The Ford f-150 is one hell of a truck with a powerful engine. Unfortunately, its stock exhaust does not do it justice with the sound it produces. To get a deeper and louder sound from your F-150 that truly communicates its engine, you will need aftermarket cat-back exhausts.
Obviously, you want more than just a better sound from your aftermarket exhaust system. As such, there is a lot of thinking and research required before settling on an exhaust system. We have compiled a list of the most important things to consider below.
Also, we have compiled a list of the ten best sounding exhausts for f150. Topping the list is the BORLA 140616BC Exhaust System. While it is pricier than the others on our list, it is the best option for anyone looking to get a loud sound profile.
Basic Components of an F-150 Exhaust System
The exhaust ‘s sole function in your F-150 truck is to expel exhaust gases from the engine. The exhaust system impacts the car’s mileage, fuel efficiency, and acceleration. So what parts make up the exhaust system?
The headers make up the first part of the exhaust . This part connects to the engine block and acts as a channel for the cycled gases from the engine block. The headers channel the gases into one condensed pipe and later to the rest of the exhaust system.
There are two types of headers: long headers and short headers. Short headers use a short pipe to connect to the rest of the exhaust . Long headers use 2 to 3 times longer pipe.
Short headers are easier to install but do not have the same sound profile and power as long headers. For power and a louder sound profile, go for an exhaust with a long header.
The mid-pipes are the connectors, connecting the headers and the rest of the exhaust . There are three types of mid-pipes for the f-150the X, Y, and H pipes. X and H pipes are almost exclusive to the V-8 F-150.
The X pipe has a dual-pipe set up with a pipe coming out the passenger side and another from the driver. The H pipe produces a lower, bass exhaust note, while the X pipe produces a raspy and high-pitched sound profile.
The Y pipe is found on the Ecoboost, V6, and even V8 F-150s. This type of mid-pipe connects the two sides of the exhaust into one. Typically this type of midpipe will channel the gases out of the side of the vehicle or rear.
The bulk of the exhaust is made up of the cat back. This is the part of the exhaust that runs from the catalytic converter to the rear end of the truck. The cat-back has a great influence on the sound profile of your vehicle.
While expensive, swapping out your truck’s default cat back with an aftermarket one can result in a deeper and louder sound profile. Also, you can get an improvement of 10 to 20 HP.
The Axle back
This is the last part of the exhaust . It runs from the rear Axle back to the end of the truck. The Axle-back can give your truck a louder and more aggressive exhaust sound. Also, you can get an improvement of 5 to 10 HP by upgrading the Axle back.
Found on the Ecoboost F-150, the downpipe runs from the headers through to the catalytic converter and connects to the turbo. This part is essential to the performance of the turbo system of the Ecoboost F-150.
The factory downpipe can limit your truck’s performance as well as sound profile. Replacing it with an aftermarket one will get you between 15 and 75 HP. Thus to get the best sounding exhaust for 3.5 EcoBoost f150 you will need to upgrade the downpipe.
Choosing an Aftermarket Exhaust For Your F-150
There are many different aftermarket exhaust available on the market, each with its pros and cons. When searching for the best-sounding exhaust for f150 5.0, there are a couple of things you will need to consider. These are;
The construction of any exhaust will influence its performance and sound profile. There are a couple of different metals used in the making of exhaust systems. However, by far, the best metal for this purpose is stainless steel.
Stainless steel is a tough material that is resistant to rust. And since the exhaust is exposed to the elements, stainless steel is an ideal construction material.
The installation process
How easy or difficult an exhaust is to install will also matter. Some exhaust systems are easier to install than others. Ideally, you want an exhaust system that is easy to install and will take a lot of time to install or require modifications to fit your truck.
One of the main reasons to consider switching out your truck’s exhaust for a default one is the improved performance you get. Switching to an aftermarket exhaust can lead to an increase of up to 50HP.
As with any other product, aftermarket exhaust prices vary. Some cost more than others. However, it is worth noting that aftermarket exhaust systems aren’t the cheapest vehicle parts on the market.
