Review & Install Video
I'm Ryan from extremeterrain.com, and this is my review and installation of the aFe Rebel Series Stainless Steel Cat-Back Exhaust, fitting all 2007 and up JKs. There is a version of this available with polished stainless tips, and with black tips, so you have the option, depending on what you want your Jeep to look like. Today, we are going to talk through the installation of this system, which is a very simple one out of three wrenches. This is designed to bolt directly in place of your factory cat-back, so there is no cutting or major modification to your Jeep necessary. We're also, of course, going to talk through the sound and the tone of this exhaust, the construction, and a few of the other features.
This exhaust system and any cat-back exhaust system on your Jeep really is for those of you who are looking for some additional exhaust volume and a lower exhaust note. Now, opening up the exhaust with a cat-back like this isn't going to have huge performance improvements. You may see some additional performance at the very top of the RPM band, which isn't an area that we spend a lot of time in. This is mostly going to be something that you're going to notice audibly with a lower and louder exhaust note and not as much from a performance standpoint. However, if you have a crushed or a rotted out exhaust or you're just looking to get a little bit more sound, this is going to be a good option for you. This system is a little bit more expensive than some of the others on the market, but it is a stainless steel system. So it's going to hold up really well, and it does have some unique features as far as the tips and the way that this system exits that do set it apart from some of the others on the market.
As far as construction goes, let's first talk about the materials, and then we'll talk about the layout of this system. This is a 2.5-inch, mandrel-bent, stainless steel system. And the mandrel-bent part just means that there's a piece on the inside and the outside of the pipe when the bends are taking place, so the pipe doesn't crush down, which keeps everything free-flowing and free of restrictions. The fact that this is a stainless steel system means it's going to hold up a lot better than, say, an aluminized steel system would, even if you're in an area where the winters are a little bit more harsh.
Now, as far as the layout of this system goes, it is, again, a little bit unique, compared to some of the others on the market. This system is going to take your factory resonator, if you have a newer Jeep that has one, and your factory muffler and replace it with just one bullet-style muffler that will reside where that factory resonator would have gone. Where the factory muffler goes, there really isn't anything. You just have these two exit pipes out back. Which does give you a little bit less to crush when you're out on the trail and doing some wheeling, although this isn't going to be a full competition, rock-crawling, Hi-Tuck system either. But it does give you a unique look, and there is a little bit less to damage on the trail in the rear.
Now, as we said before, this does split off and give you two exits, but it's not your traditional dual exit. A traditional dual exit is just two exits off of a factory muffler that sits in the factory location. This, again, has that one muffler that's further upstream and then just two exits. And even though this is 2.5-inch tubing, this does come with two 4.5-inch tips, again, either black powder-coated, as you see here, or in a polished finish. Now, in my opinion, 4.5 inches is pretty big for a Jeep. This is something that you would more likely see on a truck or diesel truck than a Jeep, but some of you guys are going to like the look. And if that's what you're after, this certainly gives you that.
Now, one of the nice features of this system is that they do include this extension pipe, which is going to be used for those of you who have your 4-door JK. But if you have a 2-door, you just don't use that pipe. However, there isn't going to be any cutting. You simply omit the pipe, instead of having to cut a section off of the exhaust if you have a 2-door, which makes installation that much easier. Now, even though this doesn't have a factory-style muffler or a muffler in the factory location, again, installation is very easy. There's just an additional bracket that you need to put in place for these hangers to attach onto.
Speaking of installation, as I said before, this is a simple one out of three wrench install that you can get done in under two hours in your driveway. The first step is, of course, removing your entire exhaust system from the collector all the way back. You're gonna do that by removing all of the bolts that are holding the clamps into place and then using a pry bar to pry your rubber hangers off of your factory exhaust hangers. Now, those can be a little bit stubborn as well as those bolts and nuts on the clamps, so you're gonna wanna spray everything with good penetrating oil well before you get started.
Once you have everything removed, then you can start installing your new system. The first step is going to be installing this extension pipe if you have a 4-door. If not, you're going to just install the muffler pipe section in place with its included clamp. Then you have the final piece, which is your tailpipe and your over axle pipe all as one piece. You'll have to feed it over the axle, attaching it into the end of your muffler pipe, again, using the clamp that's included. And then there is, again, that adapter piece that is going to go on the back. It's going to go off of your factory hanger and modify it to allow you to have these two hangers because this does have this unique dual exit exhaust style.
So once you put that additional bracket in, these new hangers will mesh right up with the hangers that you moved with that relocation bracket, and this whole thing will bolt right into place, making installation very, very simple. You're not going to need any specialty tools to get this done, just your traditional hand tools. But do make sure that you spray all of your nuts and bolts and your hangers with a good penetrating oil well before you get started. It will certainly speed the install along.
Now, coming in at right around $600, this system is a little bit more expensive than some of the other ones that we see on the market. However, this is a system that's built of quality stainless steel materials, and it is a little bit unique in the fact that it has a bullet-style muffler, no muffler where the factory muffler goes, is still a dual exit system, and has the big tips. So again, it does have something that's a little bit unique for the price tag as well as the higher build quality. If you're somebody who likes the big tips, if you like the sound of this system, I think that it is well-built and it is worth the price. However, if you're not somebody who has $600 to spend on an exhaust system, I completely understand that as well. There are systems on the website that are gonna save you a little bit of money, although they're not going to be made of the same high-quality materials and they're not going to be quite as unique.
So if you're looking for an exhaust system that's going to change up the sound of your Jeep by giving you a lower and louder exhaust note. As well as changing up the look of the rear of your Jeep with these big, 4.5-inch exhaust tips, this is going to be a good system to take a look at. This is a well-built stainless steel system that installs easily. So that's my review of the aFe Rebel Series Stainless Steel Cat-Back Exhaust, fitting all 2007 and up JKs, that you can find right here at extremeterrain.com.