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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Before I start, CTWalter already has a Bull-x thread but there’s a lot for me to post here so I wanted to start my own. Hope you guys don’t mind.

  1. First Post = Thoughts on the DP after install
  2. Second Post = Install instructions w/ Photos
  3. Third Post = My fault codes in VCDS after install
  4. Fourth Post = YT Video of pre/post install


The Bull-X Catted Downpipe for MK7 Golf R is personally, the first downpipe I’ve ever had that’s aftermarket. The MK6 R was my first turbo vehicle so you should take this review with a grain of salt. Ahead of the purchase, I spent a lot of time on YouTube and forums reading as much as possible about downpipe and what I should expect. Here are a few assumptions I had:

  • Noise. I expected a lot of cabin noise even at idle and some rumble as well as a lot of noise when opening things up and aggressively hitting the throttle.
  • Cabin Heat. Call me crazy but a larger downpipe and (after tune) increased boost would lead to a very hot downpipe. It’s larger and I assumed I’d feel some heat near my pedal foot back to where my right leg is.
  • Vibrations at idle or at certain areas of the power band or when on a bumpy road I’d hear the pipe hitting the bottom of the car a bit
  • Hotter engine bay


Short thoughts:
I drove the car today for 40 minutes from local 25MPH roads to 70MPH Interstates with 2-3 hard pulls with the heat on and radio off. No vibrations, no noises that were not straight up engine noise amplified by the larger downpipe. I did feel that the area under my shifter / cup holders was pretty warm and I have no idea if it’s related to the DP because I’ve never had one aftermarket before. The noise was way louder than I expected. I’m happy with the noise level and can’t imagine ever getting an aftermarket exhaust. Anyone getting exhaust w/o a downpipe is crazy. get the DP first and then see you want more. This is without doing a VCDS coding to force all exhaust valves open at once. Inside the cabin, you really hear a lot more (i have the sound actuator disabled) and with the windows down, people hear you coming if you’re really riding the throttle but don’t if you’re just cruising. There’s a loud rumble at idle.

Power:
  1. Keep in mind I installed all of these at the same time:
  2. GFB DV+
  3. Spulen Throttle / Turbo Outlet Pipe
  4. 034 Motorsport Aluminum Dogbone Insert Mount
  5. and Downpipe


  • The turbo spools up so freaking fast. It’s kind of ridiculous how quickly I’m at 20 PSI. This engine just breathes at a new level that I didn’t think was possible.
  • The throw you back in the seat feeling isn’t there but I’m not surprised. This car has zero software modifications / tuning.
  • I think the car is quicker but it’s not some night and day experience.
  • In the video I comment on how hot the engine was. After a while pulling hard @ highway speeds with a few different gears, I got home and the engine bay is much cooler. I was revving @ idle and that caused the bay to be much hotter than normal.
  • The DP has no heat shield or protection itself while the VW one does. I’m pretty sure there’s a reason VW has this. It made the VW DP very hard to take out but I kind of wish this one had more heat shield built into the welding.
  • There are also 4 bolts that the VW DP screws into between the clamp @ turbo and the harnesses under the car. The bull-X doesn’t have these. Why?


I’m sure the UM tune will take this thing to another level. If you’re keeping the car stock (no tuning) and getting a DP, $899 isn’t money well spent. You’re getting more power, noise, it feels great but it’s a lot to spend on a hunk of metal. I guess the same can be said for those exhaust systems or $400 Air Intakes but this one really needs to be paired with a tune.

The most amazing thing is that this DP on my golf R didn’t throw a CEL. In fact, given all of the hardware installed @ once and 40 minutes of driving and I didn’t have a single service warning. I’m posting my VCDS log file below for you guys to browse because maybe I’m missing something?

