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Old 06-05-2010, 05:19 PM   #1
kero
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Default Options / Opinions needed on disgust with uel setup

Guys,

I have just about reached the end of my rope with my uel exhaust system, which is as follows below. It originally sounded great but as of lately something has changed or it's just me.

UEL ebay headers, rallisport racing trackpipe, oem centerpipe with res and standard turbo xs axleback.

My car for some reason sounds like crap. The sewing machine affect is just unbearable in traffic and tight situations. Windows opened and or closed, I just can't stand it anymore. My car sounds like a ticking time bomb and I get the oddest looks in traffic and such. Now, maybe something else is at work here: cracked headers, turbo xs muffler has something wrong inside? I don't really know and don't have the resources to check it all.

So I picked up an OEM 04 wrx twin tip axleback (free as per local cool member) to get off and sell the standard turbo xs axleback. This is step #1 in getting my car quiet again.

My problem is that I am having a heck of a time finding the OEM 2.5i headers and catpipe locally. None of my local boards NA's (2.5i's) want to trade, which I thought would never be an issue. I didn't even want money on top. If I had known finding the oem parts again would be so hard, I would have not traded and bought the uel parts outright in case I needed or wanted to switch back.

So, taking into account, my turbo xs will be off shortly, what other steps can i do to quiet my car back down to decent tolerable levels.

My first thought was to buy a catpipe and ditch the trackpipe, since we know this is most likely part of the problem.

Taking into account I never find a set of 2.5i headers and 2.5i catpipe, what else can I do that does not require tons of work and money???

Any thoughts and opinions are welcome.

I know moore will be focusing on a 2.5i higher quality UEL header and that other company GEE-OTTO told me about via PM.

The only problem is that I have a feeling for either companies about, i am going to have to invest quite a bit more money just to get my car back to a quiet enjoyable state.

I never thought I would reach the day where the uel setup would annoy and agitate me as I love the boxer burble, but either something else is wrong with my setup or I have just reached the end of my rope with hearing the ticking, clicking and crazy loud boominess of my turbo xs axleback.

I finally feel after months of being uel and catless, unless the perfect and right setup comes out for NA's to truely have a sexy burble without the other issues, it's just not worth it.

Also, I know wrapping the headers might help out the sewing machine affect but I don't have time to do it nor the place to do it. I use my car every single day for work and back and on weekends, I do not have the privacy nor ability to drop the headers so easily as I did the original swap with a buddy in a suby dealership shop after hours. I can't impose on that connection anymore unless it's 100% necessary.

Thanks for taking time to read my long post BTW.

PS - has anyone else reached the level of annoyance I have with there UEL setup?????
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Last edited by kero; 06-05-2010 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 06-05-2010, 05:38 PM   #2
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Make sure the headers dont have a leak in them. Use seafoam with the car up on jackstands to find smoke pour out of the joints. Mine had 3. Currently sitting until I can figure out want i want to do with them.
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Old 06-05-2010, 05:47 PM   #3
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^^^

#1 I am a seafoam noob so don't know what it is and what it does and how to do it.

#2 Again, I know this sounds lame but I live in an apt, I have no where to work on my car quietly and without prying eyes from others. I can stop by a local exhaust shop and have them check for leaks, would they be able to see or find them should they be there or are they so small sometimes only seafoam will show them?

#3 Leaks would only solve some of the issues I am having. Being catless I am sure is one of them, the turbo xs, soon to be history is one of them as well. Going catpipe instead of trackpipe, might help but waiting for add'l suggestions.
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Old 06-05-2010, 06:56 PM   #4
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I think the main thing that's making it loud and obnoxious is the track pipe. Change that and you should be golden. Put stock back on?

Edit: And I see you figured that out in your post there, lol. But yeah, that's what I would do first. If that's still too loud and there are no leaks, you'll have to change the axleback/muffler.
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Old 06-05-2010, 07:24 PM   #5
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do you have a link or a video of your setup? i can't seem to understand how or why your UEL setup would sound like crap.

I have a set of OEM 2.5i headers for sale, but I'm all the way here in Vancouver BC. PM me and maybe we can work something out on shipping etc.

