Custom vs. pre made exhaust.

Discussion in 'Fiesta ST Engine Upgrades' started by mrtn, Mar 12, 2014.

  1. mrtn

    mrtn Active Member

    I'm itching to do an exhaust swap but I'm torn between going custom or pre made(ie: fswerks etc). I'm wondering if there are really any differences. Like fswerks has dyno proven numbers but would a custom of the same size make the same power? I know it will be a different sound depending on the muffler.

    A custom shop will be able to cut my stock exhust and make it so I can reattach if needed. But will just weld the new one so I won't be able to just unbolt it.

    Last is the cost. It will likely be cheaper to go custom because I live in Canada. After he exchange and shipping of a pre made it will be expensive. I'm just thinking a pre made has been tested and thought out, whereas a custom will be a one shot, no testing.
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  3. BRGT350

    BRGT350 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    From what I have seen and experienced in the past with my own cars, going the custom route doesn't work that well. Trying to find a shop that will mandrel bend high quality stainless steel is the big hurdle at first. Then is finding the right muffler/resonator combo that gives the right sound and performance. I have had custom exhausts made in the past and they are out of crappy aluminized steel that rusts away quickly. The bends are rarely done with a mandrel, so the exhaust flow is disrupted. Trying to get the right length and location of the resonator is also hard since it needs to capture the sound waves as they travel in the exhaust. With every custom system I have put together, I end up scrapping it for a proper designed system. It doesn't make it any cheaper to keep going back to the muffler shop to try a different resonator or muffler in order to get the sound right. By the time you have the sound figured out, the aluminized steel is rusting away. Rust on the inside of the tubing disrupts the exhaust flow, which hurts performance, and negates some of the effects of the custom exhaust. I went thru at least 7 different exhaust systems on my ZX3 before finding out the best option was actually a factory SVT Focus system. I sunk a massive amount of money into exhaust work and ended up buying a proper engineered exhaust for a fraction of the cost. I have had friends try and cut corners on their Mustangs by using custom systems, only to throw them away after having sound and rust issues.
  4. mrtn

    mrtn Active Member

    Thanks for the input! I have a shop I have been going to for years. They do mandrel bends and use stainless steel so that's not an issue. But it's the placement of the bends and the mufflers like you mentioned that has me wondering if it made a difference between pre made or custom.

    The custom shop will do all the hard work for me. And what if I don't end up liking the sound of the pre made in person? I've only ever heard them on computer speakers.... It's a trip to the custom shop anyway. But I wasn't a fan of the last 2 systems they did for me so... Again decisions decisions.
  5. Biff

    Biff New Member

    I did my own for $136.00. I used a dynomax super turbo because I used one in the past and liked it. You can buy pipe that is pre-bent. I did 3 inch but 2.5 would have been plenty big. This car needs a resonator. Do not buy a system that does not have a resonator. Even with a quite muffler this car makes an unpleasant sound between 2-3.5 thousand rpm when you are on the gas. It will vibrate the whole car. A lot of these after-market system eliminate the resonator. Trust me, don't do it. There is nothing to design. You follow where the factory went. Some of the clearance is tight with 3 inch but it fits. 2.5 inch should be easy for any good shop. Buying parts and bolting them on is too easy.
    My next project will be custom fitting an intercooler, in the stock location.
    RodMoe likes this.
  6. mrtn

    mrtn Active Member

    Interesting. Two different views. And your point on the resonator is great. A lot of systems out there don't have one... But I do like the sound of fswerks. But again only from the videos. I wish Mountune would hurry up so I can make a final decision.

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