Flex pipe

Tiny
AVALON1995
  • MEMBER
  • 1995 TOYOTA AVALON
  • 3.0L
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 200,000 MILES
If the braided part of a flex pipe has deteriorated or is completely gone, but the inside parts are still good and there is no exhaust leak coming from the flex pipe, would it be absolutely necessary to replace the flex pipe? Attached are the pictures of the flex pipes.

Picture #1 - flex pipe with the deteriorated braided parts.

Picture #2 - flex pipe with the braided parts completely gone.

Thank you!
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Thursday, October 29th, 2020 AT 3:20 PM

25 Replies

Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
The steel braiding is there only to give the "flex" part of the pipe some strength.

Once this has reach this point, it is only a matter of time before there is a hole and a leak. So if you want to replace it now or wait for the leak that is up to you.

If it were me, you can get a flex pipe part and just cut that out and replace it. However, you would most likely need to weld it in so if the rest of the exhaust is similar in condition then I would just wait for a leak and replace the whole thing at one time.

Let me know what questions you have. Thanks

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/exhaust-system-removal
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Thursday, October 29th, 2020 AT 3:31 PM
Tiny
AVALON1995
  • MEMBER
Instead of welding it, how about using exhaust clamps or exhaust band clamps like the ones in the attached pictures? Which type would be the best option? Btw, what is the difference between an exhaust band clamp like the one in picture #2 and a flat exhaust band clamp like the one in picture #3?

I have only put in about 13,000 miles since replacing my flex pipe. Attached is a picture of my flex pipe. How could the steel braiding be so deteriorated in such a short amount of mileage. I have seen flex pipes on cars who have covered over 60,000 miles and their flex pipes are in great condition with the steel braiding still intact.

Thank you!
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Thursday, October 29th, 2020 AT 3:48 PM
Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
Yes. You can use those but you will just need to find a flex pipe that will fit over or into the existing pipe. Most of the flex pipes are the same size diameter so you would need to get couplers or find one that will go over or in.

Are you in the rust belt? More then likely the ones that you have seen in great condition are maid of stainless steel. Take a look at the attachment. If you are not getting a stainless flex pipe then they will rust out quickly.
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Thursday, October 29th, 2020 AT 6:42 PM
Tiny
AVALON1995
  • MEMBER
Can you please explain what the difference is between an exhaust band clamp like the one in picture #2 and a flat exhaust band clamp like the one in picture #3? Please refer to my last reply for the pictures. By the way, when using an exhaust clamp, doesn't the flex pipe need to fit over instead of into the existing pipe?

Yes, I'm in the rust belt and the other cars with the flex pipes in great condition that I have seen are also in the rust belt. The picture of my flex pipe that you have seen is actually a stainless steel. So, how can you explain its condition?

Thank you!
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Thursday, October 29th, 2020 AT 8:03 PM
Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
The reason stainless steel does not rust is because of the chemical make up of the metal. However, when this is in corrosive environments like near seawater or the rust belt even stainless steel will corrode. Since you are in the rust belt the salt and chemical that the DOT uses for ice treatment will corrode most any metal. You can undercoat the vehicle but that will just prolong the rust damage. This is why most people don't buy classic cars from your states because it is like a cancer.

As for why you have seen others last longer then yours is most likely how the vehicle is stored (in doors/outdoors). If you store your vehicle on gravel or grass and live in the rust belt, then I would expect most metal components to last a matter of a few years before seeing serious signs like this. Grass and gravel are the worst places to store a vehicle because they are constantly releasing moisture back up to the atmosphere so the metal never really dries out. It makes perfect conditions for rust growth. Then add the chemicals from the road and you will not get much life at all.

The next thing is washing routine. Vehicles in the rust belt need to be washed (including the undercarriage) once per week or 2-3 times per month. Then at least once per week through the winter. Basically you need to wash those chemicals off so they are not sitting on there.

Again, it is hard to know this for sure but I suspect the vehicles that you have seen with these flex pipes in good condition are washed regularly and garage kept. If your vehicle is as well, then I suspect you were sold a stainless steel product that was not actually stainless steel because I can't explain it otherwise.
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Friday, October 30th, 2020 AT 4:23 PM
Tiny
AVALON1995
  • MEMBER
Thank you for the detailed explanation.

Can you please explain what the difference is between an exhaust band clamp like the one in picture #2 and a flat exhaust band clamp like the one in picture #3? Please refer to the attached pictures. By the way, when using an exhaust clamp, doesn't the flex pipe need to fit over instead of into the existing pipe?

Thank you!
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Friday, October 30th, 2020 AT 4:51 PM
Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
I am sorry. I forgot that part. Got caught up in what I was saying and left that out.

There is no difference in what they do. The difference is just on how they go on. The flat is less common and usually used when you don't want to separate the pipe to fit each end into the pre-formed clamp.

Yes. To answer the question of it going in or over. It really doesn't matter as long as it is tight but most replacement "add in" exhaust pipes that you find will have the enlarged opening as the exhaust pipe that you are putting it on is already a standard size like a 2 inch pipe.

