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Year / Model Reviewed:
would apply to years 88 - 01' 1.5 - 2.3 liter Hondas
*Fair resistance to corrosion (304 stainless)
*Nice mandrel bends (consistent diameter throughout)
*Nice looking tip (if kept clean on the inside)
*Muffler design (mostly steel wool with perforated core and no composites)
*Does not suppress high frequency noise well (raspy noise).
Great exhaust system.
I would give the craftsmanship an 7.5 out of 10 (it's not the greatest but the welds hold up). The system is a bit on the hefty side since they've used thick material (thats good in terms of strength).
The muffler design is not good. I've had 2 thermals so far, and the sound is the same before & after break-in. What do I mean by "break-in"? You will always get carbon deposits inside any muffler over time. It happens much faster, running with no catalytic converter. Some mufflers will still sound good after this happens, the thermal muffler is not one of them.
You can start up the car when its newly installed, it will sound nice, quiet, and deep, but over time you'll get more of the raspiness.
Inside the thermal muffler is Steel Wool with little or no composites to suppress high frequency noise.
Thermal's exhaust tip is tapered from the inside out. The tapered part is what gives the exhaust character looking at it from behind, but it's also the part that gets dirty the easiest. A downside for those who want a low maintenance clean looking exhaust.
While this exhaust system produces lots of power (sometimes more than other systems for the same car), I would not recommend it to someone who's looking for a great sounding exhaust.
Similar Products Used:
*Apex N1 (Worse than thermal. So, loud that they supplied a baffle to suppress noise and sufficate power as well.)
*OBX (You get what you payed for, but sometimes it sounds better than thermal)