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Old 09-08-2018, 03:02 PM   #1
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SOUL Performance Exhaust (Muffler) Bypass Valve

Hey y'all: A bit of a product review here, for any who are interested.

There was a thread recently started by SOUL Performance, advertising their Muffler Bypass Conversion valves. I commented in that thread that I liked the look, and was impressed with their innovation. This eventually led to me purchasing a set.
DISCLAIMER: It should be clear that my conversations with SOUL about this turned to my willingness to write an honest review of the product, in exchange for a discount of the product. Let's be super-clear here: it's not as though these were free. I still paid well North of what TWO Beluga mufflers with shipping would cost you, haha. Because I was genuinely impressed, and intrigued.

So here's my honest review. I'll continue this a little later. You'll understand why as you get to the end of this.

First things first:
I asked Mike to send me the installation instructions in advance, while I was waiting on the valves to arrive. Here are the instructions.
I read through them and it all made good sense. I'll make a couple of suggestions to them as to some minor clarifications they could make in the instructions to make them more clear. for instance, I noticed that there were no instructions for installing the actual valves, only the controller. This is fine for someone who turns a lot of wrenches. But for someone approaching this with trepidation, they could be put more at ease if there were a couple of steps for the valve-installation that made them feel confident they can do this. Those who do a lot of DIY will have no problem, but this should be an easy enough installation for even an adventurous first-timer, with just a few notes.

When the box arrived, it was so well-packed, there was no rattling, bumping inside, whatever. Once I opened it up, I realized why: they put everything in the box and then packed it with expandable foam packaging product. VERY nice. Honestly: When I'm buying a "premium product", I sort of expect it'll show up packaged nicely; this did not disappoint. Upon removing the first layer of foam I saw the valves themselves: they are exhaust porn. Really, cool stuff. They look ceramic-coated, but are not. I imagine that's because they're relying on the heat to help the function (more on that later). There was a box within with the smaller bits, and when I opened it up, it furthered the sense of "premium product". see the photos below. (Anyone who packages a small microfiber towel to clean my handprints off the car when I'm done, clearly understands marketing to "Porsche-Philes". haha)



I need to mention here that when the valves arrived, my car was disassembled for a new clutch, etc etc. I was waiting on a number of parts, and because of this, I did not install right away. I DID however, show everyone who'd look at them. I even took them to the office to show people there, who had no idea what they were looking at, haha. Another important note: I had previously installed a Beluga exhaust and Circuit-werks cat-delete mid-pipes. I sent the Beluga back for warranty (different thread). I decided that what I wanted to do was re-install the Porsche muffler (in spite of the added weight) and then combine with these valves. My hope was to get the "best of both worlds" that way; Quiet when I wanted quiet, and Nasty when I wanted Nasty.

It's quite obvious to most of us how this goes in. I've added a photo so anyone unfamiliar with their exhaust system can see the parts they replace. It's a very straightforward installation. I used a little white-lithium grease on the outside of the mid-pipes, so I could slide the large clamp all the way up the collar. This allowed me to install the valves into the muffler, then mate up to the mid-pipe, slide the clamp back down and tighten. Very simple.




Once I installed the valve, even before I installed the controls, I fired the car up... I couldn't wait to hear how they sounded. I wasn't terribly happy; they both leaked.
The Left-side is much worse then the right side, and it sounds like a "blat-blat-blat-blat". This wasn't what I was hoping for, at all. There are threaded-rods on the top, running from the vacuum-operate canister to the butterfly-valve pivot. I was hopeful that this was a mere adjustment that needed to happen. This was Labor day, and I was pretty sure I'd be waiting til Tuesday to talk with someone. But I posted on SOUL Performance's facebook page, and to my great surprise, John called me right away! John told me that this leaking was normal for the first 1000 miles, or so. The heat-cycles and mild carbon build-up serve to seat the valve, so that it seals better. I've only done about 150 miles since then, but I've noticed a couple of things: 1) when they're warm, they seal better. 2) Even cold, it's definitely improving.

