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Pacesetter catback exhaust

Pacesetter Cat-back exhaust

[10/9/2006] Reviewed by: Brian Barrows

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

This is a cat-back exhaust that I bought for my '90 with a 1.6, but I'm going to assume that the 1.8 will be fairly similar. The piping is 2.25" OD mandrel bent piping, running through a round muffler and exiting through nice-looking 3" chromed tip. It didn't look like a particularily well-built unit, but I didn't spend all that much money on it so I didn't expect too much. The welds were ugly, but hey, you don't see them once they're installed anyway, so it's no big deal.

The installation was very simple and straightforward, taking me about 45 minutes from start to finish (including the occasional stop for beer!). This was actually the easiest exhaust work I've ever done! When I first fired it up, I was greeted with a horrible, ricey BLAT. The good news is that after a few minutes of driving, the swarm of angry bees leaves my car and the sound is... not great... but tolorable. My only gripe now is that it's got an annoying drone at about 60-65 mph, but is otherwise OK. I just have to be sure to stay easy on the throttle lest I send some WW2 veterans diving for cover during those first few minutes. Performance-wise, I can't really tell if the car is any faster or not, as my butt-dyno isn't that precise. However, I did seem to gain a pretty consistant 1/2 mile per gallon of fuel economy, so there must be something going on. It's held up for the 6 or so months I've had on it, but the chrome tip needs to be polished fairly regularily because of the way the chrome is rolled back into the tip. Otherwise, I have no complaints about it's durability.

I bought this muffler to replace the ANSA unit I had orignially bought but had an annoying cicada-like noise. I wanted something mandrel-bent but didn't want to drop the $4-500 on a stainless steel system. I think I ended up paying about $176 delivered. All in all, my only complaint is the droning noise on the highway. That notwithstanding, I think it's a pretty decent value for what I paid for. No, it's not likely as good as some of the front-running systems that are out there, but I have no doubt it's better than the generic discount parts store replacements that aren't much cheaper. Would I get one again? That depends on whether or not I can find one that's quieter...

Under 30 minutes to remove completely

Pacesetter Catback Exhaust

[11/30/2003] Reviewed by: Chase Cotter -

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.6 liter

Bought from J.C. Whitney for $119+s/h, but is currently $140. It came packaged decently with the chrome tip covered in bubble wrap. The exhaust is painted black, simply for looks in photos. It took about half an hour to put on after removing my old exhaust. The only trouble with fitment was that the chrome tip rubbed my rear valence where the stock tip exited. Nothing bad, but rattled until I bent some hangers. I started it up and it sounded nice and deep during idle, but then I revved it was the riciest sound EVER! Apparently the tip is glasspacked and is there for noise. On the way to the muffler shop to have the tip replaced, I noticed a little more top end power combined with my RX-7 AFM. When the tip was replaced, it sounded much better, not like a Borla, but excellent considering the bargain price.

The paint eventually burns off with a bad smell and the tip was poorly positioned.

I would recommend this even at $140, but if the price goes up, I wouldn't. It's good for us on a budget, but I doubt it would do anything without an RX-7 flowmeter and open element air filter. I never had the car on a dyno, but I think it added about 2-3 horsepower @ 5500 rpms+.

Under 30 minutes to remove completely

[7/12/2002] Reviewed by: Corey Wicks -

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.6 liter

It arrived very quickly and was a two peice design....all black with a nice 3 inch crome tip. One thing i noticed was it was baffled to quiet it down which i have heard is quite bad for the flow and almost as restrictive as stock.

I took it down to the local muffler shop and they charged about 90 bucks to put it on. on fist start up i didn't notice much of a difference but after i got on it leaving the shop i could hear a slight difference in tone.after a few weeks it became louder and stopped with the smell. i liked the sound but i didn't notice any improvements in power. After a month it then began to rattle slightly and i replaced the cat thinking it might be the heat sheild. Now i have a high flow cat and still the rattle. The actual muffler is were the rattle is coming from. it now rattles extremely bad at cold start up and around 2k to 1k when decelerating and i can pick up hints of it as i accelerate. I guess i got what i paid for.....i don't recommend this exhaust for anyone.

