Okay... so after taking the muffler out ON THE TRAIL!!! I really need to step up to the plate and tackle the issue of my exhaust. No thanks to Monroe muffler for their "(very) limited lifetime warranty". The funny thing is, the system without a muffler and tail pipe doesn't sound bad at all. It's actually respectably quiet, and even Steph commented on the fact that it was quieter on the drive back from NH than on the way there. My dad even made a comment yesterday about the same thing. This leads to some questions - are mufflers necessary in the state of Massachusetts. After some research, I have found predictably vague answers. Most state that the law says "mufflers are required only to keep the noise of the exhaust respectably quiet" (which the state defines as 102dB)... does this mean that if my exhaust with NO muffler is quiet than 102 dB, I'm okay?
That being said, I could simply weld some new hangars on the cat pipe and be done with it. We all know Jeeps breathe a lot on the inside even with hard tops on, so I don't think C02 poising is that big of a concern. So maybe I'll do that, and run a half-assed exhaust? I don't need to pass inspection again until next August anyways.
OR- I can get the Banks Monster exhaust (2.5" pipes) and weld the bolt-on kit to my existing cat. I found the exhaust online for $255 with free shipping from eBay, so that's a lot better already than the $570 quote from Lous. I don't have a problem installing it myself if I can keep my original cat/pipe system.
Anyway, I'm off to hack out my old tail pipe, and look at my options for securing the cat pipe again.
Weigh in your thoughts. I know tjjeepkid recommended the Banks in the first place. The JF reviews section raved about the exhaust system, also... http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f221/...xhaust-770699/