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  • Exhaust in cabin

    Hi all

    How many of you suffer from this curse. I firmly believe it's the design of the car, ie a very shallow back which causes a vacuum around the hatch area and exhaust gets sucked into the cabin when you drive with windows open. I have played with many tail pipe arrangements but I think I may have found the answer. I have repositioned the exhaust pipe so it discharges in front of the left rear tire. I drove the car today around Hamilton and on the QEW and there was no exhaust smell in the car. With the windows open, I did notice a slight exhaust when I was stopped. I think it was the wind blowing some exhaust up towards the open window. The smell was slight and soon dissipated. It's a crude setup at the moment but I hope to refine the muffler and piping to clean up the sound and appearance. Cost about $50 in some standard exhaust pipe fittings from Canadian tire. A bit of welding and it seems to work.

    If you've been thinking about trying this exhaust arrangement, go ahead. I'm sure you'll be happy.

    Cheers, Les (Druiven280Z):
    Last edited by druiven280z; 07-07-2013, 01:09 PM.

  • #2
    If you don't mind getting to where you're going smelling like exhaust you take the Datsun. EGR was a design feature of Datsun hatch backs.

    Some people blame the hatch seals and flow through vents but 510 sedans did this too. Behind the back wheel with an exhaust tip pointing down and away worked well on other Datsuns. The idea was to get the fumes into the air that travels around the car and beyond the dead space directly behind.

    Speaking of smells, at least you guys have the gas tank outside the car and not in the trunk. The dreaded "trunk stink" is something you remember forever. I just have to mention it and... yuck! It's the first thing you fix when you get a new 510, or 710 or whatever else has one of these.
    71 510 wagon
    72 CB450
    74 CB360T
    2013 Toyota Corolla
    Formerly 510er
    It's amazing how one tiny capacitor can wreak so much havoc.

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    • #3
      There is another fix that I am going to attempt before performing the side exhaust treatment, and that is to seal the panel that is installed into the hatch. Using the idea of some newer cars and the vapor/water barrier plastic that is installed in the doors, but on the hatch of the 240Z has been reported to get rid of or reduce the exhaust smell.

      I also get the fuel smell when I fill the tank. The vapor canister and fill tube are also inside the car in the 240Zs, and so the fuel smell can sometimes be present.

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      • #4
        druiven, I did something similar to a V8 TR6 I built years ago, it has the same kamm back end that causes backdraft and vortexes.
        On the Z I sealed everything and there are a lot of air leaks in these cars as well as adding the BRE spoiler. One or other or a combination has solved the problem, now I get exhaust smell on heavy downshift or heavy braking and at stop signs, that I can handle. Before it was so bad I had to pull over sometimes for the fumes.
        However, pipes infront of the rear tires is a good look and as long as the added noise doesn't bother you then you solved it. Post some pics please!

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        • #5
          When theses cars were brand new this issue was not a problem. I drove a brand new 240 in 1973 so I know this is a fact.
          When putting my car back together we paid a lot of attention to rubber and sealing joints etc.
          Things like the antenna drain tube,seals around gastank vent hoses,hatch rubber and adjustment all come into play. I have no exhaust smell issues in the cabin now. But like Grannyknot attention to detail is the key.

          Casey
          Last edited by Casey_z; 07-06-2013, 09:35 PM. Reason: grammer

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          • #6
            Don't forget about the tail light gaskets. If they're original, they're probably dried out and letting lots of fumes in too. I made sure everything was plugged up out back with fresh seals, and I don't really notice any exhaust fumes in my Z. Of course, I also added a catalytic converter.

            I had a side pipe as a temporary measure and I really noticed the exhaust drifting up when I was stopped. I didn't keep that for long.

            Nigel

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            • #7
              on a scale from 1 to "what the hell are you thinking?" - how bad would it be to eliminate the vapour canister altogether? I don't have one that fits my vehicle (I think the one I have is from a 2+2), and I'd rather delete the complexity. Do I run the risk of an explosion on a hot day?

