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Old 08-27-2011, 07:53 PM   #1
MNGman
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Thumbs up Fast Motorsports Catback for 2009 Subaru WRX wagon

Here is my review of the Fast Motorsports cat back exhaust.
I purchased this from AJW Performance. These guys are fantastic. I ordered on a Thursday and had parts in hand by Wednesday. All messages were answered promptly with all kinds of good info.
This is what you get in the box


Very highly polished, good looking welds, good thickness on the piping. The little black covers on the hangers don't do much, the box was shredded when I got it.

The fit of this set up is spot on! I really like the way this tucked up underneath. I have seen other setups that appear to hang low, this one is not any lower that stock.




I did have a couple of little issues.
You will need an adapter if you are going to use the stock down pipe. The stock unit is not machined, and mine was very rusty. I was not able to get a good seal using a 3" flat gasket. I used a stock donut gasket with new m8 stainless bolts, without an adapter. The original bolts broke instantly when I was removing them and the supplied bolts will not fit through the holes in the stock down pipe. This will be temporary until I install a different down pipe or get an adapter.


I am also having an issue with the heat shield. I have a slight rattle when in reverse, and at idle. I am going to try a longer hanger at point in front of the rear axle. I don't need much, and I think this solution will move the exhaust far enough away from the heat shield to eliminate the rattle. This is where I really noticed the difference between the stock exhaust and the new 3" pipe.

The sound is really good. Before this, I was running a custom muffler delete and this was getting too loud, and I had a wicked drone above 65 mph. This setup is unbelievably better! No more drone, and much quieter in the cab, but still retains a good volume outside. (I now realize how noisy my end links are)
Turn the volume up, the sound isn't the best on this clip.

I am liking this exhaust very much. The price point is good, the fitment is fantastic, (even with the very minor issues I have) and the sound is great. This is exactly what I was looking for and I will definately recommend this setup to anyone who ask.

If you are looking to improve the sound of your WRX, (aren't we all...) get in touch with AJW Performance.
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Old 08-28-2011, 12:36 PM   #2
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hey nice review! thank you for posting up some pics and videos! we hope you enjoy your exhaust.
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Old 08-28-2011, 08:02 PM   #3
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I bought this from AJW as well, great system!
Really like what AJW/IIR brought to the table with FMS
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Old 08-28-2011, 08:05 PM   #4
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Old 08-30-2011, 06:42 PM   #5
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hmmm...

interesting that you had the muffler delete and like this a lot more... I'm running a delete right now and it's a bit too loud for me. I wanted something right between stock and the delete. I was concerned going to a full 3" exhaust, even with the muffler, wouldn't help much. Good to know you're happy with it.

where are you having the rattles? at the rear heat shield?

and what kind of adapter do you need for the stock dp? sorry, exhaust noob here. Just not sure what kind of adapter you're talking about. I'm going to be sticking with the oem dp for a little while longer, and would like to have everything I need if/when I decide to order.
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:54 PM   #6
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The rattle is the heat shield right below the driver, protects a bearing for a drive shaft.
I removed the hanger in front of the rear a arm, this seamed to help. I have a Kartboy XL hanger on the way, I don't want to run without.

I picked up a Grimmspeed 3" downpipe to OEM adapter. (I love these guys are local and I can stop in...) http://www.grimmspeed.com/catalog/pr...roducts_id=224I think I can use this backwards to get the seal I want. So far I haven't had any issues with leaking, including an open track day.

I might get to this this week, I'll update when I get the parts on.

I was in the same boat with the muffler delete, this is appearing to be exactly what I was looking for.
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Old 09-21-2011, 01:02 PM   #7
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Update, I installed a Kartboy XL exhaust hanger (just 1 right before the rear axle) and the rattle is gone! No noticeable difference in the height of the exhaust.

