1997 Maxima Exhaust System - CO Poisoning Problem

1997 Maxima Exhaust System - CO Poisoning Problem
To 1997 Maxima owners:
My 1997 Maxima 3.0L 5-speed car may be the cause of several
consequences that now seem to be possibly more serious than I had previously thought.
During the recent year or two I had noticed a buzzing sound that was proportional to engine RPM, and the sound developed an additional groaning characteristic. The buzzing from the engine compartment is a built-in characteristc of the exhaust manifold design of the '97 Maxima, and that sound may be fixed by a redesigned "Y" pipe made by Warpspeed. The groaning and roaring sounds that gradually increase in loudness over time are a more serious matter for that may mean leaks of dangerous exhaust gas.
I had developed an increasing awareness of odors that emanated from the cabin interior. I thought that it may have been a mildew in the carpets and upholstery, and I used all types of appropriate cleaning materials. The odors existed both winter and summer.
I thought that some vermin may have crawled into the HVAC system and ducting and died. I had the ducts cleaned and replaced the cabin outside air supply filter.
However, the odors remained.
I recall that several months ago a woman writer posted a notice on this news group site, alt.autos.nissan.maxima, and that she thought that the problem of odors in her auto may be related to the AC system. She was probably on the right track to finding a solution.
The odors in my car remained, and nearly every time I was in the car, and from time to time at not too predictable times, the odors reappeared. The odors also were where I was, and I was often in my car. I cleaned everything I owned, including my clothes and home with a near paranoid fervor to no avail. The odors were still where I was and also in the car.
I figured that I was breathing in something that was in the car, and I couldn't identify the cause. I had characteristic bad breath that would reappear from time to time, and others at work began to notice it. One person asked me if I used incense at home. Yes, occasionally.
My doctor couldn't identify the cause, other than to check the lungs, and once I had the flu. The conditions didn't seem to correspond with the facts.
I was sleepy at my computer at work, and my performance was adversely affected. I stopped drinking alcohol. The breath odors and sleepiness continued. A real puzzle, and I was mystified.
I turned on the intake of fresh air when driving the car. Nor did turning on the recirculating of fresh air.
On day while taking the train to work, I feinted, and the doctors in the ER could not identify the cause. I thought that I may have taken too much of some medicine. I went home.
The odors were of two types. A musty moldy odor that was in the car and permeated my clothes and breath, and, also, an oily odor that was in my breath. Next day alcohol odor from drinking wine at dinner the evening prior is not the same. That is a sweet smell that is related to the type of drink or carbohydrate.
My own doctor said that I should continue working on my cholesterol and to continue taking Lipitor to reduce cholesterol. For me that works well. I still need to sign up for the physical stress test and get another chest x-ray. She was on the right course of diagnosis, that it is lung and blood oxygen related, I am sure. I'll be continuing to adhere to her advice.
I lost two jobs due to sleepiness, low job performance and technical and arithmetic work errors.
Even without alcohol the problem of odors where I was and also related to the car persisted. Psychological stress was a problem too, and there were those possible Platonists at work who were observing my sleepiness as if it were some morbid game with them. When I drank less alcohol the problems of sleepiness, anxiety, errors and odors were still present.
One co-worker who was working on a design for a building asked me about building air exhaust duct fans. Something to think about.
The mechanics at Meineke, Rt. 27, Edison, NJ, said that the flex pipe of the exhaust system of my car that is made of wire mesh was breaking and that it was leaking exhaust gasses. Vibration was causing the deterioration of that pipe section.
The vibration and motion was being applied to the exhaust system pipe by the engine. I knew the engine mounts had deteriorated, and the excess motion of the engine was causing the deterioration of the flex section of the pipe as well a breakage of the pipe support brackets. The flex pipe is located nearly right under the engine and firewall.
When the car was at a standstill hot exhaust gasses would rise passing around the engine, and they would exit the engine compartment at the gap between the hood and the base of the windshield.
The fresh air intake opening for the cabin air supply is located right at the base of the windshield. Right where the exhaust gasses were available. The musty odors coming from the AC and heating ducts would be originating from the air intake system and the exhaust system.
The odors also continued while the car was in motion, and I suspect that the gasses were also being conducted by the turbulent air flow in the engine compartment up to the cabin air intake opening.
Continued exposure to CO gas may be the culprit, and my persistent health and work problems may be the consequence.
Readers or health professionals who have some experience with CO poisoning and its consequences are invited to reply with their thoughts.
My personal experience tells me that the problem of CO gas in autos may be a more serious matter than previously thought.
My recommendations are these:
1. A doctor's care is called for, especially insofar as blood, nutrition, O2 transport, heart nutrition, CO poisoning, vascular system, stress, cholesterol, and Lipitor are related. Immediate care is a good idea.
There is more to this, and I'm sure that health professionals, scientists, and military have extensively researched these matters.
2. Immediately stop using the outside fresh air intake for replacement of the cabin air.
3. Use the air recirculation control, and open all the windows to change the air frequently. Turn on the air cooling or heating that is required, and that has nothing to do with the supply air. Control the source of the supply air; and do that without delay.
4. Replace the engine mounts to stop breakage of the pipes, pipe joints, and pipe support brackets of the exhaust system.
5. Replace the exhaust system components as needed and restore the integrity of the system. Nothing needs to be done to the cabin air heating, ventilating and cooling system.
I will report the consequences of this practical diagnosis; and my health is improving as well.
Good luck.
Ralph Hertle
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===I would say you need to take your Maxima to a good muffler shop and get it fixed before it kills someone.
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blankornotblank:

If you had read the post you may have comprehended that Meineke was the muffler shop of selection, and you may have noticed that I gave their location.
Ralph Hertle
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IMHO you just fished around the real problem by not taking it quickly to a good muffler shop.
I have not ever read a post about someone having a exhaust problem that let it go so far as to almost kill them and others riding in their faulty Autos.
I am sure your trying to help others but the truth is you just would not get the needed help you needed.
This point I hope is others who read your long and drifting post will get it.
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He might need to go to an AA meeting first.
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On Jul 8, 7:59 pm, common_ snipped-for-privacy@netscape.com wrote:

Yeah - and a good NA meeting wouldn't hurt. Seriously dude - you mention medication a lot...
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carbon monoxide has no odor,,,,
the point of this post is?
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Re: 1997 Maxima Exhaust System - CO Poisoning Problem
common_sense:

Yes, thank you. Although, there are other products of combustion that do have an odor, and the chemical reaction products of blood and CO that appear in respiration due to poisoning may also have an odor. That may be a major danger signal.
Who has tested for the results of the combination of even small amounts of CO and alcohol.?
I would suggest that if there are minimum legal limits for blood alcohol, what about limits and tests for disfunctional blood?
CO also decreases the ability of the blood to transport O2, and I think that it would be a safe bet to say that since the blood does not instantly restore itself or grow new cells that the effects of O2 deprivation probably last for some time.
I suspect that employers bent upon observing sleepy employees or with a platonic goal of social differentiation may be mis-attributing some drowsiness to evil alcohol. I suspect that highway driving or very small amounts of leaking exhaust CO may be the cause of some of the sleepiness.
My impression is that CO may be worse than alcohol regarding driving a car.

Beneficent good will.
Ralph Hertle
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I am thinking that you have got much more than a small amount of alcohol in your posts.
Modern automobiles have virtually no CO emissions,,,CO does not cause secondary smells in the breath - though 2 or 3 to many marguerites certainly do.
Ralph - turn off the computer, and get yourself some help.
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common_sense:
[quotations omitted]

You are misrepresenting the facts. I clearly stated that I was in contact with my MD regarding the matter, and for what its worth, I'll have more to discuss.
You say that, "Modern automobiles have virtually no CO emissions." Where do you get that information? Then why do they have auto emmissions regulations?
You say that, "CO does not cause secondary smells in the breath." Where do you get that information? Personal experience?
Are you a physician or a human factors scientist?
BTW, stopping alcohol for 12 weeks had little or no effect, and keeping the car windows open had the result of markedly lowering the effects noted.
Ralph Hertle
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I think we have played the Troll game long enough with you.
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AANM readers:
My warnings are just that. The car has been repaired, and the noxious effects have disappeared. Thanks for your remarks.
I purchased a new exhaust system from WarpSpeed, and that has been an excellent selection.
The stock headers were left connected, and everything else was replaced.
The improved WarpSpeed design of the "Y" pipe stopped the buzzing sounds. The new larger diameter single pipe system, cat, resonator, and muffler create a nice low loudness purr in driving around town that is just right. At high RPM the loudness is only slightly more than stock.
The the free flow system has larger diameter pipes that have smooth mandrel bends and smooth interior joint surfaces. The heavier gauge aluminized steel and good welded construction should last the life of the car. The WarpSpeed pipe needed to be custom fitted at one place due to interference with the suspension control arm.
I retouched the minor scratches with a high temperature brake caliper paint and painted the interior of the chromed tip black. I removed the yellow tape band and painted that area black for a more reserved appearance. The muffler is black and is less visible than the stock item.
I replaced the F and R engine mounts with stock mounts that I filled with polyurethane. Due to the improved the rigidity of the engine mountings the engine is no longer a primary cause of wheel hop during acceleration. There is only a small amount of vibration of the front wheels during acceleration. New shocks will fix that. The stock mounts that were removed showed no visible wear or deterioration, and that was surprising because the removed mounts permitted excessive engine motion and wheel hop. The deterioration must be inside the plastic used for the flexible mounting, possibly interior cracks. Having found that the installer can replace the flexible cores of the stock mounts with stronger new polyurethane cores by Energy Suspension I plan to have that done.
The worn mounts that were removed permitted excessive engine rotation due to the torque reaction, and that eventually broke the exhaust pipe flex-joint. Exhaust gas leaking was the resulting problem, and I'm happy to say that has been fixed.
The exhaust system work was done by Meinecke Car Care Center on Rt 27 in Edison, NJ, and their work is first rate. I purchased the components needed via the internet from WarpSpeed, and Meinecke installed them. Meinecke sells performance exhausts that are of high quality, however, by purchasing from WarpSpeed via the internet and having Meinecke install the items I saved more than $1000 compared to a Nissan installed OEM replacement system.
The new system provides 20 Hp. more power, and there will be improved fuel economy. The new power adds fun to the low level performance sounds. Wheel spin is another consequence of the extra power. I'll be in the market for a limited slip differential for the 97 Max 5-speed.
Ralph Hertle
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===I notice WarpSpeed exhaust systems are intended for off road use. They imply no complance with any City or state laws here in the USA.
So as and example would you be able to use it in say California?
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BongoDrum:
BongoDrum wrote:

I didn't notice that on the WarpSpeed web site. I'll check the information.
Thanks.
Ralph Hertle
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==I sent them and e-mail with the question about how legal their exhaust system is in all States in the USA.
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BongoDrum:
BongoDrum wrote:

I am really happy with the sounds the Warpspeed exhaust produces: a nice purr at ~1k to ~2k, a resonant louder purr at slightly higher rpms, a non resonant quiet sound at higher ~2k to ~4k rpms, and only a slightly higher resonant sound and not much loudness at 4-6k rpm.
The loudness is subdued at every rpm, and the purr is nice without being obtrusive, raucous or obtrusive.
The Warpspeed Y-Pipe ended the Nissan bee sound, however, other slight buzzing sounds occur that are similar to a 350-Z. I suspect that similar cam grind and manifold shapes cause that. Searching the Internet I couldn't find mandrel bent manifolds that would fit the Warpspeed Y-Pipe. I stayed with the Warpspeed recommendation that the Y-Pipe answers the immediate needs, and that replacing the stock manifolds would add only an insignificant power gain.
Meinecke, of Edison NJ, found that the Warpspeed pipe over the rear axle clanked on the suspension control arm, and they did some cut and fit magic to resolve that matter. Meinecke also does large diameter completely custom exhaust systems with or without stainless steel performance mufflers or piping components. They are concerned with issues of smooth interior joints, welded fabrication and proper fastenings. Their prices are worth checking.
My car is a 1997 Max, and Warpspeed sold the last exhaust system of that type to me. I wouldn't hesitate to use their products on a newer model car. And, also, to have Meineke customize and install the items locally.
Ralph Hertle
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===Well Warpspeed never answered me so I don't feel real warm and fuzzy dealing with them. I will checkout Meineke when I need exhaust work.
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BongoDrum:
BongoDrum wrote:

Warpspeed is busy, and they are more phone 1:1 than Internet types.
Call them when you need to know. I know they have the answers.
Ralph Hertle
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Ralph Hertle wrote:

Everyone claims better fuel economy on things like this but it just doesn't make sense. The reduced backpressure increases engine efficiency (in terms of pumping air) but there is a MAF sensor there that automatically compensates for the extra airflow. If you want fuel economy, retune the car.
In practice, most drivers spend more time enjoying the extra punch and end up burning more gas.

I have a 97 VLSD version tranny that's waiting to be rebuilt. Email me (dont' forget to fix my email address) and mention maxima in the subject line if you're interested.
My exhaust is pretty rusty too. In fact I once tried to separate the y-pipe from the cat but the bolts and nuts are now reduced to one single fused blob. I have all newer OEM parts to replace it, but now in fact I'm worried the attachments from the exhaust to the car will be seized up badly or break apart. Did your installer mention any such nuisances?
Dave
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David:
David Geesaman wrote:

Without a doubt, you're right. Although, due to the increased flow the charge in the cylinder is a tiny bit greater, and one may use a smaller throttle opening.

Ha. That is true.

No. They use all types of tools including the cutting torch. Meinecke has many types of replacement bolt or weld attachments for use where appropriate. They make custom bends and swaged pieces. I supplied a spray can of high temperature paint used for brake calipers and that can be applied to limit rust at the bolts and welds. They demolish and replace.
Ralph Hertle
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