My oil temp averaged 2-5 degrees higher than normal. Coolant temp was normal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Install:

if you have an MK7 Golf R and you want to install the Bull-X downpipe, here’s what Emmanuele Design LLC gave me over email on removing the VW OEM Downpipe:

  1. - Disconnect v-band at turbo
  2. - Remove 2 8mm nuts holding on CV shield (a ball head allen works best here)
  3. - Remove M8 (IIRC) triple square to remove driveshaft shield
  4. - Remove 12mm nuts holding downpipe bracket to block
  5. - Remove 3 10mm 12-point bolts holding in driveshaft (need long extension and swivel)
  6. - Remove two 15mm bolts holding dogbone to block
  7. - Push engine towards front of the car to free driveshaft, Swing driveshaft all the way to the driver side
  8. - Remove 13mm bolts on downpipe bracket and 13mm sleeve clamp
  9. - Remove downpipe


———————

Installing the Bull-X is the opposite except you don’t need to reconnect the 12MM Nuts holding downpipe to block. I found it to be 4 that had to be removed. Turn the DP connection to resonator until you have a good gap between DP & the heat shield and don’t over tighten the clamps. I did notice that the clamp connecting DP to my turbo went way tighter than I would have expected. I thought surely I was going to over tighten and screw up the thread. Instead, I saw a picture from another Bull-X install and realized I had a ways to go on that tighten.

Here are a few more exchanges with Emmanuele’s group:

We have a number of customers running the catted version with no tune, and they have reported CEL-free operation. So I would say you'll be fine without a spacer. We can refund the spacer cost if you prefer.
(They were right. I didn’t need the spacer)

Me:
Hi team. I’m totally stuck. Myself and my mechanic are working on this on a Sunday and I can’t get the OEM downpipe out. That’s my problem but the Golf R’s drive shaft for the rear wheels is just totally in the way.
They were helpful as you guys here were as well that drive shaft had to be removed.

Them (re: so few bolts getting BullX DP connected versus stock DP):
No, that connection is not needed as the downpipe bolts to the block at the turbo. To bolt to the block as well would minimize the flex joint movement too much. I can call you in a bit to discuss install if you'd like.

For the DP + Heat shield/ O2 Sensor being too short after install:
You need to rotate the bent section to add more clearance there. You can also bent the heat shield back a bit to increase clearance.
&
Also, the O2 will reach the harness. We do not clip the lowest clip but clip into the other ones. The wire is wrapped from the factory to be heat resistant. If you have any questions, please reach out to me as we have installed dozens of these.
&
I am happy to help. What you want to do it connect the bent section at both ends but do not tighten it. Then rotate it to find a good clearance from the center heat shield. Once you have clearance, I would still use a long screw driver to bend back the shielding in that tunnel, as heat will cause the downpipe to expand. I would also bend up the shielding a bit where it ends below the driveshaft (toward the rear).
As you guys can see, I’ve never done my own car work before. Haven’t even changed the oil so the customer support from Emmanuele was fantastic and they walked me through everything. Note though I had access to unlimited tools and a hydraulic lift for 3 straight days so I certainly had an ideal situation for this to go okay with some patience.

When bending heat shields, you can bend things back as long as you don’t go too crazy. Here are some pictures below that I’ve captioned for you guys:


Removing the stock downpipe



That's quite a heat shield that's fastened to a few screws that are very hard to get to...you're gonna want to do all of this stuff when the car is very cooled down. None of the DPs I saw have these heat shields / extra connections to the car. A bit worrying


OEM Downpipe harnessed to car


Disconnected from Resonator (I did this a little too prematurely). Keep a note of how tight the screws are on things you're going to replace. It's good to have an idea of how tight to screw things back in





This is ME trying to take out the downpipe like an idiot for the next 2-3 hours

STILL TRYING!!!!......




There's a joke in here somewhere. I spend 2 hours watching GTI MK7 Downpipe videos but those dudes don't have a drive shaft!!!




I start this thread and my prayers are answered.


OOOOH disconnect the drive shaft??!?! Um...How?


Well, unscrew 3 bolts holding it in place. You'll need a wrench with a very long extension and the right connector for the job. If you turn both front wheels together (you'll need long arms or a buddy), you can turn the shaft holder shown above (this is the front of the car) and get to all 3 bolts without having to move the heat shield completely off the drive shaft


This part was way harder than I'm making it look. Russ has a gigantic crowbar against the engine AFTER we've unscrewed two large bolts that hold the dog bone in place. We unscrewed the 3 drive shaft screws, then the 2 dog bone bolts then crow bar the engine swinging it forward about 1.5 inches. while he was doing that with all of his weight, I'm busy pushing the drive shaft off to the side. Here's the secret to getting the drive shaft to move over toward the drive side....turn it counter clockwise. Just pushing on it even if freed from the engine will still not move it.



