Cats, I need some feedback / reccomendations

LATT5133

Member
May 8, 2020
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Tampa, Florida
I have a BBK catted X pipe on my FOX. I Love it, it was two inches short however, I believe that was attributed to the crappy no name off road H pipe on previous. No more rotten egg smell and it toned the drone sound down which my wife likes. I had a Bassani catted X in my 95' and loved that too. Basically similar design other than the cats and the air tube placement. I would have bought a Bassani but there was a delay on the product. Why X, it has a higher tone than an H which gives a more throaty tone. If that makes sense? Basically, shooters choice at that point.
Gentlemen,

I need some advice and practical experience regarding your choice of catalyst brand / supplier.

For a long time now I've been getting sick of driving my '95 with the off-road H-pipe and smelling like I've just finished mowing the lawn after a 30 minute drive. The better-half has complained about this issue for years, and I have to admit, I agree with her. I love the sound it makes without cats, even with the factory cat back, but I can't live with the fumes anymore. The problem is that I'm not sure which supplier to go with to solve this issue. This is becoming more important as my car does more street cruising and less track days now. Here are my experiences, thoughts, and questions given the limited number of choices:
  • The stock H-pipe is not going back on. It's horrible mess of bad pipe bends and four cats. Plus, it's really heavy! I have to admit thought, the stock configuration really did a good job at cleaning up the exhaust.
  • I purchased a stainless H-pipe with cats from Magnaflow approximately 10 years ago. It only lasted on my car for one summer. Besides the fact that it never quite fit right, the exhaust had that really horrible sulfur smell all of time, especially after a WOT pull. I spoke with several friends in the industry who all agreed that this was caused by low-dollar catalyst wash coats that are shy on nickel content. I ordered it new from Ebay so maybe it was a batch of seconds that someone was liquidating, I'll never know for sure. I hated to pull it because it was a really nicely constructed stainless piece, but the sulfur smell was way worse than raw HC, CO, and NOx smell. That's when I put the off-road H back on.
  • BBK offers some choices in H and X configurations, but they seem kind of pricey for aluminized pipes. Have you guys had good luck with their cats?
  • Bassani is another option and they are available in stainless. My biggest concern is whether or not they'll have the same bad sulfur small as the Magnalfows, especially since they're in the $650+ range. It would really be upsetting to lay out that kind of money for a premium brand and then have the farty exhaust smell again.
  • Another option is to drop my off-road H and weld in some small bullet cats. This would be with the hope that at idle they clean up the exhaust enough to make stop lights bearable, and during cruising or WOT runs it won't really matter. I'm not as big a fan of this option.
  • Magnaflow has some new X-pipes available for the SN95, but now they're $1000+ and I don't want to get burned by them again.
I'm not sure what it is about this car or if I'm just getting too old for nasty smelling exhaust, but my old 460 powered drag cars never bothered me as much as this one's exhaust does.

Please let me know what you think and what experiences you've had putting cats back on your cars. I'm open to and appreciative of all recommendations!e
 
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Willybill32

But at least it's tight!
Jul 16, 2019
284
114
53
Lexington, KY
Gentlemen,

I need some advice and practical experience regarding your choice of catalyst brand / supplier.

