Head Pipe to Mid Pipe/Muffler Gasket

I am putting my 2003 WR450 back to its factory exhaust from an FMF Titanium in order to quiet it down. The stock headpipe I just bought just will not slip inside the midpipe for some reason. Every time I try to slide it into the midpipe (which has the high temp gaske- 3GW-14714-00-00 - already in it) all I suceed in doing is mashing the leading edge of the gasket. No matter how I try to slip the headpipe into the joint -- it will not go.

 

Is that because the gasket has already been "crushed" (and made smaller in diameter as a consequence) by the band that goes around the joint? Should I simply buy another gasket and start with it on the head pipe -- rather than in the midpipe?

 

Thanks.

 

 

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