Review - Stainless Works Cat Back System - Page 2
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2009-2014 Cadillac CTS-V Performance Mods Discussion, Review - Stainless Works Cat Back System in Cadillac CTS-V Series Forum - 2009-2014; This is awesome to see. Too often we see the "he said/she said/you did this/I did that" type of arguing ...
  1. #16
    CTSV_Jim is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Review - Stainless Works Cat Back System

    This is awesome to see. Too often we see the "he said/she said/you did this/I did that" type of arguing on forums that quite frankly makes me not want to read the post other than to hope to see a happy ending. It's really pleasant to see a dissatisfied customer simply stating facts and not bashing, then a vendor coming back with a positive message like this. Although this is not a good thing to go through, it appears that both parties are acting very decent to each other and I look forward to reading about things working out in the end.

    Quote Originally Posted by SWAnthony View Post
    Well, nothing like being honest! If I were Secret, I would be pretty upset too. This is not typically how SW products should arrive. Its very aggravating on my end because I can only control the sales/technical/marketing end of our product. I communicated everything over to our General Manager, Production manager and Sales manager to take immediate action.

    I responded to Secret's PM asking him to call me.

    I touched base on the drivers side pipe being lower than the other. See these posts if you haven't already viewed them:

    http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums...ml#post2708566

    I really dont know what is going on with the drone issue. As I stated, I have driven two CTS-v's with headers and one with our catback. Each variation was tested in an Auto and a Manual. There was honestly no drone present. If there was, we would not have released it.

    We will definitely correct whatever we can to make it right.

    Thanks!
    -Anthony

  2. #17
    LitiGATOR's Avatar
    LitiGATOR is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Review - Stainless Works Cat Back System

    Great response from SW. It's refreshing to see a vendor not immediately point the finger at the consumer.

  3. #18
    SecretWeapon is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Review - Stainless Works Cat Back System

    Hey guys. I plan on taking another forum member for a ride this weekend to get another set of ears in my whip to hear what I hear. Whatever he experiences, I anticipate that he or I will post his thoughts on what he hears or doesn't hear for the rest of the forum. I sent Anthony, at Stainless Works, additional photos of my install last night so he could better see what I am talking about. I took measurements of my exhaust at its lowest point and the passenger side has 6 inches of clearance while the drivers side has only 4 inches of ground clearance. We had a really good talk this morning and now I am just going to relax, have a couple of beers and let him do his job. I will keep you posted on what we come up with. Until then, my review stands as is. Regards, Mark.

  4. #19
    Rule12b's Avatar
    Rule12b is online now Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Review - Stainless Works Cat Back System

    Fundamentally different from my negative life experience with B&B. Nice to see.

  5. #20
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    thebigjimsho is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Re: Review - Stainless Works Cat Back System

    B&B has taken care of most of us in V1 pretty well...

  6. #21
    Rule12b's Avatar
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    Re: Review - Stainless Works Cat Back System

    They seem to be coming around, albeit slowly. I can't knock other's experiences with B&B, only mine, which does seem to be unusual. Hopefully it all gets sorted soon. Sorry for the hijack but I thought I should say this to be fair to B&B.
    thebigjimsho and thebigjimsho like this.

  7. #22
    RC51V2 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Review - Stainless Works Cat Back System

    Like SecretWeapon, I have posted in the other thread, my problems with the SW exhaust. Unlike him, i haven't been contacted at all, or even offiered too, by SW. Kinda bummed. I supposed the view is that since I installed this on a wagon (2011, Auto) not a sedan, it's my problem. In any event, my observations largely track Secret's. The problems I observed were: 1) hangs down very low, about 1" -1.5" more than stock, especially around the rear suspension; 2) tight fit with the tips in rear valance; 3) bad drone. For reference, i had the system professionally installed at a shop that does custom work and has done this type of work for me before, and the guy walked through the install with me. It was welded up good and the install was not the issue.

    In terms of the rear tips - it's tight, but for me they lined up pretty closely and I can live with it (pic's attached of each side). I took a chance putting it on the wagon when it was only fit for the sedan (although the differences are mainly in the rear valance) and so caveat emptor.

    In terms of the ground clearance - major drawback for me. I hated losing the tunnel brace, and then to have it hang so much lower, make for some real clearance issues for me on driveways and speed bumps. It should be about 1/2" higher optimally. Right now, for some of the steeper driveways and most of the speed bumps around I have to go over very slowly (1-2 mph) and I have to cross them at a diagonal, so I don't scrape. Otherwise, it hits every time on the low spot of the pipes (just me in the car, no one or nothing else) and will eventually cause problems. There was no info in what I saw online or when I ordered, that indicated this difference from OEM exhaust, and the pic's from SW, looking up at the bottom of the car, don't show the change. I tried to take some pictures with my camera phone that show the issue. The pipes were painted black with high-temp exhaust paint (by me) because I preferred that look, so it's a little more difficult to see. If this was the only issue, I could probably live with it.

