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Old 10-18-2019, 08:58 PM   #1
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OK to drive a bus with a section of exhaust pipe missing?

My bus currently looks like this:

IMG_0720.jpg

Other than the obvious problem of diesel exhaust inside the bus, is there any reason this can't be driven if it's for a short distance (two miles) and I'm willing to die of asphyxiation in the attempt?

The guy doing my work is a worthless piece of **** and I think I need to just go take my bus.
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Old 10-18-2019, 09:40 PM   #2
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Is that the exhaust pipe hacked in two?

I would say open all windows and go for it, but be prepared to stop as much as may be needed to get some fresh air. I would also strap up the wheel wells, and secure everything as best as you can.
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Old 10-18-2019, 09:45 PM   #3
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If you have pipe all the way to the rear wheels, it won't hurt anything to go that distance. No offense, but you have plenty of ventilation in your bus to worry about fumes. Go for it.
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Old 10-18-2019, 10:06 PM   #4
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Is that the exhaust pipe hacked in two?

I would say open all windows and go for it, but be prepared to stop as much as may be needed to get some fresh air. I would also strap up the wheel wells, and secure everything as best as you can.
When they removed the floor there, it exposed a stretch of badly rusted-out exhaust pipe, so we added fixing that to the job. The rest of the bus' exhaust pipe was recently replaced by a previous owner, but they were not able to easily access this section so it was left as it is.

The wheel wells probably don't need strapping, since these shmucks have been sitting on them.
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Old 10-18-2019, 10:14 PM   #5
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Looks like your exhaust is cut off to where it almost dumps into the bus...
For that short a distance you could take a couple feet of flexible drain pipe (the corrugated black plastic type and bridge the gap where your pipe is cut)
Or with all the windows open just go for it. If it's only a couple miles you probably won't be going fast.

As said -- secure all that loose sh!t so it don't fall through the floor. Make sure nothing falls against the driveshaft!

Sorry your welder didn't work out...
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Old 10-19-2019, 02:55 AM   #6
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Sorry to hear that things have done south. I would do it with all the windows open without much hesitation. Moving down the road you'd have better ventilation than I would in the shop. I wouldn't want the police looking in tho, they might frown upon this. And make sure everything is secure.
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Old 10-19-2019, 03:41 AM   #7
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How about a tarp secured to the "good" floor with a few self-tapping screws, run over the wheel wells and secured along the edges? That should keep the fumes down.


Personally. I think I would drive the two miles with the windows open and drive slowly.
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Old 10-19-2019, 11:45 AM   #8
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Thanks for your kind words, all. Got this bus this morning and it's back in my lot. It was funny, seems the guy was expecting trouble from me so he had a couple of buddies there and also his young daughter. I brought my 6'7" 300 pound brother with me, and the looks on these guys' faces were pretty amusing when they saw him.

Fortunately, no problems at all. He had the battery already hooked up, although I had to tighten up the connections when everything turned off suddenly. He had all of the material I had paid for in the bus already (I was expecting some or all of it to not be there).

Driving it was not really bad at all - it smelled about as dieselly as it did before the floor came out, which makes sense given how bad the state the original section of pipe was in.

One thing that bothered me was that the ABS light stayed on after I started the bus and was on for the whole drive; never seen that before. The brakes felt the same as before, so I wonder if this was a temporary byproduct of the battery hookup problems.
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Old 10-19-2019, 09:32 PM   #9
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So, the guy left me with a number of new pieces of exhaust pipe (aluminum? I think he said they were) and it seems like he cut them to go through the fairly complicated bends of this missing section (I really wish I had a pic of the original pipe there but I neglected to take one since this guy was going to fix it). I guess he just didn't want to go get the clamps to complete the repair.

I think I could probably do this myself, but is there some reason I couldn't just use a long piece of flex pipe like this: https://www.autozone.com/emission-co...air/260516_0_0 to make the repair?

Also, is there some kind of sealant goo that you generally put underneath the clamp? Or is it purely a pressure fitting? I've never done anything with a vehicle's exhaust except for one sad attempt in college to fix my VW with hose clamps.