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=1963805
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Old 06-05-2010, 07:45 PM   #6
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its the amalgam of different parts on there. I'm currently in the process of selling off my UEL setup and it sounded amazing (borla headers, stromung hfc, stromung type xa catback) and now that im temporarily running around on EL headers I hate the sound, honestly don't know how anyone can bear this noise coming out of a subie when they can have boxer rumble, I actually refuse to go anywhere in the car except for the final drive to the shop on monday when the boosted build begins.

The truly sexy blurble you seek is easily attainable, you just have to do it right, the straight through cat pipe may be part of the issue, cuz that makes it sound like crap, and there might also be somethin in that muffler, AND the ebay headers may have a leak or the different parts may not line up and seal properly thus causing a leak there, or it could be a combination of things. The truth is (all do respect) I think its the different parts working against you and if you want the truly sexy blurble, stromung or bust (i've seen the ebay headers work well on a car but that car had a stromung exhaust on it lol (the boxer4racing 2.5rs autocross car)). Hope you find a remedy to your issue, though I'm not sure if switching from the jumble of parts you have now to EL is the way to go (HATE EL!!!! Sorry I'm biased, but for a darned good reason)
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Old 06-05-2010, 08:15 PM   #7
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Guys, if I had to take a wild guess and lets assume for a moment the headers are leak free, I would say that the combination of both trackpipe and turbo xs axleback are the main culprits in my setup being very loud and boomy, if that's the right word. The pulses from the headers are crazy strong and at low RPM's and speed, it's like a person beating on a bass drum.

Now, are my headers allowing more than typical sewing machine affect to come through the cheap thin walls of the piping, maybe and possibly, but going catpipe and quieter axleback, will not remove this problem.

J-Chow - maybe the wording was not correct, maybe not sounding like crap was the right way to explain it but the system just sounds wrong to me at this point. I have been in the NA suby arena for a while now and know pretty much all the setups there are and their goods and bads. My setup currently just does not sound up to par fromw hen it originally did.

Maybe the warm weather combined with using the A/C since it hot has changed the dynamics of the sound of the setup.

Either way, getting off that darn turbo XS axleback is the 1st step I am taking. I know the 04 wrx oem axleback will be very quiet, but this will help me to see if anything else is amiss with the setup.

I will PM you with regards to the headers

Donutz: I have had multiple stromung setups prior to this but all were with EL OEM headers. The reason why I got rid of all my stromung setups is because the stromung muffler in particular used to take time to warm up an reach full depth and sound. This kinda annoyed me a bit especially when rolling into and leaving my local meets. I pulled in deep and sounding nice and left sounding like crapola. My other local NA members, buddies of mine, noticed the same thing. So I gave up on the stromung end of things.

And to all above thus far, I just turned 37, after long hard days at work dealing with stressfull people and situations, noise in general just annoys me more. I am by no means getting old per say, but dealing with a boomy bassy exhaust setup does not allow for relaxing drives home to unwind. The traffic on LI can be unbearable at times and add on an exhaust setup that can amplify a headache, and you can see why I am ready for some peace and quiet. And yes, I have and always will love the boxer burble, but on WRX's & STI's where it truely sounds sexy.

I honestly don't want to go back to full UEL but it might have to happen for a bit until the two new companies come out with improved 2.5i UEL headers.

Now my bigger question is this - what happens when a typical 2.5i owner needs to have their oem headers replaced due to clogged cats. Do they just but a new set from suby as we all know you can't just get them from any ole exhaust shop.

Last edited by kero; 06-05-2010 at 08:29 PM.
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Old 06-05-2010, 11:30 PM   #8
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For cats, I asked my local custom exhaust shop(not midas or chain place). They told my $100 for a ceremic cat welded in plus whatever piping they use to fit it all together.

also, i thought with track pipe the wrx/sti cat/axle back turn the sound raspy.

@ cmiovino

Us 06-07 2.5i's cant use stock cat pipe. its integrated into the headers. Gee-otto is working on a group buy for us to get a set of UEL's with factory positioned cats for us. I'd love to go in on it, but its kinda out of my price range atm.

