Changing your stock standard exhaust system might seem like an unnecessary modification, but there are a lot of really good reasons for you to consider it. Upgrading to a stainless steel exhaust can improve your vehicle’s performance, durability, and reduce its fuel consumption (which, let’s face it, is worth its weight in gold at the moment). It’s best to keep in mind though that not all aftermarket exhausts are made the same, you want to make sure you’re choosing the right 4×4 exhaust for your vehicle.
Let’s go into more detail about why you should consider upgrading to a stainless steel exhaust. If you have a Diesel engine, you want to consider installing a bigger exhaust as it will increase your vehicle’s power and lower the EGT’s not just when you’re cruising, but also when towing. It also allows you flexibility when tuning your engine because it can keep the EGT lower when you allow more fuel.
Increased power is also a huge draw card for a 4×4 exhaust replacement. Factory systems have to meet certain fit and sound requirements which means they often restrict the air flow; by replacing the exhaust you can increase your power by 5-8%.
So now you’re convinced? Here are some things to look out for if you’re looking to upgrade your 4×4 to a stainless steel exhaust:
What is it made from?
Yes, exhausts are generally made with steel, but did you know that there are a lot of types of steel, all suited to different landscapes and driving styles? There are two types of steel that are most commonly used for upgrading exhausts: stainless steel and aluminised steel.
Stainless steel is more resistant to wear and tear and the elements due to its toughness and durability and increased weight. It will cost more than an aluminised one, but it will probably last longer than the rest of the vehicle! Aluminised steel is more lightweight than stainless, and can often give you better fuel consumption.
How was it made?
A bit of a strange question, but actually very important. Most stock exhausts are made using a bending technique called ‘crush’ or ‘compression bending’. The key of what you need to know about this technique is that it can cause depressions along the inside part of the pipe, and just like trying to suck through a partially blocked straw it means that airflow can be partially restricted. It’s a cheap way to make exhausts, but very clearly not the best. You want to find a stainless steel exhaust that’s mandrel bent which is the method used by most aftermarket performance manufacturers. This technique keeps the inside of the exhaust smooth allowing for optimum airflow, which is what it’s all about!
Does it fit right?
No matter what other choices you make, the biggest one is that you consider whether the aftermarket stainless steel exhaust is the right fit for your vehicle. Of course there are universal exhaust kits that fit most 4x4s, but ideally you want to find one that is specifically compatible to your make and model. If you don’t get your exhaust system fitted right, instead of all the benefits you’ll just find you lose performance and create a more dangerous vehicle with an exhaust that might leak or scrape over speed bumps. Always make sure you liaise with a mechanic who has experience with the type of vehicle and exhaust you have.
Stainless steel exhaust systems are one of the most popular upgrades to 4x4s. Provided you pick the right system for your vehicle, and of course have it installed correctly, it can increase performance, give your engine life for longer, and reduce fuel consumption. If you’re looking for a company who can upgrade your 4×4 exhaust to stainless steel, consider PPD Performance as they specialise in aftermarket performance parts.