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Old 10-14-2011, 03:41 PM   #1
droveavolvoonce
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Default Disappointed in Walker exhaust parts quality.

Hi, folks!

Thought I'd share my recent experiences with aftermarket Walker exhaust parts on my 1995 SC2.

Downpipe + flex
Catalytic converter
QuietFlow SS muffler

First two were installed in September 2010.
Muffler installed in April 2010.

As of summer/fall 2011:

Mesh on flexpipe is corroded and tearing away - I contacted Walker.

Walker rep Andrew Kiebler's reply :

"The flex joint that we are currently producing is made of aluminized steel which has a shorter life span than stainless steel. The actual life of the aluminized flex joint varies and is affected by the typical length you drive at one time and the weather conditions. We will eventually be producing the flex joints in stainless, but it is unlikely that you will see any of those until the beginning of 2012. "

Does it make any sense for the flex weave to be made of anything but stainless? Seriously - given the thin diameter of the strands, aluminized weave is an absurd design decision if you want a decent lifespan in the "salt belt". The same sort of thing happened on my previous Saturn with a different manufacturer's flex joint.

Muffler is rusting - at end of tailpipe and at rolled seams. Full-thickness corrosion (!) through the metal in at least one spot(I haven't done a detailed check of the whole muffler) This is on a stainless "SS" branded muffler! HUH???

I'm glad it has a lifetime warranty - I'll most likely be exercising it come next spring assuming it survives the winter.

Unfortunately, as I learned from Walker rep Lou Sanchez : "The part 52166 does not come with a manufacturer's warranty but I would like to get some direction from the technicians on this issue."

Has anyone else had similar experiences lately with Walker parts?

Best,
daVo
...
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Old 10-14-2011, 04:54 PM   #2
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Default Re: Disappointed in Walker exhaust parts quality.

I put a Walker muffler on about 7-8 years ago. Don't remember if it was SS or aluminized. I think it was aluminized. Couple years ago I went to lower it by undoing the strap (to shore up the heat shields), ended up twisting the strap (my bad) and poked a hole in the muffler in the process. Got it exchanged on the lifetime warranty. I bet I haven't driven 5000 miles since then, and already it's sounding like a d@mn riceburner. Granted, it sits on a gravel/dirt driveway most of the time, but it shouldn't sound that bad in two years.

In your case, an SS muffler should last a LOT longer. 'Course, there are different grades of stainless, determined by how much chromium is in the mix. Gotta wonder what Walker uses.

Cat (including downpipe and flexpipe) is a Catco, installed in '06, holding up just fine after five WI winters. No idea if the flex weave is stainless or not. Main pipe is original.
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Old 10-15-2011, 07:34 PM   #3
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Default Re: Disappointed in Walker exhaust parts quality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by droveavolvoonce View Post
Has anyone else had similar experiences lately with Walker parts?
In May 2008, the exhaust system failed inspection. It was rotted where the intermediate pipe meets the muffler. I replaced the exhaust system from the converter back with Walker parts, and thought I was good for 5 years/75k miles

At the end of August this year, the car was in for inspection, and one of the things that failed was exhaust, where the intermediate pipe meets the muffler! The mechanic showed some small pepper holes at that point.

I have again replaced the exhaust from the cat back, with Walker parts. The Quiet Flow muffler was shipped out yesterday to Rock Auto for warranty.

As I put together the exhaust system loosely (didn't tighten down the clamps), I started up the car, and in about a minute, a stream of water came down from where the intermediate pipe meets the muffler. So, that's a condensate collection point if you do a lot of quick, short trips, and I can't really blame the Walker part for rusting.

ON the plus side, I have not had any problems with Walker parts fit, unlike other brands.

Last edited by Baron5867; 10-15-2011 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 10-16-2011, 08:02 PM   #4
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Default Re: Disappointed in Walker exhaust parts quality.

Interesting info, Baron.

I can fairly blame Walker for selling me a stainless steel muffler that's coming apart at the seams after a year and a half. Glad it's got a lifetime warranty but seriously this looks like they took an aluminized muffler and repackaged it as SS.

