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Exhaust is LOUD!

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I was getting a rattling sound from my cars rear exhaust. The rattle would happen only over bumps, when I slammed my rear door shut, or manually took the exhaust pipe and shook it side to side. It appeared to be hitting a thin piece of tin that look wrapped around the top of it (heat shield??) I had it sent into a shop to have the rattle fixed. They charged $16, and sure enough, the rattle was gone. But, a new problem arose right after leaving the mechanics shop...The car went from sounding like the traditional Subaru engine - sounding like an agwagon, to sounding like a sports car. The exhaust is now loud, sputters a little when I take my foot off the accelerator, and has an annoying vibration.


Anyone have an idea what the shop did to fix such a rattle and how it can cause what sounds like a bad exhaust? (I know, I know...its tough to speculate using online forums for this issue...)


I love the new sound, sounds like a sports car. But, I know it isn't right. Let me know if you have any information on this. My car has over 200000 miles, and I want to keep it runnin'.

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I've been self-repairing the exhaust systems on a 1993 & 1994 AWD 2.2 legacy wagons for 4 years now (can't afford to replace the exhaust systems both of which are pretty well shot.

I've discovered through having to remove the heat shields that there are mounts for the shields on the exhaust pipe itself that are welded on....


These welds rust-out and you have a hole, especially if you're pulling on the exhaust shields, which I had to do to get them off, and the probably had to do also.


If this shield they took off was before the resonator (about the position of the driver's door handle) or farther foreward, then you're talking NASCAR sounds... even if it's after the resonator you'll get the same result... which is what happened to me, and it sound exactly like the change in the exhaust system sound you're having in your car.


If you've got a cheap repair shop that can and will weld, I'm almost certain they'll either find a crack or more likely a hole where one of those heat shield weld points is/was. btw the weld may still be there, but pulling on it causes a crack at the weld point, which will still cause the sound you describe.

They may never have noticed it when they "burned off" the heat shield, if it was at the top of the pipe... thought the welds I've repaired are mostly at the very bottom of the pipe. Finding it will be easy. Have them put the car back up on the lift.


In my case I jacked the car up and slid underneath, put on safety gloves, turned on the car and listened, then grabbed the pipe in the area of the sound (oh you'll hear it) and found the hole.


Repair? Welding a section of pipe is the best repair, but I've plugged my hole with something called Quik Steel, which is a high temp. epoxy repair putty (500 degrees), made by "God" (joke...) for the broke musician who can't afford $65 an hour plus pipe plus welding yadah yadah.

If you clean the hole properly down to metal and apply it properly, it will plug that and pretty much any hole anywhere on metal, and can take any temp the exhaust system can generate as long as it's about one foot past the catalytic converter. I've repaired rotted-out gas filler pipes with it, filled holes in both mufflers, and sealed joints where I installed flex pipe to repair cracked exhaust pipe sections. Walmart or a hardware store for about $4.00


But if you can afford it and can find a shop that will do a simple weld repair, that's the way to go imho.

good luck

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My shop Cutt out the bad part and welded a new piece of pipe.. as long as both cats are there. he put a smaller pip and just put it in the cat a bit then weld and then to the other part and Now its good as new.


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Well, I brought it back, and sure enough there was a hole. A big *ss hole. The tube that runs the length of the car was disconnected from the tube that runs into the muffler. So, I had no muffler.


The mechanic said that the area where the two mated together with two bolts had rotted away. Isn't it convenient that the area "Rotted away" right after they did the repairs?? Interesting.


He said they didn't do any work with the rear part of the exhaust system, and showed me a clamp near the catalytic converter he put on. Is he BSing me? Is a clamp how they fix this stuff in a shop??


OK, my Sub credentials. I've owned only Sub's for 24 years.

I've been down this exact road with every single one, from my first GL Wagon to my 6th legacy wagon (7 including the outback).


So, yes imho, he's an A**, but he was (in some small way) "right" about what he called the rotting thing.


The way Subaru exhausts are made, each section ends in a welded-on "flange" that is bolted with a nifty set of springs to the next section with the exact same flange and springs. This works great, allowing the sections to flex as the car hits bumps etc. It allows the Sub exhaust system to outlast many others.


HOWEVER, when the spring flange arrangements rust frozen or crack at the weld points, THEN we get into the downside of that design.

The only way out is to cut out and replace the bad sections, which usually means the entire system, since one rusted section is usually bolted to another rusted section.

In our world, however, generally it's best to remove the flex joints and do some welding of new pipe sections to keep the repair simple.. and cheap!!!


What happened, I'm fairly certain, is that all the pulling yanking, and vibrating to get the heat shield off was not done ahem... "surgically", and the very next flange joint which was (I can practically guarantee you) rusted nearly solid, finally cracked.


So in some ways, he "caused" that, but almost anyone attempting that type of repair might have done the same. The fact is that once you start working on an old Sub exhaust system that hasn't had work done on it in a long time, this is exactly the kind of "cascade of failure" that happens. My super-honest Sub guy has been through this with me a dozen times. I'm NOT defending the "clamp repair guy" btw.

Missing the muffler connection is well, basic repair malfeasance.


Depending on the laws in your state, technically the resonator (also called the second cat by some) isn't necessary. That's the thing in the picture that was posted. I've cut mine out. It's really for additional sound muffling, and it has another two flex joints to rust and crack. It's not really part of the catalytic converter system, so if it's also got cracks, you can just remove it and replace it with pipe. I've done this and there's minimal change in sound... certainly nothing that would make a big difference in a 200,000 Sub. It's your choice to keep it, but it may mean more welding... more money.


For your $16 you got the clamp job of an exhaust section, which... usually lasts one to 2 years, and you got what you paid for, parts and time-wise, assuming quality clamps and good new pipe. I've been doing it that way on my own for 7 years, so I know.


The real solution though is to find someone who will weld new sections of pipe... for the age of the car and the time left that you'll be driving it, YOU DON'T REALLY NEED ALL THOSE THE FLEX JOINTS at this point... especially if they are now cracking. One repair/replace on the whole length of the exhaust pipe system dealing with whatever is rusted, cracking or ready to crack, will take your car to it's natural end of life, and you won't have to revisit this over and over and over, which you will, unless you live in a "no winter" area, and drive on roads that have no potholes ever.


The problem is always finding someone who will do the welding.

Any "standard muffler place" ALWAYS tells you the entire system is rotted (rusted really) and must be replaced.


However, a decent welder can clean the good sections, and weld on sections to replace the bad ones. It's basically the same thing as doing copper plumbing.


They could take two exhaust system pipes and mate then with a "collar" if you will, that fits over each then weld them. There are various ways to do the repairs depending on exactly what sections of pipe are good and what sections aren't. That will depend on the mechanic doing the work looking at the car. In my case, when I have the money, I'm getting this done & having a cheap stock muffler welded in, since Sub mufflers are beyond ridiculous in price, and again, in your situation you just don't need or want to spend that.


But I'd find another guy. This one doesn't sound like he know how to do a simple exhaust pipe weld, and missing the muffler connection is just plain stupid.


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i have had similar problems, however we have an exhaust and racing specialty shop close to my city. for about 75 bucks theyll replace entire sections of exhaust, with the option to go larger....and have it done within an hour. always cheap, yet classy work on their part. i suggest you look for one. the one i visited is part of a franchise called 5 star. cant vouch for all of en, but i think theyre quality control is standard among them
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