Exhaust leak sound only under a load - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 01-11-2014
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Icon5 Exhaust leak sound only under a load

Hey guys I'm hoping one of you might know.

I have a 2000 Ranger XLT with the 3.0. It has what sounds like an exhaust leak, but only under a load. I can't hear it with the truck parked and hood up. Revving the engine without a load doesn't create the sound either. The EGR tube has no holes that I can find and the sound is coming from the drivers side. Could possibly be where the tube attaches to the manifold, but it doesn't seem to be loose. Could a bad EGR make a sound like an exhaust leak? I can't figure it out, there isn't any soot anywhere around the manifold like you would normally find when there's a leak. Check engine light isn't on and it's not throwing any codes. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-11-2014
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To test if its the EGR valve(which only opens under load) get the correct size vacuum line and remove the EGR valve's vacuum line, put your vacuum line on EGR Valve.
Start engine and let it idle.
Suck on the added vacuum line to open the EGR valve, just a bit or engine will die, listen for exhaust leak.
No, you won't be sucking in exhaust, if you do then EGR valve needs to be replaced, lol.

Another method to check the manifolds and pipes is to start engine and have someone hold a shop rag over the tail pipe, blocking flow, this will increase the back pressure and make a leak more noticeable.
What can happen over time is the the cat converter can start to collapse inside, so get blocked up, under load back pressure builds up so that is when you notice a leak, usually you would also have sluggish performance at higher RPMs as well if exhaust flow is limited.
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Old 01-11-2014
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Ron,
Thanks for the advice.
I'll check it out, and post latter. Might not be until next weekend. Was able to check EGR, it's not the problem. Tried to plug the exhaust but I'm by myself need to find help to hold the rag.

Last edited by jlbrandt; 01-11-2014 at 04:15 PM. Reason: add
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Old 01-19-2014
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I finally was able to have someone hold a rag over the exhaust, and was not able to find a leak. This is starting to get crazy, anyone have anything like this happen? Helllllp!
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Old 01-19-2014
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What "sounds like" an exhaust leak may be the key here.

After looking at all exhaust leak points, logic would have you eliminate that as the possible source of "the noise" you hear.

So what else makes a noise under load............pre-detonation, pinging/knocking will only start under load.
Could just be restricted EGR tube/valve, flow is a little less than it should be so you get a ping/knock which could sound like an exhaust leak.

If you want to see if that's what the noise is run higher octane fuel next tank, if noise is less or gone then that's what it is.


Unfortunately a connecting rod bearing starting to fail can also sound like an exhaust leak, or visa versa, but this type of failure will get much worse fairly fast, so if it's been a few weeks that ain't it
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Old 01-19-2014
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Thanks Ron for the reply.
I'll try a higher octane tomorrow when I fill up for the week. I'm also going to run a bottle of Royal Purple max clean through. How would you check for a restricted EGR tube/Valve?
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Old 01-19-2014
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Remove EGR valve from engine and inspect it and the tube(s), they often get a carbon buildup inside, usually cleans off pretty easy(but messy).
You can tell from the valve buildup if tube(s) should be removed.
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Old 01-19-2014
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Thanks Ron
will check it out. Sooner or latter I'll find the cause of that pesky noise.
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Old 01-19-2014
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If you have the plastic elbow on your EGR like my 03 3.0l its probably cracked mine was cracked for about a year and i had similar symptoms if you look at it its looks ok but if you pull it apart and work it around a little you see the cracks.
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Old 01-20-2014
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^^^ +1

Yes forgot about that issue
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Old 01-21-2014
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Thanks Chris & Ron,
I'll check that out This weekend.
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Old 01-24-2014
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well guys I checked the EGR, and it doesn't look restricted. could be a bad EGR but I checked it by hooking up a vacuum line and applying a little vacuum. to much and the engine wants to die. There's no plastic elbow on my EGR. Have run Premium gas with a bottle of Royal Purple max clean, maybe it's wishful thinking but noise seems to be a little less after using 1/2 tank. I'm at a loss I've checked the fittings on the EGR tube every thing tight at the EGR but can't move the fitting at the exhaust manifold sprayed it with PB and will check tomorrow. Help any other ideas?
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Old 02-01-2014
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Fixed part of the problem. A few weeks ago I replaced the cam synchronizer. I used the easy method, well I was off a little, and had it advanced which caused a detonation ping that added to the exhaust leak sound. After I set it correctly a lot of the sound was gone, but there is still an exhaust leak sound which I haven't been able to find. I believe it's either the EGR tube fitting at the exhaust manifold or connection between the manifold and exhaust pipe. I only hear it under load and have to turn off the radio to hear it. At this point it's mostly annoying and will continue to search for it. Problem with being a perfectionist.
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