After the Carbon Fiber Driveshaft install, my exhaust note somehow became extremely quiet. I don’t need a super loud exhaust, but I do like to be able to hear it without straining my ears. I initially wanted a Delta Motorworks CBE, but it’s nearly $1,000 and I honestly don’t know what it would sound like on an EJ207. I tried to buy a damaged Corsa CBE from a guy on Nasioc, but he went AWOL and I never heard back from him.
Anxious to get something installed before the summer semester got underway, I went with a tried and true setup; the Blitz Nur-Spec axleback. Like many of my mods, I first made this one on my 2005 STi. The fitment was perfect and the note was glorious.
The only problem was that the axleback was discontinued. The ones I did find were over $400. At that price, I would rather have a used CBE. As luck would have it there was a Blitz axleback for sale for at clearance at FR.Sport (not a sponsor) for $300.
So I bought it.
Apparently, FR.Sport is in California, also known as 1-week from everywhere, I hate ordering large, heavy car parts from Cali. They tend to get banged up pretty good. And as it turned out, I was right.
The box had a big hole in it and the flap was nearly open. Luckily, Blitz tapped the hardware to the inside of the box. Otherwise, it would have surely fallen out along the weeklong journey.
The installation of an axleback is pretty easy, there are two bolts connecting the axleback to the mid-pipe and three hangers to disconnect. The hangers are probably the worst part of removing any piece of exhaust. I have found that channel locks and WD-40 best on exhaust hangers.
One nice thing about the TurboXS Mid-pipe is that it has threaded holes for 2.5-inch axlebacks, unfortunately, it doesn’t seal worth a damn on 2.5-inch axlebacks.
With the USDM STi Genome axleback off of the car, it was time to compare the exhaust. As you can see, the Blitz is 3-inch from the muffler to the flange; where it necks down to 2.5-inch.
Bolting up the Blitz ABE should have been a snap. However, mating up the Blitz ABE to the TurboXS mid-pipe was a struggle. The bolts on the TurboXS flange would not align to the Blitz flange without disconnecting one of the rear hangers and pulling and stretching it back over the exhaust. Not ideal, and at this point, I just wanted to hear what it sounded like before attempting a solution to this fitment problem.
First start up was obnoxiously loud as Subie cold starts tend to be. The test drive around the block was at least partially glorious, but mostly annoying as it droned incredibly hard from 2500 to 3000RPM . I couldn’t wait to get home and take the mid-pipe off.
After returning home from my test drive, I jacked up the car and pulled the TurboXS mid-pipe out. While I was under the car, I remembered that I had a crack at my downpipe right near the resonator. Probably from the fitment of the mid-pipe.
Instead of pulling the downpipe off to have it welded, I decided to try to epoxy the crack instead. This is mostly out of curiosity. If it fails, I will just remove the epoxy and have it welded. I don’t plan on selling this downpipe and it will probably end up in the recycling bin once I upgrade.
Activating the epoxy is pretty easy, you just kneed it until it has a consistent color. One word of caution, wear thick gloves with this stuff. It gets hot really fast!
I applied the epoxy pretty liberally. I didn’t care how it looked, I just wanted it to hold. I let it cure overnight before reattaching the stock mid-pipe.
The next morning I put the OEM mid-pipe back on and started it up. It was still loud at cold start (as expected), but the volume was much lower. On the test drive, it still droned from 2500-3000RPM, but it is far more tolerable. I am thinking about having a Helmholtz resonator made to combat the drone, but I want to get a downpipe made before I get to that point though.
Overall, I am happy with the results. The Blitz ABE fit like a glove and the overall exhaust note is great. I really liked the way the STi “Genome” sounded, but it was just too quiet.
I’ve had this exhaust setup on for a few weeks now and it has since quieted down and mellowed out. Before, it started out pretty loud and kinda droney at cruising speeds and loud and raspy under hard acceleration. Eventually, I will paint the axleback black to make it less conspicuous.
Overall, I would recommend this setup to anyone that wants a louder exhaust without going to a full catback. I also noticed that my boost was up a couple psi to 17 psi. I guess the previous setup was a restriction.