We recently had the pleasure of having two nearly identical Subaru STIs in the shop, side by side, on the lifts. Owned by the same customer, both cars were sporting the beautiful Tomei Expreme Ti exhaust system, which is a finely crafted Titanium piece, with slip joints and spring connections, and generally fits very well. It is designed in three sections, midpipe, angled pipe, and the muffler can. Each piece is adjustable in rotation to align the system.
One of these systems had been installed by the customer, and the other by Taylor @ Drive Auto Sports. With the owner’s permission, we can tell this story!
The system that was installed by Taylor fit perfectly in every area. It cleared all components and body panels, the springs were installed without any scratches or tool marks on the pipes, and most importantly, it made NO noise when shaken on the hangers. The system was completely wiped down prior to its first start, ensuring that the metal would be able to heat without marring the anodizing from chemicals or skin oils.
The second system had fitment challenges. The midpipe was interfering with the driveshaft tunnel (floor pan), the angled pipe section was touching the rear crossmember and the muffler can, which has an adjustable strap hanger, was misaligned in the bumper outlet. The rotation of the angled pipe and muffler can were off, and the rear diffuser was melted onto the exhaust pipe. The rattling was so intense, the installer added rubber shims and baling wire to insulate the exhaust from the components that it touched.
With the owner’s permission, we loosened up the whole system and adjusted each component to fit properly, eliminating ALL of the fitment issues and rattling noises that were present before.
We’re not picking on anyone who installs their own components, we’ll support you all day! Yet there can be a difference between installing that exhaust system while you’re crawling around on your back on jackstands, versus a professional installation in the shop, on a lift, with all the proper tools, like this exhaust spring hook.
The little things add up to our attention to detail.