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Old 04-17-2002, 03:22 PM   #1
Reciprocity
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Lightbulb MRT header with Borla exhaust

This subject has come up in a couple different threads and from a couple different PM's I've gotten...so I thought I would post it up for all to see clearly.

For over a year now I've been running a first generation Borla header...stock cat section...custom midpipe...and Borla exhaust (whale tail I believe).

I ordered an MRT system...but just the header and midpipe. The MRT looks MUCH better than what I had before. There are a lot fewer bends, the front section was ceramic coated, it has a single high flow cat, and a flex joint on the midpipe. All in all it looks to be a far superior product.

The Borla header I had was...it was OK. It sounded great, gave me some good performance gains (unquantified...but felt good). But it was the first generation and had some problems...it banged, it cracked...and I bought it used and have no warranty. I'm sure the newer Borla headers are a much better design...but this old one wasn't.

So I dropped my car off at the muffler shop to have the my existing Borla exhaust can worked on...I had a flange welded onto it so I could mate it up to the MRT midpipe. It's ready to be picked up...

One problem that they ran in to...the first O2 sensor fit the bung on the MRT no problem...but the wiring on the second sensor is about 6 inches too short. Bummer! The muffler shop isn't willing to mess with the O2 sensor...which is no big deal, I'll splice some wire on it so it fits...but I am not sure what sort of effect that will have on the car (CE light at the least, "limp home mode" at the most).

I'll keep everyone posted on what the MRT sounds like vs the Borla...and especially how the MRT sounds with the Borla can on it.

I'll be back in about an hour...

Last note: I got the header and midpipe from Langston Subaru in PA...they delivered it to me here in CA (in a HUGE BOX...I mean massive) in about a week...for $440. Fantastic deal, great cust. service, good people...I highly recomend them.

NC
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Old 04-17-2002, 04:08 PM   #2
ColinL
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please post contact info for Langston. I've got a wicked exhaust leak and I think an MRT header is the solution I'm going with.
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Old 04-17-2002, 04:30 PM   #3
Reciprocity
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Wink Prelim. thoughts

First of all...I've got a CE light, lots of smoke, and it sounds awful. That's the bad news. The good news it that it is a HELL of a lot more responsive, smooth, and fun...

About the light, smoke, and sound... The muffler shop didn't hook up that second O2 sensor. So first of all I've got a hole in the exhaust roughly the size of a quarter. Secondly without that 2nd O2 sensor I'm sure the ECU is totally freaking out...hence the smoke and light. I'll hook up my Palm tonight to see what the code is...and get that O2 sensor wire lengthend and installed. I'm sure it will make a big difference.

The fit was perfect, the install was quick, and honestly it feels a LOT better. I just hope that terrible awful sound improves once I plug up that hole!

Langston Subaru
(Bianchi Subaru)
1865 Route 286
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania PA 15239-2899
Contact: Brian McKinney (Parts Manager)
Tel: (724) 325-2888
Fax:: (724) 733-2555
E-mail: parts@bianchisubaru.com
Web: www.bianchisubaru.com

Great people, great service.

I'm heading back to work now and won't be able to mess with the car until tonight...in several more hours. But I'll post another update when I can.

NC
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Old 04-17-2002, 05:37 PM   #4
ColinL
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hope you get that sorted Neil!

my plan is to install the kit myself and then drive to the muffler shop (with earplugs) to have them fab a catback exhaust, so I won't have a problem like this.
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Old 04-17-2002, 05:57 PM   #5
Reciprocity
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Yeah, I wish I had fitted it and taken care of that O2 sensor beforehand...but I was lazy, and now I gotta do it.

But I can't help but think I wouldn't have made it back to work today if I had taken care of the O2 sensor...'cause I would have been driving my car all over the place.

I'm bailing here at 4:30 (it's 3 now) to fix the car.

I'm a LITTLE concerned about the sound. Granted I have a leak the size of a quarter in my exhaust...but it sounds nothing like the deep throaty rumble my full Borla system used to have.

I do still have all my stock exhaust bits...wait...I won't be able to put my can back on though. Doh, there goes a before/after sound test...I'll have to do that from memory instead of recording it.

NC
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Old 04-17-2002, 09:59 PM   #6
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Default I used to rumble...

Well I went ahead and spliced the 2nd O2 sensor wire...it reaches now...hooked it all up and took the car for a spin.

First impressions:
Uh...where did my rumble go? Where did my delicious V-8ish burble go? What is this sound? Am I in a Honda now? DOH!!!

OK, it isn't THAT bad...but honestly folks...it isn't that good either. I checked for exhaust leaks and there are none. I know it needs to be "broken in" more...but let's be totally honest here...

It's no Borla. Not by a long shot. It's a very very different sound. Mind you both exhausts had the same can on them. But that Borla header made the biggest difference in the world. Totally different sound here...almost like it's a different car.

