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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Took me probably 9+ hours over 2 days to install cobb's turbo back haha.

Things that made me take longer than normal

1) After reading so much about jack stand failures, I got paranoid about my 2 6-ton jacks and and 2 2-ton jacks. Decided that if I'm going to be under the car for so long that I needed the jacks in the recommending positions, so I just decided to accept any damage caused by this, and jacked up with a block of wood on the sides near the middle of the car. My 6 ton jacks had a little bit too wide arms that it pinched in the side skirts as I was lowering it, so I had to re-position it a bit. I also took some spare tires in the garage and laid them out at each side. Also took a couple pieces of wood laying nearby and put them under the front wheels.

2) No idea which plugs where the O2 plugs. Had to feel my way around from underneath the car to get an estimate of where the plugs were so I could disconnect them from the top. First two plugs you feel from the location of every tutorial on youtube is pretty much the o2 plugs. Its right next to the battery, under the symposer tubing. Didn't want to randomly start disconnecting stuff, but without the cowl taken off, I had no sight of the plugs.

3) No idea how to disconnect the plugs so a long time feeling around and trying to position hands around to be able to disconnect it. When you feel the ridged section of the plug, push on it slightly and it'll click out of place and stay out of place, then just push down. The other one you have to push it then pull upward. That last plug is mounted so you have to push it out before you remove the DP. Its kind of like a V with the two upper sections of the V being pushed into two holes. Push down to remove the first section and then upward to remove the bottom section.

4) Realized that I had to remove the cross brace but had some side under tray covering it and was was slightly being pressed on by my jack stands. Had to take as much apart as I could then re-lift each side of the car a bit to fully remove it. Also broke one of the tabs that held it in place. About 3 bolts on each side, 3-4 push tabs, and 4-5 screw tabs that you unscrew then pull downward to remove the plastic tab from the screw. I'm not sure if I'm going to put it back.

5) V-clamp was stuck. Did a lot of searching of google and light taps with screw driver before I grabbed some penetrating oil and drenched the thing. As I was spraying, fiddling with a rag to collect the excess, and making sure it doesn't get on my light source and explode, I heard a clank from it the downpipe falling loose. I had my doubts considering how tight the downpipe was still stuck onto the turbo even with the v-clamp bolts completely loose, but that oil did the trick.

6) Had issues trying to disconnect the o2 sensors because my sockets suck. A socket wrench with a long handle (extendable handle socket wrench from harbor freight), laying the downpipe on the floor, stepping on it and pulling upward seemed to work.

7) Took a while to get the stock exhaust cut using the exhaust cutting wrench from amazon. 90% of the exhaust was cut completely off but one piece near the top was not completely cut. Took a flat head and a hammer and hammered at it and after a handful of good hits, it came off.

8) Installed a defouler but had issues getting the snap ring in. Conditioned the snap ring holes a bit be jamming my snap rings pliers in them and twisting until I got a good fitting. Also, keep your finger (a glove is good in case it snaps outward) on it while you push it in. It flew a couple of times.

9) Car not lifted high enough to get the stock exhaust off. Wrestled with it for a long time before I decided to just lift the entire car (on jack stands) a bit more and it came right off. If the last piece isn't coming loose, just life the car some.

10) Being very weak phsycally, my exhaust hanger tool kept getting stuck in the hangers so I hand to take some time wiggle and twisting it loose.

11) Had issues fitting in one of the new sections of the pipe over the axel (not sure what it is called) because one of the hanger parts was blocked by the heat shield. Just bent the heat shield down a bit and the thing went right in. Then bent it back into place.

12) Took some time to find out a proper way to position the o2 sensors. The old DP had some clips on the heat shield for the wires but the new one doesn't. I've read of people's o2 wires touching the DP and being burnt out (i'm guessing its the rear o2 wire since the front one seems to be short enough and positioned at the top. I ended up wrapping the wire a bit around the top o2 wire and some tube (not sure what it is since I was primarily just feeling around) that the top o2 wire was resting against. Took away some of the slack in the wire so it seems to be okay. Probably best to tie it somewhere.

