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Exhaust system for 2012 Mustang 5.0

8532 Views 17 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  5.0 Candy REDCS
im looking to get an exhaust system for my mustang, but im not entirely sure how to go about it. i want the full system, headers down to the tips. i was looking on for it, and when i clicked on the headers, the headers i picked were BBK long pipes, chrome i think, and it said the best mid pipe was a shorty x pipe. but i had already picked a Flowmaster catback. i picked an x pipe and it was a kooks shorty x pipe. im a newbie when it comes to the right parts to install, but no how to do it. what should i get, thats not a lot of money?
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if anyone could help me, that would be awesome.
those modifications to your exhaust will require tuning, and lots of money. It sounds like you need to do more reading first, then ask more questions.
if you want a full exhuast i would probably go with the stainless works setup.. sounds amazing!
if you want a full exhuast i would probably go with the stainless works setup.. sounds amazing!
Couldn't agree more...I love how the Stainless Works exhausts sound. :bigthumbsup
Just install my stainless works retro catback and 3" x pipe, and its AWESOME!!
what about headers? im going for the whole thing. are the joints sort of universal?
and i've already done a lot of reading. i know i need a tuning, and ive got the tuner. but the only thing i dont know is what type of parts i should get. headers? mid pipe? then what? is it headers + mid pipe + axle bacl = exhaust? or what?
i probably shouldve rephrased my question. if i get shorty headers, and a catted midpipe, do i just get axle back exhausts?
If you have a limited budget I would just do a good catback.It also depends on where you are going with future mods.

The stock manifolds are actually pretty good and will perform on par with most aftermarket shorties so I would not go that route IMO

Stainlessworks,Kooks,Bassani all have complete systems with Longtubes but they are not cheap.Plan your mods carefully because you dont want to waste time and money on mismatched parts etc.

good luck with what ever you decide and I can tell you these cars really respond to simple bolt on's and exhaust:bigthumbsup
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Shorty headers are a waste of money, the car has them on it now. I have the bbk lt, with bbk o/r x. The lt and x bolt up to the stock pipes. The car sounds great and is a sleeper, with the stock mufflers. It's a little louder than stock when cruising. Then screams when your all out.

All you will need is a cat back system. Which will include the mid pipes and mufflers. Just call American muscle and tell them what you want. Their guys know there stuff.
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The best thing you can do on a 2011-2012 Mustang 5.0L in terms of exhaust would be long tube headers. Kooks are the way to go if you're thinking about headers. They're USA-crafted T304 Stainless steel, with all mandrel bends. The header flanges are 3/8" thick cnc laser-cut and nickel plated. They come with all stainless steel hardware and everything that you need to install. The headers are a little bit more expensive, but that's because they perform the best, are top quality materials and fit like a glove. Your tuner can update your tune for these. Check those out:

Kooks 2011-2012 Mustang GT Headers at

There are some other more affordable header options on our site including BBK and JBA. Keep in mind, that a long-tube header is what you want. A long tube header will require a shorty x-pipe to match it (from the same brand). Shorty headers will bolt up to factory components and do not need an aftermarket x-pipe or h-pipe.

These, with a good axle-back or cat-back exhaust system like Magnaflow, Borla, Pypes, Bassani, etc. will be a great sounding and great performing car. I'd go with a quieter axle-back or cat-back system, because the long tube headers will make them louder anyway. If you go with too loud of an exhaust off the bat, and add longtubes, it may be too loud for your taste.

If you have absolutely any questions or need any recommendations, feel free to give one of our Mustang experts a call at the number/hours listed in my signature below!

Hope this helps! :bigthumbsup
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To help make this simple as possible I will try and be blunt about it from what I have learned as a newbie.

Your full exhaust redo will essential require 3 components (if not purchased as a complete exhaust set).

These are

2.Mid Pipes
3.Cat Back

1. Headers- You are going to want to go the route of Long Tube Headers, as shorty headers have been deemed by most near inneffective and a waste of time/money. When installing long tube headers understand A. they will most likely void your warranty to anything related B. will make your exhaust louder C. typically come paired with a matching Mid Pipe. Also reccomended is to purchase Long Tube headers that are listed as 1 7/8" since these are typically seen as the best performers.

2. Mid Pipes - There are two typical styles X-pipe and H-pipe, many say one has an advantage over there other in category Q while the other is better in category P. There really isn't alot of real data to prove either, just a bunch of bickering from individuals saying which is best. When you purchase your mid pipe it will most likely be X style since that is what most manufacturers produce. Also remember, most headers companies produce their headers with a matching mid pipe already so you may not have to purchase one seperately.
** You will need to know this though** Wether you want an off road(illegal on streets) or normal. The difference is that one will have Catalytic converters and the other will not. To simply put it, the "off roads" will produce more hp because they do not have them but they will produce a sort of gasey/noxious/"not nice" smell coming out your exhaust that many do not like though there are many who it doesn't bother. Also note that an "Off Road" mid pipe will make your exhaust louder, and when paired already with Long Tube headers this can add quite some volume.

3. Cat Back Exhaust - Probably the most simple, this essentially piping and mufflers past the mid pipe. Your best option when doing the whole set up (If you didnt purchase a complete kit) is to do as mentioned before, go for a high quality cat back system that generally isn't incredibly too loud so that you have a loud exhaust but not completely obnoxious, though of course everyone's taste varies widely so you must research.

Remember redoing your entire exhaust is not a generally cheap endeavor and is also not a simple install so also factor in installation.

*I believe most of this to be correct, though there may be some details I left out but I believe I got 95% of it. This is pretty much as simple as it can be put. I also did not know the slightest bit about cars a year ago so I can typically put it in a way most people like me understand*
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Thank you Chris Rose and Em3.
As a matter of fact Chris, I'm ordering a bunch from your website sometime within the next year.
do all long tubes require a tune?
I've never heard of a single person getting long tubes and NOT getting a tune so I would be inclined to answer, Yes.
Excellent advice form Em3, let me play devil's advocate,but does your state require you to pass an emissions test? I could be wrong on this, but long tubes would most likely fail you,so factor in additional $$$ to re&re those long tubes with the stockers... just something that might effect your final outcome,hope it helps.
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