Toyota Tundra Exhaust Modifications

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The new Tundra is a hell of a truck — anyone who’s looked at one will tell you that. Toyota has made a truck that can haul, tow, and race with any half-ton on the road. However, Toyota fit this truck with a relatively quiet exhaust system. If you think your 381 hp 5.7L V8 ought to sound as fast as it is, then this article is for you (BTW, some exhaust dimensions are listed at the bottom of this post).

To start with, Toyota took the time to design a quality exhaust system. In other words, if you never modified your Tundra’s exhaust, you wouldn’t be disappointed. Toyota designed the whole system to be efficient, starting most importantly with the exhaust manifold. That’s because, basically, the new Tundra comes with factory headers (most trucks don’t).

The exhaust manifolds on this truck are some of the most sophisticated factory exhaust manifolds you’ll find — they are a 4 into 2 into 1 design, which has been found to be most efficient for moving exhaust gases quickly. The exhaust manifold is also made out of stainless steel, which is lighter than cast iron (the material most manufacturers use) and more resistant to corrosion. The tubes on the exhaust manifold for each cylinder are also of equal length. Often times, factory exhaust manifolds have unequal length tubes, resulting in different back pressures on each cylinder and contributing to lower performance. By making sure that that cylinders all have equal length tubes, the Tundra’s factory exhaust manifolds are as good as most products available after-market.

In short, the exhaust manifolds on your new Tundra shouldn’t require any modification. If you decide to heavily modify the top end of your motor, then you may want to look into a quality after-market header (when they become available), but for 99% of users, the factory setup is excellent.

From the exhaust manifold (one on each side of the block), your exhaust is going to pass thru two (2) catalytic converters. Unless you intend to race this thing off-road, there’s no good reason to remove your catalytic converters. First of all, it’s illegal to do so. Second, it’s bad for the environment. Third, and most significantly, they really don’t result in that much of a hp loss. Once upon a time catalytic converters would restrict your exhaust significantly. Today’s designs (in the Tundra and otherwise) are fairly performance friendly. Don’t get me wrong — you’d get slightly more performance without them, but do the world a favor and leave them on. Stick with a cat-back exhaust modification.

After the catalytic converters, the exhaust gases from each side of the motor cool somewhat and meet-up at the muffler. Again, the factory system is pretty good. We haven’t tested one, but typically we don’t see a significant hp and torque gain by replacing the factory muffler (3-5hp, 5-10ft-lbs at the most). We are very interested in any dyno testing that anyone has done to confirm or disprove this. However, if you supercharge or otherwise heavily modify the engine the factory muffler should be replaced.

If you decide to replace the factory muffler, the biggest benefit will be the new sound that you hear coming from the pipes. The rumble that we all associate with a V8 is intoxicating, and there are about a hundred different mufflers to choose from to help you get the rumble you want. TRD, Borla, Flowmaster, Gibson, Edelbrock, Magnaflow, etc all offer quality products. While brand is important, it’s more important to know what you want and find the right shop. Most exhaust mufflers, regardless of brand, are interchangeable. Whatever brand you choose, it’s important to remember a few things and ask some good questions at your muffler shop.

First, what do you want? Most people want to hear the exhaust rumble at idle and under acceleration, but not really while cruising on the highway. If you get the wrong muffler, you’ll end up hearing an annoying drone at highway speeds. The experts at the local muffler shop can help (read more about picking the right shop below). Second, do you want something that people can slightly hear when you drive by, or do you want something so loud that the neighbors know exactly what time you leave for work every morning? I hope that it’s the former, but if you decide for the latter, look for words like “racing” or “glasspack”.

Also, do you want a single or dual exhaust? In terms of performance, you usually see the best increase by copying the factory system but upgrading the components. On the Tundra, that would be a single exhaust. But since you’re not going to see much of a performance difference either way, dual exhausts do look and sound better, and that would be our preference.

What material is best? We think that’s a decision that should be based on geography. If you live anywhere near the corrosive effects of saltwater, stainless steel is the smart choice. While it’s more expensive up-front, it will last much longer than galvanized or aluminized steel. People living in dry climates really don’t need to purchase stainless steel — if rust attacks their system, it will be years before anything is damaged.

What about exhaust tips? First of all, go stainless. Anything else will be hard to keep polished. We’ve gone cheap on this in the past and regretted it. Ask to see the tips you’re going to buy along with a cheaper set. If they weigh the same, you’re probably looking at something with a coating. If the expensive set is lighter, you’ve got the real deal in your hands. Tip size shouldn’t be too big either. If you get huge, coffee-can-sized exhaust tips, your back pressure will drop a lot. That’s actually a bad thing — a little back pressure is needed to help the engine perform (it was figured into the design). We recommend sticking with something the same size as your stock exhaust or just a little bigger.

