Review & Install Video
Hey, everybody. I'm Justin with americanmuscle.com, and this is my detailed review and install of the Heartthrob 4-Inch Aluminized Steel Cat-Back Exhaust System, available for your 2015 and newer 3.5-liter, EcoBoost-powered F-150. I'm gonna cover a lot of ground in this review, including my thoughts on the sound from the Heartthrob, what you can expect as far as construction and materials, and then briefly, we'll talk you through some of the big points of the installation process. And on the topic of the install, there is the smallest amount of cutting here, depending on your wheel base. Heartthrob lays out very clearly how much you need to trim, if possible or if necessary. But nevertheless, I'm going one out of three wrenches on the difficulty meter, and I will talk a little bit more about that later on.
But first, let's talk about the sound profile here with the Heartthrob, and honestly, if there was ever a time not to judge a book by its cover, this is it. Mind you, this isn't the prettiest system to look it. We'll talk a little bit more about the appearance and construction in a minute, but it did produce a very enjoyable tone on our EcoBoost-powered truck, a very deep tone, not very loud at all. And I know I'm gonna get killed for this, but it did have some moments of diesel-esque kind of characteristics to it. Granted, I know this is an EcoBoost, it's not a Powerstroke, but this thing did produce a very unique tone, which, in the world of aftermarket exhaust systems, a lot of them tend to sound the same after a while. This thing stood out from the crowd.
So what does this all mean when it comes time to talk about your neighbors? Well, as I just pointed out, this isn't the loudest system out there. In fact, it's far from it. So on my wake-the-neighbors scale, I have this coming in at a soft three out of five on my one to five or one to wake-the-neighbors scale, and honestly, I struggled to even give it a three. Now, it did produce a very enjoyable tone overall, both inside and outside of the cab. On the highway, this thing was dead quiet, and when you were on the throttle, yes, you heard it. But it certainly wasn't obnoxious, so overall, I give this thing two thumbs up in the sound department.
But let's get into the appearance and construction with the Heartthrob here. And as I pointed out earlier, this thing certainly isn't gonna win any awards when it comes to overall beauty, but that shouldn't really be a big factor for you because it is gonna live underneath the truck. And the number one factor when buying an exhaust should be the sound, after all, and as we just talked about, this thing certainly delivered there. But at 400 bucks, too, it's very affordable, so don't go expecting Borla or Corsa levels of quality when it comes to build or materials.
As far as materials, well, you're looking, again, all aluminized steel here, for the most part, guys, including the 4-inch mandrel-bent tubing. There is a little bit of 3-inch tubing, which does step into that 4-inch diameter here, the Velocity Series Muffler from Heartthrob, which is the biggest damn I've ever seen for the EcoBoost-powered truck. And I do also wanna point out that this system does not include a tip, so essentially, you're getting 4-inch raw aluminized steel tubing dumping right behind that passenger side rear tire. Now, if you did wanna find an aftermarket tip somewhere on the internet or in the aftermarket, I'm sure you could to spice things up a little bit, or you can just leave it unfinished. Totally your call.
Let's go back and quickly talk about this massive Velocity Series Muffler from Heartthrob because it is unique to the brand and it is the main driving force behind that unique sound with this particular system. Now, this is what they call a double-wrapped shell muffler, which is gonna help keep the sound levels down slightly. In addition to that, it does feature three individual baffles, or chambers, inside this thing. So basically, if we were to blow the top off of, you find two on the ends here and a V-shaped baffle in the middle, which, again, is just gonna help shape the sound a little bit with this system and help keep some of the drone down at highway speeds, which I can attest it did very well.
But let's switch gears and talk about the install process here with the Heartthrob. And as I pointed out at the very top of this video, depending on your cab and bed size or basically your wheel base, as we call it, there might be a little bit of cutting involved. But it's only one cut, and as long as you use the right tools, it's gonna be a very easy day in the garage or shop. So sticking to one out of three wrenches on my overall scale of difficulty, may be an hour or two before you're making some noise.
Now, as far as tools, you're looking at a basic socket set here in addition to your cutting tool, if you do need to trim, of course. I always prefer a Sawzall, and a fresh metal blade seems to work just fine for me. Now, determine your wheel base and reference those instructions and see if you need to cut and, if so, how much you need to trim off that lead pipe. Once you make your cut, go ahead and remove that factory exhaust system. Get to work installing the new Heartthrob in reverse order. I always recommend starting from front to back. Save your final tighten-up to the very end, and you're good to go.
As for my final thoughts on the Heartthrob, here you go. Yes, this is a very basic system, there's no getting around that, but the sound profile is anything but. For being one of the most affordable systems out there, it produced an awesome tone on our EcoBoost-powered truck, a very unique tone that would rival systems twice or even three times the price. So that is my review of the Heartthrob Aluminized Steel Cat-Back, which you can find right here at americanmuscle.com.