Attempted Exhaust Hack Repair

Sometimes a hackjob fix you really hope will work ends up not working. Even though this didn’t work, I took a bunch of pictures so I want to post about it anyway.


My brother’s CR-V has rusted through the exhaust a few times, and a couple weeks ago the catalytic converter pipe rusted through and broke, causing it to hang down and make the car very loud.


In New York it’s not legal to use most aftermarket catalytic converters, making it a potentially really expensive repair. I took it to work to see if there was anything I could do. I was hoping it could possibly be welded back together, but there wasn’t enough metal left to do that with.


I had happened to bring a JB Weld Steelstik, which is an epoxy putty. It said it works on exhaust systems, so I decided to give it a shot. I didn’t expect it to last for a long time, just long enough to get a new converter. I had to both reattach the flange on the back end on it and reinforce the flange on the front end. I let it set for an hour, which is what the package said to do, installed it, and headed for home.


Unfortunately, just as I reached the road, it broke again. I may have not cleaned the surfaces well enough, or the epoxy just isn’t meant for total exhaust system reconstruction. By the time I got home I could smell melting epoxy. It has a temperature limit of 300 degrees, and apparently the converter gets hotter than that. This repair attempt was a fail, but now I know what doesn’t work.

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