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              • #8
                we talking exhaust fumes or fuel smell/fumes. That is normal on these cars . Joking....sort of.
                Seriously, I had exhaust fumes in the car and it came down to blown header gasket, tiny hole in floor behind seat, poor sealing around the hatch and lights.
                I addressed this all by replacing full exhaust, header, gasket etc...welded up hole in floor, new seals on hatch and took apart entire rear and reassembled with sealant etc.
                Other things that might affect it are your current state of tune...the car will just stink more etc.
                Wondering...do people with rear spoiler notice this less. Thinking that will give me more of an excuse to buy myself a shiny new rear spoiler

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                • #9
                  Hi Nigel

                  Thanks for the response. I have rebuilt this car with many new body parts as well as tail light gaskets and a complete weatherstrip kit. I have tried to seal the interior trim that attaches to the inside of the hatch. I have tried to seal the openings where the hatch latch is located. I have inspected several times the body in the rear of the car for any openings and I just can't find any openings. I had considered a catalytic converter but was told that adding a cat would not resolve the smell issue. I only seem to get the exhaust smell into the cabin when I am driving on the highway and take my foot off the gas or I'm coasting down a hill. In both cases the windows are open. If the windows are closed, I don't experience the exhaust smell. As I have not yet repaired the A/C in the vehicle, driving with the windows open is a necessity. You seem to have found success using a catalytic converter. Would you say that the addition of the converter was definitely part of the solution or did you get rid of the smell by sealing the car and the addition of the converter was an added precaution?

                  Cheers, Les
                  Last edited by druiven280z; 07-09-2013, 07:00 PM. Reason: grammer

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                  • #10
                    When I got my Z back on the road it had a temporary exhaust that was horribly leaky. It could be really unpleasant to drive. I then had Whitehead Performance do a proper exhaust including the converter. I've been very pleased with the results. I've had several passengers in my Z, including a couple of women, and none have complained. I still do get an occasional sulfur smell if I'm really hard on the gas and then coast, but it's pretty minor. It's been so long now (10 years) that it hard for me to remember what I did in what order. But other than a new hatch and tail light seals, I haven't been obsessive about sealing up the back end. I just haven't felt the need.

                    I can't promise a converter will solve all of your problems. It's also not meant as a fix for a poorly tuned car. But for $100, it's a small gamble. JP Matte and Eric Zondervan have also had converters installed. They'd be worthwhile talking to as well since theirs were done more recently.

                    Of course, you're more than welcome to come for a ride in my Z and experience it for yourself.

                    Nigel

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                    • #11
                      I only get that exhaust smell on when i have my straight pipes on....... normally when im stopped and rev it.. but nothing while driving..

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                      • #12
                        I did A LOT of work on this over the years after 6 motors and slightly more exhaust setups. I too replaced all of the seals including the interior hatch padding, replaced just about every rubber grommet/drainplug I could find. My final solution was all about aerodynamics. Of course adding a 45 degree down angle tip would work, but look very silly on a performance car. I ended up directing the exhaust slightly towards the driverside, and extended the tip an extra few inches. The exhaust tip "flush to the body look" does not work well for our cars. Like its already been said, getting that exhaust out of the dead zone behind the car is the key.
                        You can work on sealing everything up..that helps.
                        You can add extra spoilers/bodywork....that helps.
                        Redirecting the exhaust properly works period.
                        The side exit exhaust can work, but adds new issues like ground clearance, heat near the body/tire, noise, and exhaust smell while idling. I think ground clearance is what stops most people, especially if their car is lowered.
                        Zen is finding a bolt on your Z that is not rusted solid
                        1981 280ZXT
                        VG30ET Powered 280Z sold and missed
                        Sixteen other various Z's
                        Ontario Z Car Member #002

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                        • #13
                          I was trying to remember why I didn't go out the side, and as I remember, it was ground clearence related. Not because mine is dropped, but because I have a 3" exhaust... And will eventually drop it. I haven't driven mine yet, but I expect the v8 with a backend full of holes, will have me light-headed in no time

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                          • #14
                            This is the answer to all our problems.

                            ACD VW.jpg
                            Eric Zondervan
                            72 240Z
                            54 Chevy 3100 pickup
                            91 Nissan Figaro
                            11 Sierra 4X4
                            17 Nissan Juke Nismo
                            18 Audi SQ5
                            18 Polaris Switchback XCR 800
                            17 Yamaha FZ-10
                            65 Honda Moped

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                            • #15
                              My Z was recently "resealed"......Rubber seals are in great condition.....all joints resealed from the outside and inside, lizard skin sprayed on and dynamat covering all chasis seams from the inside. Exhaust is tight.

                              Its pretty much exhaust free now....I no longer exit my Z after a long drive smelling like the inside of a down pipe....nor am I dizzy and light headed with that dry mouth exhaust taste..

                              BUT....when the A/F ratio is off and its running rich and smokey.....guess what, the fumes "re-enter". I guess what Im suggesting is keep your Z tuned ....the cleaner the exhaust....the less of a problem it seems to be. ( but the total body seal appears to have helped)

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