Confusing exhaust problem...Help!

Discussion in 'Engine, Fuel and Exhaust' started by Dswartz, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. Dswartz

    Dswartz Active Member

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    For some reason I keep breaking exhaust brackets on my '02 Superglide. I have Vance and Hines short shots on it. The bracket is a solid mount that bolts to the tranny side door. The bracket is 1/8in thick steel and a couple of months ago it snapped. Very strange I called Vance and Hines and they sent a new bracket out. I asked if this was a common problem and they said no, it was very rare. While I was waiting for the new bracket to come in I had a buddy weld the old bracket so I could continue riding. I rode around a few weeks and when the new bracket came in and I went to install it I discovered that the welded bracket had broke again! It was a sold weld but I shook it off and installed the new bracket.

    Now approximately 2,000 miles later that new bracket broke! I called V&H again and they are as confused as I am. They are sending me another bracket free of charge but I am more concerned with what might be causing this. The V&H rep told me to check the motor mounts. He stated that there might be extra vibration causing the breaks. The bike seems to be running fine but I will try anything at this point.

    First of all does anybody have a suggestion on what could be wrong? Also how do I check the motor mounts and what am I looking for? I know the front mount is easy to get too but what about the rear mount?
     
  2. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    The broken mount on the V&H isn't a new problem. It's been around for a while. Do a search for it and see for yourself on the net.
    You may have to gusset the bracket for more strength. The bracket supports the pipes near the end so all the motor shaking is then absorbed by the bracket out at the end of the pipe.

    Take a look here if you think you are alone...

    Vance and Heinz broken bracket - Google Search
     
  3. doctordoug

    doctordoug Account Removed

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    The real cure is to get a Softail with the type B motor. Much less problem with broken items and things falling off the bike on long trips. Try it you'll like it!
     
  4. Dswartz

    Dswartz Active Member

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    Well doc although I certainly appreciate your input I don't think I'm ready for a new bike yet. When I do get another bike I'm probably going to lean towards a touring model. In the mean time I'm just trying to figure out the issue with the exhaust. It's annoying having this bracket break all the time.
     
  5. Spade5

    Spade5 Active Member

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    I have never seen the bracket so I may be all wet here. Can you put some rubber grommets on each side of the brackets where the bolts go through? I am just thinking it might absorb some of the vibration and allow slight movement.

    I think Glider's suggestion about strengthening the bracket is spot on.
     
  6. brownfoxx1

    brownfoxx1 Active Member

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    can you post some pics? one way i founf is to hold a mirror in one hand, focus the sun light on the affected area then snap a pic. with the camera in the other hand. kinds tricky but the sunlight is a mighty good flash. lb
     
  7. Dswartz

    Dswartz Active Member

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    I will post a few pics later tonight but a few thoughts have gone through my mind. First, V&H wanted to blame the isolators on the bike. I don't think this is relevant since the pipes are not mounted to the frame anywhere. The only attachment is on the cylinder heads and the bracket which bolts to the tranny. The tranny and engine are both suspended by the isolators and move together so a failed isolator shouldn't cause a exhaust bracket break. Besides the bike was running fine without unreasonable shaking.

    The only thing I can think of that might have caused this is the exhaust not being properly aligned. I'm going to run you guys through my exhaust install procedure and you guys correct me if I'm wrong. First I install and torque the mounting bracket to spec using loctite. I then bolt the pipe to the cylinder head. I alternate back and forth between the upper and lower nuts and tighten a little at a time until both are torqued to spec. I then move to the end of the pipe and install the bolts securing the pipe to the bracket. When I did this procedure last time I remember the pipe was approx 1/4 away from the bracket. I simply installed the bolts and snugged them down which pulled everything together. I suspect that I might have pulled the bracket causing stress when I tightened the bolts. Is there a better way to ensure proper alignment of the exhaust? Should I install the bolts at the head and bracket at the same time and snug it all down together?

    Yes, Glider I am also taking your advice. I plan on taking the broken bracket and having a buddy weld some additional support onto it and making it extra beefy incase this happens again.
     
  8. bc45

    bc45 Active Member

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    Yes take Gliders advice on beefing up braket, I would install shims between braket and pipe to fill the 1/4 inc gap and then tighten it.Pulling it togeather with the 1/4 gap puts a lot of strain on pipe and braket.