Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Change of Change of Plans

When I couldn’t figure how to remove the Eagle’s exhaust pipe, I decided to take a different approach, and just leave it there and try to work around it. Then I looked up a couple of exhaust system diagrams on the internet which educated and emboldened me, and led me to two conclusions:

- I’ll most likely be replacing the whole exhaust system downstream from the manifold. The owner who pulled the catalytic converter (or someone) apparently did some other modifications involving bad welding and other unfortunate things. His report that a new converter could be dropped right in was a tad misleading, as far as I can tell.
- Therefore, the pipe that crosses under the transmission will be coming out before the trans does.

Accordingly, I set to work last Friday undoing the bolts that hold that pipe in. I only got about halfway through the process, thanks to the predictably copious amounts of rust that are present everywhere on the exhaust system. As you know, water acts as something of a catalyst for the oxidation of iron, and hot water vapor is a major component of car exhaust. Add 29 years of exhaust to steel pipes and you get stuff like this:

Much WD-40 and even more elbow grease took the better part of an hour to undo half a dozen bolts.
The rustier ones positively screamed as they were coming off, and one took so much effort that I pulled a muscle in my arm. Overall, the affair was rather, uh, a-hem… *exhausting*. But the story is not over. With some luck, the next post will show the exhaust pipe out and the transfer case ready for removal to begin.

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