Gibson 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. I'm not a fan of really loud exhaust, however, and I've discovered that Gibson produces one of the more quiet mufflers on the market. The Gibson system is not one of the more popular systems out there for the 'Stang so I didn't find much information available for it; based on my previous good experience with them, however, I decided to give them a try. I started shopping for the aluminized steel version (part#319001) and found my best price at Speedycarparts.com. Their site is clean, easy to navigate, and the ordering process was simple; the site stated that the product was in stock. I placed the order online and paid via credit card--$308.95 and free shipping.
SERVICE. Absolutely miserable. Things started out well enough; I received a confirmation email and was promised that I'd receive a shipping tracking number in a couple of days. After a week I'd heard nothing so I used their customer service chat line to inquire. The service rep promised a tracking number within 24 hours. 48 hours later there was no response so I dialed then up and spoke to a live customer service rep who told me that the order was a "special order" and would be sent from the factory (what happened to "in stock"?). I received a UPS tracking number the next day but when I checked on it it showed that the item had been delivered in another state two years earlier! Back to the customer service line to talk to another confused rep who promised me a fresh tracking number within the day. You guessed it--no response. I finally contacted UPS service who was able to provide me with tracking information. The exhaust arrived at my door five days later, a total of twelve days after placing the order. That's pretty sorry by anyone's standard, and their customer service reps were just about worthless.
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. Mixed. The large chrome tips look great. The exhaust sounds great at idle, and it has a nice, throaty growl on acceleration. The sound is not obnoxious, but is significantly louder that the stockers. The negative aspect is that this system does indeed exhibit the infamous "drone" at 1500-2000 RPM. If there's any benefit to performance I can't detect it. 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 Gibson system (with the car and mic in the same positions) can be found here: Gibson Exhaust.
WORTH THE MONEY? Not for me. I'm too old to enjoy the noise. The stockers are already back in place and the Gibson mufflers sold to a happy new owner!