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Trucks are just begging to be loud! So we have put together this article going through five great ways to make your pickup truck louder. These options range from a full exhaust build, to turbochargers, to cold air intakes and headers. This should give you some awesome options, and hopefully point you in the direction that works best for your situation and budget.
1. Exhaust System
The first stop anyone should think about if they are trying to make their truck louder, sound better, and also have the benefit of more power and a better running truck should be the exhaust system.
There are three different types of exhaust systems that you can choose from: A full-exhaust, cat-back exhaust, and an axle-back exhaust.
Let’s dig into those to see which works best for you.
Full-Exhaust – Most Expensive
A full exhaust will be everything from the headers (we’ll talk more about this later in the article) to the rear of the vehicle. This will be replacing the catalytic converter, the mufflers, and all of the piping involved in this.
The goal of a full exhaust replacement is generally to widen the piping as much as possible, as the wider the piping, the more exhaust can flow freely to the rear of the vehicle, resulting in a better sound and more power.
You will also find straight piping in this category as well, however that is generally reserved (or at least should be_ for off-roading and track usage due to the removal of the catalytic converter.
Cat-Back Exhaust – Best Value
This is probably the most common way most people will modify their exhaust if they are looking to get that performance and sound quality. A cat-back exhaust will replace everything from the catalytic converter to the rear of the vehicle. This will maintain the legality, and factory form of the catalytic converter but still allow for widening the piping for most of the exhaust.
A cat-back exhaust is also an awesome option for people that want to get a valved exhaust, which allows for your exhaust to be loud when you want it to, or quiet when you want it to.
Axle-Back Exhaust – Least Expensive
This version of your exhaust is for those people that aren’t concerned quite as much about the power as they are with the sound of their vehicle! For the most part, you will be replacing the muffler with either a delete, or a new muffler and tips that are tuned to be louder.
This is also a project that is not nearly as expensive, and many people should be able to do on their own at home.
2. Cold Air Intake
So you have replaced your exhaust system with something louder and better, but you want to keep on going? The next step is going to be replacing where the air goes in, rather than where it leaves.
The more free flowing the air is in your vehicle, means more power, and more sound! I really like shopping here for a good cold air intake.
A cold air intake places your air box somewhere that allows for cold air to be received, generally in your wheel well! This will make your engine cooler, and take more time to heat up, meaning more power and sound.
You also will be able to get a very distinct sound from your intake that you don’t get from a standard filter setup, resulting in a cooler, and louder sound on its own.
While you are replacing your exhaust system, you may want to take a quick look at your headers! On their own, headers generally won’t make your vehicle much louder, however in conjunction with exhaust enhancements they can help make all of the difference.
As you may remember, more airflow means power and more sound. Aftermarket headers like these tend to be larger, allowing for more air to flow them, and you know what happens with that.
Headers are a more difficult job to complete, as they generally are crammed up next to the engine, however if you are wanting to really go all out, this is a necessary part of making your truck louder.
Who doesn’t like the sound of turbochargers on a vehicle! Sure they don’t help with reliability of a vehicle, however that hand off gives you a ton more power and the awesome sound that turbos give.
They don’t necessarily make your ride much louder, but they definitely do give you a cooler sound and add to the experience a ton.
Make sure if you are doing this upgrade that you have a professional put it all together, as turbo systems are a lengthy, difficult, and involved project.
Now, while turbos don’t make a ridiculous amount of sound, a super charger definitely makes more. This belt driven way of forced injection has a very distinctive wine all the way through the power range of your truck, and can result in a ton of power.
Superchargers are probably one of the coolest mods you can do today to your truck.
However much like the turbo above, you should probably be having an expert do it for you.
Should you make your truck louder?
Now that we know how we can make our truck louder, we should probably be discussing if we should! Making your truck louder is a ton of fun, but if you don’t do it right it can affect other people in a negative way, and that just isn’t right. Here are some things to think about!
If you are someone wanting to make you truck louder, your neighbors may not agree! For those living in neighborhoods, apartments, or in the city, you may want to think this through.
Neighbors tend to sleep in the mornings and at night, and if you want to cold start your truck during those times you will likely find angry notes on your vehicle, if not being reported to the authorities. Because of this, you might want to think about how far, and how loud you are wanting to make your truck.
Speaking of the authorities, many different states, cities and counties have laws around how loud a vehicle can be. You will want to check your local laws to make sure where you stand, as you don’t want to be pulled over and required to fix the sound of your truck, especially if you just spent thousands to make this happen.
This is something I don’t think that many people think about when making their truck louder. The droning of your loud vehicle can actually give you headaches on longer drives, and can get annoying. If you plan on having an extremely loud vehicle, I can’t recommend a valved exhaust more.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I make my factory exhaust louder?
If you don’t have the budget to do the above, there are plenty of ways to make your factory exhaust louder. You can drill holes in your muffler, you can remove the insides of your muffler and more. That said, consult your local laws and a mechanic before doing any of this.
Why would you want a louder truck?
Ultimately, the reason you want a louder truck is just for the fun of it. For the most part a loud truck on its own doesn’t mean it is more powerful, or a better vehicle, but it sure is a lot of fun.
Does a loud truck have to spew black smoke?
Rolling coal is by no means something that has to happen with a loud truck, and is actually a completely separate (not very good) idea. It just so happens that trucks that roll coal, almost always tend to be loud as well.
Having a loud truck is a ton of fun! My truck is what I would consider “loud” and it is one of my favorite things about it. I hope that this list gave you some great ideas as to where to start your journey to a loud truck.
Again, make sure to consult your local laws, and a mechanic before making any of these modifications, as they can damage your truck if done incorrectly (no one wants that) and they can get you a ticket.
If it were my personal journey, I would probably opt for a cat-back exhaust, cold air intake, and of course a supercharger.