You are wondering How to make exhaust louder? So the silent cybertruck is not your thing, and you want a bit more life from your vehicle as long as the petroleum wells allow.
As petrolheads, it is quite sad to witness the start of the shift from the internal combustion engines to electric motors, a significant part of it is the sound.
How a car sounds dramatically determines our perception of it, from the monstrous whining supercharged Hemi in a hellcat to the turbo spools and flutter of a 2JZ, engines and the noise they produce is not only music to our ears but a sign of what a car does, apart from an LS swapped RX-7 that is.
If you want your truck or any car for that matter to have more character, here is a list of top 6, from literally free to moderately not cheap things you can do to make your vehicle louder.
How to Make Your Exhaust Loud
01. Drilling holes in the muffler
Perhaps the cheapest, easiest, most controllable, and moderately safer way to make your car louder on this whole list. All you need is to drill in your muffler one big or a few small holes.
It is very controllable if you drill smaller holes as each one you add increases the loudness to a lesser extent.
Recommended area of drilling if you just want the loudness and don’t want to change the character of the sound dramatically, is the same plane from where the tailpipe is joined.
Altering the element of sound just by drilling holes in the more robust part, you really need to know how the stock muffler is engineered internally to change the sound characteristic.
This is the reason drilling around the area where the tailpipes are joined most recommended.
One important thing to keep in mind is the position of the muffler relative to the car as if it happens to be right below the cabin; exhaust fumes may irritate by entering in the greenhouse.
This is the reason it is much more prevalent among truck enthusiasts as they have a bed above the muffler instead of the cabin.
Before experimenting with your car, do check the rules and regulations of your country/ states, to make sure you meet the legal standards.
Here is the procedure
- Grab a drill and drill bit
- Lift the truck or lie down under
- Drill a few holes in the muffler and test the exhaust sound.
- Repeat step 3 until the desired sound is achieved.
02. Deleting the exhaust
This is the way to go if you want your car to be extremely loud, and you couldn’t care less about anything else.
Removing the whole exhaust system (after the catalytic converter, of course, some states/ countries allow exhaust modifications as long as it has a full time working cat and the sound is under a specific decibel limit) dramatically increases the loudness of your car.
Perhaps the only positive other than the loudness is a bit of weight reduction, as you know how massive the stock mufflers and pipes are.
To do this, you might have to cut your pipe in two or more divisions (depends on your model and skill) and is, therefore, a more tedious process than the first one, but still, totally doable.
As the whole exhaust assembly is quite heavy, it is suggested to cut significant bits and then unscrew the hangers one by one.
Apart from all that, the first way mentioned is more recommended as it is far less dangerous.
Deleting the exhaust exposes the harmful fumes that may contain carbon monoxide directly into the cabin.
This gas is very harmful as hemoglobin in our blood has more affinity for it as compared to oxygen, once exposed to this gas, our blood is no longer able to carry oxygen to other body parts plus long exposures prove to be fatal.
And since you are freeing up quite a lot of restrictions in the way of exhaust gases, a slight bump in power is no surprise, and so is a slightly increased fuel consumption.
Here is the procedure
- Plan a cutting layout for the exhaust system
- Mark on the assembly and cut
- Undo the clamps/hangers and remove the components one by one.
This is the part of the list where ‘how to make exhaust louder without buying anything’ ends.
03. Resonator exhaust tips
These things are relatively cheap and are proven to make your car exhaust louder but not massively.
Often, resonator tips make your car sound more profound and more emphatic, popular options being the DC sports, Flowmaster 50, etc., which make quick exhaust tips for trucks and jeep wrangler.
These slip-on tubes are just small hollow air chambers that force the air to vibrate in a certain way under airflow to usually produce less sound, but the same principle (called Bernoulli’s policy for you nerds out there) can be used to change the character of sound and to make your exhaust louder.
Apart from the sound increase, these tips are excellent to look at. You can get them in chrome, black, or materials such as carbon fiber.
Aftermarket slip-on exhaust tips are straightforward to install; they usually have three or more screws distributed at the start so that you can just attach and screw it.
If your exhaust is a bit longer and the resonator is sticking out, you can always cut some part of it. Please do check your exhaust diameter before buying any one of these.
Resonators, in general, do not affect the performance of your engine and are both very safe and legal in most countries. Check your local laws is a must.
Although effective, the extent of loudness intensity is not very high using resonators alone but will be enough for the majority of people.
Here is the procedure
- Clean your original end pipe.
- Put the resonator on just to see how much tailpipe is needed to cut if at all
- Measure and cut
- Slip the component on and screw it firmly
Here’s how YouTuber ‘Andrew does Life’, shows himself putting on a DC sports resonator on his Ford Raptor.
04. Glasspacks / Aftermarket mufflers
Not as inexpensive as resonators but definitely much louder. Glasspacks are mostly fiberglass tubes that are much more free-flowing than a stock muffler, and because of this less restriction.
