Re: El Cheapo exhaust mod...
Many of the exhaust pipe flanges are not flat. They do not lay flush against the cylinder and that is the cause of premature gasket failures. Use a file or course sandcloth on a wood block to 'dress' the exhaust pipe flange and get a flat, true surface. If you make your own gasket look for gasket material made for exhaust manifolds, headers, etc. It will usually be about 1/8" thick. Permatex makes a high temp sealant that will help the gasket live longer. Another thing I've found is the weld bead on the flange is often too wide and will not allow the nut or bolt head to lay flush causing an uneven surface that can bend or even break a stud or bolt if tightened too much. I grind away the bead to assure the bolt head or nut and washer will lay flat against the flange.
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