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      07-18-2019, 05:02 PM   #1
chocstraw
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Exhaust cutout install, review

Hey everyone,

after a lot of thinking on where I'd go with my exhaust setup for this car after taking off the primary cats, I impulsively decided that I'd try out a cheap electric cutout system pre-muffler. After talking to a few people who still had issues with their more expensive ($300-400) kits burning out, I decided it wouldn't be a terrible idea to purchase a cheap eBay kit for $100. Due to the ease of replacement of the motors, which can be done without even jacking up the car, I figured it might as well try this, as I could replace nearly 6 motors before starting to lose money.

I purchased the kit from eBay user "easyberg", which shipped out of Ontario, California, and was at my door in a day. This seller is the most positively rated for these cheap eBay kits. It was labelled "Maxon Performance" on the box.

eBay dot com /itm/2-5-Inch-Y-Header-Catback-Pair-Mannal-Electric-Exhaust-Cutout-Valve-System-Kit/143207065204?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid =p2057872.m2749.l2649

The kit included:
- a Y pipe which the installer either cut or didn't use
- switch
- extension cord
- splitter for power cord
- circuit that regulates and perfectly times the open and close, as to not strip the gears or stress the motor
- cutouts
- angled tips







^^^ this motor is covered by a rubber shroud

I took it to the most convenient muffler shop nearby and had it installed for $180. I trust any shop to be able to make a cut and weld.



Wire was routed through a hole drilled in the trunk, and tucked under the center console. If you remove the rear climate controls, you can route the cable up through the center console and towards the transmission cover.

As for the power, I didn't want to occupy one of the two cigarette lighter sources.
I removed the bulky cigarette plug and stripped it down to the two wires, and soldered these directly to the cigarette socket underneath. I lost the fuse in this process, but I figure the included circuit will protect the system enough.



I wanted an OEM look for the switch, so I decided to use a couple of the blank buttons under the radio controls. This turned out to be a total pain in the ass, and I burned my hand a couple times trying to get this soldered up.

I think 2009-2011+ started putting the seat heaters up in the climate buttons, so I didn't have to worry about the seat heating button. This is not mine, just an example




After getting this out, I followed the traces for the first two switches and soldered up three wires to three available solder bubbles. Like the rear fog DIY, you have to break some plastic pins to allow these blank buttons to depress. This is what it looks like taken apart:





Packaged everything up and routed these wires down the transmission tunnel to just beneath the iDrive controller, where I connected the wires to the terminals on the included switch. The switch handles no serious load, and just serves as a gate to the circuit that was included, which seems to handle timing and the load.

Here's how actuating the unit works:





As for sound, videos don't really do it justice, most microphones clip and the muffled vs. unmuffled ends up sounding the same.
You have the best of both worlds. Muffled for long trips, driving in residential areas, if you're around cops, when the wife / gf is in the car, etc. and straight piped for when you want it. While being mostly straight piped, some sound is still sent to the muffler, where it has an interesting reverberation, almost high-pitched. With the DCT, the car doesn't sound unlike the 458s and 488s that I hear around LA, very exotic, thunderous.

I received three compliments the first day I installed, and I think even the biggest of snobs wouldn't believe this only cost $280.

Thanks for looking! Wish I had thought to take more pics, but I think this is enough to get the idea.

If you're in the LA area and want help / recommendations for a similar setup, let me know!

Last edited by chocstraw; 07-18-2019 at 05:44 PM..
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      07-21-2019, 04:05 AM   #2
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which muffler shop did you use?

thanks for the writeup! nice switch install!
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      07-21-2019, 09:17 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by like2short View Post
which muffler shop did you use?

thanks for the writeup! nice switch install!
Thanks!

R & S Mufflers, I was in San Fernando for an afternoon and didn't need my car.

I've also used Major Muffler on Santa Monica Blvd. and have positive things to say about them. Most shops will be able to do this kind of work, it's just important to start it up and make sure the exhaust isn't leaking, sometimes it can be difficult to weld the upper part of the pipe.

I'll update this thread with a sound clip soon, and will update when a motor fails
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      07-21-2019, 11:49 PM   #4
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Great work, especially with integrating into the stock buttons! I seriously contemplated these as well, but most reviews of the various brands (QTP, etc) constantly come back with short term failures of the actuators to open/close.

Curious to see the long term reliability of yours.
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      07-22-2019, 04:37 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6ixSpd View Post
Great work, especially with integrating into the stock buttons! I seriously contemplated these as well, but most reviews of the various brands (QTP, etc) constantly come back with short term failures of the actuators to open/close.

Curious to see the long term reliability of yours.
I think this little timing circuit might help mitigate the reliability issue. None of those kits come with one AFAIK, and they cost 4 times as much. Some even recommend that you listen for the sound and physically stop pressing the switch when you hear them fully opened. This is no longer Chinese clone crap, it's a high quality product with innovations of its own.

Aside from poor timing causing motor stress or gear stripping, the design of these cutouts seems to eliminate heat issues. QTP and other style cutouts have a full metal enclosure that connects with the motor. This style, which looks to be sintered aluminum, doesn't transfer much, if any heat to the motor mounting. Instead, it has two posts connecting the flap to the motor.

I might buy a second kit and just keep the other two motors on ice for if / when it fails.

I am very happy with this kit, and I've been switching it about 6 or more times when I drive:

Get out of the neighborhood, open.
see a cop, close.
freeway onramp, open.
freeway cruising, close.
city area, open and hear the reverberations (sorry!)
traffic, close.
repeat

I don't think anyone would regret this, especially at the price point. eBay sellers will practically bend over backwards to avoid a negative rating too. Do it!

I will upload several sound clips soon, sorry for the blue balls. Nothing beats a straight pipe at the push of a button.

Last edited by chocstraw; 07-22-2019 at 04:52 AM..
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      07-22-2019, 09:23 AM   #6
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Cool setup, do you have any pictures to show how they were welded in?

Hopefully they last.
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      07-22-2019, 06:27 PM   #7
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any drone when closed?
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      07-22-2019, 09:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merveilles View Post
any drone when closed?
Sounds just like the stock exhaust with catless pipes.
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      11-07-2019, 01:43 AM   #9
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Bumping to say that these are still working just fine, might buy some backup motors for when one fails.

I switch the exhaust maybe 2-3 times a drive.
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      11-07-2019, 12:29 PM   #10
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I can attest they look and sound good!
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      11-07-2019, 05:11 PM   #11
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I love that you integrated the switch into the oem button. If I ever decided to do this (which I'm actually beginning to consider) I would want to do the same thing.

I just don't know the first thing about wiring and soldering it all.
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      11-07-2019, 05:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f30m View Post
I love that you integrated the switch into the oem button. If I ever decided to do this (which I'm actually beginning to consider) I would want to do the same thing.

I just don't know the first thing about wiring and soldering it all.
I still feel like James Bond every time I press it. If you're not experienced with soldering, you could probably get a TV repair shop or some electronics repair place to solder two lead wires on the buttons and on the cig lighter then just splice them, I think it's low enough voltage/amperage to work with just a splice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCalRPM View Post
I can attest they look and sound good!
Next time ya gotta drive it. It SCREAMS.
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