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How to: Removing OEM exhaust without cutting and installing Kooks Catback (step by step with pics)

Waterfowler41

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How to remove the factory exhaust WITHOUT cutting and install the Kooks catback system on the 2019+ Ram 1500 trucks.

I bought this kit for a few reasons. First and foremost, its T304. I have owned several 304 kits in the past and swear by them in the salt belt. These kits last. Yes 409 will do ok, but the surface rust can be an issue down the road when you want to remove the kit. This kit also retains the factory front resonator and OEM exhaust tips. Haven’t decided on what route I want to go with the tips (Carven or Mopar) but I have options. Lastly, this is Kooks’ “street” kit so sound should be a little milder than some of the straight through kits.

I purchased the kit from Realtruck.com and received it in 3 days. This blew my mind because previous kits I’ve order from other places took weeks to arrive so this was a pleasant surprise. My SW systems for my GMC took 6 weeks to arrive…
Kooks Catback.

This video shows the installation as well as before/after sound clips. Step by step pictures are below:

Enough rambling, let’s dive in.
  • Spray every rubber insulator and clamp from the muffler to the rear of the truck with WD40 to help things loosen up.
  • Unbolt the factory exhaust tips using a 13mm socket. The Kooks kit reuses the OEM tips so clean them up and set aside for reinstallation.
  • IMG_7002.JPG
  • Unbolt the clamp holding the passenger side tailpipe together. The clamp is welded to the pipe so you only need to loosen it. 13mmm socket as well.
  • IMG_7004.JPG
  • Remove the passenger side muffler from the rubber isolator. Support muffler with a jack stand or a buddy (bonus points if his name is Jack).
  • Using a dead blow hammer or a 2x4 and hammer, gently tap the front of the passenger side resonator to help it slide out of the y-pipe. You should need much for to get the pipe out. Once out, set the pipe aside and prepare for the fun part.
  • Remove the spare tire.
  • Remove the driver side heat shield that surrounds the spare tire. (3) 10mm bolts. Be careful, there isn’t anything holding this on so once its unbolted it will drop. IMG_7010.JPG
  • Unbolt driver side lower bolt using an 8mm socket and an 18mm wrench. Move link out of the way so when you lift the truck, it doesn’t get caught.
  • IMG_7008.JPG
  • CAREFULLY jack up the driver side of the truck by the FRAME. This will lift the body of the truck but leave the axle on the ground. IMPORTANT: watch all the wire harnesses and brake lines so you do not over lift.
  • IMG_7015.JPG
  • Unbolt the muffler assembly from the factory mid-pipe. Also, remove the ground strap that is clipped onto the muffler hanger.
  • Unbolt the two nuts that hold the silver hanger bracket (located above the muffler with orange isolators) from the truck frame.
  • IMG_7012.JPG
  • Remove the driver side resonator from the rear hanger. At this point only the two studs above the silver muffler bracket are holding the exhaust in place.
  • With one person under the muffler and another near the driver side rear resonator, start by sliding the whole exhaust system towards the rear of the truck to clear the bracket studs above the silver hanger bracket.
  • Next start passing the exhaust kit over the axle to the person who was under the muffler. The kit will need to be rotated slightly in order to clear the axle, gas tank, and various wires but should eventually slide out from under the passenger side of the truck.
  • Now fist bump your friend, the hard part is over.
  • IMG_7018.JPG
 
Last edited:

Waterfowler41

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Installing the new catback.

  • Remove the factory exhaust gasket from in front of the muffler assembly. Reinstall on the Kooks midpipe pipe connection.
  • Remove the orange isolators and silver bracket from the factory muffler and install on the Kooks muffler.
  • Loosely attach the front midpipe to the muffler using the supplied bracket.
  • Start installing the muffler by first sliding the silver bracket onto the chassis studs. The nuts can be reinstalled and tightened for the hanger. Reattach the front midpipe of the Kooks kit to the factory hanger. Using the Kooks supplied bolts, attached kit to factory midpipe.
  • IMG_7026.JPG
  • IMG_7019.JPG
  • Reattach the ground clip to the hanger.
  • IMG_7030.JPG
  • Install the y-pipe onto the elbow of the muffler. Again only finger tight until all the pieces are installed.