Last edited by kewlboxer2; 06-05-2010 at 11:35 PM.
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Old 06-05-2010, 11:49 PM   #9
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First things first the track pipe and stock mid pipe equal disaster. Second the tick is a leak I ran my UEL tick free. You may not see the leak but it exists could be a warped flange or bad gasket. If you are going to go UEL you gotta do it all header back and wrap it at that the stock is wrapped with fiberglass to deaden any other engine sounds coming thru the exhaust.

Next: you sold your stockers? I've bought 2 of the only 3 I've ever seen for sale I nodded one and sold the other Rallisportracing.com there is one more for sale I can track him down and give him your info it's in OH.
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Old 06-05-2010, 11:51 PM   #10
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I might have mine for sale. I have my whole stock exhaust yet.
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Old 06-06-2010, 03:11 AM   #11
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interesting..never really had that problem all the time however I do see what you're getting at...hmmm. thanks for the new perspective on things (though if you drive like a big enough ass it gets warm ahahaha (oops))
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Old 06-06-2010, 11:35 AM   #12
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Here look this guy up he has what you are lookin for , for a good price.
http://www.rs25.com/forums/f177/t134...-cat-pipe.html
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Old 06-06-2010, 01:12 PM   #13
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my exhaust became stupid quiet after I wrapped the header... for about 3 months I had aabout an 18" section that was left unwrapped... I just did it this weekend and it got a lot quieter inside the car.
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Old 06-06-2010, 02:25 PM   #14
kero
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Gee-otto: Thanks dropped him a reply in his thread

Sir-Knight: again, I do not have the time nor space, nor the ability right now to wrap the headers. If things were different I would have done it already before they went on. My car is needed every single day so dropping the headers and wrapping them is really not an option, it's a shame though.
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Old 06-06-2010, 03:04 PM   #15
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it's about a 2 hour job total.. drop the header in the evening, wrap them, let them dry over night, in the morning before putting them back on, spray the silicone paint on, the paint can be handled about 20 minutes after spraying, you can do it on a friday night saturday morning. Then again, having a stock header to put on is faster, provided you have one.
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Old 06-06-2010, 05:48 PM   #16
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I had the ebay replicas with stock catted mid section and stromung cat back. The ticking was there but it wasn't terrible. Lose the track pipe and put a high quality exhaust on there. Then when you have time if it is still too much, wrap the headers or get them coated.
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Old 06-06-2010, 06:26 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audi20Tdriver View Post
I had the ebay replicas with stock catted mid section and stromung cat back. The ticking was there but it wasn't terrible. Lose the track pipe and put a high quality exhaust on there. Then when you have time if it is still too much, wrap the headers or get them coated.
wrap your headers! makes a HUGE difference in sound trust me, i did it with my legacy. i have UEL ebay headers, stromung HFC, and stromung resonated catback. its nice and quiet at idle, no ticking, and sound deep and rumbly after i give it throttle. the headers are made of thinner metal and you hear valves through it. wrap em and call it a day. My g/f's RS has that tick

-B
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Old 06-06-2010, 07:53 PM   #18
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So my short term goals as of right now is to get on the 04 wrx axleback, sell the turbo xs axleback.

Use some of that money to help get the catpipe weather is be stromung or rallisport racing (unless someone knows of another company).

Put on the catpipe in conjuction with the 04 wrx axleback. This should quiet down the system enough for a time.

Now, if and when I find an OEM 2.5i header and catpipe, I can take off the UEL's, inspect them, wrap them and seal them and wait for a day when I am ready to go back to UEL, etc. Keep the catpipe which I hopefully get on from selling the turbo xs.

If the oem parts can be found, I will take off the uel's and trackpipe, sell them and wait for the new companies to finish and start selling the new 2.5i specific headers, which would make life much easier in many ways.

Sir Knight I understand the job is not that hard and I know it's not hard, it's my situation with the apartment, time and privacy, and a good place to work on the car. With some asssitance I put in my entire system, wasn't that hard, nothing complicated but my friend who works for subaru, let me use his suby service shop with a lift and made life very easy. I can't abuse that connection for header wrapping.

