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Discussion Starter #1
So, I've got a little bit of a problem. One of my expansion bolts is lose. I'm not overly familiar with the names of the parts involved here, but the two pieces the expansion bolt hold together are lose and seem to separate very easily, which is causing a loud and unattractive rattling noise. Also, at the same time, the heat shield, around (what I think is) the catalytic converter; (it has a sensor in the side of it) is lose and also rattling.

So, the big problem here is that the spring bolt is very rusted and it seems that as soon as I try to twist it, it bends. I'm worried that I'm going to have it break off still in the threads (which are a part of the cc) and have to replace the whole shibang down there because the cc is only sold in a set with everything else.

I've temporarily fixed the heatshield by tightening a clamp around the whole thing to hold it in place, but I just need some ideas about what to do with this expansion bolt. I have a few of my own, one involves drilling it out to a larger diameter and using a bolt/spring and two nuts, but I'm worried it'll be so close to the corner it'll just rip through seeing as how it's so rusty already.

Anyway, I'll save my poor ideas about how to proceed from here, and hope to read some good solutions! If you need any more clarification or information, just let me know! Thanks!
 

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By "expansion bolt" I assume you are talking about the bolt that holds the first tail pipe section to the first cat? (The pipe that has the second cat in it.)

Willie
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Willie- By expansion bolt, I mean part number 14 from this diagram.

Honda Automotive Parts

02 insight - Yes, I mean the bolt was bending, but I was trying to remove it, not tighten it, as I was planning on replacing it. Thanks for that link, I searched for thread on the same matter but failed at finding one. Probably should have searched for "flex bolt" like it's labeled. I'm not sure if the donut gasket is still in there and I'm guessing I can't check, without taking out both of the flex bolts?

I've applied excessive amounts of lubrication, I'm worried that after the first one breaks (At this point I almost think I'd be better off to cut the head off and try a pipe wrench on the shaft on the bolt to possibly prevent it from breaking) the second one will suffer the same fate, and I'll be stuck with two ends of bolts stuck, inside part number 29 (from the diagram linked above) and no way to reconnect my exhaust.
 

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when one of my bolts broke off. I took the catalytic converter off, and hammered the nut on the other side that the bolt goes into, and the nut, which was just lightly welded on came off along with the broken bolt. If that happens, then you can simply use another nut and bolt along with the original spring.

here is a picture of the nut that i hammered off when the bolt broke.

 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the information about the nut coming off relatively easily. I just have a couple more questions so I can hopefully be prepared when I try to fix this. Will I need the actual replacement bolts from Honda, or is it something I can bring to my local hardware store and pick up there?

Also, did you have a hard time taking off the catalytic converter, or did those bolts come out alright?
 

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hardware store replacement bolts will work fine, but you may need a washer to make a wider seat for the spring, unless you find one which has a wide head that can hold the spring.

But these bolts should be at autoparts stores as well, since alot of honda's use the same bolts+spring (they arent specific to the insight) They are about $10 each from the dealer,

The cat shouldnt be hard to take off. Its only 3 nuts on top, these 2 flex bolts, and one bolt that attaches to a support rod. I did have trouble with the 3 nuts on top since its a very tight spot, and you have to make sure your wrench is the right size and good condition. You usually only have one try, because if it slips, it will strip the nut and be a headache to remove. So be careful and use penetrant and make sure you have a good bite on the nut the first time, especially if the nuts are rusty.

btw, here is a list of other honda's that use the same bolt
Fits
Accord 2DR 1989 - 2007
Civic 2DR 1993 - 2005
CRX 2DR 1988 - 1991
Del Sol 2DR 1993 - 1997
S2000 2DR 2000 - 2009
Accord 3DR 1989 - 1989
Civic 3DR 1988 - 2005
Insight 3DR 2000 - 2006
Accord 4DR 1989 - 2007
Civic 4DR 1988 - 2005
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'll probably order that gasket before I even try to fix it again just in case that's the actual problem. So I guess next weekend I'll probably try again. Thanks a bunch for all of the information!
 

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I doubt that the "doughnut" gasket is completely gone.
It is real thick and durable. It may be worn down a lot.
Go by a muffler shop and ask to see what a doughnut gasket" looks like.
The bolt is designed with the spring to allow the exhaust pipe to flex because of the rotational motion of the engine under torque.
So, make sure that you don't over tighten the bolt on re installation.

HTH
Willie
 

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with a generic bolt, you have to judge for yourself how tight you want to get it and also allow room for flexing of the spring, because a generic bolt will have any random length of threads. An original exhaust bolt will have a specific length of threads, which you just have to tighten until it stops. It will already be designed to allow the normal amount of spring flex.

 

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Discussion Starter #11
Last weekend I decided to finally take this task upon myself. I thought, "bah, I'll go to dealer, get the parts, and just do it really quick." I noted the price difference of the parts, between listed MSRP, and Majestic Honda's and there was only like a ten dollar difference, and to me, I don't mind an extra ten dollars to have a part immediately. Anyway, MSRP on Majestic for everything donut, two springs, and two bolts, was like 54, and the dealership charged me 98. UGH!

Anyway, went home, both bolts ended up breaking. I drilled them out. Talk about misery. And yeah... anyway the donut gasket was completely gone. I ended up replacing the bolts with my hardware store bolts, and returning the other bolts to the dealership. I had read somewhere else about removing the Cat and knocking off the nuts with a hammer, but the three bolts that hold my cat on were also fairly rusted...

Sounds like a new car though!

Now I've just got to get rid of the"herky jerky"
 
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