How To Pack The Muffler On Your ATV | Hunt or Shred

Most people turn to their mechanics to pack mufflers on their ATVs, but you can do it yourself if you know how to pack the muffler on your ATV.

To pack the muffler on your ATV, open the silencer, unscrew the end cap, remove the core from the silencer, wrap the packing material around the core, install the core with newly-wrapped packing back into the silencer, and then secure the end cap, and reassemble the silencer. That’s about it.

You need not go to a mechanic or ask a friend to help you pack the muffler on your ATV. It’s a very simple task that you can do yourself if you’ve got the right tools to do it. In fact, learning how to pack the muffler on your ATV will benefit you a great deal in the long run. The packing needs to be replaced after 20 to 30 riding hours. How many times will you pay a mechanic to do it? This guide will help you learn how to do it and save money in the long run.

As a long-time ATV rider, I always encourage ATV owners to learn this bit. Driving an ATV without a muffler or a muffler that’s old, worn-out, and inefficient can not only affect its performance but also contribute a great deal to noise pollution. You can repack the muffler as a part of your routine ATV care that will ensure that your ATV doesn’t feel too loud to you or to anyone in your surroundings.

Table of contents


Step-by-Step Guide to Packing the Muffler on an ATV

To be able to pack the muffler on your ATV, you’ve got to follow some simple steps. It might take you longer the first time you do it, but it’ll be quick after that. Let’s have a look at a detailed step-by-step guide on how to pack the muffler on your ATV.

Step 1: Get all the Right Tools

Like we said in the beginning, you can pack the muffler on the ATV yourself if you’ve got the right tools. Some of the basic tools that you’ll need are listed below:

  • Allen wrench set
  • Rubber mallet
  • High-temperature silicone
  • Wire brush
  • Drill and rivets
  • Gloves
  • Masking tape
  • PVC pipe
  • Packing material

Step 2: Disassemble the Silencer

Remove the cover present at the back of the silencer using the socket size that fits the screws. You’ll see 2 end pipes after you remove the cover. Remove both of these 2 end pipes and remove the quiet core.

Step 3: Remove the End Cap

There are multiple (usually 6) Allen heads placed around the diameter of the silencer. Unscrew all of them using the Allen wrench set. The silencer of the ATV you own might have screws on the front side of the silencer instead of at the back. It doesn’t matter. You simply have to remove them all to disassemble the end cap.

Some ATV models have rivets instead of screws. If that’s the case with your ATV, wrenches won’t do. You’ll need a drill to pull the rivets out. First, it’s better to check what type of silencer your ATV has and get the tools accordingly to save yourself the hassle. You’ll need to re-rivet them using the drill after you’ve packed the muffler on your ATV.

After you’ve removed all the screws or rivets, you might see an additional lip over the end cap that keeps it in place. To remove the end cap, you’ll have to vertically set the silencer on a PVC pipe. Tap on the end cap gently from the inside. It’ll pop out, making it easier for you to remove it.

Step 4: Remove the Core

Now that you’ve removed the end cap, it’s now time you remove the core, which is where the packing material will go. You can simply pull the core out. The core would be in good shape (not too dirty or messy) if there was no packing material on your ATV. However, if there was, you’ll have to get rid of all the remains of the existing packing before installing a new one. Use a wire brush to clean the core completely to ensure all of the existing packing material is removed. While you’re at it, inspect the core closely for any signs of damages that may need professional attention.

Step 5: Pack the Muffler with New Packing Material

Packing material comes in various sizes. The width of the packing material should be the same as the length of the core. If it’s larger, you must trim it to bring it the exact size. If the packing is smaller in size, you’ll have to get a new one. Spread the packing material on a flat surface and place the core at the end of the packing material sheet. Start rolling the core in packing material as tightly as you can. Use masking tape to keep the packing material from coming loose. The tighter you wrap the packing material, the easier it’ll be for you to handle it in the next steps.

Pro Tip: Trim any packing from the edges if it’s obstructing the ends of the core. The ends of the core should stay unobstructed.

