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I have an 02 CC with the original software. When I first got the car it had a lot of trouble at launch as is typical but it shifted very strongly (chirped) in all gears which I liked. I could even get it to chirp at 90 MPH during a gear shift.

I wanted to improve the exhaust sound and listened to GHL direct pipes which sounded good. I did not drive the car since it was on the showroom floor. I also listend to the Tubi on a car that was just sold so I didn't drive it either. The Tubi was more "Ferrari-like", higher pitch than the throatier GHL. I decided to use a direct pipe approach.

First, I cut my rear resonators off and drove it for a few days to see if I could tolerate the sound (as well as my neighbors). The sound was great but because there was reduced backpressure with the 2 1/2" pipes open, the shifting was significantly slower, throttle response was flatter, and it blipped excessively on the downshift. Yes, it now fixed the clunking on launch. Unfortunately I was also triggering car alarms either when I started the car or drove past them.

I then custom built my exhaust system similar to the GHL straight pipes but included using a section of 1 3/4" pipe (typical resonator size) to restore some of the backpressure. This improved the throttle response and it still blips on the downshift but now not excessively. The launch problem was also solved. The sound was a little quieter (not much) and it stopped setting off car alarms. The only minor flaw is that under hard acceleration, it does not chirp the tires like before which to me it means it doesn't engage as quickly or crisply.

I also just replaced my clutch which was worn out but I also thought it might have contributed (by coincidence) to the loss of chirping. The standard factory setting was used for engagement. Smooth but no chirping. I then had them dial the engagement/suction to its maximum factory setting. It improved the shifting response time significantly but I still miss the more raw chirping from the original exhaust system.

I have been considering putting back on my original OEM exhaust system to see if I could get back that chirping then try different modifications to my custom built exhaust to get the stronger engagement while retaining the sound I like.

Sorry for the long story but my question to those that have an 02 CC with the original SW (not the sofast update) and the original exhaust system then upgraded to GHL or Tubi... Did you lose the "chirping" after the exhaust system mod? Is the throttle response the same? Is the launch smoother?

This kind of forum of owners is great and could save me a lot of time and money experimenting.

Thanks in advance for any help. I still love the car, I just want to retain the original design intent to be an uncompromised driver's car.
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