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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
After 16 years of stalwart service, my stock exhaust reached the point of rust induced death. I've been patching it up over the years, but could no longer stand the exhaust leaks. However, I'm not a fan of loud exhausts, and will not tolerate drone. Ideally, I would have replaced it with a stock replacement, but those are just not available and they are quite expensive when you start piecing together a cat back from OEM parts. So after a bit of research, I found the Dynomax Cat Back system. I found it for less than $300, so it is pretty cheap for a fully stainless cat back. I didn't want a fabricobbled exhaust from a shop, even though that is cheaper. Lots of people do a 2 into 1 muffler and have everything else bent up. But for the price, and not having to see bubblegum welds and kinked bends under my truck, I pulled the trigger. The whole thing is well constructed with good quality welds and a polished exhaust tip.

However, I'm very aware of the complaints about loudness and drone from Dynomax's kit. But there is an easy solution. In addition to the cat back kit, I also ordered Dynomax's Super Turbo muffler to replace the Dynomax Ultraflow muffler that comes with the kit. The Ultraflow is a welded stainless steel constructed strait through design. The Super Turbo is of galvanized crimped construction with an 's' shaped exhaust path through the muffler.

See: Mufflers for details.

Dynomax makes a 2-1/2" offset inlet with a 2-1/2" center outlet muffler of the same length in both lines. So it was as easy as ordering both the Catback Kit and the extra Super Turbo muffler. You end up with an extra muffler, but its still under $400 for all of it. The kit comes with U clamps and gaskets, but I hate U clamps on exhausts, so I ordered 3 x 2-1/2 Walker Mega-Clamps to replace the U clamps. These look more professional, in my opinion, and make removing the exhaust, for say replacing a clutch, much easier down the road.

The parts I used are:
Dynomax Cat Back Stainless Kit (Part Number 19443)
Dynomax Super Turbo Muffler (Part Number 17748)
3 x Walker Exhaust 2-1/2" Lap Joint Mega-Clamp (Part Number 33226)

Installation:
This is very easy to install. The hardest part is removing the old exhaust. Be prepared to break many of the studs between the secondary cats and the downstream exhaust pipes. There are two studs per side, threaded into the secondary cats. If you break one, don't panic. Drill out what's left of the stud and replace it with a nut and bolt. You may be able to drill out broken studs on the truck, or if you are unlucky, you may have to drop the secondary cats which will probably result in more broken studs. Just soak all the studs in penetraing oil well before hand. If you don't break any studs, you can have this done in a couple hours. Or if you have to drill them all out, this could take all day. Budget time accordingly. Other than that, its pretty simple. You may also find cutting the stock exhaust apart easier than trying to unbolt the parts from each other. A reciprocating saw with a fresh metal cutting blade may prove useful.

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Wheel Tire Car Vehicle Automotive tire



Results:

Noise Level: Even with the replacement muffler, this is noticeably louder than stock. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the stock exhaust, and 10 being no muffler at all, this is about a 4 in terms of sound level. At idle, its nearly stock quiet, which is almost silent inside the truck. Under load, starting at about 2k rpm, you start to hear it. It's not annoying, but its noticeable. To me it sounds about like a stock 370z when its under load. Not bad, but its still a growly little VQ. At speed or under load, there is no drone.

Performance:
Lots of folks bemoan the restrictive stock crimp in the two exhaust pipes as they join to enter the stock muffler. This kit does away with that using a simple 2 into 1 welded joint before the muffler. I have been sceptical that removing the stock crimp joint would make a performance difference, but in my case, the cat back made a measurable improvement. I don't know if its the new joint or the less restrictive muffler, but in testing roll-on 0 to 60 times, the truck is 0.4 seconds quicker with the new exhaust in back to back runs. So color me impressed. (2006 Xterra Off-Road 6MT OBD-2 logged times)

Conclusion:

If you are looking for a nearly stock sounding exhaust, and don't mind giving up a fully stainless cat back to get that sound level, this is about as easy and cheap as it gets for a high quality bolt on exhaust. And it may just make your truck just a bit faster.

Old Army
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Nice. Your truck looks pretty rust-free underneath (at least for trucks driven back East) ... how many studs broke?
The truck has spent all of its life in the Mid-Atlantic area. So definitely some salty roads, but nothing like the Northeast. I broke one of the studs this time. So I'm down to two studs left. I've had them off many times before and they always get anti seized when they go back on. So not too bad. But it took me three hours to get this done, not including removing the really well adheared stickers from the pipes.

