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Mustang Best Exhaust Guide Part 2

Now we have run through the terminology and choices involved in choosing your exhaust in Part 1, we can look at how to choose what is right for you.

Some factors to think about when making your choice:
  • Is Performance Important?
  • Is Style your main concern?
  • Is the car for the street or will it be used on trackdays
  • H pipe or X pipe?
  • Daily Driver or Weekend "fun car"
  • Noise levels, loud or more civilised?
  • How it sounds?
  • Cost
  • Upgradability 
  • 2.5" or 3" system

If all you want is a better muscle car /sports car sound and a different look, then we say its Axle back all the way. As part 1 showed, you can get loud or quieter (or crazy loud!) with either black or polished tips on offer, all for less than £800.

How do you want your car to sound? One man's (or woman's) too loud is another's too quiet.....

We recommend listening to cars on video and in real life whenever you get a chance, at shows and meets etc. Videos can help but never show what a car is like "in real life". Even standing outside while one revs is just a guide, as until you have lived with it, and driven it in your driving style on your roads, then you won't really know. Hey, we never said choosing would be easy!

Sound will also change a little after first installed so NEVER rush to judgement! Live with it a few hundred miles until it beds in and cokes up. Also tuning and intakes can change the sound as can adding a front end to a catback system. One driver might complain of resonance on a certain system, but another driver with the same car might not hear it at all due to driving differently and indeed hearing differently! All ears dont hear the same....

One vital and often overlooked question is "Do you intend to take it to the track?"

In the UK MANY tracks have increasingly strict noise limits and competition systems will often make sure you will be black flagged (i.e thrown off the track) or prevented from even starting. Check with your track, as even "Street" systems wont guarantee a pass. In fact some cars with OEM systems wont be allowed on some of the UK's stricter tracks! (Not applicable to Mustangs though I believe).

Performance Choices:

Performance wise all reputable systems will work more or less similarly, aside from differences such as x pipe or h pipe (see part 1); full system or catback; or 2.5" or 3"

A 2.5" system is not usually our preferred performance option but chosen by Ford Racing for its more OEM type performance and quieter output. Those looking for bigger power, especially those aiming for full exhaust systems or thinking about forced induction upgrades (turbo or supercharger) should certainly go for a 3" system.

On full systems, you can choose hi flow cats, or even decatted systems, which can improve flow and hence performance, but aware that decat systems are generally referred to as "off road" systems (i.e for track use) as local laws can mean they are not legal for road use. Most high quality hi flow cat replacements will pass emissions testing and offer almost the same levels of performance as decats. Full systems often require a remap to obtain the full benefits from the hardware and turbo cars such as the Ecoboost will often require a remap in order to use a full performance exhaust system. Kooks systems (pics below) are a great choice for those considering a full system. Also there is no need to do a full system all in one hit. You can certainly start with just the catback and add the "front end" later on. in fact that's a course we recommend as you may be happy with the sound and performance boost just by adding a catback system.



Costs can vary but for a quality catback for a Mustang prices start around £1000 and can go up towards £2000 depending on system choice. Milltek for example offer a quad tip system which requires fitting a custom rear valance to accommodate the extra tips, and offers a choice of polished, cerakote black or titanium tips. (as below pics)

Quality V8 Headers can vary in price with cat choices, with Kooks systems estimated at around £1600 through to £2500 dependant on choices. RHD / EU systems are currently in development for release with Steeda UK soon. Ecoboost down pipes can be from around £500 decatted & upwards depending on cat etc 


As mentioned previously the lowest cost option is an Axle back, which offers good solutions from around £700

Steer clear of budget exhausts as they are often badly designed or made from inferior materials or offer poor fitments. A good performance exhaust should offer effectively managed exhaust gas flow. Budgets systems can often harm performance through poor design.


It's not simple is it! YOU have to decide and many of our customers will own up to either changing their minds later on or deciding to change tone, or simply feeling they made the wrong choice initially. For example some Mustang owners LOVED their thunderous exhaust initially but after 6 months of loving it, and using it as a daily, it began to wear on them, and they wanted something quieter. For others a "sensible" option was not radical enough, and after hearing more lively set ups they decided to switch to a more raucous system,

Dont be afraid to jump in. After all its like painting a room, if you dont like it you can change it later! Also remember with all car modification and personalisation. It's YOUR car, so if YOU like what you have, who cares what anyone else says! The other thing to remember is that most quality systems, regardless of which one you get, 99.9% of the time you will like more than stock!

A little video we made to help: (with just a few of the options)

Created On  29 Sep 2016 16:45 in ProductsSteeda UK Blog  -  Permalink


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