My favorite author is Terry Pratchett. One of his Discworld characters is Lord Rust who can be described as a an aristocrat who believes laws do not apply to him (and his patriotism is so great that he is convinced the state should be subject to his rule).
In the latest book, the son of Lord Rust had to leave the country due to some unfortunate ‘misunderstandings’. I believe he has now resurfaced… inside my exhaust system.
Lately my wife’s classic 1997 9000 CSE 2.3T (50th Anniversary model) has emitted a beefier and somewhat puffier engine sound than normal. I suspected a small leakage in the exhaust system and booked an appointment with my local dealer, Gustaf E Bil.
Their mechanic, Filip, hooked up the exhaust ventilation and we started surveying the damage. There was a small leakage in the flex pipe behind the catalyst, but our eyes opened wide as we looked at the rear muffler. The pipe was sundered by rust. Lord Rust had proven himself a worthy adversary last winter.
My heart sank as I observed the damage. A year ago I had allowed my 9000 to rest for three months, and that probably did not help matters. The exhaust system passed the annual inspection in March, but the decay must have already set in. In my defense, we found evidence that the pipe had been repaired once before. I guess it was only a matter of time before the other end would succumb as well.
In addition to the detached pipe, several of the joints did not seem to be healthy. I know from bike frames that it is the joints that needs to be reinforced. The frame can have very thin walls in the middle of its tubes, but needs a nice and thick weld at the ends where most of the stress builds up. I later examined the old exhaust system, but my admittedly untrained eye found no evidence of butting technology. Have they missed a trick..?
A few days later I returned, and Filip started replacing everything behind the catalyst.
After first squirting some oil onto the first joint, he successfully extracted the two bolts that connected the catalyst to the rest of the exhaust system. Unhooking the pipe from the rubber harnesses was easy work and he soon had the whole thing removed and set to work preparing the new parts for assembly.
I noticed a stark contrast between new and old parts. For one thing, the new pipes were intact and shiny. This winter we will come prepared!
I also suspect the turbo is happier now. I have had problems in the past where the engine cuts off under certain loads and completely stops acceleration. Though I have not noticed such issues lately, the car certainly felt a bit lighter on the drive home. It happily spun its wheels leaving a roundabout and nearly overturned an Audi at some point.