View Full Version : got the cat off! cant salvage the stock one, labree?

arizona steve
04-18-2007, 06:15 PM

took me about 4.5 hours. im not ashamed though, this is literally the first thing ive done to my car or any car besides clean a damned filter or change some plugs..

i started on my own this morning and took out all the intake junk...sort of just went for it started unscrewing stuff, took out the sheild; sprayed some wd-40 on the 3 bolts that connect the cat to the exhaust manifold and took those off myself.

i didnt have a jack so i had to wait for my friend to come over, he got there we jacked it up and got underneath. he loosened up the downpipe and then the challenge started.

the 3 bolts that hold the DP to the cat...major pain in the ass! i was almost ready to give up after the first hour. we brainstormed it, went at it from top and then figured out they welded the nut to the flange so that wasnt budging. we had to take the bolts off, rather than the nut like the cat-mani one. i swear, audi designed the worst area of the car right there. you cant take the DP and cat out in one piece cause the cat it too fat, so the challenge of fitting your hands up there and breaking the bolts loose..

thank god for socket wrench extensions and pivot extensions...rigged some of those up to like a foot long and stuck it in there.

we ended up breaking off one of the bolts but thats not bad, easy to replace.

but the cat isnt worth trying to weld back together i dont think especially since its completely broken off.

i was going to get a milltek high flow cat from evolution motorsports because they are local and i could have done it today...but they charge 800 bucks! no thanks!

labree seems to have the only decent one priced at 250. anyone have experience with these? the website just gives a price and picture. does it come with gaskets and bolts? how it fit up?

i didnt plan on spending money because i wanted to re-weld the stock one, but i figured i might aswell upgrade to a high flow while im there...it'll probably be skinnier than stock and easier to work with getting it back in.

i guess 250 for a high flow cat is better than 250 bucks for labor and having a stock one again. right? haha

i should upgrade the downpipe while im at it but cant seem to convince myself to do that for a 110k mile tiptronic FWD 1.8T....unless someones got a good line on a cheap downpipe!

oh. and im since my car is torn apart and not going anywhere, i think i might take it upon myself to fix my leaking oil cooler aswell...i feel risky and dumb driving around for as long as it has leaking so much oil. i saw the DIY and it looks straightforward. (but then again things happen, like what happened today!)

the end.

i finally get to use this smiley. [wrench]

04-18-2007, 06:37 PM
try techtonics tuning for the downpipe...i think its like $220, and they also have a HFC

arizona steve
04-18-2007, 06:47 PM
through searches ive narrowed down a few brands in that price range (250-290)

labree-250, seems to have mixed reviews.

techtonics- the most expensive at 295. - same, mixed reviews, people seem to like it. beefy flanges and welds.

tantrumworks/fast intentions - 260 - havent heard a review on this one? any info? they also sell a matching downpipe for 250.

i really SHOULDNT be thinking about getting a dp....but since i already have my stock one off and i already have milltek exhaust....ill have a high flow cat, milltek exhaust and a stock downpipe? thats sounds dumb! haha

feedback, let me know guys. as of now i cant drive my car and im sure shipping will take forever. gahh.

04-18-2007, 06:48 PM
I've read that the oil cooler install is fairly easy, and straighforward.

anyway, good for you .. tackling this project for yourself.

Kyle H
04-18-2007, 06:55 PM
I thought that the cat was the downpipe. Doesn't it go exhaust mani > turbo> cat>flexpipe>rest of exhaust?

arizona steve
04-18-2007, 07:02 PM

exhaust mani>turbo>cat>downpipe with a flexpipe on it>rest of exhaust

04-18-2007, 07:13 PM
good job on the DIY. keep it posted what you go with to replace the CAT and post what your opinion is. i dont wanna go TP cause of the cel even though there is a diode work around so im guessin ill be going HFC.[up]

arizona steve
04-18-2007, 07:15 PM
ya, no testpipe for me. im stock turbo and dont care for gas fumes. not to mention i hear theres a drone

i think im going HFC simply because replacing it with OEM seems pointless...might aswell upgrade a little. wish i could find a used HFC and DP right now for cheap, that would make my night.

1 ate T
04-18-2007, 07:23 PM
There's a drone with any aftermarket exhaust. I don't see having my 3" TP of having any difference to my friends with a stock cat. And ever since I got the Borla on it hasn't smelled. I also have a stock dp with Borla, but that's only 2 1/4".

arizona steve
04-18-2007, 07:27 PM
either way, no TP for me i believe. i gota pass emissions. im not looking to go big turbo or anything like that anyways so its pointless.

1 ate T
04-18-2007, 07:28 PM
True. If I were in the same position, I would have gotten a HFC... But the TP isn't all that bad if you don't have emission testing.

04-18-2007, 08:30 PM
try techtonics tuning for the downpipe...i think its like $220, and they also have a HFC

Thats what I have Techtonics Tuning DP!

arizona steve
04-18-2007, 11:09 PM
ive read some conflicting things via the search button.

some people say the stock DP isnt all that restrictive? i think i might just stick with a labree HFC, unless someone has a horror story about it and can suggest a better one

04-19-2007, 06:58 AM
I've been happy with the Labree HFC for a long time now. The TP (also Labree) stunk and droned.

04-19-2007, 07:51 AM
I have an ATP 3" TP and I have no complaints about it at all. If I come rushing to a stop with all my windows open, I get a whiff of exhaust, but it is not a rotten egg smell or anything, it's just car exhaust - it's not bad at all.

I have emissions testing in CT, so at that time, my plan is to fasten a heatshield around the TP to thwart the visual. I have done the diode mod on the rear O2 sensor and haven't thrown a CEL yet so I think I'll be ok.

04-19-2007, 09:54 AM
Here's a link that some people commented on about the Labree, Tantrumwerks, etc...