CoolTech Cat Back w/dyno - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 Old 04-12-2007, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
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CoolTech Cat Back w/dyno

I ordered a cat back kit from Cool Tech with the hopes of gaining a few more ponies and more importantly a little more torque along with the guaranteed ground clearance improvements.

I had previously installed an Air Raid intake for the 2007 JK. This allows the engine to get as much air as it wants plus having the benefit of sucking in cooler air with their air chamber. Now I needed to get the engine to release as much air and gases that it wanted to. All in the theory of the better the engine can breathe, both in inhale and exhale, the better it will work with less restriction.

First off I have to say that Cool Tech has been very supportive and in a previous transaction ordering their CB Antenna Mount went incredibly smooth and questions were answered with a phone call and even with a defective antenna (not Cool Tech's fault) they replaced it, overnight at no charge to me. So going in to this deal I already knew that the customer service was backing an already well designed kit with complete instructions and once I started the install it would go smooth as silk.

So without hesitation I ordered the Exhaust kit for the 2007 JK. This kit sells for $299 as of this writing. I need to add that I ordered this kit just before the Easter Jeep Safari and that Cool Tech was planning on attending so they took the time to send out my exhaust kit to make sure I had it before they left for EJS.

One of the things I wanted to do was to see with some sort of proof that the exhaust kit actually did some additional improvements over the stock exhaust with the Air Raid already installed. So I took a little trip down to Mr. Gasket here in Carson City for a quick run on their dyno. Now you might say that to dyno an off road machine is a little silly and I expected some comments once I arrived at the dyno. Well I am happy to say that what I expected and what I got was two different things. Instead of some snickering I got a lot of questions and comments while quite a few of the employees came out to see this Jeep on the dyno. I did hear one comment of "That doesn't look like a race car" but the guy who made the comment was probably the most impressed with the results and the Jeep in general and was planning on taking the wife down to the dealership for a test drive.

So here is the dyno facility.


And the 2007 Jeep JK sitting on the dyno.


With the Air Raid installed the Jeep dyno'd out pretty good with about 142 hp at the wheels. They even did a negative dyno to see how much of the ponies was being taken to turn the gears and that showed a nearly 20hp reduction which is why the wheel horse power rating is as low as it is.

So on to the install. Cool Tech instructions came printed on a single sheet of paper with color images. This indicates that the install should be pretty easy and in fact it is. The hardest part is removing the exhaust to install the Cool Tech kit.

The kit consists of a new MagnaFlow muffler, a new exhaust tip, three muffler clamps and the heat sheild.



TIP: I would take a garden hose and a small sprinkler and hose down the underneath of your Jeep to remove mud, dust and debris that would otherwise fall on to you while you are underneath your vehicle installing the exhaust.

TIP: In an effort to help this install go easy you should pre-soak the nuts and bolts and soak the rubber exhaust hangers to make the install go smoothly. I use this stuff.



Now Cool Tech's instructions to say to use WD-40 on the bolts which you can use but this stuff I can spray on anything (except finished paint) and it will lubricate just as good if not better. The reason I don't use WD-40 is that it is a lacquer based product and when it dries will leave a lacquered coating on everything that will eventually cause moving parts to not move anymore and more importantly on the exhaust hangers will cause them to dry out sooner and rot away sooner. Another good lubricant is PB Blaster. But I was out of that at the time of this install.

First you loosen the two factory clamps using a 15mm box wrench. The nuts are on top of the exhaust pipes and makes for a lot of little turns to loosen them. There is one clamp right after the cats and one one the factory muffler.



Then you get to remove the rubber exhaust mounts.







TIP: I used channel locks to remove these rubber hangers. I open the channel locks to fairly wide jaw then place one set of teeth on the tip of the metal hanger and the other behind the rubber hanger near the center hole. I then just squeeze the channel locks and this forces the rubber exhaust hanger up and onto the tip. Once the hanger is on the tip you can use a small flathead screw driver pushed from the backside of the rubber hanger and down the center hole then with a little pry action the hanger will come off easily. The other option is pure brute strength which works but at the risk of leaving some knuckle skin on the Jeep frame.

Once the hangers are off and the bolts are loose you can start to pull the exhaust out from the Jeep. I first pulled off the enormous muffler off of the main exhaust pipe.



TIP: Rocking the muffler or pipe side to side then up and down while applying some pulling force will help you separate the exhaust. You can also use your hand gripped around the smaller piece you are pulling and rock back and forth against your hand to pull more stubborn parts apart. You can also use a hammer to lightly tap on the connected pipes or squirt in some of your lubricant to help break any chemical seal from oxidized parts if the exhaust parts are being really stubborn.

With the exhaust free you need to pull it out from the frame so you can work on it. According to Cool Tech's instructions you can pull the long exhaust from the rear of the vehicle after jacking up the frame to create enough room to pull the pipe.



