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To Borla or Not to Borla

RapGameBlueberryWaffle

Passed Driver's Ed
Location
Philadelphia, Pa
Car(s)
2016 Golf R
For the longest time I've been back and forth about whether I want to get a catback or not for my MK7 Golf R (currently Stage 2 w/ IE Downpipe). My primary concern is that it would either be too loud or that it won't be much of a difference from the OEM catback. At the moment I'm considering the Borla S Type but I'm not sure whether or not to get a resonator. I want it to sound nice and loud, but not too loud that I can't use it to visit clients for work.

What's your experience matching the Borla S Type with a high flow downpipe?

Please don't recommend other exhausts, only looking for Borla reviews.
 

Maiden69

Ready to race!
Location
Texas
Car(s)
2020 GTI
From my experience in the Camaro 1LE, the Borla S on my friends car sounded deeper an a little louder than my OEM catback with the valves closed, with valves open the sound was louder but with the same growl. The difference was that my car still had the resonator on. I think that on the R, the characteristics would be similar. Louder and deeper than OEM, the resonator will bring the sound down a bit as well. If you are on Stg 2, and you are worried about client visits I would go with the added resonator.
 

Spoolin

Passed Driver's Ed
Location
Asheville, NC
Car(s)
2015 Golf R
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Golfs everyday

Autocross Newbie
Location
USA
I have a Borla catback on my Mk7 Golf-R. It’s considerably louder than stock, but not obnoxiously loud. I run stock DP. I didn’t really care for power gains, just wanted something louder than the resonator delete.
 

aloha_from_bradley

Go Kart Champion
Location
AZ
For the longest time I've been back and forth about whether I want to get a catback or not for my MK7 Golf R (currently Stage 2 w/ IE Downpipe). My primary concern is that it would either be too loud or that it won't be much of a difference from the OEM catback. At the moment I'm considering the Borla S Type but I'm not sure whether or not to get a resonator. I want it to sound nice and loud, but not too loud that I can't use it to visit clients for work.

What's your experience matching the Borla S Type with a high flow downpipe?

Please don't recommend other exhausts, only looking for Borla reviews.

I second this thread - https://www.vwvortex.com/threads/borla-exhaust-metallic-whistle-going-insane.9467864/

I'm heavily involved in this topic as well as the thread above. Basically thread jacked it, but for good reason. I've been in correspondence with Chris Baas at Borla discussing this issue thoroughly as I was one of the first people with this exhaust on a MK7.5 R. Every single system I've heard for a 7.5 has had a whistle at WOT. Some are worse than others, but they all have the sound.

This is Borla's press video - The sound quality is terrible and they need a new media director, but that's a different topic. Listen closely as this car builds speed and you can hear the whistle. It's not overly pronounced in this video, but can clearly be heard.

https://www.borla.com/products/volkswagen-golf-r-cat-back-exhaust-system-140830sb

Chris went as far as sending me out a replacement system which I installed only to find that it was even worse than the first. Whistle was loud and could be heard at varying RPMs under hard throttle. It's a shame as Borla makes one of the best sounding systems for a cat back w/ stock DP on the market. There is zero drone... I mean zero.

I've been in contact with several different people about this topic on varying platforms including YouTube, different forums, and via email. Some people are telling me that Borla's engineering department has found what's causing the issue from a technical perspective, but I'll believe it when I hear it. They told me the same thing when shipping my replacement system out only to find the opposite. I've not heard from Borla on this after shipping the replacement system back over a month ago even though others have received reports. I emailed Chris on Sunday and haven't received a reply yet. Talk about a nightmare. The amount of time I've wasted going back and forth with Borla, removing and reinstalling systems from the car, etc. I'd say you are better off going with a different company.

After the ridiculous amount of research I've done on exhaust systems available for the MK7 / 7.5 R I'd be willing to offer some advise on what I think the best system is for your situation, but you specifically stated you didn't want that.
 
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aloha_from_bradley

Go Kart Champion
Location
AZ
Whistle? I have no whistle noise from my Borla with stock DP.

Might be specific to the Mk7.5's but the op has a Mk7 so he might be okay. Not sure, but I'm fine with mine.

I trust you, and also thought I was immune from the whistle as well. That was until I drove my car hard a few times and specifically listened for the sound. Sure enough, there it was. Maybe it's a MK7.5 thing, but the only difference in the system is the subframe cutout location and slightly wider tips for the rear valance. Not sure that would change how the muffler is designed / welded much? Who knows, maybe it's an entirely different design, but I doubt Borla would veer too far away from something that has already made it through the engineering phase. Would need to cut one in half to know the difference I guess.