Is this important enough that I should drive to a proper shop to get it fixed?
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Old 10-19-2019, 09:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
So, the guy left me with a number of new pieces of exhaust pipe (aluminum? I think he said they were) A magnet will answer this, Al will be easy to scratch, while SS (stainless steel) will be much harder to scratch. The magnet will stick to mild steel. and it seems like he cut them to go through the fairly complicated bends of this missing section (I really wish I had a pic of the original pipe there but I neglected to take one since this guy was going to fix it). I guess he just didn't want to go get the clamps to complete the repair.

I think I could probably do this myself, but is there some reason I couldn't just use a long piece of flex pipe like this: https://www.autozone.com/emission-co...air/260516_0_0 to make the repair?

flex pipe will work. It's not as long-term durable as solid pipe...
Also, is there some kind of sealant goo that you generally put underneath the clamp? Or is it purely a pressure fitting? I've never done anything with a vehicle's exhaust except for one sad attempt in college to fix my VW with hose clamps.
There is no legitimate exhaust goo or mufler bandage/cement, period. It's all snake oil. Weld it, or use proper band clamps which apply enough pressure to seal the exhaust.
Is this important enough that I should drive to a proper shop to get it fixed?
How did you enjoy the smell of diesel exhaust on the short drive? Nothing I want in my bedsheets...
You have good pix -- take them to a muffler shop and see what they'd charge to bend up a proper piece of pipe and weld in the repair.My guess is $100 to $150 but maybe I'm high. I think it's worth it to fix it right and certainly cheaper now while it's exposed -- one and done.
Answers above in bold
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Old 10-19-2019, 10:02 PM   #11
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There is no legitimate exhaust goo or mufler bandage/cement, period. It's all snake oil. Weld it, or use proper band clamps which apply enough pressure to seal the exhaust.
Hmm, I need to look at my exhaust more closely tomorrow. The parts still there adjacent to this cutout have some sort of bandage crap like what you're talking about. The guy said it was fine to leave it, but I think he was just trying to make less work for himself.

I kind of want to try fixing this myself (with band clamps and the pieces he left me) but if the job is only $100 to $150 or there-ish I think I'll go that route.
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Old 10-19-2019, 10:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
So, the guy left me with a number of new pieces of exhaust pipe (aluminum? I think he said they were) and it seems like he cut them to go through the fairly complicated bends of this missing section (I really wish I had a pic of the original pipe there but I neglected to take one since this guy was going to fix it). I guess he just didn't want to go get the clamps to complete the repair.

I think I could probably do this myself, but is there some reason I couldn't just use a long piece of flex pipe like this: https://www.autozone.com/emission-co...air/260516_0_0 to make the repair?

Also, is there some kind of sealant goo that you generally put underneath the clamp? Or is it purely a pressure fitting? I've never done anything with a vehicle's exhaust except for one sad attempt in college to fix my VW with hose clamps.

Is this important enough that I should drive to a proper shop to get it fixed?
a properly repaired exhaust is very important - doesn't take a lot of carbon monoxide to make a person very sick - it can be done by yourself if you have the tools and expertise - it can be tricky with the turns and twists of exhaust pipes - BTW, I've never heard of aluminum exhaust pipes - pros use special steel or stainless steel, custom bent in tube benders for each job - fitting custom exhaust isn't easy - flex pipe is a temporary repair at best - it doesn't last long
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Old 10-19-2019, 10:09 PM   #13
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a properly repaired exhaust is very important - doesn't take a lot of carbon monoxide to make a person very sick - it can be done by yourself if you have the tools and expertise - it can be tricky with the turns and twists of exhaust pipes - BTW, I've never heard of aluminum exhaust pipes - pros use special steel or stainless steel, custom bent in tube benders for each job - fitting custom exhaust isn't easy - flex pipe is a temporary repair at best - it doesn't last long
I think it was good that I didn't wait for this guy to do the job, not even considering the money it would have cost me.
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Old 10-19-2019, 10:36 PM   #14
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He probably meant aluminized steel, common exhaust tubing.
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Old 10-19-2019, 10:50 PM   #15
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I think it was good that I didn't wait for this guy to do the job, not even considering the money it would have cost me.
Go for the repair yourself. Use the band clamps, not U-bolts.


