Classic Subaru Heat Shield Rattle (question about welding) - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-04-2009, 12:26 AM Thread Starter
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Classic Subaru Heat Shield Rattle (question about welding)

Hello!

So, I've read a little about the heat shield rattle that seems to be ever so common on Subarus.






I've got a 2003 Outback wagon and a nasty rattle myself. I can grab it with my hand and wiggle the front end a millimeter or so back and forth.

Today I took it to the muffler shop to see how much it would be to quiet my ride down a little bit. I was quoted at $41 to do a little tack weld and stick it back on. I should mention that the other shield has already been tacked on as well and the the noisy one was also tacked at one point in time.

Anyways!! My question is: not being familiar with welding at all, is this job worth $40 bucks? Is it safe/recommended to do this? If I have a friend who can weld well, is it dangerous to weld the exhaust system? (electrical system, etc?)

I have tried the old pipe clamp thing as shown in the photo (had another one on there but it just wasn't doing anything) but it just won't clamp hard enough with those two flanges on the sides. Any new ideas on ways to shut that thing up by myself?

Thanks!
-Scott
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-04-2009, 04:02 AM
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No it's not dangerous [for the car] to weld on an exhaust system, they do it all the time.

Sure it's worth $40 to have someone do it, most people don't have the equipment or skill to weld. I have the equipment but my skill is somewhat rusty since i don't do it very often. Something like this where nice looking welds aren't an issue, I'd do.

Problem with welding stiff like this is the different thickness and alloys of the metal. Usually when you try to weld something like this, the thinner metal gets way too hot and burns through or weakens the metal around the weld site. Then you have the constant heating and cooling and eventually it lets go.

If you can have a friend do it for a six pack or a cheeseburger, that's the way to roll, if as you say he has a decent idea of what he's doing.

To get a decent weld on it, make sure the weld site is clean of rust and grease.

Only other thing i can think of is to shoot some self tapping screws through the shield into the exhaust pipe. the threads should seal well enough where exhaust leaking isn't an issue.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-04-2009, 07:25 AM
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Self tapping screws thru the shield up to the exhaust pipe..(not into the pipe)..generally works very well..our subi dealer does this for you while the motor oil is being drained...no point having the mechanic stand around doing nothing
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-04-2009, 09:25 AM
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Welding old nasty rusty metal is a challenge, but if you have a bud that can weld I'd have him give it a go. Make sure he, or the shop for that matter, put the grounding clamp on the exhaust pipe being welded. Keep the path from the welding rod to the clamp as short as reasonable. (you don't want the return welding circuit to go through any of the car's wiring, for obvious reasons.) If those shields are coated in zinc the welding smoke is toxic.

I had a honda with heat shields that rusted loose and I just removed them altogether. If their being gone caused any problems I sure couldn't tell, maybe it was a little bit unsafe to park on long dry grass.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-05-2009, 03:34 AM
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Yeah, should have said ground to the pipe. I figured if the guy knows how to weld he knows the keep the circuit as short as is reasonable. Forgot that just because you know how to weld doesn't mean you know how to weld on cars.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-05-2009, 08:43 AM
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I used a couple short bits of wire to tie the shield down, and when that stopped working, I just yanked the sucker right out. As mentioned, I don't park in tall, dry grass, which doesn't exist up here anyway.

I still actually have the shield somewhere, I think, though I'm not entirely sure why.

Oh, yeah, and I've moved to TEXAS!!! (yes, it is a bit warm...)

--Alien Out

'99 LOB MT 2.5L ~136k miles?
'85 Kawasaki 700LTD shaftie
'79 Suzuki GS850G also shaftie
'07 Ducati ST3
'99 Honda VFR - 122k miles, Has one deer to its record. Also took out wrist, but deer came out worse.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-05-2009, 11:22 AM
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Im thinking of removing mine, I havent taken the time to actually look at it, but Im wondering if you could get some of the high temp foam that some people use to wrap their exhaust in and put it under the shield, and then clamp it down ?

its really annoying, and I can see if it is tapping the exhaust piping itself how it could eventually lead to a hole in it as it would cause a weak spot from wear n tear.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-06-2009, 08:56 AM
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When removing heat shields, especially around cats, realize that they help stop heat from being directly transferred to the floorboard as well as reducing the chance of starting a fire in dry grass.

Cats can get up to 1000 deg F, if it was only heat going down that was a concern, they would only put the shields on the bottom.

Your car, your choice , just something to think about.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-06-2009, 05:17 PM
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Take the shield off and wrap the pipe with some header tape from Summit Racing or some other performance supply house. It will keep the heat in the pipes and permanently stop the rattle.

My other car is a Subaru.... Come to think of it, so is my other other car
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-06-2009, 10:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Wagondude
Take the shield off and wrap the pipe with some header tape from Summit Racing or some other performance supply house. It will keep the heat in the pipes and permanently stop the rattle.
thats exactly what I decided to do.
however as a temp fix, I just wedged a screw between the shield and exhaust until I can get some of that tape
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