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A Guide to Upgrading Your 4×4 Exhaust

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2019 Harley-Davidson F-150

Upgrading the exhaust in your 4×4 has a number of benefits. Primarily, it will help improve your engine flow, offering more power and a better engine sound. There are other perks, to be had, as well. This guide will help you explore the different options for upgrading 4×4 exhausts, including why you should do it and what is available on the market today.

Factory vs. aftermarket exhausts

Many people think that stock exhaust systems are “good enough”. If you’re big into off-roading, that’s where you’re wrong. These exhausts are fine for everyday driving, but typically, they contain smaller piping, a lot of bends, and baffles that can clog up the airflow and result in reduced performance. You can choose aftermarket parts for your entire exhaust system that will open everything up, including:

  • Headers
  • Mufflers
  • Catalytic converters
  • Pipes
  • Complete system kits

You can also choose between single and dual exhaust kits, which both offer improved performance, fuel economy, and sound. Single exhausts are easier to install and offer a more stock-like appearance, while dual pipes are a bit more difficult in terms of installation. Dual pipes, however, do offer a more custom appearance because few stock exhausts come with true dual exhaust pipes.


4×4 exhausts are made from a number of different materials. Standard low- to mid-grade stainless steel is used on most stock exhaust systems for the sake of cost-effectiveness. With a performance 4×4 exhaust, you’ll be able to choose from higher-quality stainless steel options like:

  • T304 Stainless: Corrosion-resistant, non-hardening material that is great for any climate and maintains its finish even in harsh environments. This is popular among aftermarket exhaust models.
  • T409 Stainless: This steel is hardened with titanium, allowing it to be even more corrosion resistant than T304. It is ideal for aftermarket systems when you need extra strength and durability.
  • Aluminized Steel: This cheaper material is what most stock exhausts are made from. It is commonly available, more affordable, and it does work decently well in high-heat situations. However, it’s not going to be the best choice for 4×4 performance.

Wrapping up

There are a lot of elements that go into selecting the right exhaust upgrade for your 4×4. The biggest part of the process, for you, is going to be learning about your options and how to upgrade your rig the right way. With so many 4×4 exhausts available, however, it will never be difficult for you to find the aftermarket model that suits your needs.

This is a collaborative article.