So, again, thanks for all the comments and opinions!
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Old 06-07-2010, 10:57 PM   #19
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Quick Update: Had a local shop affiliated with my local board put in the 04 wrx axleback as well as check the system for visible issues.

First thing we ran into was that the flange on my oem centerpipe was warped, then we put on a custom STI double res centerpipe I had and found out the flange on the 04 wrx axleback was warped (I have such crappy luck)

So we decided to leave the 04 wrx axleback on with the custom STI centerpipe and he put some exhaust putty on the flange connection to seal up the leak until I can decided what to do next.

#1 The headers SEEM to be okay thus far from what we can tell

#2 The car is dramatically quieter, due to the 04 wrx axleback and the double res sti centerpipe that was originally made for when I had the UEL's with no cats and the stromung centerpipe. So, the turbo xs axleback was by far one of the biggest problems noise wise.

#3 interestingly enough, alot of the header noise must have been going through the muffler as the header sewing machine affect is much less now that it was with the turbo xs. i wonder if the double resonators also help with that.

So, i still have the problem of the warped flange on the 04 axleback, which I will replace in the future. I will keep the UEL headers on and eventually change out the trackpipe for catpipe for a NOSE rest (hahahaha).

Learning lesson #1 - never get rid of your oem stuff

Learning lesson #2 - if possible always buy new, used but in good condition does not always mean, good part.

Learning lesson #3 - They say measure twice cut once, I say think twice by once. Meaning think long and hard about the mods you want and also think how you will be affected by them down the line. Not just short term.

That's it for now.

My last question is this. I refuse to by used axlebacks anymore, so I want to by new, my options are stromung (which kinda defeats the purpose of going quiet again), moore perfomance quiet option axleback, or save up and by a brand spanky new 07 wrx axleback (quiet option, nice tip, decent quality and could be less than the two options previously mentioned).

I also refuse to by a quiet muffler and have the axleback fabbed as my local exhaust shops cheap out and reuse the flanges and such, which I can't do since my flange is warped.
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Old 06-07-2010, 11:20 PM   #20
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If you have a decent exhaust shop they only should need 1 flange xD rest should be welded to the pipe. They should have a flange there that can work.
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Old 06-07-2010, 11:24 PM   #21
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why dont you just cut the flange off the 04 and weld a new one on? and wrap your headers!
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Old 06-07-2010, 11:36 PM   #22
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I guess I can have a new flange put on, maybe I just haven't found a shop I like yet. So that's possible but I am picky and don't like sloppy work and shops in my area thus far have done sloppy work and terrible welding.

XSV141 - if you read my prior long winded posts ROFL, you would see I don't have that option right now due to many factors. This is something I will try to do in the future granted the right conditions arise for me to have the time and place to do it.
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Old 06-08-2010, 01:08 PM   #23
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oic missed that part alot of reading lol
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Old 06-08-2010, 09:01 PM   #24
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Right now, I will leave on the 04 wrx muffler and focus on selling my turbo xs so that money can go towards getting my exhaust system in shape.

Just don't know where to focus in terms of a quiet muffler that is reasonable in price, looks better than a pea shooter and will have a nice new flange. Or just the muffler itself and have a exhaust shop fab me an axleback, not my favorite option to be honest.
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Old 06-15-2010, 10:13 AM   #25
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Update: Had put on the 04 wrx axleback and the car was pretty quiet but the muffler had this bird chirping sound every time I slowed down or started up the car.

Final change was to put on a friends 07 wrx axleback along with my double resonated centerpipe I had made a while back for my original UEL setup.

The car is ultra quiet now and I have a baby burble, hahahaha.

So the UEL's and trackpipe will stay on as in the future I might want the louder burble back.

All is well for now and the car idles so much smoother now. Thanks for all the feeback guys.

Oh, we had done a check on the UEL's while the car was on the lift, didn't spot any visual issues or obvious leaks or degredation of the UEL's the the original owner had heat coated them black.
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