|Editor's note: These systems were installed on the Corral's 98 GT Project car. Bassani also manufactures similar parts for the 4.6L DOHC Cobra.|
The stock exhaust systems on the 4.6L GT and Cobra are very restrictive. In stock trim, the exhaust gasses need to traverse 6, count’em, 6 catalytic converters before they even reach the mufflers. What does this mean? First of all, the restrictive exhaust chokes up potential power; second, aftermarket mufflers do very little for performance since ANY muffler is guaranteed to out-flow the converters. Wouldn't it be nice to trash the entire system and start over with a performance geared exhaust system? No matter what plans you have in store for your Mustang, a high-flowing exhaust system is the key for producing additional horsepower.
The Bassani System we are installing to replace the stock system includes a Bassani high flow catalytic X-pipe and Bassani cat-back exhaust system (sold as separate units).
The cat-back system uses dual "Quiet Thunder" welded-case stainless steel mufflers, 2.5" diameter 14 gauge aluminized steel tubing, and highly-polished 3" diameter stainless steel tailpipes. The tailpipes join the mufflers/flow tubes immediately after the mufflers and join with U clamps. The tips also feature removable resonators that help to eliminate the 2000 rpm drone that plagues all performance mufflers.
I chose to take the entire system to a custom exhaust shop to get everything bolted together right and ensure a good fit. I was surprised that they charged only $100 for the install, I expected much more than that! If you intend to take yours to a shop, make sure they are skilled in custom exhaust work. My particular shop had previously done many Bassani installs. The install was routine, except for a few problems with the fit around existing components on the car. The oxygen sensor plug harness had to be re-located; and the passenger side rear O2 sensor wiring was contacting a transmission plate, so we cut off a corner of that plate. Other than that, the X-pipe bolted right into place.
The cat-back install was a little bit more difficult. First of all, the driver side muffler hanger had to be torch-cut and re-welded to ensure proper tailpipe alignment. Certain spots on the hangers had to be heated to a glow and bent to get the tailpipes straightened up. I am sure most of this work was unnecessary to get a good fit, but it sure makes it easy when you have a custom shop with all the trick tools! So if you attempt the install at home, be ready to do some modifications.
The cats on the X-pipe ride a bit lower than stock, but I have not encountered any scraping yet with careful driving. One thing I noticed that might need future attention is that the tailpipes are awfully close to the rear tires. I don't experience any rubbing, but custom work will be in order if I attempt to widen those rear tires. If you already have wide tires, you may need a custom shop to do the install to get the fit right the first time. Other than a lack of growing room present when the stock system was on, there are no problems with the fit of the system.
The new sound is just as beautiful as it looks. One word to describe the sound of the X-pipe/ Cat-Back combo is “Bass” ... as in lots of it! This system sounds more like an exotic V8 racer than the everyday Flowmaster 'stang. Imagine taking the beautiful sound of the stock system, pumping up the bass, and raising the volume a tad…that is what the system sounds like. From idle to 3000 rpm, the system sounds deep and growly; after 3000 rpm, the twinpipes awaken to produce a V8 growl so beautiful! While some aftermarket systems sound burbley and cheap; the Bassani sounds exotic, racy, and mean. The system gives a wonderful personality to the SOHC and DOHC powerplants.
The X-pipe alone gives a louder, raspier sound at WOT, and the cat-back makes the sound deep and growly at lower rpm. The sound is loud, but not annoying in the slightest.
Performance you say? There is no additional neck-snapping torque to speak about, but you can actually feel the car pulling harder past ~3000 RPM. I would guestimate a good 10-15 progressive horsepower increase on the top end (spools up), however there is not yet any empirical data to affirm this. I will soon post dyno numbers for this mod right here in the article. The best part is, now the car is ready for some super power gains with no more restriction in the exhaust system.
If you are thinking of re-doing your Mustang exhaust, the X-pipe and the cat-back are best installed as one to save costs/ease of installation. Combing a Bassani cat-back with a less restrictive Bassani X pipe is a sure bet for extra horsepower and a killer sound for your 'stang that all are sure to envy!
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