So how about when they're open? Yeah...NASTY. Exactly as you'd expect. Remember that I don't have the 2nd-cat on my car, so when those valves open, it's a deep Baso-Profundo.... I'm not sure if it drones at freeway speeds or not, because I can't hear any drone over the exhaust noise....
I've been around race-cars & motorcycles all my life: this fits just fine, haha. BUT: if you're not looking for a race-car sound.... then this may not be for you.

As I mentioned above: I was hoping for the best of both worlds, using the Porsche Muffler and the SOUL Performance bypass valves. But I do, actually, miss the "pretty" / exotic sound of the Beluga muffler. I find that my personal tastes have ZERO interest in the quiet, muffled, restrictive, heavy Porsche muffler. There is NO time at which I think i want my car to be that quiet. Yet the bypass is simply too loud for neighborhood driving. So assuming the valves continue to seat-in, and eventually seal correctly, I suspect I'll pair them with the Beluga (and hope I don't have another failure like the first, which seem to be common with the Beluga).

In the meantime: there's something quite fun about having somebody in another Porsche pull-up next to me at a light, and quietly give me that "I'm a man of sophisticated tastes too" nod.... and answer him by bumping the key-fob button to bypass the muffler. Yeah: Sophistication ain't my thing. Haha.

I'll update in a couple of weeks, when we see how these valves settle-in.
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Old 09-08-2018, 03:11 PM   #2
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I embedded photos from a shared google drive.... I guess it doesn't like them.
See these photos.





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Old 09-08-2018, 06:47 PM   #3
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If I may ask were did you tap into to get vacuum for the controller ?
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Old 09-08-2018, 07:26 PM   #4
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If I may ask were did you tap into to get vacuum for the controller ?
If you take a look at the instructions linked in my post, you'll note that they (SOUL) suggest a vacuum line running under the throttle body. I T'd there, as instructed. It works great.

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Old 09-09-2018, 01:12 PM   #5
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Gnarly ...Yep that's how it sounds. My car has NPH Headers with 200 cell primary cats and secondary cat deletes. This thing is friggin LOUD, with the valves open.I like it loud .If its too LOUD your to old. Thanks Soul
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Old 09-09-2018, 02:07 PM   #6
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Post some sound vids guys!
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Old 09-10-2018, 01:21 PM   #7
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Video at https://youtu.be/IF_6VjsyI68 Rpm under 4k. New motor with less than 200 miles.
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Old 09-10-2018, 08:03 PM   #8
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Post some sound vids guys!
https://youtu.be/35MTP0f8PJk

https://youtu.be/pPAGhoKkurk

https://youtu.be/EcZ7GZmyv2s


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Old 09-11-2018, 03:49 PM   #9
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Definitely pretty aggressive with the cat deletes! I had the beluga with cat deletes and took it off because it was a little too loud for me. If you're saying this is louder yet again it sounds like it might be a little much for me.
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Old 09-11-2018, 03:54 PM   #10
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Definitely pretty aggressive with the cat deletes! I had the beluga with cat deletes and took it off because it was a little too loud for me. If you're saying this is louder yet again it sounds like it might be a little much for me.
Definitely louder than the beluga. Definitely. And lower.... deeper..... hard to realize you're at 7k rpm cuz the pitch is so low.

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Old 09-11-2018, 10:18 PM   #11
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Sounds nice!

Soul has done a great job, but almost $1k is a bit rich for me. Looks like I can do the same thing for about $100 and 5-10 minutes of welding. I really wasn't looking for a new project, but this one is going on the list!
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Old 09-12-2018, 01:08 AM   #12
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Sounds nice!

Soul has done a great job, but almost $1k is a bit rich for me. Looks like I can do the same thing for about $100 and 5-10 minutes of welding. I really wasn't looking for a new project, but this one is going on the list!
The by-pass can surely be done on the cheap, but it's the "open or close on the fly" that I couldn't do easily myself. And for me, that's essential when I'm that loud, haha.

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Old 09-12-2018, 01:22 AM   #13
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The valves I referenced come with a remote, like these...vacuum or electric valves.




