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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-04-2015, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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Exhaust That Will Not Die

My 1995 Thunderbird LX still has the original exhaust system on it and still going strong or quite I should say after turning 20 years old this year. It has 3.8 Liter engine. Has anyone else had this much luck with their exhausts or have I just been lucky?

In the 70's and 80's I burned through mufflers all the time with rust on other cars here in the North East, but with this Thunderbird they must have used a special kind of metal as I do not even have any real rust on it?
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-04-2015, 05:30 PM
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It's a lower grade stainless steel. It's a horrible exhaust from a performance standpoint but they do hold up well

-Matt
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-04-2015, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by XR7-4.6 View Post
It's a lower grade stainless steel. It's a horrible exhaust from a performance standpoint but they do hold up well
Thanks Matt. I did not know it was stainless steel.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-04-2015, 07:15 PM
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A combination of stainless for the exhaust and unleaded fuel with catalytic converters (to heat the exhaust up quicker, making the corrosion time a lot shorter), added to a drain vent on the factory rear mufflers, has helped these last a LONG time compared to what they USED to last.

RwP

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-04-2015, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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A combination of stainless for the exhaust and unleaded fuel with catalytic converters (to heat the exhaust up quicker, making the corrosion time a lot shorter), added to a drain vent on the factory rear mufflers, has helped these last a LONG time compared to what they USED to last.

RwP

The Snow finally melted here and with signs of spring on the horizon I decided to fire mine up. I had not started it since October of last year. Fired up like a champ and that exhaust is quiet as a mouse---after 20 years that really is unreal.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-05-2015, 12:49 PM
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I've been considering some exhaust work on mine. XR7-4.6 makes a good point about stainless steel. Most aftermarket exhaust systems are made from T409 stainless. But if you live in a salted-road state like me, it will rust. When the time comes, I will be looking for T304 stainless, which has a higher chromium content.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-05-2015, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RalphP View Post
A combination of stainless for the exhaust and unleaded fuel with catalytic converters (to heat the exhaust up quicker, making the corrosion time a lot shorter), added to a drain vent on the factory rear mufflers, has helped these last a LONG time compared to what they USED to last.

RwP
Catalytic converters and unleaded gas dont heat up the exhaust quicker. They are mandated for emissions. If anything, the catalytic converters introduce more h2o water into the pipes.

Secondary air injection (which we dont have), and running rich when cold are to heat up the cats quicker for emissions.

The only thing the factory did to prevent rust is stainless pipes and drains on the mufflers.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-05-2015, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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Catalytic converters and unleaded gas dont heat up the exhaust quicker. They are mandated for emissions. If anything, the catalytic converters introduce more h2o water into the pipes.

Secondary air injection (which we dont have), and running rich when cold are to heat up the cats quicker for emissions.

The only thing the factory did to prevent rust is stainless pipes and drains on the mufflers.
So are you saying that the muffler itself is not stainless steel? As I can not see how my muffler lasted 20 years and still has zero rust??
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-05-2015, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by SCTbird1994 View Post
Catalytic converters and unleaded gas dont heat up the exhaust quicker. They are mandated for emissions. If anything, the catalytic converters introduce more h2o water into the pipes.

Secondary air injection (which we dont have), and running rich when cold are to heat up the cats quicker for emissions.

The only thing the factory did to prevent rust is stainless pipes and drains on the mufflers.
SCTBird1994 - Yours may not have secondary injection, my 5.0HO does.

And *ahem* it's a byproduct of the catalytic converter, the heating up. Unless the catalytic converter works differently on your car than others. And more H2O isn't bad, it's the corrosive acids formed by cool exhaust that's the problem. Heat faster == less corrosion.

This is why single exhaust cars tend to have longer lasting exhaust than duals do, BTW.

RwP

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-05-2015, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urambo Tauro View Post
I've been considering some exhaust work on mine. XR7-4.6 makes a good point about stainless steel. Most aftermarket exhaust systems are made from T409 stainless. But if you live in a salted-road state like me, it will rust. When the time comes, I will be looking for T304 stainless, which has a higher chromium content.
Yep, my Magnaflow muffler has a lot of surface rust despite them being touted as SS. Still I'd rather have T409 than mild aluminized, the former ends up looking ugly but it will still last decades rather than just years.

