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Discussion Starter #1
I just talked to the fabricator for the downpipe and he is having trouble to give me a quote. The software he uses to calculate labor hours is showing "custom" so he is unable to determine how long it will take to remove the downpipe to give me a more realistic quote.

For those who have done it before, can you tell me how long it takes you to remove the downpipe and also any advices or things to avoid.

Thanks
 

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The clamp at the turbo exit (attaches to the catalytic converter which is essentially the downpipe in our cars) is really hard to access.

Getting to that point is fairly straight forward. Once you have the belly pan off and the midpipe removed, the two bolts securing the cat to the engine block come out from below. Then remove the lower intercooler tubing.

Because Alfa (in their infinite wisdom) decided to put the head of the clamp fastener facing the front of the car, you have to remove the cooling shroud from the front of the engine to get to it. That is mashed up against a heat shield between engine and fuel tank. The cooling shroud is a combination of bolts/nuts (3 bolts, 2 nuts if memory serves) from below and above. Top two are done "by the force" as you really cannot see them. Then the shroud often jams on the turbo intake pipe so it seemingly won't come off (for ages of wrestling in a very tight spot). Don't forget, what gets un-done here needs to re-installed afterward, and that is no easier

Some people (given the right tools, small arms, an extra set of joints on those arms) have been able to do it on their own. I had to relent and give it to my dealership, who spent several hours on just getting to this clamp (they had to drop the heat shield in the end, to remove the cooling shroud).

Check out my experience starting about post # 11 on this thread for some description of the headaches.

Pro tip: Make sure they re-install the clamp with the fastener pointing backward (toward the engine block), which makes future removal a 15 minute task!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The clamp at the turbo exit (attaches to the catalytic converter which is essentially the downpipe in our cars) is really hard to access.

Getting to that point is fairly straight forward. Once you have the belly pan off and the midpipe removed, the two bolts securing the cat to the engine block come out from below. Then remove the lower intercooler tubing.

Because Alfa (in their infinite wisdom) decided to put the head of the clamp fastener facing the front of the car, you have to remove the cooling shroud from the front of the engine to get to it. That is mashed up against a heat shield between engine and fuel tank. The cooling shroud is a combination of bolts/nuts (3 bolts, 2 nuts if memory serves) from below and above. Top two are done "by the force" as you really cannot see them. Then the shroud often jams on the turbo intake pipe so it seemingly won't come off (for ages of wrestling in a very tight spot). Don't forget, what gets un-done here needs to re-installed afterward, and that is no easier

Some people (given the right tools, small arms, an extra set of joints on those arms) have been able to do it on their own. I had to relent and give it to my dealership, who spent several hours on just getting to this clamp (they had to drop the heat shield in the end, to remove the cooling shroud).

Check out my experience starting about post # 11 on this thread for some description of the headaches.

Pro tip: Make sure they re-install the clamp with the fastener pointing backward (toward the engine block), which makes future removal a 15 minute task!!!
Thanks for the tips and link. But can you tell me approximately how many hours needed to remove the downpipe? They know it is not very accessible.
 

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Thanks for the tips and link. But can you tell me approximately how many hours needed to remove the downpipe? They know it is not very accessible.
What I'm trying to get at is that it seems to vary widely
Doubt anyone has done it in less than 2.
If you've done 100 of them and can accomplish it blindfolded, I bet that it would still take 45 minutes.
I'm an outlier, so ignore my woes, but I think many have taken 4-6 hours to disassemble and re-assemble that point.
It's really going to depend on whether they have the tools to work in that tight space, how easily your cooling shroud comes off and goes back on, and whether or not they have to drop the heat shield in the process.
Everything else is really straightforward.

You may have to pay them on a "time taken" basis on that part. Estimating it will either screw you or them, possibly quite badly.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I am thinking not to fabricate the downpipe...Too much work. Just going to enjoy what I have.

Thanks all
 

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I am thinking not to fabricate the downpipe...Too much work. Just going to enjoy what I have.

Thanks all
Can always shop around for a DP. I took my 4C to a race shop and they told me they did not want to fabricate a DP and advised me to purchase one that was made for the 4c and they would install it.

In your video it sounds like you have made the custom DP already?! What was done to make it that loud!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Can always shop around for a DP. I took my 4C to a race shop and they told me they did not want to fabricate a DP and advised me to purchase one that was made for the 4c and they would install it.

In your video it sounds like you have made the custom DP already?! What was done to make it that loud!
The exhaust shop can fabricate the DP, that’s no problem but they said it is so buried inside that the removal of the stock will be hard and may take too long. I may end up spending too much money on it due to labor cost.
Last Friday they have already finished the custom 3" exhaust install for me and l am happy with it. The loud exhaust note was just the custom exhaust, no DP.
 

