Exhaust 1986 Mustang - Exhaust setup

SwiftNuva

New Member
May 17, 2018
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Minnesota
So I am getting a new exhaust setup for my mustang this spring. However I’m short on cash and am going to keep it cheap. I have two options: spend a crap ton of money and get a full on system for hundreds of dollars, or I can bring it to my buddy and he can cut the cats off the original h pipe that’s on there now, and just put 2.25” flowmaster 40s where the stock mufflers were, rather than buying a complete 2.5” system. My question is, would it sound worse if it’s 2.25” rather than 2.5”? Is it really worth it to throw all my money into the exhaust? I don’t have all the money for that, considering I need a new exhaust for my truck too.
 
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Dan02gt

10 Year Member
Mar 2, 2003
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Greenville, NC
2.5" vs 2.25" is not going to sound that much different. I would however, not cut up a stock H pipe. They are very hard to find. If you want to go catless look for a used H pipe and install mufflers of your choice in the stock cat-back.
 

Mustang5L5

Mod Dude
Feb 18, 2001
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Massachusetts
I've seen catless H-pipes for sale on FB classifieds for $50. Stock H-pipe prob worth $200 or so to the right person. The cats alone are worth it.
 

SwiftNuva

New Member
May 17, 2018
6
0
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27
Minnesota
2.5" vs 2.25" is not going to sound that much different. I would however, not cut up a stock H pipe. They are very hard to find. If you want to go catless look for a used H pipe and install mufflers of your choice in the stock cat-back.
The only thing I’m thinking is that the only off-road h pipes I can find are 2.5”, would they bolt up to the stock 2.25” headers/tailpipes? Or would I need new headers and new tailpipes that are also 2.5”?
 

Wayne Waldrep

Before I post a pic, do you have one of yours?
15 Year Member
Apr 14, 2003
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Cuba, AL
It will fit just fine. The ball and socket connection will cover the difference.
 
Jan 10, 2011
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The stock cat/mid pipe assembly is worthless. UNLESS you can find the "right" person. I had one for sale for about 5 years, great condition, $50....ended up scrapping it for $75 because I was tired of dealing with people who said they wanted it but wanted to know the condition of the cats, or the condition of the steel, or this or that. I mean what can I say? It came off of a perfect 92 GT 5.0. In the 5 years (or thereabouts) I had it listed on different sites, I had one serious buyer but he was from out of state and didn't want to pay the shipping and didn't want to meet anywhere face to face. Fine. You want it, come get it, or you have it shipped...it's a real easy concept to grasp, at least I think it is!

Going catless makes dumped flowmasters drone something BAD. I mean it'll rattle your brains out. My dad's '93 is like that and I wish he'd let me put tailpipes and cats back on it (bone stock 5.0). When I say it's bad, it's horrible....I can't stand to drive it more than a couple miles and I'm ready to get out of it. Above 2500 it's decent but with 3.08 gears and a .63 overdrive, it rarely goes over 2500.
 

kendawg73

5 Year Member
Feb 5, 2014
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I've seen catless H-pipes for sale on FB classifieds for $50. Stock H-pipe prob worth $200 or so to the right person. The cats alone are worth it.
For real????? stock H pipes are worth that much? I have a stock H pipe in my shed off my car.... wasn't sure what to put it on criagslist for..... damn I would of way under sold that... lol need to cash infuse my mustang fund... I was thinking of cutting the cats off to sell to a recycle place, I know there worth money but don't know how much...
 

Mustang5L5

Mod Dude
Feb 18, 2001
31,117
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Massachusetts
For real????? stock H pipes are worth that much? I have a stock H pipe in my shed off my car.... wasn't sure what to put it on criagslist for..... damn I would of way under sold that... lol need to cash infuse my mustang fund... I was thinking of cutting the cats off to sell to a recycle place, I know there worth money but don't know how much...

Again, i'll emphasis it all depends on the location. My experience Is here in MA where cars needs cats to get inspected. Living in an area with no inspection, the demand is probably much less.
 

Dan02gt

10 Year Member
Mar 2, 2003
581
245
83
Greenville, NC
For real????? stock H pipes are worth that much? I have a stock H pipe in my shed off my car.... wasn't sure what to put it on criagslist for..... damn I would of way under sold that... lol need to cash infuse my mustang fund... I was thinking of cutting the cats off to sell to a recycle place, I know there worth money but don't know how much...
They are worth that much to someone that needs to get their car to pass inspection as most foxes had their cats removed a long time ago.
 

2000xp8

SN Certified Technician
Aug 8, 2003
6,557
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NJ
Here's my take.
No matter what you do, run cats. Whether it's aftermarket or stock, going down the no cats road isn't as lucrative in power as it used to be.

When you do the back end, do a 2.5 catback. Some catbacks can be found relatively cheap, I forgot what I paid for my dynomax ultraflo welded kit, but it wasn't all that much.
If you have to pay to have two $60 mufflers installed it's going to cost as much as some entire catbacks that can be installed at home for free. Also when you install the kit with clamps, you can adjust them if need be.

If you really want to run no cats, get a modular bassani x pipe with cats, it also comes with cat delete pipes, which allows you to relatively easily switch back and forth. It's a hell of a lot easier than struggling to get a stock h back on and off.

Disclaimer: I do not run cats. I haven't in pretty much forever. I'm a lot older now and the car is too loud so I wish I had them.
I would just add them, but I have a mixture of years of exhaust parts on my car and the drivers side of my SS bassani x pipe is too close to the floor and trans mount to install them. I'd have to believe it will heat up the floor or melt the bushings in the crossmember.
With all that said, NJ does not inspect older than 1995 anymore, it was too costly for too few cars.
But when they did, my 2003 engine passed 1990 standards with no cats.