One of the most challenging, but very rewarding things you can do to your off road vehicle is tune the exhaust system. A properly installed exhaust can result in more torque, horsepower and mileage, as it will allow the engine to work more easily and efficiently. Theoretically, it’s all very simple – you want an unrestricted, straight exhaust without too big or too small pipes (these won’t get you proper air flow). Realistically, it’s much more complicated than that, so let’s take a look at some of the things you’ll need to consider when tuning your exhaust.
As a general rule, cast iron stock exhaust manifolds are big, heavy and restrictive. I personally replaced mine with one of the pacemaker exhaust systems, which is made from bent stainless steel with a gold finish that adds to the aesthetic appeal. Pacemaker exhaust systems can take a lot of abuse, as they’re build to last with performance being kept in mind.
Some exhausts don’t come with a catalytic converter, or cat – in short. I highly recommend that the exhaust you go with has a cat included, as this is required by law. Moreover, it’s what reduces the harmful emissions that the engine produces, and you’re basically doing nobody any good by not having one. This is especially important for you and the people you drive around frequently with, since you’ll be the ones feeling the exhaust gases first before they go off in the atmosphere. Having a catalytic converter on your exhaust doesn’t reduce performance nor increase it, so there’s basically no reason not to have it.
Factory mufflers are plain terrible, so you want a less restrictive one. Getting rid of the huge muffler and replacing it with a smaller, chambered muffler will unleash more power from your vehicle. Even if you get just a tad bit more horsepower, the throatier sound your muffler will produce is one-hundred-percent worth it.
And lastly, you need to pick the right pipes for your exhaust. Large diameter mufflers and big headers don’t mean anything if you have small pipes. What you can do is get a kit with straight and curved pipe pieces so you can save yourself some time on cutting and bending.
If you opt for a dual exhaust, you have to join them together properly with an H-pipe or X-pipe kit which ensures a smoother powerband and a drastically better sound. You basically want to add an entirely new exhaust system from the tip to the engine. Pacemaker exhaust systems come as a whole, which will give you the optimum performance and money efficiency.