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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Tools needed: 3/8 ratchet; 75 lb/ft torque wrench; 15mm deep socket; hex sockets - 4mm (if you have the chrome side covers), 6mm, 8mm; long socket extension. Loctite; WD-40; chrome cleaner; shop rags/towels. Possible: Dremel Multi-tool, with grinding wheel (see text below)

This procedure details the removal of the slip-on mufflers, and the installation of the accessory Chrome Billet Muffler Clamps.

The stock V-Rod exhaust is one of the visual signatures of the bike - but the stock muffler clamps look a little cheap, and they give a "pinched" look to the flow of the exhaust. Harley solved this by introducing the chrome billet muffler clamps this past winter. Here is how to install them.

The first order of business is to remove the right side cover and pull the maxi-fuse. I doubt that all professional techs do this step - but it only takes a minute, and will absolutely prevent unintended startup of your bike.

Next you will want to loosen the muffler clamps. The clamps are secured by 15mm nuts - use a deep 15 mm socket to loosen them.

Once the muffler clamps are loose, take a 6mm hex socket on a long extension bar, and remove the two fasteners holding the upper muffler to the bottom muffler.

Carefully spray a little WD-40 onto the junction between the slip-on muffler and the auxiliary volume.

Holding the upper muffler from the rear of the bike, wiggle it back and forth while applying a steady rearward pressure. The muffler should come off reasonably easily. Place the removed muffler on a shop towel, and set aside.

Remove the 6mm cap screw holding the lower muffler to the exhaust support bracket. Repeat the WD-40 treatment, and remove the lower muffler as before. Place on shop towel and set aside.

With the mufflers removed, it is a good idea to clean any parts of the bike that are normally hidden behind the mufflers. Its also not a bad idea to take some chrome cleaner and remove any tiny rust spots or grease marks on the mufflers while they are off the bike.

Next you will want to take the new billet chrome muffler clamps and install them on the slip-on mufflers. This can be somewhat tricky. Firstly - make sure that they go on in the right orientation - the beveled inside edge faces towards the muffler body. Also the fasteners must be at the bottom of the muffler. It's a good idea to hold the muffler bodies next to the bike, with the extension flange touching the rear of the auxiliary body to determine the correct rotation of the muffler clamps. You may need to press fairly hard on the muffler clamps to get them onto the muffler - I sprayed a little WD-40 to help ease them on. Do not install the 8mm screws in the muffler clamps.

Install the lower muffler first - align the opening on the clamp with the pipe on the auxiliary volume and press it on. Because you will be pushing forward on your bike, its not a bad idea to block the rear wheel so you don't accidentally push the bike off the jiffystand. You will need to wiggle it back and forth slightly. Put in the 6mm hex screw that secures the lower muffler to the support bracket - but DO NOT tighten it at this time.

Before you install the upper muffler you need to take a look at the weld bead at the top of the auxiliary volume where it faces the upper muffler. Max mentioned this in a prior post - but on my bike too there was a glob of weld bead that prevented the upper muffler clamp from fully seating on the pipe. The glob of weld that was causing the obstruction was pretty small (about half the size of a baked bean) - but it needed to be ground off if the muffler was going to fit right. A Dremel Multi-Tool with a grinding wheel removed this in about 5 minutes. You don't need to remove the lower muffler to do this - but its not a bad idea to place a shop towel around the area you will be grinding on. You don't want to throw sparks all over your shiny bike. Don't worry about grinding all the way through - the weld bead on my muffler was over 9mm, and there was plenty left after I had smoothed it out.

Once you've ground the weld glob down (check it is flush with a straight-edge) you can install the upper muffler. You will need to slide this on fairly carefully - check that there is no interference between the upper muffler clamp and the lower. If the upper muffler clamp is not rotated correctly it may strike the lower clamp. If this happens, you will need to remove the clamp and reinstall it turned to the right position. If you need to get the clamp off, this can be accomplished by gently tapping the screw bulkhead with a rubber mallet while holding the muffler body secure.

Once you've got the upper muffler and clamp seated on the output pipe, its time to start tightening things up. I've done this a few times and it can be a little tricky. Its best to start by starting the two fasteners that hold the upper muffler to the lower - but only a couple of turns. You will probably have to wiggle the mufflers side to side to get the holes in the brackets lined up - and you may have to completely remove the hex screw that holds the bottom muffler to the bracket. Once you have the screws started - you can then install the 8mm hex bolts in the muffler clamps. I put a drop of Loctite on each, and tightened them to 48 ft/lbs. Then I removed the lower muffler fastener, put a drop of Loctite on, and tightened it to 17 ft./lbs. Lastly I tightened down the upper muffler fasteners to 17 ft./lbs.

With everything in place wipe all of the chrome clean with spray chrome cleaner and a soft cloth. Then go and wash your hands - you don't want to get all that filth on your grips. Replace the maxi-fuse and the side cover. Then start up your bike and check that it sounds right, and there isn't hot exhaust gas blasting out the side (not very likely if you've done things right.) Now its time for a test ride!

The whole process took me about an hour - and a good part of this was dealing with the weld glob on the auxiliary volume. I'm pretty sure that Harley techs around the country must be cursing whoever was responsible for welding this part, and H-D for introducing an accessory without warning them that some grinding might be needed before you can install it. Maybe later bikes do not have this issue. I'll admit I was little hesitant before taking a grinding tool to my bike - but I guess its just part of the tradition of customizing your bike.
 

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Tired of the crap
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Just a quick follow-up note: I stopped at my local H-D dealership yesterday, and looked at the exhaust systems of three V-Rods they had on the floor (two '03s and a '04 VRSCB.) Based on my observations owners of newer model V-Rods will NOT have to do any grinding to install the muffler clamps. At some point Harley must have caught this quality issue, and the got supplier to fix this problem. So all you owners of newer bikes can install your clamps with ease.
 

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Thanks

Thanks for the informative install directions. I found it rather timely considering I will be doing it this weekend.
 
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