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Tue Dec 05, 2006
07:59
After I got home from work last night, I pulled the 91 Golf into the garage and started to attack the exhaust system. The old system was a pain to remove because it was all welded together. With the old system out, I took a look at the innards of the catalytic converter and I was surprised to see that it looked excellent. The previous owner must have installed that cat not long before I bought the car (it is supposedly a Techtonics high flow cat, but I haven't verified that yet).

Installation of the new system was problematic at times, but I worked through it. The diameter of the pipes was so large that everything just barely fit. This system is supposed to be the same diameter as the stock PF engine'd 8 valve GTIs. I had no idea any of the factory systems were that beefy. Since I was installing an exhaust that technically was made to fit a different car (mine is a Golf GL, RV engine code), I wasn't surprised that I ran into little problems. The forward-most hanger had to be removed from the body of the car and then rotated almost 180 degrees. The over axle pipe just barely missed the brake balance controller (there's about 1/8th inch of clearance). The intermediate pipe rests firmly on the rear subframe, and there is absolutely no adjustment in the system to raise it. It's so close to everything everywhere that once everything physically fit, there was no adjustment for anything. My rear-most hanger was missing (since the last system didn't use it), so I had to make a hanger to mount to the stud coming out of the body. The other issue I ran into was with some of the hardware that Bosal provided with the system. I nearly stripped out 2 of those nice copper nuts because they got cross threaded... and I was trying to be incredibly careful for that very reason. I had to chase the threads out with a tap in order to use those nuts, but that destroyed the nuts' self locking ability. Bummer.

With everything installed, I started the engine to make sure there were no leaks and to see how bad the rattles would be. Amazingly, the system does not rattle at all. Some vibrations come through the body because one of the pipes is resting on the rear subframe, though. I will insulate that with some rubber, I think. The system is quieter than I expected, but the rear muffler appears to be glass packed which means the sound will change as it gets broken in.

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Date: 12/06/06, 02:09:08 PST
From: Dad
Comments: Looks great Max. Any chance that you could replace the rear brace that the pipe is resting on with a custom modified one that has a "U" shape to provide clearance? Dad

Date: 12/06/06, 06:28:59 PST
From: Max
Comments: Well, I'm sort of toying with the idea of making a couple of long metal pieces to block between the body and the rear subframe. As long as I make the blocks long enough to duplicate the amount of surface contact between the subframe and the body, then I think that should minimize (if not entirely eliminate) loss of rigidity.
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