Best,
daVo
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Old 10-16-2011, 08:59 PM   #5
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Default Re: Disappointed in Walker exhaust parts quality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by droveavolvoonce View Post
I can fairly blame Walker for selling me a stainless steel muffler that's coming apart at the seams after a year and a half. Glad it's got a lifetime warranty but seriously this looks like they took an aluminized muffler and repackaged it as SS.
My post did not address your SS issue. DO you have a part number for that? I don't recall seeing an SS option in the online catalog when I went to order in the replacement parts last month, but SS may be a special order that they list somewhere else.

I don't know what you paid for that, but yes, I would be ticked if I went to the expense of putting that in, and having it fail so quickly, lifetime warranty or not. If you are sure it was SS, it would have been interesting to learn which SS they use.
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Old 10-16-2011, 09:05 PM   #6
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Default Re: Disappointed in Walker exhaust parts quality.

I wonder if drilling small drain holes at key points would help the internal rotting issue. The original muffler has a drain hole.

My Walker cat looks poorly aluminized, and the welds look like they will begin to rust immediately, though it does get quite hot, so it may last a while. The original exhaust parts must have very low oxygen content, because even after the aluminum layer wears through, they don't corrode very quickly.

I really liked the construction of the Magnaflow cat I bought 3 times for my Saturn. Something about the metal looked to be of very high quality. Probably not stainless, but it didn't look like it was going to start rusting immediately. Unfortunately none of the Magnaflow cats I bought fit my car due to improper welding.

I know that my friend's '90 Civic goes through a muffler about every 2 years. Not sure what brand it is, but it's through AutoZone. Has a lifetime warranty, so I just tighten the clamps tight enough to hold everything together, and then when it goes, I reuse the pipes on a new muffler. Junk compared to the original. I have considered drilling drain holes at the rust points, as there is no way for the water to escape otherwise. They are low points on the muffler.
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Old 10-16-2011, 09:24 PM   #7
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Default Re: Disappointed in Walker exhaust parts quality.

The OEM was 400 series stainless steel. It will oxidize to a brown color and slowly rot from the inside out. They will last better than 10 years though. If you want it to lat then you want 304 stainless.
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Old 10-16-2011, 09:25 PM   #8
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Default Re: Disappointed in Walker exhaust parts quality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by td1238 View Post
I wonder if drilling small drain holes at key points would help the internal rotting issue. The original muffler has a drain hole.
The internal rot occurred at the end of the intermediate pipe. Drilling holes there would allow noise and fail state inspection. On my current install, I sprayed the inside of the pipe end with High-temp (BBQ) paint. Didn't see where it would hurt....
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Old 10-16-2011, 10:13 PM   #9
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Default Re: Disappointed in Walker exhaust parts quality.

Sort of off-track but, seems kind of appropriate to me?

Funny, my son and I were just discussing this today. I've got a German '84 that (believe it or not) still has the full original exhaust. I wish I had a picture handy as I'd challenge anyone to guess the age. It still looks like it's maybe two years old. They sure don't make 'em like that anymore!
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Old 10-16-2011, 10:27 PM   #10
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Default Re: Disappointed in Walker exhaust parts quality.

Baron -

The model number of the one I have : 21348, ordered from Rock Auto in April 2010.

Here's Walker's press release from 2008, announcing the upgrade of the Quietflow mufflers to 'OE grade stainless steel' :

http://www.walkerexhaust.com/news/2008/110408c.asp

Here's the current website for this product line :

http://www.walkerexhaust.com/products/mufflers_QFSS.asp

I'll try to put up a few pics of this BS soon. It looked worse than I thought when I looked under there more closely on Saturday.

Best,
daVo
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Old 10-16-2011, 10:44 PM   #11
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Default Re: Disappointed in Walker exhaust parts quality.

i used to deliver parts for an auto warehouse to local shops and they went through ALOT of walker exhaust products. they came in bins after bins per wk!!!!!

had a cat back set up with walker muff. the muff rusted to rust heaven in a yr
holes eventually show up.
IF u guys have a resonator on ur car, do urself a favor jack up ur car and take a BFH to whack the pipe while the car is running.
mine had chunks coming out.....

in other words, WALKER IS JUNK ****!
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Old 10-17-2011, 01:39 PM   #12
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Default Re: Disappointed in Walker exhaust parts quality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by droveavolvoonce View Post
The model number of the one I have : 21348, ordered from Rock Auto in April 2010.
OK, that is the one I purchased in April 2008, and just replaced under warranty.

Per Walker, today: "In regards to the 21348 muffler, it is made of T409 stainless steel."

