Review - Stainless Works Cat Back System
Cadillac
 

Cadillac Forums | Help Us Help You | Advertise | Cadillac Parts | Cadillac News | Cadillac Classifieds / (Old System)

Cadillac Technical Archive | Cadillac Dealers | Cadillac Reviews | Cadillac Dealer Reviews | Cadillac Vendors

CadillacForums.com is the premier Cadillac Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 54
Like Tree5Likes
2009-2014 Cadillac CTS-V Performance Mods Discussion, Review - Stainless Works Cat Back System in Cadillac CTS-V Series Forum - 2009-2014; Greetings to my fellow travelers. I finally got a 2009 V sedan, 6 speed manual, 8k miles and in mint ...
  1. #1
    SecretWeapon is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 2009 Sedan, M6, Silver/Ebony
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Spring, Texas
    Posts
    457

    Review - Stainless Works Cat Back System

    Greetings to my fellow travelers. I finally got a 2009 V sedan, 6 speed manual, 8k miles and in mint condition after scheming and dreaming about this car for almost two years. After a full maintenance check, inspection, and base line dyno (501/498) I installed my Stainless Works Cat Back System on 09/03/09. I have had the system on for a while now and felt it was time to post a review. I received the boxes and inspected them for damage and saw none. After unpacking, I saw that the end of one of the pipes was deformed/flattened out of round and would have to be bent back. I also found the same type of damage/deformity to one of the mufflers. Not a good start. On closer inspection, the other muffler was dented on the body. Because of the bubble wrap and other packing materials protecting it it is my impression that it was shipped out of the factory this way. While moving one of the pipes I cut my hand on a sharp shard of metal that was left hanging and had not been cleaned off from where the pipe had been cut. After applying a tourniquet and two blood transfusions later, it was time to do the install.

    First, give up any illusions of doing this job on the ground or using jack stands. You will never be able to get the leverage necessary to put this thing on. After putting the pipe ends back into round and laying out the pieces we began assembly. Note, the pieces are designated left and right with a sharpie and not a sticker or tag. This just seemed odd to me and a lower quality way of doing things that might lead to confusion at some point. After removing the factory exhaust and getting to look at it first hand, I was really surprised to see just how badly crimped and restricted it was. Right from the start, assembly of the SW system was problematic. First piece - first problem. The flange on the right connector pipe was improperly drilled and the bolt holes would not line up with the studs coming off of the catalytic converters. I checked the studs closely for signs of damage and there wasn't any. So we used a grinder on one of the flange holes until it would slide onto the studs without issue. The X-Pipe went on without to much trouble and looks like a quality piece. After putting the rear pipes into the X-Pipe it became apparent that any thoughts of hooking up the tunnel brace were going out the window. The pipes hang too low and wide to be tucked up into the space so any structural rigidity gained from the cross brace is now lost. After hooking up the mufflers the real fun began. Getting this thing to hang properly was downright impossible. The right (passenger) side is tucked in nice and neat and overall looks great. The left side however hangs way low and wants to drag the muffler inward - bad. After adjusting this thing over and over again I decided to button it up and call it a day. After all, it was Labor Day weekend and there was beer and barbecue to eat. After getting a clear bra and tint on Monday I decided to take it to a specialty exhaust shop on Tuesday and have them do whatever it took to get it to hang right. I picked it up last night and the story is this. After 2 hours of fussing, fiddling, pushing and pulling it will never hang right because "that is the way it was designed". Also, the muffler tips will never be symmetrical coming out of the rear valence because one of the tips was welded an inch further back on the pipe than the other. No way to fix this one without grinding the shit out of the pipe and re-welding. But is this something that I should have to do? I do not think so. This system hangs way too low on the left side and will pose a clearance problem for many drivers. Visually, it looks out of balance and degrades the looks of the car when viewed from behind. Also, it hangs so low that I do not know if I will be able to install the Eibach spring kit which slightly lowers the car without causing even more problems. As far as my driving impressions of this system after having it on and putting over a hundred miles on it, well here they are. First, at start up and idle this system sounds deep and throaty just like I wanted. It burbles with a sound that says I am a bad dog and when you goose the motor it roars without being raspy. Overall, my neighbors have all given me a big thumbs up on the way it sounds from the outside, deep and resonant, without being raspy or obnoxious. However, the experience from the inside is not as pleasant. Unfortunately, the drone with this system is off the chart, downright miserable and totally degrades the driving experience for both passenger and driver. Under any degree of acceleration between 1600 and 2400 RPM this thing resonates and vibrates like crazy. It is a very unpleasant experience and makes conversation or listening to the radio very difficult. Also, it "feels" bad when it drones. Kind of like when the dentist is scraping on your teeth with one of those metal picks they use. With windows up you cannot actually hear the exhaust note coming from the mufflers because of the crazy loud drone. With windows down the problem is magnified. No one who has ridden in the vehicle has commented favorably on the harmonics of this exhaust system while under acceleration from the inside. As far as any performance increase is concerned, my seat of the pants tell me yes, it has picked up a few ponies and this thing definitely roars under full throttle acceleration. I was planning to put it back on the dyno later this week in order to objectively quantify the horsepower changes made by installing the SW cat back system on an otherwise stock V for you guys. However, given the severe drone, fitment problems and quality control issues associated with this product, I really cannot recommend this system to anyone out there, and feel that another dyno run, just on this system is just more wasted time and money. I have a New Era CAI system on order and hope that maybe with better airflow to the motor this will somehow improve the internal harmonics of the SW system. But this is just a hope and not an educated guess. Overall, putting the Stainless Works cat back system on my car was a disappointing step or two backwards and I feel that this product does not do our fine cars justice. At this point I kind of wish I had bought a Borla. Regards to all, Mark (Secret Weapon)

