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Old 03-02-2021, 09:17 PM   #1
Agrionemys
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Default Exhaust Leak - Crack at flange

Hi! I am somewhat new here, I come here often to read the creative fixes you all come up with and learn from the ones who know, and I finally decided to join.

I know this comes up a lot but every situation is unique, and I have a good idea of what I need to do but I wanted to float it to some experienced people.

I have a 1999 Saturn SC2. It's in fairly good condition and even has most of the original parts still, recently I discovered that whatever jackass mechanic worked on the exhaust never replaced the busted exhaust hangers with.... well anything. As such, after some time this crack opened up and is barely hanging on, and unfortunately its right up against the flange between the converter and resonator pipes. I plan on doing some grinding to see what I have to work with as it's not SO bad it couldn't be welded, depending on corrosion.

I could get a couple new 3-bolt flanges and a gasket and just cut the section out, and all the post-work like welding, I could purchase an entire new section but converters are pricey.

My question(s) really is/are, could I just get rid of the flange parts entirely and use a flex pipe? Would a solid flanged adapter be better? What's my best and most simple option?

At the same time if anyone has any insight on why on start the car idles a smidge over 1k then slowly drops to where it should be once it's warm, but then continues to very slowly lower RPM (during idle, driving it has no issues) until finally it begins to sputter and eventually stall? My thinking is something with the problem I had with the secondary air injection line that broke, maybe I repaired it less than well, or it could be that the exhaust is leaking so close to the O2 sensor that it's causing a fuel mixture issue.

Thanks for reading all of this, I very much appreciate this community and am myself very enthusiastic about Saturns!!
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Old 03-02-2021, 09:37 PM   #2
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Default Re: Exhaust Leak - Crack at flange

The flange going to crap is common... They tend to rust away to nothing here in the rust belt.

My preferred fix is making a new set out of 1/8th flat stock and MIG welding them on. A bit of time involved but the results are worth the effort...
...
Currently owned
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96 SC2
97 SL2
98 SL2
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01 SC2 5 sp
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02 SL2 5 sp
parts
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2 96 SC2
98 SC2 - rusty frame minus engine.
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Old 03-02-2021, 11:15 PM   #3
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Default Re: Exhaust Leak - Crack at flange

Yeah I figured that would be a quick fix, it would be even simpler to just put a flex in there but I wouldn't know if that is the best option, I'm not entirely sure why there's even a flange there in the first place versus something less specific
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Old 03-03-2021, 01:11 AM   #4
onlinebiker
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Default Re: Exhaust Leak - Crack at flange

It simplifies installing the exhaust. It also makes it possible to disassemble and re-use the assembly from exhaust manifold to the resonator... Like for dropping the drivetrain.
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Currently owned
93 SC2
96 SC2
97 SL2
98 SL2
99 SC2
01 SC2 auto
01 SC2 5 sp
02 SC2
02 SL2 auto
02 SL2 5 sp
parts
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2 96 SC2
98 SC2 - rusty frame minus engine.
98 SL2
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Old 03-03-2021, 02:37 AM   #5
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Default Re: Exhaust Leak - Crack at flange

Alright makes sense, so no half assing it then. I'll probably need to replace the resonator section soon enough, so that would for sure be better to have the flange on it than having to cut it all up.

I'm just going to get a code reading to see what comes up on that long idle stall out, I'll come back and resolve the thread when I figure everything out!

Thanks for your help!
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Old 03-03-2021, 03:05 AM   #6
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Default Re: Exhaust Leak - Crack at flange

Mine hasn't had the after cat flange for 10+ years now. It's just been a solid pipe that is welded onto the cat end and clamped onto the resonator. A short flex pipe may be slightly better, but having at least one end clamped seems to allow enough movement. Hasn't been a problem for 20K miles now anyway.
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Old 03-03-2021, 01:11 PM   #7
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Default Re: Exhaust Leak - Crack at flange

Since nobody has address the stalling I'll take a stab at it.

Since you didn't say what has been done I'll presume nothing has been done:

Check for codes
ETCS
Thermostat
Spark plugs
spark plug wires
test the coils
clean the throttle body
clean the AIC valve

This should get you a long way to figuring it out

Highmile
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Old 03-03-2021, 07:21 PM   #8
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Default Re: Exhaust Leak - Crack at flange

Awesome, thanks for the info guys!

As far as the stalling, I'm suspecting the leak is causing a faulty reading in the sensor, probably reading lean but checking the things suggested would tell me real quick. I'll get on that asap.

Here's another question from a problem I discovered today....

I started the car up to let it idle a while, after about an hour (someone who was storing it for me let it sit an embarrassingly long time) what happened was the dash/acc power cut out, no dials, no stereo, nothing, and the RPM was down to best guess, 800 or so. I put my foot on the brake and power briefly flashed, then died again, I tried seeing if I put it in gear whether it would pull out of it, but it stalled (giving any gas did absolutely nothing for movement). So I parked it and the power came back on.

Now... my first thought was that the alternator is on it's way out, but if it weren't doing exactly what it's supposed to, the car never would have been able to idle for an hour, right? So is it possible that this stalling issue, causing a degrade in funtion to an eventual stall would cause an issue in the RPM of the alternator leading to this power failure?

Last edited by Agrionemys; 03-03-2021 at 07:35 PM.
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