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Old 20-07-2017   #1
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replacement of front exhaust catalytic converter

Hello All,

I want to try and change the front exhaust part of my Marea 1.6 SX saloon by myself. I'm a newbie so any help would be appreciated.

I've found the relevant pages from Haynes guide (attached). Is there anything else I need to be aware of (e.g. any special tool needed)?

Many thanks.

PS: After that I'll be looking to try and replace the drop links, track rod ends, and outer CV joints, but I'll post a separate request for help when I get to that point...
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Old 20-07-2017   #2
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Re: replacement of front exhaust catalytic converter

exhaust bolts are a pain, they have a tendency to rust more than any others, squirt with WD40 for a few days in a row before trying to undo them. Foresee them shearing off (or being rounded off) and having to be replace them.
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Old 24-07-2017   #3
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Re: replacement of front exhaust catalytic converter

Hi. Give all the joint bolts/nuts a good soak in light oil/penetratimg oil
For several days ..the heat cycling will actually help.

Another tip..once you start the job. Give it more lube..and then slacken..if you feel the tesistance building..add more lube..and wind the nut.bolt back in..with more lube.

You can end.up chasing the thread like a tap or die...

But all of this is easier than snapping off an important part...that you'll need to replace to complete the cat. Swap

Tip:
Get the front of the car HIGH -SAFELY AND SECURELY..
for decent access to the joints..and make sure you have lumps of wood etc around to support exhaust parts as you will be wrestling bits around..

Charlie
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Last edited by varesecrazy; 24-07-2017 at 06:54.
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Old 14-08-2017   #4
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Re: replacement of front exhaust catalytic converter

Now I understand what you guys were on about, talking of "chasing" threads, and "tap and die" stuff!

This is ridiculous. I have now managed to undo all the bolts, apart from the very last set of bolts between me and victory, namely the 5 threaded studs that join the front exhaust/catalytic converter to the manifold. I had not realised from the comments above that that is precisely the most difficult bit of the whole procedure!

So after having looked at those studs for quite some time and tried to gently have them spin, I eventually gave up and did some research online on how to extract them.

I found what are called "roll-type stud extractors" (e.g.


). They arrived today, but they are slightly too big to fit in the sunk space where the studs are, and so are unusable.

I could try buying another type of screw extractor which I just found here: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3-8-DRIVE-...-/232298761736

Before I buy it, has anybody had any experience with it?

Another alternative I have read about is to screw their bolts back on, just about, and then weld them onto the studs by filling the hole of the nuts. With the latter thus welded to the studs, you can then unscrew the whole thing together.

Now, I happen to have a very cheap 40W soldering iron (never used) with some soldering powder included. My reasoning is that the welding does not need to be super strong, just strong enough to withstand the relatively low torque needed to unscrew those studs (which I don't believe are seized).

Anybody with welding expertise that could tell me if that power would provide a strong enough weld?

A fourth method would entail drilling a pilot hole into each stud, and then using the screw/stud extractor that drill into the hole.

Finally, I watched a video about the "two nuts method" where you screw two nuts into the same stud, then you tighten them against each other so as to sort of lock them together, then you try unscrewing the bottom one and with any luck it starts unscrewing the whole stud. I might give it a go tomorrow.

Or anybody with alternative ideas?
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Old 14-08-2017   #5
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Re: replacement of front exhaust catalytic converter

Also, at the moment I have the driver's side driveshaft out, so that gives a bit more room to get out and replace the front exhaust pipe with the cat.

But if I were to postpone the front exhaust replacement, will I need to remove the driveshaft again, or is it possible to remove and replace it while leaving the driveshaft on? The model I'm working on is the Marea 1.6 SX 2001.

Thanks
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Old 14-08-2017   #6
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Re: replacement of front exhaust catalytic converter

Quote Quote:
the "two nuts method"
Yes, try that method. You're using one nut to push up against another .. though use a ring spanner, not an open ended spanner, as there's less risk of rounding-off a nut. f you have a small blow-torch you can always first try heating the area around the stud. Don't be afraid to smack the area with a big hammer..

Don't just try and turn a seized nut anti-clockwise. Use gentle pressure - not movement - to put 'tightening' pressure on it .. then gentle 'undoing' pressure ... Keep doing that and increasing the amount of 'undoing' pressure. You're trying to frighten the nut into surrender ..