DONE!


Disconnecting the O2 sensor from stock downpipe

to get the stock downpipe out, you still need to remove a heat shield covering ABS / CV joint area AND you'll have to bend in that heat shield that was formerly covering the drive shaft. It bends back if you aren't too rough on it.

SUCCESS YOU'VE REMOVED THE DP!!!

Installing the aftermarket is really easy. Despite being larger, it has no heat shield connected (very concerning) and is just lighter and easier to handle. I brought it up through he hole about half-way, installed the O2 sensor, hooked it up into the lower engine harness rubber footy thing and then attached clamp into turbo.

Then you just need to get all of the pipes to work together in unison. The two included clamps hold the DP to 3" extension pipe to a 3" to 2.5" converter that goes into the resonator. Then you can use the stock VW clamp for that 2.5" extension to resonator. If you have a 3" aftermarket exhaust, you won't need that 3 to 2.5 thingy.

Keep in mind the DP will expand when hot so clear the heat shield especially that hump where the DP connects to the 3" extension pipe.

Here are a few after photos:

















It's a GTI but anyone on the fence about doing this themselves, this video did make me feel a bit more confident. It's all about reducing DIY anxiety.

Different DP, different car but a lot of similarities & tips.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Here's my VCDS Log from a scan after I drove 40 minutes home after installing everything:


Chassis Type: AU (5Q0)
Scan: 01 02 03 05 08 09 14 15 16 17 19 22 2B 42 44 52 55 5F 75 A9

Mileage: 5673km-3525miles

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Address 01: Engine (J623-CYFB) Labels: 06K-907-425-V1.clb

2 Faults Found:
20638 - Oxygen (Lambda) Sensor B1 S2: Heating Circuit
P0036 00 [032] - Malfunction / Open Circuit
Intermittent - Not Confirmed - Tested Since Memory Clear
Freeze Frame:
Fault Status: 00000001
Fault Priority: 2
Fault Frequency: 1
Mileage: 5633 km
Date: 2015.10.04
Time: 19:14:15

17178 - Databus
U1123 00 [032] - Received Error Message
Intermittent - Not Confirmed - Tested Since Memory Clear
Freeze Frame:

Readiness: 0000 0000

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Address 02: Auto Trans (J743) Labels: 0D9-927-770.clb


1 Fault Found:
10657 - RPM Signal from ECU
P0726 00 [002] - Implausible Signal
Intermittent - Not Confirmed - Tested Since Memory Clear
Freeze Frame:


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Address 03: ABS Brakes (J104) Labels: None


1 Fault Found:
16401 - Tire Pressure Warning
C102D 00 [008] - -
Intermittent - Confirmed - Tested Since Memory Clear
Freeze Frame:
Fault Status: 00000001
Fault Priority: 2
Fault Frequency: 1
Reset counter: 114
Mileage: 3156 km
Date: 2015.09.10
Time: 12:02:34

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Address 09: Cent. Elect. (J519) Labels: None


Slave 1:
Subsystem 1 - Part No SW: 5G1 955 119 A HW: 5G1 955 119 A Labels: 5QX-955-119-V1.CLB
Component: WWS 150603 043 0551
Serial number: 150617215624
Coding: 0E4DDD

Slave 2:
Subsystem 2 - Part No SW: 5Q0 955 547 A HW: 5Q0 955 547 A Labels: 5Q0-955-547.CLB
Component: RLHS 037 0059
Serial number: S4Y15M06D24H19M50S53
Coding: 90A8DD
 

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You da man!!

Muchos gracious!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just an update.

I was getting a tune today and the shop had a lot of VAG experience so I asked them to inspect my @ home DP install. Remember this?



Well, I'm getting a rattle @ this joint when I am in reverse. I don't hear it when I'm driving or around corners or launching. ONLY when I'm in reverse and it's a very distinct rattle that gets worse if I'm turning my wheels. It sounds trashy when I'm backing out of a parking space. I don't like it AT ALL.

---

The guy @ EFI Express in Lee, NH put my car up on his lift:




He spent 45 minutes reviewing my work and about 15 minutes clocking and modifying the DP to be as far away from that heat shield as possible. without bending the pipe and when I backed out to leave, the rattle still occurred. His comment is that Bull-X has the DP meet with the 3" pipe right where that heat shield is pushed out and it's just poor design and in short, I deal with the rattle or return it.

