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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all

Just wanted to post up a review for the AWE Tuning - Touring Catback exhaust for the TSI Sportwagen. http://www.awe-tuning.com/mk7-golf-sportwagen-1-8t-exhaust-suite

IMG_9118 by Fred Ligeiro, on Flickr


This exhaust has the perfect balance of sound and subtlety. At idle, it is not noticeably different than stock. However, when driving, as you get into the rpm's, you can definitely hear a much improved difference. Since the Touring model is resonated, it is not too loud for a daily driver. I am still on a factory downpipe, so not sure how much of a difference an upgraded downpipe would make (I assume it would make it quite a bit louder). In addition, while it is a bit louder at highway speeds, there is no droning at any rpm level.

My biggest complaint with the factory exhaust was that it was too quiet for a manual car. The AWE Touring exhaust addresses that issue quite well.

Fitment is pretty good overall. Took a little bit of time to align all of the components (every time you would tighten, the tip alignment would be off), but as long as you take your time it will fit good. The pipe that goes over the crossmember (not sure what to call it) also fits a little tight to it, but so far I have not heard any rattling as a result. Also AWE assured me it would not be an issue. Finally, the only downside is that AWE instructions are a little light in content (no detailed breakdown of exhaust removal or installation). AWE's customer service has been great, quick and prompt responses to any questions that I have. I will definitely get more stuff from them in the future.

Now for some pictures, and the install. I am hoping to get some sound clips in the near future.

Step 1: Start by organizing all of the parts. If you have room, it is good to lay them out in the order that they should go. Each of the components were labeled so you had a general idea of the order.

IMG_9093 by Fred Ligeiro, on Flickr
IMG_9095 by Fred Ligeiro, on Flickr
IMG_9096 by Fred Ligeiro, on Flickr
IMG_9098 by Fred Ligeiro, on Flickr
IMG_9099 by Fred Ligeiro, on Flickr
IMG_9105 by Fred Ligeiro, on Flickr

Step 2: The GSW TSI oem catback exhaust is all one piece. What this means is that to remove the catback, you basically need to cut it into two pieces. I didn't see a whole lot of information out on Golf TSI's so I estimated where to cut. I had to make another cut a foot before the bend to remove the resonator section (perhaps with a lift, I could have gotten away with 1 cut).

IMG_9107 by Fred Ligeiro, on Flickr

Step 3: Remove the front muffler rubber hanger from the car, then unbolt the rear muffler hanger from the car. I found it easier to remove the muffler w/ the hangars attached and then just swap it over.

IMG_9108 by Fred Ligeiro, on Flickr

IMG_9109 by Fred Ligeiro, on Flickr

IMG_9111 by Fred Ligeiro, on Flickr

Step 4: Loosen the catback-downpipe connector. It is a bit challenging to get at, but take your time. Once it is loosened, I would recommend sliding it down to keep the pressure off of the downpipe. (note: no pic). I dont exactly remember the nut size, but it may have been 15mm.

Step 5: On the remaining catback piece, remove the final hangar from car. Then remove the bar that runs across the car near the end of the exhaust tunnel (dont have a pic of it on the car, but this is what it looks like).

IMG_9113 by Fred Ligeiro, on Flickr

Step 6: Swap over all of the rubber hangers and begin assembling the AWE catback. I started at the downpipe and worked my way back. Make sure to continiously check alignment. I noticed that it made it easier to have all of the clamps snug, however loose enough to allow for movement. Bolt up the rear muffler hangar and the bar that runs across the car. Also, on the downpipe/catback connector, when I reinstalled I tightened it so that the bolts were facing down to make it easier if I get a downpipe in the future.

Step 7: Once the catback and tips are aligned, start tightening everything down. I did everything in steps: tightened as much as my ratchet could, then torque it down to 40 ft lbs as the instructions required. Be cautious of the pipe moving as it is tightened. Again, I checked everything continiously during the tightening process. If you have a friend that can help, it would make this process much easier. Also, AWE provides these clamps that hold the hangar in place so that the tips dont get misaligned over time.

IMG_9118 by Fred Ligeiro, on Flickr
IMG_9120 by Fred Ligeiro, on Flickr
IMG_9116 by Fred Ligeiro, on Flickr
IMG_9122 by Fred Ligeiro, on Flickr
IMG_9124 by Fred Ligeiro, on Flickr
IMG_9125 by Fred Ligeiro, on Flickr
IMG_9128 by Fred Ligeiro, on Flickr

Step 8: crack a beer and enjoy! :beer:
 

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To add-on instead of starting another treat

Got my own AWE Touring installed a few days ago.
Cant comment on installation but shop guys said it was no biggie. It surely seems like a quality piece. Welds are OK (Could be better in a few spots) Surely lighter than OEM junk it replaces by good amount (I did not actually weighted it, just picked them up, sorry) Sounds good to me live and probably will mellow out as time goes by.

Things i DID not like IMHO are:

Its a hodge-podge of different ID pipes and totally NOT one same diameter all the way through. Not entirely sure why it is so but looks like its smallest piece of 2" designed to mate to the stock DP and therefore must be smaller. But its quite clear when you look at it that its not one ID all the way through.
Those tips are WAY too huge for the car. I wish they were smaller. You have to shove them in there pretty hard and they are indeed touching plastic. Overall i personally believe this look is an overkill.

Judge for yourself here:




Sound clips of the exhaust on 3" cated DP of VERY questionable quality are here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B-oQ8oa2ik0PN2lvWkluTl9KeG8?usp=sharing
 
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