Can OEM exhaust manifold crack be repaired? - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 08-06-2003, 01:23 PM   #1
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Default Can OEM exhaust manifold crack be repaired?

The engine on my '92 SSE */c was rebuilt shortly before I bought it, and the receipt noted that the exahust manifold was cracked. I looked at the front manifold at that time and didn't see a crack so I didn't think I needed to worry about it...until now (see my other post about SES and error code 44). The car has had a rough idle since I've owned it, but hasn't had any other longstanding driveability problems.

I replaced the rear valve cover gasket a few days ago, along with the plugs and wires, and I saw a small gap, maybe 1/16") in part of the welded joint near the o2 sensor, and now that I'm getting an SES error code 44 (o2 sensor lean) I wonder if maybe the crack is getting worse and needs to be repaired. The crack is upstream, a few inches before the o2 sensor joint. By the way, the plugs looked good after 40,000 miles, hardly worn electrodes, all same grayish color.

Can the OEM exhaust pipe be welded at a muffler shop? Or is there a high temp epoxy or something I can use to fill the crack?

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Old 08-06-2003, 02:01 PM   #2
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I would have it welded by a muffler shop. Should be very reasonable. My concern with the epoxy is that the heat would make it outgas, and possibly nuke your O2 with the fumes.
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Old 08-06-2003, 02:25 PM   #3
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As a follow-up, even an engine coolant leak (a mild one) can kill an O2. They're actually very sensitive to foreign materials.
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Old 08-06-2003, 02:38 PM   #4
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Quote:
As a follow-up, even an engine coolant leak (a mild one) can kill an O2. They're actually very sensitive to foreign materials
Like boogers, right Will
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Old 08-06-2003, 02:45 PM   #5
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On a side note, it sounds like the catalytic converter recently began making the same humming noise when accelerating just like my '93 SSEi did last year, so as soon as possible I'll have the exhaust manifold welded and the catalytic converter replaced.

From what I've read on usenet today, code 44 (lean O2) isn't usually caused by a defective o2 sensor...but I hope it'* the cause of the code in my case.
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Old 08-07-2003, 12:47 PM   #6
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I called a muffler shop and was told that the exhaust manifold probably can't be welded because of the material it'* made of, and they'd have to look at it anyway to see if they can access the area in the event that it'* weldable.

In the event that it can't be welded, the guy said that he'* heard of people using JB Weld and that may work. Have any of you tried that stuff in a high temp application like this?

I bought a CarSound high flow 2 1/2" catalytic converter and will have it installed soon. And I'll ask them to take a look at the crack/gap in the exhaust manifold and suggest what to do about it. It looks like a bad factory weld job to me.

By the way, the SES error code 44 has been resolved with a new o2 sensor.
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Old 08-07-2003, 01:20 PM   #7
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They should be able to weld it. They would need a heliark, please forgive my spelling. As for JB Weld it would probably hold it is some amazing stuff. The problem would be the 500 degree limit. There are fixes out there. Check this web page out.

http://www.muggyweld.com/castiron.html
http://www.muggyweld.com/silvercast.html
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Old 08-07-2003, 03:41 PM   #8
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I used JB Weld to patch over a cracked head in a Corsica, if that'* any help. I was payin $800 plus to get the POS fixed. Sealed it right up and held for over a year until I finally talked the missus into donating the damn money pit
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Old 08-07-2003, 09:37 PM   #9
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The exhaust manifold is cast iron, I believe. In order to weld cast iron the surrounding material needs to be brought up to a high temperature. This is what I recall.

Why not just buy a new one or find one in a junkyard?
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Old 08-08-2003, 12:54 AM   #10
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They are about 60 bucks a piece at the junkyard i went too (wanted to get some ported ones). Then you won't have to worry about a weld giving out.
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