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Old 07-30-2019, 12:07 PM   #1
David R
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2009 Astra XE
1997 SW2
Default Another Flexpipe

Thought I'd try here as nothing has come up in Astra General.

Flexpipe on my car decided to crack. This must be like the fourth flexpipe on this car, so I'm running into a problem in front of the flexpipe. With each cutout and weld the forward section has gotten shorter. Its now well up the bend toward the flange that is on the output end of the Cat.

I've searched all over for a replacement flange and pipe section. All I can find are performance exhaust systems from Europe. I can get close on some stubby sections for like a Chevy Cobalt, but I can't tell if the dimensions of the flange or pipe might match or not.

I searched these forums, lots of flexpipe options, with or without bushings, but no flange.

I've ordered a replacement gasket for the flange. I'm hoping that if have that in hand and go to my local parts stores some kind of a mash-up can be rigged.

I did find a website in Canada that has the flange, flex pipe, and second cat as one piece. Their lowest price isn't bad. I'm suspicious as it doesn't say anything about stainless steel and they're claiming 50% off. They're math is wrong and depending on how I search I get different prices for the same SKU number.

Any body else have any some ideas?

...
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2009 Astra XE 5sp 200K km
2000 Honda Civic SI 5sp 172K km, AKA EX Coupe - Gone
1997 SW2 DOHC Auto 330K km - Stored for winter, used in summer

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Old 07-30-2019, 06:41 PM   #2
eric08
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Default Re: Another Flexpipe

I got what was probably a very similar flex and secondary cat pipe section from AllStar Exhaust out of Canada. It was around $100. The fit and design was quite good, and no I don't think stainless is involved. Can't speak to longevity as it has not seen its first full winter yet. I am picturing what you want and I agree a shop with a tubing bender should be able to fab it up.

*edit* Also your idea of going to the parts store with the gasket is a good one. If they can match up the pattern with a flange you'd be golden as they may even have some pre-bent short stock that will fit.

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Old 07-31-2019, 10:54 AM   #3
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Default Re: Another Flexpipe

I've removed the secondary cat and the flex pipe moved closer to it's location when I had the exhaust built. Been 4 years now and still holding strong

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Old 07-31-2019, 11:21 PM   #4
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Default Re: Another Flexpipe

Quote:
Originally Posted by David R View Post
Thought I'd try here as nothing has come up in Astra General.

Flexpipe on my car decided to crack. This must be like the fourth flexpipe on this car, so I'm running into a problem in front of the flexpipe. With each cutout and weld the forward section has gotten shorter. Its now well up the bend toward the flange that is on the output end of the Cat.

I've searched all over for a replacement flange and pipe section. All I can find are performance exhaust systems from Europe. I can get close on some stubby sections for like a Chevy Cobalt, but I can't tell if the dimensions of the flange or pipe might match or not.

I searched these forums, lots of flexpipe options, with or without bushings, but no flange.

I've ordered a replacement gasket for the flange. I'm hoping that if have that in hand and go to my local parts stores some kind of a mash-up can be rigged.

I did find a website in Canada that has the flange, flex pipe, and second cat as one piece. Their lowest price isn't bad. I'm suspicious as it doesn't say anything about stainless steel and they're claiming 50% off. They're math is wrong and depending on how I search I get different prices for the same SKU number.

Any body else have any some ideas?

I've had the combined exhaust header and catalyst unit off of my car when an upstream O2 sensor replacement went south. The O2 sensor was seized and stripped the sensor bunghole (Hee hee, hee hee, he said Bunghole, hee hee).

On the way to fixing it, I had the opportunity to inspect the flex-pipe and fittings you mentioned. Those on my California car sure looked a lot different then pictures of the same from the East, the Midwest, and the wet parts of Europe. There is some light surface rust on some places under the hood, but nothing flaking or prominent. My suggestion would be to go to http://www.car-part.com/ and find a desert or West Coast Astra without front end damage and ask them to send you whatever length you want from the flange on back. Good call getting another metal gasket. You could ask them to send with or without the flex-pipe. The shorter, the less shipping, but you might get one with a good flex-pipe section.

When I ask for current pictures to be texted to me of items for sale, they are usually flexible. Wish you luck.

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Old 08-02-2019, 11:30 AM   #5
David R
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Default Re: Another Flexpipe

So... I'm still working on this. Its looking like the easiest or simplest way to do this will be to replace the whole section, flange to first muffler/resonator. I went under the car again and looked at the condition of things again. Probably not worth all the trouble of trying to save it, every weld, older section and newer section is rusting away. Winter at my new home is a lot more corrosive than where I used to live. Adding to the problem, the next cut is only about an inch from the downstream O2 sensor. Kind of a real hack and slash mess under there. Though not as bad as some of those DIY flex-pipe repairs on Youtube.

Funny thing, while checking the condition of the flange, pipes and so on. I'm pretty sure the flex-pipe isn't the one that I gave the shop that did the work. The one I bought had ends. This one doesn't. Maybe I'm already on the second flex-pipe as current owner. I know I had a lot of work done trying to kill the highway engine drone. Huh...

eric08, thanks for the tip. I'm waiting to hear back on what their shipping rates and method is. Current price is $140 cdn. The other supplier ($199 currently at mufflerexpress.ca) includes shipping over $100. They also throw in a gasket, clamp, and new nuts and bolts for the flange, ha! If I select the next level up, $217 they say the pipes are 409 stainless.

nicolas_p, Unfortunately there aren't any custom exhaust shops in this area, or exhaust shops even. I did find a UK source (aluminized steel) that in theory, after exchange, shipping, duty should cost less $100 cdn. This option comes without that Cat. I probably wouldn't see the part until the beginning of September. I find it curious how the UK and EU versions of the Astra don't have the Secondary Cat. Technically in Ontario its an emissions equipment violation even though the Cat isn't monitored. Still pondering that option.

