Well I did it again. I made a questionable purchase without an easy fix. I bought a modified aftermarket exhaust because I hate the boring vacuum cleaner sound of a stock smart. I miss the loud exhaust that I had for 100,000 miles and probably should have just repaired it instead of getting an OEM exhaust.

New aftermarket smart exhausts are hilariously expensive (and we won’t even ask about new OEM), so I always buy well taken care of systems from smart owners. Getting them installed is uh, always fun.

Strike 1: The aftermarket exhaust that I installed myself and had for 100,000 miles rusted off. The bolts fused to the flange in rusted glory. Well, only the torch at a muffler shop got rid of it. The muffler guys then installed the new OEM exhaust that I obtained secondhand with new bolts. They torqued them into space and threadlocked them.

Took the new to me exhaust out of the box, and it looked pretty bad. Eh, I figured I’ll just sell the OE, fix the “new” exhaust, and still make a profit.

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I tried to get the bolts off myself, but I didn’t have the right tools for the job. I couldn’t find the stupidly expensive sockets that I originally used in 2012. Oh well, guess I’ll give a pro $50 to do it.

Strike 2: I get to the muffler shop and the guy shows me a bad hairline crack in the new to me muffler. I knew it had some rust and just figured I’d take care of it after winter. Selling the OEM exhaust would actually result in a profit even after repairs to the aftermarket exhaust.

The muffler wasn’t strong enough to have hangers welded to it. *sigh* This means I need a new muffler. Might as well replace the flex pipe too I guess.

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Light corrosion on an exhaust in the rust belt is normal, but this stuff is aggressive.

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Strike 3: I found my original tools from 2012. Took the bumper off again then took another swing. The first bolt rounded out. *groan* Well at least my tool was beastly as always.

At least while I was under the car I further took care of some surface rust on the rear subframe.

I’m going to contact the guy and see if he’ll give me like half the cost of a replacement muffler back or something. He described it being in good condition with a good muffler and it very not matches the description.

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In other news, I have finished long term endurance testing on my 451 for trailer towing. The results should paint a reasonable expectation for towing once I’m finished compiling the data.

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