Borla Climber Exhaust for Jeep JL and JLU – Full Install, Overview, and Review
I’ve always disliked seeing the large suitcase muffler hanging down behind my JLs rear bumper. Not only is it an eyesore, but it also hangs dangerously low. After seeing a few other JLs nearly rip their factory muffler off or flatten their exhaust tip on large rocks, I decided it was time to replace mine with something that provides more clearance.
I looked for a high-clearance exhaust system that would add a bit more tone to the exhaust without any drone. I initially tried one of the popular “muffler delete” axle-backs available for the JL but found that it had way too much drone for me. I have had great luck with Borla exhaust systems in the past, so I decided to try their new Climber Series catback.
I went with the quietest sound level they offer, the Climber Touring. This sound level claims to offer great tone outside the vehicle with no drone or resonance inside the cabin. They also offer this system in an S-Type sound level for those looking for more volume and a more aggressive tone.
The Climber Series catback features a full-size muffler that is tucked up in the same position as the factory resonator next to the transfer case. The entire muffler is above the bottom of the frame rail – keeping it protected from rocks and debris. The exhaust system terminates with a turn down tip on the driver’s side just behind the rear axle. This means that there is no longer any chance that the rear section of your exhaust can get hung up or damaged on obstacles.
In this article, I will cover the install of the Borla Climber catback exhaust and my impressions after spending the last 1000 miles with it.
Find It Online
- Borla Climber Touring for 2018+ Jeep JLU: Check Price
Tools & Materials
- ⅜” drive ratchet
- ⅜” drive 3” extension
- 15mm socket
- 13mm socket
- Pry bar
- Lubricant spray
- Exhaust hanger pliers (optional but recommended)
- Pipe cutter or hacksaw if required
Step 1. Remove the factory muffler
CAUTION: Make sure the exhaust has cooled before attempting this install.
Loosen the rear muffler clamp located over the rear axle. Use a pry bar or exhaust hanger pliers to remove the muffler hangers from the factory muffler. Unbolt the two exhaust hanger mounts from the frame. There are two bolts per hanger. Pull the factory muffler off of the exhaust mid-pipe and remove it from the vehicle.
Step 2. Remove the factory mid-pipe
Loosen the clamp on the front muffler assembly where it attaches to the downpipe and remove the exhaust hangers from their rubber isolators. Remove the factory mid-pipe assembly from the vehicle.
Step 3. Install the Borla muffler
Place the factory mid-pipe clamp over the expanded end of the Borla muffler assembly. Hoist the muffler into position and slip the expanded end over the factory downpipe. Loosely tighten this clamp. It is helpful to use a jack to hold the muffler in position.
Step 4. Install the Borla tail-pipe
Place the Borla provided clamp over the expanded end of the Borla tail-pipe assembly. Slip the tail-pipe assembly over the end of the muffler section. Install the exhaust hangers in front of and behind the rear axle.
Step 5. Tighten the clamps
After ensuring that the muffler is sitting level and that there is adequate clearance around the exhaust, tighten both clamps to 32-35ft. lbs. Ensure that the exhaust hangers are oriented vertically. Start the vehicle and check for leaks.
Fit and Finish
In my experience, the quality of Borla exhaust systems has always been fantastic. This kit is no different – the finish of this kit is great. It bolted up to my factory headers perfectly and the tube bends clear the frame and rear axle without any issues.
I did have a fitment issue when installing this system. The middle section of the exhaust was about 1” too long where the rear section of the exhaust connects to the front muffler section. I was still able to get the exhaust bolted up and connected to the exhaust hangers, but it was sitting about 1” too high and was rattling against the bottom of the trunk floor. Cutting 1” off of the front muffler section’s tubing at the rear section slip-joint end allowed the exhaust hangers to sit vertically and fixed this clearance issue. If you have an exhaust shop install this system, they should easily be able to fix this problem should they run into it. However, if you plan to do this install in your driveway, you should be prepared with a hack-saw or pipe cutter.
Overall I am extremely happy with the Borla Climber Touring Catback Exhaust. It produces a great, throaty exhaust tone without any drone. Long-distance trips are quiet and comfortable, and the exhaust sounds good when you give it some skinny pedal. I have not received any complaints from my significant other or family on longer highway trips. Even though I did run into a small fitment issue during my install, I’d still recommend this exhaust to anyone looking for a drone-free, high-clearance exhaust for their Jeep JLU.