aFe Ford Raptor MACH Force XP Exhaust Install

Jul. 18, 2014 By Josh Burns
The aFe cat-back exhaust (bottom) replaces the stock Ford Raptor exhaust (top), replacing the dual-pipe exit with a larger one-piece tail pipe.

From top to bottom, the stock Ford Raptor is built for serious off-road capability. The Raptor comes equipped out of the gate with a host of performance, whether it be the 2.5 Fox coilover shocks or the impressive 6.2-liter V8 engine. So finding areas to improve upon the Ford Raptor are not easy to come by Ė but that doesnít mean the aftermarket hasnít found ways to do so.

SoCal SuperTrucks in San Bernardino, California, recently got its hand on a new Raptor shop truck, and the search was on to further improve its off-road savvy and overall performance. The shop started out by installing a host of suspension upgrades from Icon Vehicle Dynamics, including new billet upper control arms, adjustable 3.0 remote-reservoir coilovers, bump stops and sturdy K-80 Deever springs for the rear, just to name a few.

After the suspension attention, the crew shifted over to the motor and fitted aFeís Cold Air Intake kit on the 6.2-liter V8 engine, which not only provides improved airflow to the motor but also shelters the incoming air from the hot engine compartment to aid in performance.

Once the stock Raptor exhaust is removed, the aFe 3.5-inch exhaust will be installed using the factory mounts and hardware. The first part that should be installed is the mid-pipe muffler assembly.

The aFe exhaust is a little snuck next to the bolt that secures the upgraded spring, but it still has enough room to fit cleanly.

Next SoCal SuperTrucks shifted its attention to the exhaust, with the shop looking to replace the stock system with aFeís 3.5-inch MACH Force XP cat-back exhaust for the Raptor 2010 to 2014 Raptor (fitting Raptors with a 144.5-inch wheelbase). The installation for the kit is fairly straightforward, as the bolt-on kit will use much of the stock hardware and mounting locations. The aFe exhaust is constructed of 3-inch and 3.5-inch mandrel-bent 409 stainless steel and comes with a free-flowing muffler, exhaust tip, band clamps and all necessary hardware.  Although aFe doesnít claim any specific performance figures, it does note its free-flow exhaust will increase horsepower, torque and improve throttle response.

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Installation of the kit should run less than 2 hours at most shops. The install certainly can be performed at home in the garage or in the driveway, provided thereís an extra set of hands to help remove and install the exhaust components (note: aFe does suggest professional installation on its products, however). We did run into a few tight spots during our installation, including a bolt for the upgraded Deaver springs coming close to the muffler and the rear tailpipe just clearing the rear of the spring itself. Once tightened down, however, there werenít any clearance issues with the upgraded springs.

The aFe exhaust will mount to the factory hangers. Soapy water will help with the installation of the exhaust in the hangers.

The one-piece tail pipe runs up and over the axle. It also just barely squeezes by the K-80 Deaver springs that were upgraded on the SoCal SuperTrucks Raptor.

Although the exhaust initially rubbed on the upgraded Deaver leaf springs, once properly tightened the exhaust cleared the spring.

SoCal SuperTrucks technician Ryan Poe secures the final piece of the aFe exhaust in the wrinkle-black SS Exhaust Tip.

The installation for the 3.5-inch aFe Ford Raptor exhaust is pretty straightforward. Once fully installed, make sure to tighten all the band clamps from front to rear. aFe suggests retightening all the exhaust components after 50 to 100 miles.

Sure, the Ford Raptor may offer some impressive performance out of the box, but that doesnít mean there arenít many owners who still want more. aFe obliged with its Cold Air Intake, that we previously featured, and its MACH Force XP exhaust system. With a fairly simple installation, the MACH Force XP exhaust is a no-brainer upgrade for Raptor owners looking to squeeze additional horsepower out of the already impressive Raptor.

Advanced Flow Engineering

SoCal SuperTrucks
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