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View Full Version : buy pre-fabbed exhuast or have muffler shop do it?


edswhite99
03-06-2005, 02:19 PM
Just wanted to get some opinions as the best way to go. I'm still in the process of deciding on my exhaust swap. I have decided to go with a MAC h-pipe w/cats, but my dilemma comes from the cat-back. Should I order a pre-fabbed cat back exhaust (Flowmaster Amer Thunder) or just have a muffler shop bend some 3" pipe from the h-pipe back? Either way, i'm taking it to a muffler shop to get installed.

Firme
03-06-2005, 10:13 PM
most preffab systems are tested and made specifically for the car to get you gains and a specific sound. A shop might not make you exhaust that is necessarily that good for power gains or sound like one that a manufacturer has made, unless they specialize in making these setups and have tested them.

InfamousSVT
03-06-2005, 11:05 PM
I would recommend getting a preffabbed system and I would do the install myself if I were you! It saves money!:thumbsup:


just my .02

edswhite99
03-08-2005, 06:46 PM
Infamous, did you switch out your own exhaust? How tough was it? Any special tools needed?

I went to a muffler shop today to get some prices. They told me they could get me an o/r h pipe (Mac) and replace my mufflers with 40 Series Flows. Each time I said I wanted the Amer. Thunder system, dude kept going back to yeah "our 40 Series Flows are 99/each installed" What is the difference, if any, between the piping used in the stock cat-back system and the Amer. Thunder cat-back system?

InfamousSVT
03-08-2005, 07:11 PM
Infamous, did you switch out your own exhaust? How tough was it? Any special tools needed?

I went to a muffler shop today to get some prices. They told me they could get me an o/r h pipe (Mac) and replace my mufflers with 40 Series Flows. Each time I said I wanted the Amer. Thunder system, dude kept going back to yeah "our 40 Series Flows are 99/each installed" What is the difference, if any, between the piping used in the stock cat-back system and the Amer. Thunder cat-back system?
You only need basic tools, sockets etc....

I didn't do mine myself because I got headers installed.
The difference between the stock pipes and aftermarket pipes is that the aftermarket pipes that come with the cat-back or mid-pipe systems are madrel bent. Mandrel bent pipes have the same diameter throughout the exhaust system which the stock pipes have uneven bends in the corners! So if you purchase a 2.5" catback the piping will have the 2.5" diameter throughout the whole system.
The stock piping is 2.25" and gets even smaller in the corners which restricts the exhaust even more.

You will be happier with an aftermarket system!:D

edswhite99
03-08-2005, 09:02 PM
thanks:thumbsup:

PMad
03-09-2005, 08:48 PM
"Infamous, did you switch out your own exhaust? How tough was it? Any special tools needed?"

Edswhite99, the catback on '99+ Cobras has to be the easiest of all cars to install. The tailpipes don't go over the axle so it almost literally falls out once you and bolt it and release the hangers. :bounce:

If you are the least bit mechanically inclined I'd say you wouldn't have a problem. If you're unsure, then the advantage is that a reputable shop shouldn't charge a lot because of the short time involved.

edswhite99
03-11-2005, 06:30 PM
Anyone running this h pipe? Is this a new product?

http://www.rpmoutlet.com/images/pro2.jpg

sssvtcobra
03-12-2005, 01:59 PM
That looks like a Mac Pro-chamber to me. If it is it's not new. I had one of those on my car with a Bassani catback and I thought it sounded real nice. The pro-chambers sound real nice with a borla stinger catback. I am thinking of buying the prochamber to go along with my loudmouth 2 catback.

john_anch_ak
03-12-2005, 06:45 PM
I bought a set of Bassani stainless x pipes with cats from 50 Resto and other than expensive shipping to Alaska, (and the fact that along with the the exhaust they sent a C&L MAF for a GT instead of the '99 Cobra), it was a piece of cake to install and I sure saved money over having a shop install them.

I think Brian at 50 Resto must be sick of me bugging him. After contacting him about the MAF kit it took several weeks for the correct MAF to be sent. We got that issue squared away and I've tried contacting him twice to purchase a set of Bassani aft-cats but no reply. I sure would like to find a parts shop that will ship to Alaska using another shipper besides UPS. UPS will only ship 2nd day air or faster to Alaska, while FedEx and the USPS will ship ground to Alaska. Does anyone know of a shop that will actually take a moment to find a shipper that doesn't stick it to Alaskans? John

edswhite99
03-13-2005, 01:55 AM
After listening to a couple of sound files, i've decided to go with a Mac o/r h pipe instead of the prochamber. The o/r h sounded deeper and just a bit louder.

ProfChaos
06-08-2005, 10:33 AM
Should I order a pre-fabbed cat back exhaust (Flowmaster Amer Thunder) or just have a muffler shop bend some 3" pipe from the h-pipe back? Either way, i'm taking it to a muffler shop to get installed.