For a long time now I've been getting sick of driving my '95 with the off-road H-pipe and smelling like I've just finished mowing the lawn after a 30 minute drive. The better-half has complained about this issue for years, and I have to admit, I agree with her. I love the sound it makes without cats, even with the factory cat back, but I can't live with the fumes anymore. The problem is that I'm not sure which supplier to go with to solve this issue. This is becoming more important as my car does more street cruising and less track days now. Here are my experiences, thoughts, and questions given the limited number of choices:
  • The stock H-pipe is not going back on. It's horrible mess of bad pipe bends and four cats. Plus, it's really heavy! I have to admit thought, the stock configuration really did a good job at cleaning up the exhaust.
  • I purchased a stainless H-pipe with cats from Magnaflow approximately 10 years ago. It only lasted on my car for one summer. Besides the fact that it never quite fit right, the exhaust had that really horrible sulfur smell all of time, especially after a WOT pull. I spoke with several friends in the industry who all agreed that this was caused by low-dollar catalyst wash coats that are shy on nickel content. I ordered it new from Ebay so maybe it was a batch of seconds that someone was liquidating, I'll never know for sure. I hated to pull it because it was a really nicely constructed stainless piece, but the sulfur smell was way worse than raw HC, CO, and NOx smell. That's when I put the off-road H back on.
  • BBK offers some choices in H and X configurations, but they seem kind of pricey for aluminized pipes. Have you guys had good luck with their cats?
  • Bassani is another option and they are available in stainless. My biggest concern is whether or not they'll have the same bad sulfur small as the Magnalfows, especially since they're in the $650+ range. It would really be upsetting to lay out that kind of money for a premium brand and then have the farty exhaust smell again.
  • Another option is to drop my off-road H and weld in some small bullet cats. This would be with the hope that at idle they clean up the exhaust enough to make stop lights bearable, and during cruising or WOT runs it won't really matter. I'm not as big a fan of this option.
  • Magnaflow has some new X-pipes available for the SN95, but now they're $1000+ and I don't want to get burned by them again.
I'm not sure what it is about this car or if I'm just getting too old for nasty smelling exhaust, but my old 460 powered drag cars never bothered me as much as this one's exhaust does.

Please let me know what you think and what experiences you've had putting cats back on your cars. I'm open to and appreciative of all recommendations!
I have the Bassani catted X-pipe on my ‘86. It’s stainless, light, fits very well, and no smell. The only downside to me is that it’s louder than the stock 4-cat H-pipe.
 

Willybill32

But at least it's tight!
Jul 16, 2019
284
114
53
Lexington, KY
No. I spoke with bassani tech, and they said it wasn’t needed for their x-pipe.

regardless, not like the air pump would do much in my case. The tube connects after the cats. I deleted the air pump and the solenoids.

E002C34F-3979-4AAF-85A1-E9F0EFDB3E15.jpeg
I’d already deleted the smog pump and associated piping and valves. I bought a 5/8” stainless bolt with a long threadless shank and inserted that into the air tube.
 

Willybill32

But at least it's tight!
Jul 16, 2019
284
114
53
Lexington, KY
Do any of you guys running catalytic converters not have the smog pump system installed? It’s my understanding that it was needed to keep the factory cats from clogging. I too have been thinking about installing the Flowmaster cats in my h pipe, but my smog pump is long gone so I worried about having issues with them.
My smog pump failed years ago, and it was deleted. I’ve had no problems with the stock cats.
 

Mustang5L5

Put lubricant all over the balls
Mod Dude
Feb 18, 2001
36,524
12,477
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Massachusetts
Btw, literally installing this as we speak. Nice quality, but I can tell it’s gonna be louder than the stock 4-cat pipe.

CB277984-2F59-438C-B68E-207DEFA4DA7E.jpeg


I’ll probably end up changing my cat-back. The older I get, the quieter I want my exhaust.
 
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Willybill32

But at least it's tight!
Jul 16, 2019
284
114
53
Lexington, KY
Btw, literally installing this as we speak. Nice quality, but I can tell it’s gonna be louder than the stock 4-cat pipe.

CB277984-2F59-438C-B68E-207DEFA4DA7E.jpeg


I’ll probably end up changing my cat-back. The older I get, the quieter I want my exhaust.
Mike, I can guarantee it will be louder. My '86 wasn't too bad with the stock H-pipe and Flowmaster American Thunder cat-back, but the loudness level went up when I installed the same setup as you're doing now. I will attack this two ways: sound deadening under the carpet; and probably a quieter cat-back setup.
 

Mustang5L5

Put lubricant all over the balls
Mod Dude
Feb 18, 2001
36,524
12,477
224
Massachusetts
Mike, I can guarantee it will be louder. My '86 wasn't too bad with the stock H-pipe and Flowmaster American Thunder cat-back, but the loudness level went up when I installed the same setup as you're doing now. I will attack this two ways: sound deadening under the carpet; and probably a quieter cat-back setup.

I’m almost positive I’ll be going with a new cat-back. I’d like to try something different than the 2-chamber flows, and I’d really like to quiet the setup down.

only hesitation is the Panhard bar. It fits my current cat back.
 
