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Gale Banks Monster Cat-back exhaust



    Being the owner of a musclecar, also I appreciate not only the sound of a finely-tuned exhaust system, but the power advantages, also. So, when the Monster recently showed signs of need a new muffler, I investigated the possibilities. There were a number of choices, which included;

1. DIY Stock replacement. Inexpensive, but since I prefer to upgrade whenever I have to repair/replace something, this wasn't really an option. Besides, I avoid DIYing exhaust due to the inevitable issues such as frozen fasteners, dirt falling in my eyes, etc.

2. Go the Midas/Meineke stock replacement route. Not necessarily bad, but had the issue of having to pay for this again in the future.

3. DIY a stainless steel cat back. Most cost-effective in the long run, but as I stated above, I hate working on old exhaust systems.

    Turns out that I decided to DIY the SS catback, so my next choice was what brand, and who to purchase from.  The choices of SS catbacks was a bit limited to Borla, Gale Banks, Magnaflow, and a couple of no-names, depending where you looked. For me, Gale Banks Engineering is a company that's NOT just about putting the biggest pipe in that'll fit, and they are known for innovation. I'm afraid I've never been particularly impressed with Borla, they seem like they're just about how much can you afford? Magnaflow's products seem well made, but I just don't like the rattly hollow tin can sound they make. And I'm sure that the no-names that one finds all over the place would probably be extremely labor intensive to install since those tend to be not well engineered. Then you have to take into consideration who to get it from. Since I hate paying sales tax to my home state, I ordered from 4 Wheel Drive Hardware. I have had some issues with them in the past, but I figured I'd give 'em another shot. And they came through. 2 days later, I had the stuff, and prepared to install, which means that I spend a couple of days pre-soaking any bolts I'll need to remove with PB Blaster. When the time came to do the deed, I found that I was not well-enough equipped to do this job. To get the system off required removal of the skidplate, and I just don't have the physical strength or the air tools to get it done. Enter Loftus' Sunoco, the shop I use in just such circumstances. After a payment of $50, they got the Banks Monster exhaust on.  I was a bit concerned about their placement of the over-axle pipe, since it comes VERY close to the passenger side rear shock. I may pop under there and tweak this a bit, but for now, there's been nothing to indicate a problem, so I'll let it go for now. 
     And the sound? For me, it reminds me of the sound a six cylinder Jaguar E-type makes. A middle-low rumble at idle, with a nice snarl in the acceleration mode. Which is to say exactly what I hoped for. When I picked up the Monster from Loftus, the owner came out to see what my reaction to the new sound was. "What d'ya think?" was met with, "That's exactly what I was looking for!"