covering hole in muffler?

I have an 89 Aerostar that has to pass one more emissions inspection before I can retire it. The car's muffler has rotted out, though -- the bottom of it has a long hole in it that's started to separate (no wonder
it's noisy these days).
Is there anything I can do outside of replacing it either professionally or by myself? It'll cost almost $200 to get fixed by my local guy and I really don't want to put any more money into it than I have to: I'm planning on retiring it come Spring. Duct tape? :)
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Your "local guy" is taking you for a RIDE. I had a muffler put on our 89 Aerostar down in Syracuse, NY at Cole Muffler for under $32.00 installed, taxes inc., for a 1 yr. warranty... the Lifetime warranty muffler was about $48.00 installed, taxes inc.
Rob * * *

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From a Ford Forum:
FYI for those considering Aerostar rear muffler replacement: Some personal experience to share. After 4 years service, the original Ford rear muffler was a rusted hulk. Ford muffler;$162.73, quite a chunk of change. Aftermarket (AutoZone) had only one listed, a cylindrical unit rather than the flatter original style. What was truly amazing was the price: $19.95 in (coincidentally) 1995. I figured it had to be a wrong price in the computer but I took it and ran. That 'cheapie' unit lasted 7 years.
Again faced with replacement, an original style unit is now available, $78-104, from aftemarket suppliers. Surprisingly, that old, 'cheapie' model is still available, but the price has shot up an incredible $0.04 cents in the interim. Still the exact unit, by Walker Manuf.(part# 18629), available at Advance Auto Parts but not AutoZone or Checker.
On the extended version Aerostar, this unit bolts nicely in place, is as quiet as the original and for the longevity and price, a great value. (Note: this is NOT a 'cherry bomb' style muffler. This one is approx. 8-9" in diameter and 30" in length. How anyone can manufacture, ship and retail a unit this size for less than $20.00 is beyond me.)
ALSO:
http://tinyurl.com/o4wm
For all of Advance Auto Parts selection of mufflers for your car...
Rob * * *

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Your local guy probably only heard "I would like to $$$fix$$$ the muffler" and therefore quoted you the price to mend the hole (ie: weld; ie: more money) instead of replacing it. (Less money in his pocket)
Go somewhere else, preferrably a muffler shop and have it done at a cheaper, reasonable, and less scheisteristic (is that a word? hehe) shop.
r/ -IanCT

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Cheapest possible is probably muffler tape at any auto parts store, but it's very temporary, and considering that you can get a muffler for less than $50 I'd go for the muffler.
--
Every day is a good day- it's just that some are better than others.

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I don't know where you live, but any kind of muffler tape or patch, etc will fail inspection here. Replace it.
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