    In terms of the drone, that is a huge deal killer. My phone doesn't take good video, so I have no good audio files of it. But the drone is horrible. Starts at 1,500 rpm and goes to 2,500 rpm, under part-throttle. If you hammer it hard, as in reckless driving/speeding, the drone disappears. If you can keep it under 1,500 it is non-existent and over 2,500 it fades as you hear the New ERA intake and supercharger spool up. Unfortunately, for a daily driver in the City, it's right where it can't be avoided. Everyone who rode in the car before, and now after, has given me the.....do you like that sound? question and when I ask why they say the NVH is very annoying and would bother them. Well, it bothers me too. Center console buzzes at times from the drone. Change in the little cubby will vibrate and rattle around. I can hear stuff in back, below the floor in the storage area, buzzing. It makes a $60K car sound cheap. I like the tone of the exhaust, I like the volume of the exhaust, but the drone is unbearable. Omnipresent over the stereo, through the bluetooth to cell, even through On Star. I am either going to wind up ordering some resonators (like an SLP or Vibrant type) and having those installed (although I hate to spend another $150 on it with no guarantees) or I may just wind up removing the entire thing and going with a KPE or Borla exhaust system. If I only tracked the car - it would be fine. If you only drove the car on the hwy at 80 mph or higher - it would be fine. If you are hard of hearing - it would be fine. Since I fit into none of those categories, it is incredibly frustrating and I would not spend the $ again on the SW exhaust, or recommend it in this type of situation, until they add a resonator or otherwise resolve the drone.

    One last thing. Power - yes, SOTP seems to say increased. More on top end than bottom. Not as dramatic difference as the New ERA intake made. But no way I am paying for a dyno on it as is now, because I have no intention of living with this drone. If I do dyno it, it won't be till I either replace the exhaust, or try and install a resonator to compensate.

    Attached are some pic's (remember exhaust is painted flat black) that show the rear tips and the clearance and fit underneath.exhaust 1.jpgExhaust 2.jpgexhaust 3.jpgexhaust 4.jpgexhaust 5.jpgexhaust 6.jpgexhaust 7.jpgexhaust 8.jpg

    And sorry for the long delays in posting. I work 12-15 hour days and have near zero opportunity to post in the day, so it is either before or after work or on my days off.

  8. #23
    muohio is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Review - Stainless Works Cat Back System

    This is a complete bummer. I was going to order the headers and exhaust tomorrow, but this has turned me off. Maybe something can be resolved, and my confidence restored in the product.

    BTW, isn't the removal of the tunnel brace a big issue? I would think that the rigidity of the car would be affected as the car ages.

  9. #24
    Cub Cadet is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Review - Stainless Works Cat Back System

    I would not be afraid to buy the full exhaust. You have to remember that RC51V2's problems are due to the fact that he tried to make a sedan exhaust fit a wagon. The wagon rear bumper is much different than the sedan and the exhaust tips and cutouts are much smaller than the sedan. Secondly, for the drone complaints, that is from a cat back application which retained the restrictive manifolds and cats. These two items increase the chance of drone, but this system should be free from that. I put 50k miles on a trailblazer SS with a SW LMF cat back... so similar application to a wagon. Again, this system didn't drone and I loved it.
    So, today I tried everything to get the system to drone... I did what the above poster said for RPM range and still no drone or vibration. I tried all rpm's and different gears/speeds... nothing. The loudest thing I had was the blower motor for the vent fan. Once DomsZ06 gets his full exhaust installed, I am confident that we will have a second opinion that the full exhaust has no drone issues.
    I am 100% happy with my full exhaust - it is by far the best looking and best sounding system out there with its deep sound.

  10. #25
    SecretWeapon is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Review - Stainless Works Cat Back System

    Greetings fellow travelers. I had an opportunity to meet up with DomsZ06 from another forum and he has posted up his impressions of my Stainless Works cat back exhaust. If he gives me permission to re-post here I will do so. Unfortunately, he was banned from this forum because his comments got a little too spicy for some of the more refined palates on this forum. PM me and I will give you a link to his review of my system. Also, I used a pretty decent sound meter to measure the decibel levels in the vehicle and I was unable to duplicate the readings posted up by Stainless Works in their video. I tried both A and C weightings and the only thing I could figure out is that maybe they used a C weighting for the initial testing and then an A (less sensitive) weighting for the final test numbers. Anyway, I am not an acoustics expert and Stainless will have to chime in on this issue. All of my testing was done on an otherwise stock vehicle with the stock air intake. I am going to instal the New Era later today after I finish a few Honey Do's and will let you know if there is any difference in the drone. Until then, my initial review still stands as is. Regards, Mark (Secret Weapon)

  11. #26
    SecretWeapon is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Review - Stainless Works Cat Back System

