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Love That Sound

CORSA XTREME System Has the WOW Factor

Larry Jewett - March 22, 2012 10:00 AM

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We started the inspection of the system to be removed, looking for the bolts that had to be removed. Starting at the rear, we found the best way to remove the mufflers.

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We had started on the passenger side. We unbolted the pipe where it met the H-pipe using a 15mm socket. Switching to a 13mm socket, we unbolted the rear muffler hanger and slipped the stock muffler out on the passenger side. For some cars, heat shields may have to be removed.

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When we tackled the driver side, we found it would have been helpful to take the steps in order of the instructions. To best remove the driver side muffler, the sway bar had to be loosened to drop down out of the way. If nothing else, it helped us to remember to re-attach it when we were done.

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Our system, as a cat-back system, included the crossover pipe (14131). We moved to the front of the car. You will need to measure from the catalytic converter pipe bracket toward the rear of the car. A mark was made on the driver side pipe at 31½ inches. The process was repeated for the passenger side at the 30-inch spot. We checked to make sure we could use this saw without damaging the underside.

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Once the measurements were checked again (measure twice, cut once), we could begin cutting. CORSA technicians have already made sure this will work, so no mistakes here and no need to re-invent anything. Failure to follow directions could nullify the whole process.

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After the cuts had been completed, the bolts (which will be re-used) were pulled from the hanger brackets.

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Here’s a view of the pipe cuts and the old piece removed. This view can make a car owner queasy, so you need to assure them that things will be better because we followed the instructions.

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In our case, the passenger side pipe was slightly distorted. This will create a problem for fitting the new pipe. CORSA recommends using a file to dull the sharp edges or round off the pipe.

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The new band clamps were included in the CORSA hardware kit. We slipped them back onto the catalytic converter pipe and matched up the crosspipe. Once the pipes fit together, we pulled the clamps over the joint and tightened them down. Note the orientation of the brackets for easy tightening and effective operation.

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With our clamps in place, we mated the pipes further back. New flange gaskets and bolts were used here, hardware supplied with this kit. For now, we are lightly tightening.

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We moved to the back and put the passenger side muffler unit in its proper place. We were getting closer to firing it up.

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For the exhaust system to work best, there needs to be no weak link. Areas that were lightly tightened have been revisited after all the components were put into place. Torque specifications are included in the instructions. Anti-seize (supplied) was used on threads of the clamps and flange bolts. If you get any on your hands, wash them before handling stainless parts.

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Here’s the view of the finished work. The four-inch tips are ready for the unveiling.

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Car owner Gina Bullock gets the honor of pulling off the covers. In hindsight, we could have lowered the lift or given her a box to stand on.

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There was no alignment or adjustment necessary. The system fit was precise. We double checked the connections, reattached the sway bar and fired it up. You can’t describe the owner’s smile. When anyone looks at the back of the car, they understand why.

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Most car owners have a wish list when it comes to automotive improvements. The ones who say they don’t usually have everything already done … if there is such a thing as “everything” being done.

There are plenty of wish lists across the spectrum that have the word “CORSA” on them somewhere. Performance enthusiasts and those who want to make distinguishable improvements are highest in this group. They have perhaps seen and heard the difference from a friend. This is clearly a case of “I have to get one of those”.

The selection of CORSA systems runs across the board, giving everyone a chance to get the sound quality they are looking for. It’s common to see the owner of a new car from the current model year making that change from factory to aftermarket. CORSA has been quick to market the latest product, doing all of the homework before bringing the system to the consumer. Precise measurements are employed to maximize potential for exact fit. Once the specifics are in place, the proven technology is then integrated into the whole. The result is satisfaction.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be a new car that benefits from the technology and expertise. Pre-owned cars may actually be better suited to realize the improvement. The modern factory is working to catch up with providing top quality parts upon release. It wasn’t always that way when cars were created just to get them out on the road.

This 2002 Corvette was in the hands of multiple previous owners before Gina Bullock decided to stop the madness of rampant alterations that it had been subjected to and make it a true pleasure car with dignity. One of the steps was to give a Corvette the feeling, meaning and sound of a Corvette. That meant a call to CORSA.

Owners of the 1997-2004 C5 models are in luck when it comes to their desired improvements. There are cat-back systems and there are axle-back systems that fit the budget and get the results you’re looking to achieve. In our case, it wasn’t about horsepower numbers. The owner tolerated the sound of the car, given its aged exhaust system, about as long as she could. It was time for a change.

In our case, that change was through the XTREME system. We decided on the cat-back system that included the crosspipe assembly. We’re not afraid of the chop saw, but if you don’t want to get into the area of precise measurements and hacking away at the underside of the car, the axle-back will work fine for you. The cat-back system we chose (14962) had the four-inch tips, but there is a 3½-inch option.

All CORSA instructions come complete with parts diagrams, listing and step-by-step instructions, including suitable warnings for safety.

While it is not impossible to install a system with the car on a set of jackstands, we’d rather stand than roll around on a creeper. Your best bet is to befriend someone with a lift. Often, an offer to restock the shop refrigerator will go a long way to helping you secure that. You’re on your own to figure out how to use their tools.

With our lift secured and a warm, dry place to work, we went for it. With no issues and no activity resembling the frantic pace of a NASCAR pit stop, we were able to knock off this job in two hours, wash up and make it to dinner before the restaurants closed. The difference between the sound of the car pulling into the shop and the car pulling out was pronounced and positive. About the only downside was the idea that this car is going to rack up a lot more miles showing off the system. If you want to keep the miles down, this will be a challenge, but challenges build character.

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