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Thread: What did Chief do to his Mazdas today?

  1. #1811
    Now with pictures, but not for you! chiefmg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    N KY
    Miata: On my way to some babysitting duties last night, she suddenly got louder. I suspected the muffler clamp I had tightened had broken, but when I had a look once things cooled down I discovered that both bolts for the flange connecting the exhaust pipe to the muffler had come loose. One was completely gone, the other just hanging in there. I yanked it out along with the gasket so I could get new ones. This morning I dug around and found the other bolt had dropped into the diffuser along with one nut and lock washer. I took some measurements and went to Ace. The bolt holes were 13.5mm while the bolts were around 10.5mm. I decided to go with a more appropriately-sized bolt and picked up M14s along with some lock washers and metal lock nuts (don’t recall right now what the proper term for those is). When I got back home I was able to wiggle things and get one bolt in but not the other so I used one of the old ones for now. I’m going to have to drop the lower diffuser and the muffler, then hog out the bolt holes a little. This should provide for a more positive joint. I was able to get the old gasket in well enough to seal but will be buying another to do it right. I have no idea what caused the original bolts to lose their nuts, as they had looked good when I was underneath last week.

    While I was able to squeeze my hand into the space between the diffuser and muffler to get things back together it was not done without some repercussion, as seen below:


  2. #1812
    Now with pictures, but not for you! chiefmg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    N KY
    Miata: Sometimes I feel like I am almost smart. After some research yesterday for the muffler gasket, I thought I might have posted the last one I used. Sure enough I had a picture so I checked my local O’Reilly’s and they showed it as being in stock. Picked that up yesterday afternoon so I was ready to go this morning. Hoisted her in the air with the QuickJack and set to work. Removed the lower diffuser followed by the muffler. I checked the fitment of the M14 bolts in the flange holes, and found the lower ones were fine while the upper ones showed some dragging. I hogged all four holes out a little with a ½” drill bit until I was satisfied with the freedom of movement. Here you can see the bolts that I was using compared to the new bolts, the larger size will give a proper fitment:



    While everything was apart I took a close look at the flanges. The one on the exhaust pipe is flat while the one on the muffler has a recess. However this recess is not consistent in depth due to how Racing Beat welded the flange to the muffler. I decided to try using a flat gasket I had made for a previous use in addition to the round gasket. You can (sort of) see how that turned out here:



    A quick leak-check was good. If that comes apart then I may just weld the damn thing up. Oh yeah, and there is now plenty of room on the passenger side of the lower diffuser where the exhaust pipe exits. Had I looked more in depth to that contact problem last week I would have found the muffler bolts were loose. Ah well, then I wouldn't have installed these mondo bolts.

    While I was in the garage pulling around I discovered that mice had gnawed on the special yellow car cover I have. We never used to have problems with rodents in the garage, guess I need to figure out some means of controlling them.
    '81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro SS 'vert (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD.

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