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Old 10-12-2021, 02:11 PM   #1
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Talking UGH!! Stupid Exhaust Leaks!! Trip from Heck!

So... as I mentioned in this thread here - took the beast for a trip out west to Des Moines, IA...

I felt real comfy and confident, had new manifold gaskets and bolts and nuts, and new donut gaskets in-between the manifolds and exhaust pipes, and the radiator leak for the tranny all fixed and done. I even finally got the bedroom TV cabinet thingy all done too, I was feeling awesome....

We leave Friday morning... as the RV was idling, I noticed that the sound was a tad different... but thought nothing of it... we take off, get through IN, make it through the Shitcago traffic crap, and venture out of Illinoid and into IA... and we noticed that we were smelling exhaust and also that me and my buddy had to talk to one another a bit louder... also started to notice that gas mileage was taking a bit of digger... so we pull off in Iowa city to fill her up and as we pull off it got REAL LOUD - as if the muffs had fallen off or something... while we were there filing up we both realized something major has happened, and what that was we had no idea at the time... now that my nerves were on edge and I was frazzled, I pull away from the pump and didn't realize and account for my rear end swing and we struck the corner of the driver side against one of those big steel bars that protect the gas pumps from idiots like me, and everyone was screaming at us that something was hanging off our back end - my buddy jumps out and sure enough I managed to pull off the driver side rear quarter panel - lights/license plate section as I dragged it along the lot...

Now I am really frazzled and PO'd at myself for doing such a stupid thing. My buddy and I found an empty spot and managed to do a quick repair and get that back end in drivable condition, but no where near showroom display... had to bend some brackets and reattach using self tapping screws to hold it on, will need to still wire up a few things, the side marker light... but it passed for travel.

We hopped back in, we are literally 2 hours away from our final destination... an 80W is up and down hills - roller coaster style just not quite as steep. And now the motor is really, really, really loud... as we realize we can't go on like this we figured we would pull off the first town we could, and God made that decision real easy for us - as we approach what we thought was another hour left to get to our final destination, a traffic jam ensued, big nasty accident ahead of us, so it is full stop crawl... meanwhile our motor is deafening, and the fumes from the exhaust is filling the cab at this crawl speed - all the carbon alarms in the coach are going off... my buddy would jump up and silence them, we opened all the windows and roof vents but it was not helping, still stunk and I was getting ill... luckily we came to an exit for Grinell, and tons of semi's were pulling off as well since the jam seemed to be not moving... we got off 80 and pulled into a Kum and Go to see what we could do to fix what obviously had become a major problem...

We luckily got last spot in the lot to park, and within an hour we were surrounded by semi's parked for the night. We shut her off and let her sit a while and then pulled the doghouse off... I looked and looked and see that a nut had come off the stud on the right side manifold towards the rear. My buddy started hounding all the truck drivers to seer if anyone might have some nuts that would fit, and we found two and a washer - it was a pain to put on with the tools I had, no open wrench in my kit or long size ratchet... we thought we had figure it out and we were golden, so we would just wait till the traffic jam would calm down and we would be on our way... so we thought.

After an hour or so we decide to fire her up, turn key and nada. Every thing on dash came on like it should, batteries were fine, all relays checked out... we even banged on the starter, and still no starter... so first time ever, wife was disappointed she didn't get to do this, we had to boondock in a Kum-n-Go park lot... oh goodie. So now my nerves are really shot - yeah I was borderline about ready to lose my poop.

My buddy was trying to help with ideas and it only stressed me out more, then he broke the toilet flusher - which I was able to fix immediately and then the kitchen light didn't want to work, and the gen would not start, but I figured that out as well - priming it makes a big difference... LOL - my brain and nerves are fried at this point... We decided to snack on stuff instead of making any dinner etc. I then proceeded to come onto this forum and research the starter issues - and everything we did was what everyone suggested.... but still no starter. And I was too chicken to try the touch the two posts thing...

Next morning first thing, I started calling every RV or Truck place within 100 miles only to be told, nope, sorry can't help ya, closed until monday, or we do not work on RV's.... I was getting sick to my stomach... finally one place recommend I call Rick's towing... Rick came down, banged on starter, he is the one who tried the post touching thing and nothing... he checked our batteries and told me, your starter is shot, fried... but he doesnt do that kind of work, just tows... he gave us a few names of other mechanics in the area that others had also given us, but none of them would be in until Monday, and it is Saturday morning... and we are sitting in a Kum-n-Go parking lot...

So I went back to Googs and started looking for anything and everyone who worked on Trucks - found Dave's Mobile Truck service, just north of where we were... gave him a jingle... nice guy, real calm dude, explained our situation... he asked the right questions, and said he would be there in an hour....

