I knew that some day, I would upgrade the exhaust in the TJ, but I didn’t expect to do so almost immediately! Courtesy of the sheer amount of rust on the stock exhaust and consequently the failing of my state inspection, I took to the internet to find the cheapest exhaust kit money could buy so I could pass and get tags on my Jeep asap. I didn’t find much in the way of reviews or videos of the PaceSetter kit, but for around $130 shipped, it checked the boxes I needed. So I figured what the hell and clicked to buy. Thanks Amazon!
The parts unboxed look decent, all the bends are in the right places and the welds look good. The only thing that’s a little odd to me is the exhaust hangers are straight pieces of metal and don’t have any type of catch to help the kit stay in the hangers.
Install is fairly straight forward, drop the skid plate (make sure to support the transmission with a jack or jack stand), remove the OEM kit and bolt the new one in place. Removing my OEM kit wasn’t too hard since the hangers had rusted off completely! Reinstallation proved to be a little annoying since the kit included a pair of screws that were just a bit too short to bolt up the muffler up to the converter pipe. But a trip to Home Depot remedied that issue. The only other thing I needed to “customize” was the pipe length coming out the back of the Jeep. Due to conflicts with the trailer hitch on my TJ, I had to chop off about a foot of pipe. As a result, the exhaust dumps out just behind the rear passenger side tire. Not a biggie, but if you planned to use the shiny chrome tip, I think you might be SOL. Even if it did fit, the tip would have been positioned in such a way that it would get crushed the very first time you came down on a rock on the trail. It’s kind of a blessing in disguise. To make it fit, I cut it back to such a spot where it won’t hit on a rock. It might not be a high tuck design, but it sure is out of the way.
The sound isn’t much louder than stock to me, about 2.4 dB louder in the cabin at idle, but the pitch is much throatier and has more of a growl to it. The butt dyno says the Jeep is a little peppier with this kit installed, but I don’t have any measurable metrics to support that claim. All in all, I’m satisfied with this kit. I needed a bare bones exhaust system at a rock bottom price, and this kit delivered with a nice throaty little growl to boot.
PaceSetter TFX 86-2875 Exhaust vs. No Exhaust vs. Stock