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Long-time reader, first-time poster here. I just recently had these cat-back pipes installed on my car ('95 Thunderbird LX). I am having it upgraded in various areas and one thing my mechanic told me was that the car wouldn't pass smog (California) due to a faulty/rusted cat so I ended up replacing the whole front half of the exhaust with the legal Magnaflow set-up (the 441111 version with OE 2.25" tubing) connected to JBA shorty headers. I had ordered the mandrel bent dual exhaust tubing system with 2.25" tubing to match up to the Magnaflow system like 4 years ago (long story, hydroplaned/crashed my original Thunderbird, bought a replacement car, starting swapping over aftermarket parts like springs/shocks, etc., while also installing new SuperCoupe Performance urethane bushings, TrueTrac rear, Griffin radiator, etc.) and now finally was at a point where I could get the exhaust completed.

I've read through this whole thread and I agree with most of the pros and cons. My biggest gripe with these tubes is that whoever decided how the tubes would align with the rear end of the car clearly didn't actually install them on a Thunderbird. If you look at the stock single pipe, it has a sort of vague 'w' bend in it (lousy picture of stock pipe attached). This is in order for it to clear the front mounting point of the lower (driver's side) control arm and then wiggle around the differential (before splitting into fake duals). This new kit sort of averages where that stock pipe lies and just runs straight to the back of the car. This forces the pipes to hang lower because they will either hit the control arm mount point or the differential.

My other main gripe is that the new (passenger side) pipe is misaligned. If you look at the image from Mandrel Exhaust Systems' site for the dual exhaust tubing you'll see that it starts as 2 pipes close together.

89-97 Ford Thunderbird Dual Exhaust Tubing System - Mandrel Exhaust Systems

These will fit up to the resonator or, like in my case, a y-pipe off of the center catalytic converter (I got rid of the resonator). So far so good, the 2 pipes turn left, then straight back, then right, along the indentation in the fuel tank. But the driver's side pipe continues straight back farther to the left (outside edge of the car) than it started (at the resonator). The passenger's side pipe continues straight back along the same line as it started (at the resonator) when it should be farther to the right (outside edge of the car). The guy who installed these pipes for me had to cut the pipe at the second diagonal section (right after the gas tank) and extend it a few inches so that the pipe wouldn't be hanging way down in order to clear the differential.

There isn't a lot of room under the car and I had to return to get an extra hanger added to pull the whole welded affair to the right (away from the driver's side lower control arm). It sounds great, for the most part fits right, too. I went with Flowmaster 40s based on wanting a more traditional muscle car sound (I hate the modern Mustang/Camaro glugglugglug water sound) and I don't notice a bad drone. In fact, the car is basically as quiet as stock when cruising around. Stepping into it gets the nice muscle car roar for sure. It sounds great even at idle when I'm standing next to it but inside the car it's barely noticeable. Which is good because I have a nice stereo set-up in there and don't need to deafen myself to defeat the exhaust volume.

I will one day redo these pipes when I have more money, I will get pipes bent/welded to mimic those 'w' bends to clear the lower control arms and the differential. That way the pipes will tuck up as high as the stock pipe did.
 

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Hello again,
I am making decisions regarding exhaust, specifically headers back.

I need help from someone with a car equipped with the TruBendz components, and the x pipe location.

TruBendz claims no ability to send me any information regarding pipe length, my latest request was not answered.

I am in possession of a MN12 system that has been removed of the 3 cat. I modified the 1 and 2 cats to be downtubes with flanges for the 2 v. I have the resonator pipe cut at the flat section with a glass pack in the section. The mufflers were cut off 2" from the muffler body.

I have àn entire FN10 system, the y pipe section, with the right and 3 cat were new in 2018 and the pipe is of more uniform in diameter than the MN12 pipe. The left side is funky with the cat welded to the manifold.

I do have options:, I could modify the left MN12 downpipe I made and run the pair while I get headers made up. I could make a new pair of downpipes with the FN10 components and delete 3 car and run those temporarily.
But I like the idea of keeping the complete FN10 system and repurposing it when doing a power adder someday.

