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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I'm from NC and I took my 4 cylinder 1994 Camry in for an inspection. The inspector then came out and said that the front exhaust pipe had a hole in it. When I asked for a price for repair, he told the cashier to call Napa for a "front pipe with cat."

From what I understand, he had told the guy to get the price for the front pipe with a catalytic converter though he did not mention anything being wrong with the catalytic converter. They gave me a price of nearly $800 for the part + labor.

I've done a little research online and it looks like this piece probably costs no more than $170. Do you have any recommendations? If I can find the part, I can order/pick it up and have it installed. Or can this hole be patched up?

NC law says I have 60 days to get it repaired.
 

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Camry Expert/MR2 JR Xpert
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If you mean the downpipe that comes right off the cat then yes it can be patched...Its prob better to just bolt up a new one and its not that hard to do...Only thing is you have to weld the new one onto the flex pipe. I would say go to an exhaust shop and have them do it...They will prob give you the best price for the repair.
 

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I wrench, therefore I am!
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Factory system is one piece from engine to beyond converter. As Jtex mentioned, an exhaust shop can replace less than the full assembly, saving the converter cost.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Photos added

I've added photos here: http://s910.photobucket.com/albums/ac309/Hanscraft/

My father told me that the hole is in the front pipe leading into the engine. Is that what is meant by "front exhaust pipe"?

I'm looking at a manual and it says that this piece can be removed by:

REMOVE EXHAUST FRONT PIPE
(a) Remove the 2 bolts and exhaust front pipe clamp.
18. INSTALL ENGINE SUPPORT FIXTURE
19. TIE STEERING GEAR HOUSING TO ENGINE SUP–
PORT FIXTURE BY CODE OR EQUIVALENT
(c) Remove the 2 bolts and exhaust front pipe support.
(d) Remove the 2 bolts and nuts.
(e) Remove the exhaust front pipe.


Either way, it doesn't look like an $800 job.
 

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What Toyota?
2008 Saab 9-3
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It's not an $800 just to "patch" the hole. Stop going to whatever shop you took it too. They're trying to rip you off, IMO. Mom and pop exhaust shops are where it's at! :)

Anyways, track down a shop, and have the hole patched or the section of pipe that's bad removed and new section spliced in. Any chimp with welding and pipe bending skills can do this. Not that everyone has those skills, though. ;)
 

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I wrench, therefore I am!
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I've added photos here: http://s910.photobucket.com/albums/ac309/Hanscraft/

My father told me that the hole is in the front pipe leading into the engine. Is that what is meant by "front exhaust pipe"?

I'm looking at a manual and it says that this piece can be removed by:

REMOVE EXHAUST FRONT PIPE
(a) Remove the 2 bolts and exhaust front pipe clamp.
18. INSTALL ENGINE SUPPORT FIXTURE
19. TIE STEERING GEAR HOUSING TO ENGINE SUP–
PORT FIXTURE BY CODE OR EQUIVALENT
(c) Remove the 2 bolts and exhaust front pipe support.
(d) Remove the 2 bolts and nuts.
(e) Remove the exhaust front pipe.


Either way, it doesn't look like an $800 job.
I can't tell from the pics where you're saying the hole is. I can say that the flex section, the section you show with the outer braid, is the weak link. And replacements of that section are available at Rock Auto , NAPA, and other places that an exhaust shop will know about. Cut out old, weld in new. Not DIY for someone who has to ask.:D

You do want a place that has techs with the skill to weld things back together. Many chain stores can only cut & bolt/unbolt. Look for "custom exhaust" service.

BTW, the excerpt above appears to be taken from the engine removal section. 18 & 19 are unnecessary.

You should need to remove 3 nuts at the front of the pipe, 2 at the support bracket, and 2 bolt/nut combos at the flange at the back. The last two will most likely require cutting the bolts, requiring new hardware.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I called Midas and spoke to them about what the inspector said. He said that because the inspector wanted a "front pipe with cat", it could be in the manifolds instead.

Thanks for the reply!
 

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I called Midas and spoke to them about what the inspector said. He said that because the inspector wanted a "front pipe with cat", it could be in the manifolds instead.

Thanks for the reply!
The above makes no sense. Like saying "Your right tire is flat, so I'm changing the left one."
 

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Discussion Starter #9
My father refused to teach me about car repair since I'm not male and wouldn't let me take body shop in high school because well, he used some choice filthy words about the "reputation" I would gain from being in an all male class. It's crap though since now I'm seriously maimed in not knowing how to take care of my car.

But anyways, I called the inspector back and he said the hole is in the front catalytic converter pipe. Googling isn't providing much new info about it.
 

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I wrench, therefore I am!
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My father refused to teach me about car repair since I'm not male and wouldn't let me take body shop in high school because well, he used some choice filthy words about the "reputation" I would gain from being in an all male class. It's crap though since now I'm seriously maimed in not knowing how to take care of my car.

But anyways, I called the inspector back and he said the hole is in the front catalytic converter pipe. Googling isn't providing much new info about it.
Again: From the factory, it's one pipe Look at this:
http://www.utoyot8.com/FullImage.aspx?ccId=464159359&ppId=8722370&ppInfo=(9309-++++)5SFE..NAP

The part with "17410" shown is the front pipe/converter combo. The line from the part number coincidentally touches the pipe at the flex section, which is most where the hole is.

A shop that does custom work can replace just the flex. Use the yellow pages and find one, usually under "mufflers", that claims to do custom work. Bring it in and ask them what their diagnosis on the noise is. It is noisy, right?
 

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2002 Solara SLE V6
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just take the car to local Exhaust repair Shop or Muffler Shop, tell them to check front section of pipe (flex pipe most probably). once they pinpoint it they will give you a replacement price. Those guys can cut off sections and weld new ones in and they are good at it.
Exhaust manifold is separate (is bolted onto) from the exhaust pipe as far as i know.

Flex pipe replacement is very cheap, part+labor no more than $140 in a reputable shop at most. usually they charge less than that.

I wonder what inspector meant by saying a hole in a front exhaust pipe ...
 

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This isn't accurate.
Some cars have a separate downpipe and catalyst.

If you are this lucky, buy a new pipe and install it.

Replacing the downpipe is as easy as buying a new one ($100-$200), finding a medium-deep 14mm socket, going out to buy a new extension, going back out to buy a swivel, finally removing the three nuts at the manifold, rounding off the two bolts at the cat, going out to buy a grinder/cutting disk/drill, and then swapping in the new pipe.

You should *always* buy new fasteners -- manifold nuts and the bolt or bolt-nut set at the cat. The dealer parts will be copper-coated steel. Stainless steel is an acceptable replacement at the cat, albeit a little more expensive, but you should stick with copper nuts on steel studs.

Toyota recommends always replacing the gaskets. They can reused if in good shape, but you don't want to be caught without new ones if they delaminate during removal. Copper goop isn't going to work here.

If you do have the one piece pipe+cat, take it off to have a new flex pipe ($15-$25) welded into place ($10-$100 for the welding). The clearance at at the top of the flex pipe is pretty tight, and the little gaps in the blind weld can create an annoying whistle.

http://www.utoyot8.com/images/40143731/130869600.png
 

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My flex pipe leaked, and it looks like yours is too from the black soot stains on the braiding.

I went to advance and got a new universal one for $30 and welded it in.

Took 10 minutes.

Where in NC are you located?
 

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My father refused to teach me about car repair since I'm not male and wouldn't let me take body shop in high school because well, he used some choice filthy words about the "reputation" I would gain from being in an all male class. It's crap though since now I'm seriously maimed in not knowing how to take care of my car.

But anyways, I called the inspector back and he said the hole is in the front catalytic converter pipe. Googling isn't providing much new info about it.

your first problem was letting your parents control what you learn.

Knowledge is power why would you let someone limit your power? that doesn't make any sense.

they're probably trying to rip you off because of your gender. 'sorry'

but that's how things work.

Find a b\f who likes to work on stuff and let him teach you.

my gf says she likes to work on things but never wants to or acts smartass when i offer.

you can do yourself a favor by going to

www.howstuffworks.com and typing some stuff in for engines.
 

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I wrench, therefore I am!
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This isn't accurate.
Some cars have a separate downpipe and catalyst.

If you are this lucky, buy a new pipe and install it.

http://www.utoyot8.com/images/40143731/130869600.png
Odds are you won't be lucky, as the separate pipe/converter was last used on cars produced 09/1993. Not sure when Toyota started producing model year 94 Camrys, but I'm guessing they built a lot of them after Sept. 1993. Look at your certification sticker on the driver's door to see date of production. But some owner before you may have already cut and clamped.

In any case, you don't seem like a DIY'r. A competent exhaust shop can fix either version for a reasonable price.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
It turns out it was the flex pipe after all. I went to another place and was charged $155 to have a new one wielded in.

Thanks for the help.
 

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It almost always is the flex pipe.

They are the lowest part of the front. They fail when people park by feel, pulling forward until they are stopped by the curb.
 

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It is unfortunately true that a fair number of shops try to sell women unneeded services. The other half of the story is that most of them try to do the same thing to men. I experienced the pitch last week when I brought my wife's Odyssey to the dealer for a warranty repair. I got three different phone calls trying to get me to agree to work that would have totaled over $2000. Including PM work I had done myself recently. They never asked what had been done, just told me the van neededthe work.

You don't need anyone to teach you how to work on an automobile. Start easy and work up. Many things have actually gotten simpler to do once the proper diagnosis has been made. Routine maintenance is easier without distributor points to change and adjust, or carbs to curse at and never get right. I started 40 years ago by reading the shop manual for my vehicle, going out and staring at it to identify the parts, rereading the manual. Repeat multiple times. So far, the only mechanical work I haven't done is wheel alignments and Auto trans overhauls. Learning by reading and doing.

Example: Your exhaust leak will invariably make noise. To find the location of the noise, you need nothing more than one eye, one ear, a 2-3 ft. length of hose (anything from garden to vacuum to clothes washer water supply hose) and a willingness to get a little grubby crawling underneath. Much of that grubbiness can be avoided by a pair of ramps and a piece of cardboard. The piece of hose will act like a stethescope, and let you pinpoint the hole. One end to your rear, the other to the noise. You will then have information (power, as mentioned above). We've said you s/b able to have it fixed, not replaced. If they tell you you need the whole assembly replaced, asked what prevents them from replacing [just the flex portion or whatever].
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thank you for the advice.

I learned how to change my oil last month. Previously, when I had tried to locate manuals on how to change it on my old car, all the guidebooks assumed you had all this background knowledge that they didn't explain (the oil filter was also located under some other parts that you had to remove first to get to it! Thank God the Camry is easier).

I come from a family of male auto mechanics who are very against women learning their "art." Everyone I know out here doesn't have the foggiest idea how to check their oil, let alone change it, so I'm learning from scratch by myself!
 
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