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Cat back systems: Are they overated?

 
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Old 28 May 2008, 03:05 pm
THS_Cruiser03's Avatar
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Post Cat back systems: Are they overated?

I have been looking at the cat back systems available for my 2003 N/A. What I see is something that looks nice, sounds nice, and doesn't really give you much (if any) perceptable power increase for say $500-700 investment.

My main goal is to improve my milage, and get that nice mellow sound I'm looking for. So after talking this over with another fellow motor head (who has a 2004 EVO) we have decided that cat back systems (in most applications) but especially for PT's are overrated.

So I looked up the information on three cat back systems (Borla, Magnaflow, and Dynomax) I've seen mentioned in these forums as having that "desirable" sound and quality of construction. Knowing the muffler case dimensions for the PT and inlet/outlet sizes I looked up to see how much it would cost to simply add whichever universal muffler I want, and a nice Borla (or other brand) tip to get the look and sound I'm trying to achieve.

Take a look at these links and let me know what you guys think:

Borla 40658, Borla 40658 :: BORLA :: Auto Accessories :: www.AutoPartsFaster.com (Borla)

Dynomax 17271 - Dynomax Ultra-Flo SS Mufflers - JEGS (Dynomax)

MagnaFlow 11235 - MagnaFlow Performance Mufflers - summitracing.com (Magnaflow)

Borla 20103 - Borla Intercooled Exhaust Tips - summitracing.com (Borla intercooled tip-round)
Borla 20112 - Borla Intercooled Exhaust Tips - summitracing.com (Borla intercooled tip-square)

So I'm thinking I can have a muffler and tip delivered UPS to me for about $200. Drive car to Midas and have them cut off my factory muffler and I'll remove the hangers from it with my cut off wheel. Then have them welded to the new muffler (in the same locations as the stock one) hang 'em, clamp 'em, and drive off happy.

Anyone think there is a flaw to my logic? Why won't this work for under $300?

Thoughts, stories or experiences my fellow cruisers?

Tom
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Old 28 May 2008, 03:35 pm
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Default Re: Cat back systems: Are they overated?

The OEM 2 1/4" exhaust actually flows quite well in the na PT so you are correct in just searching for a sound you like. I had a Dynomax muffler on my '01 PT and I loved the sound. I also had a cool megaphone shaped tip installed and that further enhanced the sound. Though the car was slow I loved to hear it when getting on it. I'd personally just go for the muffler and tip. Forget about it helping with mpg. Not going to happen.
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Old 28 May 2008, 03:56 pm
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Default Re: Cat back systems: Are they overated?

Thanks Mean, I know (from what I've read) you have a lot of experience. I'm glad you replied.

Do you think there will be any problems re-welding the hangar rods to the universal mufflers? I'm thinking it will go pretty smoothly, but you never know with this type of stuff.

Tom
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Old 28 May 2008, 04:36 pm
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Default Re: Cat back systems: Are they overated?

Quote:
Originally Posted by THS_Cruiser03 View Post
Thanks Mean, I know (from what I've read) you have a lot of experience. I'm glad you replied.

Do you think there will be any problems re-welding the hangar rods to the universal mufflers? I'm thinking it will go pretty smoothly, but you never know with this type of stuff.

Tom
They'll probaby make their own hanging rod. They're easy to make. Have fun.
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Old 28 May 2008, 04:50 pm
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Default Re: Cat back systems: Are they overated?

I had the Mopar/Borla cat back duals on for almost 3 years,,, (looked great) I had to eventually add a resonator because the drone was just too loud at highway speeds for extended distances. The performance & MPG didnt change at all(just looks) I did remove them & couldnt be happier! I think Chrysler should have engineered a dual system like they have on the Nissan Altima's with resonators,,,& it would be ok... the factory system is actaully designed pretty good though;;you need some back pressure for low end torque.Good luck,just my opinion.
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Old 01 Jun 2008, 07:11 am
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Default Re: Cat back systems: Are they overated?

The only increase you will get is in your top speed on the highway. Lets say in stock form, you can hit 90 mph no problem....with the cat back, you'll be able to reach an extra 15 mph with the same effort.
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Old 01 Jun 2008, 07:47 am
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Default Re: Cat back systems: Are they overated?

I have the Borla duals on my PTGT. They sound nice and look great. The power boost and gas mileage gain is insignificant.
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Old 01 Jun 2008, 03:43 pm
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Default Re: Cat back systems: Are they overated?

PS: LOOK IS AWESOME;;;that is why I was wondering why Chrysler hasnt ever come out with an optional setup from the factory??:
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Old 02 Jun 2008, 01:56 pm
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Default Re: Cat back systems: Are they overated?

Interesting. I hadn't thought about it that way. Again, not something I would get much benefit from (rarely drive at or above 90). I think I've only gone over 100 MPH 4-5 times in five + years of ownership. But the sound can be gotten with just a muffler & larger tip, which is still the way I plan to go.

Maybe you turbo guys do (100 MPH) it all the time...but up here in IL there's too many cops around to that very often! Last time I did it was on a 56 mile stretch of I-43 from Beloit WI to Milwaukee WI. I ran her hard (at or above 100) for 5-10 miles, RPM's were above 4 grand. It was fun because traffic was wide open, temp. was in the 30's w/plenty of cold air for power. I covered the 56 miles in just under 40 minutes.

Shocked the hell out of the wife getting home WAAAY before she thought I would! *laughs*

Tom
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Old 02 Jun 2008, 02:51 pm
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Default Re: Cat back systems: Are they overated?

I have the dual set-up from California Cruisers but before that for a few years I had a Dyno Max #17732 muffler with a welded chrome 3 inch tip. A local muffler shop did the whole job for $75 (cutting clamps, tip - excluding muffler). Sounded great.
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