However I end up accomplishing the modification as a whole, I want to change the cat back to the TruBendz system. This leads me to my question:

When using the TruBendz kit, where does the x pipe end up locating if the pipes need no adjustments. I want to get my back section fitted and hung correctly, with the x pipe installed leaving no undue tension vertical or lateral.
When making downtubes, I can leave an open section for flanged mid pipes to the x pipe. But I want to have a good idea of my final dimensions. Too short will be difficult to make the bend, too long will hang loosely without extra hardware. TruBendz sells flanged mid pipes with a flanged x pipe and hangers for $125.00 and the tube kit is $150.00 or $185.00 for the tube kit and a bare x pipe.

If you have this setup, can you share a photo or 2 and a note on trim or fitting for the back pipes?

Thank you.
 

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Well, I was going to recommend Mandrel Exhaust Systems but they changed their name to Trubendz and are the same company. There's a thread on them with a lot of information in the exhaust forum.


You can see section by section pix of my system here:

My exhaust ...



Oh, sorry. 👅 Too close ...

Here's some a little farther away...



















 

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1996 Cougar 4.6
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I just purchased this exhaust system. I was mocking it up the other day and it looks like the X pipe would be replacing the 3rd cat
 

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That's what I have been led to believe but it just does not look quite right to me.
I wish I could get a linear measurement from the tailpipe to the x pipe.
It would suck to miss with custom downpipes even just temporary ones.
 

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This morning I ordered the exhaust parts offered by Trubendz for my car.

I purchased both the custom fit mid pipe kit and the tube only kit, in aluminized 2.5" pipe.

When I install this, I will take pictures and make notes of where things fall.

The pricing on this seems very fair, but it still adds up fast.
Mid pipes....$150
Pipes...........$180

Headers...??
Collectors...??
Mufflers...??
Hardware??

I am thinking it looks like another BOAT situation....bust out another thousand....

iI figured I would absolutely screw up my down pipes without having everything else to match up with so I ordered the parts.
 

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1991 Mercury Cougar LS 5.0 in restoration
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I thought the complete kit was $180. Is the"x" pipe $150?

Collectors will need to be custom made to join the headers to the kit.

Mufflers are $40 to $240 each. Depends what you want.
 

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You have to look for the mid pipe kit, it comes with mid pipes flanged one end, the x pipe flanged one end, hangars and clamps for 125+ shipping for 150.

The tube kit only (no x pipe) with clamps and hangars is 150+ shipping for 180.

Also offered is the tube kit and x pipe, no flanges at all for 185.+ Shipping.

I am going to use chatted downpipes I made for now.
I am hoping for a check to show up so I can shoot you a set of pace setters 3229 headers to modify.

I am also in need of a better driveshaft.

My Lincoln rear knuckles and FTBR hubs are with my Ford guru for refurbish, and M1109-a spec hub installation down at the dealership.

We are getting there slowly.
 

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You have to look for the mid pipe kit, it comes with mid pipes flanged one end, the x pipe flanged one end, hangars and clamps for 125+ shipping for 150.

The tube kit only (no x pipe) with clamps and hangars is 150+ shipping for 180.

Also offered is the tube kit and x pipe, no flanges at all for 185.+ Shipping.

I am going to use chatted downpipes I made for now.
I am hoping for a check to show up so I can shoot you a set of pace setters 3229 headers to modify.

I am also in need of a better driveshaft.

My Lincoln rear knuckles and FTBR hubs are with my Ford guru for refurbish, and M1109-a spec hub installation down at the dealership.

We are getting there slowly.
We received our Trubendz kits today. They arrived in good condition and when unpacked, all the items were well packed, individually wrapped and over wrapped. They charged me twice for 1 shipment.

I laid the system out on a flatbed trailer, and laid the OEM parts alongside.

I will take pictures in the morning and post them for future reference.

We also got an inventory of all the Mark VIII parts with part numbers and pictures of each item. As soon as we get it digitized, I will share that list with TCCOA.
Once TCCOA has had the list for about 10 days, my son wants to hit Craig's List and then Facebook and finally eBay. The list will also include Cougar parts no longer needed, some Mustang GT parts and some aftermarket parts not being used such as single wheels, tires, jacks, spare tires etcetera.
RD
 
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