  • Before connecting to the rest of the system, attached the over axle tailpipe portion and the pre-exhaust tip portion of the kit together. Do this for both the driver and passenger side tailpipe sections.
  • Install driver side tailpipe section, the y-pipe out the back of the muffler may need to be twisted to align with the rear tailpipe. It does NOT sit perpendicular to the chassis.
  • IMG_7023.JPG
  • Hang the driver side tailpipe on the rear exhaust hanger.
  • Repeat steps above for passenger side tailpipe section.
  • IMG_7024.JPG
  • IMG_7021.JPG
  • At this point everything should be loosely installed and you can lower the truck if you haven’t already.
  • Once lowered, reattached sway bar lower link and reinstall heat shield.
  • Reinstall the spare tire
  • Starting from the muffler section and working your way to the rear of the truck, begin checking for clearances and tightening all the clamps.
  • Reinstall exhaust tips before the tailpipe sections are completely tightened to verify alignment. Tighten when tips have proper clearance with the bumper.
  • IMG_7037.JPG
  • Before starting up the kit do a once over of all the clamps. OPTIONAL: Use glass clean to wipe down the pipes and muffler to remove greasy fingerprints that will burn in if not removed.
  • Start up truck and let it warm up. Inspect for leaks.
  • Enjoy your kit! Now find a place to store you OEM exhaust!
 
Last edited:

RamConvert82

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Installing the new catback.

  • Remove the factory exhaust gasket from in front of the muffler assembly. Reinstall on the Kooks midpipe pipe connection.
  • Remove the orange isolators and silver bracket from the factory muffler and install on the Kooks muffler.
  • Loosely attach the front midpipe to the muffler using the supplied bracket.
  • Start installing the muffler by first sliding the silver bracket onto the chassis studs. The nuts can be reinstalled and tightened for the hanger. Reattach the front midpipe of the Kooks kit to the factory hanger. Using the Kooks supplied bolts, attached kit to factory midpipe.
  • View attachment 47658
  • View attachment 47656
  • Reattach the ground clip to the hanger.
  • View attachment 47657
  • Install the y-pipe onto the elbow of the muffler. Again only finger tight until all the pieces are installed.

  • Before connecting to the rest of the system, attached the over axle tailpipe portion and the pre-exhaust tip portion of the kit together. Do this for both the driver and passenger side tailpipe sections.
  • Install driver side tailpipe section, the y-pipe out the back of the muffler may need to be twisted to align with the rear tailpipe. It does NOT sit perpendicular to the chassis.
  • View attachment 47660
  • Hang the driver side tailpipe on the rear exhaust hanger.
  • Repeat steps above for passenger side tailpipe section.
  • View attachment 47661
  • View attachment 47659
  • At this point everything should be loosely installed and you can lower the truck if you haven’t already.
  • Once lowered, reattached sway bar lower link and reinstall heat shield.
  • Reinstall the spare tire
  • Starting from the muffler section and working your way to the rear of the truck, begin checking for clearances and tightening all the clamps.
  • Reinstall exhaust tips before the tailpipe sections are completely tightened to verify alignment. Tighten when tips have proper clearance with the bumper.
  • View attachment 47662
  • Before starting up the kit do a once over of all the clamps. OPTIONAL: Use glass clean to wipe down the pipes and muffler to remove greasy fingerprints that will burn in if not removed.
  • Start up truck and let it warm up. Inspect for leaks.
  • Enjoy your kit! Now find a place to store you OEM exhaust!
This is awesome. Very well done. Do you have plans to post any videos to your YouTube channel? I'd likely choose the same system VS the race option as well.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
 

Waterfowler41

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This is awesome. Very well done. Do you have plans to post any videos to your YouTube channel? I'd likely choose the same system VS the race option as well.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

Yup, just need to grab some post install sound clips. I wanted to make sure the muffler was fully broken in for the video. It was pretty quiet on the first cold start but has opened up quite a bit since then.
I’ll add the video when it’s done. It’s been a fun one to make though!
 

sawyer84

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Great write up man. I’m staying tuned for the sound clip, I bet she’s got a nice growl.


2019 Ram 1500 Big Horn | Black Appearance Package | 3.92 Anti-Spin | B2 Magnaflow Muffler | S&B CAI
 

Waterfowler41

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Here’s the video of the install. The sound clips are at the end. Had a lot of fun making this video!


 

WhiteLaramie2020

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This is a great how to. However, I didn't disconnect the linkage. I removed the Spare and heat Shields. I had the truck backed up on a set of ramps and was able to remove the system that way. It would have been a lot easier if I had a second set of hands but took my time and got it out alone. Went back with the Corsa Cat back System.
 

Waterfowler41

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This is a great how to. However, I didn't disconnect the linkage. I removed the Spare and heat Shields. I had the truck backed up on a set of ramps and was able to remove the system that way. It would have been a lot easier if I had a second set of hands but took my time and got it out alone. Went back with the Corsa Cat back System.

Good to know! Glad to hear the spare tire and heat shield helped.
 

Gipraw

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Nice write up and video. A suggestion to anyone doing their own exhaust removal and install. Snag a pair of the Lisle 38350 exhaust hanger removal pliers. $16 at most places that carry them, including Amazon. You’ll thank me later. A small squirt of PB Blaster on the hanger, a quick squeeze and it is out of the rubber mount.


2AFE75B7-4A29-4E8C-B25F-98E5A1033432.png
 

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