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Unread 02-03-2020, 07:21 PM   #2381
Rich Z
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So my elbow is feeling better, and I figured I would put the C5Z up on the lift so I can check to see if the exhaust pipes are leaking where the headers connect up with the X-pipe. The reason for this is that if I didn't have any leaks at those joints, then I wouldn't have to pull off that X-pipe. The exhaust pipe arrangement is front to back: headers, X-pipe, catalytic converters (straight pipes right now), extension pipes to the cat backs, cat back pipes, rear mounted turbos, then exhaust pipes coming out of the turbos. The extension pipes to the cat back pipes just have to have the bolts removed and then swung out of the way so that I could remove the straight pipes and the extension pipes. Put in the catalytic converters replacing those straight pipes, and button it all back together. Shouldn't take long to do.

So I started up the car and lifted up. Then squirted the joints with soapy water and look for bubbles. Damn. Leaking like crazy. Looks like the tech didn't push the pipes together enough, because there are slots cut into one of each pipe end that slides over the mate in the slip joints. They look like this:



The slots are there so that the clamp can make a better seal with the clamping force applied by the clamp.

So what happens is if the inside pipe isn't shoved in far enough to go beyond the cut slots, exhaust escapes, goes right underneath the clamp holding the joint together, and there you have an exhaust leak. So if one is leaking at a joint, then ALL of them on that joint are leaking. So yeah, I suppose that the exhaust smell I have been smelling while driving the car is coming from those exhaust leaks right underneath the floor boards of the passenger cabin. And for a turbo powered car, so is a lot of the boost being generated just being pissed away through those leaks.

Great.... Probably a good chance the other joints downstream are leaking too, but I didn't bother checking them since I have to take that all apart anyway. I guess the tech just didn't check for exhaust leaks.

Honestly, if something else comes up with this car that I can't fix myself, I will just sell it. As parts, if necessary. NO ONE appears to be worth a crap for fixing these things. At least in my experience.
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Unread 02-25-2020, 03:40 PM   #2382
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Finally decided to tackle putting those catalytic converters in today. Damn I hate those slip joints on the exhaust pipes. I've been fighting with one section for a good hour now. Has to come off, because it's one of the straight pipes where a cat goes. Then the X-pipe comes off and then I can clean up the pipe ends and start putting it all back together again. Then hopefully when I check, I won't have any exhaust leaks.

Had I known the car was going to be in that last shop for so long, and the engine pulled out anyway, I would have gotten a new set of headers all the way back to the catbacks that used a different connection system between the pipe segments. The slip joints have never given me anything but headaches.

Anyway, got Break-Free sprayed on that one pipe connection and just letting it set for a while to hopefully help loosen it up. I hate to have to cut it off, since I never know if I might want to use it again. And I would have to be REAL careful I didn't damage the X-pipe in the process.
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Unread 03-08-2020, 08:26 PM   #2383
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Finally got everything all put together and I hope all of the exhaust leaks plugged. I still had a small one earlier today, but I really cranked down on the clamp and it seemed to fix it. I was surprised to see that neither one of the cat back flanges were leaking at all, so perhaps my straightening out just the engine side flanges was enough to help seal them up properly. Plus I was pretty liberal with the high temperature sealant at every joint. I really don't like having to do something AGAIN.

I don't really notice the smell of the exhaust being any better in the garage, but perhaps at idle the catalytic converters just don't get hot enough to do their job very well. Plus these are "high flow" cats, so I guess they aren't as effective as the factory made units anyway.

Maybe I need to break out the EFILive stuff again and see if I can lean out the cells in the AFR table for the idle range of RPM. Heck, I'm going to have to relearn all that stuff, since it's been too long since I last touched it to remember much about it. The old brain just don't hang onto stuff as well as it used to.

Planning on taking the car out for a test drive over the next day or three to see if any of the exhaust pipes fall off on me. At least the weather appears that it is going to be clear sailing and sunny for the next week and a half. Subject to change without notice, of course.
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Unread 04-10-2020, 09:06 PM   #2384
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Well, I want to tweak the position of one of my tailpipes just a hair, but beyond that it seems to be running really well with the new clutch.

Odor seems to be reduced with the new catalytic converters in place and the exhaust leaks fixed (knock on wood). Didn't notice any change in the sound as best I could tell.

But ain't it the way? Now with this virus stuff, I really don't have anywhere to go with it, and just don't want to drive around needlessly, forcing me to stop in at a gas station any more than absolutely necessary.



I guess if I got really ambitious, I could pull off those damaged decals on the deck lid and front bumper, so some wet sanding to get more of the scratches out of it that came courtesy of South Georgia Corvette, and then put the new decals on. Not sure I can really get THAT ambitious, though.
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Unread 04-15-2020, 11:21 PM   #2385
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Rich, hope your Vette is doing well, was cleaning up my email and saw an email from this forum on there, thought I'd drop in and say hello.
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Unread 04-15-2020, 11:27 PM   #2386
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Rich, hope your Vette is doing well, was cleaning up my email and saw an email from this forum on there, thought I'd drop in and say hello.
Hey! Long time! Hope you are doing well and recovered from your experience with Harwood. I know I have my own scars that will likely never go away.
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Unread 04-27-2020, 01:51 PM   #2387
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Darn! The date today is 4/27. I REALLY should take the C5Z out for a ride today.........
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Unread 04-27-2020, 07:06 PM   #2388
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDubi5dvyG4
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Unread 04-27-2020, 08:21 PM   #2389
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That wouldn't work too well on my road. Just dirt. Of course, I hear a lot of the pickup truck drivers around here out on the road "burning dirt", so I guess they think that really means something concerning how fast their truck is.
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Unread 07-05-2020, 07:54 PM   #2390
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Well, I guess it is a sign.

The lower case "L" on my back window decal for "CorvetteFlorida.com" fell off. I had noticed that when it was in the last shop a couple of the taller letters had gotten damaged both front and back, but not really positive this was the cause of the one of them falling off. If you look in the picture, you can see that the "d" is damaged at the top, too.

Anyway, I decided rather than trying to find some place to redo the decal, I would just go ahead and remove it from the back window completely. It is still on the front, so that will just have to do. Now, all the rest of the letters I scraped off the glass weren't super easy to get off, so there did still seem to be enough adhesion to them to keep them from just peeling off on their own. So it does seem suspicious that just that one letter came off, and none of the others seemed inclined to do that. I have to admit that they were rather brittle, I guess from just age.

So anyway, it is what it is. Just another insult and injury inflicted all along the road by shops who worked on this car. This last time it seems that the detail guy they let loose on my car wasn't up to the job. IMHO.

Oh yeah, the driver's seat got broken too. I can move it back and forth about an inch while sitting in it. It did have a little wiggle to it before it went into this last shop, but I guess the tech being a rather big guy did those bushings in but good.

Damn shame that I can't say there is anyone I can think of that I can trust to work on my car. Even if I could find someone willing to do so, of course. Seems rather easy to just have shops blow you off if your car isn't mostly stock or else solely modified by them. Maybe it is my fault for being too picky and not wanting anyone to break things while they are fixing something else. Pretty damned inconsiderate of me, isn't it?
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