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98 Forester
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64 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello...

I think after 12 & 1/2 years, and 150,000+ miles, the muffler on our `98 Forester has finally quit.

Is there a way to tell for sure, or will I just have to rely on the 'rag over the tailpipe' method?

Also please, do these (*below) appear to be good replacements for a good price, please?

Lastly, might this be a particularly difficult job for an average DIYer (me)?

Thanks in advance,
g...
*
Walker Exhaust Info

* 1998 SUBARU FORESTER S Muffler
 

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1998 Cayenne GTS 6speed
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1,751 Posts
Replacement is trivial, as for the function - hey, it should be easy enough to spot a hole in the exhaust.
 

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98 Forester
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64 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Replacement is trivial, as for the function - hey, it should be easy enough to spot a hole in the exhaust.
Thanks, however...

As a much younger man, I recall having, and witnessing, some real nightmares trying to replace (remove) some exhaust parts, what with the serious rust issues these particular parts tend to sustain.

I suppose I could just cut-off the U-bolts that I seem to recall rusting so awfully bad?

Again, the vehicle is working-on its 13th yr of service, and has seen a fair amount of salt in the mountains of VA.

Any and all comments/suggestions/advice/opinions/hints are welcome! :)

Oh, also again, do the parts in the links appear correct (not sure what part number applies to the muffler?) and do the prices appear about right (or might someone have a less expensive source please)?


http://info.rockauto.com/Walker/Detail.html?110-3751.jpg

http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/x,carcode,1305481,parttype,5872
 

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Premium Member
2014 Impreza Ltd CVT
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3,319 Posts
Long long ago, I used to try to 'undo' the exhaust, But that causes more damage and replacement parts on an older system. So I would suggest, using an angle grinder to cut thru and remove the old nuts/bolts. Doing so from the muffler side of the flange to the center pipe as NOT to damage the flange on the center pipe.

Guaranteed it's very rusty and cutting the bolts will do less damage than trying to remove them. This MAY require you to undo some of the hangers toward the front of the vehicle to get clearance to get in there with an angle grinder.

After that, replacing a muffler on 90 and up Subaru's is really quite easy and straight forward. So long as the replacement has the hangers in the proper places.
 

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98 Forester
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64 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Long long ago, I used to try to 'undo' the exhaust, But that causes more damage and replacement parts on an older system. So I would suggest, using an angle grinder to cut thru and remove the old nuts/bolts. Doing so from the muffler side of the flange to the center pipe as NOT to damage the flange on the center pipe.

Guaranteed it's very rusty and cutting the bolts will do less damage than trying to remove them. This MAY require you to undo some of the hangers toward the front of the vehicle to get clearance to get in there with an angle grinder.

After that, replacing a muffler on 90 and up Subaru's is really quite easy and straight forward. So long as the replacement has the hangers in the proper places.
Thank you both.

I do have the angle-grinder, so that's a good thing, but I suppose I'm also wondering about getting the muffler (muffler-pipe on the front/forward side) separated from the back part of the center-pipe ... is this part usually difficult (due to rust/corrosion/etc)?

Thanks again, and in advance...
 

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2014 Impreza Ltd CVT
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3,319 Posts
Thank you both.

I do have the angle-grinder, so that's a good thing, but I suppose I'm also wondering about getting the muffler (muffler-pipe on the front/forward side) separated from the back part of the center-pipe ... is this part usually difficult (due to rust/corrosion/etc)?

Thanks again, and in advance...
It's a flange held by 2 bolts. I have never had to 'persuade' it to come apart.

Not like the exhaust used on most cars when I grew up where a pipe was inserted into another and then a clamp added to compress it and seal it. Nothing like that under your Subaru. All flanges and bolts.
 

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2001 SOLD!
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1,413 Posts
Take an angle grinder and cut the 2 nuts off. She'll come free. Also, your exhaust is stainless steel!!!! :icon_wink:
 

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02 Forester L (sold) Manual
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1,220 Posts
You see how long the original muffler lasted...I'd consider buying another OEM one instead of a questionable quality aftermarket version. The meager price difference (check with Annapolis Subaru for oem price) probably isn't worth it. You should also watch the classifieds here as a lot of us will chuck the stock muffler for something more sporty sounding, and a used muffler is worth about nothing.
 

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none none
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FYI my axle back (the muffler +pipe section) was completely rusted to the center pipe on my 04XT (LOTS of salt up in rochester). The bolts had just turned to lumps of rust and the flanges had to be pursuaded apart. However the connection at the back of the cat uses spring bolts and a donut gasket and that usually doesn't rust together as badly. I took the whole catback assembly off the car together so that I could clamp it down on a bench and grind it without laying under the car.
 

