Review & Install Video
Hey, guys. Adam here with americanmuscle.com and today we're taking a closer look at, installing and listening to the Borla ATAK Cat-Back Exhaust with the Black Chrome Tips available for all 2018 and newer non-active exhaust Mustang GTs. You should be checking this out if you're looking to swap out your entire factory cat-back for something that is extremely loud, very aggressive, super attractive at the rear exit and, of course, something that doesn't distort the sound. Now, as you just heard from our sound clips here, the Borla ATAK, as we all know, is gonna get five out of five on our loudness meter. The ATAK mufflers here from Borla are known to be some of the loudest exhaust in the category, and that is definitely evident here in our sound clips. Now, guys, if you're not really interested in the loudest of the loud ATAK, but you really like Borla's quality, they do have the Borla Stinger S-Type, which I'd give three out of five on the loudness. It's kind of their middle range option. And if you're looking for something a little bit more mellow, the Borla Touring is a great way to go. I'd give that two out of five on our loudness meter. So there are options in the Borla family if you like their quality. Now, the cool thing about the Borla ATAK is that it reaches some of the loudest volume without distorting the sound and also while minimizing the drone. So that is something a little more unique to the ATAK mufflers and I'll breakdown how that works later on when we compare it to the factory kit.So as you're heard here, at your driving speeds, it can be pretty tamed going from red light to red light at low RPMs. But once you start hitting the mid to high range of the RPM band, this guy is definitely gonna open up and be super loud and super aggressive, which is why I give it five out of five. Now, like I mentioned, the drone inside the cabin's not gonna be too overwhelming. It may be there at wide-open throttle, but at highway speeds, you can definitely still have a conversation and listen to music inside the car. Now, this one in particular has an X-pipe to delete your factory resonators. It's got 3-inch mandrel bent, 304stainless steel tubing, so it is the highest quality materials you can get in an exhaust in the category. Now, if you're located in wintery weather areas like we are here on the East Coast, we see a lot of road salt in the wintery months here, so 304 stainless steel holds up to corrosion and rust a lot longer than some of the other options out there. It's gonna be more durable than T-409 and aluminized steel. Now, inside of that mandrel-bent tubing, Borla also inputs their patented polyphonic harmonizer tubing, which is essentially gonna give you a very crisp, clean sound without distorting that tone along with the ATAK mufflers, and I'll break that down for you in just a little bit.The black chrome tips here are great for the guys who want a stealthy exit at the rear end. In my personal opinion, the black chrome looks so good on these S550s, specifically this orange Fury we have here on our '19 GT. Now, the black chrome from Borla is slightly different than some of the other black tip options out there. It is very reflective and has that chrome shine, but is still a dark black finish. Now, of course, it retains that quad-tip here going into your factory rear valance, so no modifications necessary.The pricing for the black chrome kit with the ATAK system is gonna come in right around 1,650 bucks. Now, the install, I'm gonna give two out of three wrenches on are difficult to meter. Anybody can tackle this in the driveway at home with very simple hand tools. Because this is a direct bolt-on install, it's not gonna require any cutting, no welding, no drilling, none of the permanent modifications. It'll bolt up to your factory location, it's just a little bit more involved. Now, this guy here, I'm gonna show you every single step of the process for. It will take you about two, maybe three hours from start to finish. What do you say we get started?Tools used in this install include an impact gun or a ratchet, an extension, 13 and 15-millimeter deep sockets. Recommended would be WD-40 or something similar, and a mallet. All right, guys, once you have your Mustang up in the air and supported properly, whether it be on jack stands or on a lift like we have here, you wanna grab an impact gun or a ratchet and a 15-millimeter deep socket and we're gonna loosen up the two band clamps holding on your factory cat-back to the catalytic converter pipes. Now, you'll see that right in front of the factory resonator. There's two nuts here and two nuts there. You don't have to completely remove them, just get them nice and loose.All right. The next step we're gonna move back toward the rear of our vehicle right under the rear subframe. Now, if you look at your rear sway bar, straight past them are two hangers where your exhaust is hooked on and bolted to that subframe using two 13-millimeter bolts. From here, instead of trying to slide our hangers out of the isolators, I'm actually just gonna completely unbolt the isolators to make life a lot easier. So grab an extension and a 13-millimeter deep socket. And what I like to do is go straight over the sway bar and remove those two bolts. All right. Now what I like to do after the bolts are removed is we have to unclip the isolator from the frame. They're still hooked in there, so what you're basically gonna do is lift up on them so they disconnect and rotate them down and out of the way.All right. Our next step here is to get her entire factory cat-back off of the vehicle. We're gonna start up here with our resonator right in front of those. I'm gonna tap out the factory band clamps. I got my buddy Stan helping me get this thing down. If you're working the ground, you may be able to do it by yourself, but if you're in the air, you might want a helping hand. All right, so now we should slide them out of the hangers at the tips and it should come free.All right. So we got our factory exhaust off of our 2019 GT and it's on the ground here next to our Borla ATAK with our black chrome tips. I wanna take you through some similarities and differences between the two kits and let's start at the front of the vehicle. Now, of course, with our new Borla ATAK, it is a resonator delete, so it's getting rid of this factory resonator here and replacing it with a free flowing X-pipe. Now, the X-pipe will be more free-flowing, a little raspier in its tone and, of course, give you a little bump in power as opposed to a factory resonator and something like an H-pipe. The X-pipe has that crossover section to allow for less kinks and less airflow restriction. Now coming down from that, you'll notice the entire kit here is a 3-inch mandrel bent T-304, stainless steel, highest quality materials on the