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bwest

Member
Oct 25, 2005
17
2
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OP - buy cats and install. I did the same thing this past weekend into my prochamber.

Which cats? You get what you pay for b/c of the cost of the metals in the honeycomb. 49 state cats aren't worth the cost of the cardbord box they ship in and will be useless in 1yr. I went with Walker CARB EO replacements, they are more expensive because they pass CA's aftermarket standard...but that also means they actually work (have more fancy metals in them). If you get a modern 3-way, it will store enough O2 so you don't need the air injection pump (if you do pump air into them, they will burn up). I picked up a pair that cross reference to a jeep (a single is rated for up to 5.2L of engine displacement) and they are about the size of a soda can.

Picking the right aftermarket cat isn't tough, just have to read the specs to make sure you're buying something worth using. Unless you like buying things over and over again.
 

WhiteCobra95

5 Year Member
May 2, 2006
399
66
49
Gentlemen,

Thank you very much for all of your suggestions and input. I appreciate it! With the way prices are skyrocketing now, I really value your suggestions especially before I shell out more cash on another attempt to clean up my exhaust.

I ended up going with the Bassani X-pipe with cats. The pictures that @Mustang5L5 posted were just too good, that looks like a really nice quality part. Even though I prefer the sound of an H-pipe, I wanted to go stainless from the beginning for long term durability. This will be my first X-pipe adventure on a personal car.

This is not an easy part to find anymore! Of the few places that carried them back in the day, most have either dropped the Bassani line or have gone out of business. The last time I checked LMR had these for around $560. I called Bassani and they want $730 now! I found one shop online that had them listed for $599 and also had a $40 coupon, so I went with it. Two days after submitting the online purchase I got an email about the price bump. They offered to ship it out for $660 instead of the original $560 I had purchased it for. Not bad considering the new price point and the fact that these are not easy to come by anymore, but it still kind sours the deal a bit. I guess I should just be happy that I can even find one for a black sheep ‘95 mustang.

I’ll try to post some pictures when it arrives, and I will definitely provide some final feedback on how well it resolves the exhaust smell issues. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to ditch my BBK shorties since they don’t work with stock collector location mid-pipes. (Not a big deal because the ceramic coating is already pitting after 16 years and 10k miles of summer only street and track driving.) I’m going to start looking for a good price on JBA shorties, they seem to get good reviews for quality and use the factory collector locations.

Take care and thanks again!
 
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Willybill32

But at least it's tight!
Jul 16, 2019
284
114
53
Lexington, KY
Gentlemen,

Thank you very much for all of your suggestions and input. I appreciate it! With the way prices are skyrocketing now, I really value your suggestions especially before I shell out more cash on another attempt to clean up my exhaust.

I ended up going with the Bassani X-pipe with cats. The pictures that @Mustang5L5 posted were just too good, that looks like a really nice quality part. Even though I prefer the sound of an H-pipe, I wanted to go stainless from the beginning for long term durability. This will be my first X-pipe adventure on a personal car.

This is not an easy part to find anymore! Of the few places that carried them back in the day, most have either dropped the Bassani line or have gone out of business. The last time I checked LMR had these for around $560. I called Bassani and they want $730 now! I found one shop online that had them listed for $599 and also had a $40 coupon, so I went with it. Two days after submitting the online purchase I got an email about the price bump. They offered to ship it out for $660 instead of the original $560 I had purchased it for. Not bad considering the new price point and the fact that these are not easy to come by anymore, but it still kind sours the deal a bit. I guess I should just be happy that I can even find one for a black sheep ‘95 mustang.

I’ll try to post some pictures when it arrives, and I will definitely provide some final feedback on how well it resolves the exhaust smell issues. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to ditch my BBK shorties since they don’t work with stock collector location mid-pipes. (Not a big deal because the ceramic coating is already pitting after 16 years and 10k miles of summer only street and track driving.) I’m going to start looking for a good price on JBA shorties, they seem to get good reviews for quality and use the factory collector locations.

Take care and thanks again!
I bought the Bassani SS catted X-pipe to replace the stock H-pipe on my '86. It's definitely a quality piece, installation was easy and it fit well. If anything, it's a bit noisier than the H-pipe, and like Mustang5L5, I'm looking to quiet my exhaust system down a bit.