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Jetex Exhaust Upgrade &
GIAC ECU Tune



The first major performance upgrade for my car was to replace the stock exhaust with a free flowing cat-back system. While there are many exhaust options available for the 1.8T engine, I wanted to install a 2.5" system that reduced weight and was almost as quiet as the stock pipes. Fortunately, I found an excellent PassatWorld review (here) that discussed the installation of a Jetex 2.5" exhaust system that met my requirements exactly. I special-ordered the 42-H1 system from Jetex UK through Parts4VWs.com.


The package with the exhaust kit was a little banged up, and I had to straighten out one of the flanges with a hammer for the pipes to fit.


If you don't mind tight spaces, the entire exhaust can be installed by jacking up only the rear of the car.


Starting at the front of the car, the old exhaust needs to be removed from the stock downpipe. Two nuts hold the brackets in place, but one of them was badly rusted and stripped. I cut through the bracket with a reciprocating saw and removed it.


The best way to remove the stock resonator is to cut the exhaust pipe where it bends over the rear suspension. To get access to the pipe, the rear grime guard must be removed.


The pipe is cut as close to the resonator is possible.


The reciprocating saw slices through the pipe with relative ease. I'd highly recommend borrowing one for this job.


Prior to detaching the mounts holding the resonator in place, it is highly advisable to place a hydraulic jack underneath it before removal. The stock resononator weighs close to 40 lbs.


The stock resonator and front pipe are removed from the car. Now to turn attention to the remainder of the exhaust.


The muffler is held in pace by rubber brackets. After removing the bolts that hold the brackets in place, the muffler and remaining pipes can be removed.


The last of the old system is out!


Assembling the new Jetex system against the old stock exhaust reveals some noticeable differences. The 2.5" pipes look significantly bigger (they have 23% more cross-sectional area than the 2.25" pipes), and the new resonator is much smaller.


The rubber brackets from the OEM exhaust need to be swapped onto the Jetex system prior to installation.


The reciprocating saw aids once again for removing the rubber brackets from the old system. It's much easier to slice the metal tabs off the old exhaust than having to slide the rubber brackets around the tabs.


The new exhaust system is assembled and the U-clamps are put in their proper places. Do not tighten yet! The muffler needs to be leveled first.


The hydraulic jack aids in positioning the muffler just below the rear bumper.


With everything aligned properly, the U-clamps can be completely tightened.


After a test drive, the Jetex system proved to be everything I could have hoped for from a new exhaust. The car is more responsive when hitting the gas and handles more nimbly as a result of the weight reduction. It also sounds fantastic: a nice purr at idle, a throaty growl when accelerating, and zero drone when cruising at highway speeds.


The upgrade to a free flow exhaust opened the door to further performance modifications. That weekend, I made a roadtrip to A.W.E. Tuning for a stage 1 ECU upgrade from GIAC. Besides altering engine timings and raising the redline limit, the new program increased peak boost pressure from ~10 psi to 15 psi. Combined with the new exhaust, my car was transformed from a subtle sedan to a sporty rocket.


Costs:

Jetex cat-back exhaust $700.00
GIAC stage 1 ECU tune $450.00

Total $1,150.00


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