Someone just posted this in the Vortex thread mentioned above. This is apparently from the inside of a system that came off a MK7. Nice welds, Borla.

1626814878398.png
 

Golfs everyday

Autocross Newbie
Location
USA
Borla reminds me of handmade fishing boats. It’s like they use ancient technology to make their exhausts. I compare it to JDM exhausts and it’s like from another era. Milltek is just as bad.

But then when you consider almost everything is made perfectly on automated lines (like your iPhones for example) this day and age, it’s actually nice to have these crafty looking handmade parts even if they are not perfect.. or closer to sloppy.
 

Bake

Go Kart Champion
Location
Storrs, CT
Car(s)
2019 Golf R
I second this thread - https://www.vwvortex.com/threads/borla-exhaust-metallic-whistle-going-insane.9467864/

I'm heavily involved in this topic as well as the thread above. Basically thread jacked it, but for good reason. I've been in correspondence with Chris Baas at Borla discussing this issue thoroughly as I was one of the first people with this exhaust on a MK7.5 R. Every single system I've heard for a 7.5 has had a whistle at WOT. Some are worse than others, but they all have the sound.

This is Borla's press video - The sound quality is terrible and they need a new media director, but that's a different topic. Listen closely as this car builds speed and you can hear the whistle. It's not overly pronounced in this video, but can clearly be heard.

https://www.borla.com/products/volkswagen-golf-r-cat-back-exhaust-system-140830sb

Chris went as far as sending me out a replacement system which I installed only to find that it was even worse than the first. Whistle was loud and could be heard at varying RPMs under hard throttle. It's a shame as Borla makes one of the best sounding systems for a cat back w/ stock DP on the market. There is zero drone... I mean zero.

I've been in contact with several different people about this topic on varying platforms including YouTube, different forums, and via email. Some people are telling me that Borla's engineering department has found what's causing the issue from a technical perspective, but I'll believe it when I hear it. They told me the same thing when shipping my replacement system out only to find the opposite. I've not heard from Borla on this after shipping the replacement system back over a month ago even though others have received reports. I emailed Chris on Sunday and haven't received a reply yet. Talk about a nightmare. The amount of time I've wasted going back and forth with Borla, removing and reinstalling systems from the car, etc. I'd say you are better off going with a different company.

After the ridiculous amount of research I've done on exhaust systems available for the MK7 / 7.5 R I'd be willing to offer some advise on what I think the best system is for your situation, but you specifically stated you didn't want that.
Not trying to hijack the thread at all... Disappointed to hear the Borla system is having this issue. That said, can you PM me some of your thought's on a better than cat-back system? Axel back, really. I have a catted and resonated AWE downpipe and would love to retain the valve control without adding a ton more noise. Just don't like the tin-like sound of the stock muffler. Thanks in advance.
 

Maiden69

Ready to race!
Location
Texas
Car(s)
2020 GTI
Borla fabricated that system the same way Chevy did the Camaro. The muffler acts as a Helmholtz chamber to take the drone away. If you take the lower frequencies out, the higher pitch noises will be accentuated. In my opinion, I think that the noise heard is just air rushing through the valves.
Someone just posted this in the Vortex thread mentioned above. This is apparently from the inside of a system that came off a MK7. Nice welds, Borla.

View attachment 220230
That doesn't look like a Borla at all, Borla doesn't weld the internal tubes to each other. Also, the tubes don't have any perforations, that picture is probably off a cheaply made header collector.

Borla XR-1 inside.

XR-1 cutaway.JPG

XR-1.jpg


XR-1b.jpg
 

Charlotte.:R

Autocross Newbie
Location
Charlotte
Car(s)
'18 Golf R 6MT
Damn, I'm not on Vortex and didn't see this in the Borla thread on here.

I installed the Borla non-resonated system a few weeks back, and have the whistle at WOT starting at ~5.5RPMS.

I've been on the fence on what to do, but now I'm thinking I'll reach out to Borla.
 

mk_s

New member
Location
fn
Car(s)
gti
What's your experience matching the Borla S Type with a high flow downpipe?

