Exhaust repair
  • lucas February 2017
    I thought I would share a possible money saving experience. The front section (with catalytic converter) and the middle section (front muffler) are bolted together by two bolts, which pass through flanges welded onto the pipe ends that meet each other. The flange on my front pipe was corroded and disintegrated, leaving the rear end of the front pipe hanging down and v. noisy. Local exhaust place said they would have to replace the front section, and quoted a price of £276 for the part alone! Note cheaper parts are available online. As money is in short supply, I decided I had nothing to lose by trying my own repair. I bought four U-bolts (2 x 38mm and 2 x 48mm - the two pipes have different diameters) for clamping exhaust pipes and four perforated steel strips with pre-drilled holes at regular intervals, from a local nuts & bolts store. Total cost £10 pounds and 66 pence. I also had some leftover Gunn Gum from Halfords. No ramp or pit available, so jacked car up and rested on blocks of wood. Rested myself on sponge exercise mat to protect old bones from cold snow-dusted tarmac! Used jack to raise hanging rear end of front pipe so the two ends to be joined were aligned. Applied Gunn gum around joint. Put two u-bolts onto each pipe section, one with threaded shafts pointing down and one pointing up. Checked perforated steel strips had holes in appropriate places, then tightened U-bolts onto pipes with first 8 nuts. Then put three of the perforated steel strips in place to connect across the gap between the two pipe sections, and tightened with a further 6 nuts. Why only three strips? Well there was a hiccup: In the case of the U-bolts with shafts pointing upwards, there was no room to get my spanner (13mm) to reach between the pipe and car, so I had to swivel the U-bolts round a bit to get spanner access for the third strip. There was then no way to fit the fourth strip on. Left overnight for the Gunn gum to dry, and went out for a drive today: yippee - all okay! Okay - it's not the neatest repair in the world, but at least our little Matiz knows we care :-)
  • gray February 2017
    <like> :)
  • lucas July 2017
    My valiant repair job gave up in the end, and a more permanent fix was needed. I thought I would repeat these tips in this post in case anyone is tempted to try an exhaust repair:

    The exhaust system has four main components on these cars (see diagram in section 1G of the brilliant service manual available on this site). If you decide to change your exhaust, here is a tip as I have just replaced mine. Go to eurocarparts (online) to get a special code to save money. I just bought the two middle sections (front exhaust pipe with catalytic converter and front muffler pipe - these are the names used in the service manual). All together with new rubber bushes and O-rings I paid less than £80. You can then take the parts to your friendly local garage to have them fitted, or do it yourself using the manual. You might be able to re-use the old bolts and nuts, but new ones might also be required. It took me about six hours fiddling about to fit it, but £80 is much much cheaper than the £260 I was quoted to replace front exhaust pipe alone! You can re-use the Heated Oxygen Sensor (HO2S) from the front pipe. Mine was a bit hard to unscrew, but I found it could be removed cutting off (angle grinder) the section (about 8") of the old pipe (after removal) into which it is screwed, then holding that section in a vice and using a plumber's adjustable pipe wrench to apply gradually increasing pressure. Those sensors are apparently expensive, so worth an extra half hour of fiddling about. Connecting the front end of the front exhaust pipe (with triangular flange) to the pup-up catalytic converter was a bit tricky - you will need a 17 mm socket on a longish rod and access from underneath. I found the new triangular gasket did not fit, but was able to re-use the old one okay. Spray some WD40 everywhere before unscrewing. Anyway, just follow the instructions in the manual - it's like lego but not as clean :-)

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