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510 smells while driving

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I'll like to see if you guys can help me out on this. I just bought this 510 and this car smells when I drive it. But wen at idle it's okay, no smell, so maybe its the exhaust foams that are coming inside the car? Or is it the carbs smell coming from the engine bay? Just the other day I check the engine exhaust side and header if everything was tighten and it was, so I drove it for a bit and my eyes started to hurt, so I quit and drove it home. When I got home I check my exhaust piping from underneath the car if they have any leaks, but it didn't. So my last option is could it be because of my trunk or my exhaust? My trunk will close and lock but it leaves tiny gap. As for the exhaust, the muffler is located in middle of the rear instead of being diagonal on the left like how most car are. So any thoughts?

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Yeah, that's pretty common. Generally the three bolt two hole flanges like to leak. I'm dealing with that on my 510 right now. Irritates the hell out of me because I just fixed it. It was fine for a while when I built the motor, but two of the nuts rattled off and it had been holding on with the third and I think that bent the flange a little. Or maybe compromised the gasket. I thought it would be okay when I reattached it and tack welded the double nuts on the ends. Now, oh joy, I get to grind the weld off and inspect again, because I have the same problem.


The solution is to weld on a round bubble type seal like you'd find on headers. Can't remember the proper term for that joint but yeah. Like others said, check the other places too.

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Check where the exhaust manifold bolts to the head, the union between the exhaust manifold and the exhaust pipe, the hose connecting the PCV valve to the crankcase breather, and the outlet on top of your valve cover. These all could be the culprit... unless your car somehow has smog junk on it, too.. which I doubt.


Does your exhaust manifold have little bungs attached to the backside of where the exhaust ports are? Like little plugs where it looks like something else used to be threaded in?

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I would post picture for you guys on how my setup is in a bit when I'm off from work. It's a rebuild motor, very healthy. Does not smoke or anything when stepping on the gas, while looking at the muffler. I'll check into those trunk seals and light seals if they are the problem, and the headers to exhaust pipe, I think it's tighten, because I had my cousin step on the gas while I put my hand on it, to see if their was any hot air comes out from their, and their wasn't any, just cool air from the fan. Btw the car doesn't have any rust, it has holes underneath the floor panels for the water drain plug, but I used gorilla tap to cover it for now untill the new one arrive.

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I bet the header has a crack at or near the flange.

when heats up youll find it.

I just underneath the header by the head. sometimes the gasket will blow out at the 2 exhaust holes that are together.


The header isn't a stock header. It's a aftermarket one which I dont think it will be easily crack. But I'll make sure to double check on that when I get home. I'll keep you updated.

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i check the header and it was fine. my option now is to order some Fatmat and cover the whole interior since everything is gutted now. Then order some seal for my trunk and tail light since it has none, and probably changed the muffler to a rs-r exhaust and facing it diagonal towards the left, so hopefully this will solve the problem.





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try driving with the windows up and the vents open, this should put enough pressure in the car that you won't smell it.


if you can't smell exhaust doing this, then the exhaust is sucking thru the trunk or taillight seal. if you have a window down and can smell it, then it's sucking in from the back.



if you can smell it then you have exhaust leaks in the engine bay.


also check and see if the rubber drain plugs are in the trunk.

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are those the plug wires that light up when they fire? If so you might want to change them. Heard they decrease the power of the spark and are really only meant for show purposes.


i never look at it during at night, will ill take a look at it now. actually it doesn't light up, its just pitch regular wires.

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nice set up you have.

Those are the old NGK wire sets. There great. I still have a set.


as mention before it could be from the back your exhaust is going to vacuum in the greatist right behide the trunk.


When I was in germany I used to see kids with mopeds get right behind a big frieght truck and try to get in the vacuum


Thanks, I think it's a okay setup for now. I am more leaning to the sr20det swap tho. Will I wouldn't know where is the vaccum you are talking about that is located in the rear. Maybe that's why? I just went ahead and order 100 sq. Ft of rattle trap mat from fat mat hoping this will slove the problem. Once it's install, I'll give a updated how it goes.

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well do you smell it inside while sitting there.if not then you dont have a leak. if you do then its a leak and find it.


If you smell is while moving then you know if the vaccum in back sucking it in


At idol i can not smell anything. When car is moving i can easly smell it. When I get home from work today, I'll take a look around the rear and see if I can find that vaccum you are talking about. So finger cross, hope that's it.

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Here is a quick test of the PCV system. Pull the large rubber hose off the top of the valve (camshaft) cover. Plug the hole with your thumb. Wait about 10 seconds, and pull your thumb away. You should hear and feel a rush of air into the valve cover.


If your engine does not do this, it is probably blowby you are smelling when you drive the car.

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Seal the trunk up with masking tape and do around the lights too. Smell gone... that was it.



What kind of smell anyway? Gas? Exhaust? Clutch or brake lining???


The trunk has no weather strip, so new seal is on it's way. Plus I notice my trunk was leaving a tiny gap when ever I close it shut, thought that was the problem. Will I fix the trunk and now it shut completely. Still same problem. Hopefully new seal will slove the problem. I think it's exhaust smell because it hurts my eye and smell burned gas. So differently exhaust foam. Btw, masking tape I already did that to the front which I thought it was coming from their, but it wasn't that. Will take your advice and tap the light and trunk and see if that helps. Thanks

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Looking at how nice the motor is done Im sure the exhaust is fine.Its even ceramic coated and has a different flange welded on.

Looking at your trunk lid looks like it overhangs a little.

also since the exhaust is in the center I think this adds to the exhaust getting back washed behind the trunk lid when driving.


Mike had a good idea to maskn tape the shit out of it. Use Blue Painters tape


maybe try longer exhaust tips that extend past the bumber

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  • 3 weeks later...

Last week I manged to cover the whole car up with the fat-mat and the smell kinda went away. Just last night, I took my car to school and finally figure out what was the reason why, with the help of my professor. Professor, say my webber is leaking air, so we check out a propane bottle to figure out where it was leaking from. At first he thought it was a bad gasket, so he told me to take it apart. While unscrewing the 4 12mm bolt around the webber, I notice that 1 of the bolt wasn't tight. We went ahead n tighten the bolt up and then started it up. It sound much better and quitter since I bought it. Then i drove it a good 10 mile home and their was no smell at all. So basically thats the reason why i been smelling fuel, because of that leak. 

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