Still liking this exhaust, torn between leaving this on for the Minnesota winter, or going back to stock.
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Old 09-21-2011, 03:07 PM   #8
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nice, we have a nice video another member posted showing how quiet it is in car. which i find to be pretty awesome

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Old 12-10-2011, 08:51 PM   #9
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I own an 09 WRX wagon. What a complete disappointment for me! I took a chance on this exhausted after reading this review and chatted with Josh at importimageracing. He assured me on two different occasions that this exhaust would be on the quieter side and does not drone. I remember repeated twice that I don’t want a loud exhaust. Is he out of his mind? I have never felt so misled. And Josh is supposed to be a guru on this forum. Then I realized, at the end of the day, this guy is just another salesman. In fact I started to question his morality when he overcharged for the exhaust. His staff did correct this matter after I questioned it. Back to the catback. I installed this the day it came in. This thing is LOUD! Really LOUD! I can't hear my radio, having to turn it up when driving and turn it down at a stop! Every little tiny tap on the gas and it drones, roars, rumbles. The whole back side of my wagon drones with any slight changes of speed. I was SO annoyed with it and took it off my car after one day! I contacted Josh the next morning to seek help. I was thinking I must have missed so thing. First, Billy thought that I missed the silencer, but then later, we realized that this one does not have a silencer. The sedan model has silencers. In the mean while, Josh disappeared! DISAPPEARED! Then I tried to call him, he was nowhere to be found. To this day, nothing! Then I got an email from one of his staff, a cut and paste type of response. I don’t know what video he sent me. He never did or what he's talking about. I never talked to him or chatted with him, or he explained to me about my stock exhaust. Weird! This is what he said “I’m sorry it is louderthan you would like, this is one of the quietest ones you can get for the carthat is a performance unit. We sent you videos before you purchased it of otherpeople with the same exhaust on their cars so you would know how loud it wouldbe before you purchased it. Its an Aftermarket Performance Exhaust thathas 3” piping, its going to be louder than stock in order to flow betterand make power. There is other brands out there that are much louder and weexplained to you that this is one of the quieter ones but, we never said it wasgoing to be just as quite as stock. Nothing is as quite as stock that is going tomake any power." Then this guy, Kevin, disappeared as well. Then I really started to think is this how they generically response to people with this types of problems? LOL. I did more research on this exhaust and found this, http://www.clubwrx.net/forums/engine...wrx-sedan.html. This is more like it. In fact, this is exactly how it is. One guy wrote "It's a fartcan N1-style exhaust. It's going to be loud/obnoxious and drone." I will fully attest to that! I wish I have found this before making my decision, instead of trusting a salesman! So think twice before buying this! If you like your exhaust loud, a fartcan, this is the one for you. And don't trust the YouTube videos!

Last edited by tho5; 12-11-2011 at 07:32 AM.
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Old 12-11-2011, 09:26 AM   #10
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We are sorry that you are not happy with your exhaust Thach, Honestly, it is one of the quietest exhausts for the 08+ wrx hatch. We provide multiple videos even inside the car to show how it sounds, they are completely accurate.

as seen here-
http://www.importimageracing.com/fas...hatchback.html

I think you should put your stock exhaust on, as everything else is going to be louder, going faster and getting more performance out of your subaru does require a larger exhaust system, more sound does come with that, but again in all the sales, you are the only one to complain of how loud it is.

We stand behind our policies, I sold you a quality exhaust at an affordable price that is not considered loud by any means. It appears you expected your car to gain power and zero sound, im not sure how you came to that conclusion, but it is how you are acting.
We wish you the best on your performance Journey, we tried to help you.
I personally was on our chat with you, Kevin talked to you multiple times, you even had captial one call us at about 9pm after hours. Nowhere are we running or hiding, There is nothing that we cannot make right, but we do feel your expectations are a bit unrealistic. This is a quiet exhaust. see the video-

Windows down, clearly you can hear its no loud or droning.

have a great weekend!
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Old 12-11-2011, 05:12 PM   #11
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As I have mentioned before don't trust the video or any salesmen for that matter. They'll sell you anything. Hear it for yourself before you buy. It drones horribly! And LOUD! Could not hear my radio on the freeway! It is obnoxiously loud. Plus, I am not the only one to attest to this. Have you notice how the guy on the video drives. Watch it again!

