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Old 10-11-2021, 05:33 PM   #1
JFS
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2008 Astra XR
Default Availability of an Exhaust Manifold

I have had both a friend and two trusted garages tell me I need to replace my exhaust manifold.

I'm blasting O2 sensor codes (both) and others. Spark plugs and coil device are new. I've had a "smoke pressure test" done to confirm there are no exhaust leaks and also made sure the gas cap seals properly.

I don't want to drive the car too long like this. I have no appreciable loss in power and the car sounds great, but my mileage is down from 29-31 mpg to 19-21 mpg at 70-75 mph. I am very aware of unburnt fuel smell at the tailpipe. This situation is two months old.

I'm in a real bind regarding part selection and when/where to replace. I'm bailing on the mess that is now California (PM me if you want the real dirt on what is happening here. It is X3 worse than in the news) and leaving for Tennessee the end of February. If I could get a 49 state part, I would, but RockAuto and others will not ship to me. OEM 49 state parts are not available and there is a back order until next year to obtain any.

I've had the manifold off twice to service the car while I've owned it (no I've never dropped or mishandled it), so I'm not daunted by putting on a 49 state part myself if I can get my hands on one. It is a career ending act if a shop does it. I'm going to visit TN in January to find a rental home the first year, so I don't know if I will have a garage to work in. So I want to conclude things while here, hopefully in the next three weeks. I'm taking a couple different approaches:

1.) It is illegal to sell this part used in CA. I may visit or call a couple parts depots that have a cat on a car with 80K or less without front end damage and see if they will lend it to me for $2-300......Lend, not buy.

2.) Our buddy ProOpel found a part source below at EBay.de. It looks a couple grades better than the 49 state parts available right now almost anywhere. MagnaFlow has an 49er offering for $810 many places, but with shipping first to a relative out of state and then to me, this is a $1K proposition. The German part looks like a deal at $600 or so including shipping.

I'm open to any recommendations and ask if you've installed a MagnaFlow unit to your car, please let me know if you've hung on to your OEM piece.

Any suggestions welcomed.

ProOpel's part:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/23215348692...cc36%7Ciid%3A1
...
Z18XER powered Astra: 138 horsepower, but you'd swear it had 140!
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Old 10-11-2021, 07:14 PM   #2
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2008 Astra XR
Default Re: Availability of an Exhaust Manifold

I installed an AP unit on mine last year, PN#641449. It cost $408 from RockAuto.

Fit perfectly, no issues a year and some 5K miles later. The job was actually easier than I had envisioned, because working with exhaust components can typically provide its share of headaches, but minimal hassle.
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Old 10-11-2021, 09:03 PM   #3
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Default Re: Availability of an Exhaust Manifold

The "news" is just selling an agenda. . .

My only thought is car-part.com or a junkyard. I don't think they will lend you the part lol.

I wonder if the computer is modified for the Cali cat?
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Old 12-19-2021, 01:15 AM   #4
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Default From Sensors to Modules

To recap, I have had both O2 sensors nearly simultaneously, twice in eight weeks.

The following has been performed or seen to:

Exhaust manifold removed. Catalytic converter is intact, normal surface appearance, and nothing loose. Car has normal acceleration and power, but MPG is down 20%. Fuel pressure normal filler cap sealed. There is a light fuel smell at exhaust. Pressure check of exhaust with smoke, all good. MAF sensor cleaned and checked-all good.

So I am up against why the dual code failures, multiple times. I'm getting suggestions of engine/fuel system module testing, as well as possible Engine Power or Body ECU for module testing. This is the investigation path they want to go down and I'm wondering if others have ever replaced these components. Are these married to the car by tech gear and need to be coded/matched when installed? Are these parts shared with Chevy ?

My regular garage is next to an auto electric specialty shop and they work together, ie the specialty shop would do workbench testing. There are guys from Russia, Belarus and the Ukraine who were surprised to see an Astra H.

All thoughts sought.
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Old 12-19-2021, 02:12 PM   #5
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Default Re: Availability of an Exhaust Manifold

The fuel smell in exhaust and mileage are good clues. . .

Do you know the codes?

Can you monitor the O2 sensors and fuel trims live?

Did you look for vacuum leaks in the engine bay? A smoke test can help there too. The PCV flapper tends to fail; that is part of the valve cover (the valve cover gasket fails too).

