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Old 10-28-2015, 07:32 PM   #1
satmark
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1999 SL
Default Did I buy the wrong front/flex pipe?

Greetings,

I have a 99 Saturn SL that needs a new front/flex pipe and cat. Through some research on this forum I found that getting the right front pipe for a 99 SL can be challenging due to some design changes that were made throughout that model year. The pipe I ordered came in today and comparing it with the old pipe on the car I'm not sure the flange that attaches to the exhaust header has the right orientation. I'm hoping someone can review the information below and let me know if I'm good to go or if I made an error.

New front pipe p/n: Walker 52165

Per Walker site: Fits VIN WZ216475 and higher (don't know if I trust that based on all the issues other people have had)

My VIN ends with: XZ269746

Looking straight down at my exhaust header (one stud is visible)




And here is looking straight down at the new pipe in more or less the same orientation



I'll be in trouble if I take the old pipe off only to discover the new one doesn't fit right. Thank you for any feedback - I appreciate it.

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Old 10-29-2015, 07:51 AM   #2
trottida
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1999 SL2
2001 SL1
Default Re: Did I buy the wrong front/flex pipe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by satmark View Post
Greetings,

I have a 99 Saturn SL that needs a new front/flex pipe and cat. Through some research on this forum I found that getting the right front pipe for a 99 SL can be challenging due to some design changes that were made throughout that model year. The pipe I ordered came in today and comparing it with the old pipe on the car I'm not sure the flange that attaches to the exhaust header has the right orientation. I'm hoping someone can review the information below and let me know if I'm good to go or if I made an error.

New front pipe p/n: Walker 52165

Per Walker site: Fits VIN WZ216475 and higher (don't know if I trust that based on all the issues other people have had)

My VIN ends with: XZ269746

Looking straight down at my exhaust header (one stud is visible)




And here is looking straight down at the new pipe in more or less the same orientation



I'll be in trouble if I take the old pipe off only to discover the new one doesn't fit right. Thank you for any feedback - I appreciate it.
It looks pretty close but hard to say without seeing it in person. If you do move forward and the orientation is off you can always cut the pipe and weld it back together with the proper orientation. Not ideal but will get you out of a bind and back on the road.

...
Current rides
2001 SL1 MT (410,500 km @ 11/2017)
1999 SL2 MT (251,500 km @ 11/2017)
2011 Suburban LT (101,450 km @ 11/2017)

:canada:

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Old 10-29-2015, 07:22 PM   #3
satmark
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1999 SL
Default Re: Did I buy the wrong front/flex pipe?

I'll give it a try. I couldn't weld myself out of a paper bag however. If it ends up being wrong I think I could put the old pipe and cat back on and drive to a muffler shop to have them make the cut and weld as you said. Thanks for the reply.

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Old 10-30-2015, 07:40 AM   #4
trottida
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Default Re: Did I buy the wrong front/flex pipe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by satmark View Post
I'll give it a try. I couldn't weld myself out of a paper bag however. If it ends up being wrong I think I could put the old pipe and cat back on and drive to a muffler shop to have them make the cut and weld as you said. Thanks for the reply.
Assuming that you have access to another vehicle; you can make the cut yourself, put it in position of alignment, mark it and then bring it to a welder who will use those lines for reference. This will save you from having to re-assemble with the old parts. I'd cut it about 2-3 inches from the flange which will keep the weld up high and out of the elements. Make sure you cut is square or you'll have a problem.

...
Current rides
2001 SL1 MT (410,500 km @ 11/2017)
1999 SL2 MT (251,500 km @ 11/2017)
2011 Suburban LT (101,450 km @ 11/2017)

:canada:

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Old 10-30-2015, 07:37 PM   #5
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Default What's holding this together? Rust?

I'm beginning to work on replacing my front pipe and cat. I was and still am concerned I have a front pipe that won't fit but now have a different more immediate issue. Take a look at the connection between the cat and the pipe that goes to the muffler. It seems to me that the flange on the muffler pipe has completely rotted away.



The same problem is also on the other side.

Does this mean I also need a new pipe to the muffler? Any other alternatives besides getting a new pipe that goes to the muffler?

BTW, thank you to Trottida for the helpful suggestions regarding the front pipe (below). This is the most helpful forum on the internet!

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Old 10-31-2015, 06:23 AM   #6
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Default Re: What's holding this together? Rust?

Quote:
Originally Posted by satmark View Post
I'm beginning to work on replacing my front pipe and cat. I was and still am concerned I have a front pipe that won't fit but now have a different more immediate issue. Take a look at the connection between the cat and the pipe that goes to the muffler. It seems to me that the flange on the muffler pipe has completely rotted away.



The same problem is also on the other side.

Does this mean I also need a new pipe to the muffler? Any other alternatives besides getting a new pipe that goes to the muffler?

BTW, thank you to Trottida for the helpful suggestions regarding the front pipe (below). This is the most helpful forum on the internet!
I had this problem and my exhaust guy cut out the flange and welded a piece in so there is no flange anymore. The rest of the intermediate pipe was solid.

...
Current rides
2001 SL1 MT (410,500 km @ 11/2017)
1999 SL2 MT (251,500 km @ 11/2017)
2011 Suburban LT (101,450 km @ 11/2017)

:canada:

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Old 10-31-2015, 08:01 AM   #7
satmark
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1999 SL
Default Re: Did I buy the wrong front/flex pipe?

Thanks. I'm going to talk with a couple shops in the area and see what they can do. My intermediate pipe is solid as well except for the flange. I found they sell "split flanges" which can be used as a repair in certain cases like this. In the Saturn's situation I think the flanges form part of the mating surface. I don't think a split flange repair would work here as split flanges are only designed to draw two pipes together, not also provide a surface to seal upon.

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Old 11-02-2015, 09:31 PM   #8
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Default Re: Did I buy the wrong front/flex pipe?

i think can also have new flange welded on -- which eases maintenance in future.

Where do you drive that have so little corrosion ?

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