Installing An Axle-Back Exhaust On The 2011-2013 Ford Mustang GT

For our second modification on our new project car we decided to try out Borla’s Atak axle-back exhaust system. Borla is one of the biggest names in domestic performance exhaust and it’s easy to see why when looking at the build quality and fit & finish on their systems. Their sturdy, lightweight construction is superb, and more importantly, the sound they produce is nothing short of stellar. Being an axle-back system we were expecting a mild sound, however this system really screams. Not in a bad way though, it really suits the new 5.0 very well. There is no rasp whatsoever, just a deep, powerful tone that screams Mustang 5 liter power! Even better than the sound when you’re on the throttle is the gurgling and popping you get when decelerating in gear. This axle-back is perfect for someone looking for a nice grunt on throttle, an aggressive deceleration pop and gurgle and when you’re just cruising around it’s very composed. Nothing that will annoy your neighbors or Johnny Law. Now on to the install guide. It took us about 2 hours to do the install with the car on jack stands. Please note that this guide is based on the new 2013 Mustang and the process may slightly differ from 2011 and 2012 GTs.

Tools Required:

13mm Socket

Socket Extension

Ratcheting Socket Wrench

The first step is to jack up the rear of the car and secure the rear of the car on jack stands. Never work under a car with a floor jack, always be sure to use jack stands and shake the car to make sure it’s safe to work under it.

After the car is safely in the air, the first bolt to remove is the bolt on the exhaust clamp that holds on the rear mufflers. This clamp will be re-used on the new axle-back system so be sure not to damage it. Once you remove the clamp bolt, be sure to retain all the factory hardware and set it aside so it can be used when installing the clamp on the new system. The clamp is welded to the stock system by a small tab that we will remove when the muffler is off the car.

Next, remove the muffler hangar from just behind the rear bumper.

Next, there are two bolts holding the hangars at the rear of the muffler tot he underside of the car. This bracket must be removed from the car and re-used on the new system. The image below shows the location of the 13mm bolts that hold the bracket to the underside of the Mustang.

Be sure to support the muffler when removing this bracket, once it is remove the mufflers will drop from under the car. We learned this the hard way! The photo below shows the passenger side muffler removed with the hangar bracket attached.

Follow the same steps on the driver’s side muffler. Remove the clamp hardware first and then the hangar right behind the rear bumper.

The driver’s side muffler has a slightly different hangar design, instead of using two 13mm bolts it uses three. After removing the three bolts in the locations shown below, the muffler will drop from under the car.

Below is a comparison of the stock muffler next to Borla’s Atak axle-back muffler. Notice how much smaller the Borla muffler is and the larger tip. It’s a fantastic looking system that fills the rear opening better as well as saves weight over the stock mufflers.

Now that both mufflers have been removed, it’s time to transfer the necessary hardware to install the new system. First remove the factory clamps from the stock mufflers. They are welded on by thin metal tabs. We simply moved them back and forth (sort of like breaking a paper-clip) until they broke free from the tabs.

The next step is to remove the hangar brackets and install them on the new mufflers. Make sure you install them in the correct orientation or the exhaust won’t bolt up properly.

Now you’re ready to bolt the new system under the car. Start by slipping the new hangar into the hangar bushing behind the rear bumper. After that’s in, bolt the hangar bracket at the back of the muffler to the underside of the car just as you removed it. Once all the hangars are in, simply reinstall the factory clamp and tighten it to complete the installation. Make sure the clamp is on straight to avoid an exhaust leak.

Repeat these steps for both sides and you’re done! Now it’s time to enjoy the new sound! The photos below show how the Borla Atak mufflers look from behind. Great fit and finish for an aftermarket system.

In conclusion, we definitely recommend replacing the rear mufflers on the new 5.0. From the factory they already sound good, but in order to really give the car that signature Mustang sound you can’t go wrong with an axle-back system. Not only are they affordable, they don’t make the car too loud. If you’re looking for something low key that will still turn heads, look great, not void your warranty and please your ears, you can’t go wrong with the Borla Atak axle-back system for the 2011-2013 5.0. You can find this system on our store by clicking the following link: Borla Atak Axle-Back Exhaust System for 2011-2013 GT & Boss 302

Author: stangmods

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14 comments on Installing An Axle-Back Exhaust On The 2011-2013 Ford Mustang GT

  1. / Reply


    • / Reply

      Hi Dan it is the Borla Atak system.

  2. / Reply

    Do NOT cut off the clamp if you are putting on GT500/Ford axle-backs they come with their own clamp already.

  3. lempaweong
    / Reply

    is it necessary to remove the hangar bracket during install? cause i did not see anybody else mention that before.

    • / Reply

      It is not necessary to remove the exhaust hanger bracket from the car to get the exhaust off.

  4. Matt
    / Reply

    I just recently put this on my 2013 V6 and the stock hanger’s cannot support the vibration of the Borla. I tried to order new hangers from AM but they only have 05-10. Any suggestions guys? Thanks!

    • Matt
      / Reply

      The rattling normally occurs between 500 and 1500 RPM

      • / Reply

        Hi Matt can you see exactly what is causing the rattling? Is the exhaust touching the vehicle somewhere? We’ve never heard of something like this happening with Borla exhausts. Sometimes poor fitting systems will cause excessive noise/vibration because the pipes make contact with the body of the car.

        • Matt
          / Reply

          It’s hard to tell. It mainly happens when I’m driving…Not so much on Idle. I am almost positive the muffler rod inside the rubber grommet is loosining up from bumps, cold, driving in general and is moving further away. More disance, more vibration. That’s what I believe. I guess im gonna have to have a shop look at it, but again its hard to diagnose where it is. Any other guesses would be helpful. Thanks!

  5. / Reply

    That makes sense. Maybe replacing the rubber exhaust hanger with an OEM one will do the trick. Currently we do not know of an aftermarket manufacturer that makes exhaust hangers for the 11+. You may have to go with a custom hanger.

  6. Jay Johnson
    / Reply

    It seems to me taking off the bracket is easier than wrestling the hangers out of the brackets. I’ll let you know tomorrow after I do the gt500s we got today.

  7. DonRon de Mach1
    / Reply

    Thanks for the install guide!! It worked to a tee! I was able to do this install by myself in a little over an hour. Also for anyone that doesn’t want to break the clamps off their mufflers Jegs sells the correct 3″ exhaust clamps for the ball and socket type exhaust. part number 30689.

    • stangmods
      / Reply

      Glad the article was helpful!

  8. Gordi
    / Reply

    I have had the Borla S type exhaust with Rattles and then I installed an H pipe exhaust with Flowmaster super 44s sounds very nice However rattles remained? So I jacked the car up took a good look under neath my 2011 gt/cs and Noticed right off the metal lines that run right under my spare tire Wheel well are completely exposed and touch the Bottom of the spare tire Wheel Well. So I covered them with automotive Hi Temp Tubing front to back on both sides of the rear of the car, while I was looking I noticed that the Gas Filler tube was also in need of repair but I did not repair right then as it was disinagrating and I needed biger tubing but I could see Metal to metal touching in a very small area, well to my suprise the rattle stopped!!!!! but every so often I can hear a faint tiny rattle which I know is the gas filler tube! I need to rapair and replace ASAP!!!!

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