Last, when choosing a muffler shop, ask a lot of questions. We’ve installed a few exhausts and had some bad experiences, so these questions are based on you not making some of the same mistakes we’ve made.

  1. Explain your plan to the shop owner, and then ask for their opinion. If they don’t give you a decent response, you’re not dealing with someone who understands what you’re trying to accomplish. Go somewhere else.
  2. Ask for a brand recommendation. The best shops will tell you about their premium muffler (i.e. Gibson, Flowmaster, etc.) but they’ll also mention their shop brand. Ask them which they would choose. If they tell you there is much difference between the shop brand and the premium brand, make sure that’s not because they’re trying to sell you a more expensive option.
  3. Find out what vehicles they specialize in and if they work with any local car clubs or racing associations. If the shop you’ve found works with a local SCCA chapter or off-road club, they’re probably excellent. If they specialize in import compacts, you may want to go somewhere else.
  4. Ask for referrals and recommendations. Reputable shops will be able to list off five or ten local businesses (mod shops, car dealers, etc.) that they work with.
  5. Ask them how they assemble the system, how the tubes will be bent, if they’re going to use the factory hangers, etc. If you don’t like the answers you get, you might want to shop a little more.
  6. Don’t spend more than about $600 for a cat-back system (installed). We like the TRD product, but for $742.50 (a recent quote we got from a local dealer) PARTS ONLY, we think you could have a nice exhaust system and a half a dozen cases of beer.

Last, check out this recent install by blackgts2002 (must be forum member to see profile), a member of TundraSolutions.com since 2005. He had a dual Flowmaster 70 series put on his new 5.7L Toyota Tundra. We especially like it because of the quiet tone at idle and at steady RPM, while still sounding very impressive under acceleration. The duals look great (he’s chosen what appears to be a quality tip), and the cost and quality is exactly what we’d expect from a good shop. We hope you have the same success with your custom exhaust set-up.
Nice!

2007 Toyota Tundra exhaust system dimensions:

These were found on the TundraSolutions forum — make sure you check your own setup before ordering anything.

Exhaust pipe outside diameter measurements:

At rear of catalytic converters: 2 3/8 inch

From post catalytic flange to factory muffler: 2 1/8 inch

Out of muffler to exhaust tip: 2 3/4 inch

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  1. […] too? If you’re looking at putting an exhaust on your Tundra, we’ve got an aftermarket Tundra exhaust guide that talks about the factory exhaust system, power and MPG gains from adding a cat-back […]

  2. […] shop and have a high quality cat-back custom dual exhaust added for $400 to $600. Check out this tundra exhaust article for more info and some good tips. __________________ “A Toyota” — spelled the same […]

  3. […] When it comes to most engines, that means intake and exhaust. Since we’ve already covered the Tundra Exhaust System, we’ll focus now on the intake […]

  4. […] for the great info regarding the Tundra 5.7L exhaust. I have a question though. The local muffler shops offer dual in dual out exhaust for the Tundra, […]

  5. I just bought a Turbine XL 3030 muffler for my Tundra. Sounds incredible. It revs more freely, thats for sure. I think I also getting some more performance out of it as well as a bit better MPG!,,,,,,,,which is awsome!
    Here is the website for the muffler. http://www.aeroexhaust.com

  6. Khalid says:

    i just bought the tundra crewmax and waiting for the shipping to Qatar can any one please tell me an dual exhaust that only makes noise when only accelerating very fast but not really while cruising on the highway or constant speed.

    THANK YOU

    • Blue says:

      Get The Stainless works dual exhaust system. You wont be disappointed! Quiet But great performance gains.

  7. […] more about why you should consider buying an after market exhaust, the differences between single and dual exhausts, and listen to some Tundra exhaust system sound […]

  8. Mickey says:

    Personally I have and use Borla only. I have Borla ProXS on my crewmax limited.

  9. John Mcconnell says:

    I recently purchased a Magnaflow system for my 05 Tundra. I hear all kinds of people out there comment on how their truck “feels” faster or they “think” its got more power. After searching all kinds of forum sites I seem to be the only person who actually did a dyno at all. And definately the only one that did a before and after to prove either way if cat back systems really work. I can say with certanty that they dont work. Want a cool sound, go ahead and blow the cash. Looking for HP and Torque gains, you wont see them. Just because your truck sounds cool it isnt any faster. Remember, numbers dont lie, people do. I will be happy to post my dyno chart if you are intersted. FYI- the before and after dyno testing and exhaust work was all done on the same day in about an hour so not many changes in variables like air temp or pressure etc.

    Here are the numbers- 1.4 HP gain 2.3 LBS Torque gain. I would love to know if anyone else out there has actually done dyno testing to back up their number. Please let me know.

