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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I have a 2008 passion that was delivered in Jan'08. It now has 78,000 miles, and over the years has had very few problems. Yesterday my wife said that smartie was making a lot of noise, and a quick check showed the flex pipe to muffle connection had rusted through. I read a lot of posts on fixes and replacement, but most seem to be fairly old. I'm wondering if there are any new fixes or aftermarket products on the market. I'm in rural Wisconsin so some options are not available.
Thanks,
Bob
 

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My flex pipe broke thru and I ended up replacing the whole muffler, which comes with the flex pipe attached. My mechanic refused to just replace the flex pipe with a new one I had bought. Since he is a trusted friend, I let him do this. I still have the unused flex pipe. It's a Walker 41793.
 

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My flex pipe broke thru and I ended up replacing the whole muffler, which comes with the flex pipe attached. My mechanic refused to just replace the flex pipe with a new one I had bought. Since he is a trusted friend, I let him do this. I still have the unused flex pipe. It's a Walker 41793.
Jebcidic, Since many on here have had replacement flex pipes installed including MS Mercedes, did your mechanic give you a reason for not wanting to install your part?
Thank You for posting the part number always good to have for a reference.
Take Care
 

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Thank you Jebcidic for this valueable information. My flex has just began to leak and I have searched high on low for a replacement. Thanks to you I have found a cheap fix, now to get out my welder.....DCO
 

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I don't remember how I found this part, and never used it. So not sure if it will fit. My mechanic friend didn''t want to weld it in place, and wasn't that sure if he could get the correct angle. He thought the muffler would probably go next, and the heat of the exhaust would cause the weld or the part around the weld to leak sooner or later. So why not get an OEM as it's a i piece unit. He thought the car was too nice not to.
 

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Two choices... replace or repair.

I chose to repair mine with a new flex joint. The Vibrant #362408 was recommended on here by another member. It is stainless steel with aluminized-steel weldable end caps. It is 1.75 ID by 8". I think the smart uses a metric sized pipe as the 1.75" is a little large. I'd recommend not fully grinding off all the old weld so as to slightly increase the OD of the pipe. An additional 1/2" of length might help too... otherwise the fit is good.

The hardest part is removing the e-torx bolts on the flange... the heads tend to deteriorate so the wrench just slips. I ended up cutting the one off with a wheel in a die grinder, the other I had to use an air hammer to cut the head off. I replaced both with flange-head bolts (M8-1.25?) and high-temp anti-sieze.

The heat shield on top of the exhaust system is secured with three e-torx fasteners... there is no clearance for a socket, only an e-torx wrench will fit in that space. The left (driver's side) fastener must come out as it attaches to the muffler assembly... the remaining 2 can stay, although removal will give better access to the flange bolts.

You will likely also need a replacement gasket pn 132-142-00-80.

If you choose to replace the entire muffler, pn 132-490-00-15, Amazon has it for $290... a bargain!

~toaster
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the replies. I decided to go with the OEM replacement. Ordered one from Calif. for $321 including shipping.
I used a die grinder and cut the two flange bolts. I'm now waiting for the muffler and gasket to arrive.
Is it necessary to remove all the panels as Evilution suggests?
Thanks again,
Bob
 

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Thanks for all the replies. I decided to go with the OEM replacement. Ordered one from Calif. for $321 including shipping.
I used a die grinder and cut the two flange bolts. I'm now waiting for the muffler and gasket to arrive.
Is it necessary to remove all the panels as Evilution suggests?
Thanks again,
Bob

I didn't... I only removed the lower rear valance as Rustedwrench suggested here:

https://www.smartcarofamerica.com/forums/f353/replacing-exhaust-tips-86865/#post1001105

That said if you have large muscular arms, they might not fit in there... I don't have that problem. :wink:

Since you have already managed to cut the exhaust flange bolts, the hard part is done... you're on the home stretch now!

~toaster
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Toaster, thanks for the info, I searched the forum a couple of days ago, but didn't find that post. I'll try not removing the panels first, I've got small arms and hands.
 

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Moving along with the project, I removed the whole rear section to get better access.
I now have two items left, the heat shield bolts, and the remainder of the flange bolts. The heat shield bolt heads are in very bad shape, I think I'll have to get a small torch to heat them up. I am afraid of breaking them. The flange bolt heads I had cut off, leaving a stub still in the nut. The square nuts almost look like they were possibly resistance welded to the flange. Is that possible?
Any thoughts.
Thanks, Bob
 

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Moving along with the project, I removed the whole rear section to get better access.
I now have two items left, the heat shield bolts, and the remainder of the flange bolts. The heat shield bolt heads are in very bad shape, I think I'll have to get a small torch to heat them up. I am afraid of breaking them. The flange bolt heads I had cut off, leaving a stub still in the nut. The square nuts almost look like they were possibly resistance welded to the flange. Is that possible?
Any thoughts.
Thanks, Bob

Yes the nuts are part of the flange... let them be. Once you have pulled the muffler flange off, the bolt stubs will hopefully screw out... mine did.