I'm now waiting the arrival of a new greddy sp catback exhaust and i have headers waiting to be installed. hopefully no more rattle after that.

Under 30 minutes to remove completely

[4/22/2001] Reviewed by: Rick Wittgraf -

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.6 liter

This is a simple, mild steel, catback exhaust.

Installation was fairly straight forward, although I did have a muffler shop reposition the middle hanger for $10. I have had the system for 3 years and have noticed the following: The system looks entirely different now from when I put it in (on my '90). It came painted black, with yellow trim and paint of the chrome tailpipe. Now, all the black paint has fallen off, the yellow trim was gone in about a month, and part of the inner resonator in the tailpipe has rusted away. The sound is mellow, a little louder than stock. Surprisingly, the best looking part, the chrome on the tailpipe, has remained intact. I have repainted the trim on the tip and kept it polished. I actually am fairly please with the system, considering the price. ($120)

All in all, not to bad for a cheapie. If you don't mind a little creative maintenance, this is an okay system

Under 30 minutes to remove completely

[6/21/2000] Reviewed by Tri To -

Applicable to '90 - '97 1.6 liter

Pacesetter MONZA cat-back system with 2-1/4" mandrel bent tubing and 3" crome resonated tip.

The system came in two pieces (original system on the 1990 M1 is only 1 piece). Over all craftmanship is average. Installation was relatively easy, most of the mounts fit where they were suppose to with a little tweeking. Only problem I ran into was the fit between the catalytic converter. There was a slight leak at the joint. The installation guy added some silicone and it stop leaking. I'm not sure if it was the cat-back system or the after market free flow CATCO catalytic converter. The sound is barely louder than stock at idle and more aggressive at full throttle (just the way I like it). Peformance wise, I can't really say because I had the CATCO cat. installed at the same time. The combination of the two gave a noticable increase mid and high RPM.

All-in-all I would say it is worth the money. The whole cat-back system can be bought from NOPI for only $101.97! It's looks nice and it won't wake up the neighbors. If you are looking for cheap thrills this is for you.

Under 30 minutes to remove completely

Reviewed by: Justin Rank -

This product is your typical catback exhaust. The design was pretty basic...nothing fancy. Truth is, that was what I was expecting from a setup that only cost about $150. The only part on the whole setup that looked real nice was the 3 inch tip it came with. The system was made of mild steel which wasn't really a problem since I lived in the Fresno area when I had it installed.

I ordered my Pacesetter exhaust from a local speedshop in the area in which I lived. About two weeks or so later I got the call that my exhaust was in. The first problem I encountered was trying to get the crazy thing home in my miata. Once home, I broke out the tool chest and went to work. Only after spending considerable time getting the old exhaust off the cat, did I realize that my exhaust was sent to me void instructions. Not a problem...these things are pretty easy....right? Needless to say, despite my bravest efforts, the thing would NOT fit right under the car. Finally, I gave up and took the whole crazy thing to my local Midas; who, for $50, had to cut and rewend the entire exhaust in order to make the thing fit. Furthermore, the Pacesetter came with only straight hangers that would not support the rubber donuts they were meant to hold. Midas had to weld four new hangers just to get everything from falling off before I got home.

To this day, I still have the exhaust on my car, and this whole thing happened three years ago. Once properly adjusted, the setup would have costed me about the same as getting one that fit the first time. One note of interest is that I replaced the 3 inch tip it came with to a 4 inch. I was, on a happier note, satisfied with the nice chrome tip it came with. In conclusion, I would not reccomend the Pacesetter exhaust to anyone out there. It caused me too much pain and made me wish I had gone another route.

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10 November, 2006

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