Lawdy lawdy, I am tested by the VW gods, I am. Spent an entire Wednesday February 28th removing the u-tube from the exhaust manifold. Every single obstacle that met the separation of the u-tube from the exchanger on February 27th greeted me anew with this here separation from the manifold.
I decided that I had to replace the headless bolts. I had to. I could not countenance driving around the country with such a stark example of Unacceptable.
Let's review. This photograph does not show you specifically, but it is true that there is not one intact bolt/nut on the flange between the u-tube and the exhaust manifold. Not one:
Dremeled off the bolt heads, tried to drill out the studs, broke two drill bits in the headless studs, had to knock out the studs, destroyed the petrified gaskets, carefully vise-pried the triangular flanges to "straightish", stone-dremeled each flange, bastard filed, stone dremeled, bastard filed, stone-dremeled, bastard filed for hours, and here is the result:
Each flange (four all told) was painstakingly made "pedestrian-friendly" if I should run anyone over, by means of rounded edges. All pits were sanded out:
The interior surfaces were smoothed you know for better air flow at 8,000 rpm. Then everything was scrubbed in the sink with hot water and Dawn:
Looky there at those flat flanges under a nice coat of flat primer:
Exhaust manifold under its third coat (two primers + a silver, with three coats more to go):
Then it got dark and spattery rainy. So I gave up for the night and woke up at 5:30AM, fired up the Norelco coffee maker and here is 5:45AM:
Dremeled bigger slots in the clamp screws that hold the heater pipes to the exhangers and control valves to the pipes, just a detail that gives me inordinate joy:
GumOut + steel brush + bucket agitation + Dawn and hot water bucket agitation + rinse and dry and primered all fasteners and washers:
The upper two gaskets have not yet been mated to look like the lower combined gasket, but these distressed flanges were given double gaskets The Ultra-Copper plastic cap exploded in two, thus the ultra-copper kept curing in the tube all damn morning:
Manifold installed . . . just before the Great Clusterfrick of brackets and bolts and orange goop and droopy gaskets and fiddle-flucking washers and nuts abnd heater pipes and good grief:
Let's remember what the left side still looks like. I really thought this was unrepairable until I was dragged backwards into learning that you can work with this hopeless looking titanic corrosion:
Repaired right side:
This bracket had to line up with the two holes on the front tin, yes, we already fashioned this thing, but add a heater pipe bracket, go ahead, then get the exchanger to align vertically with the u-tube in front saying that it actually likes to shove the whole exchanger back a half an inch. Fun times, no really:
The paparazzi found me around 2:00PM:
Here's my "friendly face" as I think to myself, "did that &@!% nut just *@$# slip down between the &@!$ exchanger and the fan #^&! housing??"
Here's my "put the exchanger duct cover on with the correct longer screws one of which I know is on the left lower tin when I re-torqued the exhaust manifold in Homosassa Spgs" face:
A very very important step is to paint all fasteners at the conclusion of the operation. Every nut, washer, bolt, exposed thread, a coat of primer, two coats of silver, applied with a brush:
Three days, this . . . now done, waiting for the one-hour dry spell before first start:
The air-conditioned mobile Ted Talk Stage whisked me to Home Depot to return the Milwaukee drill bit set with the three busted drill bits from the last two days. I brought along my Century drill bit kit,
"See, I haven't busted one of these in the past three years, but I have busted three of yours in the past day. The only thing I can tell is that this here Milwaukee drill bit set was 'made in China'."
Whisked back to the house and started NaranjaWesty's engine for the First Cure:
See the great thing about wasting three days with all of this is that nothing sounds any different, but I know that the exhaust is now unable to fall apart on a whim.
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 93,996 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,113 miles