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Old 07-27-2007, 01:35 PM   #1
JohnHupp
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Question Front exhaust pipe cracked at pipe-to-engine stiffener clamp

This is on a 95 SL2 with about 170,000 Indiana miles. The front exhaust pipe is cracked on either side of the pipe-to-engine stiffener clamp (a strap clamp) which is an couple inches in front of the flex pipe. I understand this is a common problem.

The service manual has a procedure for cutting the pipe an inch in front of the isolator bracket in front of the cat (it's either the original cat or part of a front half or whole system replacement), unbolting from the exhaust manifold, removing the stiffener bracket/clamp, sliding a replacement pipe-with-flex into the cat input, rebolting to manifold with new gasket, and U-clamping in front of the cat. (I'm sure I'd have to replace the rusty stiffener clamp also.) I can get a Walker 52166 pipe + gasket + clamps for $60-70 online, but if I went this route I'd be interested in what you all have to say about getting the pipe off the manifold. Does PB Blaster make getting those nuts off a pretty certain proposition? (I'm down to one car next week, so middle-of-the-job parts runs are out.)

A muffler shop wanted to cut the pipe in front of the stiffener clamp and behind the flex pipe and weld in a new flex pipe (presumably with whatever lengths of additional pipe are needed). They would leave out the stiffener clamp (and I suppose remove the bracket on the engine it attaches to, to prevent banging). Cost: $90-100 with guaranteed results.

Or the shop would slap a weld on the cracks for $30 without removing the stiffener clamp to add a sleeve/collar, but they had no confidence that this would hold up for long.

What would you guys do?

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Old 07-27-2007, 03:27 PM   #2
SaturnTech
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Default Re: Front exhaust pipe cracked at pipe-to-engine stiffener clamp

You'll have no trouble with the manidolf to pipe nuts. I had them off of my '92 last week when I replaced the tranny. I have a 13mm Snap-On swivel head socket that I bought specifically to use on the exhaust. Works every time, even here in Syracuse where they can never lay too much salt on the roads.

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Old 07-28-2007, 11:18 AM   #3
eljefino
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Default Re: Front exhaust pipe cracked at pipe-to-engine stiffener clamp

I'd go to the muffler shop for this one, if things got hairy they've got welding.

Had a car once with an aftermarket one piece cat installed, and they left a piece of the stiffener in place, just hose clamped to the pipe. I feel you should have some solid connection there to reduce the potential for odd noises.... either bangings or harmonics that weren't there previously.

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