After reaching 100k miles, the exhaust finally started leaking. The sound hadn’t markedly changed but I noticed exhaust coming up by my rear window at a stop light one day. Upon inspection I found that the muffler had rusted through in a few spots on the bottom and on the seam. I am sure there is more on the top as well. Salt and Iowa winters did a number on it. Out of curiousty, I got a quote from a local Toyota dealership, which will remain nameless. They wanted $675 for a Toyota muffler and $500 for an aftermarket brand. I ended up sourcing an aftermarket muffler with tailpipe for $130 from Parts Monster (free shipping!) and then ordered a new gasket and clamp for $15 from RockAuto.
We heated up Tom Rasmussen’s shop and got to work. The rubber hangers were lubed and Tom cut off the old coupler clamp with a cut-off wheel. The old exhaust was removed with ease and set aside. The factory pipe was in good shape but the muffler had multiple rust holes in it. It was a shame to discard the nice pipe but these units are one piece. The hanger mounts were cleaned and lubed and then the new exhaust was slid into place. We put a new gasket on the coupler and then attached the hangers. Everything lined up perfectly and the coupler clamp was tightened which allows the gasket to crush and mold into place. We started her up and it was as quiet as a mouse. I didn’t realize how loud the old muffler had become but it was a gradual decline so I probably just didn’t notice it. The ride home was nice and quiet and no leaks to be reported. All in all, we had about 40 minutes in the job.