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Old 10-10-2010, 09:29 PM   #1
donaldo1954
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1996 SL2
Default Flex pipe from downpipe to Catylitic

Attached is a picture of the front of the flex on a 1996 SL2 with around 125K miles. It looks like it's around another pipe inside. As you can see it's pretty much broken loose all around the front. Is this an issue I need to be concerned about?
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Last edited by donaldo1954; 10-10-2010 at 09:33 PM. Reason: Added year and model
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Old 10-10-2010, 09:48 PM   #2
fmctaurus
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1997 SL1
Default Re: Flex pipe from downpipe to Catylitic

My 97 SL1 with 164,600 miles has the same issue. I too am wondering about this.
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Old 10-10-2010, 10:20 PM   #3
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1996 SW2
Default Re: Flex pipe from downpipe to Catylitic

If it's not leaking, technically it's alright, for now. But it looks like it's not long before it rusts through and starts to leak. Tell-tale sign (aside from the leak itself) would be a P0420 code.

See that hanger with the bolt/nut just ahead of the flexpipe? Start nailing that, and the flange bolts at the catalytic and the manifold/downpipe with PB-B'Laster now. Repeat every now and then, until the time the flexpipe rusts through. That'll make removal of the assembly easier. You can replace just the flexpipe, weld it to the dowpipe and cat, but at this age, the cat is likely close to the end of its life, and replacement of the whole downpipe-flexpipe-cat assembly, as a bolt-on, would be most expedient.
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Old 10-10-2010, 10:29 PM   #4
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1997 SL2
Default Re: Flex pipe from downpipe to Catylitic

Yeah, it's toast but.. Should you be concerned? Maybe not.. While the car is idling have a friend hold a rag over the exhaust pipe. Hover your hand around the joint and see if feel leaks. If so, the inner flex is cracked and it's just a matter of time till it falls apart.

Most here would recommend a whole new Walker direct fit downpipe/flex/cat. I opted for the local mexi-muffler shop just replacing the flex for $80 and it's fine for now. (didn't want to deal with the severely rusted cat bolts)
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Old 10-10-2010, 11:28 PM   #5
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1996 SW2
Default Re: Flex pipe from downpipe to Catylitic

Quote:
Originally Posted by off-track View Post
I opted for the local mexi-muffler shop ....
Seriously? You went to that place at Park & Fish Hatch? And didn't roll out with a fart cannon and a set of 22's, and the car 3" lower?
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Old 10-11-2010, 10:08 PM   #6
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Default Re: Flex pipe from downpipe to Catylitic

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Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
Seriously? You went to that place at Park & Fish Hatch? And didn't roll out with a fart cannon and a set of 22's, and the car 3" lower?
Ok, you caught me! I don't have a torch myself so that wasn't an option. I really didn't want to do that but Car-X/Midas/Whatever quoted $300 for the exact same thing! Two years ago it was $120 for my son's flex + a few hangers. At that point in the rebuild I just wanted to cut my losses to a minimum.

When the cheap'o muffler fell off a few week later they replaced that as well for $50. Despite the displays, no fart can on this Sat! Did see one on a SL1 today.. I just shook my head.
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1997 - SL2, barebones, 161k, Auto - Rebuild complete and.. burnt a valve 20k later Arrgh!
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Old 10-11-2010, 10:41 PM   #7
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Default Re: Flex pipe from downpipe to Catylitic

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no fart can on this Sat! Did see one on a SL1 today.. I just shook my head.
Was it a 96 salmon colored car?if so i know that car.Yea i know kinda sad.
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Old 10-12-2010, 12:50 AM   #8
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Default Re: Flex pipe from downpipe to Catylitic

you need a Walker 44539 @ 109.79 rockauto.

or an AP 38579
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Old 10-12-2010, 09:54 AM   #9
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Default Re: Flex pipe from downpipe to Catylitic

^^^ For that price I would opt for some aftermarket headers. Broken parts are always a good reason to go with performance replacements.
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Old 10-12-2010, 09:43 PM   #10
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Default Re: Flex pipe from downpipe to Catylitic

Not sure who you were going with there ODG but.. to me Saturn <> performance by any standard. From my point of view, it's all about economy.
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1997 - SL2, barebones, 161k, Auto - Rebuild complete and.. burnt a valve 20k later Arrgh!
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Old 10-13-2010, 10:06 AM   #11
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Default Re: Flex pipe from downpipe to Catylitic

that SS braid is just a protective cover which also helps it if it gets hyper extended, like bent too far., underneath is a spiral wound flexible SS pipe. so if it s not leaking, then dont worry.
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Old 10-14-2010, 10:42 PM   #12
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Default Re: Flex pipe from downpipe to Catylitic

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdowney717 View Post
that SS braid is just a protective cover which also helps it if it gets hyper extended, like bent too far., underneath is a spiral wound flexible SS pipe. so if it s not leaking, then dont worry.
exactly!
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Old 10-16-2010, 09:49 PM   #13
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Default Re: Flex pipe from downpipe to Catylitic

Don, I have a 1995 SL1 witn 140,000 miles on it now. Last week I took it in for NYS emissions inspection and was told it failed because of a leaky flex pipe. was told that the shop would repair it for $360.00, which I declined. The next morning I went to local auto parts store and bought two muffler patch kits 2" wide by 3' for $10.00 and rapped both joints at each end and clamped a 2.5" stainless hose clamp over it on each end. Brought it back to shop and had a redo on emissions inspection and the car passed.
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Old 10-16-2010, 10:25 PM   #14
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Default Re: Flex pipe from downpipe to Catylitic

Quote:
Originally Posted by ncpdsp10 View Post
I have a 1995 SL1 witn 140,000 miles on it now. Last week I took it in for NYS emissions inspection and was told it failed because of a leaky flex pipe.
My story almost exactly ('95 SW2 - same mileage). Except I replaced the flex (MAJOR PITA). Should have just gotten a Walker 52166 . . .

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