Last edited by tho5; 12-11-2011 at 05:35 PM.
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Old 12-11-2011, 08:43 PM   #12
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Actually you are the only person complaining don't you see that
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Old 12-12-2011, 10:10 AM   #13
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The guy looks like he never passed his 3rd gear, I don't think! And he drives like he baby his car! LOL.
OK. Maybe I am the only one. But check this post again: http://www.clubwrx.net/forums/engine...wrx-sedan.html. Hear it from others who predicted how this exhaust would be several months ago. One guy predicted this "It's a fartcan N1-style exhaust. It's going to be loud/obnoxious and drone."
Josh, didn't you have this Fast Motorsports catback on your own Subaru WRX at one time? I thought I read one of the posts here that you had it, I could be wrong. And forgive me if I am wrong. But why don't you put one on now! Get a SPL meter and drive like most enthusiasts drive their WRX. Make sure you drive on the freeway above 65 mph, not like the guy on the video who never passed his 3rd gear! Take all the measurements and post it here. Numbers don't lie. If you don't do it, I'll do it!
The truth is if there is a great product and I believe it, I would put it on my own car! I would! And for Josh, he would put it on his own car and make more money selling it! This thread would light up! Why, because people will buy what sellers, experts, gurus buy. Think about this, if you want to make money buying stock, who would you look up to buy? Warren Buffett?
Listen, if anyone who want a loud obnoxious exhaust, this is the one for you. It is LOUD, DRONE and OBNOXIOUS. And I will attest my own experience to anyone. In fact, I will loan anyone who want try mine at no cost! PM me and we can work something out.
Can you do that JOSH?
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Old 12-12-2011, 01:49 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MNGman View Post
I did have a couple of little issues.

You will need an adapter if you are going to use the stock down pipe. The stock unit is not machined, and mine was very rusty. I was not able to get a good seal using a 3" flat gasket. I used a stock donut gasket with new m8 stainless bolts, without an adapter. The original bolts broke instantly when I was removing them and the supplied bolts will not fit through the holes in the stock down pipe. This will be temporary until I install a different down pipe or get an adapter.
You're going to want to go back and adjust the way you did that connection. The stock donut connection is designed to be a flex joint. They way yours is connected now can not flex. It's going to take a couple of years, but you're eventually going to rip the flange right off the end of your downpipe and have a huge leak.

I had my exhaust mounted exactly the same way on my car because the factory bolts and springs were so rusted out that I just hard-bolted it like you did when when I installed my exhaust a few years ago. It lasted about 2 years before the flange tore off the downpipe. I ended up having to have a flex pipe welded into that joint because there was no easy way to repair the flange and allow it to flex.

