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Installing Hooker BlackHeart’s Cat-Back exhaust on a 2015 Silverado 1500

Ready to Rumble

Wes Duenkel
Jun 23, 2017
Photographers: Wes Duenkel
The best trucks are durable, purposeful, and well engineered. So are the best exhaust systems. That’s why when Hooker BlackHeart Speed Exhaust team set out to create a cat-back exhaust for the ’10-’16 Chevy Silverado/GMC Sierra, the design goals included fit, finish, power, and sound.
For ultimate durability, the BlackHeart cat-back is constructed of 100-percent stainless steel, and is offered in two configurations: a single outlet in the OEM location, or a dual rear outlet. The single-outlet system features 3-inch tubing throughout, while the dual system features a 3-inch inlet and dual 2 1/2-inch outlets to maintain exhaust velocity and engine torque. The system is finished off with 4-inch rolled-edge resonator tips with laser-etched Hooker BlackHeart logos.
Besides offering excellent ground clearance and OEM-style fitment, the BlackHeart cat-back delivers additional power and better sound. The thumping melody from the polished dual exhaust tips sounds powerful without being annoying—which is important for family harmony while towing the camper on that long-distance vacation.
To see how the system was installed, we travelled to Hooker’s research and manufacturing facility in Bowling Green, Kentucky. After installation, the test truck matched its newfound aural authority with 11 more rear-wheel hp and 12lb-ft of torque. Not to shabby for an hour or two of wrenching.
Photo 2/27   |   First, we had to get the OEM system off of our truck. Hooker’s Bobby Riddle loosened the ball joint clamp ahead of the flex joint.
Photo 3/27   |   Then, Bobby pulled the hangers from the rubber isolation mounts.
Photo 4/27   |   With the OEM exhaust disconnected, Bobby and Hooker Engineer Jehan Tetangco lowered the exhaust to the ground.
Photo 5/27   |   With the OEM exhaust removed, we compared it to the Hooker BlackHeart cat-back. The Hooker system features 18-guage 3-inch inlet tubing, and dual 2 1/2-inch outlets. Note the included flex pipe at the inlet, which Hooker found eliminates in-cabin vibration.
Photo 6/27   |   The Hooker BlackHeart cat-back is 100-percent stainless steel and includes the necessary hardware to hang the left-side exhaust tube.
Photo 7/27   |   The system features dual-wall, polished stainless tips with a laser-etched Hooker BlackHeart logo. The tips double as resonators for an extra-mellow sound.
Photo 8/27   |   The stainless-steel muffler features a single 3-inch inlet and dual 2 1/2-inch outlets with high-quality welds for longevity. (The system carries a limited lifetime warranty from Hooker.)
Photo 9/27   |   Bobby began installation by slipping the ball-joint clamp over the OEM outlet and inserting the Hooker inlet pipe into position.
Photo 10/27   |   The intermediate pipe and band clamp was installed.
Photo 11/27   |   The Hooker system uses all the OEM rubber isolators.
Photo 12/27   |   Bobby slipped the Hooker muffler into place over the intermediate tube.
Photo 13/27   |   To hold everything in place, they lightly tightened the band clamps. Final adjustment and tightening came later.
Photo 14/27   |   Next, they installed the right-side over-axle tube.
Photo 15/27   |   Bobby finished off the right side by installing the tailpipe.
Photo 16/27   |   To hold the orientation of the tailpipe, they inserted the hanger into the OEM rubber isolator.
Photo 17/27   |   Because the OEM system didn’t have a left-side tailpipe, they assembled the supplied left-side isolator bracket.
Photo 18/27   |   They attached the left side hanger bracket to the frame using the existing OEM hitch bolts.
Photo 19/27   |   With the left side isolator in place, Bobby installed the left-side over-axle tube.
Photo 20/27   |   They loosely tightened the stainless band clamps at the rear of the muffler.
Photo 21/27   |   The last piece of the puzzle was the left-side tailpipe.
Photo 22/27   |   Bobby inserted the left-side tailpipe’s hanger into the supplied isolator.
Photo 23/27   |   With everything installed, Bobby adjusted the alignment of all the tubing, using some muffler stands, but a pair of jackstands or a friend work just as well.
Photo 24/27   |   Satisfied with the tubing alignment, Bobby tightened all the clamps.
Photo 25/27   |   The Hooker BlackHeart cat-back exhaust fit the down-to-earth character of the Silverado perfectly.
Photo 26/27   |   The Hooker BlackHeart polished tips not only finish off the system tastefully, but the sound from them was authoritative without being annoying. It’s a perfect addition to our multi-purpose truck.
Photo 27/27   |   After installation, our test truck matched its newfound aural authority with 11 more rear wheel hp and 12lb-ft torque.

Sources

Hooker BlackHeart Speed Exhaust
270-782-2900
www.hookerheaders.com

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