Xterra @ Brown's camp - broke my exhaust!

AlbatrossCafe Oct 30, 2019

  1. AlbatrossCafe

    AlbatrossCafe Test Drive

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Western WA
    Had a destructive day at Brown's Camp in Tillamook State Forest, OR.

    Did a trail called Firebreak 5 (by myself o_O). Took me about 2.5 hours to go a mile and a half. SUPER Muddy hill climbs where the mud would not clean out without a lot of wheelspin (which I hesitate to do - you know that thing about breaking differentials and CV axles and all). Couldn't get any traction, not to mention that I was digging in and bottoming out everywhere. Ended up winching 4 times to get through.

    At one point, I winched my truck forward but my muffler was caught on a rock and stayed in place. It ended up completely ripping my exhaust tubing off of the passenger side header. I basically had open headers for the entire 3 hour drive back home. It sucked and is gonna suck even more to replace lol




    Here are a few pics of the trail:

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    So much of this kind of nonsense happening. Completely blocked by axle. I really want to move up my shock mounts.

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  2. AlbatrossCafe

    AlbatrossCafe Test Drive

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Western WA
    And here is the damage. My passenger side downpipe? (I think that correct) sheared of off of the flange connecting it to the rest of the exhaust. So all of my exhaust is exiting right below the passenger floor. It is obnoxious and smelly.

    My question - what do ya'll think I need to fix here? Should I have an exhaust shop remove the flange and just weld in a section of pipe, or maybe they can just re-weld the to the flange? Do I need to replace the passenger-side header? Does the heat shield come off or does it need to be cut for access?

    It really just looks like this one section was broken, but everything else looks fine.

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    Last edited: Oct 30, 2019
  3. General_Tarfun

    General_Tarfun First Fill-Up (of many)

    Messages:
    240
    First off that trail looks awesome! I think you're on the right track with your idea of having them re-weld the pipe/flange connection. Assuming they don't find any other damage that wouldn't be too horrible of a job.

    It's hard to tell from the pic but is that the connection from the main cat to the secondaries going left to right?
     
  4. Smileyshaun

    Smileyshaun Test Drive

    Messages:
    37
    Good old Tillamook forest clay nearly impossible to get out of the tread . That trail gets to be more and more of a beast as winter rolls on Especially when it starts getting snow .
     
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  5. KC!

    KC! Bought an X

    Messages:
    122
    that’s what it looks like to me too, especially since the O2 sensor is right after the flange.
     
  6. AlbatrossCafe

    AlbatrossCafe Test Drive

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Western WA
    I think you got it correct. The front of the truck is to the --> right in that picture.

    It is located here in the truck:

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  7. General_Tarfun

    General_Tarfun First Fill-Up (of many)

    Messages:
    240
    Yeah in that case they could pull off the secondary really quick and re-weld the flange if they have a decent welder onsite.
     
  8. AlbatrossCafe

    AlbatrossCafe Test Drive

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Western WA
    Broken on the engine-side of the flange right inside the heat shield:

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    Shop gave me $1650 quote. Basically it is impossible to weld while in the truck. 13 hours of labor. 12.5 is removal/installation, and 0.5 is the actual weld job. $30 for gasket. Ugh. Really did not want to take on this work myself but probably gonna have to for $1650
     
  9. General_Tarfun

    General_Tarfun First Fill-Up (of many)

    Messages:
    240
    I still can't tell exactly what they're welding for some reason.

    Is it the manifold to primary cat? At that price you could probably replace both with OE parts I'd think.
     
  10. Smileyshaun

    Smileyshaun Test Drive

    Messages:
    37
    13 hours of labor for a exhaust manifold ???
     
  11. 545

    545 Test Drive

    Messages:
    2
    They don't want to do it

    Op, just do it yourself and replace the manifold. Don't fix it

    It's not gonna be fun, but with the lack of rust yours shouldn't be hard.
     
  12. General_Tarfun

    General_Tarfun First Fill-Up (of many)

    Messages:
    240
    ^This. They know it's absurdly expensive.
     
  13. jsexton

    jsexton First Fill-Up (of many) Supporting Member

    Messages:
    360
    Location:
    Lewis Center, OH
    Put short tube headers on.

    That flange is very common to go bad on its own. One more shiatty part from nissan.
     
  14. BCXterra

    BCXterra Bought an X

    Messages:
    57
    Can you remove the flange and sleeve a section of exhaust pipe inside? Moving the rearwards exhaust backwards/temporary removal of a section, insert sleeve, reinstall exhaust, seal outside.
     
  15. AlbatrossCafe

    AlbatrossCafe Test Drive

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Western WA
    They said the Nissan service manual said 3 hours labor for driver side and 13 hours for passenger side, which is contradictory to what everyone says on here - that the driver side has much more crap in the way lol. Who knows

    I was planning on pulling the broken side, having someone weld it up (they said they would do it for $60, or my friend will do free) and put it back in with a new gasket. I don't really wanna drop $200 plus on new headers or bother with the driver side if I don't have to...

