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Author Topic: Exhaust leak help  (Read 420 times)

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October 15, 2021, 01:33:58 PM
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AbueloBill

Supporting Member
Need some help and advice.  {=

Have an exhaust leak and noise from the exhaust system of my 2016 Sportster.  System is stock and with 28.5k miles.

With the help of @Rider Ron tracked the noise down to near the rear muffler and header pipe joint, and figured the junction was loose.  Removed the heat shield from the header pipe and found a crack/split all around the header just in front of the balancer pipe junction.  See photos.  I could not see any sign the exhaust had ever been removed although it was back in warranty when the entire motor/transmission was replaced.





Looks almost like cuts and then breaks.  My question is how to repair.  Can this be welded or is there a tape or putty that will work, and hold, on a header?  My concern is with the heat, JB Weld and others have products but seem to have a 450ºF upper limit.  Replacement is an option but I am a little bit tired of teething issue costs and I just put on new tires and had the front forks serviced. 

Suggestions?
Nobody likes old people who say, "Nobody likes old people."

October 15, 2021, 02:39:05 PM
Reply #1
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HDBitchin

Administrator
Tape or putty? I don't know but it can be welded.

Here is a thread that @bc45 wrote about De Catting his pipes. He cut the pipe open and then dug catalytic converter out and then welded it back together.

Link to his thread...

De Cat
HDBitchin aka Tank

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October 16, 2021, 09:12:31 AM
Reply #2
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maniacmac

Global Moderator
Drill a small hole at each end of the crack to prevent the crack from expanding ( center of the hole at end of the crack). Now you can weld the crack. I prefer to Tig weld but you can successfully Mig weld the crack
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October 16, 2021, 07:22:11 PM
Reply #3
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bc45

Global Moderator
That is some crack.

October 16, 2021, 08:03:18 PM
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AbueloBill

Supporting Member
Drill a small hole at each end of the crack to prevent the crack from expanding ( center of the hole at end of the crack). Now you can weld the crack. I prefer to Tig weld but you can successfully Mig weld the crack

Good idea, but a few years too late.

The pipe appears to have been cut about half way through from the top and again an inch away on the bottom.  The cracks, one on each side, connect the ends of the cuts. The two ends of the pipes are not connected, just very close together when hot.  The balancing pipe is what is holding the sections in place.  I started noticing the noise when the bike was cold and when the road was rougher and so had vibration.  Presumably the cracking finally extended from one cut to the other thus loosening up.
 
I'd hate to think the pipe actually was cut but I could see it done to relieve stresses if the pipe doesn't actually fit correctly.  Would be either an design or fabrication error, but Harley's been making Sportsters for generations and should have the issues figured out.  One possibility though is the cuts were made during the motor replacement during warranty.  The original motor had excessive vibration then, and after being told "they all do that', the service manager believed me when he finally agreed to take a look just to get rid of me.  They never knew for sure why the vibration, but suspected the crank was not static balanced. Perhaps the vibration then started the cracking and those aren't cuts at all (but they sure look like they are).

Perhaps the mechanic thought he had to make the cuts to get the header to align with the muffler and the mounting bolts with their holes.  Don't want to think a dealer would do this, but the heat shield would hide things.  The warranty work was over fours years ago now, can't exactly accuse them now of doing so.

Anyway, could you do the TIG welding?  Would much prefer paying you than finding some local yokel who may or may not know what he is doing.
Nobody likes old people who say, "Nobody likes old people."

October 17, 2021, 06:11:25 AM
Reply #5
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mqqn

Global Moderator
Wow - that DOES look like it was cut with a wheel and then went south from there.

Makes a guy wonder about the kind of care you get with warranty work.....

I hope that you get it welded and it fits back on the bike properly - I understand about the spending all the time, it's not fun!

best regards

mqqn

October 18, 2021, 03:20:09 PM
Reply #6
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maniacmac

Global Moderator

Good idea, but a few years too late.

The pipe appears to have been cut about half way through from the top and again an inch away on the bottom.  The cracks, one on each side, connect the ends of the cuts. The two ends of the pipes are not connected, just very close together when hot.  The balancing pipe is what is holding the sections in place.  I started noticing the noise when the bike was cold and when the road was rougher and so had vibration.  Presumably the cracking finally extended from one cut to the other thus loosening up.
 
I'd hate to think the pipe actually was cut but I could see it done to relieve stresses if the pipe doesn't actually fit correctly.  Would be either an design or fabrication error, but Harley's been making Sportsters for generations and should have the issues figured out.  One possibility though is the cuts were made during the motor replacement during warranty.  The original motor had excessive vibration then, and after being told "they all do that', the service manager believed me when he finally agreed to take a look just to get rid of me.  They never knew for sure why the vibration, but suspected the crank was not static balanced. Perhaps the vibration then started the cracking and those aren't cuts at all (but they sure look like they are).

Perhaps the mechanic thought he had to make the cuts to get the header to align with the muffler and the mounting bolts with their holes.  Don't want to think a dealer would do this, but the heat shield would hide things.  The warranty work was over fours years ago now, can't exactly accuse them now of doing so.

Anyway, could you do the TIG welding?  Would much prefer paying you than finding some local yokel who may or may not know what he is doing.
  I can mig weld it for, I sold my tig welder several years ago. There will no charge to you

October 19, 2021, 06:29:47 PM
Reply #7
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AbueloBill

Supporting Member
  I can mig weld it for, I sold my tig welder several years ago. There will no charge to you
I'm off to Seattle to see two of my kids plus my grandson play soccer and won't be back in the valley until after Nov 5th.   Thank you for your offer (I will pay, only fair) and will then be in touch. 
Nobody likes old people who say, "Nobody likes old people."

October 20, 2021, 09:25:55 AM
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maniacmac

Global Moderator
I'm off to Seattle to see two of my kids plus my grandson play soccer and won't be back in the valley until after Nov 5th.   Thank you for your offer (I will pay, only fair) and will then be in touch.
Ok you can buy lunch
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October 20, 2021, 04:22:41 PM
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Rider Ron

Supporting Member
Ok you can buy lunch

You Da Man...   £~¥
USArmy War College '68-70, AMA, IB 1K, 2015 SR Run For The Wall FNG

 




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