Thursday, February 2, 2012

Exhausting Work

I had high hopes going into the garage last evening that I’d be able to quickly and easily weld up the crack in Lucy’s right exhaust pipe. Sadly, however, even with the MIG’s voltage setting around 1, the metal left was so thin, I burned through it immediately. Back to plan A – installing a GUP. Step one was removing the glasspack from the u-pipe. That went easily using my die grinder with a cutoff wheel. Step two was removing what was left of the old pipe from the inside of the muffler’s input tube. It was delicate work carefully cutting a slot in the pipe without damaging the muffler, but I was successful – TYL. The muffler was designed to accept an exhaust pipe of 1.75 inches in diameter. The failed pipe was smaller than that, so to get a good seal, I had to put some serious torque on the nuts and deform the muffler’s tube with a groove that now prevented the insertion of the replacement pipe. Using my vise, I pressed out the groove as best I could, but that left me with an out-of-round tube. I ended up finding a old piece of cast iron piping that was roughly 1.88 in diameter, grinding a lead chamfer (angle) on one end, and pounding it into the tube to make things round and get rid of the last vestige of groove. I was impressed the inexpensive muffler (Flowtech Raptor) was up to all the pounding. With the tube round and the walls straight, the replacement pipe slid right in. Step 3 was to install the u-pipe/muffler assembly to the exhaust manifold with a new donut (gasket, packing). I rotated the pipe as close as possible to the mirror image of the left side before snugging down the fasteners. Step 4 had me going to the shelf for a hanger GUP and installing it in place of the previous one with the broken rubber portion. Step 5 was re-aligning the u-pipe,muffler, and hanger so the tailpipe was right where I wanted it. After re-tightening the hardware, I slid on the available 1.75 diameter pipe clamp only to find it was too small. By then it was too late to make a run to the the FLAPS, so the conclusion of this project had to wait until this evening.

My plan/hope/necessity is to have Lucy ready for Ariel to take back to school by the end of this evening. In addition to the aforementioned clamp, I still need to install the new speedometer cable, and I’d really like to drill the holes and install the last three interior panels.

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