How To

Exhaust Upgrade

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by Jerry Heasley  More from Author

For Gen 5 Mustangs.

One of the most popular upgrades for Mustangs is a set of mufflers. During the All-Ford Nationals, three vendors displayed their products and installed high performance exhaust systems on Gen 5 Mustangs.

All three stayed busy Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Ford Motorsports let us follow along with the installation of a set of Motorsports mufflers on a Shelby GT convertible owned by Heverton Franceschini, originally from Brazil, who now lives in Bud Lake, New Jersey.

I wanted to know why he wanted new mufflers for his Shelby.

“I’m just looking to get a little more louder–just a little bit,” Heverton said.

Prior to Heverton’s Shelby, The Mustang Garage had just added Motorsports mufflers to Dennis Synder’s Mustang. He also was after “a little more sound.”

Of course, with the decreased back pressure comes a horsepower boost, varying with the modifications to the intake. The horsepower gain is minimal, maybe five, according to Dave Rhoads, one of the Ford Techs.

The job of installing a muffler on a Gen 5 Mustang looks fairly simple. Basically, the technician loosens the band clamps, removes four 13 mm bracket bolts, and slides the mufflers off. Then, he transfers the brackets from the old to the new mufflers for the reverse installation.

However, knowing the sequence to removing and replacing the clamps, plus “crushing” the band clamp on the intermediate pipe is critical to aligning the tailpipes.


Dennis Snyder (middle in orange shirt) counseled with the Ford Techs at the All-Ford Nationals about adding a set of Ford Motorsports mufflers to his ’07 Shelby GT500-red car on rack. From left to right, excluding Snyder, are Ford Techs Shawn Erney, Ed Levengood, Dave Rhoads and Sam Esposito. I asked Dennis why he wanted Motorsports mufflers on his 2007 Shelby GT500.

“For the sound,” he replied.

Heverton and Ellen Franceschini brought their Shelby GT to the Mustang Garage at the All-Ford Nationals this year for a set of mufflers from Ford Motorsports.

The stock mufflers hang under the car behind the rear axle.

First, Ed loosened the band clamp to the intermediate pipe with an electric impact gun.

Ed also loosened the same band clamp to the driver’s side muffler.

Next, he removed two 13 mm bolts that secure the muffler bracket at the rear of the car.

Ed reached on top of the muffler and ratcheted a pair of 13 mm bolts on another muffler bracket.

After removing the two 13 mm bolts, Ed pulled off the top bracket that we could not see on top of the muffler.

Sliding the mufflers off the intermediate pipe is a wiggling process. Ed gripped the intermediate pipe with his left hand and the tailpipe with his right hand.

The aftermarket Ford Motorsports mufflers are round and smaller than stock.

Ed transferred the factory bracket to the round Motorsports muffler.

Ed fit the muffler’s inlet pipe into the intermediate pipe.

Then, he started this bracket bolt by hand to hold up the muffler assembly. Another bolt secures this bracket from the side.

Next, start this 13 mm bolt by hand into the top bracket. (NOTE: This is the top bracket Ed removed that was obscured by the larger factory muffler.)

Then, start this 13mm bolt into the upper bracket. You can see its location in the frame rail.

Start a second 13 mm bolt into this upper bracket.

Tighten this 13mm bolt securing the upper bracket at the front of the muffler.

Tighten the lower bracket bolt under the lower valance.

Finally, tighten the upper bolt for the rear bracket.

The muffler pipe contains a keyway that fits into a pin (where Ed is pointing) in the intermediate pipe that helps align each muffler and tailpipe.

Tightening the intermediate clamp is a key to muffler and tailpipe alignment.

A close-up of the inside of the intermediate clamp reveals a metal clasp that helps align the muffler and tailpipe.

A“Crush” the metal clasp inside the intermediate clamp.

Ed crushes the intermediate clamp while Shawn keeps force on the muffler and pipe for alignment.

Pull off the protective tailpipe sock.

Shawn repeated the remove and replace steps for the drivers’ side muffler.

The driver’s side comes with an extra bolt and a little different bracket. However, the factory brackets still transfer to the Ford Racing muffler.

It’s okay to loosen and tighten the intermediate band clamp for better a muffler and tailpipe alignment.

Shawn lines up the driver’s side muffler. Adjustment is by eye.

The Ford Motorsports “Racing” mufflers resemble a factory job, when essentially they are.




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