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At the end of August 2012 the flange on the end of the B-pipe rusted off, and the muffler swung down, though fortunately doesn't touch the ground and didn't break the bottom of the bumper.

It's sorta odd that the B-pipe flange fails before the pipe rusts through. At first I was going to go get it all replaced straight away, but with some ingenuity of some friends, they managed to get it back together again with some high-tensile fencing wire.

They hooked the fencing wire around the back of the muffler spring tension assembly that used to attach to the B-pipe flange, and instead run the wire forward about 9 inches to where the B-pipe hanger is, and wrap the fencing wire around the hanger.

If the B-pipe flange springs are compressed while doing this, the whole assembly is nice 'n tight when done. High tensile fencing wire is fairly strong, so it may just get left that way until a more serious problem develops like a pipe rusthole.



So, it's all held together reasonably well, and the exhaust is quiet again. Mostly.

At certain engine RPM's, the exhaust now rattles really loudly. Idle does it, as does cruise at 55. But other RPM ranges it's all quiet. I'm almost inclined to drive around with "Overdrive" enabled all the time, because it doesn't rattle at that RPM. Almost.

Does it need the B-pipe to muffler gasket? The B-pipe end fits into the muffler quite deep, and there didn't seem to be a loose ring or anything. I suppose the gasket might have fallen off and gotten lost on the road, when the B-flange failed.

I'm not sure exactly which gasket it is, but I assume it's the conical/wedge shaped gasket.



Also when it really finally gets a hole in the pipes, I don't know if I should bother with OEM replacement.

Is it worth it to fork out $600+ for brand new OEM exhaust parts, for a 12+ year old 150,000 mile vehicle? Or just go with something low cost and aftermarket like from Meineke?
 
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