JFS, I must have been doing something wrong on their website. I got one exhaust pipe in Canada and one in the USA. Good tip on the site. I'll bookmark that in case I need something a little less consumable.

...
~I'm not an authority on anything~

2009 Astra XE 5sp 200K km
2000 Honda Civic SI 5sp 172K km, AKA EX Coupe - Gone
1997 SW2 DOHC Auto 330K km - Stored for winter, used in summer

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Old 08-02-2019, 11:51 AM   #6
David R
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Default Re: Another Flexpipe

Going to add a little more detail, or confusion. These pics are from the respective websites, which may or may not be showing the real thing.

The first image is from Mufflerexpress, the second from Allstarmufflers.

The first looks like it may have a catalytic converter. The second...

Looks like a glass-pack resonator. What my car has doesn't look like either of these, nor is it factory either. Another piece patched in.
Attached Images
File Type: jpeg 20190621_095421_clipped_rev_1_1024x1024.jpeg (20.1 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg A0008.jpg (43.3 KB, 7 views)

...
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Old 08-02-2019, 02:54 PM   #7
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Default Re: Another Flexpipe

Not knowledgeable about Astras but some things remain the same and exhaust systems are one of them. The only major changes occurring to exhaust systems is the use of stainless grade piping since catalytic converters create moisture. Moisture, when heated becomes acidic with sulphur dioxide to become sulfuric acid. Guess what hot diluted sulphur acid does to plain exhaust pipes? Factory exhaust systems, if I'm not mistaken, have adopted low grade stainless for exhaust systems knowing original emissions warranties were as high as 8 yrs or 80k miles at one time. With that kind of warranty against emissions and exhaust systems, plain or galvanized exhaust systems will not survive. Unpolished stainless is the way for virtually every exhaust system since 1996(?). I didn't believe it but learned from my '03 L300 that most of the exhaust system is stainless, not the the shiny polished stainless but after 10+years of NYC salted winters, most of it survived. The two flex pipes cracked because the metal is corrugated steel. The stainless braid held up but both needed to be replaced. The muffler too, as it isn't stainless. When I replaced the muffler, I was surprised at the wall thickness of piping as I used a sawzall when it dawned on me that unpolished stainless piping is used. The clamps are plain and rusted. Unpolished stainless pipes are the hallmarks of most exhaust systems.

If you intend to hold onto your Astra, go stainless and you'll never regret it. All other exhaust pipe systems will rot away sooner than later. And according to rockauto, the exhaust manifold has the catcon between the four pipes and flange. I'm guessing you either have a single catcon or two. The two images seems to show resonators, not a secondary catcon because catcons must be close to the engine for hot exhaust heat to create the higher temperatures needed for catcon reaction to gases.

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Old 08-02-2019, 07:43 PM   #8
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Default Re: Another Flexpipe

Quote:
Originally Posted by David R View Post
nicolas_p, Unfortunately there aren't any custom exhaust shops in this area, or exhaust shops even. I did find a UK source (aluminized steel) that in theory, after exchange, shipping, duty should cost less $100 cdn. This option comes without that Cat. I probably wouldn't see the part until the beginning of September. I find it curious how the UK and EU versions of the Astra don't have the Secondary Cat. Technically in Ontario its an emissions equipment violation even though the Cat isn't monitored. Still pondering that option.
I've gone through e-test and got a safety with the CAT removed, not even a hair was raised about it missing. Most people probably won't even know there was two on the car. MTO and police would only look to see the primary Cat and be satisfied.

My whole system is also stainless as other people have mentioned, lasts a lot longer with a little surface rust showing.

...
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Old 08-06-2019, 03:21 PM   #9
David R
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Default Re: Another Flexpipe

At the beginning of the weekend I went through the trouble of wrapping the cracked portion with fibre glass matting, light gauge sheet metal and then a stainless steel band clamp (more sheet metal and multiple strap clamps).

Big mistake, it actually made everything louder. I guess it went from being a crack leaking pressure waves to a large speaker radiating sound in all directions.

That's gone.

Still waiting to hear back on some details before ordering.

...
~I'm not an authority on anything~

2009 Astra XE 5sp 200K km
2000 Honda Civic SI 5sp 172K km, AKA EX Coupe - Gone
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Old 08-20-2019, 12:54 AM   #10
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Default Re: Another Flexpipe

Quote:
Originally Posted by David R View Post
At the beginning of the weekend I went through the trouble of wrapping the cracked portion with fibre glass matting, light gauge sheet metal and then a stainless steel band clamp (more sheet metal and multiple strap clamps).

Big mistake, it actually made everything louder. I guess it went from being a crack leaking pressure waves to a large speaker radiating sound in all directions.

That's gone.

Still waiting to hear back on some details before ordering.
Go with the one on eBay from the Canadian supplier. I installed the first replacement section with the flex pipe and second catalytic converter back in April. No, it is not stainless steel, but it is fairly thick walled and I sprayed it with some high heat ceramic coating spray paint. I know only time and a couple of brutal WI winters will tell if my spray bomb did any good. As for cost, this guy on eBay periodically has sales, and the price may fluctuate all over the place. It just comes down to him having the lowest price when you need his part. Right now he is at 136 USD, I bought mine in April for 83 USD. Trump Tariffs??? Oh yeah, the aftermarket piece fits really well too, a little long, so just cut it a little shorter when it goes into the second piece. Note: the factory pipe clamp is spot welded to the pipe at the top. Do not ask me how I found this out.

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