Review & Install Video
Hey, guys, so today I'm here with the Magnaflow Rock Crawler Cat-Back Exhaust System fitting all 2018 and newer JL Wranglers with the 2.0-liter four-cylinder motor. So, if you're looking to liven up the sound of your JL while also increasing some clearance for the trail, this option by Magnaflow is gonna be a really good one to take a look at. So, whenever you're increasing your airflow to or from your engine, whether it be intake or exhaust, you are gonna see some notable gains in horsepower and torque. However, those are usually gonna stick into the higher RPM ranges where we don't spend a lot of time as Jeep owners. So, what you can expect from this cat-back exhaust system is a little bit of an improvement in your fuel economy while also getting a little bit of throttle response when you are in those higher RPM ranges, especially when you're getting on the highway.
Now, the big takeaway from this is the fact that this is gonna be a high clearance exhaust system, perfect for somebody who is an avid rock crawler or spends a lot of time on the trail. And this is also gonna be for somebody who wants a more aggressive exhaust system than their factory system is going to be able to allow. So, as far as sound goes, I'm gonna give this a two out of five on the loudness meter. So, this is going to be audibly louder than your factory exhaust system. However, you're not increasing a lot of volume but you are gonna gain a more aggressive exhaust note or a deeper exhaust note out of this cat-back system. Now, as far as interior noise goes, you're really not gonna have a lot. So, this isn't gonna have a lot of drone when you're cruising around, and you're not really gonna be able to hear your exhaust unless you're stomping on the throttle, which is gonna be perfect for somebody who's daily driving or cruising around but wants to hear their exhaust system from time to time.
So again, the big thing about this is the fact that this is a high clearance exhaust system, this is gonna tuck high and tight up against the frame rail, keeping it out of the way of any obstacles when you are out on the trail, maximizing your departure angles and minimizing any damage that you would receive while you're crawling around. Now, as far as price goes, this is gonna be a more cost-effective choice for a cat-back system coming in at roughly $550. So, in comparison to some other choices, this is gonna be so cost-effective because of the simplistic design. Now, other options on the page are usually gonna have a larger muffler whether they're single tip or dual tip that's gonna bump up the price point in comparison to this where this uses very minimal materials as well as a straight-through style muffler in the front. Now, even though this is a more simplistic design, this is still gonna be a high-quality system made of high-quality stainless steel materials ensuring that this is gonna last a long time. So, if you're not worried about how you're exhaust looks, if you're looking to just gain an increase in sound and liven and up your JL while also increasing some performance and clearance on the trail, then this is gonna be a really good option to take a look at.
Now, install is gonna be a two out of three wrenches on the difficulty meter taking you probably two hours to get installed with some very basic hand tools. So, speaking of the install, let's jump into that now. The tools that I used for my install are an impact wrench, a 10-inch extension, a 3/8-inch drive hand ratchet, an 18-millimeter deep socket, a 15-millimeter, a 13-millimeter deep socket, a 13-millimeter swivel socket, 13-millimeter and 10-millimeter ratcheting wrench, a hanger removal tool, and PB B'laster.
So, to start this install off what we're gonna do is take off our muffler or our axle-back system. So, there's a couple of different ways to do this, I personally like to take the hangers completely off the frame and that just gives us a little bit more room to work with. Now, if you choose to take the muffler out of the hangers themselves, it is going to be a little bit tricky, however you can do it that way. But if you are going to completely take the hangers off like me, you're gonna need a 13-millimeter socket or swivel socket, an extension and 13-millimeter wrench or ratcheting wrench.
So, what I'm gonna do is take a 13-millimeter swivel socket and a 10-inch extension and go over the sway bar so we can access that upper bolt. So, it's going to be right up on top of the hanger, it's gonna be a little bit difficult to see but very easy to remove. All right. So, now we're going to move to the bolt on the side, I'm gonna use a 13-millimeter ratcheting wrench. This one's pretty easy to access. So, that's all to the hangers, it's only held on by two bolts so we can do the same thing on the other side. So, now there is a slot where the hanger will hook on to and stay in place for the time being and now we can loosen up our clamp.
So, our next step is to remove or loosen up our clamp on our axle-back piping next to our cat-back piping. You're gonna need a 15-millimeter deep socket in order to loosen that up. I'm also using my impact wrench. So now that that's loose what we can do is unhook our hangers and go ahead and wiggle this off. So, what we need to do is put a little bit of pressure on our muffler just so we can unhook the hangers on our crane and that'll drop our muffler down a little bit so we can wiggle this back and off. So, we can move up our cat-back piping and loosen up our clamp up at the front here. Now, I am gonna use a quarter-inch drive ratchet as well as the 13-millimeter deep socket just to give myself some space because the clamp is facing technically the wrong direction. So, it's facing up and the bolt head is a little bit hard to access. So, I am just going to manually take that off or loosen it up. So, if you are taking your exhaust system off for the first time there's gonna be a little tab over on the side that holds the clamp on to the cat-back piping while staying on the header back pipping. So, what I'm gonna do is just take a small flathead screwdriver and pry up on that tab.
