Installation Time: Full Day
July 29, 2012
Ford Racing Install Illustration Misleading
At freeway speeds, the X-pipe dampers much of the harsh in-cabin mind-numbing drone of the after-market axelbacks, especially between 1600-2000 rpm. And, while downshifting the five-speed and at idle, the exhaust tone is now a powerful pulsing rumble; the "burble" is gone.
I only give it three stars for "fit." Although the supplied clamps are first-rate, as is the X-pipe itself, be prepared to remove the forward exhaust system from the exhaust manifolds: there is no good way to "fit" the X-pipe onto the new pipes ends you just cut without doing so. Beware, unless you have magical installation elves that come into your garage when you're asleep, do not be deceived by "Fig. 12" in the Mustang X-Pipe Instruction Sheet.
I installed the X-pipe with my car on jack stands and my back on the garage floor. To give myself extra room to fit the right-side of the pipes, I temporarily removes the thin aluminum heat shield.
After much trial-and-error measuring to roughly align the pipes to their original orientation, I loosely clamped the X-pipe to the now-removed front pipes, placed this new assembly, and myself, under the car, carefully hoisted it up above my head and gingerly hooked it into the two rubber isolation mounts. With a lot of twisting-and-fitting, each pipe end lined up with its exhaust manifold, but not at the same time! Together, the pipe ends were spread approximately two inch too wide. I used a ratcheting tie-down strap to slowly pull the two pipe ends together to the correct width, bolted the ends to the manifold, clamped the loose rear pipes onto the X-pipe, tightened all four clamps, then released the tie-down strap. The pipes fitted perfectly, with no exhaust leaks.
I'm glad that I installed the Ford Racing X-pipe -- it reinforced the benefit of doing push-ups. The exhaust system seems to breath easier. But frankly, knowing what I know now, for ease of installation, I would have preferred the Pypes X-pipe that has built-in straight sections and mounting hooks. Pypes doesn't require the disassembly and removal of the front end of the exhaust system (and I won't even discuss the ordeal of disconnecting and reconnecting the passenger-side O2 sensor cable!). This installation would be a lot easier using a lift (but not by much).