I took it for a little loop...still some rush hour traffic out there so I wasn't able to get on WOT a lot. But the sound...it's more race car, less drag car. It's more high revving sound, less torque-ie sound. It's more scream, less roar.

But the power difference? Oh that MRT beats the old setup hands down. Of course this is pure butt dyno talking here...but it revved faster, felt smoother, felt stronger, felt...happier. It creates more power, without a doubt.

So in summary...if you want awesome sound, go Borla. If you want awesome power, go MRT.

Butt dyno loves it. Ear dyno...it isn't sure.

So I'm and . We shall see after time passes...

NC
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Old 04-17-2002, 10:05 PM   #7
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also not surprised by this.

the "boxer sound" comes from the uneven length stock exhaust manifolds. the borla had this too, so it has the rumble and then some.

equal length headers make it sound a lot more like an inline four. bummer, eh?
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Old 04-17-2002, 10:37 PM   #8
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Bleah...

Time will tell!

NC
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Old 04-17-2002, 11:08 PM   #9
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You guys shouldn't need to modify your rear exhaust section to fit with the MRT header and mid-pipe. I ran with my stock muffler and the MRT header/mid-pipe for a couple weeks until I got my MRT muffler modified to fit (long story).

As for the sound, I think most of what you hear is the kind of tinny sound of the exhaust pulses going through the headers below you. The headers extend much farther back than the stock (or Borla) headers, so you can kinda hear the header flow noise. Tough to describe, but I think that's what gives the "more race car" sound.

NC - Are you sure the header is ceramic-coated? I don't mean to make you sound like an idiot, I'm just curious because a year ago the headers were not sold with the coating. I had to get mine done, which cost $150. If they now come coated (and it's actually a good metallic-ceramic coating, not just some chintzy crap) that $440 is one helluva deal.

Pat Olsen
'97 Legacy 2.5GT sedan

PS - I took my rear O2 sensor to an auto electronics shop to get the harness extended. I didn't want to just use crimp-on connectors, and my soldering skills are non-existent, so I didn't want to do it myself. Plus, they had some good wire with a hi-temp coating on it. I think they charged me like $10 or so.
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Old 04-18-2002, 01:02 AM   #10
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Unfortunately I did need to modify my exhaust. My existing Borla can connected to my custom midpipe via a sleeve type fitting...whereas the MRT has a flange on the end of it. So I had to put a flange on the end of my Borla can to attach it to the MRT midpipe. I wish I didn't have to though...would have saved me a couple bucks. I HATE having other people do work for me.

And as far as the ceramic coating goes...it's there, but it isn't super high quality. I'm sure a better job could have been done, but it certainly is coated through the header section...and painted the rest of the way (midpipe). I haven't had a CE light yet (well...for the 2 hours it has been driven!) but time will tell.

Well...I SORTA had a CE light, when I drove it home without the 2nd O2 sensor hooked up. Luckily it wasn't more than a 5 minute drive...and I was very very nice to the car during that trip. I used the OBD-II scanner and my CE light was due to "2nd O2 sensor heater malfunction".

I just got back from a little more spirited drive. I gotta say this...the sound isn't really bad. I want to make this clear...

The sound isn't bad.

Originally I thought it didn't sound good at all. But I was comparing it to the Borla sound. It sounds fine...but not as good as the Borla did. Sure it's more "4 cylinder" like...but it isn't a bad sound...just not as good as before.

I wish I had some way of recording it...

NC
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Old 04-18-2002, 05:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by ColinL
please post contact info for Langston. I've got a wicked exhaust leak and I think an MRT header is the solution I'm going with.
funny you say that, my mrt is the cause of my major exhaust leak, not actually true, it's the installer's fault...
AO <-- why are you staring at me.


oh, about the 2nd o2... all you have to do is un clip the wires, they are tied in, it'll free up some additional slack and you should be able to hook it up no splicing, I was.
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Old 04-18-2002, 06:37 PM   #12
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I'd love to hear a sound clip if possible, or does anyone have one of the MRT header they can email to me?
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Old 04-19-2002, 12:20 PM   #13
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Yes, you only need to clip a wire tie to extend the rear O2 wire harness enough to reach the MRT rear port. The harness is collected under the intake plenum, just follow the wires from the O2 sensor. There is a gray wire tie, clip that and there's no need to solder. On an Impreza, anyway.
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Old 04-19-2002, 12:54 PM   #14
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Doh! I cut the wire and spliced on more...oh well, I feel I did a good job so I'm not concerned. I shoulda paid more attention to the board.

Several days with the new exhaust now. Power is there for sure. Bangs are all gone. Sound...isn't as good as the Borla but still sounds good. It's a bit loud when cruising down the freeway...but not bad. With the Borla is was harder to be "stealth" but now if I want to be quiet...I can (at the expense of speed of course).

I like it!

NC
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