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post #1 of 9 Old 07-30-2008 Thread Starter
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Temporary Fix - Possible Exhaust Leak

All,

I'm sure one or more of you will jump all over me for even asking this question but I have a suspected leak in my exhaust system and I'm wondering whether, as a temporary measure only, I could use foil tape to seal the connection point between the exhaust tube and muffler and the muffler and through-hull. I use the word suspected because, from time to time, I've noticed an exhaust smell in the cabin but I cannot determine whether the exhaust is leaking in from the exhaust tubing and muffler inside or whether it is being sucked into the cabin through a cowl vent or open port. It strikes me that foil tape has very good sealent capabilities and is generally considered fire resistent. I question, however, whether or not it is wise even on a temporary basis to test the fire resistant nature of the tape in this manner. I should mention that I have an A-4 and it exhausts through the hull amidships on the port side (the engine is located relatively far forward in the cabin). I should also mention that I will acquire a new carbon monoxide detector tomorrow.

What do you all think?

Michael
s/v Liberty
Tartan 34C
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post #2 of 9 Old 07-30-2008
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I'm not a big fan of using stop-gap measures with CO. It is just far too dangerous to be messing around.

Just curious, why do you think it is the connection point between the exhaust and the muffler or the muffler and the through-hull. It could also be a leak in the exhaust pipe or the muffler itself.

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post #3 of 9 Old 07-30-2008 Thread Starter
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SailingDog - I hear you on the danger of CO. My thought process on the connections was that they had a greater chance of being the problem spots (absent an area that is withing striking distance of something abrasive).
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post #4 of 9 Old 07-30-2008
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Wolf-

The exhaust system on most boats is a wet-stack system, and corrosion is often a source of the leaks. If you haven't checked the exhaust system elbow, you should. It is a pretty common place for corrosion to cause pinhole leaks.

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post #5 of 9 Old 07-30-2008
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I second SD's comments. There was the random smell of exhaust (diesel) on my boat which I finally traced to a rather large crack, no pinhole, on the bottom of my exhaust elbow. Didn't leak water or always have an odor but was embarassingly large once I contorted myself to look in the worst possible place for the origin of the smell. Hopefully you'll have better access.

I did do a quick patch to get me in and out of the marina so that I could make a race and then replaced the elbow before using the boat again. Used some muffler tape which seemed to work for the 20 minutes that the engine ran.
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post #6 of 9 Old 07-31-2008 Thread Starter
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Thank you SD and FarCry.
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post #7 of 9 Old 08-17-2008
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Been there, done that, and foil tape won't work. Find the leak and repair it properly, or everything in the area of the leak will be covered with soot and the rest will stink
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post #8 of 9 Old 08-17-2008
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Use soap suds to trace the leak.
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post #9 of 9 Old 08-18-2008
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Look for a leak in your exhaust manifold gasket
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