market. It's a slightly larger diameter than some of the other options in the category there. Your factory exhaust is around a 2.75-inch for comparison.Moving straight down, let's talk about our mufflers. Now, the muffler here from Borla is the Borla ATAK, which is an acronym at for acoustically-tuned applied kinetics. What that basically means is Borla is inserting their technology into this multi-core muffler that's gonna help minimize drone while also giving you the loudest possible volume without distortion, so you get a really loud tone but a clean, crisp and clear tone that. That's really important for something that is this loud. You don't want anything to be too distorted, you don't want it to hit its peak at wide open throttle and just blow everybody's ear drums out, you want it to have some clarity to it, and that's what the ATAK does.Now, behind your ATAK muffler, there's one little section of pipe that I wanna talk about that is patented by Borla. This is the Borla polyphonic harmonizer technology. What that basically means is after your 3-inch pipe hits this section, it breaks into four individual pipes and each pipe there has a different diameter and a different length. The different lengths and diameters will produce a different exhaust note, so multi exhaust notes coming from that one section then harmonize to give you a nice crisp, clear sound. That working in conjunction with the ATAK muffler gives the ATAK exhaust a very unique tone. Now, the ATAK exhaust and that polyphonic harmonizer are specifically tuned for each vehicle. So while there may be an ATAK on different makes and models, it is gonna sound very unique to this particular Mustang.Exiting out of that exhaust or exiting out of that muffler there are your dual black chrome tips. So we have quad tips. They are 4-inch slash-cut double walled, so they're really thick. The black chrome is essentially a very stealthy aggressive appearance at the rear. The chrome gives it a nice reflective quality to it, so instead of it being just a dull black, it is very shiny and mirror-like. Now, I personally think that looks really good, especially on the orange Fury Mustang. It's a really nice contrast on the vehicle. If you're not really feeling the black chrome tips, there's a couple of other options. There's regular chrome and there's black carbon fiber, which is worth taking a look at as well.All in all, that's gonna be the difference there between your ATAK and your factory muffler. There's a couple of things we do need to do like transfer over our factory hanger isolators to your new hangers. We're also gonna have to clamp down the adapter pipes that'll attach right on your X-pipe. Now, they're already attached right out of the box, but you do have to clamp them down, so let's get to work.All right. So first up here, let's grab two of our clamps included in the kit. We're gonna tighten down the adapters to our X-pipe. Now, out of the box, they should be installed. If they're not, just insert them into the inlet. Now I'm gonna slide a clamp over the end and I'm gonna tighten it down with the bolt head facing out. And for this, you're using a 15-millimeter socket. All right. Next, we're gonna transfer over the factory isolators from our stock exhaust to our new Borla. Now, for this, I'm just gonna twist and rotate and slide these guys off. It may be easier to lubricate this with some WD-40 if it's giving you any trouble. All right. Now, when you transfer them over, you wanna take note of this little tab here at the top end of the isolator. This tab should be facing the subframe, the rear subframe of the vehicle or facing the front of the vehicle. So I'm gonna slide these guys on. They should be facing away from the tips. Just like that. I'm gonna rotate it down and out of the way for now. Same thing on the other side.First up, we're gonna swap over the factory band clamps onto the cat pipes here. Now, as you can see, there's these little tabs and there's little welded-on buttons. They're gonna slot right in here, so I'm just gonna put those in place and that lets us know where it should be, like retainer pins, almost. When we slide these guys in, you can see it slots right in there. Now we can grab our X-pipe, tighten it down to these clamps. All right. Now, on our X-pipe, the adapter pipes that we tighten down using these clamps will slot right into the factory band clamps. Grab your 15 socket and we're gonna tighten down the clamps. All right, continuing along with the exhaust install here, we're gonna start on our passenger side, throw a clamp over the passenger side pipe. And we're gonna slide this guy into the X-pipe. All right, make sure it seats all the way back and now we can connect the hanger to the frame.So here, if you remember, we slid this down. I'm gonna rotate it back up, we're gonna hang it right on into that slot where it originally was on the factory exhaust just like that. All right, let's repeat that on the other side. All right. Again, just the same thing on our driver side. All right, so now what we can do is align it where we want them to be, so face these guys in the right direction and we can tighten them down at our X-pipe. All right. Now, when we tighten these clamps, we're not gonna tighten them down too much just yet. Just get them nice and snug, but leave some room for adjustment so that we can align our tips and then we'll come back and tighten them down later on. All right, so now we can go back to these isolators on our frame. Grab the factory 13-millimeter bolts and put them back in by hand. All right, grab your 13-socket and your extension and we're gonna tighten these guys down. Now, when you do this, you wanna make sure that the isolators are straight.Next is gonna be our passenger side muffler that has the tips already welded on. Now, you wanna make sure you have a clamp on the end there and the first thing you're gonna do is slide the hanger into the isolator above the tips. So that's in position. All right, and then you're gonna line up the pipes and insert them into place. All right, now I'm gonna grab a mallet and just tap this guy in. Make sure that's seated all the way in. Now we can tighten up this clamp. Now, again, I'm just gonna get it nice and snug without over-tightening it. We wanna leave some room for adjustment. All right, so now we're doing the same thing on the driver side muffler. Once your mufflers are in place, you can go back and make any adjustments that you need to to make sure your tips are aligned properly, tighten down all your clamps, and you're good to go.Well, guys, that's gonna wrap up my review and install for the Borla ATAK Cat-Back Exhaust with Black Chrome Tips available for the 2018 and newer Mustang GT without active exhaust. If this is what you're looking for, you can get yours right here at americanmuscle.com.