My muffler was degrading badly so it was time to deal with this item. I know a lot of folks just have a muffler shop cut off and replace the muffler due to the price of the OEM muffler assembly but I didn't like the idea paying for labour every couple of years on a "lifetime" muffler, so I replaced the entire assembly.
Removing the assembly: On the XR the assembly is held on with 2 nuts and 5 rubber hangers. I was able to complete this repair with the front of the Outlook up on ramps for easier access to the bolts.
Challenge #1 that I encountered was the corrosion on the two nuts that snug the assembly to the flex pipe assembly. To get these off without breaking the studs I recommend applying heat. That said, I wasn't too keen on applying a blow torch to this area - too many things I might melt and near the gas tank and lines. To help me out I obtained a really cool tool - a bolt buster. It uses magnetic induction to heat up anything you need - in this case the two bolts ---- without any open flame! Literally 20 seconds of use of the tool had the nut glowing red hot and eased off the stud no problem. (Picture of tool below).
The second challenge was pulling the rubber hangers off the pegs of the underside of the vehicle. Some folks say they are able to use needle nose pliers to pull them off - I found this unsatifactory. So I obtained another special tool - exhaust hanger pliers (see photo below). With this baby the job was so much easier! After the muffler assembly was dragged out of the way, I pulled off the now empty rubber hangers (the new assembly comes with new rubber).
Installation of the new muffler assembly was a lot easier than the removal. This is the only step where I required a helper to carefully position the new muffler assembly under the Outlook and support some of it while I re-attached the hangers. I found that working starting from one of the four resonator connection points (two per resonator) worked well, followed by one from the opposite one, followed by the one behind the muffler worked well. Once all 5 hanging points were connected to the Outlook all that was left was to tighten up the two bolts removed in the first step.
Some pictures follow detailing the condition of the old muffler after 8 years / 205,000km in a Southern Ontario climate. Strangely the pipes and the resonators were fine despite the obvious deterioration of the muffler. I've also included a picture of the new assembly for comparison.
Let me know if you have any questions or if the photos are not coming through (always seem to have challenges with share settings).