We are very proud to offer our 100% USA-made stainless steel exhaust system for Vanagon. Quality, affordability, and longevity with a lifetime warranty.
This kit includes everything you need to replace the entire exhaust system on all watercooled Vanagons.
Direct fit for all 1986-91 2WD and 4WD. That's right—we designed this system to fit both 2WD and Syncro applications. In addition, we kept the flange positions in the factory locations, so each part is compatible with the corresponding, original VW exhaust component. This allows you to replace your aging exhaust system with these stainless steel parts piece by piece, or all at once with our complete exhaust kit. In addition, this complete stainless exhaust system is a full 13 pounds lighter than the original mild steel version. Thirteen pounds!
• Stainless header pipe for #1 & #3 cylinders
• Stainless header pipe for #2 & #4 cylinders
• Stainless 2-into-1 collector elbow
• Stainless collector elbow to catalytic converter "J" pipe
• Stainless muffler
• Stainless muffler saddles with integrated straps (x2)
• Stainless steel tail pipe
• Complete gasket & hardware kit with instructions
Materials note: This GoWesty stainless steel exhaust system will not stay shiny and aesthetically perfect—but it will last, and we value longevity over aesthetics. For the complete story on stainless steel metallurgy, please click here.
Do you have a 1983-1985 water-cooled 1.9? If you do, and you need to replace several or all exhaust components, take the opportunity to upgrade to the later 2.1 style kit you see on this page. The 1.9 system was abandoned in 1985 for good reason, so now is the time to upgrade! Order this later style exhaust kit, plus the following parts you will need to convert:
1. Good used 2.1 motor mount bracket to complete the conversion. The 2.1 motor mount bracket (025-199-221A) is no longer available new, so it must be sourced through salvage.
- Note: The heat shield over the muffler will have to be modified slightly to fit the later-model motor mount bracket.
2. New catalytic converter.
3. New oxygen sensor.
- Note: A new, longer wire to this new sensor will be required (but is not included).
NOTE: On 1986-91 Vanagons, the thermostat housing was moved to the front near the #3 exhaust port (on an 1983-85 Vanagon, it is near the #4 exhaust port). There is an interference issue between the #4 exhaust pipe in this kit and the 1983-85 thermostat cover, which requires some grinding on the cover—but it does work. In addition, you MUST purchase one of our catalytic converters or you will not have a port into which the oxygen sensor goes.
The mounting bracket that secured the factory 1&3 and 2&4 header pipes to the underside of the engine will NOT fit our new stainless pipes and are NOT to be reused. Due to the reduced weight of this new system, these supports are no longer necessary.
4WD FITMENT NOTE: You cannot "mix and match" different components in this exhaust system—in other words, you cannot simply purchase our stainless 1&3 pipe and have it mate up perfectly with a stock exhaust system. For 4WD applications, you need to purchase this COMPLETE kit.
The bend we chose for the J-pipe ensures fitment on both 2WD and 4WD. The "perfect" bend for a 2WD would not work on a 4WD, and vice versa—thus, our decision to settle on a "compromise" bend. VW did the same thing, offering only one J-pipe for both 2WD and 4WD. However, they also moved the muffler up only about an inch on the 4WD, even though the engine sits 2" lower relative to the body (compared to a 2WD). GoWesty 4WD saddles move the muffler up an entire 2" compared to the 2WD saddles—the same amount that the engine in a Syncro sits lower—so the muffler ends up in the same exact place on both 2WD and 4WD. For best fit of the J-pipe in both applications, apply a downward (2WD) or upward (4WD) force on the outlet of the collector WHILE tightening the four bolts to the front and rear exhaust pipes. This will adjust the angle of the three-bolt flange (where the J-pipe bolts on) slightly up or down. A small angle change at that flange makes a BIG displacement change at the catalytic converter end of the J-pipe, which is about 18" away. This will improve overall fitment in either application.
You will notice that the weld on the OUTSIDE of some of the flanges does not go all the way around. This is intentional—there is nothing wrong! The weld does not go all the way around to make more room for the fasteners. There is another full weld on the INSIDE that does the majority of the work and provides full sealing.
Limited Lifetime Warranty
Every stainless exhaust part we offer comes with a limited lifetime warranty. The part is warranted against structural failure for life (for the original purchaser).