Diagnosis & Repair Of Noises With Your Imperial's Exhaust Smells & Noises

Imperial Homepage -> Repair ->Exhaust System -> Noises and Smells

 Excessive Exhaust Noise:

a.  Check system for bind.  Loosen all hangers and shake car down by driving.

b.  Install new muffler, check complete exhaust system for signs of failure, repair as required.

c.  Install new manifold.  Be sure manifold registers evenly with cylinder block before tightening nuts and bolts.

d.  Install new gaskets as required after checking manifold for distortion.  Be sure manifold registers evenly with cylinder block.  Tighten nuts to 25 foot-pounds torque.

e.  Install new gasket after checking flange for cracks or foreign material that will not allow gasket to seat properly.  Tighten bolts evenly.

f.  Remove manifold and check mating surfaces.  Place manifold on smooth surface and check mating flanges for alignment.  If manifold shows sign of distortion (more than .004 inch), install new manifold and gaskets.

g.  Check for leaks.

h.  Replace exhaust pipe.

i.  Tighten clamps or replace as necessary.


  Leaking exhaust gases:

a.  Locate leak and correct.

b.  Install new manifold and gaskets.

c.  Install new gasket and tighten connections securely.  Check complete system for alignment and adjust as required.  A leaking connection will be indicated by black streaks along pipes.

d.  Install new muffler and tail pipes if needed. Check alignment of exhaust pipes, muffler and tail pipes.  Align as necessary.

e.  If necessary, install new manifold gaskets.  Tighten nuts to 25 foot-pounds torque.

f.  Remove manifold and check alignment of both intake and exhaust manifold mounting flanges.  If misaligned, loosen bolts holding intake to exhaust manifold and install assembly.

g.  Remove manifold and install new gaskets, after carefully inspecting both cylinder block and manifold mating surfaces.  Tighten manifold nuts and bolts evenly, working from center to outer ends of manifold.

h.  Check for bent or pinched exhaust or tail pipes.  Such conditions will retard the flow of exhaust gases.  Install new parts as required.  If excessive amount of carbon is present or if car is sluggish, install new muffler.

Question from Adam (1963):

So I just got my baby back form the garage and found out that they removed the heat riser completely. Now there is a steady exhaust leak pouring out my side. Wondering what the long term effects are and how I can seal it. The riser valve was restricting the flow , so it had to go, and the mechanic has worked on Imps before, so he sounded like he knew what he was talking about, does he?

Reply from Joe:

Braze the holes shut.

Question from Stan (1981 - 1983):

I just purchased this car not to long ago. It has a very noticeable exhaust noise on the drives side all the pipes are new from the manifold catalytic type things to the tail pipe. anyone else ever have this problem.


From Phil:

You may have an exhaust manifold flange gasket going bad. Its right where the exhaust system bolts onto the exhaust manifold. The later model cars these days have some sort of spring loaded, ball and cup assembly, removing the need for the gasket, and allowing some small movement without leaking. I've got one of these flange gaskets going bad on my 68 coupe, but it's not bad enough quite yet, for me to fool with it. But if you're going to do any long driving or spend any time in the car, check it out and get it fixed. It may just be worth it, if you do find a leak there, to take it to an exhaust shop. That way if the bolts break, which they often do, they'll have the lifts and equipment to deal with it. I got to say, exhaust is my least favorite part of a car to work on!

From Dan:

Check the cross over tube between the two exhaust manifolds.....these rust out and leak......listen under the hood back near the distributor for the noise. Common problem on these cars.

This page last updated March 9, 2004.  Send us your feedback, and come join the Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club