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850 96 850 NA exhaust leak

Chuck W

Active member
Apr 29, 2008
Indpls, IN
Been motoring around in the 850 a bit the past few weeks (Got the AC working, and it's summer, so why not?).

Just before we left on a 1,000-mile road trip a couple weeks ago, I noticed that I would get what sounded like an exhaust leak on harder accelerations once it got up over 4K rpm or so.
Other than that, things had been smooth and quiet.

Once we were getting back to town, I noticed that something sounded off. The exhaust *seemed* a little louder, but also it was something I could feel as well. No obvious exhaust leaks at idle, though.

Road trip, coupled with a potential sketchy tank of gas on the way back, had me investigating fuel and ignition systems, just to make sure things were cool there. I have no OBDII codes, and the engine doesn't have a miss. So I went back to the exhaust.

As far as I can tell, the exhaust system on the car is original, or damn close. I have slight squeak when the car is idling, which stops when I put some pressure on the exhaust under the car. The flex connection between the manifold and converter pipe seems solid, but the braided external covering is coming apart. I've read and these seem to be pretty hardy pieces, but I suppose it's possible that it is starting to fail, and leak a bit under higher loads.

I'm trying to locate a domestic source for the weld-on repair flex section, but haven't had much luck. Mostly euro sources. I also think that upgrading the cat (or just removing it) would probably help a bit too, as I imagine that after almost 20 years it's just not flowing as well.

Any input from others familiar with these WWD platforms?

All I can tell you is that the flex coupling on the exhaust manifold of these cars are notorious for failing. I've done one and I got a weld-on repair piece that was TIG'ed in place. They rust out in the accordion tube piece inside of the braided covering.