One of the best things about the 2011 to 2014 5.0L F150s is that they sound amazing with even the most basic of exhaust upgrades. Throwing on an aftermarket cat-back kit lets that brutal 5.0L Coyote V8 sing at a proper volume and tone to give your truck a big, tough roar that is sure to catch everyone's attention. While we're planning on testing just about every 5.0L cat-back kit under the sun on our 2012 F150 FX4 Project Truck, we started out with the aFe Mach Force XP cat-back kit, which is a key part of our F150 5.0L Phase 1 and Phase 2 packages. aFe's kit isn't the loudest, biggest, or most aggressive system out there, but it gets the job done and provides a great sound and plenty of extra performance.
Our cat-back swap began by taking a cruise over to Extreme Performance out in Goodyear, Arizona, where Kris was waiting to help use rip out our factory cat-back and throw on aFe's kit.
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.
Now Kris hooked aFe's extension tube onto our factory mid-pipe and tightened the bolts so it would stay put, before grabbing an axle stand to hold the pipe up under the truck.
Here's where things go sideways. aFe's online .pdf instructions are incorrect. The kit is designed to hook up to F150's with a 157" wheelbase. The extension pipe required cutting out around 12" worth of tubing in order to get the kit to fit. Kris just eyeballed the measurement by hooking the muffler and over-axle tubes into their hangars and marking off the overlap.
Then came the cutting without highly recommended eye protection. Seriously, wear goggles if you need to cut your exhaust. Bad, Kris. No cookie. Or beer.
After deburring our freshly-cut pipe, Kris slipped the muffler tube over the extension pipe and hooked the muffler's hangars into place.
The muffler tube and extension pipe connection was then clamped, as well as the connection for the over-axle pipe and the muffler.
Kris then installed aFe's polished 304 exhaust tip onto the end of our cat-back kit.
All that was left to do was go around and tighten all the clamps and connections, and off we went with a much more awesome, and slightly more powerful 5.0L F150.
Make sure to stayed tuned to our blog or YouTube channel to catch our official sound and performance testing of this aFe cat-back exhaust kit!