I really can't complain, because I purchased that item for about $20-$25 after rebate, and just replaced it under warranty for the price of return shipping of the failed unit ($10). But I note that, for example, Autozone sells it for about $100.

Quote:
Originally Posted by droveavolvoonce View Post
I'll try to put up a few pics of this BS soon. It looked worse than I thought when I looked under there more closely on Saturday.
Yes, that is the way it usually is with exhaust systems.
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Old 10-17-2011, 02:09 PM   #13
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Default Re: Disappointed in Walker exhaust parts quality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baron5867 View Post
OK, that is the one I purchased in April 2008, and just replaced under warranty.

Per Walker, today: "In regards to the 21348 muffler, it is made of T409 stainless steel."

I really can't complain, because I purchased that item for about $20-$25 after rebate, and just replaced it under warranty for the price of return shipping of the failed unit ($10). But I note that, for example, Autozone sells it for about $100.
As a note to others who may be buying that muffler... I don't have a problem with it and don't consider it "junk", it fits and performs well. It is just that I would disregard the "stainless steel" hype. I got a so-so lifespan out of it, but it does come with a lifetime warranty.
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Old 10-17-2011, 04:16 PM   #14
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Default Re: Disappointed in Walker exhaust parts quality.

The 409 stainless is not a very robust steel. Mufflers that are back by the rear bumper do not last long as mufflers mounted closer to the engine due to the condensation of the corrosive gases.
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Old 10-17-2011, 06:28 PM   #15
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Default Re: Disappointed in Walker exhaust parts quality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
The 409 stainless is not a very robust steel.
I am not sure if the muffler I bought in 2008 was in 409SS at that point, so maybe I'll have better luck with the replacement.

And I am not going to get 304SS for $25.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
Mufflers that are back by the rear bumper do not last long as mufflers mounted closer to the engine due to the condensation of the corrosive gases.
My understanding is that this becomes less of an issue for cars that are driven long enough to warm completely up when they are used.
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Old 10-17-2011, 07:57 PM   #16
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Default Re: Disappointed in Walker exhaust parts quality.

Complete warmup does minimize the problem but it takes a good period of time in the summer and much longer in the winter. This is why you find the CAT and muffler as close to the engine as will fit. Small transverse mounted engine cars pose a problem in this regard.
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Old 10-17-2011, 08:02 PM   #17
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Default Re: Disappointed in Walker exhaust parts quality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
Complete warmup does minimize the problem but it takes a good period of time in the summer and much longer in the winter. This is why you find the CAT and muffler as close to the engine as will fit. Small transverse mounted engine cars pose a problem in this regard.
Makes me wonder why so many are set up with the exhaust manifold in the front. My Omni, VW 1.7 engine, had the exhaust in the rear; super-short manifold, simple flex-gasket on the manifold-downpipe joint to address engine movement, short straight pipe back. Much simpler from a "real estate" perspective; no exhaust pipe running under the oil pan, etc.
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Old 10-17-2011, 08:16 PM   #18
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Default Re: Disappointed in Walker exhaust parts quality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
Makes me wonder why so many are set up with the exhaust manifold in the front. My Omni, VW 1.7 engine, had the exhaust in the rear; super-short manifold, simple flex-gasket on the manifold-downpipe joint to address engine movement, short straight pipe back. Much simpler from a "real estate" perspective; no exhaust pipe running under the oil pan, etc.
air cooled?? lol omni is so long ago. i wasnt even around... but saw a nice 1 last yr neat nifty car
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Old 10-17-2011, 10:39 PM   #19
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Default Re: Disappointed in Walker exhaust parts quality.

The VW Rabbit diesel was the same way, out the back. The head pipe was attached to the exhaust manifold with 2 large evil "C" shaped springs that required a special Teutonic tool to either remove or replace.
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Old 10-17-2011, 11:01 PM   #20
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Quote:
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The VW Rabbit diesel was the same way, out the back. The head pipe was attached to the exhaust manifold with 2 large evil "C" shaped springs that required a special Teutonic tool to either remove or replace.
Hmm, Chrysler musta hacked in their own version; mine just had one of those donut gasket between the two flanges, and the two flange bolts/nuts went through springs between the flanges. I've seen a few Rabbit diesels from back in the day (my father-in-law had one); pretty sure the main block was the same one used in the gassers, including the engines sent here for the early Omnis/Horizons.
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