A good exhaust system can set you back $500 or more. Working with a budget allows you to know what price you are willing to pay for one.
One of the reasons for replacing your factory exhaust with an aftermarket one is to get a louder sound profile. Therefore, the sound performance of an exhaust system will be an essential factor of consideration.
As mentioned earlier, exhaust with a longer header will give a louder exhaust note. Also, an exhaust system with an H midpipe will give off a more bass sound. If you want a deeper sound, consider an exhaust system with an H-style mid-pipe.
Also exhausts with straight through mufflers are usually louder. Learn more from how to Make exhaust louder.
The best exhaust for 3.5 EcoBoost f150 will have a longer warranty than most. A longtime warranty is a sign of the manufacturer’s confidence in their product. And this is always a good sign of a product’s quality.
Different states have different laws on noise. Before installing an aftermarket exhaust , check the noise laws of your region. This will tell you whether the exhaust system you want to get is allowed or not.
F-150 Aftermarket Exhaust System Brands
Flowmaster is a manufacturer and distributor of exhaust . The company also sells a wide array of vehicle parts ranging from brakes, mufflers to ignition. They make aftermarket exhaust systems for trucks, muscle cars, SUVs, and even foreign cars.
AWE EXHAUST SYSTEMS
Awe Systems is a maker of vehicle performance-enhancing components. This ranges from exhausts to intakes and performance intercoolers. The company has a selection of aftermarket exhaust options designed to off top-notch performance.
Gibson Exhaust is another maker of the performance-focused exhaust. The company produces street-legal high-performance exhausts and exhaust parts. The company makes exhaust systems for trucks and SUVs.
MagnaFlow makes exhaust and exhaust parts ranging from the muffler, catalytic converters to cat-back systems. The manufacturer makes these parts for SUVs, trucks, race cars, and offroad vehicles.
MBRP LTD makes and distributes aftermarket exhaust to performance enthusiasts. The company also makes individual exhaust system parts such as cat backs and mid-pipes. MBRP exhaust systems are usually suited for race cars, SUVs and trucks
FORD PERFORMANCE EXHAUSTS
Ford has a division that makes exhausts for its various car models. The division is under the brand name Ford Performance. It makes exhaust systems for the Ford-150 truck as well as other exhaust components.
One of the most experienced exhaust makers is Borla. The company has become famous for its stainless steel performance exhaust systems. Borla exhaust systems can be found in famous car brands such as Rolls Royce and Ferrari.
CORSA Performance is a company best known for its Reflective Sound Cancellation (RSC) technology. This technology eliminates resonant frequencies that cause drones. The company offers a wide selection of exhausts and exhaust system parts.
Another exhaust technology company with a rich history is Roush. The firm started out making exhaust systems for race cars. Today it makes aftermarket exhaust systems for the Ford Mustang and Ford 150.
Difference Between Cat-Back and Header Back?
There are three main types of aftermarket exhaust systems you can opt for. These are axle-back, cat-back and header back. In this section, we will focus more on the cat-back and header-back systems.
A cat-back system comprises all components starting from the catalytic converter to the tailpipe. This includes the mufflers, and tailpipe and in some cases the midpipes. With this type of exhaust you do not need to repace the entire stock exhaust.
A header-back exhausts, on the other hand, is one that comprises all components of an exhaust system. This includes the header that connects the engine to the tailpipe, as well as the mufflers and Mid-Pipes.
Typically header-back exhaust systems are usually pricier than cat-back exhaust systems.
SIDE VS REAR EXIT exhaust system
Both rear and side-exit exhaust systems serve the same purpose, preventing gases from coming back into the vehicle cabin. That being said, there is not much difference between the two. The main is their design.
In a rear exhaust system, the tailpipe protrudes out of the car’s rear, while in a side exhaust system, it protrudes out of the car’s side. Another difference is weight; typically side exhaust systems tend to weigh less than rear exhaust systems.
