Next to tires and wheels, tweaking the exhaust is one of the easiest, quickest, and longest-lasting improvements you can make to your truck, and that includes for performance, sound, and looks. Want a new growl and increased fuel mileage? Want improved flow, reduced exhaust temperatures, and more horsepower and torque? Want dual pipes or a sporty tip? Have a rusty system? A trail-mangled pretzel? Smog nazis on your back? There's something for everyone, with upgrades aplenty for whatever you're craving and no matter what your wallet allows, from header to tip. Prices listed here are those that were available as of press time.
The Part: Monster Split-Dual exhaust system for Power Stroke, Cummins, and Duramax diesels.
What It Costs: Starts at $629 (after-cat Split-Dual system).
Exhausting Detail: 100-percent stainless-steel exhaust that accommodates a spare tire. It's available as turbo-back or after-cat, and the single-inlet Monster muffler "Ys" to two 3 1/2-inch mandrel-bent tailpipes. The muffler has an exclusive expansion chamber for dissipating mid-range drone.
Who's Got It: Gale Banks Engineering, 800/277-1991, www.bankspower.com.
The Part: Cat-back system for the Jeep Unlimited.
What It Costs: $439.99.
Exhausting Detail: "Straight-through" and "multicore technology" are the buzz phrases for this unique system, which has T-304 stainless steel, mandrel bends, and computer-controlled CNC manufacturing for a precise fit.
Who's Got It: Borla Performance Industries, 877/452-6752, www.borla.com.
The Part: Exhaust line for the Power Stroke, Cummins, and Duramax diesels.
What It Costs: $898.50.
Exhausting Detail: Systems are manufactured from 4-inch T-304 stainless-steel tubing that is mandrel-bent and polished. There's a double-wall 5-inch tip, and the entire exhaust bolts up using the factory hangers and flanges.
Who's Got It: Volant Cold Air Intakes, 909/476-7225, www.volantperformance.com.
The Part: Generation II copper exhaust insulating wrap.
What It Costs: Starts at $32 a roll.
Exhausting Detail: It's designed to improve heat performance (and reduce underhood temps) by using Thermal-Conduction-Technology coating (T-C-T). It's sold in 1- and 2-inch-wide, 50-foot rolls.
Who's Got It: Thermo-Tec, 800/274-8437, www.thermotec.com.
The Part: DMH Performance Dump Valve
What It Costs: $199 to $360, depending on size.
Exhausting Detail: DMH Electric Cutouts are welded into your stock or modified exhaust system. They can be placed anywhere after the headers. At the touch of a button, the valve enables you to bypass your muffler, increasing horsepower and giving your 4x4 an extremely throaty rumble.
Who's Got It: DMH Performance, 513/753-3866, www.dmhperformance.com
The Part: Chrome exhaust tips for '03-'06 GM fullsize SUVs.
What It Costs: MSRP is $60.
Exhausting Detail: The steel tips are meant to attach to the tailpipe section of the exhaust, and it's said they won't rust or corrode. Versions for the fullsize pickups are coming soon.
Who's Got It: GM Performance Parts, 800/GM-USE-US, www.goodwrench.com.
The Part: Rapid Flow exhaust system for Power Stroke, Cummins, and Duramax diesels.
What It Costs: Starts at $550 for the 4-inch aluminized system.
Exhausting Detail: Available in 16-gauge T-304 stainless steel or T-409 stainless steel, Rapid Flow has minimal-degree angles of mandrel bends. There are 4-, 5-, and 6-inch systems, as well as dual exhaust.
Who's Got It: Bully Dog Technologies, 208/397-3200, www.bullydog.com.
The Part: SuperStainless catalytic converters for most pickups and SUVs.
What It Costs: Ranges from $209.44 to $259.01.
Exhausting Detail: High-flow cats are direct-fit, bolt-in units for most vehicles and have the necessary flanges and O2 sensors (if needed) as the OE converter's. If your vehicle is registered in California, aftermarket cats are not legal for use on OBD II rides.
Who's Got It: Random Technology, 770/554-4242, www.randomtechnology.com.