Quick update on my exhaust situation.....
The muffler is not supposed to look like this,
Those cracks are not supposed to be there. I had noticed the Helix getting louder yesterday morning. I had felt the exhaust leak but without taking the side covers off, I couldn't see them. A new muffler is in my near future. Hey, do any one of you Houston Helix rally guys have a spare just laying around?
The other problem is that one of the two exhaust header bolts has tightened up. Normally, these bolts are actually studs installed in the head with chrome cap nuts holding the header on. In the second Salton Sea race, one of the studs backed out. (but I finished the race!) I replaced it with a metric hex bolt.
That bolt is what has loosened up. In doing so, I think it's damaged the exhaust gasket. Luckily for me, I carry spare gaskets. Right now, I know what you're saying....a guy who won't carry a tent and a sleeping bag actually carries extra exhaust gaskets and a drop cloth to work on? Hey, what can I say.
I tightened the bolt as tight as I dare. I'd really hate to break the bolt off in the head and open THAT can of worms. Besides, I'd rather do the real work in Giddings where I have to remove the muffler anyway to get the rear tire replaced. I'm going to try to limp my way into Giddings where, hopefully, the relatives have some real tools and maybe a garage that I can work in.