Ford Racing Axle-Back Exhaust
WHY? Sound--no other reason. It's pretty clear from testing done on 2005-2007 GT's that there's very little to gain from the addition of an aftermarket axle-back exhaust (essentially just a pair of mufflers with chrome tips and a short section of tailpipe). I think that this car has one of the sweetest-sounding stock exhaust systems on the road, but I just can't help myself--I'm looking for just a wee bit more volume. My first attempt netted a Gibson system, but it produced more resonance ("drone") than I was willing to put up with so I sold it and went looking for another option. While perusing the Mustang forums I noticed some good reports about the sound of one of the axle-back systems sold by Ford Racing Performance Parts (FRPP); it's important to mention here that two different FRPP systems are sold for the 2005-2007 Mustang, and they have completely different sounds. Part number M-5230-5GT is a system reportedly made for FRPP by Borla; it is 304 stainless steel and is 49-state legal. Part number M-5230-GTA is made for Ford by Supreme, is made of less-expensive 409 stainless and is 50-state legal; it is also the muffler system that is standard on the 2007 Shelby GT and the Foose Mustang. The GTA system is said to be louder than the stock system but not quite so noisy as the 5GT setup, so it looked like it might be the one for me. An internet shopping trip turned up the best price at Ninosport, a specialty shop with a good reputation. Their site is clean and easy to navigate; I placed the order online and paid via credit card. Retail price was $325--I paid $299 and free shipping.
SERVICE. Fantastic. Immediately after placing the order I received a confirmation email; the next day I received an email with a shipping notice and a tracking number. Since I'm located in the same state the shipment arrived at my door the next day--only 48 hours after the order was placed! The mufflers were packed in the original factory boxes and were packed well and undamaged. Kudos to Ninosport--that's the way internet business should be conducted!
INSTALLATION. This job could be accomplished by an owner with modest mechanical skills and required only basic hand tools. Instructions were included with the mufflers but weren't really necessary; working on my back on the garage floor it only took me about 45 minutes to get everything aligned and in place.
RESULTS. Really nice. The large polished 4" tips look great. The exhaust sound is much more aggressive than the stock system at idle, but it is not much louder than stock on acceleration. It does, however, have a very nice snarl that's missing in the stock system. I took the car on the road to check for the dreaded "drone" at 1500-2000 RPM. I was pleased to find that the exhaust note is no louder than stock at cruising speed and there was no sign of resonance at any speed. In case you're curious about the sound, I recorded a clip of the stock system (microphone placed 10 feet behind the car) here: Stock Exhaust System. A clip of the FRPP system (with the car and mic in the same positions) can be found here: FRPP Exhaust. If you'd like another comparison, listen to a clip of the same car with a Gibson system: Gibson Exhaust.
WORTH THE MONEY? Yep. The new system doesn't do much of anything for the car's performance, but it sounds much better than the stock system and the exhaust tips look great. It's not cheap, but it is a nice addition.