Reviews of Top 10 Best Sounding Exhaust For F150
Below is a preview of our top-rated exhausts and what each has to offer.
BORLA 140616BC Exhaust System
The best sounding exhaust for 3.5 EcoBoost f150 has to be the BORLA 140616BC exhaust system. This system is designed for the 2015 to 2020 3.5L EcoBoost F-150. It is known for its loud and booming sound profile.
This is a cat-back system that produces a loud sound profile sure to excite any F-150 owner. This sound profile is thanks to the multi-core interior structure of the exhaust system.
This exhaust’s muffler is a high-end model with a 3-inch single inlet and a 2.25-inch dual outlet. It also features perforated cores that amplify the sounds of the exhaust while expelling waste gases faster.
As for construction, this exhaust is made from stainless steel. It also has sizeable 4-inch exhaust tips with a chrome finish. Their angled cut gives them an aggressive look and help improve the horsepower.
- It has a loud and booming sound profile
- Made from rust-resistant stainless steel
- The high-end muffler with perforated cores helps amplify the sound and improve performance.
- It comes with large exhaust tips with a nice chrome finish
- It comes with all the hardware components required for installation
- Compared to other exhaust systems, it is a bit pricey.
Flowmaster 817522 Cat-Back Exhaust System
The Flowmaster 817522 is a cat-back exhaust system made from stainless steel. It is designed for the 2009-2014 F-150 trucks. In terms of engine, it works with the 4.6L, 5.0L, and 5.4L engines.
Depending on your preferences, it can be either a dual out rear or dual outside tailpipe configuration. This exhaust system also features a Super 40 muffler that is connected to a 2.50-inch mandrel-bent tailpipe.
This high-quality stainless steel exhaust produces aggressive sounds while helping improve the performance of your truck. Also included in this exhaust system are large 3.50-inch polished stainless steel tips.
Since it is a cat-back system, it easily connects to the factory catalytic-converter of any F-150 built between 2009 and 2014.
- It is designed to be easy to install, and installation can be done at home
- Built from rust-resistant stainless steel for longevity
- This exhaust system is emissions legal.
- The Flowmaster lifetime warranty covers the system
- It has both a dual out rear and dual out side tailpipe configuration
- Produces moderately loud sound profile that may not be loud enough for some
- Its ¼ inch bolts for clamping the exhaust tips are substandard.
Flowmaster 817707 Outlaw Extreme Kit
Another Flowmaster exhaust system designed to fit the Ford F-150 truck is the 817707 Outlaw Extreme Kit. This kit is designed for the 2009 to 2014 Ford F-150 trucks with engine sizes of 4.6L, 5.0L, and 5.4L.
This exhaust system produces loud and aggressive sounds. The exhaust system includes a 3-inch outlaw muffler and a 3-inch mandrel-bent turndown.
The exhaust can fit both 2-wheel and 4-wheel drive vehicles and uses the factory hanger location, making it easy to install. As for its construction, it boasts a stainless steel construction.
As with other Flowmaster exhaust systems, this one is covered by the company’s lifetime limited warranty. It also includes all accessories needed for installation.
- Produces a loud and aggressive sound both inside and outside the truck
- It is easy to install as it uses the vehicle’s factory hanger location.
- Features the race-proven Outlaw muffler for improved performance
- It comes with the Flowmaster limited lifetime warranty
- Some people may find it a bit too loud for their liking.
Roush 421985 Cat-Back Exhaust
The title of the best sounding exhaust for 2.7 EcoBoost f150 has to go to the Roush 421985 Cat-back Exhaust system. Designed for the 2.7L EcoBoost F-150 and the 3.5L EcoBoost, it is one of the best among ROUSH’s F-150 exhausts.
This is a side exit system with stainless steel tips. Also, the system features a Y-style mid-pipe and muffler. These combined to deliver fantastic sounds for your truck.
The mandrel-bent tubes ensure consistent flow and improved performance as well as durability. In terms of installation, the system uses your truck’s factory hanger location. Thus there is no modification needed.