  2. Remove Advertisements
    CadillacForums.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    dqw1's Avatar
    dqw1 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): 2009 CTS-V
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Madison, AL
    Age
    53
    Posts
    2,014

    Re: Review - Stainless Works Cat Back System

    Sorry to hear this news as a bunch of us were waiting on an independent review. I have the B&B catback and almost considered swapping it out for this one because somebody kept bragging on this being the next great thing but I decided to wait. I'm glad I did now. Hopefully you just got a bad one out the batch. Good luck on whatever you do next. I'm sure SW will get it right.

  4. #3
    Cub Cadet is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
    Automobile(s): 2010 CTS-V 6spd MANUAL
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    799

    Re: Review - Stainless Works Cat Back System

    I have the full exhaust (headers, high flow cats, exhaust) and do not have any of the issues that you speak of. Mine doesn't rattle, or drone at all. It is actually very, very good in my opinion. Even when I get on it, I can barely hear it inside the car. I think that there may be an issue with the installation, or you have a leak somewhere. The system should not be droning at all. My guess is that you have an exhaust leak at the front that needs addressed. I have roughly 1,000 miles on my full system now and have never had any issues with drone or sound.
    You can see these videos to see how your sound matches to mine:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7noGW9zGFA
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZjuqKKxb4A
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0aZBv8TRjTc

    Are you saying yours is louder than this?


    Also, as an FYI on your New Era CAI... please do yourself a HUGE favor and remove the driver side brake duct before you install the CAI. If you do not remove this, your filter will suck in hot engine air (especially if you are not out on the freeway) and trigger a CEL which will be insufficient switching on the O2 sensors. By removing that brake duct, you get outside air (cooler than engine air) and also still allow cool air to the brake.

    To remove the brake duct, just pull the push pin under the front of the car that connects the center plastic cover with the driver side plastic cover. This will allow you to manipulate the brake duct better. From the back side of the duct (end towards the front wheel) push it towards the front of the car to brake loose that connection. Once that is free, you need to make sure the front portion of the duct is free from the fog light bucket. Once you have that, you can pull it up out of there. This is a vacuum formed plastic part so you can bend it a bit to get it up out of there. Then, re-install your CAI and you will now see that it can clearly suck up good clean air. It is not in the immediate wind stream coming into the area, so you will not get a ram air effect... which you would not want. This doesn't block air flow to the brake, so they both share it.

  5. #4
    JOEYCTS-V's Avatar
    JOEYCTS-V is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): 2011 CTS-V Sedan
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    1,729
    Thanks for the heads up and detailed review. I would not tolerate the pipes sitting uneven like that. It would drive me crazy.

  6. #5
    SecretWeapon is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 2009 Sedan, M6, Silver/Ebony
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Spring, Texas
    Posts
    457
    Thread Starter

    Re: Review - Stainless Works Cat Back System

    The install is tight and there are no exhaust leaks anywhere. There have been a number of hands and eyes on this system and the problem is not with the install. The consensus is that it is a design and quality control issue.

  7. #6
    Cub Cadet is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
    Automobile(s): 2010 CTS-V 6spd MANUAL
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    799

    Re: Review - Stainless Works Cat Back System

    Is your car louder than the videos above? I am not sure where the drone could come from unless the factory manifolds and cats are so restrictive that it changes the sound. On mine, I have zero issues with drone. At cruising speeds, it is quieter than stock. My driving is a good mix between around town driving and highway driving. On the freeway, I set the cruise anywhere from 68mph - 74mph and also have zero drone.
    In the past, I have had other vehicles with other exhausts that have droned. I know exactly what you are talking about and how drone is a bad thing. For me, the CTS-V doesn't have that.

