Need exhaust downpipe advice, repair or replace

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Thread: Need exhaust downpipe advice, repair or replace

  1. #1
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    Need exhaust downpipe advice, repair or replace

    I have a 2003 Passat Wagon 1.8T and the exhaust connection has rusted away near the flex pipe. The flex pipe itself does not appear to be broken but it's hard to tell because of the braiding. The downpipe (which the flexpipe is part of) was cut after the mount point and every few years meineke has welded on a new flex pipe. The transition from old to new (red arrow in pics) is where it rusted away and now it's making noise again.





    Temporarily I've stuffed some versachem exahust crack sealer all around the crack to hopefully help with the noise. I'll find out tomorrow if that works but even if it does I doubt it will last because there's a lot of vibration there. The weld is completely gone so it's just one pipe in another.

    I was thinking about repairing it myself this time. Though the flex pipe is not leaking yet obviously I would replace it. That old pipe is so rusty at the end that I'm not sure if I can weld on to it. I am not opposed to buying a new pipe except that it looks so difficult to disconnect the old one from the catalytic converter. The flange nuts look rusted away (unfortunately no pic of that). Also reviews for Bosal and Walker replacement pipes (they call them intermediate pipes) for this car say that the mounting tab is in the wrong position and needs to be welded. Which makes me wonder if it's worth it if they can't even get the pipe right.

    Here are some pics of the pipe measurements and the pipe clamp further down (also with rusted away nuts).





    Given how it looks what would you guys do? Has anyone here had to deal with a similar cut that was going bad? Any suggestions for brand or size of flex/intermediate replacement? Do you think it is possible to fix this without welding? I hesitate to weld under the car given how tight the area is.
    Last edited by passat03wagon; 06-06-2019 at 12:01 AM. Reason: updated inline images

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  3. #2
    Motel Room Moderator VAGguy's Avatar
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    I have a bosal one and it fit just fine. No modifications. Amazon Prime was pretty cheap. Less than $100 iirc.
    You just need to remove the DP and cat as a single unit, then separate them, bolt up the new one to the cat, and bolt the cat back onto the turbo. You will need new bolts and copper nuts for the cat to DP, new nuts for the cat to turbo, and a gasket for the cat/turbo and cat/DP..
    khnitz and cchief22 like this.
    Glutton for Punishment: 16 A4 S-line Sport pkg Prem+, 04 Passat 1.8T GLS Variant Manual swapped, 2017 Q5 Prem+

  4. #3
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    Thanks for the info I am thinking about doing that. First I have to price all the parts. Do you remember how long it took? Did you use anti-seize?

    The versachem cement seems to have helped a little but I have a feeling it recracked because I could hear it at odd times on the highway. But it was like completely random, like I'd slow down and rev back up a little and hear it sometimes but not other times. So it did something.

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    I second the "bosal" brand, I got mine at Advance Auto,90 bucks 3 years ago, they use an internal "string of pearls" internal mandrel so there is nice smooth transitions unlike a lot of manufacturers with "pleats" at the curves, fit was perfect,and as suggested by some seasoned forum veterans, since I am in rust belt , cleaned and painted with hi-temp paint

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    Part link?

    Just got a quote of 600 for two new intermediate pipes and flex pipes....i told them no thanks.
    2002 2.8 ATQ 4mo GLX wagon.

    Did they mean down pipes? I am not so familiar with the whole layout of this exhaust (unlike my titan's....still up in the air, I got passenger's side done, but I broke a stud on the drivers side exhaust manifold....and I don't have a hot enough torch.

  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ar393 View Post
    Part link?

    Just got a quote of 600 for two new intermediate pipes and flex pipes....i told them no thanks.
    2002 2.8 ATQ 4mo GLX wagon.
    There are different part numbers for different engines, for manual and automatic transmission, and for 4motion and non-4motion. Yours is two runs of similar pipe and mine is just one. I've uploaded the relevant pages from ETKA to my dropbox, hopefully that helps. As you can see in illustration 253-75 Page 1 it looks like there's two catalysts for yours and I'm not sure whether that's a flex pipe next to them. The connecting pipes (or I guess you'd call them intermediate pipe) each have a flex pipe. You'd have to get under there yourself to see what's broken unless they were nice enough to point out exactly what is.

    ATQ and AWM mufflers - 4MOTION - 253-90 Page 1
    ATQ and AWM mufflers - NON-4MOTION - 253-85 Page 1
    ATQ front muffler pipe - 253-75 Page 1
    ATQ front muffler pipe - 253-75 Page 2
    AWM front muffler pipe - 253-55 Page 1
    AWM front muffler pipe - 253-55 Page 2

    I haven't ordered yet but I'm probably going to go with the aftermarket Bosal intermediate due to the recommendations here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by passat03wagon View Post
    There are different part numbers for different engines, for manual and automatic transmission, and for 4motion and non-4motion. Yours is two runs of similar pipe and mine is just one. I've uploaded the relevant pages from ETKA to my dropbox, hopefully that helps. As you can see in illustration 253-75 Page 1 it looks like there's two catalysts for yours and I'm not sure whether that's a flex pipe next to them. The connecting pipes (or I guess you'd call them intermediate pipe) each have a flex pipe. You'd have to get under there yourself to see what's broken unless they were nice enough to point out exactly what is.
    Thanks! 4Mo 2.8L ATQ Auto Wagon. Yeah I know I need to get under it, just lack of time - plus I need to get my truck back together. and get my lawnmower up and running as pretty soon you aren't going to be able to see anything shorter than 3 feet at my house.

    Quote Originally Posted by passat03wagon View Post
    I haven't ordered yet but I'm probably going to go with the aftermarket Bosal intermediate due to the recommendations here.
    I have ordered some Bosal and Eastern Catalytic stuff for my Titan. I haven't had a chance to put it all back together and use it, but seems solid and well built.

    Also where in Westchester? I grew up in Irvington. I was supposed to be there this weekend but that is not happening.

    I didn't take these pics, but pics of the bottom of passat in question....from the shop.
    2019-05-29 (1).jpg
    you can see some of the braiding on the flex pipe failing.
    2019-05-29.jpg

  10. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ar393 View Post
    Also where in Westchester? I grew up in Irvington.
    New Rochelle (Southern Westchester NY)

    Quote Originally Posted by ar393 View Post
    you can see some of the braiding on the flex pipe failing.
    I can't tell but I'll take your word for it. Let us know what happens, I am going to do the same... and speaking of that:

    I received the Bosal intermediate pipe 860-975 from Amazon today. The flange holes are very big. They are oval holes 13.5mm x 12.5mm. The nut's flange is about 17mm so it may work but I don't like the idea that it can just move around with an 8mm bolt in those big holes. Interestingly the gasket for that flange Bosal 256-339 I also have and its holes are normal 8mm size. Did those of you that used Bosal have any problem with the large holes on the flange?

    Last edited by passat03wagon; 06-05-2019 at 03:54 PM. Reason: fixed image links

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    yes , they are (from Bosal) way "large" , see if 10mm bolts fit in your cat, I will check when I get home, I 'm pretty sure I got 10 mm bolts (stainless) and nuts (stainless)from Ace Hardware and then "double" nutted to keep them secure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cchief22 View Post
    yes , they are (from Bosal) way "large" , see if 10mm bolts fit in your cat, I will check when I get home, I 'm pretty sure I got 10 mm bolts (stainless) and nuts (stainless)from Ace Hardware and then "double" nutted to keep them secure.
    Fastenal if you have one local
    Zoro.com as well ( I think they also list on ebay and amazon)

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