Let me know if you have other questions. Thanks
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Friday, October 30th, 2020 AT 5:08 PM
Tiny
AVALON1995
  • MEMBER
How many flex pipes does this car have?

Please refer to the attached picture. I know with certainly that the one pointing with the red arrow is a flex pipe. It is sort of flexible. On the other hand, I'm not sure if the one pointing with the blue arrow is a flex pipe. It is so rigid. So, is it a flex pipe or not, and does it need to be replaced?

Thanks!
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Monday, November 2nd, 2020 AT 4:42 PM
Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
Looks like that is the two sections of pipe before the converter. If so then yes, that is another flex pipe. Take a look at the attachment of a replacement.
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Monday, November 2nd, 2020 AT 6:59 PM
Tiny
AVALON1995
  • MEMBER
By definition, a flex pipe is a flexible piece of pipe that allows the exhaust system some flexibility. As I have stated, the one pointing with the blue arrow from the previous post is very different. There is nothing flexible about it.

Apparently, by the looks of things, this car can have either a single or a dual flex pipe. Please take a look at the attached link and look very closely at the pictures. I'm considering to purchase one of them. Ultimately, is it better to have a single or a dual flex pipe and why or does it not matter whatsoever?

By the way, please copy and paste the entire link below instead of clicking it. For some reason, only part of the link is clickable.

https://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/toyota,1995,avalon,3.0l+v6,1272620,exhaust+&+emission,catalytic+converter,5808

Thank you!

Cheers!
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Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020 AT 12:36 AM
Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
They are simply different designs. The only purpose of a flex pipe is to absorb the vibrations from the engine and to allow the motor to rock a little bit when accelerating. Which is why they are normally always positioned on the exhaust after where the pipes mount to the engine (manifolds) and before the catalytic converter. Clearly the company that only has one of them feels that the pipe with no flex pipe does not move that much and it is not needed.

If it were me and I had a choice, I would go with the one with two flex pipes.
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Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020 AT 7:14 AM
Tiny
AVALON1995
  • MEMBER
I'm going to be replacing the flex pipe and the catalytic converter as one unit like the picture you attached. I understand that some people use some type of sealant on the gaskets while others don't, so is it necessary to use it or not? If so, which type of sealant should I use? It would be greatly appreciated if you could attach a picture of it.

Thank you!
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Thursday, November 5th, 2020 AT 12:28 PM
Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
I never have. As long as you are able to tighten the clamp enough it will seal the joint. That sealant doesn't really prevent an exhaust leak anyway because if the clamp is not tight enough it will eventually blow through the sealant as well. So if the clamp is tight it won't leak so you don't need the sealant. Plus it is mostly used once you have a leak so again, I would not use it.

Thanks for the updates and using 2CarPros.
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Thursday, November 5th, 2020 AT 2:39 PM
Tiny
AVALON1995
  • MEMBER
I was referring to sealants being used on the gaskets that go on the flanges, not on clamps. There is no need to use any clamps since I will be replacing the flex pipe and the catalytic converter as one unit, which will be bolted.

So, is it necessary to use any type of sealant on the gaskets that go on the flanges? I have attached some pictures for your reference.

Thank you!
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Thursday, November 5th, 2020 AT 3:08 PM
Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
Oh. Sorry. I understand. No there is no sealant needed for those either. Thanks for clarifying.
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Thursday, November 5th, 2020 AT 3:59 PM
Tiny
AVALON1995
  • MEMBER
I'm considering to replace the resonator in my car. It appears I have the option to replace it with a silencer assembly or a resonator assembly like the one in the attached picture. What is the difference and which one do you recommend, and is there an advantage to one over the other? Also, how can I find out if the stock in my car is a silencer or a resonator?

Thank you!

Cheers!
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Sunday, November 15th, 2020 AT 5:22 PM
Tiny
AVALON1995
  • MEMBER
By the way, how can I even tell if the resonator is bad? There is various type of very loud exhaust sound coming from the car and it's hard to tell if it's the resonator, the muffler, the catalytic converter, etc.
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Monday, November 16th, 2020 AT 2:12 PM
Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
Take a look at this exploded view. Number 1 is the converter, 2 is the resonator/silencer, 3 is the muffler.

The resonator is the same thing as the silencer. It is also called the center exhaust pipe or center section.

The resonator is there to modify the engine pulses so that the muffler can minimize the noise. If the exhaust is just load and sounds like there is muffler, I suspect the muffler is the issue. However, if the exhaust just sounds different and not necessarily louder, that is normally the resonator.

It is not that easy to determine which one the issue is if you don't have a trained hear so most people just replace both at the same time since they have to disconnect the to get either off.
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Monday, November 16th, 2020 AT 6:08 PM
Tiny
AVALON1995
  • MEMBER
Does it matter which way the gaskets are placed? In other words, which side should be facing up? Please refer to the attached picture.

Thanks!

Cheers!
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Tuesday, November 17th, 2020 AT 8:32 PM
Tiny
AVALON1995
  • MEMBER
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Wednesday, November 18th, 2020 AT 11:59 AM

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