The kit from soul is nice looking, just way overpriced, IMO.
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Old 09-12-2018, 10:59 AM   #14
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Hey y'all: A bit of a product review here, for any who are interested.
Thank you so much for the reviews and content! Glad to be a member of the community and try to take care of everyone!
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Old 09-12-2018, 11:05 AM   #15
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The kit from soul is nice looking, just way overpriced, IMO.
This comment inevitably shows up with most products - and it's understood. It's one thing to cobble something together from cheap parts - but another to build a company, source reliable valves that start in valves closed mode, back them with a lifetime warranty, buy dozens of OEM Porsche pipes, pay a team of people to design, build in house, and back the product, do the testing, incorporate forum discounts and wholesale structure, get professional media of the product, and have enough left over to design more components. We try to take advantage of no one, but help everyone as best we can!
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:09 PM   #16
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This comment inevitably shows up with most products - and it's understood. It's one thing to cobble something together from cheap parts - but another to build a company, source reliable valves that start in valves closed mode, back them with a lifetime warranty, buy dozens of OEM Porsche pipes, pay a team of people to design, build in house, and back the product, do the testing, incorporate forum discounts and wholesale structure, get professional media of the product, and have enough left over to design more components. We try to take advantage of no one, but help everyone as best we can!
"Cobble something together from cheap parts"? Valves and exhaust pipes are not expensive.
That type of snide comment does not help you.
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:55 PM   #17
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"Cobble something together from cheap parts"? Valves and exhaust pipes are not expensive.
That type of snide comment does not help you.
I can see that I came off a bit brash, my apologies. Wasn't trying to be snide or judgmental towards any individual - and given your experience I'm sure you can produce something decent - rather being entrenched in the exhaust business you see a lot of issues (existing and potential) out there. There are a lot of available off the shelf valve options that have a tendency to fail. Realistically, it happens to all - even the highest quality Helical valves used by Porsche on the GT3 and other OEM's as it's an item that sees a lot of abuse. Someone could also go to a local exhaust shop and have something built up that doesn't have the welds back purged, rough MIG welds. For $100 you could cook something up and it doesn't matter much if it fails down the line as no one would be judging. As a company we have to make the exhaust hold up to abuse including track use and back it with a lifetime warranty. For full transparency the valves cost us just shy of $200, the valve controller just above $60, the OEM pipes are around $45 a piece, around $20 in creating the other components, around $15 in boxing and foam packing pricing and this is before labor and SG&A comes in. Forum members also get 5% off MSRP. We're trying to meet the area where we make enough money to warrant a good product, stay in business, and be fair which is tough as a small manufacturer but nothing good is easy!
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Old 09-12-2018, 02:32 PM   #18
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You've got a business to run...I get it. Just too steep for me.
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Old 01-22-2019, 05:02 PM   #19
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It's been a few months.... time to update this saga. (If you're not going to read the post, skip to the end where I say SOUL Performance Freakin' ROCKS!!!

You'll see below, in the first post, that when I installed these the first time, I wasn't terribly thrilled. It wasn't accomplishing what I had hoped, primarily because they leaked. I was very impressed with their customer-service though: even calling me on Labor-day weekend to discuss the issue I was having, and set my mind at ease.

Ultimately, they ewre half-right. By that, I mean that the right-side quit leaking within a few hundred miles, but the left-side never did. So I took them off, thinking I'd get back to them a little later.

That happened to be 10 days ago. I went out and tried to adjust the stops on the leaking valve, hoping to get it to seal better. I learned two things: I wasn't going to fix them in my shop, and these things are built REALLY, really well. So I sent them a friendly fb message, and asked them to get ahold of me in the coming week. they called me that day! Yeah... these guys are seriously CRUSHING it in the Customer Service department.

I explained to them that the one side still was leaking. Once John heard that it was leaking bad enough that I could HEAR it.... he'd heard enough, and said he'd have his guys reach me on Monday or Tuesday.
Monday I got a message that a new left-side valve was on a truck, on its way to me. !!!!!

I got it installed this evening.... no leaks.... sounds BAD-A$$!!!

I'll post up some sound and video later, when I get a reprieve form the snow around here. But seriously, guys: Any company that stands behind their products as QUICKLY and completely as they have for me, I'm a customer for life.
To agree with PW, below: yes, they're more expensive than what I might build on my own..... but frankly: Worth EVERY RED CENT.
I didn't have an Exhaust Guy before.... but I do now. :-)

Thanks, John & the Gang at SOUL Performance!
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