He shows up, grabs his tools, jumps under the RV, bangs, cross posts and then pops up from underneath with starter in his hand - said will you ride with me to O'Reilly's - I asked if he had an ax or woodchipper, he was confused and said no, so I felt safe... we went up the road a piece, they were all friendly and nice, he showed them what he had, they got on the computer, they did some auto tech Geek talk and within secs they had a starter, $193 plus the core, Dave Mobile guy removes the heat shield from mine and we go back to RV... he pops under and minutes later he says, give her a crank... she fires right up... and then it all went dark for me... the LOUD LOUD exhaust noise is still there and our fix wasn't it.... so I shut it off quickly... I turned to Dave with stress all over my face, yeah I think I was about to cry, but being a man I swallowed my wussyness and asked Dave, something you can fix too?

He popped under the RV again, asked me to start it, he found the issue - this is all new to me BTW, and sure enough one of the newly replaced donut gasket thingies that go between the manifold and exhaust system had burned up and out. He showed me and let me know this really should be an easy fix. He tried to loosen the bolts/nuts that hold the clamp brackets and could not get them to budge. So he called his son, asked him to bring him his battery impact wrench and some lube stuff, we looked up the part on line, called O-Reilly again, they had something similar for like $12 - its about noon now, and I was ready to pass out from hunger and stress - so Dave took off to get gasket, and my buddy and I ate lunch. Dave came back, we talk about Harley's and his car and truck restoration projects - this guy was very knowledgable - real nice guy, tad quiet with short answers, but he knew his stuff... his son shows up with impact wrench, Dave slides back under and 15 mins later we fire her up, and she is as quiet as a cotton balls falling to the floor. I was stoked, I could not thank him enough!! Even his bill was reasonable, $90 onsite charge and $60/hr, total bill from him was $193, he didn't feel right to charge me for standing around wait time.... paid him cash. I could not thank this man enough - I prayed to God during that morning that I hoped we would find something or someone, and by golly the big boss upstairs came through for us.

We made it to our final destination, set up camp, I drank an entire bottle of Cab wine, and chilled. Enjoyed meeting some folks and had a great time at the fairgrounds for the rally....

We stayed an extra day because we lost one, and we had the food. We left Monday morning to come home... and of course everything was fine until we got to Illinois and it seems now we have another exhaust leak, not as bad yet, just that ticking noise like when they begin. Not sure if the other donut gasket on other side is about to go or if the manifold is going... but called and made appointment with my Truck place for them to go through it... I also called Banks and ordered headers - seems from what I have read on here - that is the way to go. So I am going that way. I needed to order a new doghouse seal as well, that was placed today. And I will have them check the heater core - we have smelled coolant since we owned it last year - I thought the tranny radiator leak would resolve that, no tranny leak, but still smelling coolant when dash A/C or Heater are on, unless in MAX AC, then no smell. Make sure fittings are good and the core is not leaking....

I am still frazzled, seems we are at the point of our 02 that everything needs to be replaced or fixed... I am inching towards my precipice of tolerance - seems every time I think I have all my items fixed or updated or tweaked, something else goes wrong.... ugh.
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Old 10-12-2021, 10:07 PM   #2
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@ChristoRV: Gosh and you come from the city next to the birthplace of many an RV!


I read your whole post and a song kept going through my head.... must be the Song for all RV owners!


"Welcome To My Nightmare"

Welcome to my nightmare, I think you're gonna like it, I think you're gonna feel you belong.
A nocturnal vacation, unnecessary sedation, you want to feel at home 'cause you belong.
Welcome to my nightmare whoa, ho, ho, ho...

Welcome to my breakdown.
I hope I didn't scare you.
That's just the way we are when we come down.
We sweat and laugh and scream here.
'Cause life is just a dream here.
You know inside you feel right at home, here.
Yeah, Welcome to my nightmare yeah, hey, hey, hey...

Welcome to my nightmare!
I think you're gonna like it!
I think you're gonna feel you belong!
We sweat and laugh and scream here!
'Cause life is just a dream here!
You know inside you feel right at home, here!

Welcome to my nightmare hoo, hoo, woo, hoo...
Welcome to my breakdown...

Yeah!
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Old 10-12-2021, 10:35 PM   #3
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The good thing is you're in the RV capital of the world, actually right next door. The bad thing is you're going to get acquainted with quite a few vendors. I might seriously think about an entire new stainless steel exhaust system or at least have any questionable items in yours replaced. I would also have a pressure test done on the cooling system, you may not need a heater core it could be as simple as a clamp that needs to be tightened a half turn. Don't spend money on a problem until you know for sure what it it. Many auto parts stores have specialty tools for rent or even free use. I would also check all of the brake lines for rust and cracking of the rubber components. It's one thing to break down in a car away from home. As you've found out, it's whole different ball game to break down in a motor home. Good luck.
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Old 10-13-2021, 07:44 AM   #4
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diesel-Lover View Post
@ChristoRV: Gosh and you come from the city next to the birthplace of many an RV!


