Updated: May 27, 2015

Cat-Back System Reviews:

Looking for an upgrade to your cars exhaust system? Ever consider a 'cat-back system'? These systems replace all the exhaust parts right after the catalytic converter - hence the shortened name of cat-back system. Emission rules and standards over the years have limited just what a car owner can do to their exhaust, but this one upgrade is totally permissible. Newer cars like the Dodge Magnum, Chevy Corvette, and Ford Mustang are loaded with horsepower, but the stock exhaust systems on these cars are still limiting their overall performance. The aftermarket exhaust systems for torque hungry cars is loaded with options. Almost all promise increased power and efficiency. The real catch is the price - we found some cat back systems priced out at $1500-$2000 and that doesn't even include the labor to install them. Is it really worth the investment to put in a new cat back system? Gear heads have always tried to impress and even outdo their fellow car lovers, but this upgrade is up for discussion. Yes, you will get a car that sounds better, provides increased torque and horsepower, and even looks better with the stainless steel exhaust tips. If you can do the work yourself (see below), then it will save you quite a bit on the project.

Choosing a Cat-Back System - Any system you purchase should include piping from the catalytic converter, the muffler itself, and the piping that leads to open air. The mufflers often don't resemble a traditional muffler, they are called 'glasspacks' and their design will reduce pack pressure. Stock systems tend to have smaller diameter piping when compared to the cat back system kits. Most of the cat-back systems call for a dual exhaust system, although single cat-back exhaust systems do exist (Gibson has one). You will find some systems with 2 catalytic converter, 2 mufflers, dual pipes and components. The varieties abound and so it's up to the mechanic in all of us to determine what is best for our cars. Installing a cat-back system - Unless you are a competent mechanic, these types of upgrades to cars are best left to the pros. However, if you have the necessary equipment, know how, and parts, consider checking out the link at http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/how-to/maintenance/4270747 - it's a great story by Popular Mechanics on 'how to install a cat-back system'. Their story follows the upgrade to a 2007 Dodge SRT8 Magnum. Great read and decent photos to show you the process. In all the articles we could find, it appears that the top brands for this exhaust modification are Borla, Corsa, and Magnaflow. REVIEWS - You can check the individual kits on websites like Amazon.com which list customer reviews and comments. It's a great source for potential buyers to see what is available, find out if it will fit your car, and see what pricing is like. You can browse the best selling Cat-Back Systems here.

Best Cat-Back Systems:

RECOMMENDED - The best sellers are generally from Borla Cat-Back Systems which offer kits in all price ranges. You could plunk down $1200 for the Borla 140356 ATAK Stainless Steel Aggressive Cat-Back Exhaust System or go with the more affordable Borla 140079 Cat-Back System Exhaust. Flowmaster offers up go value kits most priced between $400 and $700. The Flowmaster 817492 Cat-Back System 409S Dual Rear/Side Exit Force II Moderate Sound Exhaust Kit is top rated and features Mandrel bent 16-gauge 409 stainless tubing. You get the hangers and hardware so installation is made easy. The unit will connect right after the catalytic converter. Several reviews mention that installation takes roughly 2 hours - that's using floor jack and jack stands (not a hoist).

Single Cat-Back Exhaust System:

RECOMMENDED - The MBRP S6206409 T409 Stainless Steel Turbo Back Single Side Exit Exhaust System is a good example of one for pickups. Again, you need to find the product that fits your car, SUV, or truck. The MBRP above was able to be installed in an hour or less because it fits so well. Gibson makes the 14408 Single Cat-Back Exhaust System and Magnaflow offers several similar kits. You will pay less for the single cat-back systems and the work to install is certainly faster than the dual models. Choose from moderate sound to aggressive.