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3.3TT Thermal R&D Catback

Discussion in 'Engine, Drivetrain, and Exhaust Discussion' started by Kamauxx, May 1, 2018.

  1. Kamauxx

    Kamauxx United States 1000 Posts Club!

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    I installed the Thermal R&D Catback today.

    The Bad:
    The fit of the mid-pipe was not spot on. It took me over an hour to get it onto the bolts on the cats.

    There is a whistle which I assume is an exhaust leak. I think that might be the noise we hear in Thermal's video when the revs come down, which is also the only time I hear it. (I'm new to TT cars, could this be increased noise coming from the turbos?) Interestingly I just went out and drove the car again and I didn't hear the whistling at all.

    It's heavier than the stock exhaust. The weight of the stock catback is 56.8lbs. the weight of Thermal's catback is 61.4lbs.

    It's impossible to get an accurate depiction of the sound. I tried my Sony A6000 and my cell phone and the results were equally shitty. I have new respect for people who make good audio quality exhaust videos.

    The Good:
    I absolutely didn't want a loud exhaust. I wanted to free up any restrictions in the stock catback to make my go fast foot happier. The sound is (I'd guess) only 10% louder than stock. It now has a really deep note that almost sounds like it's coming from a sub-woofer. The deep note is there from low RPMs and gets more "screamy" in the higher ranges. It's amazing!

    I made a video going from 50-55-60-65-70mph, letting cruise regulate the RPMs between each increase. There is no drone! None! Zero! When the car gets up to speed and the driver or cruise control settles in there is no noticeable sound from the exhaust.

    My butt dyno is telling me there is a power increase. There is a noticeable increase in low end torque and the throttle response feels better (I guess these two things go hand-in-hand).

    TLDR:
    If you buy it you might be better off having someone else install it. Have the mid-pipe and axleback welded together (assuming there's a leak I'm experiencing). Don't expect a weight savings. It's louder, but NOT LOUD. The exhaust note is very deep...like "feel it in your chest" deep. As promised by @Thermal there is no drone at any RPM I cruised through. The car feels faster.

    I'll see what I can do about getting a decent video posted.


    Edit: My attempt at recording exhaust audio.

    In the beginning of this video you can hear the whistle noise I mentioned.


    This is a video of the very first start-up after installation. My wife was apparently scared to rev the engine. The whistle sound can be heard around the 18 second mark.


    Here is the video of the sound with different speeds at cruising RPMs.


    A couple of drive-bys. The whistling can be heard as I pass the camera.


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
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  2. DaJackson

    DaJackson United States Stinger Enthusiast Staff Member Moderator

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    It can also be the result of bad welds inside the pipes. There were some exhausts for GTIs back in the day that has a bad weld near the tip that caused them to sound like train horns at high RPMs.
     
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  3. Kamauxx

    Kamauxx United States 1000 Posts Club!

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    I hope that isn't the issue. I'm going to get under it tomorrow and give it a closer listen. Hopefully it's just the clamp.
     
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  4. RandallK

    RandallK United States Active Member

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    Awesome man!!

    I will order mine in the morning.. the good news is that it has a lifetime warranty...
     
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  5. Kamauxx

    Kamauxx United States 1000 Posts Club!

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    Does it? I'll have to email them in morning if the whistling returns. I'm not sure what good the warranty will be since we're so far apart but maybe they can at least give me some guidance on how to eliminate it.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2018
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  6. RandallK

    RandallK United States Active Member

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    9AD74C01-246C-4DC6-8EB0-8B00D5A58D6F.jpeg Yes sir.. I would talk with them as they have been great to deal with..

    This is from a back and forth email with them..

     
  7. Kamauxx

    Kamauxx United States 1000 Posts Club!

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    I sure will! Thanks.
     
  8. robz32

    robz32 United States 1000 Posts Club! Staff Member Moderator

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    Having heard a good amount of tt cars before, I can tell you that the sound you are describing and hearing is normal on our engines.

    Great review and install, and yes it does look like a heavy exhaust.
     
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  9. mhal8876

    mhal8876 United States Active Member

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    Nice! might go the same route.
     
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  10. Terra

    Terra Australia Active Member

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    A great review......

    I'm glad you have found something you like inside and out.....
     
  11. Ozstung

    Ozstung Australia Stinger Enthusiast Sustaining Member

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    Great vid muchly appreciated.
     
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  12. Kamauxx

    Kamauxx United States 1000 Posts Club!

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    Thanks for that info, Rob. Any idea why that is?
     
  13. robz32

    robz32 United States 1000 Posts Club! Staff Member Moderator

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    It is a slight vacuum produced when you let go off the gas pedal and the turbine decelerates.
     
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  14. Kamauxx

    Kamauxx United States 1000 Posts Club!

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    Interesting. Any idea why it isn't heard with stock exhaust?



    I heard back from Thermal (great customer service, btw) and they said "It does sound like the turbo whistle is just being emphasized by the aftermarket exhaust".

    They said they were going to show the videos to their techs to get a definitive answer on what the sound is.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2018
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  15. robz32

    robz32 United States 1000 Posts Club! Staff Member Moderator

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    My assumption would be due to the OEM exhaust being more restrictive and having a smaller diameter pipe.
    Keep in mind that you are increasing flow, while at the same time increasing the air volume inside the pipes, that will render more air turbulence.
     
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  16. Kamauxx

    Kamauxx United States 1000 Posts Club!

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    That makes sense. Thanks!
     
  17. DaJackson

    DaJackson United States Stinger Enthusiast Staff Member Moderator

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    Sorry to raise alarms, I didn’t watch the videos before posting my comment. I can’t even hear the whistle you mention in the videos.

    The issue I was describing was far more pronounced and could be heard from quite a distance.
     
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  18. Tonkabob

    Tonkabob United States Active Member

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    I have the Ark and don't have the whistle. But at the same time that's not an exhaust leak. Leaks will be constant and they sound more shitty. It does sound more like the turbo.
    On the install did you loosen the down pipe mount to try to get the CAT bolts on? On the ARK I would have also wrestled with it for an hour if I didn't loosen the downpipe mount to let the CAT rotate just a little.
     
  19. Kamauxx

    Kamauxx United States 1000 Posts Club!

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    Initially I didn't loosen the mount. Later I took the bolts off the mount and it didn't help so I put them back in.

    To finally get it on I used a wood block and hammer. Once I got the mid-pipe on enough that the threads were through I used the nuts to get it on the rest of the way.



    I just listened to a video of the Typhoon intake on a Stinger and the noise I hear on my car does sound a lot like a more quiet version of the turbo "ppsssh" from the intake.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2018
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  20. RandallK

    RandallK United States Active Member

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    Just ordered mine.. thanks for being the guinea pig... hahaha
     
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