Step 6: Reinstall the Core Back in the Silencer

Now that you’ve tightly wrapped the packing material around the core, it’s time the core goes back where it belongs. Push the core inside the silencer gently. If you push too hard, the packing material might come loose, and the core might slip out of the roll. You’ll have to wrap the core all over again. Save yourself that trouble and put the core back in gently.

After the core with packing material is completely inside the silencer, make sure the end of the core is engaged with the front cap. You might have to push the core and arrange it with your thumb.

Step 7: Put the End Cap Back

Since the end cap is already disassembled, use it as an opportunity to clean it. Use a wire brush to wipe the end cap clean. Apply high-temperature silicone to the edges of the end cap. It’ll assist in sealing the end cap to the silencer. Be very careful when putting the end cap back. It should be placed on the silencer accurately, and there should be no packing material between them. If there’s even the slightest gap, the sealing won’t be proper. You can use a rubber mallet to ensure the end cap is reinstalled to the silencer as strongly as it was when you removed it.

Clean the edges to get rid of any excess silicone. Fasten all the Allen screws you removed initially and ensure they’re tightly secured.

Step 8: Install the Silencer Back

Put some high-temperature silicone on the end cap. It’s not for sealing purposes. The prime purpose of applying silicone here is to dampen the vibration. Replace the quiet core after cleaning with a wire brush. Add a few dabs of high-temperature silicone around the 2 end pipes as well for the same reason of dampening the vibrations. Put the end cap back, followed by the cover. Use the wrenches to screw the cover bolts back.

Step 9: Put the Silencer Back on Your ATV

The silencer is all set to be put on your ATV. With fresh packing, you can enjoy a higher quality performance of your ATV!

Signs That Existing Packing in the Muffler Needs to be Replaced

You can’t expect the packing in the muffler of your ATV to last forever. There will come a time when the packing will stop serving its purpose. The question is - how can you tell that it’s time to replace the packing?

  • You’ll feel a greater degree of vibration while riding your ATV.
  • Your ATV will sound louder than usual.
  • You’ll feel like there’s a decline in the overall engine power of your ATV.
  • Your riding experience will not feel as great as it once was.

If you notice any of the above-listed signs, it’s time that you consider replacing the packing material. And now that you know how to do it, it shouldn’t be a hassle.

How Important is it to Pack the Muffler on Your ATV?

You may want to know why you have to go through all the hassle when you can drive an ATV without packing the muffler. Well, you surely can do that, but we would advise you against it. Continue reading ahead to know why we say so.

Threat to the Engine

According to some experts, driving an ATV without a muffler can cause potential damage to the engine components. Since the ATVs are very loud and there’s a lot of vibration while you ride them, it’s understandable why the engine might be at risk. A packed muffler dampens the vibrations and reduces the risk to your engine.

Loss of Power

One of the most common problems of riding an ATV without a packed muffler is loss of power. How much power your ATV loses depends on the type of ATV you’ve got. But the loss of power is certainly there.


A muffler has a spark arrestor inbuilt. The purpose of a spark arrestor is to prevent any flammable debris from leaving the engine. However, if there’s no muffler, there won’t be any spark arrestors. If even a single spark escapes and falls onto a flammable surface, you might end up causing a fire. As with a muffler without packing, there’s more vibration and a higher chance of spark production.

Too Much Noise

The prime purpose of packing a muffler is to make your ATV less loud. ATVs are very loud, so not many people prefer riding them around the neighborhood. A loud ATV might sound super cool when off-roading, but that’s certainly a significant addition to the noise pollution.

Noise pollution is one thing. Too much noise can affect your ears too. You shouldn’t expose yourself to such loud noises for extended periods. If you’re planning to go off-roading on a long route, we would strongly suggest you first pack the muffler on your ATV and enjoy a less loud ATV ride!




I'm 30 years old. I am a software developer and I am a freelance writer on the side. I've been riding ATV's since I was 15. I personally own a Polaris Sportsman and a Can-Am Defender.

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