    Aren't short-tube headers basically the stock header? Or do they replace the cat that is there and eliminate the flange? Sorry, exhaust is probably the one area of this truck I know the least.

    That is an interesting idea... how would you seal it though? Still can't get a welder on the inside half of the tube.
     
  16. jsexton

    jsexton First Fill-Up (of many) Supporting Member

    Messages:
    360
    Location:
    Lewis Center, OH
    yea, they replace the stock manifold. The flange broke off the header, not off the catalytic converter section right?

    Short tubes would be cheaper than an OEM replacement manifold and should have a better quality weld at the flange.

    if you can get the nuts to break loose holding the manifold on, I’d replace them myself. Just be careful, you don’t want to break those studs. Heat shield is held on by 2 (iirc) small bolts. If they aren’t rusty, you should be able to just unbolt and pull it off. On mine I had to tear them off.
     
  17. BCXterra

    BCXterra Bought an X

    Messages:
    57
    Maybe a high heat JB weld added to the joint?
     
  18. Smileyshaun

    Smileyshaun Test Drive

    Messages:
    37
    Soak all the bolts for a couple days before hand with pb blaster , really helps a lot
     
  19. AlbatrossCafe

    AlbatrossCafe Test Drive

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Western WA
    Alright... finally you can all understand what I am talking about. I got the heat shield off after soaking in WD40 for a bit. All 3 bolts came out with no problem. It's too bad i didn't have the patience to keep it in one piece... still spent a bit with tin snips to squeeze it out of there.

    It's an interesting break, but TBH it seems pretty easy to fix. I think I'm taking the easy route for now. Since my heat shield bolts came off so easily, I'm betting the header itself will have no issues. I'll get that thing welded, shove it back in, wrap some of the "sensitive" parts with some aluminum tape and call it good.

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  20. General_Tarfun

    General_Tarfun First Fill-Up (of many)

    Messages:
    240
    Now I get it! Haha, I'm amazed you got the heat shield bolts out, all of mine sheared off on the drivers side when I removed it. That said I think you're right about the manifold, it should come right out hopefully without too much fuss and then the welder should have no issue sealing it back up. I'll be interested to know how long it takes you vs the shop quote.
     
  21. AlbatrossCafe

    AlbatrossCafe Test Drive

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Western WA
    Got it all off. Breaking those header bolts sucked. I pinched my finger when a bolt suddenly broke free. Now it is swollen and purple/blue. Hope it is not broken... Luckily this awesome socket kit I semi-recently bought had everything I needed which included two 1/2" extensions and a u-joint extension.

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    Now to take to shop to weld. Was concerned because the pipe break was so clean that it would be hard to figure out how to line up the flange, but there is one small spot that makes it obvious. Should be a very quick fix!

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    Not looking forward to squeezing it back in there given how much it was a PITA to snake it out. It felt like I was doing one of those chain puzzles

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  22. General_Tarfun

    General_Tarfun First Fill-Up (of many)

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    240
    Ouch man, that made me cringe just thinking about it. Glad to hear you got it out though, make sure they do a good weld on it so you don't have to go through this again lol.
     
  23. jsexton

    jsexton First Fill-Up (of many) Supporting Member

    Messages:
    360
    Location:
    Lewis Center, OH
    Yep, that’s exactly what I expected. Very common failure, even without the exhaust being hung up. Hopefully the other side doesn’t break too.
     
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  24. AlbatrossCafe

    AlbatrossCafe Test Drive

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Western WA
    Welded. Probably spent 5 minutes welding and charged me $50. Definitely no holes though. lol

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  25. AlbatrossCafe

    AlbatrossCafe Test Drive

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Western WA
    Final update - got the piece installed. Just as quiet as before. It smoked a little bit at first which scared me, but then realized it was just burning off all the WD40 I sprayed. I cleared the SES light and it hasn't come back on since. Success!

    Only concern I have: without the heat shield, the fender feels warm now after the truck has been running - and not just after sitting in traffic, but after highway driving too. I hope this doesn't translate to faster wearing bushings/brake lines/ABS components.

    It took me 2.5 hours to take it out (like 1 hour of that was cutting the heat shield) and about 1.5 hours to put it in. So 4 hours total and it cost me about $110 for tin snips, gasket, and welding labor. Definitely worth saving $1500.

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    Last edited: Nov 16, 2019 at 8:55 PM
  26. General_Tarfun

    General_Tarfun First Fill-Up (of many)

    Messages:
    240
    I'm definitely not an expert but that weld looks pretty good, aside from any rocks bashing into it you're probably good to go now.

    I've never looked into it but I wonder if anyone sells a heat shield material that we could use to replace ours when we destroy them. I've always heard the drivers side was a piece of cake but I did it with the truck on a lift and completely destroyed the thing getting it out.
     
  27. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

    Messages:
    37,314
    Location:
    Denver-ish
    Wow. That looked like an east coast trail. And the damage and fix was a solid read. Glad you got it sorted.
     

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