|When I bought my '91
Audi 200 20V, I knew that it was going to need a new exhaust system
very shortly, as one of the cats was rattling and there were some small
holes in the rear muffler. I opted to upgrade to a performance exhaust,
rather than replace it with OEM (read, expen$ive) parts. After doing
a little research, I settled on a Stebro
I had called Stebro when I first got the car, and they quoted me a "package" price for 2 new hi-flow cats, and the full exhaust (center and rear mufflers). I noted the price, and didn't think about the matter again until my mechanic called a few months later, looking for information on on the Stebro, since I had mentioned it to him in passing. He called them, then called me right back. Apparently prices on the cats had gone up, way up, like double. A little frantic, and upset at myself for not getting the system when I first called, I gave Stebro a call back. I talked to Dan, who remembered me, and remembered offering me the package deal. He offered to stick to his original quote, even though he was under no obligation to do so. Needless to say, I bought it right then and there! The system arrived at my house in about 2 weeks.
(As usual, click on the thumbnails below to get the full size image.)
|In preparation for the install, I gave Mac at Clair
a call, and ordered all the hardware I would need to do the install. I've
ordered parts from Mac in the past, and he has always treated me very well.
I highly recommend sending business his way.
What I ordered:
I opted not to get the OEM Audi nuts and bolts at about $2 each, and instead went to my local hardware store and picked up a bunch of 8mmX45mm stainless bolts, nuts, and lock washers (requires 8 of each, I bought 12 to be safe).
I also went to my local auto parts store and picked up some silver header paint, and painted the whole system prior to installing. While the system is stainless steal, I decided I wanted to give it one extra layer of protection from surface rust. It couldn't hurt.
|So, once I had everything, I loaded up everything, and headed over to my friends house to make the swap.|
|First of all, if you have access to a pit or to a lift, use it. I could not imagine how much more difficult this job would have been if not for the fact my friends house just happens to have a mechanics pit in his garage!|
|And here is a picture of yours truly climbing down in to the pit.|
|Ok, the first job was getting the old system off. Here are a few pictures of the old system, as it was installed. A shot of the old cats.|
|And here is one of the old "sleeve clamps". These guys took a bit of convincing to loosen and get off the pipes.|
|As some of you may recall, the installation of my new system was slightly accelerated, due to the fact that my car did not pass the new Massachusetts Safety inspection. Here are the holes in the rear muffler that constituted a "safety issue", and since this was a safety fail, not an emission fail, technically I was not allowed to drive the car until it was fixed.|
|To put the holes into perspective.|
|At first, I tried to remove the cats using the "standard" method.|
|It soon became obvious that that would not work, so we turned to more drastic methods. Here is my friend Reto taking the saws-all to the rusted bolts.|
|Next, the sleeve clamps. These guys took some persuading, but they did come loose without having to resort to the saw, and could have even been reused, but I had bought new ones, so I was going to use new ones.|
|With the old system removed, it was time to make some comparisons to the OEM system. Here is a comparison of the OEM center and rear mufflers to the Stebro.|
|And with the cats.|
|Another, slightly difference angle|
|And both complete systems, with my car in the background. (Note wiped plate! :-) )|
|With the old system, out, I took the opportunity to weigh each component,
to see what kind, if any, weight saving I got from the new system. Very
unscientific, but it gave me an idea.
Turns out I saved almost 30 lbs! See below:
|With the old system out, time to install the new one. Here are the new cats, all installed.|
|The new sleeve clamps between the cats and the center muffler.|
|The connection between the center and the rear mufflers. Initially, I just slip fit these guys together, with hi-temp RTV. But that just didn't seem right.|
|So, I gave Stebro a call. At their recomendation, I took my car to a local muffler shop, who welded the two halves together for me for about $50. Stebro explained that they would ship the two parts as one piece, but that would be too big for UPS to take.|
|And the new rear muffler.|
|A shot of the new system installed, viewed from the rear forward, with yours truly just hanging out after a job well done. :-)|
|That's it! I'm going to take a few more pictures of the installed
system when I have a chance, and will update this page accordingly.
One thing that I still need to do: with a trailer hitch, the rearmost hanger on the rear muffler has about 1/4" clearance cold. When the system gets hot, that clearance goes to zero, and rubs on the hitch. I'm going to climb under again and either bend the rear hanger out of the way, or cut a bit off the end. I'll update this site with pictures when I do that.
|Today I climbed back under the car to take care of the muffler hanger to trailer hitch interference. I also took some more pictures of the new system.|
|Here is a picture of the problem. As you can see, if there was no trailer hitch, there would not be an issue!|
|Same thing, slightly different angle.|
|Here it is after I modified it. What I did was a combination of things, I slightly widened the hanger, as you can see if you compare it with the above pictures. That got me a little bit. I then cut about 1/4" off the end of the pipe between the center muffler and cats. That allowed me to shift the whole rear section forward slightly, but was enough! The zip tie is just to make sure the bracket does not fall out of the hanger. :-)|
|Now here are some more pictures of the new system in the car, starting from the front. Here is the shot of the sleeve clamps and the center muffler. You might notice, I used to muffler cement to seal up the clamp.|
|The new center muffler.|
|Center to rear joint.|
|The rear muffler.|
|And out the back.|
|Here are several shots of the tips. As you might notice, they are not perfectly centered, but unless you knew to look, you would never know:|
|Quick update. I've had the system on my car for a little over
6 months now, and have had no problems with it whatsoever. It gives
the car a nice "growl", but is still quiet enough to not be annoying.
On the highway at 75mph, it is quiet as a whisper. MUCH quieter
than the Stebro system my buddy put on his '90 90 20V. I was a bit
worried that as the system "broke in" it would get louder, but that has
not been the case.
System gets my thumbs up.
|Any question or comments, please e-mail me.|