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Mon Dec 04, 2006
Last Thursday I finally got pulled over for the exhaust on the 91 Golf. I was only pulled over for a couple of minutes, and I didn't even get a written warning so it may have just been a "drunk check", so to speak. Anyhow, that got me thinking that I should start looking at new cat-back systems for it. I've been real lucky not to have been pulled over at all until now.

First off, I figured I should get a new catalytic converter at the same time. The Golf used to burn a lot of oil (before I replaced the valve stem seals) so the cat may have some clogging. In addition to that, the previous owner had the mid-pipe welded to the catalytic converter. Between those 2 things, I can't count 100% on being able to reuse the existing cat. To top it off, I thought it would be nice to upgrade to a 55mm cat, which was the largest that they used on any A2 Golf/Jetta from the factory. I found a new OEM (Emico) cat at autohausaz.com for just over $150, which is a pretty good deal. The 55mm cats were used on, among others, the later 8 valve GTIs with the PF engine - so I kept that in mind while looking for parts (mine is a Golf GL with the RV engine, at the moment). Even though I wanted a stainless cat-back system, I didn't want to spend the money for one (for the most part, they were $500 and up). I saw that the Bosal stainless sport systems were not necessarily made entirely of stainless steel (their description says all mufflers and "select systems", whatever that means, are stainless), and I didn't want to spend almost $400 for a system that might end up being partly aluminized instead of stainless. I did some more price checking online, and even priced out a completely factory system (Ansa/Bosal) - which was looking like the least amount of money. A factory system would have been a little too tame for my taste, but I was considering it.

The next day I headed to Atlantic to see what they could do for me, since I know they're good about trying to match online prices. I won't disclose what I ended up getting for a deal, but I was pleasantly surprised. They said they were pretty certain that the Bosal sport stainless systems for the A2s were made entirely of stainless, and then they quoted me a fantastic price for one of the systems. To make a long story short (too late?) I ended up with the cat and a stainless cat-back system for only a little more than I would have paid online for a cat plus a nice aluminized system.

I went to pick up the system today, and was thrilled to see that it was not only made entirely of stainless, but it was also completely polished and used flanged connections! In this picture, you can see the whole system laid out, along with the new 55mm cat:
stainless bosal cat back exhaust for A2 Golf GTI w/55mm cat

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Date: 05/30/07, 19:56:13 PDT
From: Wade
Comments: Max, I just happened across your site today through the vwvortex. Amazing stuff. I immediately called Atlantic about a bosal stainless system for my 91 Golf upon seeing the pic of yours. And I'm in Canada. One question. Now that you've had it for 5.5 months, do you like it????? Regards, Wade

Date: 05/31/07, 06:06:02 PDT
From: Max
Comments: Hi Wade, it's great to hear from a fellow Vortexer! It's interesting you should mention the Bosal exhaust, recently I've been thinking I should put up a post about my long-term experience with it. As with any system that uses fiberglass-packed mufflers, the sound will change over time as the exhaust "breaks in". It breaks, kind of like a person's voice when they hit puberty. :) One day you'll be driving it and notice "hey, this sounds a lot throatier than it did when I first installed it". The stainless Neuspeed system we have on my wife's A3 Golf did the same thing (it sounds downright mean, actually). The Bosal exhaust still sounds good, it's just not as quiet as it was. At partial throttle it has a little bit of that "bumblebee" sound that you'd expect a Honda with a fart-cannon to make, but when you give it full throttle it really growls (very similar to the sound of a Subaru WRX exhaust, strangely enough). Be aware that if you're going to install exactly the same system that I did, you will need to convert to a 55mm catalytic converter (that's the largest cat ever used on an A2 from the factory), and you may have to alter some of the hangers and clearance your rear sub-frame (body brace, whatever). I ordered the exhaust system as if it were for a 1991 8 valve GTI, not a Golf GL (the Digifant GTIs had the bigger cats), because the whole system was a little bigger in diameter that way. If, however, you order the correct system for a 1991 Golf (non-GTI), you won't have to swap the cat... but the exhaust system will be a slightly smaller diameter, which means it may sound a little different than mine. I really should put up a sound clip of our A2 and our A3. When you're shopping for exhausts, it's nice to have an idea what it will sound like 6 months down the road.

Date: 08/10/07, 09:28:22 PDT
From: Wade
Comments: Max, good day man. Well, just got the bosal system installed earlier this week, along with a ceramic coated bosal header which I had already picked up from a fellow dubber in the USA. Installed a new cat at the same time. Went on with out a hitch. The header was a bitch. Turned the front hanger around so the system would hang properly. I must say, I'm a little disappointed in the sound, really no different than my stock system with no intermediate muffler. Maybe it's just me, however, at the same time I'm not a fan of loudish exhaust on little cars. I was looking for longevity and performance in the system. Later man, Wade
A1 parts for sale:
intake air preheater hose
Item: Intake air pre-heat hose (from exhaust manifold shroud to air box), for Scirocco 2 (1982+)
Condition: New

A2 parts for sale:
A2 GTI dual round grill, with inner lights
Item: GTI dual-round grille with inner lights, bulbs, and lower trim strip
Condition: Used, lower trim strip is weathered.

parcel shelf strap
Item: Parcel shelf strap, 3 available
Condition: New
$3.50 ea.

A2 valve guides, 8 valve
Item: 8 (eight) valve guides, German, standard size, for 8 valve head
Condition: New

wheel cylinder
Item: Wheel cylinder (for rear drums, obviously), 2 available.
Condition: New
$12 ea.

A3 parts for sale:
parcel shelf strap
Item: Parcel shelf strap, 3 available
Condition: New
$3.50 ea.

A4 parts for sale:
ALH water pump
Item: OEM Water pump, ALH engines
Condition: Used, 130,000 miles