Changing an Exhaust Hanger Donut

Recently the weather has been particularly cold. During that late winter snap I had noticed that a lot of exhaust was coming out of the connection between the catalytic converter pipe and resonator. When the weather improved slightly I and my son went to tighten the clamp, but what we found was that the clamp had actually been knocked back from the junction and that one of rubber donut hangers had broken off and disappeared. This probably happened when I ran over some compacted snow or something. I didn’t have any spare hangers so at that point I readjusted the clamp to the correct position and said a prayer for the remaining hanger . It wasn’t looking great itself, but it would have to last until I could get a replacement for the missing one.

About a week later the hangers arrived. I ordered two even though I was only going to replace one so I could have one in reserve for when the other broke. As mentioned the second hanger was looking pretty bad with lots of cracks starting to form. It could go at any minute, and I wanted to be ready then. For now I had to get the other side on. I had done this before and had found it to be a real pain in the butt to get those stiff donuts onto their respective brackets. This time I did a little bit of thinking and strategizing ahead of time to see if I could make it a little easier. I wish I had been able to take some photos of the process, but I didn’t have a free hand to do so. I’ll try to describe what I came up with “using my words.”

  1. Attach the donut to the mounting bracket on the body of the car. Mine was really tight for some reason and I had to sort of pry it down a bit in order to get the donut through the gap between the floor of the car and the top of the bracket.
  2. Take a long and preferably thin screw driver or similar tool and rub it with a little oil. I used common three-in-one multipurpose oil. Most anything will do so long as it’s not caustic to rubber.
  3. Run your tool through the donut loop from bottom to top. Then place the tip of the tool on the top of the resonator’s bracket.
  4. This is the important part: using the lip of the resonator’s bracket to get leverage push the tool forward. This will stretch the donut open. Because of the oil you applied, the tension in the donut will pull it closed causing it to slide down the tool and around the bracket. You might need to finesse the tool a little to get it completely situated, but the hard part is done.
  5. Once the donut is around the resonator’s bracket hold it in place with your free and and carefully pull the tool out.

Hopefully this is clear enough. When it comes time to change the other I’ll make an effort to record the process.