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I agree with you wholeheartedly phoenix on a listening test. It took me nearly 2 years to finally decide on an exhaust. Just know that should you decide on a solo kit, you will not be disappointed. For the price, I don't think you can find better in any exhaust setup. Sound is subjective, but I think Solo has garnered quite a following for a reason.

Don't wait as long as I to decide. If you haven't found nearby G8's to demo in the next few weeks, call Jeff @ Solo and figure out a system that is right for you. You won't look back.
 

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After 27 pages...very useful information but I might have missed it... has anybody swapped out OEM cats for Solo cats without changing anything else on their exhaust? I have an early '09 GT and want to upgrade slowly, eventually finishing with headers and full exhaust.
As a few others have mentioned, this has been done. Interesting reading starting at post #717 here http://www.g8board.com/forums/showthread.php?t=29499&page=36

Someone tested one of the header kits (ARH, I think) with the factory mufflers and with no mufflers at all. It was a pretty small power difference. Something like 3 hp? Don't quote me on that. Point is, I don't think the factory mufflers are as restrictive as you would think from looking inside them. I don't think SOLO makes any hp claims for their own axle-back (really nice muffler delete) kit. I do believe factory mufflers will hide some of the cool HFC sound. Those darn "pup cats" or whatever they are may be a significant restriction. At least they seem easy enough to have removed. (I think I got screwed. If I got to choose which 2009.5 feature I'd have in my 2009 car, I definitely wouldn't have picked the extra pup cats.) [EDIT: Disregard that last comment. I thought my "resonators" were "pup cats". I know nobody cares, but I hate to knowingly leave a mistake here.]

The point of this rambling is that I don't think it should be a foregone conclusion that HFC's alone aren't worth doing. Especially if a catback is to follow. I find it hard to believe that the main factory cats aren't the biggest restrictions in the whole factory system. I suspect that is why long tube headers make such a big power difference in these cars - by ditching the factory cats. I think its also the reason SOLO HFC's and exhaust can offer similar power gains.

Don't get me wrong, my preference would definitely be to have the full SOLO setup on my car. But I've yet to put my money where my mouth is.
 

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Discussion Starter #543
The axle-back kits is really for the customers that want a better sound. Performance gains are minimal with the axle-back...you might feel some increased throttle response, but you're not going to see major HP and TQ gains with simply an axle-back.

With that being said, the factory catalytic converters are the most restrictive part of the exhaust system. Changing those out and adding our cat-back with it proved to yield some great numbers. Although a tune is not necessary for this, it is recommended to maximize gains. VMS has a tune specifically for our cats and cat-back kits. With that tune, we saw gains on the dyno of 38hp/58tq...those are huge gains for simply changing the cats and cat-back, and are very similar to gains with LT headers. I hope this clears up some confusion:)
 

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Originally Posted by phoenixitc
After 27 pages...very useful information but I might have missed it... has anybody swapped out OEM cats for Solo cats without changing anything else on their exhaust? I have an early '09 GT and want to upgrade slowly, eventually finishing with headers and full exhaust.

Keep this in mind. I was going to do the same thing except start with the Solo cats and cat back right away. If you go this route and then add headers down the road you will need to do some custom fabrication. The midpipe for the cats won't be a direct bolt on to either the ARH or Kooks. It just so happened that Solo was just releasing the catted midpipe for the Kooks when I was ready to buy. In the "long" run I saved myself some money by just doing the whole system at once. The headers really only add a couple of HP to the system at this point in time, so not a great $/HP value. I am planning both a cam and eventually supercharger in the future so I can justify the cost for now.
Sound wise even with the headers. It is loud at a cold start for at most 30-60 seconds. Normal driving it is very quiet, WOT it is loud outside the car. I have the balanced shorty system and am curious how much louder it would be unbalanced.

I do totally agree though to try and find someone who has some type of Solo installed. That is what sealed the deal for me. A local board member who offered to let me both hear and ride in his car.
Just my 2 cents, well more like a quarter.
 

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... With that tune, we saw gains on the dyno of 38hp/58tq...
Any chance you have your units reversed? Appears to be backwards from the results in the VMS test thread referenced a few posts above. I'd be happy with those results in either order. :)
 

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Also to note, VMS did do a test with the HFC's on the stock 09.5 catback and it did not gain nearly as much power on the dyno as the HFC combined with the Solo catback.

See this thread:
http://www.g8board.com/forums/showthread.php?p=484612#post484612
So the big question... Wait, that assumes anyone besides me is interested in this topic. :p Let me rephrase... So a question is what would have happened if the second set of cats were simply removed? Just like removing/replacing the front cats may be key to the big gains of LT headers, isn't it conceivable that a SOLO catback does so well in this case simply because it ditches the rear cats? Then of course there is the fact that those final results also had the benefit of an intake and tune - a combo widely accepted to give a substantial boost in power all by themselves. So from that test alone, its hard to say how much difference the cat back made.

