New exhaust/Trade-in question

I have a '97 Subaru Legacy wagon, and we are about to trade it in. Haven't yet decided on what the new car will be, but that decision
will happen soon. The problem is that it needs a whole new exhaust system. The exhaust has already been patched (temporary repair, just trying to get by before trading in), and now has completely broken in another spot and will be dragging on the ground the next time I try to drive the car. I'll either have to wire it up just to keep it from dragging, or else finishing removing it completely.
We've been quoted $1500 to replace the entire thing (including the cat), and the problem is that the car in running condition is worth about $1500. So if I spend the money to get a new exhaust system, I'm at net $0. If I trade it in at a dealer, I should come out ahead by NOT fixing the exhaust, assuming they won't make me pay to leave it there. ;-)
In my younger days, I would have replaced the thing myself and saved the labor costs, but with kids, work, bad weather, etc. I am not inclined to do that anymore. The car is otherwise in decent shape, definitiely not a candidate for the scrapyard. Whoever would replace the exhaust would have a decent car that doesn't currently need any other repairs.
So have I done my math right? Should I just coat hanger the exhaust in place enough to get to the dealer for a trade-in and take whatever they give me, or does anyone have any other suggestions?
Ken
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Coat hanger.
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Yep, that's kinda what I wuz figgerin'....
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Coathanger.Much cheaper. cuhulin
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On Sat, 13 Mar 2010 07:54:19 -0800, Ken wrote:

The dealer will deduct the cost, (or part of the cost) of the new exhaust off the trade in. Look to get about $800...
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If the car is otherwise good, why not just fix the exhaust and keep driving it.

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ng

Well, it's one of things where it's getting to be one thing after another. I'm in the northeast, so things rust. The car *appears* decent, only a few rust spots on the body in the same places where all Subarus rust out. It's just that there are too many other things that are rusting out that I'd prefer not to deal with it any more. Fuel filler tube rusted out a few years ago. Then the gas tank rusted and needed to be replaced. This is the second exhaust system, and it needs it's third one. The parking brake cable is showing signs of need to be be replaced, it has occasional bouts of sticking. I'm starting to wonder about the fuel and brake lines. I suspect some exposed sections might be getting to the point of needing to be replaced. I could go on and on with stuff that works OK now, but I suspect will need attention. Overall, the car has gotten to the age (for the northeast) where stuff starts breaking with increased frequency. Basically, it's reached my level of tolerance for having to fix stuff.
Ken
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check with a local muffler shop. Maybe they can weld/repair a section.
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ide quoted text -

I just jacked up the car this morning and coathangered up the end that broke off. Upon closer inspection, there may be enought meat left that welding it back together may be a viable option.
Ken
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On 03/13/2010 10:41 AM, Ken wrote:

why not just take a Sawzall to the pipe and splice in a section of straight pipe from your FLAPS? or is that not an option?
I'm surprised that the exhaust on a '97 would already be in such bad shape. I figured it would have been all stainless on most cars by then. I just finally had to replace the exhaust on my '93 Ford pickup to pass inspection, and frankly, I have a feeling that the garage was making work for themselves (along with about $300) and that one *wasn't* stainless.
Had I any idea that my exhaust was in questionable shape, I would have replaced it myself with aftermarket stainless prior to taking it in for inspection, but this one will probably last longer than I care to keep the truck anyway, unless they used really cheap shitty pipes.
nate
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.
I'm in upstate NY with salty roads all winter. Nothing lasts as long in our climate. I'm always surprized about my in-law's cars out in California, they keep their cars for 20 years without thinking much about it.
Now that's something about stainless exhaust systems that I never understood. Stainless exhaust pipes that still rust?!? I know there are different kinds of stainless, why can't they use the kind tht doesn't actually rust?
Ken
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With the temperature cycling, a lot of stainless steels that don't rust at room temperature suddenly start to rust. Also a lot of those steels don't do very well with the wide temperature cycling. You make a muffler out of 406 stainless... get it nice and hot and then splash water on it and it'll crack.
I think the stuff they used for exhaust systems is a ferritic stainless alloy of some kind.
They key to avoiding exhaust system rust is to drive long distances whenever possible. Boil all the water out of the system and it will last a good while. --scott
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An old ''Trick" to help keep down muffler and tailpipe rusting is to drill a hole in the engine exhaust manifold and tap/thread the hole for an Alemite/grease fitting.Every once in a while, use a grease gun and grease the Alemite.I read about that old ''Trick'' in a Popular Science or Popular Mechanics magazine back in the 1950s. I just Love those old ''Tricks''. cuhulin
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On 03/15/2010 07:39 PM, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net wrote:

I don't think that would be a particularly good idea if you have a vehicle made since the early 70's and is equipped with a cat...
nate
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On 03/13/2010 10:41 AM, Ken wrote:

Forgot to add, where are you? If the car is rust free (although I doubt it is based on your description of the exhaust) and a stickshift, and you are near me (DC-land) and you'd take the $1500 that you say it's worth for it, you might not have to trade it in. The girl needs a car and I think she'd like a Scooby.
Why would you need to replace the cat? Those always *are* stainless because they run so hot; any other material will rust too quickly. I've only ever seen one cat that the case failed, and that was a failed weld that I had repaired at a muffler shop. Or are the insides rattling around?
nate
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I reckon in few weeks I will get both mufflers on my 1983 Dodge van.I phoned one of the muffler shops around here, the guy told me about fifty dollars per muffler.Any tail pipe sections couldn't cost very much money.I have replaced a muffler myself, a bunch of years ago, on my 1978 Dodge van.Heck, I might do the mufflers and tail pipe on my 1983 Dodge van too.Most muffler and tail pipe jobs are simple enough to do yourself.
The cats cost quite a bit of money, but I just can't see why a muffler and tail pipe job can cost $1,500. cuhulin
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On Mar 13, 2:56 pm, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net wrote:

After I jacked up the car and looked at the situation more closely this morning, first thing I'm going to check is if the local shop can weld it back together. We have a locally owned independent car shop just down the street, not one of the natioanl chains.
If welding back together isn't an option, I think next I'll check parts prices. Should be cheaper than the shop prices with their markup. I can see how this job wouldn't be so bad to do myself. I've done exhaust pipe sections in the past where the pipe wraps up and over the rear axle, a nasty job to do when the car is not on a lift. This car looks like a straight bolt together, slide under the car, and lift into place. I just may consider giving that a shot.
Ken
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I had also asked the guy on the phone at the auto repair shop about stainless steel mufflers.He said about $100.00 per muffler.I have seen some people before use a coat hanger wire instead of a regular welding rod for welding a tail pipe.
A guy in New York punched some holes in an aluminum soda pop can and he cut out one end of the can and he filled the can with steel wool.Then he clamped the can on to the end of the tail pipe.When he finally took his car to a shop for a new muffler, the guy at the shop said his car engine was running so quiet he couldn't hear the engine running.Stainless steel/steel wool is available too.I have some I bought at a scrap iron yard about thirty five years ago. cuhulin
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Upstate NY, major salt zone.

e
und?

I can't explain why, but it's the pipe with the cat that has rusted out at both ends. The cat itself appears OK. One end has already been welded, and now it's the other end that completetly rusted off. I thnk I'm going to see if the local shop can weld it.
Ken
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On 3/13/2010 5:41 AM, Ken wrote:

Sell it for $500.
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