-Matt
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-05-2015, 09:09 PM
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SCTBird1994 - Yours may not have secondary injection, my 5.0HO does.

And *ahem* it's a byproduct of the catalytic converter, the heating up. Unless the catalytic converter works differently on your car than others. And more H2O isn't bad, it's the corrosive acids formed by cool exhaust that's the problem. Heat faster == less corrosion.

This is why single exhaust cars tend to have longer lasting exhaust than duals do, BTW.

RwP
We as in those of us in the majority crowd of 3.8L, 3.8L SC, and 4.6L vehicles do not have secondary air. Lucky you, I always wanted a smog pump.

The manufacturers could care less about what happens to your exhaust 20 years down the road - all the more reason to buy new. I disagree on your single versus dual exhaust theory .. I thought that was a byproduct of having all of that additional horsepower created dual pipes.

Please explain this corrosive acid, are you talking about PH balance of the h2o ? or is there an additional chemical reaction taking place with the hydrocarbon fuel below catalyst efficient temperature ?
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-06-2015, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by SCTbird1994 View Post
We as in those of us in the majority crowd of 3.8L, 3.8L SC, and 4.6L vehicles do not have secondary air. Lucky you, I always wanted a smog pump.

The manufacturers could care less about what happens to your exhaust 20 years down the road - all the more reason to buy new. I disagree on your single versus dual exhaust theory .. I thought that was a byproduct of having all of that additional horsepower created dual pipes.

Please explain this corrosive acid, are you talking about PH balance of the h2o ? or is there an additional chemical reaction taking place with the hydrocarbon fuel below catalyst efficient temperature ?
Dan:
As far as the reaction is concerned, I believe Ralph is concerned about the carbonic acid that is created when gaseous CO2 combines with the liquid water (both generated from combustion).
http://www.chemistryland.com/CHM107L...p2Exhaust.html

PS. I'm happy to offer you a smog pump from one of the 5.0s is they haven't all been sold off

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-06-2015, 07:13 PM
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Dan:
As far as the reaction is concerned, I believe Ralph is concerned about the carbonic acid that is created when gaseous CO2 combines with the liquid water (both generated from combustion).
http://www.chemistryland.com/CHM107L...p2Exhaust.html

PS. I'm happy to offer you a smog pump from one of the 5.0s is they haven't all been sold off
Sounds like stuff that happens after the catalyst, and a primary reason for the cat .. to convert HC and o2 into H2o and Co .. and to change Co into Co2. Both are direct byproducts of the cat, not necessarily the combustion.

I think my recycle guy is paying $3.00 each for pumps, AC compressors, alternators, starters, etc .. thats all its really good for.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-10-2015, 01:42 AM
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My '96 has 288K miles on it and is still rocking the factory system. It's still quieter than a lot of new cars.

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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 08:05 PM
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My '94 has 120K miles and still has the factory muffler set up however since I do not have to pass emissions anymore I'm thinking of redoing the system.
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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-14-2015, 10:00 AM
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My '94 has 120K miles and still has the factory muffler set up however since I do not have to pass emissions anymore I'm thinking of redoing the system.
When you get ready, check out the guys at American Iron in Eagle Point on Dutton Rd. I'm getting my X-pipe conversion done there at a very reasonable price.
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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-01-2015, 08:56 PM
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Three 97 30th annversary Cougars. All have the factory exhuast. Living in Cleveland Ohio it's always blown my mind that I've never had to do any exhaust work on these. Disclaimer. 1 car has 30K ands never seen winter. The other 2 have 180,000 and 149,000 on the clock. In fact the one with 180,000 the exhaust might be the only thing that's not rotted
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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-16-2016, 04:56 PM
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When I had my exhaust replaced the factory set up actually looked fairly solid. Car has 211k on the odometer. It was leaking from pretty much every joint where the exhaust pieces fit together however and one of the clamps was rusted through.
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