The parts he left you with ... are they flared on one end? If so, it will be as simple as putting it all together and clamping it.
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Old 10-20-2019, 02:07 PM   #16
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Go for the repair yourself. Use the band clamps, not U-bolts.

The parts he left you with ... are they flared on one end? If so, it will be as simple as putting it all together and clamping it.
This is the stuff he left me with: https://shop.donaldson.com/store/en-.../P207330/18267 . I assume this is aluminized steel as marc mentioned. I'm glad I stopped this dude since he was planning on welding all these pieces together (my biggest fear was that I would end up with something like a $1000 bill for just this exhaust repair, with it needing to be redone anyway).

No flaring on either end. I'll see if I can find one of the band clamps for these and try out a trial fitting. Unfortunately, after looking it over today, I really need to replace the exhaust all the way from this area forward to the muffler (it's not perforated anywhere but has a lot of rusty scale on the outside), so I think for now I'm just going to put in a 4' piece of flex pipe so I can drive around for a while.
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Old 10-20-2019, 02:25 PM   #17
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This is the stuff he left me with: https://shop.donaldson.com/store/en-.../P207330/18267 . I assume this is aluminized steel as marc mentioned. I'm glad I stopped this dude since he was planning on welding all these pieces together (my biggest fear was that I would end up with something like a $1000 bill for just this exhaust repair, with it needing to be redone anyway).

No flaring on either end. I'll see if I can find one of the band clamps for these and try out a trial fitting. Unfortunately, after looking it over today, I really need to replace the exhaust all the way from this area forward to the muffler (it's not perforated anywhere but has a lot of rusty scale on the outside), so I think for now I'm just going to put in a 4' piece of flex pipe so I can drive around for a while.
For our stuff, band clamps are the right piece as they are cheap and can be had for butt connection or overlap for less than $10.


https://www.ebay.com/itm/4-Stainless...4AAOSwOEVdgJ0S

https://www.ebay.com/itm/4-Stainless...EAAOSwTt1c1M~D


My system was 4" until it came out of the muffler where it reduced to 3", so needed both clamps.
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Old 10-20-2019, 08:14 PM   #18
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For our stuff, band clamps are the right piece as they are cheap and can be had for butt connection or overlap for less than $10.


https://www.ebay.com/itm/4-Stainless...4AAOSwOEVdgJ0S

https://www.ebay.com/itm/4-Stainless...EAAOSwTt1c1M~D


My system was 4" until it came out of the muffler where it reduced to 3", so needed both clamps.
Thanks for the links. Is the stuff I have kind of overkill for my bus? It definitely seems beefier than what is already there, and I think it would be pretty expensive just for the materials to use this all the way forward to the muffler (which I think I'll have to do eventually).
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Old 10-20-2019, 08:37 PM   #19
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Thanks for the links. Is the stuff I have kind of overkill for my bus? It definitely seems beefier than what is already there, and I think it would be pretty expensive just for the materials to use this all the way forward to the muffler (which I think I'll have to do eventually).
So far all I've seen of what you have is a 4" elbow and a section of 3" flex pipe. You would still need clamps like I posted. None of that stuff looks "Beefy", standard exhaust parts. Does any of your system use 3" pipe?
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Old 10-20-2019, 09:29 PM   #20
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I'm glad I stopped this dude since he was planning on welding all these pieces together [...].

No flaring on either end. I'll see if I can find one of the band clamps for these and try out a trial fitting. Unfortunately, after looking it over today, I really need to replace the exhaust all the way from this area forward to the muffler (it's not perforated anywhere but has a lot of rusty scale on the outside), so I think for now I'm just going to put in a 4' piece of flex pipe so I can drive around for a while.
I don't see anything wrong with welding sections of pre-made exhaust tubing. It takes a careful hand to butt weld exhaust tube without burning holes through and it can be challenging to get the top side welded, but if one has the patience and skill it's a reasonable thing to do. I actually prefer mine to be welded rather than clamped because I can visually check for leaks and I know it won't work loose.

Rusty scale on the outside of an exhaust system is par for the course since few systems are built with stainless. Rust begins pretty fast where the hangers are welded or clamped on; it also begins at the joints. Clamped joints and hangers might start rusting later but eventually dirt gets in between the clamp and the tube. First it abrades the aluminized coating away, then the water it holds accelerates the rusting.
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