These are louder as well, plus they’re not that expensive considering popular options on the market such as cherrybomb glasspacks.
Aftermarket mufflers perform the same function as that of a glasspack, the only difference being in the material and construction.
These are much more likely to be made of metal and have some complexity inside instead of just an uninterrupted, uniform continuity.
These systems together while increasing the loudness of the exhaust, also allow the engine to breathe more freely by reducing the backpressure.
And just like the exhaust deletion, this helps the engine produce a bit more power while at the same time increasing fuel consumption slightly.
The installation of these parts is quite tedious. You need to cut the exhaust pipe sometimes on two different markings instead of a single one.
You start by cutting off the original muffler, attaching the new on using clamps/weld, and if it turns out to be short, borrow the end pipes of your original exhaust or buy new ones.
For the countries/states that allow vehicle modifications, this is going to be legal as long as it passes the noise and emissions criteria.
These enhancements might not be the loudest in the world, but they still are plenty loud.
Here is the procedure:
- Remove the muffler by cutting the pipes as close to itself as possible
- Try on the glasspack/muffler and measure the extra pipe that needs to be cut
- Cut the extra pipe and slip on the component
- Join the two by the help of clamps
05. Straight pipe Exhaust
And now into the beginning of high-performance stuff. Unless you are a mechanic, to avoid DIYing, this one might be a good idea.
As the name suggests, these are straight tubes with no restrictions whatsoever starting from the catalytic converter to the end pipe. Because there are neither any restrictions nor any insulations, this setup is one of the loudest.
Also, fewer restrictions mean good airflow, which reduces backpressure and, thus, increasing power. With, once again, more fuel consumption.
Installing a straight pipe is a task best left to professionals, but if you wish to do it yourself, do wear protective gear, double-check every measurement, and make sure the work is efficient and precise.
No need to push if you feel fatigued, take some rest, and then start working again; carelessness results in fatal injuries mostly caused by heavy machinery.
With the loudness of that of a straight pipe, you need to check what level of sound intensity your country/state permits.
If it is below the legal limit, you can drive your car on the road, but if it isn’t, you’ll need to find a way to suppress the sound. As far as emissions go, you need to get them checked as well.
The problem with straight pipes is that they are often too loud, customers buy them overwhelmed by feelings, but after a while, that loudness becomes annoying.
DIY not recommended but here is the procedure anyway:
- Mark and cut the original pipe all the way up to the Cat.
- Remove the components carefully one by one
- Put the new pipes on and cut more if required
- Finally, weld them together to form a singular pipe
06. Catback Exhaust System
But let’s say you do not drive that vehicle daily and therefore are much less likely to be annoyed by it, and you’d like your exhaust to be so loud the neighbors can hear you a mile away. Moreover, you do not care if the car you have remains road legal or not.
Now what you need is a free-flowing Catback exhaust system. As you might have noticed, up until now, everything we did in the exhaust assembly was after the catalytic converter, now a Catback exhaust exchanges everything after and including the ‘cat,’ therefore, the name ‘catback.’
Replacing the stock catalytic converter that restricts the airflow with a newer free flow one significantly improves both sound and engine performance.
Replacing a stock cat with a high-performance free-flowing one reduces quite a lot of backpressure, improves not just the loudness but the quality of the sound as well. And it is an excellent buy if you can afford such items.
Much like the straight pipes, doing this yourself is not recommended. It really depends on the internals of your vehicle, for example.
If you just want to interchange the old cat for a new one and your car provides easy access to it, it might be easier than you think (comparatively speaking).
But on the other hand, if you are going for the full exhaust and the construction is cramped, it’ll require much more time and energy, which would just not be worth it.
Laws regarding emissions tend to be quite strict; many governments do not allow any tinkering with the cat, so always check on what law permits even if it is a small part.
This setup is as loud as it is ever going to get in a car.
Here is the procedure:
- Remove the exhaust and the cat.
- Screw the new cat on
- Put back the original muffler and tail if you so wish
- Or screw a new one to the cat and weld supports on the pipe for either hangers or clamps.
No matter what the type of modification it may be, but if it alters anything close to something which can be regulated underperformance mods, remember to tune the whole motor properly after you’ve installed them.
For example, a cold air intake doesn’t do anything right by just putting it on; you need to tune the engine for it. And, if you decide sometime later to put on a new exhaust or some other modifications, you need to re-tune it, all over again.
If you slip on a glasspack or aftermarket muffler such as the cherrybomb, you can still add the resonator tips, if you feel like something is still missing.
If you’ve got a reasonable budget, something like Valvetronic mufflers might interest you, as they let you switch between relatively quiet and extremely loud just on the touch of a button.
Always wear protective gear while working on your car; operations on heavy machinery can be harmful.
As a final note, let us tell you that even though you might have the freedom to do something doesn’t mean you should do it.
Very loud cars driven for a prolonged period of time, irritate others and harm the environment. Instead, just make your project car louder, which you are eventually going to drive occasionally instead of your daily commuter.