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98 Forester
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64 Posts
Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Sorry for the delay in getting-back to this thread - I was out of town for a few days...

Many thanks to you all - a lot of good info here.

I think the only two things I'd want to address at this point is the clearance issue(s) mentioned by a couple of you ... this may be a real issue for me in that I've had four (4) back surgeries, and I've lost a lot of my ability to contort myself in tight spots...as well, I've lost some strength and dexterity (small-motor coordination) in my hands - I'm going to need this to be pretty "straight-forward" (simple), though it sounds that, by design, it is.

I'm hopeful that the stainless-steel OE will help make it a "clean" (easy) removal.

I did also want to ask dDavidv: The link I provided was for a "Walker" brand replacement, which, from my understanding, is about as good as any aftermarket brand ... no? Plus, with the age and mileage of this vehicle, I'm thinking that if an aftermarket replacement only lasts HALF as long (another 6 yrs/75,000 miles) as the OE, I think I'd be good (happy), because I'm sort of doubting the AT (auto-trans) on this Forester is going to last that long (?).

Obviously I don't know for sure, and this AT has been taken-care of (serviced) somewhat better (more often) than the "average" vehicle on the road, but its also spent it's life in the mountains (VA) ... lots of hill-climbing, and a good bit of weight-hauling. So again, I'm thinking I'll be fortunate to get to 200K (and/or another four years?) out of the vehicle?

This point does bring me to another question (which may be better posted in another forum?) ... can anyone tell me: are there any "band" adjustments on these Subaru Auto-transmissions? OD is (has been for a couple of years) "slipping" ... taking longer to change from 3rd gear and engage into 4th than it should.
 

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02 Forester L (sold) Manual
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I can't be real specific on the answer to your muffler question, I can only tell you this...I sold exhaust systems in the aftermarket for years, both Walker and Maremont (the two most popular brands) along with the occasional Bosal for imports. None of them are anything special. They are a price conscious aftermarket replacement for oem. While durability has improved over the years with better materials and coatings, I still would not expect a/m to last nearly as long as original equipment. The muffler is always what will rust out and fail first. The pipes I would be less hesitant to substitute.

This probably doesn't apply to Subarus, but I can relay this fact...when I worked for Hyundai back in the dark days their mufflers were made of crap. The good thing was the entire system was one piece and installed in minutes and sold for under $90. People would frequently go to Midas and get a multi-piece system with several joints installed for around $125, have poor fit, leaks and the muffler didn't last any longer than the oem one. The point is, make sure the price you are paying for whatever you decide on is actually a better deal. Never ASSume that oem is more without checking.
 

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2002 Forester 5MT, 2020 Forester Touring
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125 Posts
Walker comment

I just installed a Walker system cat-back on my 2001 Forester and it was OK, but I actually wish I had spent the about $200 more that OEM would have cost. The Walker mid-pipe unit was about 3/8 inch shorter than OEM, so all the muffler rubber hangers are stretched forward a bit - though not so much that I am concerned about it falling off. If it were bad enough I guess I could have bent the hanger bars, though they are heavy stock and would have been difficult to bend with my equipment. Also, the alignment is a little bit off so the mid-pipe/muffler flange touches the differential protector. Without the diff protector, it would probably be fine.

On the plus side, it sounds fine and while the overall unit is less hefty than OEM, the flanges seem to be heavier stock than OEM, so it may last. The failure point on mine was the mid-pipe/muffler flange that was totally rotted and no longer held the gasket in place.

UPDATE in March 2013:
I just changed out the Walker SS muffler (54315) for an OEM muffler. The original OEM muffler lasted 9 years and 140K miles, and had a small hole when I changed it out. The Walker SS lasted 3 years and 40K miles, and was totally shot. The fit on the OEM muffler is also a bit better. The flange no longer bangs against my differential protector. The Walker mid-pipe, however, seems to be doing fine after 3 years, so I left that in place. So my take is that if you just want a few more years out of the car, save a few $ and buy aftermarket parts, but if you plan to keep your car for more than a few years, it may be worth spending the money on OEM exhaust parts.
 

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2001 Forester
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132 Posts
I would strongly suggest getting StainlessSteel parts for everything. I've did a few DIY mufflers only to have them fall apart within 2 years due rust.
Walker does have a SS line - I've found their parts are like cheaper version of the OEM (for Subaru's - I've found to be the best).. but for an older car the money saved may be worth it..

WALKER Part # 54315 Assembly; Quiet-FlowSS
 
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