If the second set of cats were already out of the picture, I don't see how any catback would make a huge difference in power. The stock tubing has nice bends. The stock mid-muffler (whatever you call that) is just a perforated X, right? And the stock mufflers only impose a minor power penalty.

I'm NOT knocking SOLO. I want it all on my car - I don't really care what the exact power gains are. I'm convinced a little aural attitude would make the car much more satisfying. It just seems to me the SOLO cats by themselves don't get the credit I suspect they deserve.
 

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Any chance you have your units reversed? Appears to be backwards from the results in the VMS test thread referenced a few posts above. I'd be happy with those results in either order. :)
I reversed it by accident...thanks for catching that:)
 

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So the big question... Wait, that assumes anyone besides me is interested in this topic. :p Let me rephrase... So a question is what would have happened if the second set of cats were simply removed? Just like removing/replacing the front cats may be key to the big gains of LT headers, isn't it conceivable that a SOLO catback does so well in this case simply because it ditches the rear cats? Then of course there is the fact that those final results also had the benefit of an intake and tune - a combo widely accepted to give a substantial boost in power all by themselves. So from that test alone, its hard to say how much difference the cat back made.

If the second set of cats were already out of the picture, I don't see how any catback would make a huge difference in power. The stock tubing has nice bends. The stock mid-muffler (whatever you call that) is just a perforated X, right? And the stock mufflers only impose a minor power penalty.

I'm NOT knocking SOLO. I want it all on my car - I don't really care what the exact power gains are. I'm convinced a little aural attitude would make the car much more satisfying. It just seems to me the SOLO cats by themselves don't get the credit I suspect they deserve.
A catback alone will net you very little...especially on an '08 or early 09' because they don't have the second set of cats. You'd gain maybe 5-8rwhp on an early G8 and on the 09.5's, 8-12 rwhp. There isn't much to gain with replacing the catback alone.

However, it has been shown that the HFC do make a significant gain *IF* they are mated to a quality cat-back. I assume they would also make decent power on the early G8's as a result of not having those extra cats which have been shown to be restrictive. So, yes, if you mated the HFC to your stock exhaust and took out the mid components with an X-pipe, you should see similar gains as the HFC + Solo catback. If it was me though, I wouldn't bother hacking up my stock exhaust and install nice HFC's. I'd do the HFC and catback in combination if I was an '09.5.

If I was an '08 or early '09 I may be tempted to just try out the HFC's alone and see what gains I get, but you'd still be leaving some power up for grabs without putting in an X-pipe at the very least.

Don't forget about sound too. Regardless of the performance, the sound is where it is at. That is the biggest difference. You can do whatever the hell you want to your exhaust and those stock oil drums GM calls mufflers will mute it. If you're thinking of HFCs, think catback as well. You can't have peanut butter without the jelly. Jelly is good.
 

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just out of curiosity...i've heard some solo axle-back vid's and they sounded pretty nice. now my question is, has anyone heard them in person along with other solo catbacks (no cats)...if so, which catback kit would sound the closest to the axle-back in terms of loudness
 

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It's very difficult to gauge that. They sound totally different in my opinion. The axle backs sound almost identical to the full Borla cat back system with slightly more volume. In volume, I would say they probably compare to the Mach Balanced or Mach unbalanced. I believe there is a decibal spreadsheet in the Solo area of the forum.
 

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how many mufflers/resonators are on the g8 gt? 2 rear mufflers, ? mid mufflers, and ? resonators
2 Rear Mufflers
1 Mid Muffler
2 Resonators
2 Cat Converters on 2008-2009
4 Cat Converters on 2009.5
 

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The same reason they didn't option for a 6 speed manual. Get the car out and let the buyers deal with it.
 

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So how can you tell when its time to ditch the factory exhaust?

When the person whose car you are jump starting stands at the rear of your idling G8 and asks, "Is this thing a hybrid?" :nonono:
 

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So how can you tell when its time to ditch the factory exhaust?

When the person whose car you are jump starting stands at the rear of your idling G8 and asks, "Is this thing a hybrid?" :nonono:
HA HA Ouch! That's quite a blow to the mind LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter #559
We have our kits in stock and ready to ship. Give me a call anytime with questions or to place an order. You can reach me 7 days a week until midnight EST.

Steve Mariano
Solo Performance
516-655-9002
[email protected]
 

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I took a gamble going with the Solo Mach-balanced wthout having heard them in the flesh before, but I'm glad to say that I just installed the system today with a set of Kook's headers and it has to be one of the best sounding systems I've heard in a while - from that first start-up and idle to getting on it in a test drive - really put a big smile on my face! the 3.5" tips look awesome too.
 
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