Ford Ranger Exhaust System Guide: improve Performance, Airflow and Fuel Economy

Though the doors of Ford Australia have shut permanently, the design team has left its mark on a few models that have reached international acclaim. One such vehicle, the Ford Ranger has been on Aussie streets for the better part of a decade. Its popularity is evidenced in increasing sales figures from year to year, and an updated model is just around the corner. This too has been developed by Ford Australia, and designed for and tested in harsh Aussie conditions.

Aussie cars have a 4 or 5 cylinder diesel engine, producing good low-down torque and high bhp figures. There’s even the promise of a 6-cylinder 3 litre diesel in the new model, though without any published numbers as of yet. For current owners, either the first-generation car or the outgoing Ranger currently in production, drivers have a choice between a twin-turbo or a regular turbo in a larger engine. The decent output in both can be improved with an uprated aftermarket exhaust Ford Ranger, making the best of all that forced air. This is an upgrade that doesn’t require lifting the hood and getting your fingers dirty in swapping out all those high-tech diesel components.

exhaust ford ranger


What’s the Issue with Stock Exhausts?

Manufacturers need to cut corners somewhere in order to keep prices down. The exhaust is one of the areas that endure the effects of cost-cutting. Though adequate for the engines, stock exhausts come with mediocre materials, that add unnecessary weight, and the design restricts optimal airflow, particularly for engines with forced induction. Tubing is narrower. Add to this the restrictions set out by constant emissions regulations, and there are more than a few horses that don’t get to see the pasture.

How does an Aftermarket Ford Ranger Exhaust Help?

Aftermarket exhausts tend to the issues above in that they used better materials, notably higher grades of stainless steel, and better designs. Tubing undergoes mandrel bending so there is minimal gas flow restriction along the entire length of the exhaust. Individual parts are straighter and wider, and yet fit within the recesses of the stock exhaust. The whole system only requires you to take out the old exhaust and install the new one with the provided mounting brackets that are quickly and easily bolted into place. If you’ve got a knack for tools, then the whole job can be completed within an hour, with time left for a beer.

ford ranger exhaust


Types of Exhaust Upgrades for the Ford Ranger

You can swap out different parts of the exhaust Ford Ranger. This depends on the performance figures you’re after and the sound profile of the muffler. Also, the cost comes into play and you can expect to pay either a few hundred or considerably more. But compared to other performance upgrades excluding an ECU tune, this will leave a smaller hole in your wallet.

The cheapest modification is going for an axle-back exhaust. The main issue here is deleting all the tubing that stifles the engine sound. Most buyers opt to delete the muffler and go for straighter tubing. You won’t get much in the way of increased speed, but more of a raspier exhaust note. Going for the opposite, or adding silencers to the mix, quietens things down. But honestly, who would want that? Other parts changed in axle-backs are the tailpipe extension tubes, the tailpipe and of course better-looking exhaust tips.

Since almost all Ford Rangers in Australia are diesels, there’s the option of changing the stock parts up to the particle filter. This is what burns all those nasty toxic diesel particles. Changes are made by including a dump pipe to literally dump all the excess gas that can clog up the tubing. Also, also opting for a more robust catalytic converter can get emissions levels even lower. The parts are the same as those in the axle-back exhaust, except here the tubing from the DPF filter to the muffler is wider and straighter. A DPF exhaust can cost a sweet penny, but the extra space for burnt gases to exit the car faster gives you some more oomph that you can actually feel. And there are countless situations where more power is welcome.

Lastly, there’s the whole shebang, and changing out the whole stock exhaust. A turbo-back exhaust in the Ford Ranger diesels swaps out all the tubing from the exhaust manifolds to the exhaust tips. Some buyers also go for an exhaust extractor for better efficiency. This system gets the most power on tap in all the diesel engines in the Ford Ranger. Since there’s more metal involved, it also costs more, though not much more than a DPF swap. The increase in performance though is on another level.

What to Look for in an Aftermarket Ford Ranger Exhaust?

Go for quality. This means high-grade stainless-steel exhausts with heat resistant enamel coating that wicks away water and road spray. There’ll be no corrosion or staining and the pipes should last the lifetime of the vehicle. Also, straighter pipes at least 3 inches in diameter will get burning diesel gases out that much quicker. You’ll also find hand-built variants made with extra care and attention to detail. When buying a replacement exhaust Ford Ranger, think of the sound coming out of the exhaust tip, and the added horsepower you need for the rougher stuff. Quality aftermarket exhaust systems are available from dozens of dealers in Australia.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.