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Installing a Cat-Back Exhaust – The Prep Work

Don't worry; you won't have to do a ton of prep work when installing a new Corvette cat-back exhaust, but it's good information to have on hand. You'll want to start by putting your vehicle on a lift or heavy-duty jack stands – it's always best practice to have your C8 safely supported when you're working underneath it. Plus, the extra wiggle room helps the entire process move along faster. You'll be working with some substantial parts, so the full range of motion is highly beneficial.

You'll also want to disconnect the battery as an extra safety measure. Not everyone thinks it's necessary to disconnect the power when installing a cat-back exhaust – but any time you're working with electronics, it helps to disconnect the negative battery terminal. You'll find the battery in the front trunk of your C8. Once the negative terminal is disconnected, you're officially ready to start pulling your stock parts off.

Removing Your Old Corvette Exhaust

Before you begin, it's important to understand that you should never work on a hot exhaust system. Allow your C8 to cool for at least an hour and a half before you start removing parts. Additionally, you'll be working on your Corvette exhaust system as it sits directly above you, so be sure to wear some eye protection for safety.

Remove the Rear Bumper Cover

Now that you're prepped and ready to go (and taking all the safety precautions into account), you're ready to start removing that old stock Corvette exhaust system. Well, not quite yet. First, you're going to have to remove the rear bumper cover. Remember when we said you're going to need some patience for this cat-back install?

You'll also want to disconnect the battery as an extra safety measure. Not everyone thinks it's necessary to disconnect the power when installing a cat-back exhaust – but any time you're working with electronics, it helps to disconnect the negative battery terminal. You'll find the battery in the front trunk of your C8. Once the negative terminal is disconnected, you're officially ready to start pulling your stock parts off.

Disconnect Your Old Corvette Cat-Back Exhaust System

To unbolt the stock Corvette exhaust from the headers, you need access to the engine bay from the trunk. Remove the fabric trunk liner and the screws around the edge of the plastic cover. Now, ff you’ve just driven your car, let it sit for a ½ hour prior to working on your exhaust system so you don’t get burned. Once you’ve removed the trunk liner, from there, you can follow along with your exhaust system and take off the bolts. Yes, it really is that simple once you get everything out of the way.

Remove the Stock Muffler

Depending on which C8 Corvette cat-back exhaust systems you’ve purchased, you may or may not (like CORSA) have performance mufflers to go along with the X-pipe and exhaust tips. Regardless, you'll need to disconnect either two or four plugs/ actuators that go to the valves on the stock exhaust. Two of these are part of the active valve exhaust system (present only on NPP equipped Corvettes), and the other two are part of the active fuel management system which are present on all C8s. These can be pretty hard to reach, so start by unbolting the hangars that keep everything in place. With a friend supporting the system, you're free to remove the plugs, the bolts and the muffler.

Just like that, your stock parts are out, and your brand new C8 Corvette cat-back exhaust is ready to be put in place. That deserves a pat on the back.

Look to CORSA PERFORMANCE for a New Corvette Exhaust

If all this shop talk is getting you more excited than ever to get a new aftermarket C8 Corvette exhaust, head on over to CORSA PERFORMANCE for the best in the industry. Our C8 Corvette cat-back exhaust systems are designed for performance and aggressive, deep sound. You have your choice from CORSA’s Track Series Exhaust systems to CORSA’s premiere 4 Valve system featuring our patented no-drone Reflective Sound Cancellation® (RSC®) technology. With CORSA’s mufflers exhaust systems you'll experience heavy-hitting sound on acceleration and start-up without the noisy drone during cruise. While our Track Series systems hit the sweet spot for drivers looking for that aggressive sound at all times. Check out our entire selection today.

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Steps for Aftermarket Exhaust Installation

As we mentioned earlier, these steps are more or less a general guide for aftermarket exhaust installation. If you want to know how to install a cat-back exhaust with complete step-by-step instructions, you'll need to consult the manufacturer installation guide that comes with your product. All CORSA products come standard with a downloadable instruction guide right on our website.

Alright, let's get started installing your cat-back exhaust. Generally speaking, this can be accomplished in just six steps:

  • 1. Install your new X-pipe. Be sure to have someone assist with supporting the pipe as you bolt it into the header piping.
  • 2. Reconnect the plugs for your active fuel management system motors.
  • 3. Install both performance mufflers by sliding the rubber isolators onto the side hangars.
  • 4. Bolt your rear hangars into place while connecting the X-pipe to the mufflers with the included clamps.
  • 5. Reconnect the active valve exhaust plugs to the motors on both sides.
  • 6. Once everything is in place, tighten everything down fully.

There, your cat-back install is finished and probably looks beautiful. Once you have everything in place, it's time to reconnect all the other components you had to remove. That means the plastic liner of your trunk, the fabric liner, the bumper and the battery. You're all ready to give your C8 a new test drive and raise some hell on the road.

If you're still on the fence about which C8 Corvette cat-back exhaust system to choose, check out our C8 Corvette Variable Sound Twin Cat-Back Exhaust System in action. Once you finish your cat-back install with a CORSA product, you'll have this to look forward to.

Tips & Tricks for the Perfect C8 Corvette Exhaust Installation

Before you rush off to start installing your cat-back exhaust system, there are a few extra things you should keep in mind to make the process even smoother.

  • When you purchase an aftermarket Corvette exhaust, it should include anti-seize lubricant to use with the new hardware. You should only use the anti-seize lubricant on the threads of the clamps and flange bolts. If you don't use the lubricant, the nuts can seize on the clamps and potentially destroy the threads. It's also a good idea to wash your hands after using it. The lubricant can tarnish stainless steel pretty quickly.
  • All clamps should be tightened using a properly calibrated torque wrench – never eyeball your torque. If you choose to go with an air impact gun, it can damage the clamp and reduce its ability to seal effectively.
  • After you finish installing your cat-back exhaust and take it for a road test, take another look at the clamps once your system has cooled. You may need to retighten some after your new Corvette cat-back exhaust system has had some real-world action.
  • As with all C8s, and all aftermarket exhaust systems, you are likely to experience a CEL after installation. Should this happen you’ll need to find a reputable dealer that can perform an exhaust valve re-learn sequence to clear the code. Re-calibration should be performed according to GM Document ID 5406413

Shop CORSA PERFORMANCE for Top-Rated C8 Corvette Cat-Back Exhaust Systems

Now that you know how to install an exhaust system on your C8, you'll have to figure out where to find one you can trust. That's where CORSA PERFORMANCE comes in. We have top-rated aftermarket C8 Corvette exhausts that have the power to unlock the true potential of your vehicle. Each of our C8 Corvette cat-back exhaust systems is designed specifically for your make and model – giving you the perfect fit for optimized horsepower, torque and sound gains. Combining high-quality, premium-grade stainless steel with our patented RSC® technology, your brand new Corvette cat-back exhaust will produce deeper and more aggressive exhaust notes than ever before while eliminating any drone during cruise.

If you need any help deciding which C8 Corvette exhaust system is right for you, feel free to contact us at any time. Our dedicated team of experts is happy to help you every step of the way. And, if you need more tips on how to install a cat-back exhaust, you can always check our FAQ page. CORSA PERFORMANCE is a leader in the performance upgrade industry, and our products prove how serious we are when it comes to making your ride better. View our entire selection today. Looking for an aftermarket exhaust system for another vehicle? Don't worry – we have a ton of make and model options to choose from. Now that you know how to install an exhaust system, why not upgrade the entire fleet?

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