Quick Install: Exhaust Upgrade

Corsa 4 II
Story and Photos by G.R. Whale

Since the first exhaust pipe, the aftermarket has found ways to beat factory design, performance or appearance. Although most modern pickup exhausts are comparably free-flowing by even 20-year-old standards, there is usually some room for improvement, and Corsa Commercial’s exhausts are a way to gain a few benefits without adding a lot of fanboy noise.

We didn’t dyno the change on this pickup nor gather long-term fuel economy data yet, but we can tell you this piece looks better, feels incrementally stouter, took almost 15 pounds off the truck’s weight and, since our only drive so far is empty highway cruising at about 1,300 rpm, any fuel economy gain is measured in tenths.

It sounds much better outside and has a deeper purr in the cab, but there’s no droning or booming, and the hands-free needs no volume adjustment. Installation took than half an hour — what we might have saved using a lift was eaten up with camera work, using everyday hand tools. Retail prices on Corsa Commercial systems run from $550, and there’s a discount for fleets purchasing multiple units, and a 10-year limited warranty.


Corsa 1 II
The included instructions are succinct, but as the spring-under shows, our short-wheelbase test truck is quite a bit lower than stock, so cutting the pipe above the diff was the easiest extraction method.

Corsa 2 II
Position the muffler so slip joints face forward and small drain holes are on the bottom. The instructions include notes on proper positioning of clamps and torque values for all fasteners.

Corsa 3 II
The spherical clamp from the stock system is reused. With the lock tab from the stock pipe gone, it’s much easier to fasten if rotated 180 degrees as shown. Corsa recommends rechecking the fasteners after the truck’s been driven for a heat cycle and cooled down.

Corsa exhaust test copy


Didn't dyno it. That is exactly what they are counting on.

Pull a big trailer for 2000 miles with a loud exhaust and your ears will beg you to put it back.

I think the only reason the factory exhaust is done how it is would be, first to keep the sound down for that quiet ride and drive, and second keep the manufacturing cost down. I cant think of any other reason the engineers developing the exhaust wouldn't just go with the most efficient for the consumer.

"Didn't dyno it. That is exactly what they are counting on."

Agreed. What's the point of doing an upgrade and then not finding out if there was any benefit to it? Unless your only goal dumping money was to change the sound of the exhaust.

It's a great investment if you want to waste your money.

So basically I can spend $550 to replace the cat back for essentially no reason other then the pipe that you see looks shiny.

Or for $100 I can have someone cut out the stock muffler and replace it with a new 'highflow' unit and accomplish the same thing.

just cut er off at the end of the manfold and weld on glass packs the louder the better then drive by the ford girlie men rev the ball bags off it and smoke the tires off and watch them cry lmao now thats how you git er done boys and girls

see this is how me and my boys roll http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iH1oIw6bCIk&feature=plcp the louder the better wide open or no open at all

Lol @johnny doe you are the exact guy I would laugh at and make fun of while you're wasting $$ on tires and sounding like a moron with an obnoxiously loud truck (that based on your scenario isn't any faster or better than a stock truck). It could be a ford, ram, chevy, toyo, or nissan, anything like what you described would be a rolling punchline!

Yea, I agree its a waste of money to cut off the exhuast on a brand new truck for marginal gains. I can see doing when the factory exhuast is shot in five years.

@johnny doe. They made a south park episode about guys like you, except they put them on bikes instead of trucks


have you rode in a truck with a $100 muffler shop specail?

Talk about DRONE, the corsa/borla exhausts do a very nice job of keeping the drone to a minimum especialy in trucks with cylinder deactivation

For those that are saying that buying a aftermarket exhaust is a waste of money, I have to ask who are you to say that?Just because you don't want to spend your money that way doesn't make it wrong or a joke for somebody else. I know people that would say that buying a new truck is a waste of money or buying an $8,000 diesel motor to pull their RV or boat 4 or 5 weekends a year is a waste of money. Everybody has their own preferences in how they want to spend their money. Get over it.

That guy should take the grinder to his right arm to get rid of that stupid tattoo.

I myself put a K&N intake and Flow master exhaust on my 03 Hemi.It sounds great. The sound matches the truck being lifted with 35"s. It can get a little drone in the 5,000 RPM range when
towing up a mountain.

After a crash, I put a Corsa exhaust on my Gen 3 Ram with 5.9 Cummins, DEFINITELY an improvement over the factory exhaust, much less drone on the highway. I chose Corsa because I wanted a quiter system.

I also made the mistake of putting a cheap muffler ($175 installed - had to do it last minute for inspection, factory muffler was $600+) in a vehicle before and will have it cut out next week for to put in a factory style muffler.

Corsa's stuff sounds good, and that is coming from someone who hates loud, droning exhausts.


I'm saying that cause I've been there and done that 15yrs ago when there was arguably a chance of some benefit.

Have you ever noticed how the loudest trucks are the slowest? I think some guys do it for attention because they don't have enough money to fix the truck the way they'd like. I have left many of these guys at the stop light with there super loud trucks. If you read the tests, you will see a CAI will give you as much or more power than an exhaust.

It is true that people can spend their own hard earned or borrowed money how they see fit. I've never seen a need for aftermarket exhaust on any street vehicle that I've owned. I've upgraded once the stock system has rusted through. It is funny to see who is making comments about liking loud obnoxious exhaust. The majority of new trucks I encounter or hear in the middle of the night are diesel HD's. These trucks are lifted running big aggressive mud tires and have super loud exhaust. You hear the roar of the diesel engine, see the black exhaust smoke, and smell the burnt rubber from wheel spin. Yup, a real sound investment in my books.