Way back when I used to restore old Rovers. Like most others, the easiest way of undoing exhaust clamps was just to cut through them with an angle grinder, then fit new clamps.

With the likes of manifold studs, don't be afraid to use penetrating fluid, heat and violence.
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Old 15-08-2017   #7
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Re: replacement of front exhaust catalytic converter

Quote Originally Posted by lukish View Post

I found what are called "roll-type stud extractors" (e.g. 4PC STUD EXTRACTOR 3/8 AND 1/2" DRIVE IN CASE: Amazon.co.uk: DIY & Tools). They arrived today, but they are slightly too big to fit in the sunk space where the studs are, and so are unusable.

I could try buying another type of screw extractor which I just found here: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3-8-DRIVE-...-/232298761736

Before I buy it, has anybody had any experience with it?

Another alternative I have read about is to screw their bolts back on, just about, and then weld them onto the studs by filling the hole of the nuts. With the latter thus welded to the studs, you can then unscrew the whole thing together.

Now, I happen to have a very cheap 40W soldering iron (never used) with some soldering powder included. My reasoning is that the welding does not need to be super strong, just strong enough to withstand the relatively low torque needed to unscrew those studs (which I don't believe are seized).

Anybody with welding expertise that could tell me if that power would provide a strong enough weld?

A fourth method would entail drilling a pilot hole into each stud, and then using the screw/stud extractor that drill into the hole.

Finally, I watched a video about the "two nuts method" where you screw two nuts into the same stud, then you tighten them against each other so as to sort of lock them together, then you try unscrewing the bottom one and with any luck it starts unscrewing the whole stud. I might give it a go tomorrow.

Or anybody with alternative ideas?
the link is general.. no specific item..??

are they like corkscrews..??

IF the nuts are off and you just have studded bar poking out.. can you jack up the sump / similar to separate 1 from the other..??

( are the studs just poking through the flange too far to wriggle stuff free..??)
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Old 15-08-2017   #8
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Re: replacement of front exhaust catalytic converter

Quote Quote:
I found what are called "roll-type stud extractors" (e.g. 4PC STUD EXTRACTOR 3/8 AND 1/2" DRIVE IN CASE: Amazon.co.uk: DIY & Tools). They arrived today, but they are slightly too big to fit in the sunk space where the studs are, and so are unusable.

I could try buying another type of screw extractor which I just found here: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3-8-DRIVE-...-/232298761736
The first link to the 4 piece stud extractor .. that's what used to be called an 'easy out' (maybe it still is called that..). To use it in a bolt that has sheared off level with the surrounding metal, you have to drill a pilot hole the length of the easy-out through the centre of the bolt. You then have to use progressively larger drill bits to make the hole in the bolt just slightly smaller than the width of the biggest easy-out you would be able to use.

The snag is, the hole drilled into the bolt must be dead centre otherwise the whole thing usually goes pear-shaped.. The best way of drilling a hole dead centre is by using a bench-mounted pillar drill with the unit to be drilled held in a vice. Of course not many people have a pillar drill and more often than not, the unit to be worked on can't easily be removed from the car..

The easy-out works by cutting and gripping inside the hole as it is turned anti-clockwise. Don't put your faith in an easy-out. The last time I used one it shattered - it just couldn't cope with the pressure of undoing a broken stud.

The second link - the roller type extractor ... you would use that to remove a stud that was standing proud of the surface. Years ago I was removing the cylinder heads from a V8 Rover when one of the bolts snapped as I was undoing it. Fortunately, after lifting that head I found that the bolt had snapped above the level of the block - and I was able to use a stud extractor to remove it.

If it had snapped flush with the engine block I would have drilled - in stages - the broken bolt and tried an easy out.

Think of the exhaust manifold where it connects to the block - if, after removing the manifold you need to remove the studs - you'd first try the 2 nut method. If that didn't work then you'd try a stud extractor. If a stud sheared you'd then try drilling/an easy out.

If that didn't work .. you'd take some time to drill through the broken stud, clean the recess out, fill it with 'liquid metal' (https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_o...metal&_sacat=0) and wait until it was almost set then screw a new stud in...

If you're looking to repair something like the downpipe where it comes from the manifold and joins the exhaust system - flange to flange - I wouldn't worry if the studs/bolts/nuts are seized and can't be undone. Put a socket on the bolt head and a socket on the nut - and snap them.

