Dale Amy
November 1, 2009

Tech | Exhaust Upgrade Practicality sometimes gets in the way of driving a Mustang on the daily commute, so many of us have to resort to more prosaic forms of transportation (but that's OK: it keeps the "toys" fresh for weekend or after-hours enjoyment). In my own case, the latest driver is an '09 Fusion SEL V-6, and I suspect I'm not alone amongst the readers of this magazine in choosing Ford's midsize, agile, and affordable sedan for its many practical virtues. Not to mention that it's a pretty handsome ride. Though I don't really need its four doors and generous rear seat area, that huge trunk swallows all my photo gear and the Fusion's available all-wheel drive system is just the ticket for the oft-inclement weather of my northern location. Good weather or bad, one can never have too much launch traction.

Of course, being a magazine type and life-long gearhead, I couldn't very well leave it stock, could I? And in case there are others out there who find themselves in the same position, we've decided to report every once in awhile on our Fusion's upgrades-which, in keeping with its daily-driver role, will be nothing radical or exotic; just basic and hopefully cost-effective mods that will embellish its stylish and sporty character without detracting from its comfort or practicality.

Our first upgrade is to the utterly silent factory exhaust-a project immediately complicated by our SEL's all-wheel drive, since we could find no one making a system for the AWD Fusion. So we improvised with the help of a talented fabricator. We started with Borla's 304 stainless kit for the front-drive 3.0L Fusion and modified it as necessary to work beneath our AWD belly.

Before delving into how this was accomplished, a quick word on what we didn't want and that was a noisy, droning beast of the sort that turns highway drives into sonic torture sessions. So with that in mind, for those of you considering such an exhaust upgrade to your own Fusion, read on . . .

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