  8. #7
    SecretWeapon is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 2009 Sedan, M6, Silver/Ebony
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Spring, Texas
    Posts
    457
    Thread Starter

    Re: Review - Stainless Works Cat Back System

    Cub - first, thank you for the tips on installing the New Era. I will follow your recommendation on pulling the brake duct out to improve air flow. The instructions you have provided are very helpful. As far my review - it stands as is. I am not happy that I had to post up an unfavorable review because I strongly believe in supporting the vendors who support the forums. However, my loyalty first and foremost is to the other members who are purchasing these products with their own hard earned money. You did not experience the problems that I had with install because you did not install the system yourself. Your system is different than mine because you have headers and I do not. Maybe the headers change the harmonics and eliminate the drone issue? I do not know. I can only comment from my experience. Your perception of the drone/sound quality is different than mine and we will have to agree to disagree on this issue. Respectfully yours, mark.

  9. #8
    Umrswimr's Avatar
    Umrswimr is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): CTS-V
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    410

    Re: Review - Stainless Works Cat Back System

    Curious to see how SW responds. I suspect they'll do whatever it takes to make it right...

  10. #9
    Speedtrapped is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 11' cts-v wagon
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Age
    45
    Posts
    390

    Re: Review - Stainless Works Cat Back System

    although I only will have SW's headers, HF cats and X installed to corsa, when done next week I will post up a review, I will record sound next 2 days and do same after as well.
    I hope it gets rectified for you

  11. #10
    SecretWeapon is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 2009 Sedan, M6, Silver/Ebony
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Spring, Texas
    Posts
    457
    Thread Starter

    Re: Review - Stainless Works Cat Back System

    Hey guys. Just spoke with one of the members from another forum and he is installing the full system including headers on his whip this weekend. Since he doesn't live very far away and our cars are very similar we are planning to get together and compare the sound quality between the two systems. This should be interesting. We will take pictures and videos if possible and I will keep you guys informed as to what we find out. Regards to all. Mark.

  12. #11
    Stainless Works's Avatar
    Stainless Works is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    155

    Re: Review - Stainless Works Cat Back System

    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

  13. #12
    thebigjimsho's Avatar
    thebigjimsho is online now Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
    Automobile(s): ZIP
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    In the barrel of a gun...
    Posts
    49,688

    Re: Review - Stainless Works Cat Back System

    ^^^I like that response.^^^

  14. #13
    Rule12b's Avatar
    Rule12b is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
    Automobile(s): 2010 CTS-V Sedan
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    544

    Re: Review - Stainless Works Cat Back System

    Quote Originally Posted by SecretWeapon View Post
    Hey guys. Just spoke with one of the members from another forum and he is installing the full system including headers on his whip this weekend. Since he doesn't live very far away and our cars are very similar we are planning to get together and compare the sound quality between the two systems. This should be interesting. We will take pictures and videos if possible and I will keep you guys informed as to what we find out. Regards to all. Mark.
    I am extremely anxious to hear how this goes. . .

  15. #14
    SecretWeapon is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 2009 Sedan, M6, Silver/Ebony
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Spring, Texas
    Posts
    457
    Thread Starter

    Re: Review - Stainless Works Cat Back System

    Hi there. Just got off of the phone with Anthony at Stainless Works. He seems like a great guy who wants to get things right and is easy to talk to. He asked me a bunch of questions that I answered the best I could and I will be sending him some additional photos after I get out of the office later tonight. He also said that he would be checking on a couple of things from his end as well. Some guys were wondering why I did not contact him right away as soon as issues popped up. I did not contact him right away because I wanted to make sure that I had done everything possible to get the best fit and alignment of the product that he provided me with. Also this car is a daily driver for me and I have limited time to screw around with it. Anyway, the vendor response from SW has been excellent so far and Anthony seems like a stand up guy who wants to get this fitment/drone issue resolved as much as i do. I am confident this story will have a happy ending. Speaking of happy endings ---- it is time for a massage :-)

  16. #15
    EuroTrash is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): None
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    51

    Re: Review - Stainless Works Cat Back System

    Glad to see the vendor being so responsive, hopefully they take care of you and you end up a happy customer.

Quick Reply Quick Reply

Register Now

Please enter the name by which you would like to log-in and be known on this site.
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.

Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Bookmarks

Cadillac Posting Rules

  • You may post new threads
  • You may post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Read about Lincoln | Buick | Kia Forte Forum
Need products for your Cadillac? Check out your options at the links below:

custom floor mats | Cadillac Chrome and Black Chrome Wheels | window tinting