Exhaust System Welding

Messages
17,236
Location
Upper Midwest
My ECHO has an exhaust leak right where one of the hangers is welded to the pipe. This pipe extends from the manifold to the muffler and has an integrated catalytic converter. The pipe is original and despite the miles is still relatively substantial and I'm not throwing any cat codes or anything. Would it be a good idea to try and get this repaired rather than buying a new converter? The OEM converter/pipe is $1000 and aftermarket ones are less of course. If a repair is a good idea should I look for a general welding shop or an custom exhaust place? I can take the pipe off no problem and just take it in if they want. I've never really gone to an exhaust shop, I have no idea what a good one is here in the Milwaukee area.
 
Messages
12,946
Location
Middlesex County CT
Join the club. I went to a local garage when the flange between the resonator and rear muffler finally gave out (after 3 patch jobs by me). Bad design to [censored] out after 11 years and 343K miles lol. They welded in a replacement pipe. Ask some corner garages. If it is a straight welding job, they may be able to do it. (they have the lift which is important in reducing your aggravation)
 

JC1

Messages
6,047
Location
Oshawa, Ontario Canada
Yes a new piece of pipe welded in will be better. Leave as much of the OEM parts that you can since the cheaper replacements don't last as long. Regards, JC.
 

kschachn

Thread starter
Messages
17,236
Location
Upper Midwest
Yeah, the converter itself seems fine, I've never had a CEL on this engine (except for a dirty MAF) and the shell is sound. So buying a whole new cat and pipe is really overkill for just this leak.
 
Messages
367
Location
Ct., USA
Unless you've been running rich for a long time, cats really do last at least 100k miles, and typically the life of the car. Not so for the welds and brackets and flanges, however. If the cat is fine...get under there when the exhaust is cold and really bang the cat with your hand..it should be silent. if you hear a rattling noise inside (the tell tale sign that the honeycomb is broken), then save yourself the expense of welding and get a new cat. Otherwise, the repair you're making to the bracket is in no way related to the condition of the cat itself. Any good gas station with a welder can do this, btw. For anything more sophisticated, like pipe bending, find a dedicated custom exhaust shop..and not a chain. The difference in quality and knowledge as well as the final result will delight you.
 
Messages
25,814
Location
Upstate NY
I needed a little rust hole welded on my Jeep's exhaust. I took it to a indy shop that specializes in exhausts. He cut out a small section and welded in a new section. He even has a pipe bending machine. I may go back to him for exhaust work where I cannot buy a SS piece as he can do SS pipe or aluminiumized steel pipe.
 
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kschachn

Thread starter
Messages
17,236
Location
Upper Midwest
I've had the pipe off before for other maintenance. I can see down the pipe into the cat and it looks perfectly fine, so I think it is OK.
Originally Posted By: Noey
Unless you've been running rich for a long time, cats really do last at least 100k miles, and typically the life of the car. Not so for the welds and brackets and flanges, however. If the cat is fine...get under there when the exhaust is cold and really bang the cat with your hand..it should be silent. if you hear a rattling noise inside (the tell tale sign that the honeycomb is broken), then save yourself the expense of welding and get a new cat. Otherwise, the repair you're making to the bracket is in no way related to the condition of the cat itself. Any good gas station with a welder can do this, btw. For anything more sophisticated, like pipe bending, find a dedicated custom exhaust shop..and not a chain. The difference in quality and knowledge as well as the final result will delight you.
 
Messages
25,943
Location
MA, Mittelfranken.de
One way i fix these is to take a piece of exhaust pipe the same diameter and cut it into 2 half's, make it longer than needed so you can get to clean metal. Weld the hole up where the bracket is, grind it down smooth then weld half's on over it. Now weld the bracket to the new metal. It distributes the load better than stock and will last for years. I have done this on quite a few Infiniti and Toyota cars.
 
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