Hello and welcome to a little GM Authority how-to, and I will be your host for this journey on the installation process of Solo Performance Axle-backs on my personal 2009 Pontiac G8 GT.
Almost anyone can relate if they own a vehicle with V8 power: stock systems are quiet. But, they’re designed that way on purpose to appeal to a broader audience.
I’m not that broader audience, though. The 2009 Pontiac G8 GT arrived with an L76 6.0-liter V8 engine, and is very capable of making joyful noises. But, from it’s Australian birthplace, it doesn’t. The car is equipped with two large stock mufflers plus a mid-muffler to really keep noise levels down.
So, with that said, the search was on for an aftermarket system to make sure the neighbors knew I was coming home every night. There are many choices for the G8, including Borla, Corsa and more. But combing the G8 forums provided a clear favorite: Solo Performance. Solo offers cat-back and axle-back options for the G8, but many owners opt for the axle-backs. One, they’re less expensive than a cat-back exhaust, and two, the consensus is these are the perfect tone for the car.
After further research, I decided to place faith in my G8 brethren, but felt an x-pipe would be a welcome addition to the system to add a little extra grunt to the car’s bark.
What was used in this project:
- Solo Performance Axle-Back Kit (Includes all necessary hardware for installation.)
- 2.25-inch Lawson Industries x-pipe.
A quick note: this process can be done on your own, but professional installation is the best route. Especially since this involves welding. I’m no welder, but maybe you are.
I paid a visit to Big 3 Racing in Brunswick, Ohio who were kind enough to let me into their workspace and photograph the entire install process. With my car on the lift, the fun began.
First thing was first, the old mufflers had to come off. With a socket wrench, begin unbolting the muffler assembly at the rear flange connection. The muffler should come loose fairly easily with some pulling and prying. Just be gentle as it releases from the stock rubber hangers. After repeating this same process, both mufflers were off in no time, and my G8 was looking like an elder minus their dentures.
With that done, it was time to get the axle-backs on and in place. All this requires is sliding the axle-backs onto the stock rubber hangers and arranging the flange connection to install the gaskets provided with the Solo kit.
Then, tighten both sides and manipulate the exhausts into position so they look straight. It required a few sets of eyes to make sure things were nice and tidy.
The axle-backs were in, and curiosity had the best of me. Leaving the car on the lift, I quickly remote started the car and it burbled to life. It sounded nice, much better than the whisper-stock tone, but it was a very good thing I decided on the x-pipe too. Seriously, I highly recommend it for a true throaty sound.
Be sure to check back for part two of the install tomorrow, where we tackle the mid-muffler and play with a blow torch as we weld on the x-pipe.
Part two is live, click here.