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Old 08-16-2021, 06:12 PM   #1
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Another exhaust discussion

I know exhausts have been covered a lot but I just wanted to share a few things I found while tinkering and experimenting with different setups. My car is a 2003 Boxster s, 126k miles, with a homemade cold air intake and a 74mm TB.

The first setup: Bone stock
Not much to say, sounds like a hair drier. My car was in pretty rough shape when I picked it up. The muffler was rusting so I decided to replace it.

Setup number two: circuit werks v2 muffler (xpipe) and secondary Cat delete pipes (no resonators)
Itís hard to gauge the performance gain from this as I had just replaced a completely fried clutch and flywheel, and motor and trans mounts. But the car felt incredible, and sounded equally good. It had a nice deep tone, and sounded sporty. There was a little bit of drone, but not too bad.

Setup three: (catless) circuit werks muffler, top speed headers, secondary delete
Did not really notice any performance gain, which was disappointing after three broken header bolts. I decided on the catless headers after many p0420 and p0430 codes, and would rather spend $200 instead of nearly $800 for oem manifolds. The sound however had noticeably changed. At about 3k it would get raspy and quite aggressive (and extremely loud). The child in me enjoyed hearing it echo with each downshift. Drone had actually DECREASED, which baffled me, but volume had increased especially at wot. Couldnít stand the smell so I decided to change it up. I ran the bigger throttle body and redid the intake system with this setup. Felt a massive gain by removing the air box for my k&n orion.

Setup 4: Catless with my oem muffler.
This is where I find things get interesting. My car felt alive, and responsive, and extremely rev happy. It would hook up immediately off the line, and Iíve never had it throw me back into my seat this hard before. It was an absolute thrill to drive. But the sound, was like a raspy exhaust with nails in a tin can being shaken around while being smothered by a pillow. It sounded awful, but I almost didnít even care because of the performance gain. I started to get curious about the fister exhaust, because I loved the zero drone and the performance, but wanted to step it up a notch.

Setup 5: Too speed headers, 200 cell secondary pipes (circuit werks), modified oem muffler.
I thought some more back pressure would help keep that low end grunt that the oem muffler brought, so I got circuit werks 200 cell secondary pipes. For the price Iím extremely impressed with the craftsmanship, even though I still get cat efficiency codes. O2 spacers went right back on. In the meantime I hacked my old rusting muffler to see how it sounded. I used 1.5 inch pipe for the bypass. The sound was perfect (a little too loud) but had that aggressive classic porsche sound Iíve been craving. Unfortunately the hack job on the muffler was not executed perfectly, since the muffler was rusting and I just wanted to see how it sounded before investing into making a nice one. My bypass pipes were hitting the bumper so it was only on for about two hours. In addition to that it felt like the car had absolutely no low end.

Setup 6: top speed headers, 200 cell secondary pipes, circuit werks muffler.
While it doesnít have that low end grunt I had from the oem muffler, the car was running buttery smooth. However I noticed even with the top down, this thing has a lot of drone. So much that I feel my gas pedal vibrating. I drove with the top up for the first time today and itís absolutely unbearable. I canít even hear myself think. Top down itís still pronounced but you get a very deep and smooth rumble from the rear. I actually really like the way it sounds, but the drone is really bad and I hate the sound it, and other aftermarket mufflers seem to make on deceleration. It almost sounds like a vacuum cleaner. Like a weird sucking noise. Performance wise with this setup, itís got good punch mid range and beyond. Really starts pulling hard 5k and beyond. Iím planning on getting another oem muffler to either keep stock or do a proper fister type modification.

Exhausts are like opinions. Everyone has them. I hope my experience doing some plug and play has provided at least something useful to someone possibly considering a new exhaust or trying new setups. My best advice can be just try until you find something youíre happy with. Meanwhile Iíll be trying to get the sound of my modified oem muffler out of my headÖ.

I also have a question: The 2.7 mufflers are a lot cheaper than the s mufflers, is there any REAL difference between the two? Especially if Iím just going to hack it up againÖ.
I donít think Iíd mind the oval tip, but with the way I am, that could change in about 20 minutes

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Old 08-17-2021, 04:20 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by ecp View Post
I also have a question: The 2.7 mufflers are a lot cheaper than the s mufflers, is there any REAL difference between the two? Especially if Iím just going to hack it up againÖ.
I donít think Iíd mind the oval tip, but with the way I am, that could change in about 20 minutes
I cannot comment on your options as mine when I got it had the Pedro mod.

Anyway, starting 2003 mufflers were the same for 2.7 and 3.2. The only difference was the tip that is removable via a screw.
Previous years (from 2.7, not 2.5) will fit as well. Yet, the tip is slightly different.

Some claim 2003s have a different tone... I cannot say for sure, though...
Current rides: 2003 Porsche Boxster MT (me), 2019 Bolt LT (me), 2015 Audi Q5 (wife), 2008 VW Rabbit (2.5 inline 5, MT, well, for kid... but you now, it is the 5 straight)

Previous: 2014 Fiat 500e, 2016 KIA Forte5 SX, 2016 Fiat 500X, and some old days: Trabant, Fiat 126p...
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Old 08-17-2021, 06:24 AM   #3
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Nice write up and great information! I’ve had the TopSpeed muffler and their cat delete pipes for around 7 or 8 years now. I still like them except for a tiny bit of drone in 3rd gear on 35mph roads. I’ll usually downshift to 2nd to bring the revs back up but I still kick around sending my OEM muffler to Fister. Really, I just need to do it.

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aftermarket , circuit werks , exhaust , mods

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