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Discussion Starter #1
Hello All. I've used this forum many many times to repair my wife's 2006 3.2L monster. It's been a great car, considering that we've had it for 8 years and it's over 112k; only had to repair it twice (the tranny's valve body went bad and so did an air bag sensor). Now I have a fairly large exhaust leak at the rearmost base of the flex pipe, leading away from the headers before you get to the cat. I took it to an exhaust shop in Huntsville, AL and they said there wasn't enough room to repair it (which I took for crap because I'm certain it can be done).


I'll post some pictures when I get home from work, but for now can anyone discuss what my options are? The stealership in town wants $1,600 at a minimum to fix it; obviously I'm not paying that.


On a side not, though likely related, I have an engine fault code p0420 (catalyst system efficiency below threshold bank 1) that I suspect is due to the exhaust leak.


Cheers.
 

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I'm pretty sure others have had the flex pipe fixed by good exhaust shops.

I would try and find another shop, focussing on the kind of place that perhaps builds systems for hot-rods, off-roaders, race cars, whatever.

Even if you pay $200 or so and have to travel a few miles, it will be a big saving!

EDIT 1: Have a look at this thread:

http://www.clubtouareg.com/forums/f43/flex-pipe-65112.html

EDIT 2: I don't know your country's geography but is this place anywhere near you, like a dozen miles from Huntsville AL?

http://www.clantonmuffler.com/

EDIT 3: Whilst looking at their exhaust porn pictures, I spotted this. Why not ask them about relieving your car of the big suitcase muffler on the back and giving you a fruitier exhaust note?! Justify it to your wife by telling her the weight saving will improve the fuel economy!!

 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the advice. I've taken it to two different shops, the one you suggested included. They agreed to bring it in the shop on Tuesday and work on it but he is unsure how long it'll take him or what it'll cost because of the job's difficulty. Has anyone actually repaired this themselves? I can't tell but it looks like if I drop the drive train I could cut the flex pipe away with a plasma cutter. Only problem is welding a new one in place would be tough because of the space constraints.
 

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I would suggest you consider replacing the entire assembly, both cats with respective flex pipes, with aftermarket unit. I had very good success with Eastern Catalytic cat from RockAuto. Fit was excellent, the noise disappeared as well the the CEL light. The efficiency of the new cat dropped to 0.05 where the max cut off is .5 before the CEL goes on with 'Catalytic converter efficiency exceeded' code. The DIY, at least on my V8, was not too bad. The hardest part is access to three bolts on the manifold side (access two from the bottom, one top of the engine) the rest of the bolts you can cut off with a Dremel cut-off wheel. Took me one day with the oil change thrown in. RockAuto shows the part for your v6 is at $340 now . . .

Here's the link to the part on RockAuto => http://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=1397663&cc=1427228
 

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Hi

I did this job last weekend.
Right flexpipe on my 2004 V8 was leaking badly so I had to do something.

I bought an universal flexpipe with the same dia (65mm).
It wasn't the easiest work I've made, but it was doable.

I had to take out front driveshaft and crossmember for gearbox in order take the pipe down.

The upper joint where the pipe connects to the manifold where reached from right wheelhouse. Wheel had to come off first of course.
The nuts at the upper joint wasn't that bad. They came off quite easy.
The lambdasensors was a little harder to get out, but with some patience and aching arms they got out.
The joint between the two cats were totally rusted together. No chance to unscrew the nuts without breaking them.
So I took apart the "slideover" joint that holds the rear end of cat 2 pipe.
This way I could take out both pipes while they were in one piece.

With the complete cat assembly lying on the bench I made some measuring before cutting the bolts at the rusty joint.
Drilled the remains out.

Then I cut out the broken flexpipe flush to the flange in one end and right at the weld in the other end. The cutout was 205 mm.
Then I cut the ends of the new flexpipe to the same length.
Welded the new flexpipe to the cat output pipe.

Mounted all back in the car to be able to measure where I should weld the flange in.

Didn't dare welding while pipes were bolted to car, so I took it out again to weld it at the bench.

After welding all, time to get it back on car.

All in all, it took about 8 hours.
Parts were about $50

Not a pleasant job to do, but rather well paid according to the quotes from some shops.

Hope I can encourage someone to some diy.

BR
 

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Well done.
 

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Didn't think about taking pics, sorry about that.
Here's the only pic showing both cats and the universal flexpipe i got hold of.
I cut the new pipe just at the weld where the pipe meets the flex part. Luckily it was the correct length then.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Sorry for the delay in follow-up! So the shop was able to repair the leaky flex pipe without issue and man what a difference. The loud exhaust is now whisper quiet and all is almost well. I still have a CEL with a P0240 code. I never replaced the cats or O2 sensors and now I'd like to get the CEL taken care of. Given that the leak was in front of the cat I wouldn't be surprised if the CAT is bad, but before I go and replace it I was hoping to consult with you knowledgeable people. With the P0240 code I believe it's bank 1 is below threshold. What's my next best move?
 
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