Included in the package are all the necessary hardware and accessories needed to install it. Also, you get a three year limited warranty.
- Produces a sporty and aggressive sound profile
- All the components are made from high-grade stainless steel.
- The pipes are 3 inches in diameter and mandrel bent to enhance the flow
- It is easy to install since it utilizes factory hanger locations.
- All necessary hardware for installation is included.
- The warranty is only for three years.
- The exhaust uses band clamps that do not secure all areas.
Flowmaster 817691 Outlaw Stainless Steel Cat-Back Exhaust System
Built for F-150s of 2009 to 2014, the 817691 Outlaw cat-back system from Flowmaster is another excellent option for your truck. It works with the 4.6L, 5.0L, and 5.4L engines.
As with other Flowmaster exhausts, it offers a dual out rear, and a dual outside tailpipe exists. This cat-back system is emissions legal and is built from stainless steel with a mandrel-bent pipe construction.
There is also a super ten series muffler that exists into a 3-inch tailpipe. It also comes with double-walled stainless steel tips. These tips measure 4 inches in diameter.
The Flowmaster limited lifetime warranty is also included. Also, includes are all the hardware components necessary to install this exhaust system. Overall, this exhaust sounds great thanks to its build.
- Has a super aggressive and loud sound profile
- The exhaust system is made from T304 stainless steel.
- The black ceramic exhaust tips give the exhaust system a great look.
- It comes with the Flowmaster limited lifetime warranty
- The mandrel-bent tailpipes help improve performance.
- The exhaust tips’ coating is not that durable.
- The clamps that come with the system are not suitable.
MBRP S5260BLK 3″ Cat-Back, Single Side Dual Outlet
Another exhaust system designed for the F-150 EcoBoost is the MBRP S5260LK cat-back system. The latter is designed for the 2.7L EcoBoost, 3.0L, 3.3L, 3.5L EcoBoost, and 5.0L engines.
Made from aluminized steel, this exhaust’s tubing has a high heat coating that is designed for exhaust applications. The installation is easy since it is welded onto the default hangers of the F-150.
The 3-inch mandrel-bent tubing gives this exhaust a sporty look as well as improves the performance of your truck.
Also included with this exhaust system are stainless steel exhaust tips. You also get a one-year warranty on the heat coating and a three-year warranty on the other exhaust system components.
- Made from aluminized steel and has a heat coating specially built for exhaust applications
- It is easy to install thanks to its fitting into default exhaust hangers
- It comes with 4-inch exhaust tips included
- It is offered at an affordable price and fits F-150 models from 2015 to 2020
- Available in several variants, including stainless steel and aluminized steel
- It comes with only a three-year limited warranty
MagnaFlow 15461 Large Stainless Steel Performance Exhaust System Kit
The MagnaFlow 15461 exhaust system kit produces a loud and deep sound profile while improving performance. Built using stainless steel, this is another excellent option for your F-150 truck.
Part of the reason why this exhaust system can produce a loud sound profile is the straight muffler design. This type of muffler does a better job of amplifying sound than other muffler types.
Also, the exhaust system features mandrel-bent tubing. This system also comes in several configurations, including one, two, or four outlets.
This system is built to last and features a lifetime construction warranty.
- It is made from stainless steel and is thus rust resistant
- It has a turbo straight through muffler that helps produce a loud and deeper sound profile
- It comes in several configurations, including one, two, and four outlets configuration
- It comes with a lifetime construction warranty
- Includes all accessories needed for its installation
- You may experience some trouble lining this exhaust with your truck’s stock hangers.
CORSA 24392 Cat-Back Exhaust System
CORSA Performance is a company known for its high-quality Lineup of exhaust systems. One of the company’s best-selling options is the 24392 Cat-back exhaust system.
One thing that CORSA is known for is the Reflective Sound Cancellation technology. Built into the CORSA 24392, it guarantees an aggressive exhaust note free of drone. It also helps produce the exhausts aggressive and deep rumble.