I'm really frustrated by how much work it took me to install this but the rattle is just annoying. I'm happy with the build and performance but with I could modify this to be noise free when backing out of the grocery store parking lot.
 

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it's not touching right? stick some damping mat like dynamat or other brands on your heat shield and undercarriage. that should help.
 

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Two pry bars over each other and pry.up, or bang it up with whatever won't make it ugly. Lol
Or buy a downpipe that fits (for those of us who don't have one yet). It's unfortunate because the build quality seems good and it doesn't throw a CEL....but I'd rather get something that is the right shape for the car.
 

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i installed my bull x downpipe and have no fitment issues or rattles. i left all connections loose for the downpipe, got everything lined up and started tightening them down a little at a time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
i installed my bull x downpipe and have no fitment issues or rattles. i left all connections loose for the downpipe, got everything lined up and started tightening them down a little at a time.
I'm having another shop look at it on Saturday. Mine still rattles maybe once a week. If I disable auto-hold, let off the brake slowly and reverse, I get it but it's getting more rare and I don't get it when the car is fully warmed up.
 

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Thank you for this thread! I'm sure this will make my downpipe install go much smoother...except for the part where I'll be doing it on jack stands...:banghead:
 

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I've done enough on jack stands. Not hard, just take off all shields, OEM bracket, O2, be patient, move driveshaft to left. It comes it much easier after.

I have no noise or issues at all.

Did you have the whole car on jack stands? Otherwise how did you rotate the driveshaft to get to the bolts?
 

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Did you have the whole car on jack stands? Otherwise how did you rotate the driveshaft to get to the bolts?
On my MK6R I just had the front up so many times on the driveway.
Turned the front wheels to turn the shaft. I actually was able to turn the shadt by hand and lock by putting in gear, from neutral.

This car (DSG) just happened to get lift time, so all four wheels were up and in neutral. The key is to get the bolts at 12, 4 and 8 o'clock position, so no need to move anything, and you can access all three.

This shield is a tough cookie to try and get the shaft out and to the left (forget to access the bolts as mentioned above), so remove it first. I also removed the shield under the pipe with a small ratchet.

 

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On my MK6R I just had the front up so many times on the driveway.
Turned the front wheels to turn the shaft. I actually was able to turn the shadt by hand and lock by putting in gear, from neutral.

This car (DSG) just happened to get lift time, so all four wheels were up and in neutral. The key is to get the bolts at 12, 4 and 8 o'clock position, so no need to move anything, and you can access all three.

This shield is a tough cookie to try and get the shaft out and to the left (forget to access the bolts as mentioned above), so remove it first. I also removed the shield under the pipe with a small ratchet.

This one of the most medeival and barbaric downpipe upgrades that I have ever witnessed, and I cannot take my eyes off he pictures to see what happens next. The unfolding of the apparent crashcourse in brain surgery has me transfixed...... subscribed until I do my own DP installation. This is some gritty stuff, Stay brutal, my friends.!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
This one of the most medeival and barbaric downpipe upgrades that I have ever witnessed, and I cannot take my eyes off he pictures to see what happens next. The unfolding of the apparent crashcourse in brain surgery has me transfixed...... subscribed until I do my own DP installation. This is some gritty stuff, Stay brutal, my friends.!
This DP install was the first time I had ever used a torx wrench or taken the engine cover off my engine on any car. If that makes you feel better.

also, well said but yeah. I bought a ton of gear and found a lift and spent 3 days doing surgery until it all started working. I have learned a lot. "buy a 20 year old civic for your first car mods" they told me....nope, I'm just gonna drop 40K and jump in and wish me luck everyone! :)
 

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This DP install was the first time I had ever used a torx wrench or taken the engine cover off my engine on any car. If that makes you feel better.

also, well said but yeah. I bought a ton of gear and found a lift and spent 3 days doing surgery until it all started working. I have learned a lot. "buy a 20 year old civic for your first car mods" they told me....nope, I'm just gonna drop 40K and jump in and wish me luck everyone! :)
Hey, I have nothing but respect for you taking this on and sharing with the community. No better way to learn your car.
 
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