Review & Install Video
What's up, guys? Stephanie with americanmuscle.com, and this is my review and an install of the aFe Mach Force XP 3-inch Cat-Back, fitting your 2015 and up GT Mustang. We're gonna be talking about a few different things with this exhaust today, but mainly we'll talk about the sound of the cat-back and the install. The install for this is easy. It's a one out of three wrenches on the difficulty meter, since cat-backs for the S550 simply bolt right up, but we'll get more into that later.
This cat-back from aFe is gonna be for the S550 GT owners out there that are looking for a deep tone with a soft hint of a bit of raspiness to it. This is a perfect option for the guys that are not looking for anything too loud, but that want something aggressive. This cat-back is going to eliminate the factory resonator and replace it with a resonator delete X-pipe that leads down to high-flow mufflers. And this setup is going to give a sound that's, what I'd consider, a great middle-of-the-road option, as you guys already heard from the sound clips.
Like I mentioned earlier, this cat-back is going to eliminate the restrictive factory resonator and replace it with an X-pipe. Now, an X-pipe typically makes for a louder system that'll produce more power later in the RPM band than an H-pipe would. X-pipes are generally raspier as well, and they force the exhaust to cross streams to even out flow, and I'd say that this system has a muffled raspiness to it. It isn't obnoxiously raspy, because the mufflers calm it down some.
Removing the resonator is going to have a bunch of performance benefits, too. You're looking at sound and power improvements, and even some weight benefits, since the simple X here is going to weigh less than the factory resonator. So, it's just a nice little bonus that you get from swapping over to an aftermarket system like this one. And unlike some of the other cat-back options out there, this system actually bumps up the size of the piping, be going from a two-and-a-half-inch system to a three-inch system.
This is going to increase the flow of gases, which is where the horsepower and torque gains will come from, and you're also looking at a full stainless-steel mandrel bent cat-back with this system. This system right here has four-inch mirror polished stainless-steel tips, but stepping back for a second, this is a three-inch cat-back, but it is is compatible with the factory two-and-a-half-inch connecting pipes.
The cat-back comes with adapters that will step the two-and-a-half-inch connecting pipes up to three-inches to meet with the cat-back, or you always have the option of picking up a set of aFe's three-inch connecting pipes, so you can have a full three-inch system. As always, the main component of a cat-back is going to be the mufflers. They're the heart of the system, and they play a large part in both the sound and performance benefits. In this case, we're looking at a set of high-flow mufflers that are designed to absorb high pitched tones. This leaves a powerful and aggressive sound from the cat-back, so like I said, the mufflers balance the raspiness of the X-pipe.
The first impression that I got from this cat-back is that it has a deep sound. At idle, you can hear that the cat-back is deeper than the factory exhaust, and as you start climbing the RPMs, I don't think the deepness of the tone goes away. It definitely reminds me of a muscle car tone, and it does it without being extremely loud. I didn't hear any sound distortion with the cat-back, which I thought I might, considering the X-pipe and the louder volume level.
I would place this cat-back towards the middle of the pack when it comes to volume. It's not gonna be considered a quiet cat-back, but it's not the loudest either. Call it a solid three or three-and-a-half on the loudness meter, with one being very quiet and five being the loudest out there. Even though this system does have an X-pipe, there actually isn't a lot of raspiness to it, and that's something that a lot of you guys may be very happy about, because not everyone loves a raspy note.
It really all just depends on what you're looking for at the end of the day. Like I said, there are a handful of different options when it comes to cat-backs for the S550 GT at this point in time. This means different types of sound, as well as different price ranges. Got your choice of high-end offerings, as well as choices for those that don't want to spend that much, and the aFe is going to be towards the middle of the pack.
You can expect to spend just over $1,000 for this cat-back. When it comes to the install, you're going to be looking at an easy one out of three wrenches on the scale when we look at difficulty. This is considered a direct bolt-on item, so you won't need to cut anything or modify anything to get it installed. All that you're really gonna need is a socket set, and a lift would certainly make things easier, but the job can be done on jack stands as well.
You're gonna be removing the exhaust from the resonator back, so an extra set of hands can make things easier for you here. You'll be moving over your hangers to the new cat-back, so I'd recommend taking them off with the factory exhaust when you drop that. It'll just make the swap a little bit easier. The only other thing you'll reuse is the front clamps off of the resonator, for the front of the new cat-back. The whole cat-back can be dropped as one big piece, which is why an extra set of hands can really help.
