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Review: ARK Grip Cat Back Exhaust

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Old 12-04-2013, 05:14 AM
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Review: ARK Grip Cat Back Exhaust

Well since i just installed this a couple days back I figured I'd post a preliminary review of my experience with it so far.

Fit and finish
The exhaust looked great on the outside. Nice polished finish, decent welds, thick flanges and overall a good looking setup. The inside of the piping was not as nice as I was hoping for. There was quite a bit of metal dust and in some areas jagged edges and a couple of burrs that had to be removed. The exhaust does come with all new hardware and gaskets along with a basic instructions manual.

Installation
All the sections are connected with bolt-on flanges, so no slip joints or anything. The flange bolt holes were all a bit larger than the bolt itself. In other words, there was room for adjustment. However I'm not too happy about that, since it was difficult to align everything with the gasket in the middle to prevent it from blocking the piping. Otherwise, the installation went pretty easy with no hiccups or anything.
It's also important to note that this exhaust sits pretty low. So low in fact, that I had to remove the center brace since it interferes with the resonators. I had a Stillen cat back prior to this one and pipes, resonators and mufflers sat higher and more tucked into the chassis/bumper than the ARK Grip. For some reason there's very little discussion about this fact and I would probably have not purchased it if I had known it sat this low. I'm going to try adjusting the midpipes and muffler hangers but there's not much to do there unfortunately. My car is lowered and the exhaust is scrapping on almost everything. Both the Stillen catback and the factory exhaust scrapped on maybe 5-10% of the speedbumps and potholes that this one does. I'm gonna raise the rear end 3/4inch or so and see if that helps. My car is sitting on Tanabe coils and it's lower than stock but definitely not dropped all the way or anything.

Performance and sound
My car was bone stock prior to installing the ARK cat back, however my car did have full bolt ons + Uprev tune at one point. The car definitely has more power in the upper RPM range no doubt. I felt this with the Stillen cat back and can now feel it with ARK as well.
The sound is definitely one of this exhaust's best features. Keep in mind I've only driven about 30 miles so far with it so it's still being broken in. It's not as loud as people make it out to be IMO. I honestly thought my Stillen cat back was just as loud if not louder when I first installed it and prior to breaking it in. Drone levels are very comparable to Stillen's catback as well. The sound is pretty deep and makes the VQ tone much more pronounced. Once the exhaust heats up and everything is up to temperature there's a bit of backfiring kinda noise when you let go of the throttle at around 3,000-4,000 RPM.

My only real issue with this exhaust is the scrapping situation, otherwise it's a great choice for a cat back in my opinion. If anyone has any tips on fixing this issue I would appreciate the input. I'd hate having to raise the car too much just prevent scrapping. Also I don't have any pics right now since I'm at work. I'll try to get some today when I get back.
Old 12-04-2013, 09:47 PM
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Very nice review. My next mod will be an exhaust. I wanted to go with Ark or Invidia. Leaning even more towards Invidia now. Can you post a sound clip along with pics?
Old 12-05-2013, 03:21 PM
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My friend has the Invidia catback on his G35 sedan. The quality is very good especially for the relatively low price, however I feel it does not capture the VQ note as well as most other catbacks and is not as deep sounding as Stillen, ARK, Fast Intentions, etc. Keep in mind it's also probably the quietest exhaust out there. That's just my opinion based on hearing his car. However, if you care about how low it sits the Invidia is pretty well tucked in. The mufflers are pretty much flat on the bottom.

Anyhow, here's a video of my ARK cat back I took a while ago. I just came back from a 30min drive so the exhaust/engine is pretty well warmed up and up to temperature. I couldn't go over 5000rpm since my DSLR's basic microphone has a hard time picking up the audio. I highly suggest you use good headphones and play it in HD. It makes all the difference.


Last edited by Q8y_drifter; 12-05-2013 at 04:03 PM.
Old 12-05-2013, 04:01 PM
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Love that sound
Old 12-19-2013, 06:50 PM
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Yup best sounding, but also hangs too damn low.

Here is what your flex pipes will look like eventually:


Mine were leaking so I had them cut off and had new ones welded on.
Old 12-19-2013, 08:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyHTX View Post
Yup best sounding, but also hangs too damn low.

Here is what your flex pipes will look like eventually:


Mine were leaking so I had them cut off and had new ones welded on.
Is it just me or is half of the bottom of your car scraped off as well?
Old 12-19-2013, 08:16 PM
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Holy crap.. lol
Old 12-26-2013, 08:18 PM
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I've almost tried every single exhuast out there, current running Ark ( again ) ..
Next exhaust gonna be Invidia ( Non-resonated ) .. don't wanna scrap with it's huge resonators. i've scrapped enough n i'm fed up with that.

lowered cars for the lose lol ..
Old 01-16-2014, 12:50 AM
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is this exhaust loud at 1-3k rpms? I dont want my car to be loud when im driving normally, however when i decide to gun it i want that nice loud sound.

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Tags
ark, exhaust, fast, g35, g37, grip, hangs, hate, intentions, loud, low, review, sedan, stillen, v36, vq
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