Remember to use chocks when jacking and use care when lifting a vehicle.

Last edited by MichaelW; 03-03-2008 at 05:48 PM. Reason: fixed image links
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post #2 of 11 Old 04-12-2007, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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Cool Tech Exhaust kit install

Once the exhaust is removed separate the muffler from the exhaust if you haven't already done so.

Congratulate yourself because the hard is now done.

Lay the long pipe out to make your measurements and cut marks to insert the Magnaflow muffler. Cool Tech's instructions say to make cut marks at 17.75" and 34" measuring from the front of the pipe. This is the end without the bend to go over the axle. The to make a mark at 1" starting from the other end of the pipe. This 1" mark is only necessary to make and cut if you are looking for maximum clearance for off road as this moves the tip up more.



I made my cuts using a hacksaw and a vise but you can use a sawzall or cut off wheel. I considered using my metal chop saw as well but figured I'd use the simplest tools out there. If you use a hacksaw a vise will help your cuts go smoother. If you don't have a vise handy recruit on of your buddies or neighbor to help hold the pipe for you as a straight cut perpendicular to the pipe is preferred.



TIP: I used a wire wheel brush to clean the ends of the pipe where I made cuts. This removes any build up and debris from cutting and makes the re-installation go a little easier.



I also cut 4 slots in the tip section as this was the only place where I could not get the clamps to seal and hold the exhaust together. The instructions say that you may need to do this with all the outside pipes but I found that not to be the case in my install.



I then assembled the exhaust pipe per the instructions. Make sure that you place the clamps on before you add another section of pipe or the muffler.

TIP: I installed all clamps so that the nut side was facing up or as far away from the ground as possible to ensure that they won't get damaged while off road.

Here are the completed connections per the instructions.







Voila, you are done once your clamps are tight and the hangers have been reconnected and the heat shield is in place.

I found the installation to be pretty easy overall and there really is no special tools required so this could be done in your driveway. I took approximately 2 hours including taking pictures and jotting down some notes so I would think that this could be done in an hour and a half by anyone taking their time.

Last edited by MichaelW; 03-03-2008 at 05:50 PM. Reason: fixed image links
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post #3 of 11 Old 04-12-2007, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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The results

Now that the Cool Tech exhaust kit is fully installed it was time to look at the benefits and head down to the dyno for some results.

First let me point out one of the most important reasons to do this install. Clearance. I no longer have the factory muffler hanging down below my frame begging to be riped open or torn off on the first rock it can find. Check out this profile.

Before:


After:


If that isn't enough to convince you, I don't know what is.

And let's look back at this picture.



I see some freed up space just dying to be used for something else. I am thinking I will cut out my factory "trunk" and replace the trunk with a flat piece of metal and then look at installing an air storage tank there. I will use some Tuffy drawers in back to regain my lost trunk space. Now this is probably not for everyone being that I will cut out the floor of my new Jeep but it is an option I am considering.

Ok, now the dyno results.

You know if you have not watched a dyno done before I have to tell you it can be a little unnerving standing next to a 32" tire spinning at 100mph. Which by the way is top speed for the JK as the factory setting has the engine shut down at 101mph. Just a little tidbit for you speed demons out there.

These are pictures I took of the charts and they are not the best images. I will repost some scans once I get a chance.







Now I am not a dyno expert so I had the technician help me out with the charts and graphs. Also let me remind everyone that this dyno result was taken at approximately 4500' above sea level so at sea level there should be some improvement in the numbers. The dyno was done on two different days and with a one day gap in between. This is the same tank of gas and the ambient air temperature was about the same at 45-50 degrees Fahrenheit.

What the dyno results proved was that there was little significant improvement in using this muffler over the factory muffler. There were shifting spikes that read 148.6whp/194.2 ft lbs torque with the factory exhaust and 165.7whp/201.0 ft lbs torque with the new exhaust. This is an increase of 17.1whp and 6.8 ft lbs torque using the Cool Tech exhaust. However the technician that administered the dyno tests suggest that those peak numbers would be used in marketing and that the average numbers are the ones a engine builder would use. Using his comment the Cool Tech exhaust had minimal hp/torque gains over the factory exhaust. BUT... the butt dyno tells me this isn't the case so I asked him for an acceleration report. The acceleration report shows a big gain of 5 seconds in acceleration over the factory set up. So there is a performance increase using the Cool Tech exhaust kit!

I did ask the technichian who has seen his fair share of performance machines about the prospects I should persue if I was looking from more power increase out of this engine. His comments were that chips may help but tend to only help on the top end and that cams and some head reworking may give you a bit more but at a steeper cost. Turbos might help out if they build boost instantly. But overall he stated that without going deeper into the pocket book there won't be much else you can get out of the engine. At least that is if you are going for low end torque. Now top end HP might be an entirely different story.

