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Response Lxi stainless exhaust tip butterfily flapper

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Does anyone have any suggestions on replacing butterfly exhaust flappers on straight stainless exhaust tips on a 2004 Response Lxi?

It seems to be more of a pain than I thought.

I thought I would be able to pull off the floor cover and be able to reach back to where the exhaust hoses attach to the stainless exhaust tips and loosen the hose clamps, remove the hose and replace the butterfly exhaust flaps inside the exhaust tips. As it turns out, my arms aren't that long and won't fit very far past the steering rudder assembly so I am unable to reach the hose clamps. The fuel tank is about 4-5" above the exhaust hoses and the rear trunk is above that. It appears like there is space between the back of the fuel tank and the back of the boat.

Then I thought I could disassemble the trunk and go in from the top at the back of the fuel tank. I removed about a dozen screws to part of the trunk assembly only to find that there isn't enough room to get to the exhaust hose clamps or stainless tips there either.

So now I'm thinking I will have to remove the fuel tank in order to replace these seemingly simple maintenance items. This seems like a fairly involved task or time consuming at least for just replacing something that does apparently wear out. As luck would have it, the fuel tank is half full with fuel too.

Another two options I am considering:

- Trying to replace the flaps just through the rear of the exhaust tips directly and trying to "snap out" the old flaps and "snap in" the new ones. I'm not sure how that will work since they will have to be bent to accomplish that and I don't even know if they "snap" in and out.

- Sawing off the shiny exhaust tips and installing more standard flappers externally. This option kinda bothers me but you really cannot see the stainless tips unless the boat on on the trailer anyway and then replacing the flappers will be easier next time.

Does removing the entire fuel tank assembly seem like the right approach to change simple rubber flaps in the exhaust pipes?

Any advice?

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Instead of trying to get a screwdriver on the hose clamp, can you get a wrench on them? The clamp should allow a wrench to attach to tighten/loosen the clamp. Another option, assuming you can tighten a clamp back up is to saw the clamp off. I am going to guess the floor is solid under the tank, that may not allow you to get in there from the top.

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Thanks for the response.

Slim chance at being able to reach the hose clamp between the hose and the tailpipe with a wrench or a screwdriver but maybe a special kind of wrench would be used? It's pretty far away from the floor opening. The steering rudder assembly prevents me from getting my elbow past it to the hose clamps (I tried reaching back with a screwdriver w/90 degree bend in it for stuff like this). Even if I could reach past the steering assembly, I don't think I could reach back far enough to get to the hose clamp. Maybe there is a special screwdriver tool for doing stuff like this that has lots of length and is flexible enough to bend to reach the hose clamp screws?

I'm sure this exhaust was put together well before the fuel tank and trunk were installed so it wasn't a problem then. I'm also sure removing a fuel tank isn't such an impossible task but it will require more hours of labor and likely some replacement screws, possible seals if the hoses have to be removed etc. as well as draining the fuel from the tank before even starting. Perhaps if I have to do this, replacing the pipes with standard exhaust ports with flaps on the exterior would be a better choice. I was just hoping to avoid that hassle.

Maybe I'll search for some kinda tools I can find to assist.

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