3.0l Downpipes/Cats Removal Issue

On a 03 b6 a4 3.0l Quattro with Tip I’m having issues removing the Downpipes/Cats and just looking for a little advice from those of you in the know.
The car is up on stands and I have plenty of clearance to work with underneath. The trouble I’m having is actually removing the downpipes. I have the same “Hogpipe” as described by Countvohn here http://audirevolution.net/forum/index.php?topic=145.0 All nuts are off the studs, the backend is disconnected from the cat back and I can rotate the cat/downpipe roughly 120 degrees and pull it back about 4 inches but that is it. Currently, I am just working on the drivers side but have everything apart on the passenger side, read to do the same thing.
The whole reason I’m doing this is that my cats are dead and throwing codes, I also just received my spare ECU back from JHM and to say that I’ve been itching to install it is an understatement. I was planning on gutting the cats for now till JHM has some downpipes ready. I was also figuring on removing the SAI at the same time and clean up the engine compartment a little.
So yeah, any advice? Looking at it, there is a bracket and swinging arm that the exhaust bolts to just as it makes the last 45 down from cat and before the flex pipe. This bracket seems to hold a heat shield that runs along the bottom inside of the subframe between the tranny and exhaust pipe. Do I have to remove this? It does look like I will gain a little room to get the cat out if I do but I can only find 3 bolts that fasten it and it seems to run quite a ways forward. Plus I don’t want to take more apart that is needed. The only other option I can quickly come up with is to start messing with the subframe itself to open up that hole a little more. But again, I don’t want to start messing with stuff I don’t need to.
Hoping that I could get some input from guys who have dealt with this before. Thanks in advance.

I also forgot to mention that I watched the Video’s that Count put up but could only find part one and two.

Maybe I can help, I’ve done this a few times. Manual or Auto? If you can maybe take a few pictures to show where your at.

Without seeing 100% what you’re talking about.

You really need to pull the back sub frame down and if you’re an automatic you need to led down the entire sub frame.

I will make sure to keep an eye on this thread for you. If you can get me some updated pictures on what point you’re at so I can give suggestions. We will get the pipes out for you. I’ll help best I can, maybe this thread can stand as a DIY for others.

Did you ask JHM if they have Dps ready. I happen to know they just might have a few sets to sell. Not sure when they are going to make an official release.


If CV is unable to help you because he is busy, feel free to give us a call tomorrow during our business hours and I will help walk you through it as well. You can reach us at (209) 968-0077.

I can also put you on the list for 3.0l Downpipes!


Thanks Count, I threw her back together for the weekend, got a trip planned and was hoping to get it done before to give it a good test, but oh well. But when I give it another go here soon I’ll definitely make sure to take a bunch of pictures. It is an auto, so what is all involved with dropping the sub frame? Do I need any special tools?
Jake, I may just take you up on that. I was planning on calling anyways just to talk to you about the tune and my options with the SAI. As for the downpipes, If they are getting close to being done I guess I need to start setting aside some money… Hey and thanks for the speedy delivery and making sure all the order info got transferred after I goofed on the shipment.

CountVohn is right that the subframe has to be lowered to get the downpipes out. Since your car is an automatic and you are working with it on jack stands than I recommend lowering all four points of the subframe. In that case you want to support the engine from the top with an engine support bar/bridge and support the bottom of the subframe with a floor jack and a block of wood/brick while removing the hardware that is holding the subframe in place.

I use a engine support bar from Harbor Freight that works great. Here is a link:

Dealerships have a similar tool that they call a skyhook. If you had a lift then you could just lower the back of the subframe/transmission and then pry the subframe a little lower with a pry-bar or a length of pipe to get enough room to pull the downpipe out. Also it helps a lot if you remove the post catalytic converter oxygen sensors that you can see from the top behind the engine. Just one less thing to snag and break since the front oxygen sensors come out with the downpipe.

Thanks Jimmy, looks like I’ll be holding off until I pick one of those up.

Once I get it, I’ll post up some pics and along with your guys help, maybe write up a DIY.

Feel free to load the pictures directly up to the site for future use and easy access.

Sounds Good, Thanks God.

WTF there is a list for 3.0 Dp’s???

Yeah man. Give us a call on Monday if you are serious about ordering them very soon and you can be one of the first to get them! Or you can shoot me an email with contact info and I will put you on. (Email is in my sig)


Well I picked up my engine support bar…


I’m assuming that I support the engine from these points…




and also the back ones which I don’t have pictures of.

Now the lowering of the sub frame is what I’ll need the help with. While I am a mechanic by trade, I am not an automotive mechanic so bare with me.

I’m assuming that while supporting the engine with support bar and subframe with a jack, take out these…




Do I have to do anything up front with…


and the same on the passenger side?

Also, should I be supporting the transmission? The back mount looks to be supporting the tranny.

Haha sorry about the pictures guys. Guess I’ll have to shrink the next ones down a bit, thought they looked alright when I previewed them.

Removal of the downpipes on a Automatic 3.0 you will have to

  • Take out the sub frame back bolts
  • Use the motor support brace you bought
  • lower the front part of the sub frame

At this point the rear of the sub frame needs to be pulled down again to get the Downpipes out.

Don’t forget to

  • Unplug your 02’s in the front and rear
  • Watch the back of the motor when pulling the back of the sub frame down. You don’t want to have anything hit the intermittent fire wall

That is interesting. The engine support bar that you got is different than mine. Mine has a channel that the hook goes through and then a big washer that supports the wing nut on top but instead it looks like that one has the a sliding bar that moves over the middle piece that is supported by the legs.

Anyways I wouldn’t trust the tiny chain to hold the engine in place. I would rather put the hook through one of the back engine eyelets directly to hold the engine in place. Once you have the oxygen sensors out of the way and disconnected, get the engine support bar in place, and it is time to lower the subframe.

For taking bolts out of the rear of the subframe I used your picture but made a few changes.


First, the red arrow that is crossed out is pointing towards the transmission mount so that can stay in place.
Second, the green arrow points to the back main subframe bolt that has to come out with the two other bolts that you had red arrows pointing towards.
Third, the yellow arrow is where I would support the subframe with a floor jack and a block of wood while removing those three bolts on each side.
Fourth, do the other side and then move to the front of the subframe.

Once you have the back of the subframe lowered lets move to the front.


First, you will have to remove the two sway bar nuts that are circled in light blue so that you can pull the sway bar down a little bit.
Second, pull all three bolts that are circled in a darker blue.
Third, leave the nut that is circled in red alone unless you are also replacing the engine mounts.
Fourth, crawl back out from under the car and lower the engine and transmission with the engine support bar so that there is a pretty good gap between the subframe and body.
Fifth, it is time to remove the downpipes/cats. Good luck.

Just a quick update, I’ve been picking away at it and the driver side is out and passenger side is next. Pictures will be coming in the next little bit. Huge thanks for the help and tips guys.

Hello, does anybody have these pics that show what bolts to remove for the subframe lowering? thanks

Hello, does anybody have these pics that show what bolts to remove for the subframe lowering? thanks

please disregard