A number of special exhaust system tools can be rented from auto supply houses or local stores that rent special equipment. A common one is a tail pipe expander, designed to enable you to join pipes of identical diameter.
It may also be quite helpful to use solvents designed to loosen rusted bolts or flanges. Soaking rusted parts the night before you do the job can speed the work of freeing rusted parts considerably. Remember that these solvents are often flammable. Apply only to parts after they are cool!
Once or twice a year, check the muffler(s) and pipes for signs of corrosion and damage. Check the hangers and, or O-ring suspensions for wear, cracks or hardening. Check the heat shields (models equipped) for corrosion or damage. Replace components as necessary.
Early models are not equipped with catalytic converters. The system may be of a completely welded construction, or be partly welded and clamped together. Replacement parts will determine how and what replacement procedures are required. That is, a welded system might be replaced with two or three clamp together pipes and mufflers.
Later models usually are equipped with a catalytic converter(s), which is attached to the exhaust manifold (usually front wheel drive models), or contained in the front exhaust pipe (rear wheel drive models). The exhaust system is usually bolted together. Replacement parts are usually the same as the original system, with the exception of some mufflers. The original system usually has the muffler and the inlet and tailpipe welded together. Some replacement companies supply the system in three pieces that are clamped together during installation. Splash shield removal will be required, in some cases, for removal and installation clearance.
Care should be taken when working on the exhaust system. Allow the muffler and pipes, an especially the converter to cool completely. Wear protective eye glasses or goggles to prevent rust or metal chips from falling in your eyes.
Use only the proper size sockets or wrenches when unbolting system components. Do not tighten completely until all components are attached, aligned, and suspended. Check the system for leaks after the installation is completed.