My heat shield bolts were in bad condition too. I only managed to get the left-most one out, which is necessary as it threads into the muffler assembly, the others would not let me get a grip with either an e-torx wrench or vice grips.

~toaster
 

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just did mine for the second time...first time my muffler shop replaced flexpipe without removing bodywork....second time (132,000 miles)my brother and i replaced flex pipe $18...had to remove rear body work and steel inner bumper(it was badly rusted...we repaired it). no worries about factory muff...its stainless steel...if this flexpipe rusts out again...im going to a straight lil glasspak off the exhaust manifold and say f-u to the flexpipe!!!!!
 

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Hi,

My 2008 Passion (42000 miles) just had a blow out on the flex pipe as well. I have taken it to 3 muffler shops and was told that there is no after market muffler available.

It has to come from Mercedes which of course makes it more expensive to fix. I was told this is how Mercedes operates.

Unfortunately the flex pipe cannot be replaced. The entire muffler has to be replaces.

Please let me know if I'm wrong and have gotten bad information.
 

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Well, that is their story. There is an aftermarket exhaust available, and it isn't cheap.I believe it is a Sila exhaust, Smart Madness still has them. The flex pipe can be replaced but it requires welding and the pipes are stainless steel, which requires special equipment. Sounds like you need a different muffler shop

https://smartmadness.com/shop/index.php?route=product/category&path=78_172_180

they also have stock take-off mufflers (used)
 

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Hi,

My 2008 Passion (42000 miles) just had a blow out on the flex pipe as well. I have taken it to 3 muffler shops and was told that there is no after market muffler available.

It has to come from Mercedes which of course makes it more expensive to fix. I was told this is how Mercedes operates.

Unfortunately the flex pipe cannot be replaced. The entire muffler has to be replaces.

Please let me know if I'm wrong and have gotten bad information.



The flex pipe is typically repairable... whether your local shop is willing to do so is another matter. Arguing with them will get you nowhere... find another shop if you want the flex pipe replaced.

Should you want to purchase a new muffler & flex pipe assembly, simply google the part number "132-490-00-15" and you will find multiple sellers with prices ranging between $250 - $300 for new OEM units... Amazon included.

Check with your muffler shops to see if they will install a customer provided muffler.

Don't forget to get a new gasket as well, part number "132-142-00-80".

~toaster
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Got back into my muffler replacement project today, heat shield bolts came out with some heat and a lot of work. The rear flange bolt (what was left of it) also came out with heat and a lot of work. Now I hit the roadblock, the forward flange bolt, or what's left of it, won't budge. The bolt is flush with the flange surface and protruding about 5/16 through the weld-nut. If you can picture that area, you know there is no room on that backside of the flange for nuthing. Penetrating oil, heat, 4" needle-nose vise grip, and many other ideas have not worked. I'm about ready to try any remove the weld-nut and assemble with a nut and bolt.
Help.
 

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Uh oh... hate when that happens. In fact I spent today working on several broken and seized fasteners on a friend's old waterboxer... I ended up using a small carbide bit in a die grinder to carefully grind it away... going to need to helicoil one of them. :(

I guess I was lucky that mine easily threaded out with minimal effort.

Have you removed the muffler and its flange? This should leave you with the bolt sticking out by the thickness of the removed flange.

You say you have tried heat... have you heated the weld-nut till it is red hot, then tried turning the bolt stub back and forth? This may require acetylene and a small tip, most propane torches have rather large flames.

Another possibility is to weld a nut onto the protruding stub so that you can get a wrench on it.

Whatever you do, don't set fire to the rear insulation blanket... some of us have a recall on that flammable item! ;)

~toaster
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Hi Toaster, thanks for the reply.
You know how when you make one little mistake and then it compounds the problem. When I started I did not remove the body panels, so picturing the whole area was tough. Also, Evulition only pictures the Euro systems which are different. So after grinding off the heads of the flange bolts, I expected the exhaust flex pipe to lift right off, it didn't. I could easily pry the the two flanges apart but the pipe wouldn't fall out. So I thought That it was hanging up on the bolt stubs. So I slid a hacksaw blade between the flanges and cut the stubs off. No problem, thinking that I'm just going to tap the remaining stub and nut out, not realizing the nuts are weld-nuts. Of course then I found the heat shield bolt, that I couldn't see, was the hangup. And at that point I removed the body panels, the heat shield bolts, and was able to back out the rear flange stub, the easy one, leaving the tough one.
The ironic thing is that I retired from repairing construction equipment and removing broken everything was a daily battle, and I thought I had all the tricks. But now without access to the shop equipment, life is different.
I did get the recall, and plan on bringing it in after the fix. I've been careful not to light up the insulation, and I do see the reason for the recall.
I think I'll take the day off and play golf.
 

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I had my flex joint repaired by a local exhaust shop, they cut off the end flanges and welded a new flex piece in, nice and quiet.
 
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