about using that stove door gasket material. The gasket on my woodstove is exactly like what you describe. I am sure it is some sort of fiberglass or ceramic based material given how similar it looks to them and the heat it sees. I bet it would cost a small fortune to use that stuff though as I priced a new one for this stove last Winter and it WAS way pricey!

I rode the '99 with the newly re-packed can yesterday. It is a White Brothers pipe. Real similar to a Supertrapp with the stack of silencers bolted to the end. It seemed to be a little quieter at the end of the ride than the start. I imagine the vibration from riding allowed the packing to get more evenly distributed because it is an oval and when I stuffed it full as I reassembled it, it was real tight on both sides due to the oval shape of the can. It too now has ALL sorts of engine noises I have never heard before!




 
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