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Just how easy/pain is DP install/removal?

SnailpowerMk7

Go Kart Newbie
Location
NJ
Car(s)
MK7 GTI SE 6SPD MT
The primary reason for this question is living in Jersey, inspection is a nightmare. I went through all kinds of PITA problems with the mk6 on a catless dp to get inspected and told myself once I got the mk7 I would stay the hell away from the DP. The problem is, the DP is probably the second best mod (without upgrading turbo) for power gains besides a tune. I also love that once you get the DP, it truly changes the tone of the car. It's like you've officially entered, the after-market/mod world on your car. It's no longer tame.

With that said, probably my biggest mistake on the old car was getting rid of the OEM DP once I swapped it for A/M. To get inspected I had to take it to a shop, they would swap on a loaner DP, get inspected, go back, remove it and I be like -400 bucks. That would be an on-going every 2 year situation... granted I only had to do it twice since owning the car new and trading it in.

Is the DP easy enough on this car to really just swap in driveway with not too much hassle? I watched some online videos and it appears not all that tricky but wondering if I would to get involved in that swap every 2 years...
 

BadHombre760

Go Kart Champion
Location
Vegas
Car(s)
Slow FWD VW Hatch
Personally I wouldn't want to deal with it everytime I needed to smog the car (we get tested every year here tho). Have you considered a stage 1 tune and muffler delete? You'll get the power gains and some actual exhaust sounds, without the drone of a dp. You can get a "low torque tune" to preserve the stock clutch as long as possible
 

Acadia18

Autocross Champion
Location
Rhode Island
Car(s)
2016 GTI SE
Swapping the downpipe on an MK7 is far, far, easier to do than on an MK6. Like, it's not even comparable. If you don't have the performance pack, it's stupidly easy. I'm nowhere near a professional, and can swap my downpipe in 45 minutes by myself. If you do have the performance pack, it's still easier than an MK6, but not as easy as a car without the performance pack. The LSD takes up a bunch of space, and makes fishing it out harder, especially if you're alone.
 

Reggie Enchilada

Drag Racing Champion
Location
WV
Does the NJ inspection just look for a cat or does it look for any aftermarket exhaust? If they just look for a cat, why not get a catted DP to use full time?
 

nok513

Passed Driver's Ed
Location
New York
Car(s)
2020 VW GTI S
Does the NJ inspection just look for a cat or does it look for any aftermarket exhaust? If they just look for a cat, why not get a catted DP to use full time?
I think the issue is more on the readiness monitor / CEL during inspections. Don't most Stage 2 tunes disable the monitor to prevent CEL lighting up? I've never seen any shop by me thoroughly looks for a cat.
 

Agray

Go Kart Newbie
Location
Washington
I think the issue is more on the readiness monitor / CEL during inspections. Don't most Stage 2 tunes disable the monitor to prevent CEL lighting up? I've never seen any shop by me thoroughly looks for a cat.
Flash back to stock, install an 02 spacer (J style with the M insert facing upstream seams to work), drive around 50-100 miles to set readiness and use a DP with a cat to pass vis inspection.
 

Reggie Enchilada

Drag Racing Champion
Location
WV
I think the issue is more on the readiness monitor / CEL during inspections. Don't most Stage 2 tunes disable the monitor to prevent CEL lighting up? I've never seen any shop by me thoroughly looks for a cat.
Some disable the monitor, others don't and simply disable the CEL warning from displaying.
 

George Ab

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Pacific NW
When I was under warranty I put in the original downpipe a couple of times when I took to dealer for warranty work. Takes a bit of time, but it is fairly easy. The first time or two it is challenging figuring out the right twist to get it in.
 

