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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My new Thermal Exhaust………………

I ordered this on Thursday Feb. 5th, Thermal was supposed to ship it on the 6th, but waited until the 11th. At least Chris kicked them in the butt and got them to send it 2nd day air so I got it when originally told I would receive it.

Well, after 4 hours of installing my race header, hi-flow cat, and 3” exhaust, I thought I would give my opinion of everything. We all know how well the JR header and Carsound cat work, so I won’t go in to all that.

As for the exhaust, I have mixed feelings. The sound is great, even without the sorry excuse for a silencer. A friend of mine with a base model has the 4” tip Magnaflow and his is louder at idle than mine. Deep sound all the way to redline and not overly loud. It’s quieter that the Tanabe Racing Medallion exhaust at cruising.

I encountered a lot of flaws with this exhaust during install from the moment I opened the box until the moment I stepped back and looked at the results. The instructions say you should have a bolt and nut to put in the tailpipe when the silencer is out, but there wasn’t one. Also, the T-bolt clamp that came with it uses a ½” nut and as we all know, we have nothing but Metric on our cars (good thing a 13mm works). The welds looked great, but once I started the install, I started to notice the flaws in them as well. The instructions tell you to bolt the front b-pipe to the cat, then slide the rear b-pipe into place and snug the clamp, then install the axle back and install. WRONG…….. I did this and had to disassemble it and start over. You should install the axle back first and hang it on the rubber hangers (we’ll talk about those later) and then connect the rear b-pipe to the axle back. This is where I noticed the flaws in the welds. The flange on the rear pipe is so small that you can’t get a wrench or socket on due to the welds being to thick. I had to use vise-grips to hold the nut and bolt it together using a swivel socket on the bolt head. Then, you need to slide the forward b-pipe into the rear b-pipe and bolt it to the cat. After that’s bolted on, you can move the exhaust around and tighten the clamp, then put on the rubber hanger for the b-pipe. Now for the hangers………the hangers for the b-pipe are to close together so the factory rubber hanger was a pain in the butt to put on the b-pipe, but it went on the car fine. The hangers for the axle back weren’t even close, the put the exhaust off center and aren’t hanging straight. The b-pipe also rests right up against the body of the car so I have a nice rattle from 3-5K rpm.

Now for a little good news, it clears my Cusco 25mm sway bar with no problems at all. The tip is also beautiful, doesn’t attract attention or look ricey at all. The sound is music to my ears, and once I put my intake on it will only get better.


I am over-all indifferent on this exhaust. For performance gains I would say it does it’s job, but I would not recommend this exhaust to anyone unless you are willing to spend $200 or so dollars for an install. I had to do grinding on welds (with my dremel), install and uninstall it to make it fit, and my tip is off center which is unacceptable to me since I show my car all the time. I am going to have to have my hangers heated and bent to center the exhaust tip. I appreciate the quick delivery of the exhaust by Thermal (after Chris called them and got them moving), but wouldn’t tell anyone else to buy this exhaust unless I prepped them for the daunting install involved. The performance is good, but for the price I paid and the hype that has been built up over this company on this and other boards, I am disappointed. I would have liked to see better R&D on this before the release, not just install it on one vehicle and trust his opinion. They should have installed some of their production pieces on the car they were molded from to ensure the flanges and welds were good and to check clearance issues. The instructions also need to be rewritten to correct the part number discrepancy in them (very confusing when first read) and the order in which things need to be installed should be changed. I am not trying to criticize this exhaust; I just want everyone to know the flaws and problems they MIGHT encounter once this system has been purchased.
 

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Well shit...that exhaust is going to be difficult to use...With a big ass stamp on it that says for off Road use only!

Thanx for the Review Steve.. :thumbsup:
 

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thanks man! That was a very through review, and I came to the conclusion that I will be waiting for Greddy to come out with their exhaust... this really sucks, cause I was hoping to do my Exhaust and programable hondata by my birthday ( march 2nd) Oh well, I guess i'll be waiting til they release the greddy exhaust( projected date is june)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well, the ECU won't be out by then anyway, so unless you really need it, I would wait to see if Greddy is any better. With the size of the piping and ground clearance, it is difficult to fit it in there. The rattle is driving me insane, so I will hopefully figure out a way to fix it today and will let you guys know as soon as I figure something out. Also, I WIL be calling Thermal tomorrow as well.
 

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tomorrow is a holiday....you might wanna try on Tuesday....
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Tomorrow is a Federal holiday, never heard of anyone but government closing for President's day,
 

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Shit...all the tuner shops in this area must be Federal then :D

Damn lazy folks!
 

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steve .. don't be mean to be annoying but do you have back angle shots of the exhaust so we can see how it sticks out ... (if any or not) ... thanks
 

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Steve Lloyd said:
Well, the ECU won't be out by then anyway, so unless you really need it, I would wait to see if Greddy is any better. With the size of the piping and ground clearance, it is difficult to fit it in there. The rattle is driving me insane, so I will hopefully figure out a way to fix it today and will let you guys know as soon as I figure something out. Also, I WIL be calling Thermal tomorrow as well.

good review.
this is good info for people to know before buying an exhaust.
you are right in that thermal should have done more r&d in fitting this system for other rsxs. i believe they only r&d tested this particular exhaust on 1 car, which had a jrsc. obviously, it was fitted well to that car, but not for others.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I have the JRSC as well, the JRSC doesn't affect the exhaust placement. As for pics, it doesn't stick out at all, but I'll take some pics tomorrow. It's dark outside right now.
 

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Well, I can't say I feel your problems with the install and fitment. Chuck at Thermal did all that work before I got there. All I was doing was giving props for an exhaust system to me greatly improved my powerband. I enjoy the Thermal system. Granted, I did not install it so I wouldn't know. You call Thermal and ask for Chuck and explain what was wrong, I will almost bet you they will send you a new exhaust that meets your needs. The piping was designed for lowered cars so clearance shouldn't be an issue. I am sorry you are not happy with this system. To me, this exhaust was like night and day to the frankenstein job that I got screwed with before. I have noticed when it is raining that the exhaust rattles. I am not sure but this has been discussed before. That is the only rattle that I have heard.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The performance is great, but the fitament is the problem. I'm just going to bend up my floorpan to make it fit, I just don't want others to have the same problems. I will call them and tell them the problems. As for sending it back and re-installing, no way, that thing is a pain in the butt and I don't want to go through it again.
 

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Steve Lloyd said:
I have the JRSC as well, the JRSC doesn't affect the exhaust placement. As for pics, it doesn't stick out at all, but I'll take some pics tomorrow. It's dark outside right now.
nice ... gains sound bad ass :thumbsup: ... is there a huge noticable difference or what? do you have headers too? thanks for the soon to come pics
 

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Steve Lloyd what part of your susp. is that Blue anodized parts in the back. Is that a sway bar and I'm not talking about the rear lower tie-bar
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Those are my lower control arms. They are from SPC performance.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
DetadO said:
steve .. don't be mean to be annoying but do you have back angle shots of the exhaust so we can see how it sticks out ... (if any or not) ... thanks
Pics will have to wait until Wednsday, the car went back into the body shop today. New spoiler time......... :eek:
 

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Just a heads up Steve about the fitment. The reason it took longer was because Thermal had to custom make this one and didn't tell anyone until long after the fact. I am sure that future fitment issues will be address and fixed for the full production run. I did have to kick them in the ass and we were all pretty pissed when we found out that they had to make the exhaust. But I told you when you would get it and you did. :)
 
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