Friday, September 19, 2014

Exhaust Leak Fixed

Driving recently I have caught a whiff of exhaust smells in the car. I wasn't sure if I was making it up as I mostly have the windows down. But once the windows were up, it was more noticeable. With the potential to be slowly gassed in the car, I thought it might be something that I would have a look at quite sharpish.

Having a look under the bonnet with the engine running, I investigated where the exhaust pipe attaches to the manifold. Straight away I could hear a blowing noise and putting my hand near confirmed the leak as I could feel the gas escaping.



I'm not sure how long it has been leaking and can only really think of two reasons for the problem. One is that when I refitted the exhaust way back in this post, I didn't do it properly, which is a bit worrying as it was ages ago. The other possibility is the speed bump I hit about a month ago as the exhaust took the hit. Either way, it needs fixing.


First job is to undo the nuts that hold the carb in place and move it to the right to give some much needed working space. I left all the pipes and cables attached. Then using two 13mm spanners, undid the nuts on the exhaust clamp to remove it. Once it was off, I could see that there was no sealant left on the join.



Fixing this problem is fairly straight forward. Using some 'Firegum', I worked my way around the gap between the exhaust pipe and the manifold filling it bit by bit. Blue gloves are a must here as the 'Firegum' is mega sticky and makes a mess.




With the gap filled, I went under the car and slackened off the lower clamp so I could wedge the exhaust pipe tight up against the manifold with a few pieces of wood.



The extra push from the wood closed the gap and the 'Firegum' was pushed out a little.



Now the fiddly bit, getting the clamp back in place. It's quite difficult given the tight working area and the fact that the clamp does not have captive bolts really makes this a three handed job. But with a little persistence, I was able to hold the clamp together with one hand and get the nuts on with the other. Once the nuts were in place and done up by hand, it was equally as tricky getting a spanner on one end while tightening the other. Captive bolts would be so helpful here and if I had a MIG welder I would have made them captive, but I don't so had to resort to good old spannering.



In order to cure the 'Firegum' I needed to get the engine up to temperature, so I refitted the carb and left the engine to idle for about 5 to 10 minutes. While it cures it smokes a little which is worrying at first, but perfectly normal. Once the smoking has stopped, I checked the joint with my hand taking great care not to burn myself on the manifold. Revving the engine, I couldn't see, feel or hear any gas escaping, so assumed we were good.

Let's hope that it's solved the problem as I'm a bit paranoid now of getting gassed. I will check it again tomorrow and probably for a few days after that just to make sure it has worked.




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