SnailpowerMk7

Go Kart Newbie
Location
NJ
Car(s)
MK7 GTI SE 6SPD MT
Personally I wouldn't want to deal with it everytime I needed to smog the car (we get tested every year here tho). Have you considered a stage 1 tune and muffler delete? You'll get the power gains and some actual exhaust sounds, without the drone of a dp. You can get a "low torque tune" to preserve the stock clutch as long as possible
I've heard of the stg1 tune and muffler delete. This is probably my route if I completely rule out DP.
Swapping the downpipe on an MK7 is far, far, easier to do than on an MK6. Like, it's not even comparable. If you don't have the performance pack, it's stupidly easy. I'm nowhere near a professional, and can swap my downpipe in 45 minutes by myself. If you do have the performance pack, it's still easier than an MK6, but not as easy as a car without the performance pack. The LSD takes up a bunch of space, and makes fishing it out harder, especially if you're alone.
I do have PP but if it's just a matter of a lil more angling and fishing it out, I don't think that is terrible.
Agreed with acadia. It's not hard, 45 mins or so and it's done.
45minutes isn't bad at all. If I need to do it twice, that's under 2 hours and saves around 400 bucks having a shop do the same work...
Does the NJ inspection just look for a cat or does it look for any aftermarket exhaust? If they just look for a cat, why not get a catted DP to use full time?
Depends which inspection station, they have a camera under car that is supposed to compare against OEM spec. I went to one that had this but at that time was stock DP. You can have after market mid to rear, the only issue really is the dp with the cat and sensor reading properly. I went through inspection with stock dp paired to my after-market mid to rear to get through.
I think the issue is more on the readiness monitor / CEL during inspections. Don't most Stage 2 tunes disable the monitor to prevent CEL lighting up? I've never seen any shop by me thoroughly looks for a cat.
Yeah, APR did that so you do not get CEL which is mostly for your own piece of mind but obviously doesn't work with inspection. At that time you need to revert back to stock program but then the hardware has to line up properly so you don't get a true CEL because of lack of CAT now. This is where swapping back the stock DP came in. I've tried a spacer but had no luck with it at the time but also had the wrong APR tune. I had test-pipe stock file rather than non-test pipe stock file. Once I had it reflashed they did test-pipe 93 octane for the tune (removes CEL), but non-test pipe stock mode so it can read properly again.
 

nok513

Passed Driver's Ed
Location
New York
Car(s)
2020 VW GTI S
I've heard of the stg1 tune and muffler delete. This is probably my route if I completely rule out DP.

I do have PP but if it's just a matter of a lil more angling and fishing it out, I don't think that is terrible.

45minutes isn't bad at all. If I need to do it twice, that's under 2 hours and saves around 400 bucks having a shop do the same work...

Depends which inspection station, they have a camera under car that is supposed to compare against OEM spec. I went to one that had this but at that time was stock DP. You can have after market mid to rear, the only issue really is the dp with the cat and sensor reading properly. I went through inspection with stock dp paired to my after-market mid to rear to get through.

Yeah, APR did that so you do not get CEL which is mostly for your own piece of mind but obviously doesn't work with inspection. At that time you need to revert back to stock program but then the hardware has to line up properly so you don't get a true CEL because of lack of CAT now. This is where swapping back the stock DP came in. I've tried a spacer but had no luck with it at the time but also had the wrong APR tune. I had test-pipe stock file rather than non-test pipe stock file. Once I had it reflashed they did test-pipe 93 octane for the tune (removes CEL), but non-test pipe stock mode so it can read properly again.

And this is why I'm probably sticking to Stage 1. Too much of a hassle for an extra +20hp? Add up the cost of the dp, tune, stronger clutch, intercooler (?). I'd probably stick with what I have, save up for a better clutch when this wears out, wheels/tires, and get a high torque flash.
 

Ezekiel81923

Go Kart Champion
Location
Royersford, PA
Car(s)
2019 Volkswagen GTI
I thought PA and NJ were the same in that you can have one monitor show "not ready" and still pass emissions?

I'm planning on going catted regardless because of the smell and just in case I end up at a shop that does a more thorough visual but as long as you have the monitor off and a cat present wouldn't you pass?
 

It's Sam

Go Kart Champion
Location
New York (The cool part)
Car(s)
2017 GTI SE
Chiming in here because I just had to deal with the same thing here in NY. I don't know how our inspections differ but I'm running EQT stage 2 with APR's downpipe (Catted)

Firstly, to agree with (mostly) everyone else, the swap is very easy. I will say that the first time you do it it's a little tricky figuring out how to maneuver it out, but doing it again after that is a breeze. My first MK7 was non perf. pack and that was straight forward enough, my current one with the LSD was out in 15 minutes.

Now, for the inspection aspect, I don't want to make another "Will my downpipe pass inspections thread," but I didn't pass with Stage 2 due to sensor readiness. Flashed to stock and put a 90 degree spacer on my cat and passed no problem. Even catted mine still smells like exhaust and is clearly aftermarket, and it's not an issue.
 
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