If need be, get your electric drill and drill through any remaining stud or bolt in the flange. Use an ordinary nut and bolt as a replacement.

Whatever problem you have, there's always a solution. The solution may involve penetrating fluid, a hammer, chisel, violence, heat and an electric drill, but it's always successful .. eventually .. honest. If you can think of a way to fix it, it's fixed.

Years ago .. etc ... I would buy an old Rover that had maybe stood for 20 years or more. All bolts were taken of with an angle grinder/chisel/drill. Quickest and most effective way. The exhaust was always corroded and rotten beyond belief ..

Where the exhaust joined the manifold downpipe was always corroded. The studs were permanent rusty 'things' .. drilled through and replaced with bolts. A fix is a fix ..
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Old 15-08-2017   #9
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Re: replacement of front exhaust catalytic converter

Quote Originally Posted by varesecrazy View Post
the link is general.. no specific item..??
Sorry I gave the wrong link. The tool I bought was basically the one shown in this video [url="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuhyyPBFdzQ[/url]

Unfortunately, it is slightly too large to get into the hollows/cavities where the 5 studs are.

I'm attaching some photo that show the 5 threaded studs which join the front exhaust/cat to the manifold (one photo shows the 5 studs on the new exhaust which I got to replace the old one, if I ever manage to get it out).

The nuts that secured those studs came out easily. But those studs won't budge so far.

There is not enough space/wiggle room to try the two nuts method.

Quote Originally Posted by varesecrazy View Post
IF the nuts are off and you just have studded bar poking out.. can you jack up the sump / similar to separate 1 from the other..??

( are the studs just poking through the flange too far to wriggle stuff free..??)
Sorry I don't get what you're suggesting. Are you saying that all I need to do is yank the front exhaust from below? That will work as long as the hole in the manifold where the exhaust stud go is unthreaded.

If that's the case, the only thing I need to check is whether the side-band retaining the cat (you can just about see it on the bottom right of photo #2) will allow me to pull the cat down for the couple of cm needed to free the studs from the manifold...

Come to think of it, when I jacked up very slightly the exhaust pipe from below, to try and see whether keeping the cat flange pressed against the manifold would help in unscrewing the studs, i actually noticed that the cat flange detached itself from the manifold by almost half a cm!
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Last edited by lukish; 15-08-2017 at 23:23.
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Old 16-08-2017   #10
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Re: replacement of front exhaust catalytic converter

They are STUDS.. not BOLTS.

SO they are just for location/alignment

See IF you can get enough movement to withdraw the bit you need.

TBH.. I dont recognise the chamber the lambda probe is sat in .. so my advice is only a generalisation..

Have fun.
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Old 16-08-2017   #11
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Re: replacement of front exhaust catalytic converter

SORRY - was looking on a phone..

though it was the SUMP in the pics.. NOT the cam carrier..

it appears that the front section of the exhaust should DROP down to let the studs
withdraw from the manifold..

have you released the rubbers under the cars floor..??
with a means of support to stop it crashing to the ground..
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Old 16-08-2017   #12
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Re: replacement of front exhaust catalytic converter

Quote Quote:
...
You're trying to withdraw the unit off the studs..?

With the nuts removed the unit should just pull down off the studs. Don't be afraid of using a big hammer and a really wide screwdriver /chisel to force it apart. Bad language and cursing often helps.

If all the nuts won't come off - remove those that you can, then use one of them to put onto a stud that has a stuck nut. Tighten the top nut down as far as it will go, then use a ring spanner on the lower nut (extended the ring spanner with a piece of pipe if need be..) and use the '2 nut method'. Chances are, the stud will also undo.

The new unit has studs in? If so .. it doesn't matter about damaging the old studs.

If you've never dealt with seized nuts/bolts/studs before, the best advice I can offer is to use extreme violence/force if all else has failed. Don't be afraid to use a hammer/screwdriver/chisel.

One of the best tools for the home mechanic are impact sockets - those black things you see being used in tyre bays to remove wheel nuts. https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_f...acat=0&_fsrp=1

The reality is, if something breaks it can be fixed. Deal with one problem at a time.