  10. John – We actually tested a TRD exhaust system and noticed 1 to 5 hp, depending upon the RPM range we were measuring. As we said in the TRD exhaust review (as well as the other exhaust articles we’ve written), the best aspect of an after-market exhaust is the sound. Only if you add on other performance components (such as a cold air intake, supercharger, computer chip enhancement, etc.) do you benefit from the increased exhaust throughput that an after-market exhaust provides.
    http://www.tundraheadquarters......ct-review/

  11. Mickey says:

    Hey Kris your lead researcher maybe a renowned scientist but it’s not rocket science that you are on the wrong website. LOL….

  12. […] appears there is no significant performance benifit from moding the exhaust with a stock engine. Toyota Tundra Exhaust Modifications | Tundra Headquarters John Mcconnell Said in February 15th, 2009 @1:58 pm I recently purchased a Magnaflow system for […]

  13. chris says:

    what is the best brand of exhaust for an 07′ toyota tundra 5.7L v8 double cab?

  14. chris – That’s a subject for debate. Gibson, Flowmaster, Magnaflow, and Borla are all popular and excellent quality – only you can decide for sure. Check out this post for more info – http://www.tundraheadquarters......t-systems/

  15. Mickey says:

    Chris you can go to Jason’s other website and see pics or go to TundraTalk.net and see some there. Myself I got Borla Pro XS complete duels. Can’t show pics here but Tundratalk.net I have them. Under same name too.

  16. Jason says:

    I just purchased my 07 tundra xsp less than three days ago, and compared to the 01 jetta i drove before, the mpg suck, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

  17. Jeff Clow says:

    I just bought a 2010 toyota Tundra double cab and I am wondering if there are any changes in the stock systems from 2009 to 2010..

  18. Jason says:

    Jeff – None that I’m aware of.

  19. scott says:

    the 2010 exhaust is slightly different than previous years. 07-09 exhaust wont fit without modifying the driver side inlet on the muffler. I have a 2010 d-cab 5.7L Flex 4×4 and it don’t fit, not by much though if u wanted to void the warranty on the aftermarket exhaust it would not take much to make it fit.

  20. Jason says:

    scott – Good to know – thanks or sharing. Thank you! :-)

  21. P says:

    Shouldve bought the trd exhaust and saved your effort. the exhaust system that people will put together based on this guide would be a pile of scrap piping and a flowmaster at your local quicky exhaust.

    cat back systems are just a half ass attempt at a modification, no offense.

    This guide is full of discriminating comments and mis-information. If you really want to build a good exhaust you either need to learn more or find a shop that already knows a lot about it.
    There is a lot of planning that goes into designing an aftermarket exhaust, that is if you want to improve performance.

    My guide:

    max power with a cat-back:

    measure the inside diameter of your catalytic converter outlet pipe or pipes. You then use exhaust tubing that is the same size as this outlet, all the way back to the tail pipe. If you need a muffler, ensure that it is a straight through design, by this I mean you can see directly through it and the outlet and inlet are the same size or bigger than the catalytic converter outlet. Mandrel bends are the way to go, or use a crush bent pipe that is larger than your straight tubing.

    This is extremely basic stuff.

  22. Jason says:

    P – Going with an over-size crust bent pipe is NOT equivalent to going with a mandrel-bent tube. The friction loss in any crush-bent pipe is higher than a mandrel bent pipe. It’s because there’s a no-slip condition for any fluid that flows through a pipe (air is considered a fluid for the purpose of thermodynamics). The crush bends create a ripple effect in any fluid that flows through…mandrel bends don’t.

    Also, I think I listed off some good info on how to find a quality local shop.

    Finally, I don’t see any of the discriminating comments or mis-information you do. If you want to be critical, I can respect that, but some specifics would be nice.

  23. Mark says:

    I have a 2010 Tundra Rock Warrior 5.7L I want to put a Gibson sst muffler on it not for more power just to get some tone. Any one know how much mod. it will take cause the oem one is welded on the inlet side.

  24. Jason (Admin) says:

    Mark – I think guys just cut the pipe and weld on some new fittings…I’ve never done it. A muffler shop will take care of it for $50, so I don’t mess with it. Besides, don’t own a torch or welder.

  25. […] power when you read this one, so not everything applies directly but it is still informative. – http://www.tundraheadquarters.com/bl…modifications/ – Some good tips on Tundra exhaust builds. __________________ Last edited by Boomer83; […]

  26. […] Re: How to correctly build an FJ exhaust system An interesting article on Tundra exhaust. I know this is an FJ forum, but, a lot of this (not all of it, some stuff I don't agree with) transfers over to the FJ. Toyota Tundra Exhaust Modifications | Tundra Headquarters […]

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