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Bought a STX38 that runs good but was very loud. Found the exhaust pipe from the muffler to the engine broken near the flange. The flange was bolted tight to the engine and the muffler itself was bolted tight to the frame. Is that the way it is supposed to be mounted? I think that it should have some room to move. I welded the pipe back together, wondering how to mount it. Any thoughts?
 

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Yes. That is correct. Check the engine mount bolts. If they come loose the engine will move around and break the muffler pipes.
 

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Muffler

Well, attaching the muffler solid to the engine and then solid to the frame seems to me to be asking for a future failure. And I don't disagree with the other post that it is the way it comes from the factory. Often, the factory blows it engineering wise. I would not reconnect it the same way. Check with JD. Sometimes, they have an engineering problem that they have subsequently fixed with new additional parts. If not, I would make myself a strong support bracket for the muffler, and then bolt that bracket also somewhere onto the engine. That way, any engine viabration will not crack the muffler pipe in the future, since the bracket is also experiencing the same vibration being also bolted solid to the engine.
 

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If the engine is solidly mounted to the frame of the tractor, mounting the muffler to the frame should pose no issue. If the engine is rubber mounted or loose, then it'll move in relation to the frame and cause the broken muffler mounts if they're frame mounted.
 

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They made the STX line for almost 10 years, and the only change JD made in those ten years was to up the horsepower from 12.5 to 13 on the STX38 and to change the deck color from yellow to black. I wouldn't change the way JD made them. I hadn't seen any failure like this from any other STX38, so I wouldn't mess with a proven design.
 
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