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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So let's say I'll have $500 by the end of this year to modify my 3. I already bought Eibach springs and will install them soon, so lowering is already checked off my list. The rest of my car is stock, except the AEM dryflow filter and some light overlays. I really think sound is important to driving as I came from an Eclipse with a Magnaflow exhaust so I miss the sound when I drive. I need some input as to what I should do with $500.

A local muffler shop has quoted me $150-$200 to do a muffler delete and a y pipe fab with stock tips (or bring in my own tips for them to weld for the same price, which would cost me an extra $40 from ebay). This leaves me with about $250-$350, which I like since having extra pocket money is nice to have (I spent most my money on Eibachs and felt the struggle of having no money left lol, I'm a college student). That money could be used toward things in my life or I could get more mods like a front bumper lip, MIT grill, skirts, etc. Only cons I have about a muffler delete is that they essentially cut and weld your stuff, so it isn't as easy as bolt on exhaust in case I need to go back to stock.

On the other hand, I could get my hands on a Borla exhaust locally for a little over $500 and I could remove it and replace it with the stock exhaust if needed. However, I'd be out of all my money.

Other options would be to save it towards a set of wheels and tires, specifically the RPF1's which I could get locally for about $900, and other $300 or so for tires, putting me at $1200; but I wouldn't be able to get them until next year after I graduate and if I do get a paying job. I'm a little impatient for that honestly, and by the time I do get a job I'd make more than enough for a set of wheels and tires anyway.

I mainly want sound, but I'm a bit skeptical about the muffler delete because it isn't a bolt on like an exhaust, but it's much cheaper than an exhaust. What would be my best choice? Thanks for your time.
 

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I know the feeling :) If it were me, I would use a little bit of the money to get a front lip or something, just to customize the look a bit and use the rest of the money for yourself for food or gas and stuff. If you must do something about the sound, do it right and get a proper exhaust instead of the muffler delete. It'll sound better too. Personally, I didn't like the sound of the muffler delete on 4cyl cars, it's just louder and a lot of sound, not really clean sound.
 

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Unless it's just sound you're after, I'm with lowincash. I wouldn't bother with the exhaust.

Mazda did a surprisingly good job with the exhaust on these cars. They're not crush bent, and they flow pretty well. I wouldn't be surprised if the muffler delete only gets you 2-3 hp. Not worth the money.

Even the catback exhaust from corksport only gets you 5 hp (10 claimed for the 2.5L). And that's the muffler delete plus a total redesign.
CorkSport 2014+ Mazda 3 Cat Back Exhaust for Sedans and Hatchbacks
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I know the feeling :) If it were me, I would use a little bit of the money to get a front lip or something, just to customize the look a bit and use the rest of the money for yourself for food or gas and stuff. If you must do something about the sound, do it right and get a proper exhaust instead of the muffler delete. It'll sound better too. Personally, I didn't like the sound of the muffler delete on 4cyl cars, it's just louder and a lot of sound, not really clean sound.
Thanks for your input. Yeah I'm also interested in getting the lip too but I guess it isn't as priority yet. The muffler delete sounded fine to me based off of the YouTube videos from people on this forum; sounded like stock kicked up a couple notches in volume, but then I could be wrong since audio recordings can be deceiving. So you think it would be worth spending all my budget on a dedicated exhaust if I felt sound is important? Thanks.

Unless it's just sound you're after, I'm with lowincash. I wouldn't bother with the exhaust.

Mazda did a surprisingly good job with the exhaust on these cars. They're not crush bent, and they flow pretty well. I wouldn't be surprised if the muffler delete only gets you 2-3 hp. Not worth the money.

Even the catback exhaust from corksport only gets you 5 hp (10 claimed for the 2.5L). And that's the muffler delete plus a total redesign.
CorkSport 2014+ Mazda 3 Cat Back Exhaust for Sedans and Hatchbacks
Yeah I'm mainly interested in sound, I feel like any gains or differences in exhausts are negligible from stock so the only benefit to me is having a sweet sound.
 

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Yeah I'm mainly interested in sound, I feel like any gains or differences in exhausts are negligible from stock so the only benefit to me is having a sweet sound.
Then I'd say do what makes you happy. Must be some shop that will do the job for less though. Seems like a lot for a simple cut and weld job.... Even if welding stainless sucks.
 

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Yeah if all you want is sound, get a nice set of axlebacks. I guess I grew out of the loud car stage. When I was younger I loved my comptech exhaust on my accord, even took resonator out. Though the accord was a v6 and it sounded better. I still like having some exhaust noise when driving tho haha The stock exhaust on the mazda 3 is way too quiet so what I did was replaced the huge stock resonator with a smaller one. This gave it a bit more volume when driving and has a more deeper tone with some growl when flooring it. Made the car sound more sporty without sounding like an aftermarket exhaust. This mod only cost me $90 for parts and labor, and it got rid of a few extra pounds :D
 

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If you're mostly interested in sound, perhaps you can just swap out the resonator. I'm considering this myself

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If I had your budget and I was focused on sound, I would save up for a nice axleback. There are a few good options out there, Racing Beat and Corksport come to mind. I agree with lowincash, muffler deletes on four cylinders rarely sound good.

Really it depends on what your goals are for the car. If I was in your position and had $500 to spend, I'd either get a rear sway bar or a tune from OrangeVirus. The rear sway bar will make the car less prone to oversteer, and the tune would give you more "smiles per gallon"
 

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On my 2015 I have a Magnaflow cat back I bought from Auto Anything. Cost a little over 800.00 shipped. Installation is easy or a muffler shop will charge 150.00. Fits perfectly to stock hangers and has a great sound. Little more but worth it. Also put a K & N cold air intake.
 

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Looks like you are in Cali so I don't know of any sort of open exhaust or dump will pass smog. In case you didn't see, Voodoo just put up his borla.

Otherwise, you can get yourself a MF and have a shop custom do an exhaust for you and you should be under the $500 mark easy.
 
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