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Join Date: Jul 1999
Posts: 5
Exhaust fumes in cabin

I have a 1975 2.0 that has a restored, solid body. Recently, I began to smell exhaust fumes in the cabin. Getting out of the car my clothes smell like exhaust. My car has dual webers instead of FI.

My mechanic says that the pipe that goes through the heat exchanger must be leaking. He disconnected hoses under the body to separate the heating system from the engine. The smell has improved, but is still noticeable.

Do I replace my muffler and go with stainless steel heat exchangers? Will this cure the problem? I hate to drop $1000 if it won't guarantee a cure.

Any advice will be appreciated.

Thanks,
Dave
Old 09-27-1999, 05:18 PM
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Join Date: Dec 1969
Location: Dade County, FL.
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The new SSI heat exchangers will help both the smell and power, the stock 75-76 exhaust is very restrictive. Also put new heater hoses on.

Even with new H.E.'s there may still be a smell if the engine compartment seal is not there. This is because the cooling fan will be pulling in under car air and pumping it into the cabin. It won't be exhaust (which BTW can be deadly, it builds up in your system until you black out, or just die. Early warnings are your lips turning blue, and severe headaches) but it may be oil dripping out of the engine onto the exhaust.

Talk to Pelican about the price, since these parts (the stainless steel ones) never go bad there are a lot of used ones out there for $250-$300. $1000 sounds way over what new ones cost, I think Pelican has them for $270 ea. new. Plus tubes $20, gaskets $10, one or two broken exhaust studs $10-$50 (not all 914's but most), new muffler $150-200, maybe with installation $1000, but come on! That's what the forum is for, to help people work on there own cars.
Old 09-27-1999, 07:40 PM
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Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: Bryan, Ohio, USA
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I had the same problem. On my way home from work one day I suddenly realized I was very lightheaded. I was still 1/2 an hour from home so I took the top off the car and opened the windows. It was a cold ride home in November, but I was lucky.

My temorary fix was to cap the steel air ducts that are welded into the lower corners of the firewall with beer cans that had the top cut off (They fit pretty well). Not very elegant, but they kept the fumes/smell out. Give that a try to make sure you don't have another problem.

Bobbitt
Old 09-28-1999, 06:50 AM
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If the engine is not dripping any oil is the cause of the smell limited to the heat exchangers?
Old 10-01-1999, 01:54 PM
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Most likely yes. Unless you are running REALLY, REALLY, rich.
Old 10-03-1999, 03:27 PM
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I am curious if there is any way to get rid of the overwhelming "VW" smell--I am not talking about full-on exhaust smell, but that vague engine fragrance that I have only smelled in aircooled cars. Is the fix just to swap the heat exchangers and/or mufflers (everything suggested to correct the exhaust problem)? Or is this just one of the 914's many "features"? Would a serious cleaning get rid of some of it (I haven't done this since I got my 914 running). I have never smelled this aroma in any of the 911s I have been in, but I think they were all later models. Also, if the solution is to change the heat exchangers, could I instead clean the insides very well (with a solvent)? ANd if replaced, does anyone have an idea how long the smell would stay away (cost/reward)?
Old 10-11-1999, 06:49 AM
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