Some motorists add performance-exhaust systems to their vehicles for extra horsepower and torque, while others just appreciate that aggressive tone that goes with it – and of course, some like it for both reasons. There’s the revving of the engine at the stop light and the burst of power that goes with taking off with their right foot to the floor.

Such was the case of the owner of 2017 Ford Raptor pickup equipped with the twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 engine; after all it makes 450 horsepower and 510 lb.-ft. of torque. That’s not bad for a six banger and the new engine has an increase of 39 horses and 76 lb.-ft. over the V-8 the motorist had in his 2014 Raptor that he traded in. He explained that the newer truck had plenty of get up and go, but it didn’t have the performance tone that he was used to. Besides, that older truck also had a performance system added to it.

After reading internet forums and asking questions to those he knew, the truck owner decided upon Borla’s pre-bent exhaust system that included an X-pipe instead of a resonator and the long OE muffler being switched to two smaller, straight-through flow ATAK® mufflers.

Those familiar with how the X pipe works can ignore this explanation. For those of you needing the information, here we go. As the engine fires, one cylinder at a time, it is a heated ball of gas. That gas (or exhaust pulse) travels forward of the next cylinder pulse and enters the plenum (center of your X) pipe and expands to fill up that space. Now we have that first pulse splitting up between the exit legs of the X pipe. The advantage here is that it creates a vacuum in the plenum, which helps pull out that secondary pulse. This is known as “scavenging.” The vacuum builds up as the rpm picks up, therefore it helps pull that spent gas out of the cylinder during valve overlap. The result is better power, better mileage and a noticeable reduction in interior sound.

The ATAK has the most aggressive sound available from Borla. The owner liked the OE tailpipes and flat black tips that came with them, and since the new exhaust system had the same pipe diameter pipe as the OE system, he decided to keep it.

The 304-stainless bolt-on system includes all the hardware making it less of a hassle to install, but keep in mind that these newer trucks are a lot bigger than the 1980s F-150s and Chevy Silverado models that filled muffler shops years ago. As a result, it’s pretty much a two-man job. The folks at A-1 Custom Car Care in Springfield, Mo., knew that since they had been in the exhaust business with multiple shops for decades under the name of A-1 Custom Muffler and Seeburg Mufflers. Technicians Cody Parker and Dustin Atwood were assigned to the task and said they were eager to take the job on because they hadn’t install the ATAK system on any Raptors before, and they wanted to hear how it would sound.

The job only took about 30 minutes, and of course, it didn’t require any welding. Everything fit like it should. The main concern near completion was to make sure that the OE tailpipes with the flat-black tips lined up properly.

As the saying goes from veteran mufflermen, “It’s great to have everything underneath look good, but on a dual job, those exiting pipes have to line up.” The two men made sure they did, and then they kept looking at it from different angles to double check.

The owner was impressed with the professionalism, but everybody at the shop wanted to hear how it sounded. To be honest, the exhaust sound at idle was mild for a performance system, but it was when Dustin revved the engine and everyone waiting had smiles on their faces.

The owner, who is in his 50s, had the devilish smile of a teenager after the vehicle was moved to the parking lot and he was handed the keys for a test drive. At this point, an individual at the next-door business, who also owns a Raptor, came over to watch and listen as well. With no black-and-white patrol cars to be found, the motorist made three passes by the shop with a heavy foot – everyone was impressed with the unique aggressive tone.

To hear it, visit the Undercar Digest Facebook page.
Here’s how the install went(see photos).