I would say that it depends heavily upon the muffler shop and their level of expertise with custom, performance exhaust. Yesterday, I happened to take Lorena to a very qualified muffler shop in the Atlanta Metro area. They were recommended by a friend who knows that they specialize in Mustang exhaust (three of the employees have Mustangs, and the owner/Manager is a full-on Mustang/Cobra freak). Though it was expensive as all get-out ($650), they did an excellent job replacing the system from the X-pipe back. They replaced the existing cheesey pseudo-Borla mufflers with Flowmaster mufflers, they mandrel-bent the new, custom-fitted exhaust so that the exhaust no longer vibrates through the frame and gas tank, and they incorporated straight, length-appropriate Flowmaster polished stainless steel tips that look as if they were designed for the car. Now, Lorena sounds like she should....mmm-pah! :)

cheers,
--Professor Chaos

smashedheadcat
06-09-2005, 09:23 PM
I am running the Mac prochamber and borla stingers as of present. I really like the sound. The off road H-pipe will be louder with a set of flowmaster mufflers. I recommend, as everyone else has, to go with a pre-fabbed kit. There are so many of these kits out there with different sounds, fitment, finishes, tips, and flow charateristics. If you go with an off road h-pipe, you'll want a "chambered" muffler as offered by flowmaster or Mac. You mention the "american thunder" flowmaster system. This setup uses the 50 series mufflers. It would sound pretty dang good. Another choice would be MAC flowpath. This is one mean sounding setup as well. If you decide to use cats, then any muffler or catback system will sound pretty good. Depending on your power level, (under 700rwhp) I would go with the 2.5 inch exhaust. The gains by going to a 3 inch system over the 2.5 will be minimal, if any at all.

Changing out the catback yourself is a gravy train of a job. I'll give you a quick idea of what's involved.

You really only need to jack up the rear of the car for this job. If memory serves me correctly, then you'll only need 1 deep well socket (I don't remember the size, but I think it's 14mm or 15mm) and a ratchet. Some WD-40 or soapy water will also be a help.

Jack up the rear of the vehicle- I used 2 jacks, and placed them just forward of the rear tires (on the flat spot under the car). I used 2 jacks just for the sake of simplicity. (one on each side) Lift the car up high enough to where you can get under there with room to work. I kept the jacks in place, but also used jackstands to help support the vehicle.

Slide under there and remove the 4 nuts that hold the catback to the H-pipe.

Now, the catback will remain in place because there are 3 hangers holding each side up. I removed the middle hanger first. Use some soapy water or WD-40 (I don't know if this hurts the rubber hanger or not, but it's what I used) and lubed rubber up a little. With a little work, you can pop the rubber off the hanger. I removed the rubber from the hanger that attaches to the vehicle, not the catback. But either way will work. From there, move to the forward most one. This one is easier, as there's a little more room to work with it. Plus, you can move the catback a little bit to help the process. Once that one is out, just slide the whole catback forward. The rear hanger just slides out on it's own. If you have someone to help hold the tailpipe, it makes it easier. Repeat this with the other side.

Now that the catback is removed, transfer the rubber hangers to the new catback. Slide under the car and hook up the hangers. (It goes together much easier than it comes apart. Make sure you slide the rear-most hanger in first. Once you get all the hangers connected again, loosely install the four (4) nuts that go to the midpipe. Slide out from under the car, and line the tailpipes up. If you have a friend to help hold the tail pipes in place, it helps. Now slide under there and tighten up those 4 bolts. Once they are tight, you're done. I don't know how safe this is, but I hop in my car and start it up and listen for leaks and address them at this time, with the car still on jackstands. Do this at your own risk. If there are no leaks you are good to go. Lower the car, and you're done. Drive the car for a few days, then slide back under there and make sure those four (4) nuts are still tight. It's really a walk in the park, and the whole installation can be done in a few hours easily.

ausie
06-11-2005, 01:19 PM
If you get a pre-fab kit, you get the option to buy stainless or other. Stainless will cost a bit more but it should not rust out if the grade of stainless is 304 or better. 1818/ 1808 grade will rust (some cheap eating utensils are mad of this). We are not talking surgical steel here. Either 304 or 314 grade should be a good choice. If you opt to use a muffler shop, there is no garuntee what type of steel plumbing you will get. Most shops do not have a mandrel bender, just a pipe bender which is different. Mandrel bending equipment use an insert that keeps the pipe diameter constant (prevents crushing the pipe). With the IRS on the 99 and up cobras (excluding the new to come 07), the exhaust does not hop over the axle which makes for an easy do-it-yourself job. If you have a GT, the factory pipe must be cut or you have to remove the axle if you want to keep the old exhaust intact.

nckissfan
06-11-2005, 11:35 PM
very good, detailed install smashedheadcat! I feel good and confident with that explanation:thumbsup:

smashedheadcat
06-14-2005, 12:41 AM
very good, detailed install smashedheadcat! I feel good and confident with that explanation:thumbsup:

I'm glad I could help. :thumbsup: