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First off, I'd like to start by saying I have given both the website I bought the parts from, as well as Weapon*R, ample opportunity to resolve the following issue, but to no avail:
I purchased the Weapon*R header and downpipe from ERZPerformance.com, and paid approximately $440 for both parts. Three weeks following the install, I had to replace the stock header and downpipe, and now have $440 sitting uselessly in my garage. Here's what happened.
Shortly after the install of the parts, I started to occasionally hear a metal-on-metal grinding noise and could actually feel the friction through the pedals at times. I took my car, a 2007 tC, to a local transmission shop because it initally seemed like it could be a problem with the clutch. The owner of the shop inspected the car and no problem with the clutch was found. He also drove the car, but since it was only happening on an occasional basis at the time, it didn't make the noise for him. As a result, the only thing he had to go on was my saying I heard a metal grinding noise, so upon returning to the shop, he ran diagnostics. No codes were thrown.
About two weeks later, I was on my way to a friend's house and my car died as I pulled into the neighborhood. After further inspection, it was found to be a blown fuse, and it was replaced. After I left, I got about a mile down the road before it cut off again. The same fuse had blown. I replaced it once more so I could attempt to get home, and it made it the 10 minute drive back home. The next morning, I was backing out of my driveway, and before the front wheels ever left the drive, the car turned off again. For the third time, the EFI fuse had blown.
I had the car inspected and what was found is still astonishing to me and everyone who's seen it. I had a hole in my three week-old Weapon*R S-pipe! The hole is approximately half an inch from the O2 sensor, and that's the reason my EFI fuse kept blowing. That metal grinding noise I heard? Well every time my wheels were turned at all to the left, the drive axle made contact with the S-Pipe, causing friction which eventually led to the hole being formed.
I was originally in contact with ERZPerformance, but kept getting the run around. Eventually, I was told they have nothing to do with what happens with the product after it's shipped, and to "contact Weapon*R for warranty issues". I contacted Chris Wanstrath at Weapon*R via email and am including the conversation in its entirety in the post below. I am still awaiting a response from two days ago.
Last edited by AmbersFMtC; 02-04-2010 at 02:07 PM.
I am contacting you at the insistence of ERZPerformance.com.
I purchased the Weapon*R header and downpipe for my 2007 Scion tC from ERZ Performance, and approximately three weeks after it was installed, my EFI fuse blew three times within minutes of cranking the car, prompting me to have it checked out. Upon having the car inspected, I was told there was a hole in my downpipe, and that that was what kept blowing the fuse, thus causing my car to turn off. The cause was determined to be that when turning, the pipe would grate against the drive axle - the friction causing the hole.
I have been in battles with ERZ Performance to no avail to have it replaced, but they won't do anything about it, claiming they don't have anything to do with what happens with the product after it's been shipped, and to "contact Weapon*R directly for warranty issues". I am quite unhappy as I shelled out quite a bit of money with that site for the header/downpipe set, and got very minimal use out of it. I have since had to replace all the stock parts and instead, have $450 in parts sitting uselessly in my garage.
I am hoping that by contacting you, this can finally be resolved. ERZ Performance has been less than helpful. I do have photos of the pipe with the hole, and while I don't have pictures of the drive axle where the friction occured, I can definitely take some if that will help (there's obvious wear - not functionally, but cosmetically - on that section of my drive axle as a result of the fricton). I am including pictures of the pipe. I would be more than happy to send the pipe back for a replacement (which is what I tried to do with ERZ Performance). Please let me know what can be done. I have a big car show coming up in Atlanta (the Scikotics St. Patty's Day Sanitarium) the 12-14th of March, and would love to have this resolved by then if possible.
I never said it was the header. I said it was the S-Pipe, and yes, I can most certainly tell you, that was the cause.
The hole in the S-Pipe was near the O2 sensor, and that that's what was tripping the EFI fuse. I feel ridiculous having to explain the connection for you, but the purpose of the O2 sensor is to test and determine the air fuel ratio. With that hole being in the downpipe, specifically next to the O2 sensor, it interfered with the sensor's ability to accurately determine the air fuel ratio, thus preventing it from sending accurate information to the ECU.
I'm sure I don't have to also explain that EFI stands for "electronic fuel injection", so with that being said, the sensor wasn't able to perform normally due to the hole, and was causing the the fuse to blow. A lot of the time, when an EFI fuse is blown, it has to do with the O2 sensor (if you don't already know this and have doubts, please feel free to Google it). Again, the hole being next to the O2 sensor allowed oxygen into the pipe, and prevented the O2 sensor from being able to function properly.
For more verification, the only modification made immediately after that problem was replacing the stock header and downpipe (as the fitment of the Weapon*R header wouldn't allow for use of only the stock downpipe since the stock header is shorter than the Weapon*R, resulting in the need for a longer downpipe.) I haven't had any problem since.
In addition, I want to remind you that even had I not had any mechanical issues at all with my car, the fact is the S-Pipe was not a proper fit for my Scion, otherwise the wear would not have occured in the first place.
Pictures are attached.
This is one question. When the install was done why wasn’t the S pipe sitting on the axle noticed? Why was it run for so long for it to have made a hole into the S pipe so large? Here is where we are going to have a situation. Weapon-R sees that for this to have made that large of a hole the S pipe had to have been sitting directly on the S pipe when installed. Or motor mounts are worn and broke and caused the motor to shift causing the hole!
For that large of a hole to be made really boggles us!
