At some point every car enthusiast wonders, “Should I replace the stock exhaust system?” If you want better performance, sound, and even fuel economy from your Ford Explorer, the answer is always a resounding Yes.
But which is better, new mufflers and tips or an entirely new Explorer dual exhaust? In this blog, we look at the pros and cons of of upgrading component parts versus the full exhaust system. And provide you with the information needed to make the right decision.
Replacing OEM Explorer Mufflers And Tips
When it comes to exhausts, stock is stock. Most stock exhausts are made to blend in, not stand out:
A replacement muffler(s) and exhaust tips are often the first upgrades that enthusiasts will make on their build. It’s a quick and relatively inexpensive way to modify and personalize your Explorer and comes with:
- Enhanced exhaust sound
- Improved looks
- Low cost
But it won’t do much more than add a deeper exhaust note. Choose a generic muffler; an irritating drone may accompany that deeper sound. That’s why Thermal R&D Ford Explorer exhausts come with drone-free True Helmholtz Technology.
A simple muffler replacement can sometimes be referred to as an axle-back system. This may include new pipes from the rear axle to the muffler, but it still won’t improve performance levels (though it may be an upgrade on looks and some increase is sound level). That might be enough for a while, but most Ford Explorer owners ultimately decide they want to go the distance and run a full cat-back system.
Installing A New Explorer Dual Exhaust System Is Worth It
In contrast, a full Ford Explorer dual exhaust from Thermal R&D Performance is built for your specific model, so it yields the best results:
And we've upgraded our Explorer ST cat-back exhaust system to include 3.5" black-coated dual angle cut tips. Custom exhausts will come at a higher cost, but you can also expect:
- Improved exhaust sound
- Stand-out looks
- Increased performance
- Improved fuel economy
- Often lighter than OEM Explorer exhausts
For example, Thermal R&D's exhaust systems are engineered with drone cancelling True Helmholtz technology and each
system is unique to the vehicle. This approach increases exhaust flow, maximizes quality sound (not noise) and improves the overall performance of your Explorer.
This full dual exhaust replacement is called a cat-back system. That’s because everything from the catalytic converters back is replaced. Once a vehicle's converters are removed, the car is no longer street legal and becomes an off-road or track only vehicle. The majority of enthusiasts still want to drive on public streets, making catalytic convertor removal a less desirable option. Cat-back exhaust replacements are a go-to first upgrade for enthusiasts looking for better performance, sound and aesthetics without interfering with the OE emissions system.
Which Option Is Right For You?
If money is a true constraint and you can’t wait to save for the full exhaust, a muffler and tip upgrade will satisfy the urge for the short-term. As long as you manage your expectations going in, it can be a fun project to get your build off the ground. However, if you can spring for the full cat-back system you’ll be glad you did.
Choosing the right brand and style of exhaust is an entirely separate subject. At Thermal R&D we are biased, we naturally believe we have the best product on the market...and this 2020+ Explorer exhaust system has been made even better with the new, updated tips pictured below.
That said, you should do some research online, check enthusiast groups specific to your vehicle and decide what is most important to you. Our rides are personal, and an expression of who we are. Some of us are practical, some ultra aggressive, and all of us are a little weird in our own way. So, contact us online or call us at (661)690-7181 if you have questions.
We build a range of exhausts for popular models. And we offer custom exhausts for niche vehicles. All our exhausts are manufactured in the USA from top-quality materials like T304 stainless steel. And we use advanced methods like mandrel bending to deliver the best-looking and performing systems.
Finally, we stand by our products with a lifetime warranty. Get the True Helmholtz Technology – drone-free exhaust system your car deserves from Thermal R&D.