The exhaust system has a straight-through design that enhances airflow, which improves fuel economy and performance.
This system features slash cut and polished stainless steel exhaust tips. You also get a ten year limited warranty on the exhaust system.
- Designed to prevent droning sound at cruise speeds
- Produces an aggressive and deep rumble
- The straight-through design of the tubing enhances performance and fuel efficiency.
- The system is made from rust-resistant stainless steel.
- It comes with detailed installation instructions.
- No lifetime warranty, only a ten-year warranty included
Gibson 60-0034 Stainless Metal Mulisha Performance Cat-Back Exhaust System
The Gibson 60-0034 cat-back exhaust system is known for its ear-thumping sound. This stainless steel exhaust system is designed to improve airflow.
To achieve this, the exhaust system features 4-inch mandrel-bent tubing with a superflow straight through the muffler. At the end of the exhaust is a six or 8-inch black ceramic slash-cut exhaust tip.
This tip comes complete with the Metal Mulisha Logo. It is easy to install as it uses factory-style hangers.
In the package, you also get clamps and all the other hardware components needed to install this exhaust system.
- The 4-inch mandrel-bent tubing enhances airflow and improves performance and torque
- The straight-through muffler amplifies the sound creating a deep and aggressive sound profile.
- It is easy to install as it uses factory-style hangers.
- It comes with all the necessary accessories for installation
- It comes with a limited lifetime warranty
- It comes with only one exhaust tip
MBRP S5262AL Exhaust System Cat-Back
For those on a tight budget, the MBRP S5262AL exhaust system is a great option. This cat-back exhaust kit is relatively cheap compared to other exhaust systems on the market.
The tubing of this exhaust system is made from 16 gauge aluminized steel. This gives it durability. Also, it makes it ideal for areas with moderate environmental conditions.
Included in this exhaust system are 4-inch exhaust tips. Also, it is easy to install as it is designed to be compatible with the default hangers of your truck.
A three-year warranty backs the exhaust. It is compatible with the 2.7L EcoBoost, 3.0L, 3.3L, 3.5L EcoBoost and 5.0L engines in terms of machines.
- It is offered at a relatively affordable price tag
- It is easy to install and attaches to the default hangers.
- It comes with 4-inch exhaust tips
- Produces a deep and aggressive rumble
- The sound profile is not overly too loud.
- Produces an annoying droning sound inside the cabin
Frequently asked questions
Do stainless steel exhausts produce a better sound profile?
Typically, stainless steel exhausts are usually mandrel-bent, which allows for improved airflow. This can improve sound quality. However, 304 stainless steel is the best option for exhaust systems.
How much power do you get when you change your exhaust system?
A typical cat-back exhaust system will offer moderate performance improvements of about 5HP.
Do the muffler’s shape and size affect the sound profile?
The shape does not affect the sound profile, but size does. A smaller muffler will be much louder than a larger and longer muffler.
What is a cat-back exhaust system?
This is an exhaust system that comprises all components from the catalytic converter to the tailpipe.
Which is better: a single or two-fold exhaust system?
Generally, a two-fold exhaust will yield better performance results than a single exhaust system. The reason being that in a two-fold the gases exit through two outlets instead of one.
Which stainless steel variant is best for making exhaust systems
The 304 stainless steel is the best for making exhaust systems.
Does a straight tubing maximize horsepower?
Yes, a straight pipe will reduce the amount of pressure put on the engine, thus improving its overall performance. In turn, this will improve horsepower and torque.
Which is better, aluminized or tampered steel exhaust?
Aluminized steel will have better rust resistance than tempered steel. Thus aluminized steel exhausts are better.
Aftermarket exhaust systems can increase your truck’s performance and torque. This is in addition to giving it a louder and more aggressive rumble; sure to let everyone know that you are passing by.
The above 10-best sounding exhaust systems are worth considering as they offer excellent performance and an aggressive sound profile. Ultimately though your choice of exhaust will depend on your preference.