    I have read RC51V2's most recent post and would like to add a comment or two. First, the drone issue is real. Mine comes and goes in the same RPM range as his and what really bites is that this is the RPM range I normally drive in. It makes me feel like I am in a riced up Civic and not a high quality Caddy. Second, the ground clearance issue is real and I already have a scrape of yellow paint on the underside of the pipe from going over a speed bump last night. This clearance issue will mean that installing my Eibach spring set will have to wait until the driver side pipe is re-routed somehow or a different system is put on altogether. Third, the sedan and the wagon, to the best of my knowledge, are mechanically identical as far as the drive train and frame is concerned and use the same exhaust system, so mounting the sedan system on the wagon should not be an issue. However I am not a GM tech and my only real qualification for making this statement is that I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last month. Fourth, I suspect the tip alignment issue is due to the low hanging pipe and is actually a QC issue like mine. Finally, I think that Stainless may feel that since the system was marketed for the sedan and not the wagon they are not liable for the problems RC51V2 is having and therefore do not need to respond. I will talk to Anthony at SW tomorrow and ask him to consider opening up a line of communication with RC51V2 to get at least some feedback and dialogue going so if in the future they offer a system for the wagon they can be on the lookout for certain issues and hopefully make a better product. I guess the bottom line for me is that I thought I was purchasing a finished system and now feel that I have become part of the development process. Regards, Secret Weapon.

  12. #27
    SecretWeapon is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Review - Stainless Works Cat Back System

    Hey guys. Just got permission from DomsZ06 to re-post his comments from another forum. Here they are. Regards, Mark.

    "I'd just like to chime in here since I saw SW's car and exhaust today. Anthony is spot on (as is SW) there are some QC issues here on his exhaust.

    1) passenger side tip has an extra half to 3/4 in of metal between the tip weld and the muffler weld, so now it sticks out.

    2) the driver side pipe coming from the x-pipe hangs down a good 2 inches. This is not due to the tight squeeze, but do to the fact that the pipe was not bent properly to fit up where it should have been (like cub cadet's was)

    3) at 65 mph the DB reading is 98-102 in the passenger seat.

    so, in a nut shell the exhaust is still a great exhaust, and if it was being put on by a muffler shop I would think they would fix all of the issues, minus the drone.

    It looks sweet on the car, and when he starts it it sounds AMAZING! I know they are working with SW to make it right. Just wanted to post up to tell you guys that he is not crazy. The drone is loud for a caddy.

    I'll let everyone else know how my instal goes when I get to get my car up on the lift to instal it.


    I was bored so opened the box and my mufflers and tips are exactly the same length, so maybe SW's was made on friday at 459pm??? "

  13. #28
    Cub Cadet is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Review - Stainless Works Cat Back System

    Quote Originally Posted by SecretWeapon View Post
    I am going to install the New Era later today after I finish a few Honey Do's and will let you know if there is any difference in the drone. (Secret Weapon)
    When you install the New Era CAI, please do yourself a favor and remove the driver side brake duct. You will be saving yourself a bunch of heartache if you do it. It is very easy to remove and requires no tools. This a MUST for the New Era due to the filter location. If you need instructions on this, let me know or you can see my tips on another forum.

  14. #29
    RC51V2 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Review - Stainless Works Cat Back System

    Just a note. The drone is not a wagon v sedan issue. I grant you the wagon may amplify the sound somewhat because of the larger enclosed space, but if you look at the factory service manuals, and talk to the dealer, the basic exhaust is the same and the undercarriage/suspension are basically the same for all the major components that would be in play in this case. The whole reason GM made the CTS V wagon is because it wasn't that much additional work beyond the sedan, not like an entirely new model. None of the wagon changes other than the rear valance should have affected the exhaust. The one main difference is the rear valance and that isn't going to cause drone. Nor is it going to cause one side of the exhaust to hang down lower than the other (which is what mine does). If the pipe was bent right, the clearance would be a non-issue and I suspect the tip would line up perfect also. The tip really is a non-issue for me anyway, it fits - just tight, and where I trimmed underneath is totally invisible to anyone unless they crawl under the car.

    Don't know why Cub Cadet has not had the issues, but I believe him. In fact, it was hearing the sound clip on the SW site that made me buy it. That was exactly what I wanted, and if I had gotten it, I would be one happy CTS V wagon owner right now. Instead, my plans to lower the car are (also) now on hold. And any plans for additional motor mod's are also now on hold, until I can get a new exhaust or eliminate the drone. In fact, the whole reason i am posting today is that I am sitting here looking up 3" exhaust resonators trying to decide if that is a better way to go, or just cut my stock 2.5" pipe after the resonator, install it back on again, and add a transition to the larger 3" SW exhaust, before the x-pipe.

    And if there is anyone out here in the IE area of So Cal that wants to ride in my wagon and hear for yourself, give me a shout out. I put several hundred miles on the car yesterday and I have it down exactly under what conditions the drone appears and disappears.

  15. #30
    Cub Cadet is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Review - Stainless Works Cat Back System

    My 3" exhaust tubing between the headers and the mufflers hangs exactly how it is shown above. The driver side must hang lower so that it clears the rear axle carrier. Also, I have not bottomed it out on anything yet. For me, I don't care how that piping looks or hangs under the car as long as the tips are in the right location. For me, this exhaust both meets and exceeds my expectations. When Domsz06 gets his full exhaust on, I am confident that you will not have a drone issue there.

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