If you need to leave it like that for a little while, get some longer bolts and get some springs from an auto parts store or exhaust shop so that it can still flex while you come up with a better solution.
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Old 12-12-2011, 06:16 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tho5 View Post
I own an 09 WRX wagon. What a complete disappointment for me! I took a chance on this exhausted after reading this review and chatted with Josh at importimageracing. He assured me on two different occasions that this exhaust would be on the quieter side and does not drone. I remember repeated twice that I don’t want a loud exhaust. Is he out of his mind? I have never felt so misled. And Josh is supposed to be a guru on this forum. Then I realized, at the end of the day, this guy is just another salesman. In fact I started to question his morality when he overcharged for the exhaust. His staff did correct this matter after I questioned it. Back to the catback. I installed this the day it came in. This thing is LOUD! Really LOUD! I can't hear my radio, having to turn it up when driving and turn it down at a stop! Every little tiny tap on the gas and it drones, roars, rumbles. The whole back side of my wagon drones with any slight changes of speed. I was SO annoyed with it and took it off my car after one day! I contacted Josh the next morning to seek help. I was thinking I must have missed so thing. First, Billy thought that I missed the silencer, but then later, we realized that this one does not have a silencer. The sedan model has silencers. In the mean while, Josh disappeared! DISAPPEARED! Then I tried to call him, he was nowhere to be found. To this day, nothing! Then I got an email from one of his staff, a cut and paste type of response. I don’t know what video he sent me. He never did or what he's talking about. I never talked to him or chatted with him, or he explained to me about my stock exhaust. Weird! This is what he said “I’m sorry it is louderthan you would like, this is one of the quietest ones you can get for the carthat is a performance unit. We sent you videos before you purchased it of otherpeople with the same exhaust on their cars so you would know how loud it wouldbe before you purchased it. Its an Aftermarket Performance Exhaust thathas 3” piping, its going to be louder than stock in order to flow betterand make power. There is other brands out there that are much louder and weexplained to you that this is one of the quieter ones but, we never said it wasgoing to be just as quite as stock. Nothing is as quite as stock that is going tomake any power." Then this guy, Kevin, disappeared as well. Then I really started to think is this how they generically response to people with this types of problems? LOL. I did more research on this exhaust and found this, http://www.clubwrx.net/forums/engine...wrx-sedan.html. This is more like it. In fact, this is exactly how it is. One guy wrote "It's a fartcan N1-style exhaust. It's going to be loud/obnoxious and drone." I will fully attest to that! I wish I have found this before making my decision, instead of trusting a salesman! So think twice before buying this! If you like your exhaust loud, a fartcan, this is the one for you. And don't trust the YouTube videos!
You got a pretty good looking cat-back exhaust for $400. Not sure exactly what you were expecting, but every 3 inch exhaust is going to be louder than stock. And without a resonator in the mid-pipe, chances are pretty good it's going to have a resonant drone at some RPM. If it bothers you that much, take it to an exhaust shop and have them install a resonator in the long straight section. For $60 plus installation, you can stick something like this in there:
http://www.modernperformance.com/vib...or-p-1256.html
which should go a long way toward killing any droning that the setup currently has. It's still going to be far cheaper than buying a big-name exhaust, and that way you can custom-tune the sound level to your liking.
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Old 12-12-2011, 08:24 PM   #16
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Quote:
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You got a pretty good looking cat-back exhaust for $400. Not sure exactly what you were expecting, but every 3 inch exhaust is going to be louder than stock. And without a resonator in the mid-pipe, chances are pretty good it's going to have a resonant drone at some RPM. If it bothers you that much, take it to an exhaust shop and have them install a resonator in the long straight section. For $60 plus installation, you can stick something like this in there:
http://www.modernperformance.com/vib...or-p-1256.html
which should go a long way toward killing any droning that the setup currently has. It's still going to be far cheaper than buying a big-name exhaust, and that way you can custom-tune the sound level to your liking.
Thanks Chuck! I actually did a search on the classifieds section on this website and found a member trying to sell one with a resonator. And he said the exhaust without the mid pipe was far too raspy. I gather he didn’t like his with the resonator either. He has been trying to sell it for more than two months. If I had to do it again, I should have purchased the SPT exhaust. Well, I should have done more research! And most importantly, personally hear it myself first. Happy driving!
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Old 12-14-2011, 07:14 AM   #17
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Just dug up the SPL meter from my audiophile years! Never thought I would use it again. Need one fresh battery and start taking some measurements.

In the mean while, I found this article (http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/...take-road-test) discussing the SPT exhaust. It states "We recorded just six more decibels at idle over stock, four more at wide-open throttle, and only one additional dB at 70 mph."

Will also start looking around the local Subaru gatherings and get some SPL measurements for COBB, Perrin, TurboX, Borla, CNT, Invidia, Magnaflow.
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Old 12-18-2011, 06:06 PM   #18
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Found this thread, http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=677926, from the Unabomber. It's a list of different Subarus with various catbacksnand their dB measurements.

Here is my measurement with my 09 WRX wagon.
Stock catback measurements inside the car:
@ idle: 78dB
@ 65mph: 88dB
dB outside measurements 3 feet directly and away from the stock catback:
@ idle: 87dB
@ 3000rpm: 87dB

Fast Motorsports catback measurements inside the car:
@ idle: 80dB
@ 65mph: 96 dB and max out @ 100dB
dB outside measurements 3 feet directly and away from the Fast Motorsports catback:
@idle: 94dB
@ 3000rpm: 107 and max out @ 110dB

Max out means when it reaches its peak. This happens when there is change of speed, going faster or slower, or sudden change of rpm.

When compare my stock catback with the Unabomber's list, it seems that my 09 stock WRX sounds similar to the 2002 and 2005 WRX. If this is true, the Fast Motorsports catback would belong in the group of louder catbacks.

