Join Date: Feb 2010
Thanked 17 Times in 15 Posts
Rep Power: 8
Just take the exhaust hose off of the elbow and look inside (the elbow; you may have to use a mirror), or stick your finger up inside and try to gauge how much build up there is. If the carbon build up looks like it's occluding more than 25%, or so, of the inside of the elbow then it's time to replace it.
I recently changed the elbow in my 2GM20. Not because the exhaust gases were being restricted, but because the water injection point (at the top of the elbow) had become so corroded and carboned up that the cooling water wouldn't flow through the system. (Hint: if you have the "U" type elbow, the hardest part of the whole job is getting the elbow/coupling/manifold to come apart. I let a diesel shop take care of that chore.)
Never forget them. Do something to prevent it from happening again.
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