The 2011 to 2014 F150 5.0L Borla ATAK cat-back exhaust kit completely blew us away the moment we heard it, and it immediately jumped up to the top of our lists as one of our "must-have" modifications for our 2012 F150 5.0L FX4 Project Truck. The ATAK just sounds amazing, if maybe a bit loud for the uninitiated spouse, sensitive neighbors, and strict HOA. The ATAK system has a crisp, deep rumble at idle and a huge throaty roar when you step on the throttle. Even though it's a dual-exit exhaust kit, the Borla ATAK cat-back exhaust kit was pretty simple to install, and we had our truck back out and tearing up the roads in practically no time at all.
To get our Borla ATAK cat-back install started, we jumped in our truck and headed down to Extreme Performance out in Goodyear, Arizona, where Kris, despite having a pretty bad chest cold, was ready and waiting to help us out. We rolled our F150 onto Extreme's lift and Kris got to work.
The stock cat-back kit is built to keep your truck quiet and features both a forward resonator and mid-mounted muffler. The first step of our cat-back installation was to hit all the piping connections with penetrating oil to help make Kris's life much easier.
After letting the penetrating oil do some work, Kris removed the bolts holding the resonator pipe to both the muffler's pipe and our F150's mid-pipe, before completely removing the whole assembly.
With the resonator pipe out, Kris maneuvered the muffler tube and over-axle pipe out of its hangars, over the axle, and out of our truck.
With the stock exhaust system completely removed, Kris attached the ATAK's connection tube to our FX4's factory mid-pipe using Borla's supplied (and very high-quality) bolts.
Once the mid-pipe connection tube was securely in place, Kris took Borla's hanger pipe and fit it through our truck's forward exhaust hangar and connected it into the mid-pipe connector. He then grabbed a clamp and let it hang for later. With dual exhaust kits, it's so much easier to get the tailpipes aligned with the exhaust system still loose.
Kris then grabbed the heart and soul of this kit for installation: the ATAK muffler. The muffler and kick-over tubes are actually welded together, so you need to maneuver the dual outlets up and over the axle first before attaching the muffler to the hangar pipe.
After the muffler and over-axle tubes are situated, it's time to install the 90° bend that kicks the driver's side exit around your spare tire, meaning that the tire itself doesn't need to be removed for installation, unless you have an oversized spare or aftermarket spare wheel and tire combination.
Now that your Borla ATAK is actually looking like an exhaust system, it's time to put together the rear hangars for the dual rear exit tips. Borla's solution is a steel hangar with an OE-Style mount attached to the end that easily lets slide the rear exit pipe hangars right through. The hangars install off of your truck's leaf spring perch without any drilling or cutting.
And then the other side.
With both of the hangars in place, Kris installed our tailpipes by pushing their hangars through Borla's rear mounts and then connecting them to the 90° pipe on the driver's side and the over-axle tube on the passenger side.
Our Borla ATAK Exhaust Kit was pretty much in place at this point. Now all Kris had to do was go through and tighten all the clamps, connections, and hangars. We recommend tightening each clamp one at a time and checking exhaust tip alignment after every single one. There is some "give" in some of the piping connections that can throw the tips out of alignment as you go along.
After Kris was done tightening everything down and lining up the exhaust tips, our Borla ATAK install was complete.
Confession time: we were actually already down at Extreme for our Borla S-Type Cat-Back install for the installation of our ATAK kit. Both systems are almost exactly the same, except for mufflers. To install out ATAK kit, all we did was drop the ATAK muffler in place of the S-Type while leaving the rest of the kit in place. So, that's why many of these images may seem a bit familiar.