Not too long ago I had to change some front lower suspension arms on a 1998 4 litre jeep. The suspension arms are 2 ft long girders with a bush at each end ... The bolt that goes through each end of the arm/bush/bodywork is about twice the thickness of your thumb. There's also a very, very large nut.. which is about twice the diameter of an orang-utan's arsehole (if I may be allowed to use such an expression on such a genteel forum..).

The ring spanner on the bolt head was about the size of a cup-cake, and wedged against the floor to prevent it from slipping. On the nut itself I hammered on a huge impact socket to make it 'bite' into the nut .. and true .. eventually as circumstances dictated, I had a 4ft length of scaffolding over the ratchet handle to provide the necessary leverage to get that nut to move..

Had that bolt sheared .. well .. the first problem of undoing it was solved .. and then I would have faced the problem of finding and fitting another big bolt/nut...

Deal with each problem in turn. It's do-able.

If you go to the likes of an independent tyre/exhaust place you'll notice that they tend to cut off all exhaust bolts with an oxy-acetylene torch. Easiest and quickest way. Then they use new bolts/clamps.

When you've done the job - and you will do it, believe me - that's a wealth of hands on experience you've acquired. How long it takes, how many mistakes you make and heck, even how much it costs in bought tools is completely irrelevant. We all do the same. That's life. You will succeed eventually.
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Old 23-08-2017   #13
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Re: replacement of front exhaust catalytic converter

Quote Originally Posted by glenn2602 View Post

4ft length of scaffolding
That should be in everyone's top box/roll cab. You wouldn't believe the times over the years that scaffolding has been useful.
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Old 27-08-2017   #14
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Re: replacement of front exhaust catalytic converter

Update! Thank you so much everybody for the advice and encouragement. I did it!

Well, almost did it. I did manage to pull out the front exhaust. Basically, I didn't have to touch those threaded studs at all.

The final two steps are pretty easy. First, it is key to make sure that the metal band holding the cat mid-way is properly loosened (as suggested in the official service manual which I uploaded to an earlier post). So after undoing the bolt that keeps the band tight, you have to open up the two ends of the band by prying them apart (on the bolt itself which keeps them together).

Once this is done, the last step is simply tugging and wriggling the front exhaust from below. I found that in order to remove it completely I had to further heighten the front of the car...

I can also confirm that the driveshaft does not need to come out for the front exhaust to be removed. There is just about enough space for the cat to go through the existing gap.

BUT as soon as you overcome one problem you are faced with another one. I only noticed now that the replacement front exhaust is slightly different in three ways:

- it is a bit slimmer (which means that the metal band which holds the catalytic converter mid-way is a bit too big for it;

- maybe to compensate its being slimmer, it has two vertical metal ridges, with two holes each, mid way on the cat, where the band would be in the original part;

- two of the five threaded bolts that join the front exhaust to the exhaust manifold are too short, so that I cannot secure them with a bolt on the other end!

I'm attaching some photos to illustrate what I've written above.

At the moment the new front exhaust is only partially re-assembled: meaning that it's hold in place just by the three bolts I can actually screw on the studs (which I haven't even tightened for the moment being).

I guess the proper way of doing things would be to order some studs about 2cm longer, then pull out the front exhaust once again, swap the short studs with the long ones, and reassemble everything.

But I wonder if I can simply apply exhaust putty on the star shaped flange/interface between front exhaust and manifold, and simply make do with tightening the three studs which I can actually tighten? Or would there be the risk of leaking exhaust fumes?

Thanks again everyone
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Old 28-08-2017   #15
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Re: replacement of front exhaust catalytic converter

Quote Quote:
exhaust putty on the star shaped flange
Exhaust assembly paste is commonly used to connect exhaust flanges together. It sets rock hard within minutes of the engine being started and the exhaust warming up. It provides a gas-tight seal.

If there's any studs/bolts that aren't long enough .. for whatever reason .. change them. There's absolutely no point in spoiling a job for the sake of a few quid. If you're going to fix something, fix it once.

When fitting an exhaust, don't just connect one flange to another and tighten the bolts. Put nuts on finger tight - at each end - and then 'jiggle' the pipe and wait 10 minutes. This allows the pipe(s) to 'settle and hang' correctly.

Don't just fully tighten each nut/bolt in turn. Do it progressively. For example, if your flange had 2 bolts, you would tighten each one in stages alternatively. This allows the 2 mating faces to be drawn together smoothly.

You're almost finished the job ...
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