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The Many Aspects of Challenger Exhaust Systems

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Shop Challenger Exhaust Systems

Changing exhaust systems is like changing the personality of an engine, and the Challenger is no exception. Most of us enjoy hearing our engine's voice of the static of road noise, but all of us enjoy the added power benefit of a streamlined exhaust system.

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In stock form, 2008 Challengers are great cars. They hit the standard of everything a modern muscle car should be and even raised the bar a few times. They are muscle cars though, and owners will modify them as soon as they can. When you first got your very own third-generation Challenger, the first thing you imagined doing was hooking it up with a proper exhaust. There’s no arguing they already sound pretty beastly with factory equipment, but it’s a Challenger; the name goes hand-in-hand with that signature Chrysler roar of power.

Challenger Factory Exhaust Specs

The first step to upgrading the exhaust system on a Challenger is understanding the baseline. For the most part factory third gen Challenger exhaust systems are dual exhaust systems. However, on 2008-2010 V6 models a single exhaust can be present. The layout of the dual exhaust systems remained relatively the same throughout the years.

They are true dual exhaust systems, meaning from the headers to the tailpipe there are two pipes running all the way back. All models will feature an x-pipe in the system as well. Another thing to keep in mind is 2008-2010 models with dual exhausts there is a massive “suitcase” catalytic converter present.

For optimum flow from engines with two banks, a dual exhaust is best. That means factory Challenger dual exhausts already provide a good amount of flow. However, you still may want to increase pipe diameter, swap out the factory mufflers and cats for higher flow options, and/or move up to stainless steel piping.

The size of the pipe diameter plays a huge role in exhaust flow. It’s important to remember there is such a thing as too big of an exhaust system though as engines need back pressure to operate properly.

Unless you plan on heavily modifying the Hemi to make a lot more power, you want to stay close to the factory exhaust size to ensure the engine can keep running strong. Reference the chart below to see what you’re Challenger’s OE exhaust diameter is. Having this as a baseline will help you pick out the right system for your Mopar.

Stock Challenger Exhaust Piping Sizes

Challenger Submodels Exhaust Piping Diameter
V6 2.25"
5.7L Hemi 2.25"
SRT-8 2.5"
Hellcat 3.0"
Demon 3.0"

Benefits of Aftermarket Challenger Exhaust Components

We’ve touched base on how exhaust upgrades increase the rate of flow. What does this do for your engine?

It increases horsepower by helping improve efficiency. Challengers have big Hemi engines under the hood that need to breathe. Giving them the ability to breathe easier will allow for them to move more air and in turn free up some ponies. Additionally, exhaust systems tend to rot out pretty quickly.

Aftermarket stainless steel exhaust components will have a longer lifespan than the factory equipment. For those of us in the rust belt, that’s a really big deal. Last but not least is the sound. Both Chrysler V6 and Hemi engines are capable of producing an impressive sound. Aftermarket exhaust upgrades are how you can really highlight that.

Benefits of Upgraded Exhaust Systems

  • Increased power
  • Increased efficiency
  • Increased lifespan
  • Improved sound quality

Changing Out the Entire Challenger Exhaust System

Making an upgrade to the entire exhaust system is the way to make the most increases in power, sound, and durability. It is also the most expensive although the end result will transform the entire personality of your Challenger.

For the most part, aftermarket exhaust systems will follow the same route used by the factory hangers, and generally aren’t a big deal to install. If however, you are changing the route, such as placing a dual exhaust system where a single once was, some provisions may have to be made. In these cases, single inlet to dual outlet systems are typically preferred as there’s less custom work to be done.

Challenger Mufflers

There are a few reasons to stick with the third-gen Challenger’s factory exhaust system. For one, the cost of a new system can get pretty high. It gets even higher if you’re planning to have a professional shop do the install for you. Not only that, the routing of the factory system is adequate to provide decent flow. For street cars, larger high-flow exhaust isn’t exactly a demand.

However, a better sound just might be what you’re looking for. Mufflers play a major role in the Challenger’s sound, if that’s really the only thing you’re interested in, you can save money by simply upgrading the mufflers.

If one is purchasing a whole exhaust system, it’s a good idea to pay attention to the mufflers in the kit. They will be the defining characteristic in the sound level of the exhaust. Companies do a great job of informing customers what kind of note the exhaust will have so pay attention to the description.

Also consider louder more aggressive mufflers may cause a cabin drone while cruising down the highway. For most, this isn’t an issue as they prefer the sound, but for those looking for an aggressive rumble without sacrificing comfort, they will want to stay on the docile end.

Challenger Headers

Headers often get left out when people are performing exhaust upgrades. A good set of headers paired with a good exhaust system is how you seal the deal. These aren’t the good old days where adding long tube headers to your 340 meant the whole exhaust would need to be modified.

Though, massive headers are still an option. Buyers can pair up some shorty headers with a full exhaust kit that follows the factory routing. It adds some money to the overall price tag but in the end, headers provide more power and have an impact on the sound of the engine.

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