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My front flex pipe is leaking. I have a 2004 3.2L V6 with 106K miles (so I am out of Warranty). Apparently, the Flex pipe is buried up in the engine compartment making it a pain to get to. I have gotten quotes from several repair facilities around NW Detroit. The lowest quote was $1300, and as high as $3200 from the dealer. All of the repair facilities want to replace the entire pipe assembly which includes 2 catalytic converters. It seems crazy to replace 2 catalytic converters just for a bad flex pipe.

Has anyone had their 3.2L Touareg front flex pipe repaired in or near SW Michigan without replacing the entire assembly? Just trying to find an independent shop willing to take the job on.

If I can’t find someone to repair the existing assembly, then I am considering making this a DIY project (this is not a daily driver, so I can take my time messing with it, and I have more time than Money). I am a decent mechanic, but I cannot weld, so I am considering buying an aftermarket assembly and installing it myself... since that seems to be what everyone else would do.

Dealer part is over $900

I found a couple of assemblies on ebay (Part located in Canada) …
2004 2005 2006 Volkswagen Touareg 3.2L Dual Catalytic Converters Y Flex Pipe

and also Eastern 40609 Direct Fit Catalytic Converter on Amazon..

Amazon.com: Eastern 40609 Direct Fit Catalytic Converter: Automotive

Does anyone have experience with aftermarket assembly, and did it throw codes?

I appreciate any help/advice you can offer.
 

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20,430 Posts
Take the car to a good muffler shop - preferably one that has a reputation for making up exhausts for folk.
 

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Touareg Brake Specialist
2004 V6 w/package 1 and HID, bought 10/03
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917 Posts
Hello! So… you’ve had this VW engineering blunder, eh?

happened to my 2004 V6 at about 75-80k miles, which was about 13 years after delivery. So heres the deal… theres no rebuilding or patching this part. The two small cats are a welded part of the flex section assembly and are buried along the right hand underside of the engine . This is a ridiculously easy repair to make if you have a Touareg ‘table’… The Touareg table is a specialized lift that the dealers buy when they service these cars, it allows the body to be removed from the drive line with only 12 to 16 bolts. it supports the body above the driveline, while the mechanics work on the driveline. It’s virtually a necessity on the V-10 and it’s really the only way to make short work of this repair, what is otherwise a bit of a puzzle to work on. It is very difficult to get this pipe out while the engine is in chassis, which is why a lot of these mechanics shouldn’t even touch the job. A lot to go wrong… I bought the eastern catalytic converter part through Amazon and it was an exact fit part which has never thrown any codes. So I’ve had no troubles with this replacement item.

The problem with the design of the flex sections is a fracturing break right at the flange weld. it’s simply not something that can be repaired due to the relatively fragile nature of the flex material. So I bought the part and gave it to my mechanic, who was qualified to install it in chassis. But I would not want to give this to just any old mechanic, it will be the death of you…

that Eastern part appears to be on national back order . I’d contact the company directly for better availability info. There’s was literally the only part I could find in the aftermarket that I was willing to install in my vehicle. I’ve been in the parts business for 40 years so I do know a few things about it… You don’t want to install inferior exhaust parts on a vehicle as heavily electronically controlled as theTouareg. Plus frankly the real problem here is the architecture of the part and it’s pretzel shape. If it is not precisely manufactured it simply isn’t going to lineup and that you’re not gonna be able to fix on site. This part isn’t going to move laterally without breaking, if pushed to accommodate some form of misalignment. So… it’s about 6 hrs labor for an in chassis installation. Its half that if done using the Touareg lift ‘table’.
 

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Touareg Brake Specialist
2004 V6 w/package 1 and HID, bought 10/03
Joined
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917 Posts
Take the car to a good muffler shop - preferably one that has a reputation for making up exhausts for folk.
In this case, not a clear choice or a better idea… repairing the damage to the flex material, which appears to literally have been cold welded, so the weld separated cleanly as if designed to pull away… theres no easy way to reattach to the flange. No collar or neck to clamp to, so rewelding successfully means time and money, might as well replace. The part was about $400?…
 

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Registered
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21 Posts
Hello! So… you’ve had this VW engineering blunder, eh?

happened to my 2004 V6 at about 75-80k miles, which was about 13 years after delivery. So heres the deal… theres no rebuilding or patching this part. The two small cats are a welded part of the flex section assembly and are buried along the right hand underside of the engine . This is a ridiculously easy repair to make if you have a Touareg ‘table’… The Touareg table is a specialized lift that the dealers buy when they service these cars, it allows the body to be removed from the drive line with only 12 to 16 bolts. it supports the body above the driveline, while the mechanics work on the driveline. It’s virtually a necessity on the V-10 and it’s really the only way to make short work of this repair, what is otherwise a bit of a puzzle to work on. It is very difficult to get this pipe out while the engine is in chassis, which is why a lot of these mechanics shouldn’t even touch the job. A lot to go wrong… I bought the eastern catalytic converter part through Amazon and it was an exact fit part which has never thrown any codes. So I’ve had no troubles with this replacement item.

The problem with the design of the flex sections is a fracturing break right at the flange weld. it’s simply not something that can be repaired due to the relatively fragile nature of the flex material. So I bought the part and gave it to my mechanic, who was qualified to install it in chassis. But I would not want to give this to just any old mechanic, it will be the death of you…

that Eastern part appears to be on national back order . I’d contact the company directly for better availability info. There’s was literally the only part I could find in the aftermarket that I was willing to install in my vehicle. I’ve been in the parts business for 40 years so I do know a few things about it… You don’t want to install inferior exhaust parts on a vehicle as heavily electronically controlled as theTouareg. Plus frankly the real problem here is the architecture of the part and it’s pretzel shape. If it is not precisely manufactured it simply isn’t going to lineup and that you’re not gonna be able to fix on site. This part isn’t going to move laterally without breaking, if pushed to accommodate some form of misalignment. So… it’s about 6 hrs labor for an in chassis installation. Its half that if done using the Touareg lift ‘table’.
Is Eastern Catalytic Converter the nana of the company that is dealing with Amazon?
 
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