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Quietest exhaust for wagon?


GearJamr

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So I've been looking at a lot of catbacks for my 05 gt wagon. I had placed an order for an HKS, but with consistent delayed shipment dates, I cancelled that order. I am looking at the following list, and am wondering what the consensus is on most quiet for aftermarket cbes.

 

HKS Silent Hi-Power

Nameless with 5" mufflers

Invidia Q300

Magnaflow

Borla

SPT

 

I may be missing others. These are the most readily available, if multiple month wait times can be considered "readily available".

 

Thanks for shedding any light you can. At least HKS published the dB rating on their site.....

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I was in the exact same boat, and not being able to find anyone local to me with different exhausts, I spend too many hours reading about different cat backs and noise levels, searching for the quietest system.

 

Based entirely on other peoples opinions, seems like Borla was constantly ranked either the quietest or amongst the quietest. Given availability and appearance (I did not like the quad tip look of the Q300 personally...) I went with that. Still in a box in my spare room tho, waiting for me to have time to go pick up my DP and have an afternoon to replace the whole shebang. If you're not trying to install shortly, I will give you a review when I get around to installing.

 

Re:RWebb - Not trying to put words in the OPs mouth, but living in Ontario (Ottawa in his case, Niagara in mine) the only reason I am replacing everything cat back is because the original exhaust, flanges, hangers bolts, etc..... have become one piece of rust in the general shape of a muffler system. Life in Canada. I did a rough price out, and even if I were to buy all the parts needed to rebuilt the stock exhaust on my own time, it would represent a meaningful chunk of the cost of an aftermarket (materials, gas, wire, time....) But, that's just my situation.....

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Yes, my entire exhaust from turbo back is highly corroded. My left muffler broke at the y-pipe. Since I am in for a new turbo-back anyway, might as well upgrade. That said, there are options around to not piss off my entire neighbourhood. I'm looking for the quietest catback available. Unfortunately, my timeline is severely reduced with winter right around the corner.

 

KZJonny, are you in the Ontario Legacy Owners group on FB? I've listened to a bunch of exhaust clips and to me the Borla was one of the loudest. That said, there are many factors in taking/editing a video that could skew the perception of sound volume....do you have the Borla S-line or another? Most sites I have been on have a Borla listed so I imagine they are easier to get right now....

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https://legacygt.com/forums/showthread.php/suggestions-quiet-cat-back-exhausti-261334.html

 

There are plenty of discussions like this all over LGT.com, I just read as many as I had the patience for, and pulled the trigger on that was available/looked kinda nice to me, which means stock(ish) single tips, supposedly wasn't too loud, and also wasn't completely outside my budget. The nameless system looks good, and with the 5" cans would probably be quiet, but for what I paid for mine, if it is too loud, I could still afford to weld in a high flow 3rd muffler to bring down noise, and still end up ahead on cost over that, or HKS etc... (I don't work for, or promote for Borla!) Just that between cross border shipping and exchange, anything that wasn't stocked by a Canadian supplier was at least hundreds of dollars mowre.

 

I did order the Borla S-type, I don't believe the make a touring version for the Legacy. I also think the wagon specific system is NLA, but the sedan version fits, and you don't want your tips to stand rice-boy proud of the bumper, is supposed to look very stock. I am also doing the full exhaust system, +JMP Custom VF40 + Cobb AP. I want it to be as quiet as possible, but it is not my DD, and is almost certain to end up a little louder than stock. If I could find a used stock system, I repair mine, but I think most of the ones that came to Ontario are in the same shape as your and mine 15++ years on....

 

Probably lots of good info on the Ontario Subaru Owners group on FB, as well as the Toronto Subaru Club, which I used to use a lot while it was still website-based. I *really* hate the interface of facebook, and slowly moved away from it, to the point where I just can't do it at all anymore.... So yeah, I lose out on all that info, ah well.

 

Maybe possible to find a complete stock system out of Japan on one of the many importation sites? Given the delay on production and shipping of aftermarket parts these days, it might even get to you faster.... Mine must have been made to order, and did take a while, but the production date stamped on the box was like a week or so after I placed the order... (Or maybe turbo placement on RHD cars doesn't allow for that? I never looked into it...)

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The Legacy Owners group is pretty much 95% messenger based, so you can avoid FB for the most part. Anyway, I get the desire to avoid FB. :)

 

I have found a couple listings for Borla and Magnaflow on ebay, but ebay is sketchy to me. I think I'm mostly interested in Fujitsubo, AVO or HKS. I think my plan will have to change to order the one I want, and for now toss on some cheap mufflers/y-pipe/mid-pipe until I can get an actual catback system. I don't want to have to buy gaskets over and over, but looks like it will have to be that way.