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That's very easy to explain (and I assume you meant 'the S-Pipe had to have been sitting directly on the axle'). Well, to address your concern that the 'S-Pipe had to have been be sitting directly on the axle when installed', actually the pipe wasn't sitting on the axle when it was installed because the only time the axle made contact with the pipe was when the wheel was turned, specifically to the left, and obviously since the car had to be elevated for installation, the wheels would have been straight at the time of installation.
The reason it went unnoticed is because the metal grinding sound originally indicated a potential problem with the clutch. I took it to Jack Smith Transmission, a local transmission shop, to have it checked out, and no problem with the clutch was found. Additionally, he hooked it up to the computer and no codes were thrown.
Well I have the same problem with the bottom header sliding down towards the ground and hitting the cross member, but it never rubbed a hole in it. I just took a rubber mallet to it and snugged it up, then put a tiny spot weld to hold the pipe from falling down, problem fixed. As far as a hole by the O2 bung, that sucks, you can take it to a muffler shop and they can fill it and prolly not charge you. But make sure the O2 sensor is clear of a short, if the O2 sensor wire melts to the header it will cause a short.
hmmm...i had the weapon-r header (1st gen version) on my supercharged tc, never had a problem aside from it bottomed out and got bent and was touching the axle. but never blew a fuse.
but look, the header has nothing to do blowing fuses. so i'm assuming that since you put the stock header and s-pipe back the EFI fuse has not blown out since then? i'd have to guess that either something was making contact with something shorting a circuit and causing the fuse to blow, but a hole in the s-pipe isn't going to cause that.
it sounds like when installing the header, you should have checked for clearance between it and the surrounding parts of the car and maybe bent, wrapped and shielded things from each other.
best bet it to the the s-pipe re-welded and try to make it fit better. but no header, not even an ebay header, will cause the EFI fuse to blow. there has to be something during the install that was overlooked.
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Thanks for the reply. If it had been caught, perhaps some modification could have been done to prevent it from getting to that point, however that doesn't exonerate Weapon*R from replacing the part, as it was obviously a defective part.
I'm not asking for a refund on a used part. I just want the part exchanged. I simply want to be put in the position I would have been had the part fit properly and the hole never formed. Right now, both parts are useless to me, unless I have a downpipe custom made. There's really no point in having the hole filled in because the improper fitment would only result in the hole reforming.
I never said the header caused it to blow. It was the downpipe, and yes, if you'll read the email I included above, there is a connection with that hole and the EFI fuse blowing. I'll copy and paste it here so you don't have to search for it:
"The hole in the S-Pipe was near the O2 sensor, and that that's what was tripping the EFI fuse. I feel ridiculous having to explain the connection for you, but the purpose of the O2 sensor is to test and determine the air fuel ratio. With that hole being in the downpipe, specifically next to the O2 sensor, it interfered with the sensor's ability to accurately determine the air fuel ratio, thus preventing it from sending accurate information to the ECU.
I'm sure I don't have to also explain that EFI stands for "electronic fuel injection", so with that being said, the sensor wasn't able to perform normally due to the hole, and was causing the the fuse to blow. A lot of the time, when an EFI fuse is blown, it has to do with the O2 sensor (if you don't already know this and have doubts, please feel free to Google it). Again, the hole being next to the O2 sensor allowed oxygen into the pipe, and prevented the O2 sensor from being able to function properly."
Also, as mentioned in the emails above, the car obviously had to be elevated for the parts to be installed, therefore the wheels were straight at the time of installation. The pipe only made contact with the drive axle when the wheels were turned to the left.
I'm sure you know the installation of a header/downpipe/exhaust is pretty cut and dry for the most part. If the parts are not in place, they generally won't match up (i.e. the header to the downpipe, etc.).
Not flaming but if I installed a header then started to hear grinding I would have gone to get it fixed, I would figure the sound came right after you installed it? And that is the point they are going to get on you.
That really sucks, but I know they aren't going to help. They are going to play the improper install all the way. Even if it was installed correctly they are going to stick with that. They did it for someone on here with a manifold that didnt fit correctly, gave him the mega run around.
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Well I figure that's what will happen too. The install was fine, I know that, but I agree that they will play that card as well.
And to answer beandip007, I didn't notice it immediately following the install, but again, it only did it when i turned the wheels to the left, and I didn't initally make that connection. Also, I did take the car to have it checked out but the grinding was gradual, over the course of a few weeks, so it would have been difficult to spot right at the beginning (again, keep in mind the pipe and axle only made contact when the wheels were turned to the left - when a car is lifted, the wheels are obviously straight).
I will agree, that their customer service does suck. I called them about the bottom portion of my header slipping down and hitting the cross member. I saw two hooks but I did not get something that would pull them tight. So I just delt with it my self. Just take it to a good muffler shop, so if it need a little more bending the muffler guy can say it was defective, then you can send the shops word on that.
Well, with all the pipes, their is a bit of tinkering that goes into putting it on, and yes, it can be installed wrong. The exhaust system is meant to move so the play in the pipes can misaligned it when it is bolted up, then you have some clearance problems.
It does only go in one way. Obviously when you connect the parts, if they fit flush to each other, then that should be pretty decent confirmation that the parts are installed correctly.
I have searched the internet over for this problem and have yet to find anything on it. I'd be willing to bet if it could be incorrectly installed and that was the cause, it would have happened at least once before, considering the number of people who have purchased this setup. It really does appear to be a design flaw, plain and simple.