13) Constant fear on either over tightening stuff (like the v-clamp) or not tightening stuff enough (allowing a leak) caused me to spend some time re-looking everything a few times over.

Everything else seem to go pretty smoothly. I'm kind of glad the car was near the ground so I could hold certain things up with my leg/knee while I bolted things on.

Also, over the course of the past day and today, I have a bunch of minor injuries I don't know where it came from and a bunch of bruises on various places of my body. I also did a bunch of army crawls, worm/snake like movements, and spinning in place to get myself into a better position for the work I was doing.

Then, after all is done, I'm not sure why I expected anything different from a 3 inch exhaust, but I start the car and it is VERY loud. I had hoped that it was somewhat quieter since people consider it one of the quieter 3 inch exhaust, but full throttle drowns everything out and cold starts is pretty loud. Never had an aftermarket exhaust on my cars so maybe i'm just not used to it. Have a little buyer's remorse from the exhaust lol.

Its pretty quiet when cruising at 2000-3500 but the moment you need to step on the gas a bit, its quite loud. Full throttle drowns out everything and its almost like I can feel the vibration in my ears haha. Being my only car, I sometimes go places late at night but the car is so loud now, I wonder if I'll wake my neighbors. I half throttle pretty often and, to cars around me with their windows up, they can only hear my car slightly. Now I feel like half throttle and people in a half mile radius can hear me with their windows up. Hopefully, its just louder inside than out (going to have someone drive my car while I follow behind lol). Also going to try removing the symposer to see if it helps lower the car sounds a bit.

Well, whats done is done, not what I want to be saying after an install, but time to get used to the exhaust haha. Love everything except the loudness. If it was a few notches down, it would be perfect for me. Maybe in the future, I'll go to a 2.5 inch exhaust like magnaflow. For when I get a new car sometime in the long future, I'm probably not going to do the exhaust. May over time with this exhaust will make me change my mind, but for now, I don't think I'll be doing an exhaust.

The only pictures I took
https://imgur.com/a/d0l3j
 

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Don't beat yourself up over how long it took you. You finished the job in the end and you learned a ton. PS - the exhaust is louder because you added a high flow dp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, I've actually glad I finished. I just tend to always take a lot longer than the estimated time haha.

For some reason, I didn't factor in the DP into the loudness when deciding to do all this in one big go vs buying the DP first and then switching the catback later. I'll see what I think about the added loudness after a few months with it.

Well, I got finished a lot of what I wanted to do with the car, now to just maintain the loud beaST =).
 

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Congratulations on installing a turbo back exhaust by yourself. I can relate to you. I always take longer than stated on my car part installs. I'm a novice and a perfectionist so my intercooler with charge pipes took all day for me. My intake and shifter arm took almost half a day. Of course I don't get in any hurry and take breaks because you can only lay under a car for so long. But their is satisfaction in knowing you did it yourself. I would guess you'll get use to the sound over time. If not you can always sell the Cobb exhaust and go for something quieter like Mountune. Quality lightly used parts like Cobb usually sell fast.
 
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Sounds very similar to my TB exhaust install that I did over this past week. I just used a couple of zip ties to secure the downstream O2 wire, didn't look as if it was going to touch the pipe anyway. Fortunately I had a different catback installed prior, so I didn't have to cut the stock one off. Mine is super loud as well in all the areas that you claim, so I identify. I'm going to look into adding a resonator. In the meantime, I put my Mountune 2.5" system back on. I've found that swapping catbacks doesn't take too long. Biggest issue is getting the car in the air!
 

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Thank you for posting this, I really got a kick out of it! I've been tinkering with my motorized things for over a dozen years now and I still have moments akin to what you have listed above. You go out to do a job and figure it should only take an hour and it becomes a huge pita. Many hours later you're finally finishing up and maybe feeling a bit defeated, but you got the job done and now you can reap the rewards.

