JBugs Video Series

Exhaust & J-Tube Installation:

Video Overview:

Looking for some tips on replacing your worn out or rusted exhaust system on your VW Beetle? Follow along with our tech as he shows you how to remove your old muffler or header and install a new replacement exhaust. Our video covers the part numbers and tools we use along the way.

Video Tips:

Step 1: Disconnect the Negative Side of the Battery

Any time you are working on a major car project, disconnect the battery to prevent a possible electrical fire.

Disconnecting the Battery

Step 2: Lift the Vehicle to Gain Access to Exhaust Ports

Make sure the exhaust has cooled off since the last time it was driven! Working on a hot engine is a sure way to get burned.

Block the front wheels and jack up the rear of the car, unless your car is lifted or a baja, or you are really small and can easily fit under the rear of the car to access the exhaust ports.

Use jack stands to support the rear of the car if you are jacking up the car.

jacking up the car

Step 3: Remove Old Exhaust

Remove the rear engine tin. The fan shroud hoses and heat riser plates will have to be removed if your engine has them.

If you have a single carburetor, you should have heat rise tubes. Unbolt the heat riser tubes from the exhaust.

For cars with working heater boxes, loosen the clamps from the "kidney bellow" to the heater box.

Remove the nuts from the exhaust ports for the header/ muffler.

Remove Nuts from VW

Remove Nuts and Bolts

Loosen the heater box/ j-tube clamps.

Remove Exhaust clamp
Pull back on the header/ muffler to remove it from the engine.

Remove Exhaust
If you are replacing the heater boxes/ j-tubes, remove the nuts at the exhaust ports.

If you have heater boxes, the heater cable clamps need to be disconnected from the operating levers and the hose from the box to the body has to be slid off. Un-bolt the heater channel sheet metal from the heater box.

Pull off the heater boxes or j-tubes and make sure all exhaust port gaskets are removed.

Remove J Tubes

New J Tubes

Step 4: Begin Installation

Install new exhaust port gaskets.

New Gaskets

Step 5: Install J-Tubes or Heater Boxes (if necessary)

If you pulled the heater boxes or j-tubes, install them now. The right side j-tube is the longer of the j-tubes. Thread on the exhaust nuts but do not tighten them.

Slide the new exhaust lock rings and sealing rings into place on the heater box or j-tube ends.

J Tube Install

Step 6: Install Header/ Muffler

Making sure the exhaust port gaskets are in place, slide the header/ muffler into place on the heater boxes/ j-tubes and on to the exhaust port studs. This can take some careful positioning and is why we leave the heater boxes/ j-tubes loose.

On headers, if you are running heat risers, make sure the heat riser ports are drilled. If not, drill both ports out, one at 1/4" and the other at 3/8".

J Tube drillJ Tube drill
Once the header or muffler is in place, install and tighten the exhaust nuts. Tighten the nuts for the heater boxes/ j-tubes.

Install clamps on the heater box/ j-tube exhaust sealing rings.

For stock mufflers, install tail pipes and clamps.

For headers, install flange gasket and muffler.

For single carbureted engines, install a new heat riser gasket and bolt the tubes to the muffler/ header.

For cars with heater boxes, re-attach the cables, the hoses, and the heater channel tin.

Re-install the rear tin. Re-attach the fan shroud hoses and heat riser plates if your engine has them.

Installation should now be complete

General Notes:

Keep in mind that the paint WILL BURN OFF any painted muffler or exhaust (mufflers and headers that are not ceramic coated, chrome or stainless steel). If you want a lasting finish, remove the paint and use a high temp exhaust paint.

Wipe down the muffler/header/j-tubes with cleaner (brake, carb, alcohol wipe, etc) to remove any grease or oils before starting the engine. This is CRITICAL on ceramic coated, chrome or stainless steel systems.