Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A No-Longer-Stray Cat

Work continues on the exhaust system. Said system is comprised of several parts, which we might as well all be clear on so that I’m not just talking jibberish. The first place that exhaust gases go is into the exhaust manifold. This is a bunch of small pipes, attached to the engine, which converge into one larger pipe.

Attached to that is the front exhaust pipe, which in the Eagle’s case comes down from the manifold and makes a left turn to head underneath the transmission. It then makes a right turn and starts to go toward the back of the car.

Attached to that, originally, was the catalytic converter, which changes the chemical composition of the exhaust to make it less toxic. From there we go to the intermediate pipe, which continues the path of the gas toward the back of the car, and curves toward the driver’s side.

On the end of that is the muffler, without which the exhaust would be deafeningly loud, so… yay for the muffler. We’re most of the way to the back of the car now. On the end of the muffler is the tailpipe, which completes the journey and dumps the exhaust behind the car.

Specific information not available for this part.
A diagram for your education and edification.

The Eagle also has another part to its exhaust system that you never see any more, and which is not shown in the diagram. At two points – one in the front pipe and one in the catalytic converter – a metal tube delivers fresh air into the system. Why, you may ask? This apparently was an old-timey, no-workey attempt at smog reduction which has since been phased out in favor of far more effective methods.

It worked a little bit, I guess, and it’s all we’ve got to work with, so I need to keep it in place. That’s all well and good except that the air hose going to the front pipe was cut and pinched off by the same previous owner who ditched the catalytic converter for an extra-long intermediate pipe, to keep the overall length the same.

So, the good news:
  • the front pipe, which I thought at first I’d have to replace, is in good enough shape to stay after all. The part of the air tube that’s no longer there can be replaced with rubber hose once I cut off the pinched part of it, so no big deal. 
  • Once said hose is in place, I can do something I’ve been waiting a long time to do. Remember the transmission? Oh yeah, THAT thing. I’ll be able to bolt it back in place and work on getting it functional again.
The transmission hides behind the car, stalking its prey, waiting for the right moment to strike.
  • A new catalytic converter (often called a “cat” for short) came the other day, and it’s ready to be fitted, and even came with a short length of high-temp hose to attach to the air tube.

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