How to Make a Truck Louder: Get That Rumble You Crave
People want to know how to make a truck louder for a variety of reasons. Maybe you want to turn some heads, or to just wake up your neighbors as you head out in the morning.
Many of the noise restrictions in trucks also negatively affect performance, so you might be aiming to tap into the full potential of your truck.
Whatever your reasons, you have plenty of options if you want to know how to make a truck louder. Some cost little, while others are going to set you back a fair amount. Doing your homework about aftermarket parts is well worth the effort. Price can be an indication of quality, but not always.
If you want to know how to make a truck louder, consider these routes.
Instead of keeping the restrictive exhaust manifold your truck, swap that for a set of headers. Like other modifications, headers speed up the flow of your exhaust. Plus they take away some noise insulation, although not as much as some modifications. Usually, headers have collectors or tubes that are larger in diameter than the stock setup, which also contributes to the increased sound.
You have to choose between short- and long-tube headers. Traditionally, the long-tube options lead to bigger power gains. Installing long-tubes is far more difficult. And they usually cost more.
Some shorty, or short-tube, headers still give you good sound output and performance gains. If you can live with this option, you’ll have more cash in your wallet. That, and if you do the install yourself, you might not have bloody knuckles.
Aftermarket mid-pipes make a far greater impact on your truck’s sound output. Like headers, a mid-pipe opens your exhaust more by increasing the diameter of the piping.
From there, you must decide between and X-pipe and H-pipe. These two options produce different sounds, and believe it or not, people are passionate about this topic. My apologies in advance for offending anyone.
With an X-pipe, the two mid-pipe pathways cross over each other just like an X. Basically, your exhaust will flow down the pathway that presents the least amount of resistance. You get two steams of exhaust colliding into each other. If that sounds like chaos, it kind of is.
If you haven’t guessed, an H-pipe is shaped like an H. There are two main pipes, with a smaller pipe in between them, providing a connection. This means only a little bit of exhaust gases will flow from one side to the other.
Using an H-pipe will give you more of a rumble, like what you expect from an old muscle car. You also get better performance at lower RPMs, which is ideal if you’re mostly cruising around town.
Ultimately, you should decide which you like better. Different brands and even different models from different brands produce unique sounds from your truck.
Another issue that affects sound and is attached to the mid-pipe is the catalytic converters. Some mid-pipes that delete the cats are around, but you might not want to go with that option. Depending on where you live, cats are necessary to register your truck, and to renew the registration. They can quiet down your exhaust, but some high-flow cat options exist from brands such as Kooks, SLP and Magnaflow, to name a few.
A high-performance catback exhaust system replaces everything from the catalytic converters to the tips. Just like the other aftermarket exhaust components, these usually increase the diameter of your exhaust and remove restrictions, so you get more noise.
Depending on your truck, you can get a huge range of catback systems. Some delete the resonators that that stock system has, which will make your exhaust louder, but not necessarily deeper.
The mufflers on your truck also greatly affect exhaust sound. You could go with a system that deletes the mufflers, but that might not be legal in your area. Plus that can be a little too loud for a truck you drive all the time.
Aftermarket parts manufacturers pour considerable amounts of resources into researching and designing mufflers to produce the right kind of sound. Glass pack mufflers have packing in them, but those can eventually wear out, changing the sound of your system. Overall, this option runs the range from barely louder than stock to ear-splitting.
Other mufflers have a baffled or chambered layout. These produce that burble you probably associate with classic muscle cars. Just like glass packs, you can get these in a range from loud to deafening.
You can also go with turbo mufflers. In most stock mufflers, there are up to five perforated tubes, which snake from one end of the muffler to the other. In a turbo setup, you get at most three tubes, speeding up the exhaust’s movement.
If you want to know how to make a truck louder, one of the easiest ways to make your truck louder is to swap out the factory intake for an aftermarket setup. You can go with a short ram intake or choose a cold air setup. Both remove restrictions in the factory air box and intake tube, so when you lay on the throttle you hear the thing billow.
This isn’t as loud as exhaust modifications, but it does add something.
You can also turn to a throttle body spacer or a performance throttle body. These might have even less of an effect on the sound of your truck, but if you’re going for the loud factor, every bit can help.
Going with a forced induction system on your truck will also make it louder, but at a fairly steep cost. Superchargers produce a whine some people love and others hate. Just how loud and pronounced of a whine you get depends on the setup.
Turbocharging is another option you might not have considered. The spooling up of turbos creates an aggressive sound, while blow-off valves and wastegates only add to the bravado. Again, not everyone’s a fan.
Sample Some Sounds
If you have questions about how specific modifications sound, YouTube is a great place to sample different options.
You can also go to car shows and check out any trucks that are similar to yours, if you want to hear modifications in person. These enthusiasts will be happy to tell you how to make a truck louder.