I have the Borla S type 140597, please look elsewhere for an exhaust. It seems like the silent majority latches onto Borla as a known name, not knowing what they are getting into. There is nothing remarkable about the system, the muffler it comes with will almost certainly need to be replaced with a Borla XS.

The system itself is 2.5", so whatever downpipe you decide on will most likely need a step-down from 3.

The Borla is loud if that's what you want, but it's going to need fixing through resonator and likely muffler to get what you want, and you will still be stuck with the stock 2.5" tubing.

Also the other member is correct, the exhaust whistles after 30% throttle.
 

aloha_from_bradley

Go Kart Champion
Location
AZ
Borla fabricated that system the same way Chevy did the Camaro. The muffler acts as a Helmholtz chamber to take the drone away. If you take the lower frequencies out, the higher pitch noises will be accentuated. In my opinion, I think that the noise heard is just air rushing through the valves.

That doesn't look like a Borla at all, Borla doesn't weld the internal tubes to each other. Also, the tubes don't have any perforations, that picture is probably off a cheaply made header collector.

Borla XR-1 inside.

View attachment 220280
View attachment 220278

View attachment 220279

I appreciate the info / explanation here, but do you not see the difference in the picture you sent me vs. the one I posted?

This was posted by another member on Vortex:

My question to Borla: "Have any updates/fixes been made to fix the whining sound for this exhaust? And will it happen with the replacement?"

Borla's Reply: "I would highly doubt it would do the same thing. There was a small run a couple of years back that did have an issue, but it was isolated to that run. The issue was due to a weld on the y-pipe that had a very specific frequency that did that. That said, do you have any other mods? That can also contribute to the sound as well. A downpipe and an aggressive tune have also been factors as well."


So the problem is an internal weld on the system. The picture I posted is some pretty shitty welding with some crumpled and deformed tube ends. All of those uneven surfaces will most definitely cause a level of turbulence within that section of the pipe as air flows over it. Logic would say that this airflow would cause specific sounds to be produced, namely the whistling noise everyone seems to be hearing. My gripe is that everyone's getting a different answer from Borla depending on the day. They are telling some people the issue is resolved and sending them new parts while continuing to sell the system to other people who have the whistle. It's straight ridiculous. Not to mention the replacement parts aren't fixing the problem, like in my case. Can they not test the parts?

I got an email back from Chris Baas yesterday.

"While we have had some success with correcting the whistle, our updated parts still seem to be having a problem in some cases and at this point I am not confident we have a replacement part available that will correct the whistle for you. However, this is still something that we are actively working on and I believe we will have parts available for you in the next 2 to 3 weeks. We are committed to finding a long term solution that will work for everyone."

Obviously Borla is working on the issue, but it's definitely not fixed. So for them to tell some others they have found and resolved a specific technical problem and will be shipping parts is completely bogus if you ask me. They should be making a public statement by posting a vendor notification on these forums indicating that there's a problem and they are actively working on resolution steps. Subsequently, sales of the system should be halted until the issue is resolved, and a buy back program for the existing systems should be made publicly available for those that are having the problem.

I will admit that Borla states they will buy back my system, which is great, but they are being sneaky about it as they continue to sell a whistling system to others who are willing to shell out the cash. It's shady. Top that off with the fact that you have to send the system back before they refund your money... am I supposed to drive my car without an exhaust? Shell out another 2 grand on a different system up front and wait for my money back? This doesn't include all the time I've spent swapping different systems on / off the car.

Bottom line - The issue isn't fixed and they continue to sell this bullshit.
 
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Maiden69

Ready to race!
Location
Texas
Car(s)
2020 GTI
I appreciate the info / explanation here, but do you not see the difference in the picture you sent me vs. the one I posted?
Look at the thread on the link below. After working in exhaust for over 2 decades I can be almost certain that the picture the guy posted was not of a Borla muffler, but the picture of a cheaply manufactured header/manifold merge collector. On all Borla you can see the perforations of the cores, they are perforated entirely, not solid on the ends. In the picture you posted, there are no perforations, but solid tubing, that seems to curve instead of going straight as a muffler should do.

I do agree with you, they need to correct the design or come forward with an explanation. This is the same thing that happened with the Dynomax VT a few years back. It was a great muffler, no drone at all while cruising, but the flapper clanking on deceleration was annoying to the point that customers wanted them off, since Dynomax offered a lifetime limited warranty on them.

https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/lce-header-rust-out-and-repair-attempt.515108/

merge.jpg
 
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