 

I'm pretty sold on the Japanese makers as they have pretty strict sound restrictions there, and with the "war on cars" Ontario seems to have, I'd rather go that route. I have checked with a couple places on availability of the HKS and Fujitsubo systems. Fingers crossed.

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I've run the following exhausts, all on an Invidia catted downpipe and various mid-pipes.

 

From loudest to quietest in my experience.

 

Nameless with 5" mufflers

The loudest of the group, has a nice unique sound under heavy acceleration. Also really known for bad drone, especially with wagons

Not a fan of how they stuck out on my USDM rear bumper

 

HKS Silent Hi-Power

Nice mellow tone, fairly loud, some drone on hwy

Perfect fit with JDM rear bumper

 

HKS ES Premium

Pretty similar to the Silent Hi-Power with smaller tips

Excellent fit with JDM rear bumper

 

Ganador Titan (Titanium)

My favorite of the group so far. Silly light, maybe 6-7lbs per muffler.

The sound under heavy acceleration is heavenly, just raw bliss.

Wish they were a little quieter around 2-3k RPM

Excellent fit with JDM rear bumper

 

Stromung

Amazing sound, good volume level, resonated quad tips.

Only 10 were made, so they are very hard to find.

Ran them for a few years, but ultimately, I like the larger dual tips over the quad tips on my wagon.

 

Prova Fujitsubo

The quietest other than stock, good mellow sound, nothing earth shattering.

Not a personal fan of the oval tips, sticks out a bit on a JDM bumper

Would be very hard to tell it wasn't stock with USDM/NA bumpers

 

Stock

What can I say, good for sleeper mode, I drive by sound, there isn't enough of it with these.

 

I currently have the Ganador Titan and Fujitsubo Prova.

I'm going to get a set of STi Genome and decide which I'm going to keep, most likely the Titan or Genome.

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Thanks Infosecdad. That is really helpful. I was close to going with Nameless but read numerous "reviews" and posts that said it was pretty loud. I liked the sound clips I saw but the drone issue and sheer loudness made me look elsewhere.

 

I think I'm going to order a Fujitsubo Legalis R Evolution - seems barely louder than stock at idle and cruise but gives a little more when the throttle opens up. Pretty much exactly what I'm looking for from my catback. The AVO seem like a decent option as well, and they have adjustable tips. Good to know the HKS aren't as silent as they proclaim.

 

I'd be willing to bet that if someone has a Stromung, they aren't getting rid of it.

 

I have not heard of the Ganador before. I'm running USDM bumpers so the Fujitsubo seems the best option. One online shop said it would be special order and about 4 months to get. So looks like I'll be getting some super cheap stock replacements to throw on until I can get my hands on a full Fujitsubo catback.

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I have the Borla system on my GT wagon and have a love/hate relationship.

It’s loud by anyone’s standard, but a pretty deep burble that’s different from the usual boxer exhaust, an aspect I like a lot.

Highway drone around 3,000 is pronounced. Keep meaning to try dynamatting or a bigger middie resonator.

Tip fit with JDM bumper is great.

The ‘Y’ splitter going to the mufflers is terrible - straight runs with 90-degree bends. It’s not that it doesn’t flow, it’s that it hangs down below the body rather than tucking up into the irregular spaces available. I added a hitch for mtn bike rack which now hides this, but was totally annoyed when I first installed it.

Finally, quality materials and construction. Looks as good as the day installed.

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Well, learning new things every day.

Sounds like I will indeed be putting a larger resonator or third muffler into the Borla system. Just when I though I'd done my research enough.

 

If you're willing to share how much you end up paying for the Fujitsubo system landed and delivered, that would be great information. I didn't look too hard, since everywhere I did seemed to put it at around $1800-2000 CAD, and the Borla was like $1100 delivered. (As mentioned before, I figured that left *lots* of room in the budget to install something to reduce noise if needed.) And, if I was more willing to spend that kind of money, I would probably have just gone with a new stock catback, since they are the quietest by most peoples reckoning and still probably not a flow restriction with my power goals.

 

At the rate that I am going, I don't see pulling the car apart until the Spring, but we shall see. Perhaps if I can get a nice enough Autumn weekend I'll try to do the suspension, UP, DP and catback. Seems do-able on a weekend if nothing fights too hard. If so, I'll see about getting a video/sound capture. Best thing I have at the moment is an iPhone, which is garbage, but I'll ask around to see if anyone I know has a camera with a halfway decent mic.

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Montreal isn't that far from Ottawa? That's a long time to sit under a deck, but perhaps it's salvageable? Might be the better choice than buying a bunch of throw away pipes etc...

 

https://legacygt.com/forums/showthread.php/finsta-needs-clean-up-sale-montreal-qc-286729.html

 

Stock Legacy GT Catback

Been sitting under my deck for three years, $70

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Well, learning new things every day.

Sounds like I will indeed be putting a larger resonator or third muffler into the Borla system. Just when I though I'd done my research enough.