I say factory exhaust is the best way to go because they have either no drone or minimal drone. My 09+ TRD True Dual Exhaust is high quality stainless steel, way better than stock sounding (not very loud but very distinctive rumble), slight performance increase, slight mpg increase, gives the truck a better appearance as well and best of all no drone that I have heard so far. Is it worth the near $1,000.00 price tag some would yes and some would say no it's up to you.
Preview inside the cab while driving- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQzCeDHs4oc&feature=fvwrel and outside the cab- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSLozSyNJ7Q. T he TRD system explained here http://www.motoiq.com/magazine_articles/id/1873/project-toyota-tundra-part-5-testing-trds-warranty-friendly-exhaust-system.aspx.

I tried to look up the trucks I own on the link in the article, and there was nothing that they made for my trucks? I guess you have to have a HD? but the truck in the pics. deff. looks like a 1/2t GM! from what I can tell and from a friend that runs the local dyno, GM trucks come standard with what they call mandrell bent pipes, but the stock mufflers are too quiet! and fairly restictive also, so there is no real need to change out from the cat back anyway, so when the time come I will just go with a nicew quiet, but less restrictive muff. I remember a old motorcycle shop owner who would say "that sounds 5hp louder"!

I bought a kit very similiar to this kit for my old 07 Ranger and by 2011 it was rusting and had all but fallen off. I will not buy another after market exhaust.

A truly better breather would be to alter the exhaust flow by changing the 2-into-1 exhaust pipes into a 2-into-2 system, thus routing the exhaust from each cylinder bank through its own exhaust system .

I've done many of those in my younger years. It does require two separate exhaust pipes from each exhaust manifold back, two separate catalytic converters (where applicable), two separate mufflers and two exhaust pipes.

Although it is still done today by individuals in states that do not mandate smogtests, Federal law has made such mods illegal.

A cat-back system does nothing to alleviate the back pressure where the two exhaust pipes funnel into a single catalytic converter.

In order to increase flowrate through an engine you have to increase the flow rate of the exhaust while at the same time increasing the intake flow.

Modding just one side of the equation doesn't do diddly squat. The other side is still holding you back.

I've got a $5 bill that says once the ECU "learns" the new backpressure, a dyno will reveal that the truck has lost low end torque. So you spent $550 for less power and fuel economy and increased noise. Awesome.

File this under the same snake-oil folder as "cold air" intakes...

@WXman, you hit the nail on the head. Show me a dyno chart that proves torque gain at 2000 RPM (gas engine) and I'll be all over that. But big pipes - intake or exhaust - just move the powerband up to higher RPM.

LOL! i have tow a trailer with a k2500 chevy with straight pipes...i wish i never done such thing!...sounds cool still...

highdeasertcat: those were the days huh? but most modern engines need a certin amout of backpreasure, it get technical, but it's true, and also if you do the 2into2 you would do better if at some point they are connected for some reason there needs to be balance for your exhuast system to work the best, only if you want to have a balanced lower and mid range powerband only when your running an engine at full throttle is there no need for such balance ie. dragsters 1/4, flying mile, all out speed! this goes for all internal combustion engines.


When I was a kid, my dad had a dragster and raced Mopar, mostly 426 and 440, during the sixties. I started rebuilding his race engines and transmissions when I was 12 because my dad believed that being mechanically self-sufficient was important.

That saved me a lot of money over the ensuing decades. I had to do a lot of my own repair work because I couldn't afford to pay anyone to do it for me.

When upgrading exhaust systems and going from 1-into-2 to 2-into-2, I always included a cross-over pipe before the fiberglass mufflers.

Two months ago I replaced the entire exhaust system from the manifolds back on a 2002 RAM 1500 5.7, using various aftermarket pipes and mufflers I cut to make fit.

The catalytic converter was totally fried so I did not replace it. Not legal everywhere but where I live there are no smog inspections required, so no one will ever know.

Although the downpipes were still solid I cut both of them off near the firewall and MIG-welded new mandrel-bent pipes to them that were swaged. The end result was really nice and not offensive, more like an old-school dual-exhaust V8 ala Ford 352 without a catalytic converter.

The better breathing was also helped by a K&N filter the owner put on after we were done with the exhaust system. He told me throttle response is downright 'punchy' but that the reduction in backpressure caused more oil vapor to get sucked into the combustion cycle.

After I come back from our vaca in Hawaii I will help him repaint that truck and install a Rhino bed liner. It's going to look and sound real nice.

It's a lot cheaper than buying a new one.

A system that works doesn't need you to dyno it to check for an improvement.... You should be able to feel it immediately! Heck, when I bolted a Magnaflow system on my 4.6L F-150, it felt like you just removed 1000 pounds from the bed; it made that much of an improvement.

I've replaced several systems over the years and noticed improvements with all of them, and not just in decibels, but throttle response had improved as well as overall power. Of course, the sound and power is the only really reason we do these things... I've never heard of anyone documenting fuel mileage increases, and if you were concerned about mileage, you'd not have bought a truck in the first place!

For those of you who say there aren't any improvements... that it isn't worth getting a cat back... consider the newer tundra and the silverado. many straight through muffler cat-back systems show at LEAST 20 hp gains on the dyno.

I can't speak the same for the chambered mufflers (flowmaster), those are restrictive. mazes are for lab mice, not mufflers.

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