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Old 12-20-2014, 12:03 PM   #1
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DP did not pass VA safety insp

I made an appt to have the MH inspected at the same place I used last year. It is a School Bus repair facility that was located in the same complex as the RV storage lot. Not many choices around my area as VA has different types of non-commercial Vehicle Safety inspections. I need >26,000lbs and air brakes.

Anyhow, the RV lot closed during the summer so I had to move to a different lot. I was running late so I pulled the covers off the tires and the wiperblades and ran the rest of my "departing" checklist. I did not have time to clean the window.

So, the inspector tells me he has bad news. I did not pass. I have an exhaust leak and bad wipers. Okay, I should have spent time cleaning the window first as the wipers have always performed poorly. But the exhaust??? The tech showed me that there is carbon on the flexible exhaust section between the turbo and the muffler indicating a leak. They scraped my old sticker and replaced it with a Failed sticker. I have several days to bring it back and show the corrections and I will be good for another year.

My local cummins shop did not stock the part but told me where they get them from (also local). I picked up new wipers and the part and was hoping to make the corrections in the storage lot and be done. I cleaned the glass, put on the new blades and removed the clamps on both ends of the flex pipe and I'm stuck. The rigid pieces do not move allowing me to remove the flex pipe. I only have a basic socket set/wrenches on the MH. I did not have my breaker bar or deep sockets with me so I abandonded the effort.

So, anyone have any suggestions? I'm leaning towards loosening the muffler to see if that will get me the needed wiggle room but the flex pipe and rigid pipe are very close in circumference so getting the new one on will be a PITA.

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Old 12-20-2014, 12:15 PM   #2
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The flex pipe has been compressed onto the solid pipe by the clamps. Also corrosion will make it almost impossible to remove without damaging the solid pipe. If you can come up with an angle grinder with a cut off wheel and carefully cut the flex pipe at the ends it will make life a lot easier. Then clean all the corrosion off the solid pipes with a file and with a bit of swearing you should be able to slide the new flex pipe on. Use new exhaust clamps.
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Old 12-20-2014, 12:20 PM   #3
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With flex exhaust some thing has to be moved, one side or the other to be able to install the flex section, I believe you have already come to this conclusion though.......The above post tells you the easiest way to remove the old flex pipe with a angle grinder with a thin wheel, being careful just to cut through the flex pipe for removal.
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Old 12-20-2014, 04:02 PM   #4
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Would they allow you to use muffler repair tape (heat wrap)?

I know you're in a bind, here's another thought. Spend a little time, wire brush the area so it looks like new. Move the clamps around some. Chances are you get a different inspector. Tell them you cleaned and tightened the assembly. If the carbon is slow to develop, it will take awhile to come back. You could even get some black heat paint and paint the entire pipe.

I'm not telling you to cheat them, but repair it just enough until you can get it to a repair shop without a time crunch.
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Old 12-20-2014, 04:27 PM   #5
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A leak like that is very common when flex pipe goes over solid pipe. The vibration and movement of the solid pipe will fatigue the flex over time. When you remove the flex pipe, clean both sections of the solid pipe back to bare metal, then apply a liberal coating of WD-40 over the solid and to the inside of the flex to help the flex slide over the solid. Don't worry about using too much WD, the stuff will burn off within a few miles. For clamping, only use "stepped" band clamps that can be purchased at most truck repair facilities. One half the width of the clamp is a larger diameter than the other. Use the larger diameter over the flex, then torque down both tightening bolts until each side of the clamp seats into the seal piece.

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Old 12-20-2014, 05:04 PM   #6
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I would take it to a different inspection station! I take mine to a local car dealer. They check the lights, wipers, turn signals and horn. I'm outta there in 5 minutes!
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Old 12-20-2014, 05:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSHappyCampers View Post
I would take it to a different inspection station! I take mine to a local car dealer. They check the lights, wipers, turn signals and horn. I'm outta there in 5 minutes!
First Joe, you're in Mississippi and he's in Virginia. His inspection station is a school bus facility, you're using a car dealer. BIG DIFFERENCES. School bus inspections can get pretty serious with lots of requirements. It really doesn't sound like his inspection was too detailed, the items found could be safety issues.

The OP needs a bigger tool box for doing work on pipes this size. I agree, cut the old one out in pieces and clean up the rigid pipes to ease install of the new flex pipe. Moving the muffler is a lot easier than removing the pipe from the turbo and engine, no gaskets to deal with. Perhaps removing one muffler support will allow enough movement to get the flex pipe in place.
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Old 12-20-2014, 05:53 PM   #8
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I'm in VA and say go to an RV shop. You will be in and out in 30 minutes.


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Old 12-20-2014, 07:05 PM   #9
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Get soapy water and see where it is leaking and you may be able to fix it by moving clamp
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Old 12-21-2014, 03:20 PM   #10
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The leaks are in the flex itself, not at the clamps. The right tools (deep sockets, safety glasses, WD40, old clothes and loosening and removing one of the muffler bands) and I think I am back in business. Thanks all for the assistance as always.

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Old 12-21-2014, 03:24 PM   #11
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Great job! thanks for the photo of the job.........
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Old 12-21-2014, 03:36 PM   #12
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Gee..........Nice job, your an expert now. Your good to go. Good Luck, Playtime III
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Old 12-21-2014, 05:51 PM   #13
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Took mine in for oil change and got VA state inspection done by mistake. The Motorhome next to me wad due its annual inspection, not mine. Anyway, got it a month early and not charged for it . Glad it passed first time.
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Old 12-22-2014, 06:27 PM   #14
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Passed Inspection. $94 for 12" of flex pipe, 2 clamps, 2 (28") wipers. One of my cheaper repairs...

My clothes on the other hand...the carbon dust got everywhere and on everything. I at least took a change of clothes to work on the MH and changed back for the ride home from the storage lot.

Tempted to change the wipers back for the winterization time as the foam tubes obviously did not help.
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