So, as some of you know, I recently discovered an exhaust leak on my wife's 2007 Sportsman 700. OKay. So it had been there all along bu I was now, after a year of ownership, getting around to fixing it. Too many other things had cropped up that were Right Now
As I usually do before starting a project I asked around and did a little research. The seal requiring replacement was the donut between the manifold pipe and the main exhaust pipe. I was told it was simple and all I had to do was release the springs holding it together, pull it apart, replace the seal, and reattach the springs. So I ordered the new seal.
Well as murphy says, "Simple ATV repairs, aren't." I pulled the springs, pulled out what was left of the old exhaust seal and slipped the new seal over the manifold flange... Or tried to. It was warped. No longer round. Not going to seal EVER. It was more the shape of a link in a chain, than it was round. So off I go to order a new manifold and seal.
In the meantime, I read a thread by Kalani938 about repainting exhaust. Now I have put a lot of time into making the wife's ride look nice and work well. But Kalani's right. A nasty rusted exhaust brings it down. I figure I've already got it apart. I may as well finish pulling it out and repaint it. So out it comes. I pulled the springs holding the muffler on and the bolts holding the muffler in place. Slid the muffler off. Now weaseling the exhaust out wasn't easy, but not impossible either. Disconnect the shift linkage and pull a couple of push pins from the rear plastics and it can be pried out without removing too much. Time to get to business.
I started sanding it down and got pretty far but it still wasn't great. So I took it to my friend's house and borrowed his sandblaster. That did the trick.
I then primed it with rustoleum rust converting primer and painted it with Rustoleum high temp 2000 degree flat black paint.
So that was ready. I still had no new manifold pipe though. I decided to at least get the old one out. Problem is the bolts holding it in are allen head screws and not easy to get to. I asked around and ended up with my new favorite tool. My long 6mm ball end allen socket. It worked like a charm for getting these screws in and out without having to develop incredible hulk fingers to turn an allen wrench while reaching into the tiny recesses of the ATV.
So there I sit. Manifold off. Exhaust all repainted and ready to go in. Still waiting on my new manifold. So I read a thread.... (uh-oh)
This time it is about wrapping exhaust to trap heat in, keep plastics from melting, and keep one's right leg from burning. Well,l we all know how hot a person's right leg can get while riding. Especially my wife, who tends to be vocal about things she does not like. I want her to be comfortable so that she wants to ride more, not less. So I figure, what the hell. I already have the exhaust out....
And off to the store I go.
At AutoZone I buy some ThermoTec exhaust wrap. Bring it home. Get it wet. Wrap the exhaust. Clamp it with hose clamps. Let it sit to dry as I sit back and admire my handy work with a beer in hand.
While it is drying, I read the directions. After it is dry I am supposed to spray it with ThermoTec Hi-Heat aftercoating. Hmm. Put down the beer. Thankfully I had only barely started it. I get back to AutoZone to discover that ..... They don't sell the aftercoating. Home I go to order it online.
Thankfully yesterday my new manifold and my aftercoating showed up at the same time. Same FedEx man and everything. So I wrapped the manifold. As it was drying I aftercoated the exhaust pipe and sprayed the muffler with the aftercoat as well.
I picked the aluminum color for the wife's Silver and Black Sportsman. It looked kinda silly before install. But pretty good now that it is in. Once the manifold wrap dried, I sprayed that with aftercoating and everything dried overnight. This morning I put the whole thing back together.
Her ATV finally sounds like a 700 instead of a model T. It no longer backfires when the throttle is released. And after running it up and down the street a few times at 70 MPH, when the fan kicked on (AKA it was hot) I couldn't feel any heat on my leg. I couldn't feel any heat with my hand held down by where my leg sits. I could almost touch the manifold without getting burnt. I think the wrap may be a success.
Next week i will warm up my unwrapped 2004 and her now wrapped 2007, warm them both until the fan comes on, then use an infrared thermometer to check the temp of the manifolds, mufflers, and that spot where the heat vents on your right leg. If there is a huge difference, the '04 is getting wrapped as well.
I will give one word to from the wise. I learned today that you should put the exhaust pipe back in place, then rebolt the manifold in place. I tried rebolting the manifold, and it was in the way of rotating the pipe down into place after threading it through.
Back off the manifold came. Pipe got rotated down. Manifold went back on. Thank god for my ball end allen socket.
Thanks for reading. I hope you learned something. Feel free to ask questions, make comments, give criticism, or just plain heckle.
Below is a link to the photobucket album of the work in progress.