I also found this website, http://www.dangerousdecibels.org/edu...me-guidelines/, discussing noise induce hearing loss. Between 96dB to 100dB inside the cabin, you can lose your hearing within 30 to 40 minutes! I have three young children, with two in their car seats in the back. And I can predict they will lose their hearing permanently in one long trip! PERMANENTLY!
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Old 12-20-2011, 12:09 AM   #19
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This must be an elaborate troll.

Very very elaborate.
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Old 01-16-2012, 09:42 PM   #20
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Just wandering through and saw this come up.
Chuck H, that was completely temporary. I didn't have the parts needed at the time of install to do this right. I have taken off the exhaust for the winter, (wanted to save it from the Minnesota salt) but it will be mated to a Cobb downpipe come spring

It looks like Tho5 is getting deleted all over the forum. As I stated in the review, this is WAY quieter that when I was running stock exhaust with the muffler delete. No drone with the Fast Motorsports set up. Our autocross club has sound limits. I believe these are measured at a point when under full acceleration, 100' away, perpendicular to the track. My car was never over 90db. Again, if you are looking for a little more sound and performance from your Subaru this is the best bang for the buck.
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Old 01-23-2012, 08:44 PM   #21
tho5
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A combination of being taken advantage of, misled, and now out right falsely accused just made me realized, you can't just trust what you read. Just because someone here said so, it doesn't mean anything. So be critical of what you read and if you can, personally experience it before you buy.

Here is a discussion on the fastmotorsports exhaust from another site, http://www.clubwrx.net/forums/engine...wrx-sedan.html. I really like what this guy, EJ257, says "Don't trust YouTube videos, period. The equipment that takes the video, compression, etc. will all distort the sound. To make an accurate determination, you need to hear the exhaust in-person; idle, parking lot revs, and city/highway driving. If you want a quiet exhaust, you want to look at the SPT, Cobb, or Invidia Q300. The Cobb/Q300 should be louder than SPT @ WOT, but during normal driving, they'll be subtle enough for DD duty. The TurboXS has been mentioned in this thread, and is a bit on the louder/raspier side. Borla, Perrin, and Magnaflow are between SPT/Cobb/Q300 and TurboXS in terms of volume."

For your information MNGman, I was not getting deleted all over the forum. This is just out right falsely accused someone without any facts. Such comments make me wonder of your motivation. If you think this fastmotorsport exhaust is quiet, I think you're deaf. At 96 to 100 dB inside the cabin, it is insanely loud! Of course it's quiet at a 100' away. You can do some search on the internet you can find what the legal exhaust noise limit is. I believe 95 dB is for some areas including California, measuring 10 feet away from your exhaust. This fastmotorsport measured at 110 dB 3 feet away. I don't think any of us want to attract cops, not that they are out looking for us, but it’s hard for them to ignore when it’s so obviously loud. The bottom line is that I was lucky to have taken it off my car before my children's hearings were permanently damaged, and mine as well. I would not be surprised if there will be a class action lawsuit. If not, there should be. The two posts deleted were mainly because I didn't understand the forum rules. I was so frustrated with Josh and his company, after being ignored and hung up by his company, importimageracing. I posted two posts describing what had happened afterwards. Here are the posts that were deleted, http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...756440&page=56. So, I am not sure what MMGman means by "deleted all over the forum." Plus, it doesn't take a master degree in psychology to figure out the dynamic of the relationships between sellers and this forum. I have nothing against Josh and his company, I only wish for his success, just not at an expense of innocence buyers. I hope he has learned his lesson.

BTW. The fastmotorsport exhaust does not have any print or its brand on the exhaust. I would not be surprised if this exhaust is or will re-branded itself under other names.