When you go to install your new setup, it'll probably be easiest to start from the front and move back. So, install your midpipe area first, then after that, move back towards your muffler assemblies, and I'd leave everything loose until you have it all lined up, and then tighten it down. The cat-back does come with new clamps, so you don't have to worry about picking those up, and you can figure on spending about an hour or two, from start to finish, to get all of this done.
Overall, the aFe Mach Force Cat-Back is going to replace the factory resonator with an X-pipe that will ultimately drop some weight and open up both exhaust flow and power. The cat-back features high-flow mufflers that produce a good amount of volume and sound without being overbearing. This cat-back is also a step-up to a three-inch cat-back that comes complete, and is a direct bolt-on install that require no cutting.
You can check this cat-back out online some more for yourself, and for all things Mustang, keep it right here at americanmuscle.com.
More Power and Better Performance.
AFE's Mach Force-XP 3" Cat-Back Exhaust System is ideal for those 2015-2017 GT owners who are looking to increase the power and performance of their 5.0-liter Mustangs. This AFE Cat-Back replaces the bulky mid pipe resonator and narrow 2.5" factory piping with a high flow X-pipe and larger 3" mandrel-bent tubing for smooth, unrestricted exhaust flow. Along with a set of straight-through mufflers, this Mach Force-XP Cat-Back will dramatically improve the flow of your GT's exhaust, when compared to the stock cat-back system, for more power and increased engine performance. Dyno proven power gains of 11 Horsepower and 14 ft/lbs of Torque have been reported at the rear wheels after installation.Aggressive Sound with a Growl.
AFE's Mach Force-XP Cat-Back Exhaust not only improves the power and performance of your GT, but it also improves its sound as well. Featuring a pair of high flow straight-through mufflers for an aggressive tone, AFE utilizes an X-Pipe to balance exhaust pulses which minimizes drone while adding a raspy race car growl. Together this setup will add an loud aggressive sound to your GT's exhaust with a little extra growl that will let everyone know what you're packing under your hood.Quality Construction.
AFE Exhaust Systems are 100% handcrafted in the USA with pride. This AFE Cat-Back is fabricated from MIG-welded stainless steel tubing for superior strength and long lasting corrosion resistance. Featuring mandrel bent 3" diameter tubing and a set of straight through mufflers, this Cat-Back will significantly out flow the factory exhaust system. AFE's Mach Force-XP Cat-Back includes a pair of 4" 304 stainless steel double wall exhaust tips that are completed in a bright mirror polished finish. The tips are laser etched with the AFE Power logo for classic good looks.2.5" to 3" Adaptors Included.
This AFE Mach Force-XP 3" Cat-Back can be installed with a set AFE 3" Connection Pipes, as well as the factory 2.5" Connection Pipes with the use of the included 2.5" to 3" step-up adapters. These adapters allow you to conveniently upgrade your GT Mustang over time as your budget allows.Direct Bolt-On Installation.
AFE designed their Cat-Back to be a direct bolt-on upgrade replacement for your GT Mustang's factory exhaust system. There is no cutting or extra modifications required. Installation of this AFE Mach Force-XP Exhaust can be completed in about a two hours with just basic hand tools.Application.
This AFE Mach Force-XP 3" Cat-Back Exhaust System with polished tips is specifically designed to fit 2015-2017 Fastback GT Mustangs equipped with the Coyote 5.0L DOHC V8 Engine. Does not
fit convertible models.Please Note.
This Cat-Back Exhaust System is intended for use on GT Mustangs with the factory 2.5" connection pipe or an AFE 3" Long Tube Header and Connection Pipe Kit installed.
CA Residents: Warning: California's Proposition 65
- What's in the Box
- (1) X-Pipe
- (1) Driver Side Muffler Assembly
- (1) Passenger Side Muffler Assembly
- (2) 2-1/4" Band Clamps
- (5) 3" Band Clamps
- (2) 2.5" to 3" Adapters
- Installation Info
Installation Time: (approx) 2 Hours
Difficulty Level:Light to Moderate mechanical skill required.
- Tech Specs
Cat-Back Exhaust Specifications
||304 Stainless Steel
||Tip Material :
||Polished 304 Stainless Steel |
||2015-2017 GT Mustangs|
- Will it fit my Mustang?
Not compatible with Convertibles due to different bracing.