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Old 02-15-2015, 02:14 PM   #1
foxonwheels
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Default '11-'14 WRX Hatch Invidia N1 Dual: Installation and Thoughts

Yesterday, I swapped out my SPT catback for an Invidia N1 Dual on my 2013 WRX 5-door. There are plenty of reviews out there for this exhaust, but I wanted to give my thoughts and "lessons learned" from this install. I had done alot of research the past few weeks and found answers to many of my questions, but not all. I hope this post will offer some additional information to anyone else in a similar position.

I had the SPT catback from the factory. No complaints about the exhaust, but after watching a bunch of youtube videos, I wanted something a bit more aggressive. Not necessarily louder, just a bit more of the famous boxer rumble. I always loved the tone of the N1 style catbacks; the first WRX I ever heard had one, and to me, that is what a WRX should sound like. The only thing I was afriad of was that everyone said how loud the N1 is. I was hoping the resonated version (non-race) would be a bit quieter and still give me the awesome rumble.

Unfortunately, it is LOUD...like maybe on the order of 3-4 times louder than the SPT. I've concluded there is no way to get that deep boxer rumble without also being ridiculously loud. Quieter exhausts end up altering the tone slightly so you don't get that bassy, raspy noise. It's hard to explain, but it's so loud and there is so much bassy drone in the cabin, you don't even hear the nice sound that you hear in youtube exhaust clips. It's also very difficult to be quiet when going down residential streets. While in a not so good way it is a major attention grabber, it does sound cool. I'm hoping I get more used to it and learn to deal with it better. Going to try getting some silencers. I'll feel better if I know I can quiet it down instantly if need be, for stuff like long rides and transporting around old folk.

Now onto the installation lessons learned. Big tip here: If you want to preview how loud this exhaust will be before buying, TAKE OFF YOUR SPT MUFFLER PORTION AND GO FOR A RIDE! I wish I had done this before making the purchase, because it gives you a great idea of what level of sound you'll now be dealing with on your WRX.

-Drive the car up on ramps, and use a jack to jack up the rear diff. Set the rear on jack stands. This is the best way to work on the car if you don't have a lift.

-Spray all existing exhaust hardware and hangers with WD-40 or some other penetrating oil before starting. This greatly helps to loosen the nuts and makes pulling off the hangers 100 times easier.

-Buy all new hardware (if you did not buy the exhaust new). I used stainless metric bolts and nuts from Lowes: 2x M8x1.25x50mm bolts for the OEM downpipe to N1, and 4x M10x1.25 (I need to double check if this is correct) for the N1 sections. I also used double nuts on the bolts because I read that using lockwashers is a no-no in high heat environments. Reusing the stock spring bolts at the OEM DP is highly discouraged, unless you have a good way to compress them. The flange on the N1 is much thicker and you will need to compress the spring quite a bit to get the bolt far enough through the N1 and OEM catback flanges. I wrestled with those jokers for about an hour before deciding to get the hardware from Lowes.

-DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN STAINLESS HARDWARE! I learned this the hard way. If you over tighten it, the threads will get all jibbed up and then you cant back the nut out once you've realized you screwed the pooch. Two options at this point: Cut them off (easiest), or keep trying to torque it off by hand until you shear the bolt. You will be cussing like a drunken sailor if you use the latter option, especially if you destroy the threads on TWO bolts and have no tools to cut them off. Ask me and my bruised hands how we know . This leads into the next point:

-In my opinion, do not reuse the OEM downpipe donut gasket with the N1 exhaust. This was where I stripped the bolts, hoping the donut gasket would compress into the N1. It does not, and should you use the donut gasket, you will have about a half inch gap between the OEM downpipe flange and the N1 flange. I say use one of your DIY'd gaskets and just bolt it up nice and tight.

-Buy new gaskets if you did not buy the exhaust new. Unfortunately, the exact gaskets that fit this exhaust are impossible to find at local auto stores (Autozone, Advance Auto parts, Napa, etc). You can order them online for $10-$20 a piece (you need three) which is ridiculous, IMO. Or, you can use a little DIY gumption and modify some gaskets like I did to save a few bucks and not have to wait for shipping. The part number is Fel Pro 61287, I got them from autozone for $6 each. This gasket has a 3" inner diameter, but the rest of the gasket is a bit big. Using a round file, widen the two bolt holes towards the big hole in the center. I opened the holes up so it reached/cut into the stamped "61287" and "Fel Pro" text on the gasket. Takes about 5-10 minutes per gasket. Now instead of your holes being perfect circles, they should be pill shaped just like on the exhaust flange. You will have some overlap beyond the flange because the gasket is a bit large, but if it bothers you you could trim it back. The most important thing is that the ID matches, so you are good.