I hope that people who read this will understand why you can't trust just anybody.
I have learned my lesson the hard way. You shouldn't. And if you want to, let me help you! LOL. I still have a fastmotorsport exhaust to loan you!
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Old 01-27-2012, 11:24 AM   #22
MNGman
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I stated this was less noisy than my muffler delete. It is not as quiet as stock. If you have children that ride in your car, aren't you being a little irresponsible trying to find a louder exhaust?
I didn't purchase this from Import Image Racing, I have my own issues with them and will not buy any product from them. That is for a different forum.
This system is a 3" non-resonated exhaust. The muffler is noticeably smaller that the stock (won't anything be...). It is going to be louder than stock and I expected it to be. I also expect that more expensive systems will produce less Db's in the cab and on the street. You get what you pay for. So far, the Fastback system has met my needs. A good sounding system, that reduced my in cabin drone from my muffler delete (yes it is louder than stock, but it is not uncomfortable for me or my passengers), at a great price. I will continue to recommend this, but maybe I need to put a disclaimer, if you are going to constantly haul kids around, this system is not for you.
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Old 01-27-2012, 09:18 PM   #23
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Yeah know I have to wonder what some people are thinking is going to happen if they remove their small restrictive exhaust and replace it with a 3" performance one. Anyone who thinks its gonna be quieter or just as quiet as the stock one is a bit off. 3" exhaust is louder, straight through mufflers are louder, bigger tips are louder. That's just how it works, if you want quiet buy a nice 2" or 2.5" mandrel bent exhaust and biggest muffler with a single small tip on it. Sheesh, I knew fully going into it my full 3" FMS exhaust was gonna be louder, that's what I wanted! When it's too loud I put the restrictors/reducers in the tips and it quiets way down. You want loud put a full catless 3" system with a pair of flowmasters on a fox body mustang 5.0 and the drone will knock your fillings loose. But you know at the time it was great as I didn't care what ever that girlfriend was saying what ever her name was anyway.

Put the stock back on and move a long. Cough it up to a lesson learned that performance has a price even if its noise not money.
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Old 02-11-2012, 10:05 PM   #24
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Wow.... I don't know what else to say.












except for......







maybe.......







DOUCHE!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 06-21-2013, 12:33 PM   #25
roadking0678
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Thanks for the review and pictures. I ordered one of these a few days ago from IIRC based on it and the posted youtube videos.
Went ahead and got the Kartboy XL hangers as well and will grab some longer bolts in case the muffler shop has any problems.

My Review:
Purchase: Ordered from importimageracing.com, had a tracking number within a few hours, and the exhaust arrived via FedEx in 3 days. Everything arrived perfect.

Installation: I took this to a local muffler shop to be installed. Luckily because of the previous posts i was prepared with the extra parts. The Kartboy XL exhaust hangers were needed for clearance. I had also purchased the Grimmspeed Stock DP to 3in CBE adapter. So thankfully i went to the shop prepared and was in and out of there within an hour and it only costed me 60 bucks. I took a 200 mile round trip after leaving the muffler shop with mixed interstate and city driving.

Sound: So i read all the reviews the good and the bad.. im somewhere in the middle. Is it louder than stock? Yes! Is it obnoxious? No! Would I buy this if i had kids? Ehhh maybe with with modifications like dynamat and welding in a resonator. I dont think its loud enough to cause hearing damage (the stock radio is louder than the exhaust) but i could see it being annoying trying to carry on conversations with backseat passengers in the city. I did have a passenger with me during city driving, we had no problem talking with the windows down and with them up.
In the city you get a great rumble.. freakin sounds mean!!!! On the highway i ususally cruise 70-75 It doesnt drone, but it's not silent either. There still a faint rumble (but i like it). I do drive a hatch so you get a lot more sound in the cabin. You can definitly hear it come alive when you accelerate.

Value: This exhaust system is a steal.. I got it for 295 from IIRC, 40 for the exhaust hangers, 2 for the bolts, Grimmspeed Stock DP to 3in CB adapter 35, 60 for the install. It sounds great, not ricer at all.. it sounds like it's looking for a fight.. low, throaty and mean! Definitly glad i made this purchase. But im single, with no kids... so take all this into consideration.

Overall review: On a scale of loudness From 0-10 (0 being no sound 10 being painful to the ears)
City Windows Down - 6
City Windows Up - 4
Highway Windows Down - 3
Highway Windows Up - 1.5 - 2

THIS is the adapter you use for the stock DP to 3in CB
http://www.grimmspeed.com/catalog/pr...roducts_id=260

Last edited by roadking0678; 07-10-2013 at 11:12 AM. Reason: added review
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