Exhaust smell? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 16, 06:57 AM Thread Starter
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Question Exhaust smell?

Hey all...long time no see. Hoping for a little guidance...

I did a couple searches but came up empty. Posted this over at LS1Tech as well.

I did the engine swap from an '06 GTO into my '69 Camaro a few years ago. I've been plagued with that exhaust smell issue inside the car and it seems to be worsening as time goes on.

Complete engine\auto trans swapped, factory electronics\harnesses, 1.75" Headman headers into full Magnaflow exhaust system, no Cats, tail pipes exit below the roll pan. They point down at a 45 degree-ish angle but do not extend past the roll pan.

I haven't run diagnostics on it in a couple years...just been enjoying the crap out of driving it. There are no CEL's displayed and it runs just like it did since day one. I realize it's gonna stink because of the lack of Cats, but it's becoming an issue now. I thought maybe the exhaust was getting into the cabin somehow, so I went front to back and there's no loose exhaust connections and no openings from the body to the interior... at least not large enough that would choke me. I don't know if it's something that's coming more from the front of the car or seeping in from the back. Of course these old relics aren't known for being sealed like a newer car, so there's a million places for stench to creep in. But this is bad enough to burn my eyes.

I can put the computer on it and see what it says, but I'm not sure which specs to pay the most attention to and record.

The 02 sensors are new last year. I don't think this is a rich vs. lean thing, at least I don't think so... I think it's more exhaust than anything.
I have tail pipe extensions, but haven't put them on yet because it means tail pipe surgery, and I hate to cut up my exhaust until I've 'exhausted' all other options.

The only other thing I can think of is that it's coming from under the hood... the rear of the cowl hood opening is open, and it's coming through the cowl into the interior.
But everything is tight...and it doesn't burn oil.

Suggestions?

Thanks!

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 16, 07:20 AM
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Re: Exhaust smell?

Joe, in my experience it's actually lean that will burn your eyes not rich. I can command my idle AFR to say 15 and it's like getting sprayed in the eyes with pepper spray and hard to breathe, actually have to get away from it. Take it down to 13.5-14 or something and sure it stinks but that's it.

Like you said though, tracking down how it gets in the car is the trick. You have to make sure the door jam vents have their little flappers in tact, that the fresh air vent and door seals are good, that the heater core tube seal is good, that the hood to cowl seal is good, that if you have a cowl hood without a flapper you've got that sealed off, etc etc.

I've got a few things left to do on mine but am close to giving up on not smelling like exhaust after a drive.

'69 Camaro
Dart 400-AFR 195-224/224 HR-Powerjection III TB with F.A.S.T. Sportsman XFI
TKO 600-Moser 3.42-Detroit Truetrac
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 16, 08:11 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Exhaust smell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steiner View Post
Joe, in my experience it's actually lean that will burn your eyes not rich.
I'm scanning it now.

I have an Innovate MTX-L wideband, but never installed it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steiner View Post
You have to make sure the door jam vents have their little flappers in tact, that the fresh air vent and door seals are good, that the heater core tube seal is good, that the hood to cowl seal is good, that if you have a cowl hood without a flapper you've got that sealed off, etc etc.
The door vents are non-existent. I never put them back in. Time to dig them back out and replace the flappers.
The rockers have airflow...they're open in the wheelwell.
The hood seal on the cowl is there...not sure if its sealing though. The cowl on the hood is open and I've been meaning to block it off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steiner View Post
I've got a few things left to do on mine but am close to giving up on not smelling like exhaust after a drive.
Lets see if I can get some data when this thing warms up.
Thanks Steiner!

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 16, 08:18 AM
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Re: Exhaust smell?

Yeah, having the cowl hood with the back open is about like not having a hood seal, maybe worse. I've got one of those black anodized grills for mine and the plan was to sandwich a strip of rubber between it and the flapper void.

'69 Camaro
Dart 400-AFR 195-224/224 HR-Powerjection III TB with F.A.S.T. Sportsman XFI
TKO 600-Moser 3.42-Detroit Truetrac
500hp/538lbft

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 16, 09:21 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Exhaust smell?

Sorry for my impatience and ignorance...but I had to take screenshots of the ScanXL data...
Everything is at idle, warmed up unless otherwise stated in the image name.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 16, 09:22 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Exhaust smell?

The rest of the data
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 16, 09:47 AM
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Re: Exhaust smell?

This is a stock cam and tune right? I think the main problem is having no cats while still running stock ~10 degree idle timing and 14.6 AFR. I bet if you threw two high flow cats on it you wouldn't notice at all (except for maybe a little less noise) and would get rid of the smell.

'69 Camaro
Dart 400-AFR 195-224/224 HR-Powerjection III TB with F.A.S.T. Sportsman XFI
TKO 600-Moser 3.42-Detroit Truetrac
500hp/538lbft

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 16, 10:54 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Exhaust smell?

Stock cam and tune, except that the GM dyno guru did make some changes during the runs, but I don't know what. He may still have my data so I might be able to find out.

Cats are definitely an option if I can't find another solution.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 16, 10:56 AM
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Re: Exhaust smell?

He might've just leaned up the top end. LS's are very very rich at wot stock.

'69 Camaro
Dart 400-AFR 195-224/224 HR-Powerjection III TB with F.A.S.T. Sportsman XFI
TKO 600-Moser 3.42-Detroit Truetrac
500hp/538lbft

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 16, 11:30 AM
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Re: Exhaust smell?

instant odor elimination and a burst of freshness
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 16, 11:37 AM
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Re: Exhaust smell?

Chinese face shields also do double-duty.



'69 Camaro
Dart 400-AFR 195-224/224 HR-Powerjection III TB with F.A.S.T. Sportsman XFI
TKO 600-Moser 3.42-Detroit Truetrac
500hp/538lbft

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'02 Z/28 vert-stock-sold and totaled
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 16, 12:48 PM
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Re: Exhaust smell?

Mine (carbed) was really bad at idle, so I bought that MTX-L AFR gauge, and wow was it rich (10-10.5). I played with the timing and carb until it idles in the 13.5-14.5 range and what a difference. (happy wife)
My timing at idle is 28 @ 600 and rises to 31 @ 1000, then goes to 35 at 1300 to 8000.
I can say its the cleanest idle my Camaro has ever had.

I would think w/o the cats the O2 sensors aren't reading right or fighting each other. I have no clue how to read your tune, so shooting from the hip

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 16, 01:02 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Exhaust smell?

I've taken to shoving my shooting earplugs up my nose while driving it.

The only question the data brings up to me is the fact that the one log shows the downstream CATs still active. I don't know if that's an issue with ScanXL or not though. I highly doubt they're still enabled.

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 16, 01:09 PM
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Re: Exhaust smell?

You don't turn off the sensors, just disable the error codes and post cat tests even if they're not there at all. Plus with the way yours is now that gives you two spares for the front.

'69 Camaro
Dart 400-AFR 195-224/224 HR-Powerjection III TB with F.A.S.T. Sportsman XFI
TKO 600-Moser 3.42-Detroit Truetrac
500hp/538lbft

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 16, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Exhaust smell?

Actually the pre-cat and post-cat O2 sensors have different connecters. But I already tried splicing the rears into the front and the car ran exactly the same. So I just bought two new fronts last year.

Honestly, an LS running 92 octane smells totally different than a 70's or 80's engine as far as a rich/lean conditions or the exhaust smells.. Know what I mean? It has its own signature. Still there's not so much a fuel smell as an exhaust smell.

It wasn't so bad today just sitting in the driveway running for 30+ minutes. Maybe a breeze? It's horrible while I'm driving.

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