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Challenger Exhaust Accessories: More than the Sum of Its Parts

Challenger Exhaust Accessories: More than the Sum of Its Parts

The Challenger is a muscle car, and for most owners, this means the exhaust will be modified. Forget how good it sounds from the factory and how well it performs; aftermarket exhaust systems simply work better. Modifying the exhaust is not solely limited to replacing the entire system. Even after an aftermarket exhaust is installed, accessories can be added to further improve the flow and temperature of the entire system.

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Your exhaust system is more than some steel piping. From gaskets to hangars, to mufflers and catalytic converters, making sure every piece is working in harmony on your Challenger is tantamount to having a quality sound and power gains.

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Heat Under Control

Exhaust systems run extremely hot. Even with a proper set of headers, this heat escaping into the engine bay can cause a number of issues. It robs the engine of power and heat in the engine bay makes the cooling system work harder. Simple steps can be taken to prevent this from occurring. By keeping heat in the headers, performance will improve in multiple ways.

Header Wrap: Headers that are not wrapped allow heat to escape. With most systems in a vehicle you will want the heat to escape, but with headers you want to keep as much heat in the headers as possible. By keeping the heat in the headers, their ability to scavenge exhaust from the cylinders is greatly increased. This also works to keep residual heat from escaping into the engine bay. By increasing the scavenging capabilities, power will increase and a cooler engine bay will also help with keeping the engine temp down and the power output up.

Challenger Catalytic Converters

The third-gen Challenger’s factory exhaust system is equipped with catalytic converters. In order to maintain streetability, the catalytic converters must be maintained.

If a cat-back exhaust is installed, the factory converters will be left untouched. The factory converters are restrictive in terms of airflow and will hinder the exhausts capabilities to help increase power.

Highflow Cats: To retain emissions compliance in most areas catalytic converters must be present. This doesn’t mean that the factory cats need to be the ones that are used. One can opt to replace the factory cats with high flow cats. These units still use an emissions friendly catalyst keeping them compliant with laws and regulations but do allow more air to flow through. This will help increase horsepower.

Challenger Mufflers

An owner of a Challenger may be satisfied with the factory exhaust system. They may want to improve airflow a bit and increase the sound quality of their car. Simple installation of aftermarket mufflers can address both these areas.

Free-Flowing Mufflers: The stock mufflers used on the Challenger provide the car with a decent exhaust note but are designed primarily to muffle the sound. This means that they are quite restrictive when compared to aftermarket mufflers. 

The increased airflow means that the exhaust can escape the system at a faster rate which will help increase horsepower. Switching to aftermarket mufflers is cheaper and easier than swapping the whole exhaust system which is the perfect route for those on a budget.

Challenger Off-Road Exhaust

If cats and mufflers are restrictive it would make sense to ditch both in the name of performance. This is an option and there are kits that approach the situation in such a manner. This type of modification is illegal for street use and kits will declare that they are intended for off-road use only. Challengers fitted with these kits or modifications will be deemed worthy only for use off-road by the law. Unless the car is intended for track use only, don’t get mixed up with the fuzz by making this mistake.

Challenger Exhaust Tips

Exhaust pipes are exactly that; pipes. They are crude and if they are left in their natural form, they will be a serious eye sore as they peer from the rear of your Challenger. Fitting exhaust tips to the rear will make the exhaust much more appealing and give it an OE look regardless of the make.

These tips can be purchased in a variety of shapes and sizes along with finishes. The variations on the market are perfect for those looking to add a personal touch that looks natural to the Challenger.

Keeping Up Maintenance on your Challenger’s Exhaust

Third-generation Challengers have been around for 10 years now. Ten years on the road is hard on parts like exhaust. Even with stainless steel pipes from the top brands, you may find that the exhaust is hanging just a bit after time has passed. This isn’t much of a big deal though as it simply may be your hangers.

Check Your Hangers: To see if your hangers have gone bad, you will need to crawl underneath the car. If the hangers are busted or rotted away, there’s no need to go into a panic. The factory exhaust and aftermarket kits may use hangers that are welded to the body of the pipes but this isn’t the only way you can hang your exhaust back up. Universal hangers are available that will secure themselves to the body of the exhaust with fasteners and can hang from the factory hanger points.

This repair is nearly effortless and will open up a few doors for the creative. Once you familiarize yourself with the routing of the factory exhaust and how it hangs, you’re one step closer to being able to rig up your very own custom exhaust system.

Fitment includes: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, SRT-8, RT, SE, SXT, RallyerRedline, ScatPack, Hellcat, GT, TA, Demon