I just got stage 1 from SFR. I'm on vacation though, so I can't install until Wednesday!
As you can guess, I installed the test pipes today. omfg, I'll go ahead and just pay someone a few bucks to do it next time. I'm not ashamed to say it took me 3 hours (that also includes oil change). PITA nuts wouldn't come off. I PB Blasted them, then turned the car on and let them heat up. A couple of them broke free with just that. The others I had to wail on with the impact. What ended up working was wail on them in the off direction, the hit them in the on position, then back to off position and they came off after that. Except one. So I noticed the studs were really long and there was no way I was going to wrestle those things out, so I took the x pipe off and the cats along with it. Much simpler and I was able to get the last nut off no problem.
Install wasn't too bad, but there isn't a lot of room under the car, I'm a big guy and with my ear protection on, it was super hard to move around. It was a PITA to get the x-pipe back up, it isn't heavy, but it isn't light and with limited motion, it might as well weight 200lbs. But, you just have to use a jack to help, get one bolt in somewhere, then another and eventually they'll all be in, then you can adjust it's position and align the pipes and tips. Not sure why everyone is all uppity about aligning the tips. It was stupid easy. In fact, it was the easiest part of this whole job. Just stick the jack under the tube thing (muffler??) and raise up one side until it looks like it's in a nice spot in relation to the bumper, bolt it to the x-pipe so the flanges match up, repeat for other side and done. No big deal.
I burned the crap out of my arm though. cats were warm to the touch so I could handle them no problem, but the down pipe before the cat was still super hot apparently. going to have a scar. Oh well. It'll go away after a few years
Impressions? Oh yes! I did a sound reading before and after. I let the car start, then after it idled down, i took a reading. With and without test pipes the app I used read 59dB. I did not get a reading in the car before test pipes, but with test pipes at 6k it hit 78dB and it was super loud, so I imagine with the cats it would be more like 68dB. Overall the sound is louder and I do not recommend them if you're sensitive to sound or worried your exhaust will be too loud, because it will be. Maybe with a magnaflow setup with a big muffler it might be better. I'm not complaining, I love it! At low rpms you don't even notice. It sounds just like it did before which is nice. Up to around 3500rpm with light throttle and it's fine, but give it any more throttle and it gets loud. I sounds as if someone took the GRiP, turned it up 2 notches and added a ton of bass. I was on the fwy for a bit and no drone. It's not too raspy either, but ymmv.
Car feels more responsive mid range and revs a crap ton quicker. I don't want to sound like a sissy, but I'm a little afraid of the car now. I did my normal round trip around the lake and mountains and the car is different. I'm going to have to relearn the power band. The TC light kept flashing while doing things I have done at the same speed/conditions many times and it was getting squirrely.
I need to get more miles on the car before I can register a complete opinion, but for now the sound is pleasing and draws attention, the car performs better and it wasn't an expensive upgrade.
A note about the quality though: I was disappointed at what I got in the box. They looked nice enough for what they are, but one pipe had a scratch/dent that you could see from the inside of the pipe and the other pipe had 3. Not sure if it was from tooling or what not, but damn. They were not as shiny/polished as I though they'd be either. I'm concerned about longevity. I have a feeling these things will rust out in a few years if not sooner. The welds looked great though and the gaskets and bolts were fine and fit well.
I got rear ended by a good friend of mine. He thought I was turning right and I wasn't. Was probably going 10 when he hit me, and I was totally stopped. This accident curse is real
Lol he most definitely is. Its pretty hard to get out of an accident that left his front bumper cracked and my rear bumper dented. Hopefully its not 4 digits for the sake of his bank account. But it wont be much less than that. Taking it in tomorrow to get fixedIs said good friend going to remain a good friend by getting it fixed?
That right turn is a bitch. That's why I triple look to make sure the car actually went.
Glad you picked black..... All other colors bow to black.... no I am not biased or anything..... >Debadged the trunk. Recently traded my BK1 for a 2016 3.8 Rspec M/T. Leaving the H on this time around. All my other mods will be put back on soon. Gonna miss my other Gen, loved her!