Old Army
 

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Excellent description! Thanks for showing the exhaust clamps - those are new to me.

It may be different than the picture shows, but if there's a chance heat from the exhaust pipe will warm up the rubber part on the end of the transfer case, you may want to consider a heat shield there.
 

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For a stock sounding aftermarket muffler replacement, check out a Walker Quiet Flow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
For a stock sounding aftermarket muffler replacement, check out a Walker Quiet Flow.
I looked at the Walker products. The Quiet Flow they have for the Xterra seems to be meant to work with their exhaust tubes for the Xterra. In their case, you get a stainless muffler and separate aluminizes steel pipes. All have to be ordered separately from what I can tell. It looks like they are all meant to directly replace the OEM sections of the exhaust. Best of both worlds would be to get a Walker Quiet Flow muffler that fits in the Dynomax cat back. But I can't find a catalog for the Quiet Flow mufflers that would allow a cross reference by size, inlet size etc. You can search their universal mufflers by specifications, but those are not the Quiet Flow design and their are none that fit the Dynomax setup. Here is the Xterra specific Walker offerings for the Xterra. You'll have to enter Xterra information in the form: Exhaust Parts Lookup | Walker Exhaust Systems

You'll see this:

Rectangle Font Slope Material property Parallel

If anyone knows how to search the Walker Quiet Flow mufflers by specification, let me know. I'm willing to continue experimentation.

Old Army
 

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Walker makes Dynomax.

RockAuto sells the quietflow kit. Has pipes, muffler, clamps, etc. Got it on my ‘06. Paid less than $200 shipped.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the kit info for the Walker. Still trying to understand if they make a Quiet Flow that fits the Dynomax kit. That is a Quiet Flow muffler with a 20" body, 2-1/2" ID inlet and outlet, with an offest inlet and centered outlet. That way you could put together a Walker-max exhaust with all stainless construction and OEM sound level. As is, the Walker muffler assembly wont fit in the Dynomax kit. That asked, I am happy with my outcome.
 

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How does the "quietflow" compare to the OEM muffler / exhaust sound?

I have an 06 as well and it's time to replace it.
Can’t answer as my 4 cats are gutted and that obliterates any and all possible “quiet” the muffler might offer, lmao. My exhaust sounds like absolute sh1t.

But Walker does offer a 90 day “do I like it?” warranty…… and I’d guess the system probably sounds decent enough, as it constantly sells out and is a favorited product @ RockAuto.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So here's an update. I called Walker to see if I could find a Quiet Flow I could test against the Super Turbo. The goal is OEM sound quality in a fully (or nearly fully) 2-1/2" stainless exhaust.

I think I've found a solution. I'll have the next muffler in a few days and will swap them out. This will be a Walker-Max hybrid, using the Dynomax tubes with a slighly modified Walker Quiet Flow. More to come by this weekend...

Old Army
 

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I'm kind of surprised the Super Turbo muffler is that quiet. I had one on my old S10 and it DEFINITELY had a tone to it. NO mistaking that it was a modified exhaust.
Then again, that ol' S10 only had 1 cat and I'm not not what size body my Super Turbo was.

I keep saying I want to get a cat-back... just afraid of the noise from a 3.13 geared Automatic truck on 33s. It has to work decently to get moving at any faster than a granny pace.
Especially if I decide to go away from M/T tires in the future.
 

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Yes!!!! Thank you. Immediately after reading this I looked up the muffler and saw it was available on Amazon so I got it and just installed it today. I had recently installed the dynomax 19443 kit from rock auto replace my rusty pipes. The muffler in that kit was too loud for my liking and I dreaded driving in the early morning to work because of it. But this muffler was an easy swap and sounds so much better. Thank you for taking the time to put it together, I was about to just go to a muffler shop and pay for them to give me something quieter
 

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After 16 years of stalwart service, my stock exhaust reached the point of rust induced death. I've been patching it up over the years, but could no longer stand the exhaust leaks. However, I'm not a fan of loud exhausts, and will not tolerate drone. Ideally, I would have replaced it with a stock replacement, but those are just not available and they are quite expensive when you start piecing together a cat back from OEM parts. So after a bit of research, I found the Dynomax Cat Back system. I found it for less than $300, so it is pretty cheap for a fully stainless cat back. I didn't want a fabricobbled exhaust from a shop, even though that is cheaper. Lots of people do a 2 into 1 muffler and have everything else bent up. But for the price, and not having to see bubblegum welds and kinked bends under my truck, I pulled the trigger. The whole thing is well constructed with good quality welds and a polished exhaust tip.