So, what we're gonna do next is disconnect our exhaust piping from our hanger. Now, unlike the muffler exhaust hangers, this one is walled into the frame instead of bolted on. So, we can't necessarily take that off we have to remove this from the actual hanger. So, I'm going to take some PB B'laster and put that on to the hanger there to help it wiggle out. And this is gonna be a tight space just because we have this here. So, I'm going to to take a hanger removal tool, try to move this away from the frame so we can wiggle this in. All right. And once that is wiggled out what we can do is wiggle out our exhaust system. So, what I'm gonna do is kind of wiggle it backwards and twist it. So our cat-back piping is giving us a little bit of trouble to come out. So, what I'm gonna do is actually drop our subframe. Now, there's gonna be a couple of 18-millimeter bolts as well as three 10-millimeter bolts that are holding on to our battery back here. So, I'm gonna take a 10-millimeter ratcheting wrench and a 10-millimeter socket and remove the three 10-millimeter bolts. Then I'm gonna take a 18-millimeter socket and remove the subframe.
So, after you've taken off the bolt on either side there is gonna be one in the middle. You can find it through this access hole here, however the bolt head is gonna be on the opposite side. I'm gonna use that same 10-millimeter ratcheting wrench, take that other bolt out. All right. So, now that our battery is disconnected from our subframe, what we can do is actually drop our subframe, so you're gonna need an 18-millimeter socket. So, there's gonna be two on either side of the frame and then two in the middle. I'm gonna start with the driver side. Make sure when you're taking out that last bolt that you have a hand on your subframe. What we can do at this point is unhook our exhaust, we don't even have to take that last bolt fully out. Now, I would recommend to have one of those bolts still handy on the other side, then we can actually line this back up just to keep this in place. Now, our exhaust is free and we can go ahead and take that cat-back pipping out.
So, before we go ahead and mount up our Magnaflow system, I did wanna tell you guys a little bit more about it and what benefits that you're gonna see out of this system in comparison to your factory exhaust. Now, right off the bat, you can tell that there's a lot going on with your factory exhaust. You have a large baffled muffler in the back here and then moving up on the cat-back piping, you have a large resonator. Now, what that's gonna do is create some restriction, especially with this pinched piping in the middle that goes over the axle and it's also gonna create a very quiet sound perfect for the factory but not perfect for somebody who's looking to liven up their exhaust. Now, with this Magnaflow exhaust system, this is going to have a straight-through style muffler that's gonna take place of that resonator and completely delete the large muffler in the back. Now, this is also going to create an aggressive tone out of your Wrangler and free up that restriction which is going to essentially give you some higher horsepower and torque gains that are gonna stay in those higher RPM ranges.
So, this is gonna be a high clearance exhaust system. So, as you can tell you have the muffler, you have that middle piping there and then you have what is essentially taking place of this large muffler. Now, this is going to hang on one of the exhaust hangers and stay very high and tucked out of the way on the frame. So, essentially if you come down on an obstacle you have the potential to damage this large exhaust system because it is in the way and it does hang down lower. But with this system, it is completely out of the way and it's tucked high and tight which I do really like and it's perfect for the avid off-roader that's looking to maximize their departure angles. Now, this is going to be for a two-door or a four-door just because we had that extra piping there. So, the three piece operation is what we're going to achieve on our two-door, let's go ahead and bolt up our new system.
So, first thing we're gonna do is install our muffler. Now, you wanna make sure that you're transferring over your factory clamp and just slide this over the end of the muffler and then we can go over our crossbar and wiggle this into place. You wanna make sure that clamp is sitting over both of the pipes. What I'm just gonna do for right now is tighten it up by hand just so we make sure that these are both together. So, that's tighten enough to know that that's not going anywhere and then we can grab the rest of our piping. So, next we're gonna take our pipe that goes into the middle, this is going to go over the axle so you can see that bend where it goes over the axle, as well as the part of the hanger that's going to go into a factory hanger, making sure that we have our exhaust clamp that comes in the kit on there and attach this side with the cuts in it. So, I'm just gonna slide this over our muffler here and then we can get that down into place. So, I just put a little bit of PB B'laster on the isolator on the hanger there just to help us slide that in. So, what we have to do is take off our driver side or left-hand side hanger and the isolator from our factory muffler. I'm just gonna hit it with a little bit of PB B'laster so we can easily slide that off, take our hanger removal tool and pop that off our factory exhaust. What we can do is actually slide this onto our new exhaust and then bolt it up once it's already on our exhaust. So, this piece of piping is essentially taking the place of that large muffler. So this is where we need to slide this on into place, this has a little bit of PB B'laster on it so it should slide in just fine. All right. Now we can go install this [inaudible 00:14:25].
So, what we can do is take our tailpipe with our provided clamp in the kit, send that over our sway bar and then we can line this up with our over the axle pipe. So, once those are together, what we can do is line up our hanger, get that into place, start tightening everything down. So, while we're over here, what we can do is bolt our hanger back up. So, we're gonna take those factory bolts. So, what I'm gonna do first is tighten down that top bolt using the same 13-millimeter swivel and 10-inch extension that I used before. Now we can move on to our clamps.
So, what we're gonna do is kind of straighten out this piping here and then we can tighten up our clamp making sure that it's both on the tailpipe and over the axle pipe. I'm gonna be using a 15-millimeter deep socket, then we can move up to our other clamp. So, then we can tighten down our next clamp which is gonna be from the over the axle piping to our muffler. Now, this is gonna use the same 15-millimeter socket to tighten up. So, last but not least, we're gonna tighten up our factory clamp using that same 13-millimeter socket that we used before, making sure that it's on both our muffler and our header piping. Then we can go ahead and put our crossmember back together. So, first thing, I'm going to tighten up all of our 18-millimeter bolts on the outsides. So, we can reinstall our 10-millimeter bolts that we took out of our secondary bracket on our battery here. Then we can tighten those back up with our 10-millimeter ratcheting wrench. That's gonna wrap it up for my review and install, make sure you like and subscribe, and for more videos and products like this, always keep it right here at extremeterrain.com.