For ease and cheapness, you might try cleaning the MAF sensor, throttlebody (particluarly at the edge of the butterfly and where that interfaces). And replace the air filter.

There are several posts here requiring new gas caps and gas filler pipes; there might have been a service campaign for the latter. Sometimes the gas cap seems to seal but doesn't; only use OEM replacement. The garage could test that system too.

The purge solenoid valve fails from time to time but I wouldn't replace unless that code pops up.

The UEC tends to get water damage that can be cleaned. It is easy enough to clean and free so maybe not a bad first step. I have no clue if that will help.

https://www.vauxhallownersnetwork.co...fira-b.371985/

ECU change requires programming. In Europe they seem to rarely fail but do on occasion; I don't know the popular symptoms. You can see the Pine Hollow Diagnostics videos on youtube for ideas as that might require a bit of software downloading vs. normal GM cars.

That is stupid California does not permit install of used OEM exhaust components on an economy car. Meanwhile, everyone drives SUVs and Pickups getting 4mpg with lower emissions standards. And all those filthy VW diesels that provide zero emissions control. And live in McMansions 300 miles away from the nearest store. . .
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Old 12-22-2021, 01:40 AM   #6
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Default Re: Availability of an Exhaust Manifold

Well, I had my car put through an additional three hours of diagnosis. Between my primary shop and the auto-electrical specialty place next door, the determination is that there is a catalyst fault for sure and I will need to replace the exhaust manifold and catalyst. They determined the catalyst was not getting up to a proper operating temperature and that everything electrical (sensors and modules) are fine. They showed me a video of their infrared detection after driving 25 miles at 80 mph and I have to agree. I have been a loyal customer to both shops and referred friends and they were kind enough not to charge for the time.

I will have one of Mr. Penske's finest 26' trucks rented to me from 2/19-3/1/2022 to do a move to Tennessee. I'm towing the car on a trailer, not a dolly, and once I have moved in, shall order a 46 state catalyst. New York, Maine, and Colorado are totally or partially gripped in California's CARB requirements as well.

Interstate 40 or 10? Decisions, decisions.

They are pricey, but I might be most interested in replacing with the Magnaflow product. I understand they have a veteran's discount if you call and ask. They offer a $75 dollar core type trade (they pay shipping) so that could sweeten the deal. I'm curious if anyone knows the street value (or legal value) for a used catalyst like this. It seems they sure are popular things to acquire in some parts of town.

I need to order some new gaskets and fasteners while I still can.
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Old 12-23-2021, 05:41 PM   #7
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Default Re: Availability of an Exhaust Manifold

Quote:
Originally Posted by JFS View Post
Well, I had my car put through an additional three hours of diagnosis. Between my primary shop and the auto-electrical specialty place next door, the determination is that there is a catalyst fault for sure and I will need to replace the exhaust manifold and catalyst. They determined the catalyst was not getting up to a proper operating temperature and that everything electrical (sensors and modules) are fine. They showed me a video of their infrared detection after driving 25 miles at 80 mph and I have to agree. I have been a loyal customer to both shops and referred friends and they were kind enough not to charge for the time.

I will have one of Mr. Penske's finest 26' trucks rented to me from 2/19-3/1/2022 to do a move to Tennessee. I'm towing the car on a trailer, not a dolly, and once I have moved in, shall order a 46 state catalyst. New York, Maine, and Colorado are totally or partially gripped in California's CARB requirements as well.

Interstate 40 or 10? Decisions, decisions.

They are pricey, but I might be most interested in replacing with the Magnaflow product. I understand they have a veteran's discount if you call and ask. They offer a $75 dollar core type trade (they pay shipping) so that could sweeten the deal. I'm curious if anyone knows the street value (or legal value) for a used catalyst like this. It seems they sure are popular things to acquire in some parts of town.

I need to order some new gaskets and fasteners while I still can.
I sent you a message the other day. You can get a far cheaper cat on ebay (around $75-140). The german one I got has worked pretty well, but it's only good if you plan to do some performance upgrades to the Astra.

I think you'll like TN compared to Cali . No more silly restrictions.
...
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Old 12-25-2021, 08:54 PM   #8
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Default Re: Availability of an Exhaust Manifold

And on the bright side, you can repurpose the old one.
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