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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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-Dan

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