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The exhaust shop can fabricate the DP, that’s no problem but they said it is so buried inside that the removal of the stock will be hard and may take too long. I may end up spending too much money on it due to labor cost.
Last Friday they have already finished the custom 3" exhaust install for me and l am happy with it. The loud exhaust note was just the custom exhaust, no DP.
You can always do it later if you decide that you want to.

Looks and sounds good as it is!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Wouldn't adding that custom DP make it even louder? I know it effects performance a bit
The newly installed exhaust is loud enough for me, knowing that the custom downpipe would makes it louder kinda want me think twice. With the unknown labor cost due to inaccessibility, I decided not to do the custom downpipe.
 

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You could purchase the GMS DP and Cat (or have your shop make up their own 200 cell Cat piece then adapt fitment to your custom mid-pipe.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
You could purchase the GMS DP and Cat (or have your shop make up their own 200 cell Cat piece then adapt fitment to your custom mid-pipe.
The shop can fabricate the downpipe, thats not the problem. The issue started when their software could not calculate the labor cost of removing the stock downpipe. It will be like going in blind without knowing how long it will take and I am not comfortable with that.
 

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I just talked to the fabricator for the downpipe and he is having trouble to give me a quote. The software he uses to calculate labor hours is showing "custom" so he is unable to determine how long it will take to remove the downpipe to give me a more realistic quote.

For those who have done it before, can you tell me how long it takes you to remove the downpipe and also any advices or things to avoid.

Thanks
Hi @ant
I ended up swapping the downpipe for the cat myself (never done it before on any car and followed the wisdom of this beloved forum!) and I would say it took about 5-6 hours of labor just on that job. I’m ignoring the time for breaks and being stuck at the turbo clamp as @4Canada mentioned above, which alone was about 3 or so hours and a real bitch because that heat shield as mentioned is hard to maneuver. Also, I was an idiot and was trying to loosen the wrong clamp (turbo side vs. DP side) and no wonder it wouldn’t budge! But when you’re going by feel and trying to just get a wrench to turn 5 degrees, you’ll turn anything that feels like a clamp.

So to answer your question, I would tell a shop 4-6 hours but plan on 6 hours in the worst case since hopefully they’ve done this before and you’ll likely be mentioning the turbo clamp to help them out. Anything above 6 hours should be on them due to lack of knowledge or inexperience...which I would tell them in kinder words, and in advance.

I hope that helps & shout out if you have any additional concerns.
 

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If the shop is not familiar with the 4C, then 6 - 8 hours to remove the downpipe. With a shop rate of $135/hr or so around here, you can easily figure on $800-1000 for the job. I'm "cheap" and removed the OEM exhaust myself and installed 3 different exhausts on the car over the years. The most recent was the GMS exhaust to run a high flow cat. I DID have to pay a custom fabricator to modify the GMS exhaust so it could attach to my Capristo exhaust. I had installed the GMS exhaust (and getting the CAT is a royal pain in the ar$e), and "all" they had to do is build/retrofit an adapter to the Capristo. It took 8 hours of shop time to make that simple conversion. It cost more than I was expecting, but sometimes that happens when you are doing a custom modification.

If I had to guess on total cost (minus parts), a custom exhaust with Cat would be in the $3000 range.
 
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Discussion Starter #16
If the shop is not familiar with the 4C, then 6 - 8 hours to remove the downpipe. With a shop rate of $135/hr or so around here, you can easily figure on $800-1000 for the job. I'm "cheap" and removed the OEM exhaust myself and installed 3 different exhausts on the car over the years. The most recent was the GMS exhaust to run a high flow cat. I DID have to pay a custom fabricator to modify the GMS exhaust so it could attach to my Capristo exhaust. I had installed the GMS exhaust (and getting the CAT is a royal pain in the ar$e), and "all" they had to do is build/retrofit an adapter to the Capristo. It took 8 hours of shop time to make that simple conversion. It cost more than I was expecting, but sometimes that happens when you are doing a custom modification.

If I had to guess on total cost (minus parts), a custom exhaust with Cat would be in the $3000 range.
Appreciate your input based on your experience. The shop has not work on 4C before and my custom exhaust install last week was their first. Next will be the custom downpipe with CAT but their concern was that labor cost was not known even on their end. Its like a open cheque to them. So in the end, I have decided to hold off the downpipe for the time being. Your information will be valuable when this project pick up again.

Thanks
 
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