05+ Mac Performance Axle Back Install
Written By: Glenn Moller
The stock 05+ Mustang has a great exhaust note, perhaps the best in a "stock" Mustang since the original classic Mustangs.
But if you want that extra "rumble" for a deep throaty ground thumping exhaust, you need to go aftermarket.
Mac Performance has created a great "axle-back" system for 05+ Mustangs that gives you a great sounding Mustang. One that announces "this is a performance machine".
There is also a slight seat of the pants feel at the high end of the RPM spectrum that you may have more power, but let's face it, SOUND is the first and foremost reason you look at an aftermarket muffler system. This one also "looks" good in chrome and with 4"tips. We have not dynoed the Mustang, but will in the future after a few more mods.
A muffler install on the newer Mustangs is much easier than the previous generation Mustang. For one, as the name of the kits imply, "axle back" means just that. Mufflers and pipes from the rear axle back to the rear of the Mustang (a short distance).
No more cutting the "over pipes", just unbolt your old stuff and bolt in the new. Very easy. The whole system fits in the palm of your two hands :-)
The Mac axle back is 100% polished 304 Stainless Steel ! From tip to rear. Also, the whole package is pre-welded. All you have to do is attach it to your factory pipes with the supplied clamps and you are done.
Another nice touch is the 4" rolled tips. 4 inch tips on the rear exit pipes look right on the 05+.
Not too big and a nice step up from the stock "looks". We would have thought this too large a few years back on other models, but as you will see, 4" tips look perfect on the 05+ chassis.
Mac also supplies a set of new clamps, and that's the whole kit. 2 Mufflers and 2 clamps, nice and simple.
So lets get started, first lift the rear of your Mustang. Here we are using our trusted "MW Ramps" which are still going strong for the past 5 years. if you have built yourself a set, use them. otherwise, safely jack up the rear end of your Mustang so you can begin.
You can take the box that the muffler's came in and lay them flat on the ground for extra comfort :-)
First get under there and check all the locations of the hangers and the clamps. Here you can see one of the hangers. You will be un-bolting the hangers and the clamp for each muffler.
Here is a good shot of the factory muffler clamp. Notice the notch / tab on the factory pipes over the axle near the clamp.
Another shot of a hanger location and the 2 bolts that hold it in place.
Lets start by doing one side first. Loosen the muffler clamp, the muffler clamp is attached / welded to the factory muffler pipe and will stay on the muffler itself. You need it completely loose so you can slide it off. Just loosen the bolt until it's almost out. You can push the muffler and notice it slide when it's loose.
Above are the approx locations of all the areas that you need to un-bolt / loosen. 4 smaller bolts that hold the hangers in place and the one larger one at the muffler clamp.
To get the bolts loose, just take your time and use a small wrench to access the hanger bolts that are hard to get to. Unfortunately with the stock muffler, all you can fit in there is a smaller wrench. Fortunately, that's all you need to break it loose.
Carefully loosen all the bolts, you can almost do the whole thing by "feel" once you get going on loosening the bolts.
Now drop down the stock muffler system. it will come down easy and maybe stick a little at the muffler clamp. Twist it and pull it down and to the back and it will pop off.
After the factory muffler is down DON'T TOUCH IT. First take careful note of the orientation of the hangers. You are going to transfer the hangers from the old muffler to the new Mac muffler. The new mac system is smaller, making it much easier to bolt into place.
Just slip the hangers onto the new system and also slip the new supplied muffler CLAMP over the end of the open pipe before you raise the new muffler into place.
Next lift the Mac muffler into place by FIRST sliding it on the pipe, then bolting the hangers into place. You can tighten all the muffler HANGERS at this time but keep the muffler clamp at the rear LOOSE.
Here is the muffler clamp, what you want to do is slide the new muffler so that it's right up against the notch. But no need to worry if it's not 100% against it or if you notice it slip as you tighten the clamp. Just make sure it's close. If you notice it slip down quite a bit, you may need to loosen and slide it up and hold it in place "as" you tighten.
Once the muffler is in place. Get out and look at your Mustang from the rear, compare the muffler position to the stock muffler and hang the muffler nice and flat. You may need to loosen and twist / hold the muffler as you tighten it. Just get the system as flat as you can.
The muffler clamp is the only place where you can adjust the look / hang of the system. When you are happy with the looks, then tighten the clamp down completely.
Here is a shot of the factory muffler (left )and Mac muffler (right). As you can see, it looks great!
Here is the system completely installed. Once you get under the rear and look at the bolts, you'll see just how easy the install is compared to previous model years.
A total install can be done in 20 minutes. Again we love the Mac system and have always liked the price / performance of the Mac mufflers. They sound nice and deep, and for people like us, it's the perfect sound.
and speaking of sound, here is a video clip that compares the stock sound to the new Mac sound:
Right Click Save As.
Windows Media 9 file 1.4 megs.
Video first plays Stock system, then the new Mac system.
What the video can't really show is how "deep" the new Mac sound is. It's very sweet.
That's it until next time... see ya on the street !
1986 - 2006 Mustangworld.com / DiscMEDIA Publishing