Product Review submitted by a Quicksilver 'California Spec' Exhaust customer.
March 14, 2016
Quicksilver designed this California Spec exhaust specifically to address the tighter emssions requirements in California. This system does NOT remove the secondary catalytic converter downstream from the flange. Instead, it splices in downstream from the cat and before the pre-muffler and offers reduced backpressure for improved performance.
Installation was performed by Gangemi Motorworks in Auburn, California on February 10, 2016.
Submitted by Mr. Andew H:
I've had my Mini for several years and the prospect of having a new Quicksilver Exhaust System installed was thrilling! I'd never had any modifications like this made to a street car I owned. We arranged a time for me to bring the car from the Bay Area up to Auburn which was a pleasant road trip with a moderate amount of traffic. Fortunately I was going mostly opposite the direction of the morning commute and in any case I had a nice audio book so I wasn't in a hurry.When I arrived I got to see all the new parts in their boxes and bubble wrap as they were brought into the garage; they were very shiny and slightly carbon fiber-y. The installation was very smooth and quick. I was able to hang out in the garage and watch as my Mini was lifted up over our heads and the stock exhaust was literally cut out of the vehicle. The new system was laid out, lined up, and installed one piece at a time. The guys from MiniMania took a ton of pictures, video, and audio of the before, during, and after. The mechanic, Ryan, has had a ton of experience installing exhaust systems and had a few suggestions about things that could be improved for the next installation as well as some tricks for making sure the new system fit nicely and wouldn't rattle.
After everything was tightened and the new carbon fiber exhaust tips were all lined up we lowered the car back down and started it up. The difference was immediately noticeable! The new system had a deeper note and much more rumble to it. It's like a deep "purr" where the back of your throat vibrates. We revved it up a few times and let the engine get warm to see how it might change the sound. A few Quicksilver decals were applied to my car so we could show it off at MiniThunder and then I was ready to be on my way!
I backed the car out of the garage and headed down the street to the first stop sign with a huge grin on my face the whole way. The first difference was absolutely the sound but the second difference I noticed was that the engine seemed to rev up quicker and more easily than it had previously. I noticed this when I down shifted approaching that first stop sign; I executed my normal heel toe from 3rd to 2nd and the engine felt smoother like it didn't have to try as hard when I blipped the throttle. Later on the drive home I started noticing a similar feeling when up shifting: I would lift off the throttle and engage the clutch to shift and the engine seemed to stay up at that RPM a moment longer than usual. When I reapplied throttle to finish the shift I found myself over shooting slightly because the engine seemed to rev up a little more quickly than I was used to.
Having now driven with the Quicksilver Exhaust for a month I can say that I definitely love it. I was worried beforehand about what if the exhaust was too loud or if it sounded obnoxious. I've heard plenty of cars with whiny exhausts and that's not something I'm fond of. I find this exhaust system to be a classy change from the stock exhaust. It's more pronounced, it has a unique note and it's louder, but it's not over done in my opinion. Also it really does sound like a "purr." I was able to spend some time with it on a race track and as you get to the top end of the RPMs, around 5-6,000, the difference in sound is still there but less. I think the most noticeable change is the 1-4,000rpm range.
The difference in interior volume is noticeable too. For daily around town driving I definitely know it's not-stock but it's never overwhelming or annoying. On the freeway there is a louder hum than stock. There was one time on a long road trip where I set cruise control and the RPM and load on the engine hardly ever changed for an entire hour. After that my ears were a little fatigued. I have since found that as long I change speed due to traffic or change engine load by going up and down hills the sound will fluctuate enough too keep my ears from getting tired.
I love getting in my car in the morning and starting it up for my drive to work, the sound bounces around my parking garage and makes me smile. I'm very happy and very lucky to have had this Quicksilver Exhaust System installed. I love it!