 

If you're willing to share how much you end up paying for the Fujitsubo system landed and delivered, that would be great information. I didn't look too hard, since everywhere I did seemed to put it at around $1800-2000 CAD, and the Borla was like $1100 delivered. (As mentioned before, I figured that left *lots* of room in the budget to install something to reduce noise if needed.) And, if I was more willing to spend that kind of money, I would probably have just gone with a new stock catback, since they are the quietest by most peoples reckoning and still probably not a flow restriction with my power goals.

 

At the rate that I am going, I don't see pulling the car apart until the Spring, but we shall see. Perhaps if I can get a nice enough Autumn weekend I'll try to do the suspension, UP, DP and catback. Seems do-able on a weekend if nothing fights too hard. If so, I'll see about getting a video/sound capture. Best thing I have at the moment is an iPhone, which is garbage, but I'll ask around to see if anyone I know has a camera with a halfway decent mic.

 

Yeah, the prices I saw for the Fujitsubo are around $1600 US. Would assume shipping is on top of that since, you know, Canada. Plus taxes and duty and import fees, will probably hit around $2500 once all is said and done.

 

It is just ever so slightly louder than stock, and once you get on it it opens up to a crescendo. Just what I want since I'm not 20 anymore.

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I have the Borla catback with an Invidia downpipe. It isn't obnoxious, but with a harder manual trans mount, I get more exhaust noise in the cabin than I would like at 70 MPH on the freeway at 3000 RPM. With a stock downpipe the Borla is rather quiet. It doesn't fit the wagon bumper real well as it sits recessed into the notches in the bumper for pipes. Here's my video on a dyno.

 

 

Fitment is fine on this car, but as another commenter mentioned, it does hang down rather low for some reason, so it looks a smidge goofy.

 

If you're super paranoid about noise then get a custom-built exhaust from an exhaust shop with mufflers of your choice. Also, if you 6-speed swap the car, the RPMs at 70 are just low enough that you won't need to raise your voice to talk to a passenger unless your tires are super loud or the climate is blasting or something like that. I think gearing is what really screws ya on the noise factor for the Borla more than anything.

 

Oh, it's also worth mentioning that my car is the only one that I've ever seen PREracing's tuner tune without hearing protection, FWIW. I no longer go there, but the tuner and sales/service advisors both commented on how nice it was to have a Subaru come in for tuning that didn't require an ear to be plugged while answering phones as the dyno has a typically open garage door right next to the phones.

Edited by Pleides
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I don't really care for the setup of the Borla and how it tends to hang low. I'm currently looking into a Fujitsubo Wagolis axleback paired to an HKS center/y-pipe.

 

I have patched my current exhaust for now, so hopefully this will be a spring project and not a freezing-my-butt-off-in-December-emergency project.

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Well now I'm wondering if I'm going to like the Borla at all, after the various slagging it's been through here. Ha!

 

Whatever. I am sure it will sound better than the holey stock system currently on there.

 

Just kind of hope that if I need to do all kinds of cutting and welding to make it how I want, the total cost doesn't end up being in neighbourhood of just having made one from sratch from the start, or paying for the Fujistsubo.... We will see in the Spring, I assume.

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Lots of people say it sounds good. I prefer the flange connections to the slip fit with band clamp. I have read multiple places they give up a lot of ground clearance since they branch at 90 degrees to the mufflers instead of curling back up to make use of the room the stock cans are in. That might not be a problem for you if you aren't lowered.

 

The worst thing is, the more I look, the more options I am finding just clouding the decision. :(

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Can relate, about to try my 8th different one.

 

Part of the problem is that there is no consistent measurement.

"Pleasing sound" is very subjective; might sound amazing to one person, and horrid to another.

 

Sound recordings vary immensely, both in quality and volume.

 

Headers, downpipe, mid-pipe, cats, etc can all alter the sound.

 

Technically, you can measure loudness with decibels, but there is no consistent standard measurement on the outside and the inside can vary with speed, engine load, interior, sound deadening, sedan/wagon, and so on.

 

It's a game basically. I'm still hunting for my ultimate solution; not sure I'll ever find it :lol:

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I'll start with what I've got, and go from there. I'm in Ottawa every once in a while, so perhaps next year I can have listen to the Fujisubo system. Or once the Subaru meet ups are allowed to happen again around here, it will be an opportunity to listen to what other people have. (Tho LGT's seem to be relatively few and far between these days.)

 

I've never given much thought to exhaust note or sounds level in a car.... I'm fussy about the sounds on my bike, but then with nothing but a helmet separating you from it, it seems a whole lot more relatable... I've always just wanted my car to be quiet to I can listen to the radio, ha!

 

My car is currently *slightly* lowered on JDM Bilstiens and pinks. I am going to unlower it tho, so I don't think clearance will be an issue. I'll also be installing a trailer hitch for either mtn bikes or general trailering duties, so perhaps it'll all work out and look good enough...