I read your whole post and a song kept going through my head.... must be the Song for all RV owners!


"Welcome To My Nightmare"

Welcome to my nightmare, I think you're gonna like it, I think you're gonna feel you belong.
A nocturnal vacation, unnecessary sedation, you want to feel at home 'cause you belong.
Welcome to my nightmare whoa, ho, ho, ho...

Welcome to my breakdown.
I hope I didn't scare you.
That's just the way we are when we come down.
We sweat and laugh and scream here.
'Cause life is just a dream here.
You know inside you feel right at home, here.
Yeah, Welcome to my nightmare yeah, hey, hey, hey...

Welcome to my nightmare!
I think you're gonna like it!
I think you're gonna feel you belong!
We sweat and laugh and scream here!
'Cause life is just a dream here!
You know inside you feel right at home, here!

Welcome to my nightmare hoo, hoo, woo, hoo...
Welcome to my breakdown...

Yeah!



No doubt!
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Old 10-13-2021, 07:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arcaguy View Post
The good thing is you're in the RV capital of the world, actually right next door. The bad thing is you're going to get acquainted with quite a few vendors. I might seriously think about an entire new stainless steel exhaust system or at least have any questionable items in yours replaced. I would also have a pressure test done on the cooling system, you may not need a heater core it could be as simple as a clamp that needs to be tightened a half turn. Don't spend money on a problem until you know for sure what it it. Many auto parts stores have specialty tools for rent or even free use. I would also check all of the brake lines for rust and cracking of the rubber components. It's one thing to break down in a car away from home. As you've found out, it's whole different ball game to break down in a motor home. Good luck.
One of the bennies I thought would be great! Sad thing is... no one has any staff or techs or help! Everyone is back-logged - inventory for parts is getting a bit tricky....

Yeah, agreed, this is why I will have them check all fittings etc first - I read that on here as well - folks that went the unnecessary extra mile and didn't need to replace the core, when it was just a bad fitting - which seems to be the theme for me with mine anyways....

At least my new fresh water pump showed up today, I now have a weekend project, again.
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Old 10-14-2021, 10:28 AM   #6
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On my 7.4 when I had the heads off I of course replaced the donuts in the exhaust with the ones that came with the head gasket kit. They lasted about 200 miles. I got another set from local parts house and they didn't last any longer. Out of frustration I decided to order from Ultra RV even at the drastically higher price and they have lasted the rest of this past summer. Hopefully they will last through the winter since I do have a problem with things breaking down while sitting still.
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Old 10-14-2021, 07:53 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by David 70 View Post
On my 7.4 when I had the heads off I of course replaced the donuts in the exhaust with the ones that came with the head gasket kit. They lasted about 200 miles. I got another set from local parts house and they didn't last any longer. Out of frustration I decided to order from Ultra RV even at the drastically higher price and they have lasted the rest of this past summer. Hopefully they will last through the winter since I do have a problem with things breaking down while sitting still.
Wow, low miles on your gaskets too! How many miles have the newer more expensive ones given you so far?
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Old 10-14-2021, 08:12 PM   #8
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I didn't write down any miles but I would guess somewhere around 2,000.
Ultra advertised them as OEM but I couldn't tell any difference from the other ones I had. The original ones I took out almost seemed to be steel or some type of metal as they were hard, not soft like the replacements.
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Old 10-14-2021, 08:39 PM   #9
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Dumb question: Do you think you torqued down on the donuts tight enough? I have put those in other vehicles and had them develop a slight leak because I didn't get them in perfectly, and once some exhaust is sneaking past, they seem to burn up quickly.
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Old 10-15-2021, 05:43 AM   #10
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The first time I did it the studs were too long so I put bigger nuts for spacers and I figured that had something to do with it .They were the studs that came with the kit and I didn't want to go to town again and get something right. The second time I got new studs with the springs and tightened them tight I assume. The third time I put the Ultra RV ones in and they have stayed. The exhaust gets terribly hot in these things you know. The exhaust pipes for both sides are made in one piece so there is no extra moving, twisting etc. to try to make sure they are seated exactly right. They are welded to a flange where they go into the catalytic converters.
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Old 10-21-2021, 08:31 PM   #11
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In some cases the exhaust pipe flange that puts pressure the exhaust donut and holds it in place is not tight enough, even though the bolts are very tight. The exhaust flange has to be modified. If the donut isn't held tightly enough, it won't last long. Grind the stops on the flange down a bit, maybe 1/8". See photo:
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Old 10-22-2021, 06:09 AM   #12
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Some great suggestions and ideas… my Banks headers arrived Tuesday, service guy can get me in 1st week of Nov … I will share some of the input here with them as well…

Thank you all… I’ll let ya know my thoughts on the Banks system.
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