Need advice on rear header exhaust pipe.

Discussion in 'Touring Models' started by horizonchaser, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. horizonchaser

    horizonchaser Senior Member Contributor

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    I have an '03 Ultra which I dropped off the other day to have the rear tire replaced. When I returned to pick it up the guy at the service desk said his technician noticed that the rear exhaust pipe coming off of the head was cracked. He said that the pipe itself was leaning against the primary so to him, it was already bent and cracked and that when he went to take the pipe off to change the tire he made it worse. Needless to say I went there expecting to pick up my bike with a new tire and came home with a very loud exhaust coming off of the rear head.:( The service desk managers said that it was actually a common problem on the '03 Ultras. Can anyone out there relate to that being a problem on their Ultra's? Do you know of anyone who has experienced a similar problem? I don't want them to think they can hoodwink me. They told me that the Rheinhardt True duals that I have on there could make it difficult to replace the aforementioned cracked pipe because Rheinhardt went out of business about a year ago and they may have to get me an aftermarket part which could mean replacing my heat shield because of the way the pipes are bent. I told them to first and foremost, try to get the original part. I don't want to get into this big expense if I don't have to. Also, I mentioned to them that I can weld pretty good and I asked them to give me the old head pipe back so I can reinforce the crack with a good build up of nickel spray weld. Have any of you guys ever tried that before with any success. Naturally I'd like to replace the cracked pipe with a new original one if I can but if I can repair the old one I'd rather do that. Thanks for any input on this.!
     
  2. glyd-n

    glyd-n Junior Member

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    That sounds a little fishy, seeing as how it was not loud and noisy if the pipe was already cracked. HMMM? I would also think that it could be welded with no problem. Take the original pipe, put it in a vice and do a nice clean steady weld. The heat shield should fit with no problem.
     
  3. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    The problem of the cracking rear pipe has been around with the baggers for a long time with the stock "Y" pipes. Yours is probably cracking like the stock pipe because of the movement of the engine. The newer bikes have a redesigned bracket to support the rear pipe to minimize this problem.

    Generally welding is only a temporary fix because it usually will crack at the edges of the weld in time.
     
  4. horizonchaser

    horizonchaser Senior Member Contributor

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    I know what you mean about the "fishy" part. I mean, when I took it there the bike seemed fine. I am giving him the benefit of the doubt when he said it was "resting against the primary" when he looked at it. If it was, it may have been crimped in such a way as to suppress the noise and when he loosened the pipe it cracked further. I'm not going to go wrangle with them over this. I like to choose my battles and be 100% certain that I am right before I raise a ruckus.
    Tomorrow I will call them in the morning and ask them to let me have the old, cracked pipe and I will try to salvage it if I can. Thanks!

    I was wondering what the heck would make it crack. I was quick to assign blame to the shop. I figured they were yanking on the pipe and they caused it to crack. But the movement of the engine makes sense to me especially when you say that it has been a problem with baggers for a long time. That was the first that I ever heard about it being a problem. So I guess he was telling me the truth. It sure would be nice if I could rig up a support bracket like you said the newer bikes have. They obviously knew there was a design flaw there. The bike has only got 22 thousand miles on it. I hope this isn't going to be a regular problem!:(
    I'd still would like to enforce the crack with some nickel Colmonoy Spray powder just for the heck of it to see if it would work.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 21, 2010
  5. glimmerman

    glimmerman Active Member

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    the problem with welding this is that the metal has been contaminated from exhaust. the repair may hold a short time but the best solution is to replace it now. the stress from extended heating and cooling cycles have removed the "life" from the metal. it will crack as mentioned next to the weld in the heat affected zone and may in fact spider-web and pieces fall out. sorry but its spent.
     
  6. badge171

    badge171 Member

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    I also had a problem with my 03 R/K with the reinharts, got ahold of Bub ,my bracket broke that mounts on starter to primary mount, that caused the problem , sent everything back to Bub they replaced it, no charge, Bub has had a problem with the mounts for some time, hope it helps
     
  7. horizonchaser

    horizonchaser Senior Member Contributor

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    Thanks glimmerman. You're right about metal having a "life". I'm afraid that maybe this pipe has given up the ghost. If I do (and most likely I will) weld this and reinstall it, I'll post the longevity of the weld. I'm afraid that you & Glider are right and that it's probably a waste of time on my part.
     
  8. Dustball

    Dustball Member

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    I've cracked two of them on my '03 RKC. Go with the Fullsac True Dual which eliminates the "H" pipe and uses the rest of the factory pipes and mufflers. Cost is under $200 delivered, first rate quality parts and the sound is deeper/louder with two distinct exhaust notes. Some will tell you that you'll lose a little torque on the bottom end and pick up some on the top. My seat of the pants dyno tells me that I have what I had before, but with better sound and less heat.

    -Dusty
     
  9. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

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    I have an '03 UC too. Yep, fairly common problem. Mine cracked a couple of years ago. I just bit the bullet and bought a new pipe and replaced it. Under a couple of hundred if you do the work. Not sure what the Dealership would charge for this, but there is a bit of labor involved.

    TQ
     
  10. glimmerman

    glimmerman Active Member

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    anything is worth a try. being a boilermaker/welder for 40 years, i have seen some strange things. big thing to remember here is cleanliness before you start. wire brush out the carbon and use a good S6 filler metal. this refers to the silicone content of the filler. it will help float out impurities. a mild steel as opposed to a high tensile steel will be more forgiving. oxy/acetylene would be my choice as you can warm a larger area to eliminate local heat stress. let us know how it goes. AND DON"T COOL IT OFF WITH THE HOSE!!!!
    ;-)