As stated, there is something to be said about doing it yourself. Kudos to you for doing so and also for posting this. Some would have had too much pride to share this experience.

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Doesn't matter how long it took, it's not a race.

I always take awhile too just bc I HATE tearing back into it to fix my mistakes.


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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Definitely very satisfied about finishing the install but yes, any major (maybe even some minor installs) definitely has to be done on the weekend for me haha!

I remember standing back up, taking a deep breath, telling myself "All done". That was followed by the very anticipated first start up and then by a "wow... that was a lot louder than I expected" haha. Funny thing was that my neighbor across the street just got home and was backing into his garage. I opened the garage door to start up the car and so I'm sure he got the full brunt of the first startup

I'm going to give the exhaust some time to grow on me. If anything, this might make me be lighter on the throttle and help me with my lead foot! Depending on how the feel, I'm definitely going to be eyeing Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Years specials on exhausts. On the other hand, if I can't get over the loudness, I should probably just find someone with one of the quieter exhausts and see how I like it haha.
 

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If you're wanting to go a little quieter check out CNT's exhaust. I have it on my ST because I didn't want it to be CRAZY loud. and for $375, you can't really beat it for the money. I haven't installed my DP yet so I'm not sure how much louder it will be once that's installed but I really like it. I think its almost identical to the Magnaflow... I could be wrong on that though so don't quote me on that. :)
 
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If you're wanting to go a little quieter check out CNT's exhaust. I have it on my ST because I didn't want it to be CRAZY loud. and for $375, you can't really beat it for the money. I haven't installed my DP yet so I'm not sure how much louder it will be once that's installed but I really like it. I think its almost identical to the Magnaflow... I could be wrong on that though so don't quote me on that. :)
I like the looks and sound of this (complete exhaust noob). Wondering if even that is louder than I actually want. Anyone know of something slightly quieter?
 

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Thanks for the honest write-up. I've got all the tools I need (except a lift) and have been fooling with cars for decades. I ALWAYS take longer to do something that what the Speedy Gonzalez types say it should. I am very meticulous and methodical and rarely have I ever had to redo anything.
As I get older, the physical aspect of this type of under car work takes it's toll. If being weak felt like a handicap, try it being weak, fat, and old! I think the worst part is that I can't see much without the reading glasses and they just don't stay in place when I'm wriggling around under the car.
I have another vehicle, and I do the work in my garage (cleaning it out to make room for the job is another project in itself). So, if I get tired, frustrated, stuck, or disheartened, I just go inside, clean up and take a break. I've solved some seemingly insurmountable problems on those mental breaks.

Years ago, when I was designing machinery, sometimes I would get stuck. Trying to accomplish whatever I was working on at that moment would seem impossible. So, I would leave my desk, go down the hall, and get some water. By the time I got back to my desk, I had usually figured out a solution to my problem and I had a fresher attitude.
When the going gets tough, the tough take a break.

I don't know anything about CNT's exhaust, but I want one from Thermal R&D because it is quieter, with a more mature sound and NO DRONE on the highway.
 

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I like the looks and sound of this (complete exhaust noob). Wondering if even that is louder than I actually want. Anyone know of something slightly quieter?
I've heard Milltek exhaust's are pretty quiet as well.


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Thanks to this thread, I checked out CNT's exhaust kit. I'm impressed, sounds good, not loud, doesn't drone, great price. Is it made in China or something?
It seems like every time I log in, I find out about yet another company making cat-back kits for our cars. It's hard to believe there is enough of a market for so many different brands.
 

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Nice write up, I've been there and been through most of what you describe [:)] Like others have said, its a great learning process. If you have to do any of it agian, it will be much easier. Give the exhaust a few weeks before you decide to change anything. Like you said, some of it is just you getting used to it and some changing your driving habits. First week or so it just seems loud to you, then you start to realize its not that bad. Although there is not much escaping noise on a full 3" setup, will be louder than a 2.5".
 
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