Chrysler Full-Size Trucks 1997-2000 Repair Guide

Safety Precautions


For a number of reasons, exhaust system work can be among the most dangerous type of work you can do on your truck. Always observe the following precautions:

Support the truck extra securely. Not only will you often be working directly under it, but you'll frequently be using a lot of force, say, heavy hammer blows, to dislodge rusted parts. This can cause a truck that's improperly supported to shift and possibly fall.
Wear goggles. Exhaust system parts are always rusty. Metal chips can be dislodged, even when you're only turning rusted bolts. Attempting to pry pipes apart with a chisel makes the chips fly even more frequently.
If you're using a cutting torch, keep it a great distance from either the fuel tank or lines. Stop what you're doing and feel the temperature of the fuel bearing pipes on the tank frequently. Even slight heat can expand and/or vaporize fuel, resulting in accumulated vapor, or even a liquid leak, near your torch.
Watch where your hammer blows fall and make sure you hit squarely. You could easily tap a brake or fuel line when you hit an exhaust system part with a glancing blow. Inspect all lines and hoses in the area where you've been working.

Be very careful when working on or near the catalytic converter. External temperatures can reach 1,500ºF (816ºC) and more, capable of causing severe burns on contact. Headers also get extremely hot in use and require adequate cool-down time. Removal or installation should be performed only on a cold exhaust system.