However, I'm very aware of the complaints about loudness and drone from Dynomax's kit. But there is an easy solution. In addition to the cat back kit, I also ordered Dynomax's Super Turbo muffler to replace the Dynomax Ultraflow muffler that comes with the kit. The Ultraflow is a welded stainless steel constructed strait through design. The Super Turbo is of galvanized crimped construction with an 's' shaped exhaust path through the muffler.

See: Mufflers for details.

Dynomax makes a 2-1/2" offset inlet with a 2-1/2" center outlet muffler of the same length in both lines. So it was as easy as ordering both the Catback Kit and the extra Super Turbo muffler. You end up with an extra muffler, but its still under $400 for all of it. The kit comes with U clamps and gaskets, but I hate U clamps on exhausts, so I ordered 3 x 2-1/2 Walker Mega-Clamps to replace the U clamps. These look more professional, in my opinion, and make removing the exhaust, for say replacing a clutch, much easier down the road.

The parts I used are:
Dynomax Cat Back Stainless Kit (Part Number 19443)
Dynomax Super Turbo Muffler (Part Number 17748)
3 x Walker Exhaust 2-1/2" Lap Joint Mega-Clamp (Part Number 33226)

Installation:
This is very easy to install. The hardest part is removing the old exhaust. Be prepared to break many of the studs between the secondary cats and the downstream exhaust pipes. There are two studs per side, threaded into the secondary cats. If you break one, don't panic. Drill out what's left of the stud and replace it with a nut and bolt. You may be able to drill out broken studs on the truck, or if you are unlucky, you may have to drop the secondary cats which will probably result in more broken studs. Just soak all the studs in penetraing oil well before hand. If you don't break any studs, you can have this done in a couple hours. Or if you have to drill them all out, this could take all day. Budget time accordingly. Other than that, its pretty simple. You may also find cutting the stock exhaust apart easier than trying to unbolt the parts from each other. A reciprocating saw with a fresh metal cutting blade may prove useful.

View attachment 147129
View attachment 147130


Results:

Noise Level: Even with the replacement muffler, this is noticeably louder than stock. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the stock exhaust, and 10 being no muffler at all, this is about a 3 in terms of sound level. At idle, its nearly stock quiet, which is almost silent inside the truck. Under load, starting at about 2k rpm, you start to hear it. It's not annoying, but its noticeable. To me it sounds about like a stock 370z when its under load. Not bad, but its still a growly little VQ. At speed or under load, there is no drone.

Performance:
Lots of folks bemoan the restrictive stock crimp in the two exhaust pipes as they join to enter the stock muffler. This kit does away with that using a simple 2 into 1 welded joint before the muffler. I have been sceptical that removing the stock crimp joint would make a performance difference, but in my case, the cat back made a measurable improvement. I don't know if its the new joint or the less restrictive muffler, but in testing roll-on 0 to 60 times, the truck is 0.4 seconds quicker with the new exhaust in back to back runs. So color me impressed. (2006 Xterra Off-Road 6MT OBD-2 logged times)

Conclusion:

If you are looking for a nearly stock sounding exhaust, and don't mind giving up a fully stainless cat back to get that sound level, this is about as easy and cheap as it gets for a high quality bolt on exhaust. And it may just make your truck just a bit faster.

Old Army
I installed the same cat back system several months ago with secondary cats deleted. The drone is irritating. I have been pondering that 17748 muffler replacement for awhile.
After what you report, I'm going to pull the trigger and buy it
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Just to be clear, its not stock levels of sound with the SuperTurbo. Its not horrible, but you will hear it. For me its loudest at around 2500 RPM. If you are looking for stock sounding, stand by for my QuietFlow installation. However, anything will be quieter than the UltraFlow that comes with the kit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Update: The Walker Quietflow muffer that I intend to test with the Dynomax cat back has arrived and it looks like it will work with just a bit of modification. However, the clamp I ordered to make it work, that shipped two days ago from a warehouse not 40 miles distant, is not expected to arrive until Wednesday because reasons. When that arrives I will test and report back. So if you are wanting a stock sounding all stainless exhaust from your Dynomax cat back, stand by.
 
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