Friday, 23 February 2018

What a drag

It had only been about six weeks since I had the exhaust welded up after it went all lob-sided and one of the hangars had broken. With that fixed I was a bit miffed when it seemed as though the problem had returned. 

I had noticed the left tailpipe dropping down gradually, but I could put it back in position by hand and it seemed to stay there for a bit. Having not long been to Mintech, and it being the Christmas season, I didn't really want to have to head back there, so I left it.

Well it turns out I didn't fix it soon enough because one day whilst driving along I heard a 'clunk' followed by a scraping of metal sound. I knew exactly what it was, one side of the exhaust had fallen.

I pulled over, not far from home. I grabbed an old headphone cable and tied the dropped tailpipe to the one next to it. That would do to get me home.

Once home I took the MINI to a local car park with a jack and axle stands so I could get a better look at the issue. With it all jacked up I could see that nothing was broken, it was simply one of the exhaust pipes was loose where it joins into another pipe. The exhaust clamps were rotten to hell, but essentially, it was an easy fix and no major damage.

In the meantime I had a look in the boot for something more long-lasting. That headphone wire wouldn't last long at all. I found some rope in the boot that I had used for various things. I tied this around the tailpipes and fed it through the hole in the battery box and tied it to the hooks on the inside of the boot. Now that should hold it for a while.

And it did. But still, I hadn't booked the car into the garage to get it fixed and eventually the heat of the exhaust melted/burnt through the rope and I had to tie it up again with an even shorter bit of rope. Now I really did need to visit a garage. 

I spoke to my local garage and asked if I could use their ramp and I would fix it myself, but they were having none of it. So I bit the bullet and called Mintech again. I said I just need to borrow your ramp for a bit to put some new exhaust clamps on. "C'mon over Craig." They either really love me, or are just resigned to me relying on them to help!

On the way over I pop in to Halfords, armed with my Trade Card, and pick up a couple of exhaust clamps for something ridiculously cheap, like £1.26 each. Super chuffed I headed to Mintech.

We get the car up on the ramp and I wiggle the exhaust pipe and my diagnosis was correct thankfully. 

One look at the old exhaust clamps and Martin reaches for the grinder! My favourite tool!

With the old clamps in the bin I keep the tailpipes steady whilst Martin fits the new clamps, which need a little 'persuasion' to fit together - (yes they were the right size!).

Here's my mend and make-do solution. The holes on the rear of the pipes are where the joining bracket used to hold the two pipes level. This has snapped off now. 

Swan neck pliers do the job and we eventually get the nuts on.

Here's how rusty all the other exhaust clamps are.

 Shiny, new and now tight! Those tailpipes aren't moving now!! Another job sorted.

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