One final interjection before I conclude this review. One of the runs made on the dyno was when I had first pulled in after installing the exhaust and the heater was on. There has been speculation about running accessories and the effect it has on performance. Well here it is. With the heater on 160.8whp/187.6 ft lbs torque. So if you are out there seeking and eeking the last drop of power from your engine shut everything off!

Conclusion: The Cool Tech exhaust kit was easy to install even for me. I would say anyone that can turn a wrench can do this install. The performance gains are there and you will feel a difference. They may not be spectacular but on the performance aspect alone I still say this kit is worth the money and your time. The sound is good and doesn't sound too ricey. Cool Tech has sound bites on their website you can hear. The impact of off road clearance is huge and this alone is a huge benefit to performing this installation. The free space that is has cleared up has afforded this off road enthusiast with yet another project to ponder.

If you are looking for some more power an easy installation a nice sound and increased ground clearance from your factory muffler this is the kit for you.

Cool Tech LLC
25071 Wintergreen Ct.
NEWHALL, CA 91381
(661) 254-7948

Last edited by MichaelW; 03-03-2008 at 05:51 PM.
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post #4 of 11 Old 04-12-2007, 03:01 PM
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Looks like a well put together kit, but with a little more fishing around I think you could probably just buy a muffler and have a shop throw it on for cheaper. Sure is a lot less hassle to get an all in one package though. I banged up the exhaust tip while we were at Eldo so this may be a good excuse for me to replace it sometime soon . Awesome write up and I am sure this will come in handy for all those who plan on installing this guy. Thanks Michael!

-Living Still
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post #5 of 11 Old 04-12-2007, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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FWIW: I was quoted anywhere from 125-180 to have a muffler installed. So DIY is definately a cheaper way to go and the Cool Tech kit makes it easy with instructions laid out for you so there is no guessing. Also I didn't find any tips bent the way I would have wanted that is similar to the Cool Tech kit. But to each their own. I prefer to buy a kit ready to go from a fellow Jeeper that allows them to come up with even more products that I possibly couldn't make.
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post #6 of 11 Old 07-01-2007, 12:24 AM
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Duals would definitely be cool, but it would be hard to keep them out of harms way . If you plan on keeping the muffler in the stock location you may want to check out the Kilby Enterprises Muffler Skid.

-Casey
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post #7 of 11 Old 03-03-2008, 12:42 PM
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any way to get the pics back in this thread? I'm thinking of going this route and would love to see the dyno charts and before/after shots in particular.

07 Jeep Green Rubi Unlimited, auto
Mods: Tuffy Cubby Storage Cover, Rugged Ridge grab handles, Shrockworks Sliders, Rock Hard Engine / Gas Tank Skids, Rhino-lined tub, Kilby Evap Can Relocation Kit, 16x8 Centerline Wilderness Series - Falcon Rims, 285/75/16 Interco SSRs, OME 2" HD Lift, PSC Diff Covers, Superwinch EPi 9.0, BulldogFab Rear Bumper, RedrockFab Front Bumper and skid
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post #8 of 11 Old 03-03-2008, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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Pics are back.
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post #9 of 11 Old 03-03-2008, 10:26 PM
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Thanks. Good write up. Are those 32" tires - this must be and old thread!

So what are your thoughts about the exhaust now that you've had it a while?

07 Jeep Green Rubi Unlimited, auto
Mods: Tuffy Cubby Storage Cover, Rugged Ridge grab handles, Shrockworks Sliders, Rock Hard Engine / Gas Tank Skids, Rhino-lined tub, Kilby Evap Can Relocation Kit, 16x8 Centerline Wilderness Series - Falcon Rims, 285/75/16 Interco SSRs, OME 2" HD Lift, PSC Diff Covers, Superwinch EPi 9.0, BulldogFab Rear Bumper, RedrockFab Front Bumper and skid
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post #10 of 11 Old 03-04-2008, 08:35 AM Thread Starter
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Kendall makes a good kit. I had to switch to a flowmaster muffler not long after this with my lift kit as the offsets of the magnaflow were not in the right place for the Nth's stinger. I would recommend this exhaust upgrade for clearance alone if nothing else.

FWIW it sounds pretty good, particularly after having pumped a couple extra psi down the 3.8''s throat with the super charger.
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post #11 of 11 Old 03-04-2008, 08:51 AM
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Excellent write up Michael. I've been running the Cooltech Magnaflow kit for a year, and still get a smile from the sound of it.

When installing it, it's worth making 3 or 4 small cuts on the pieces of pipe that overlap the outside at the joints, this will allow the clamps to pull the outer pipe real tight at the joint.
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