Take your pick from stainless steel or aluminized cat-back exhaust systems, axle-back kits, dual exhaust conversions, long tube headers, shorty headers, h-pipes, x-pipes, tailpipes, catalytic converters, exhaust tips, hangers, mufflers, and all of the necessary hardware to get it all installed quickly and easily.


The Ford Mustang exhaust system has changed throughout the years. We will cover a few of the primary differences for the V8 applications from 1979-present Mustangs. 

1979-1993 Fox Body  

Unfortunately, the 1979-1985 Mustangs did not come with a true dual exhaust system from the factory. All 1979-1985 models came equipped with single exhaust kits featuring a restrictive y-pipe design. Starting in 1986-1993, Ford Mustang GT and Cobra V8s, changed over to a true dual exhaust system. This included a factory H-pipe design mid-pipe with catalytic converters and a full 2.25” cat-back exhaust kit that exits near the rear bumper. 

1994-2004 SN95/New Edge

All of the 1994-2004 Mustangs carried over a similar design as the previous Fox Body models. Due to engine design changes, updated catalytic converters, piping design, and mufflers were used to optimize performance and flow. 

2005-2014 S197

2005-2010 V8 Mustangs all used a similar design but these did have some significant changes. These exhaust systems were split up into three main sections instead of two like the older models. These consisted of a mid-pipe, over-axle section, and an axle-back exhaust system. These early S197’s used a full 2.5” exhaust pipe size. 

2011-2014 V8 Mustangs introduced the much more powerful Coyote engine. These engines demanded an increase in exhaust flow to optimize their performance. Ford stepped up to a 2.75” piping from the factory for all of these V8s. 

2015-2023 S550

The S550 platform introduced a completely different exhaust system compared to previous years. Ford still retained the larger 2.75” exhaust pipe sizing, but they also introduced a few technologically advanced components to tame the sound, but also others to open the exhaust up. The S550 uses an OEM resonator in the center of the vehicle to help reduce overall decibel levels. One other major change that came on some of the S550 models was the popular Active Exhaust axle-back. This factory axle-back incorporated an internal butterfly valve that allowed the driver to change the exhaust note on the fly! 


Cat-Back Exhaust system found on most Mustangs is exactly what it sounds like. This is the section of the exhaust that is located from the catalytic converters or cat, back to the rear bumper of the car. These usually break down into three separate sections. The Flow Tube is the section that connects to the mid-pipe, then you have a typical muffler, and finishing the cat-back is a set of tail-pipes. 

Cat-Back Exhausts can vary depending on many different aspects. Some of these will be made from stainless steel or aluminized steel piping for added durability. The mufflers of your cat-back exhaust are probably one of the most debated exhaust aspects for any car enthusiast. This will be the primary component that controls the overall sound of your engine. Tailpipes or exhaust tips finish off the cat-back exhaust system. This is the end result of your exhaust that you see near the rear bumper of the car. 


Starting with the S197 and S550 chassis, the axle-back exhaust system was introduced. This exhaust system is just the section found from the axle of the car to the back of the bumper. This normally incorporates the muffler and exhaust tip as a complete component. Typically, these either feature a slip fit or ball and socket connection to the over the axle piping found on these chassis. These axle-back exhaust systems are easily modified compared to other models due to their ease of installation and overall fitment


The X pipe vs. H pipe debate is a huge topic in the Mustang community. The mid-pipe is the section of exhaust piping that connects the exhaust manifolds or headers to the cat-back exhaust system. The exhaust note produced by these two Mustang mid-pipes both provides a uniquely different exhaust tone. Exhaust gas is scavenged differently with the two different designs resulting in the difference in sound.


The H-pipe intersects as an “H” and gives you the old-school "American Muscle Car" sound that we have all grown to love! While this version of the crossover pipe produces a deep, throaty exhaust note, it isn't going to be as efficient at balancing exhaust gases as the X-pipe. The H-pipe is designed with two straight pipes and a crossover pipe that, while it does help to equalize exhaust pulses from the passenger side to the driver side, does not encourage more exhaust flow. The result is slightly more low-end torque but a little less high-end horsepower.

The H-pipe will still perform very well. They have been around for roughly 60 years and if they did not work, nobody would use them!


The piping of the X-pipe intersects in the shape of an “X” so that exhaust gases cross each other from each engine bank to create an increased flow that will help to evacuate the system efficiently and evenly. The X-pipe is going to create a more raspy tone and has a slightly higher pitch than an H-pipe with the colliding exhaust pluses. In most cases, you are going to see power gains in the higher RPM because of the smooth, continuous exhaust flow caused by crossing exhaust gases from the left side to the right side. The exhaust pulses are scavenged more efficiently producing that higher RPM power but they will have a slight loss in low-end torque.

The X-pipe, though producing a more raspy tone will have fewer decibels in comparison to the deeper exhaust note exiting the H-Pipe.



Any way you look at it, the addition of a performance exhaust kit will ultimately improve your power. The engine in your Mustang relies on “Volumetric Efficiency”. Basically, this means that your engine is a huge air pump. The more air you can get in and out of the engine, the more power it will produce. OEM exhausts are typically restrictive and have numerous emissions controls to tame decibel levels and exhaust emissions. Improving exhaust flow out of the engine whether it is a set of headers, a mid-pipe, or a cat-back, changing over to an aftermarket exhaust will only help you make more horsepower


Pricing will vary from the exhaust component, manufacture, and the material these exhaust kits are made from. LMR carries a vast selection of major brands like FlowmasterMBRPCorsaRoush, and Borla just to name a few. Our dedicated customer care representatives and knowledgeable tech team are always here to help you make the best decision for your ride!  


No, not all Mustang GT 5.0L’s came equipped from the factory with an active exhaust system. This active exhaust system was not a standard option and would add $895.00 for this upgrade. But in the long run, this is money well spent as a factory option compared to other aftermarket exhaust upgrades. Even in 2019, you could get this option on Mustang Ecoboost 2.3L turbo models! 

Some OEM models like the Shelby GT500 and GT350 Cobras did have an active exhaust system from the factory. This performance exhaust system is a huge advancement in technology for the Mustang platform.