Keeping Your S550 California Compliant With JBA Performance Exhaust

When the S550 Mustang began hitting the streets back in early 2015, many enthusiasts and critics alike argued that the stock exhaust on the 5.0L variant was just way too quiet.

While many of us agreed that in stock form the refreshed Mustang might not have the ideal exhaust note that we so desired, as enthusiasts, we knew it was only a matter of time before the aftermarket world develop a plethora of high-quality bolt-on exhaust kits for our beloved Pony. And within days of this muscle car hitting the streets, many top name manufacturers had already debuted systems that made sure your neighbors knew you had a mighty Coyote lurking under the hood.

Fast forward to 2018, and the developers at Ford finally realized the importance of offering an active exhaust option that would give enthusiasts the freedom to change the exhaust note at a push of a button.

Ford’s “good neighbor mode” also ensured those early morning cold starts would no longer serve as an unwanted alarm clock in your neighborhood.

But if you ask any true Mustang enthusiast what exhaust they are currently running, you will be hard pressed to find someone that is still running their stock setup.

Upgrading to an aftermarket exhaust, whether it be a full cat-back or an aftermarket axle-back is sort of a right of passage to any Mustang owner.

If you are a Mustang enthusiast who lives in California, then chances are you are well aware of the California Assembly Bill 1824. While the 95-decibel exhaust law has been around since 1993, on January 1, 2019, the enforcement of this law changed from just being a fix-it ticket to an immediate fine of up to $1,000.

While we have yet to hear of anyone in the Mustang community getting such a fine, this new enforcement does have enthusiasts considering other exhaust options for their builds here in California.

Finding A Budget-Friendly Exhaust To Fit Our Build

We first met Matthew Diaz and his Oxford White 2015 Ford Mustang GT Premium at the 2017 Nitto Tire Auto Enthusiast Day in Anaheim, California.

While Matthew already had an impressive list of bolt-on modifications to his S550, one area that he admitted needed some attention was his vehicle’s exhaust. At the time, Matthew was merely running a muffler delete on his vehicle, and he was interested in finding a quality cat-back exhaust system that would fit in his budget.

Matthew explained that his current exhaust setup was just way too loud and because his Mustang was also his daily driver, the drone that it produced was almost unbearable.

Now we are all too familiar with the saying” “If it’s too loud you are probably too old.” But after taking his car for a quick drive around town it immediately became apparent that the current setup he was running created some unwanted attention, especially with the new exhaust crackdown here in SoCal.

We reached out to Greg Raymond, Marketing Manager at Pertronix Performance Brands to find out if they had a budget-friendly solution to fix this S550’s noise level.

“Our JBA Performance Exhaust for the 2105-2017 Mustang 5.0 GT is the perfect budget-friendly exhaust system for lightly modified S550’s,” Greg boasted. “This easy to install cat-back system features a 3-inch dual exhaust with an X-pipe, and was designed to increase horsepower and torque throughout the powerband.”

Greg also went on to say that this particular setup is ideal for the SoCal enthusiast looking to add a quality dual stainless steel muffler setup that is quiet during normal everyday driving but produces a powerful exhaust note under heavy throttle.

After checking out the JBA Headers website, we also found that this complete system (P/N 40-2645) was available for under $650.00, which was right in Matthew’s budget. This system fits any 2015-2017 Mustang 5.0 GT, transitioning from the choked down 2.5-inch factory tubing to 3-inch. In addition, it is compatible with JBA Cat4Ward Shorty Headers for additional performance.

Installation Begins On Matthew’s S550

Once we found the exhaust we were looking for, we ordered the parts and set up an install date at the Power Automedia Tech Center. The parts arrived on schedule, and we put Matthew’s S550 on the lift to remove his old exhaust.

Upon initial inspection of the old system, we could tell right away why this system was so loud. It was primarily a modified cat-back, converted to a straight pipe with no mufflers!

We also noticed that the construction of this system was less than ideal. In our opinion, it was not something that we would recommend running for an extended period of time.

But once we unboxed the new JBA Performance Exhaust, we knew this would be a massive improvement to Matthew’s S550. The stainless steel exhaust is a direct bolt-on replacement and pairs up to the factory catalytic converters on your 2015-2017 Mustang GT to stay emissions compliant.

JBA Performance Exhaust Installation

  • Remove and inventory the JBA Exhaust System.
  • Disconnect the negative battery cable and allow the exhaust system to completely cool.
  • Raise car a minimum of 24 inches off the ground – a lift is the preferred method.
  • The middle section of the exhaust and mufflers are one unit and need to be removed as one.
  • At the front, there are two clamps that attach the midsection to the cat pipes.
  • Loosen the clamps and slide them backwards.
  • At the mufflers, you need to slide the hangars from the rubber mounts.
  • Mate the JBA X-Pipe up to the stock cat pipes using the original Ford clamps.
  • Install the JBA mufflers onto the rubber hangers (WD40 will ease installation).
  • Slide the JBA muffler over the end of the JBA X-Pipe with the 3-inch AccuSeal Clamps.
  • With the axle pipes in the muffler assemblies adjust mufflers to be flat, and the tips an equal distance from the bumper cover.
  • Tighten all clamps securely.
  • Using a soft cloth, wipe the new JBA tips clean.
  • Reconnect the battery and start the vehicle to check for leaks.

Installation took less than two hours from start to finish for the new exhaust. In fact, the only real issue we had was removing the old exhaust as some of the tack welds that held the system in place were less than ideal. Once installation was complete, our crew gave it a final safety check and reconnected the battery and fired the S550 up.

The new system looked and sounded great, and the look on Mathew’s face really said it all. If you are in the market for a budget-friendly exhaust upgrade for your S550 that will keep you off the radar of the “decibel police” here in SoCal we highly recommend this exhaust system from JBA.

Photo gallery


For more information on the entire lineup of exhaust options for your S550, including the EO approved JBA Shorty headers, you can click on JBA’s official website here.

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About the author

Kelly Getzelman

Kelly is a SoCal car enthusiast and skilled driver. His “get out and drive” obsession began after attending his first high-performance racing school while serving on active duty. Since then, he has attended numerous military and civilian driving schools across the country to help fuel that passion.
Read My Articles

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