Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Crown Victoria Tailpipe Hanger Replacement

Time for another car repair DIY guide for my 2005 Crown Victoria.
I had taken my car to an exhaust shop for what I thought was an exhaust leak. Instead I given a diagnosis for an unrelated issue. The tailpipe was hanging pretty loose. I guess I noticed the symptoms but I had no idea this was the cause of it until I fixed it.

What was happening is because the tailpipe was hanging loose, at certain angles when idling, it would rub against something on the undercarriage (driveshaft? rear axle?) and make weird noises. One night when inspecting the car, I noticed that the rubber piece had decayed to the point of complete separation. But anyway, after snapping off the rubber bit, I ziptied the tailpipe hanger to the frame until I could get the new part in the mail. This caused quite a bit of noise with the tailpipe hitting the frame every time I had to put the brakes on hard. But I wasn't driving around like this for long....
On the Ford Panther Platform (Crown Victoria/ Mercury Grand Marquis/Lincoln Town Car), the tailpipe is held in place by this rubber insulator. And you can see the old one next to the new one above. The Ford factory part # is 4W1Z-5A246-AB. Link to the part on Amazon can be found here, but the price displayed for I presume OEM is asinine. eBay had a better deal for the same part from the aftermarket. Since my car is single exhaust, I only had to worry about replacing one insulator. Other models with dual exhaust could experience this on both sides of the frame.
Now I was able to source this part in a bulk buy with a few other rubber pieces. And it was a good idea because I needed the part that didn't have the metal bracket sticking into it. The one with the metal bracket on it has a slightly different shape on the end that didn't exactly fit into the hole on the frame of my car, likely due to model year differences. But in the event you need both and the metal bracket is stuck in it, use some penetrating oil like WD-40 and a screwdriver to separate the two.
To install this new rubber insulator though was a little involved. First, I removed the old rotten insulator. Next, I first tried to slip the insulator on over the metal bracket on the tailpipe, because it seemed like the obvious fix. In reality, I didn't have the angle to slip it over the frame bracket. It became clear how it all came together when I saw how that metal piece was attached though. The metal frame bracket is held in by a single 10mm bolt and a slotted section.

With that out, I installed the rubber insulator on that first before slipping it over the part on the tail pipe. All I had to do after that was maneuver the tailpipe so I could get the slotted metal piece back into the hole on the frame. It took a bit of bending to do, but once I had it aligned in the hole, all that was left was to secure the 10mm bolt back into place. My tip here is don't be afraid to move the tailpipe. They are designed to flex a bit.
With that new insulator installed, the tailpipe no longer sits against the bumper cover and my car doesn't make strange noises from the rear. Who knew that a little piece of rubber could lead to so many problems? That should last for the remaining life of this car.
Tools used:

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