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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've noticed a metallic rattling coming from the rear passenger side of my car at low loaded RPM (i.e., pulling away from a stop in 1st, or stop-and-go traffic). On inspection, I saw that the exhaust was off-center enough that the tips were actually touching the diffuser on the passenger side. The diffuser had enough wear at that point that the edge had started to mushroom out, and the point of contact on the exhaust tips was scratched. I took the diffuser off and drove around a bit, and the noise seemed to be gone.

I've been searching on the proper way to fix this, and what I've found seems pretty simple:
1. Remove the exhaust clamp.
2. Move exhaust into proper place.
3. Replace clamp.
Any or all of these steps may require elbow grease, PB Blaster, and/or swearing.

The exhaust in question is a CLF-marked Stage 2. Diffuser is stock (painted/powdercoated black, I'm not sure which), with the enlarged exit.
Does this sound anywhere near correct? Since this is the same exhaust, do I need a new clamp, or can I just reuse the old one?
Also, there seems to be some sort of drip marks around the clamp. Is this normal (i.e., from condensation or leak testing), or something I should worry about?
Thanks for your help!
-lint.

Exhaust/diffuser alignment:



Exhaust clamp:

 

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German Reimport
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Waydui did a great DYI of an exhaust install with pictures:

http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f154/stage-2-install-how-w-pics-35006/

You might have to loosen the exhaust hanger bolts in order to get it to slide over.

If I were you I would try to retighten the existing clamp first and see if that solves your issue and stays tight. Because installing a new clamp means that you have to separate the slip joint (the one which the clamp is holding together) and that can be a pain in the rear...

The leakage marks at the joint are normal. They are just from condensation.
But while you are in there I recommend to check the welds at the cat "U" pipe (inside the heat shield shown in your second picture). It is not uncommon for them to crack, which can also lead to a desaster ("thermal event").

I just installed this new exhaust clamp:
Edelstahl Auspuff Schelle 66,5 Klemmbereich Ø 65 - 68mm | eBay

Made from 3mm stainless steel band. Really high quality!
Very sturdy and pretty to look at :cool:
Not sure how much international shipping would cost though....
 

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Sounds like a good fact finding, diagnosis and treatment plan. Very good prognosis (I'm at work obviously)

PB Blaster and swearing a certainty. Some sweat and blood quite likely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the quick replies! Sounds like I'm on the right track.

I've read Waydui's howto several times, and that was one of the things that convinced me that this was something I could handle. It's a great writeup--very detailed and easy to understand. I'll also be sure to look at the U-pipe welds; I've read the horror stories of the welds on the CLF and check them out every time I unbutton the bottom of the car. I definitely do not want to experience a 'thermal event'!

Got bandaids and beer on standby. Currently waiting on the intersection of variables 'Free Time' and 'Car Proximity'...
 

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Don't take off the clamp. Just loosen it up. If the pipe rotates forward and aft on the hangar, pull it in the direction you want to place it while rotating. If that doesn't work your going to have to loosen the hangar clamps, and that is severe azz pain! A little anti seize on the clamp threads will help you later in life too!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Okay, I've got the clamp loosened (not removed!), and the hanger bolts on the passenger (right) side loosened, since they were easy to get to. The hanger bolts on the driver side are kind of tucked up behind the heat shield, and it looks like it'll take removing the rear panel to get to those, so I'm hoping I can get this thing to scoot over without taking that off.
How much force should I be using to get the exhaust to move, and where is a safe place to exert said force? I'm trying to hold off resorting to swearing and beer, here...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Got the rubber mallet. I've been hitting the end of the hanger, but haven't had much success. Is there a better place I should be smacking it around?
 

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As someone who's changed my exhaust three different times, I thought I'd weigh in with a little tip ... get some PB blaster or other penetrating lubricant and spray a little on each side of the rubber where the hanger goes through. That should help it slide ... but I think you'll need to loosen the drivers side anyways, as it's almost impossible to move without doing that first. As to how much force to use ... one word, ALOT! There's nothing really to break so don't worry about using too much force. The easiest way is to just grasp the exhaust can and rotate it back and forth while shoving it the direction you want it to go. The rubber mallet won't be enough unless you've really loosened the hanger bolts. As for the clamp ... if it's the same one and you haven't loosened and re-tightened it more than 2-3 times then you will be fine. I found after the 4-5th time it doesn't clamp tight enough anymore. Hope that helps!

Cheers,
Zoomby_U
 
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