Automotive detailing is my happy place... I know it's weird, but its calming for me... Put on the some music, get out all the supplies, and start cleaning. At the end you are tired and sore, but the results make it worth it. That said, I'm been putting this off because the previous owner did a terrible job and left dried polish/wax in hard to reach corners like between the door handles and body of the car, and in-between the letters in the emblem. Rather than taking the time to tape off areas you don't want to get polish/wax on, some people just go crazy every where. Oh well, looking way way better now.
Up next, looking for a SQ5 flat bottom steering wheel, 034 Motorsports lowering springs, and the RSQ5 front grill. I'm always looking for new wheels, but at the same time, I'm going to loose that comfort you get with the 19's if you go bigger. Don't think I would do anything bigger than 20's as I like that meaty look vs the super low profile tire.
My wash method:
We only put maybe 50miles on it, so this is just a short initial sample of how it sounds. For best results listen with headphones.
The last time I did a cat-back exhaust install was back in my MK3 Jetta VR6 days, 10+ years ago. I remember that being a extremely frustrating experience with almost everything going wrong. Didn't have the right tools, clamps broke, saw blade respectively broke (this was a hand saw)... and worst, I was young and inexperienced. Thankfully this AWE Touring kit was a super easy to install, and I've gotten wiser with ago... maybe. I will say using some silicone spray with exhaust hanger removal pliers made the process of removing stock exhaust stupid easy. The stock exhaust was off in less than 20mins. I did used penetrating oil on the down pipe clamps, waited 15mins and remove them no problem while the exhaust was still warm. Figured I could use the existing heat to my advantage to break them loose and it worked great. One thing to remember when removing the stock exhaust is to keep the stock down pipes from sagging if you plan on using them. I found using a floor jack and some wood keep them in place no issue. If the down pipes do sag they can tear and leak.
Installing the actually AWE system was pretty easy. You don't want to fully tighten any of the clamps just enough to keep the pipes all loosely connected. From that point it was just about aligning everything. I likely spent about 50% of the time getting the rear mufflers to be parallel with the ground and all the upstream pipes aligned properly. I did run into one problem where I didn't have a deep 16mm impact socket for the clamps, but Harbor Freight saved me
Lastly, I had the wife decide how far out we wanted the exhaust tips to poke and we were all good to go. I think in total it about an 2.5-3hr job and this was just putting the rear end up on ramps to raise the car. I'm sure this would be even faster on a lift. More videos to come when the exhaust has at least 400-500 miles on it.
I thought I had another month to go, but FedEx made a surprise delivery today....
Yep, we went with the AWE Tuning setup for the wife's Q5 3.0T. Ceder from Rowe Tech in Portland, OR hooked me up with a great deal and with the added bonus of no sales tax because Oregon doesn't have any... it was meant to be.
I just finished going over the entire AWE Tuning setup with Blue Magic Polish as it also has a sealant in it. I'm not too worried about rust as salt is not really used in my area, I just want the exhaust looking good for a long as we own the Q5. The muffler really do pop now that they are polished. As for the exhaust tips, I did two coats of CarPro CQuartz Dlux Ceramic Coating. As it is made to withstand high temps, I'm sure it will last a solid year or so. I've used CarPro Ceramic coating on my S4 and after 3 years it is still holding up.
I hope to get this system all installed before the end the week. It's funny the last time I bought and install a cat-back system was in my MK3 Jetta VR6 days over 10 years ago. Man times fly by.
3 Week Exhaust Review
Well I'm going to be honest, the custom exhaust on the Q5 isn't what we are after. While it has gotten louder and the 4in tips look so much better, it just doesn't have the volume plus tone we wanted. And I know the original idea include a xpipe to replace the center muffler, but I'm a little annoyed by the very slight drone this setup has introduced when you are going up hill doing 65mph+ with just the rear mufflers replaced. I'm going to be honest, this is a very light drone, and most people likely would not even classify it as such, but as this is the family car it just kind of annoys me. Where we live just happens to be hilly and we travel at that speed for a good distance to and from work. My wife isn't bothered by it at all, but I'm the guy that will stop a road trip if something is rattling in the trunk 5mins from our destination. What I will say is that this setup give the Q5 a nice presence with the low refine growl that the stock very much lacked but really only at idle. No rasp, but it just still sounds too stock'ish at wot. If I'm going to have a little drone, I want the volume and tone that make you happy with the sound of the car. This setup just leave me feeling like it is missing something. And I'm sure the xpipe in the center muffler would fix it, but I just don't want to do any more customizations as I'm guessing with my money. I've done enough tweaking with exhaust on the S4, so I rather go with a known system that has tons of feedback and sound samples to hear.
My options are going Milltek and get a SQ5 diffuser or go with a AWE Tuning setup without changing the diffuser. Either way, it's expensive, but I know drone won't be a issue, but if it is, at least I know what the tone and volume will be like. There is no surprise with those setups as you got tons of examples to listen from. The wife likes the quad exhaust option if we went Milltek, while I like the more stealthy dual tip. That said, we found a dealer selling a new kit at a discount. As it is built to order we got to wait until mid April before it ships. For now you all will just have to wait and see which one we went with.
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