Ben Did a great job of documenting the recent install of a Bassani Exhaust system on his 2001 Lightning
With his permission the pictures
and description are mirrored here
Here is the original Thread from F150Online - http://www.f150online.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=65547
I know I asked a lot of questions
before I bought my Bassani. But now that I've taken the plunge, I figure I'd
return the favor and share some of my experience with you all. Please be patient
as there are lots of images that need to load...
First, if your truck has any miles at all on it, budget a good half hour the get the dang stock muffler off. Mine was already replaced once by the dealer only 1000 miles ago and it was practically welded on by the time it was time to come off. Had to coax the thing off with a little heat and an enthusiastic mallet. Was considering saving the stock exhaust in case I wanted to return it to OEM later, but a couple swings with the mallet put those plans to pasture:
Here's the "old" stocker. Not a bad unit.. just a little too pedestrian for something as bold as a Lightning:
Inside the box you will see 3 boxes: one for each
muffler, and another for the X-pipe. The fasteners come
in little baggies, and you get a little disclaimer sheet
with warranty info and 2 pages of instructions (text and
photos). The clamps are kind of floating around in the
box so don't lose those. You also get 2 cool stickers.
NOTE: Bassani has changed the sticker design to this new
style - the old style were silver letter cutouts that
looked a little better on the window glass.
I recommend you leave the bubble wrap on the exhaust tips to keep them scratch-free while you are aligning the exhaust later.
Here's a close-up of the x-pipe.
OK, now on to the
installation. Sorry I don't have any in-between shots (I
was busy dammit) but here are some notes I remember
while putting the new sucker in:
1) Feel free to toss the old rubber hangar donuts as you won't be using the factory hangars anyway.
2) When installing the new hangars, PAY ATTENTION to the photo instructions - it's very easy to put something in backwards. No I'm not an idiot but at 3 AM anything is possible.
3) Do not lose any nuts. (goes without saying)
4) If your L is lowered, you may need to find a different way to mount one of the hangars... see other board members for info on this.
5) The 2.5" spacers supplied in the box are too LONG! Or the bolts that go inside them are too short. Either way you'll need to cut down the spacers or discard them all together for something else (like stacked washers) to get enough threads above the frame rail when installing the biggest hangar. This will seem vague to those who never installed one of these, but if you've done a couple you know that Bassani gave us the wrong size parts and a little customization is necessary.
6) Do NOT tighten anything until the whole exhaust is in place. That way you'll be able to align everything properly.
7) If your lift arm was in the way like mine was, by all means lower your L, move the arm, and lift it again. You may not be able to line up the mufflers properly otherwise.
8) Bassani has changed the clamp design yet again. They used to furnish U-bolts but not anymore. Use whatever you want, but tack-welding is probably recommended for the highly modded L's.
The finished results:
bubble wrap off
the tips BERY KERVULLY!
BTW, the new Bassani exhaust tips have the logo stamped or engraved on each tip, while the older ones do not (nyuk nyuk nyuk):
Hopefully when you're done everything is lined up
properly and you only have a couple washers left over.
WARNING: Exhaust will STINK like Dana Stubblefield's cleats whenever you drive it for the first few days.
NOTES: I noticed my Bassani was almost SILENT at idle - it barely even hissed. But my friend's Bassani has got a couple thousand miles on it and he has a nice rumble at idle. I'm not sure if Bassani changed the design or sound characteristics of the exhaust since he got his, but I imagine that the whole thing gets a little louder (meaner) with age as its broken in.
So how do I like it? I
The SOUND: I was surprised as how quiet it was at idle (although I do expect it to get louder). At around 2000 RPM the crescendo will fill the cabin, and the blower wine is being overwhelmed. Briefly visiting 3000 RPM, you're roaring down the road and it never stops after that. Let off the gas and the exhaust note changes and bubbles a bit . It drones a LITTLE bit when going up hills at partial throttle at cruising speeds, but coasting is absolutely silent (for now). It only comes to life when you put the pedal down. The exhaust doesn't seem quite as deep as before, but it's definitely LOUDER and has a nice aggressive note. It's not harsh at all, which I like. I am very pleased with the sound, but unfortunately the factory stereo is having a hard time keeping up.
How does it FEEL?
Well, I don't notice any loss in power, and the L still takes off with the same grunt as it used to. But it does seem to stay alive a wee bit longer in the higher RPMs. This could all be psychological of course, and I haven't calibrated my butt dyno to SAE specs in weeks, so take this with a grain of salt. I have to say it does seem just SLIGHTLY stronger, like it's holding the power band a little longer and higher than before.
Was it WORTH it?
IMO, yes. The craftsmanship is super, and almost everything fit perfectly. Took an hour to install and the only hold-up involved adapting the spacers. The tips look great and really fill in the side skirt opening well. And the sound.... WELL TIME TO GO FOR A RIDE!
Ok, enough bandwidth for now...
Ben ('01 Bolt)
Ben for questions at this address -
Click on this link to send him mail