I should open up an auto body shop. Who needs welders when you’ve got cardboard to solve your automotive troubles!
Ever since I bought the GTI I’ve had this nasty exhaust rattle that drives me crazy. My friend and I figured the exhaust pipe was shaking under WOT against the bottom of the rear bumper. The clearance was like 1cm; a reasonable striking distance of exhaust shakage.
Problem was, the exhaust is suspended by a rubber hanger that’s fixed to two welded points; one on the frame, one on the muffler. So I needed to make some space between the rubber hanger and the frame. You can see here; that hanger is happily not letting go of those two hooks:
So I devised (tore off) some little cardboard shims (folded cardboard) that I could insert between the welded hooks and the rubber hanger, thereby granting a tiny bit of clearance between muffler and bumper. Yes, cardboard is flammable. I know this. But even while running hot, the area around the rubber hanger does not reach paper-burning temperatures.
If only all auto repairs were this easy. I just pulled down the muffler, creating gaps between the hanger and hook, and slipped in the cardboard shims. The tension on the rubber hanger holds the cardboard in place.
Before and After
It doesn’t look like much, but those extra couple millimeters have resolved my annoying muffler vibration. Plus, the cardboard acts as a shock absorber and prevents excess travel into the bumper. I can go full throttle, rattle-free.
I estimate this job took me 13 minutes. At Tim’s Auto Body, you would be charged for the full hour.