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I'll start with what I've got, and go from there. I'm in Ottawa every once in a while, so perhaps next year I can have listen to the Fujisubo system. Or once the Subaru meet ups are allowed to happen again around here, it will be an opportunity to listen to what other people have. (Tho LGT's seem to be relatively few and far between these days.)

 

I've never given much thought to exhaust note or sounds level in a car.... I'm fussy about the sounds on my bike, but then with nothing but a helmet separating you from it, it seems a whole lot more relatable... I've always just wanted my car to be quiet to I can listen to the radio, ha!

 

My car is currently *slightly* lowered on JDM Bilstiens and pinks. I am going to unlower it tho, so I don't think clearance will be an issue. I'll also be installing a trailer hitch for either mtn bikes or general trailering duties, so perhaps it'll all work out and look good enough...

 

I scraped my Borla on a very steep hill in my wagon yesterday but I’m lowered 1.3” on H&R springs. On stock suspension I can’t imagine it’ll create a ton of clearance issues.

 

If you saw my video of my car though you’ll see that the tips don’t poke out very far. That is aesthetically a little unpleasant as is the way the mufflers bolt to the Y pipe. It hangs down quite low. If that’s alright with you, go for it. On an otherwise stock exhaust, I really don’t find it obnoxious. Put a downpipe on it and you’ll wish you had a 6th gear. It’s not as bad on the auto though, if you’re rocking two pedals.

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I've had the Borla on my LGT wagon since 2007, and I've never had any ground clearance issues, though my car is not lowered at all. I like to do some lite off-roading on unpaved forest service roads in the north Georgia mountains, and it has never scraped. Also been on road trips with 4 people in the car and 4 bikes on the hitch mounted bike rack, and no issues there either.

 

Now, I do scrape the trailer hitch once in a while, but that's another story....

 

I've never minded how the tips don't protrude out through the wagon bumper, I think it looks fine. See this thread from many years ago for some pics I had put up:

 

https://legacygt.com/forums/showthread.php/wagons-borla-cbei-145779.html

 

As for sound, as has been discussed, everyone has their own opinions. For me, when I first installed my Borla cat-back, the front part of the exhaust was all stock. It was certainly louder than the factory cat-back system, but not by much. Years later, I ran a cat-less downpipe for a short time, and that was really loud. I am currently running a Cobb catted downpipe, and I think it's pretty much the perfect loudness.

 

Inside the car, while the sound is noticeable, it's still no problem to listen to the radio or have a conversation with other people in the car. I've also never had any droning in the wagon, even at highway speeds.

 

From outside the car, it is not crazy loud, but it does get noticed. None of my neighbors have complained, but many have said how good it sounds. I've been flagged down while driving (once by 2 paramedics in an ambulance!) usually by people who have no idea what kind of car it is, and they want to know what's under the hood and what kind of exhaust it is.

 

And to me, that's what makes the Borla system different. No other exhaust that I've heard makes the same tones as it does.

 

I've always heard good things about Borla's customer service, although I've never had to contact them. See this thread as an example - it also has a pic of what it looks like if you have the tips extended:

 

https://legacygt.com/forums/showthread.php/borla-shoutout-warranty-coverage-280396.html

 

Well, just my 2 cents, FWIW. I certainly have enjoyed the Borla on my car. And no, I am not a paid spokesperson, LOL.

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Can relate, about to try my 8th different one.

 

Part of the problem is that there is no consistent measurement.

"Pleasing sound" is very subjective; might sound amazing to one person, and horrid to another.

 

Sound recordings vary immensely, both in quality and volume.

 

Headers, downpipe, mid-pipe, cats, etc can all alter the sound.

 

Technically, you can measure loudness with decibels, but there is no consistent standard measurement on the outside and the inside can vary with speed, engine load, interior, sound deadening, sedan/wagon, and so on.

 

It's a game basically. I'm still hunting for my ultimate solution; not sure I'll ever find it :lol:

 

AMEN! I've tried to listen to sound clips with a similar setup to what I will have, catless up, catted down. Not easy to find but there are some. There are so many variables with video clips it is difficult to know for sure. Decibel ratings from the manufacturer are guideline only, but if they rate multiple variants at different levels, chances are the louder ones are LOUD.

 

The other issue now is whether to get a full JDM catback or go with quietest mufflers and USDM mid/y pipe. Seems to me they are bent opposite to USDM (obviously due to the RHD) so I don't have 100% confidence in them fitting nicely.

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confused. you wanted quietest system or the least noisy of the aftermarket systems?

 

Quietest of aftermarket. Pretty lucky that the OEM exhaust lasted 16 years before disintegrating, so I'd like a modest increase in sound volume to go with the longevity of 304 stainless steel.

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