-Don't decide to do this on Valentine's Day when your wife runs out for an hour hoping you will be done before she gets back. Took me about 5 hours, although would have went alot smoother if I read this guide before I started

That's all for now. Sorry for babbling on and on, just wanted to provide as much information for someone else who may be in the same boat. Hoping I get used to this thing and can enjoy it more, only went for a quick spin after it was installed. I have some sound deadener I might put down in the hatch area to help with the drone.
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Old 02-15-2015, 06:35 PM   #2
foxonwheels
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Went for a ride today and I'm not as butthurt. It's not as loud as I thought. Windows down, that's a different story. Still might try the sound deadening because it's much harder to hear the engine and intake now.

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Old 02-17-2015, 10:50 AM   #3
foxonwheels
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Last update: Remember all of the bad things I said? I take them back... All of them. This thing is the cat's ass. The sound is like a delicious steak cooked rare and smeared with butter and garlic. All hail lord N1.

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Old 02-21-2015, 02:49 PM   #4
Tweek1957
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I love the progression of feelings. It's like your car gave you stockholm syndrome. "You'll love me eventually!" Mine is sitting in the UPS store right now and I won't be able to get it until Monday. The cat's ass reference is definitely one I've never heard before.

Decent write-up but every other review explicitly said not to use the donut gasket and to use the gasket provided. Anything that sits in the middle of a midpipe on something as hot as the exhaust is obviously going to need to be sturdy so it won't "compress" into a pipe like you hoped.

I'm surprised you put this on in the middle of pennsylvania winter. I'm debating on waiting until the snow lets up.
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Old 03-22-2015, 07:14 PM   #5
dvarhol
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great post, thinking of swapping out my Nameless axelback for one of these
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Old 03-23-2015, 01:28 PM   #6
that.wrb.sti
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I also have the dual street N1's. I love the sound. The only time I got annoyed with it was when I had my back seats down and was driving on the highway. #dronefordays
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Old 03-26-2015, 01:52 PM   #7
BJames111
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Have had this exhaust for about a year. Sounds amazing. Loved it when I bought it, still love it now. None of the videos on youtube do it justice. Sounds so low, and so much rumble. It's pretty loud, but like the OP, I love it.
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Old 06-25-2015, 10:51 AM   #8
sirmarkuscombs
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Mine will be installed tomorrow - just looking for last minute tips (that probably won't be posted until August).

It's going on to a stock DP (for now). Ideally, this will be 6 bolts off, 8 bolts on, and 3 sets of hangers. This infamous "stock donut gasket" is throwing me for a loop, though. Any thoughts on leaving it on, or taking it off? I can't seem to find the "suggested" method. I'd call Invidia, but they don't seem to have a website any more....

Thanks for the input!
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Old 06-25-2015, 10:20 PM   #9
spyder65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirmarkuscombs View Post
Mine will be installed tomorrow - just looking for last minute tips (that probably won't be posted until August).

It's going on to a stock DP (for now). Ideally, this will be 6 bolts off, 8 bolts on, and 3 sets of hangers. This infamous "stock donut gasket" is throwing me for a loop, though. Any thoughts on leaving it on, or taking it off? I can't seem to find the "suggested" method. I'd call Invidia, but they don't seem to have a website any more....

Thanks for the input!

I recently installed an N1 catback on my 14 sedan with stock down pipe. I personally felt better using a new donut gasket along with the Grimmspeed down pipe adapter. Install went very well. I did notice that a small section towards the rear came extremely close to a section of suspension. I figured this was due to the increase in pipe OD. Unfortunately, after the install I did notice a slight metal to metal contact sound when turning the car off. Took care of it by placing a small piece of hi-temp silicone I got from McMaster Carr where the exhaust was contacting the car. A bit of header wrap would've worked too. Good Luck and I seriously do not find it too loud, just about perfect.
-JB
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