When the Jeep Wrangler JK rolled off the assembly line in Toledo, Ohio, it came equipped with some great features. Its engine is powerful, the suspension system is top notch, and it has a set of performance grade tires. What it doesn’t have is an exhaust system designed for the rugged terrain that many jeeps are driven over during their lifetime. Installing a good aftermarket exhaust system on your Jeep Wrangler JK is one of the smartest upgrades that you can do. In this review we will examine five of the best exhaust system upgrades for the Jeep Wrangler JK.
Best Exhaust System for Jeep Wrangler JK – Top Picks:
|MagnaFlow 15160||Flowmaster 817674||aFe Power 49-48055||Borla 11834||CORSA 24412|
|OEM Part Number||15160||817674||49-48055||11834||CBE-NTT07-56L|
|Engine Type||V6 3.6L, V6 3.8L||V6 3.6L, V6 3.8L||V6 3.6L, V6 3.8L||V6 3.6L||V6 3.6L, V6 3.8L|
|Item Weight (pounds)||35||29.8||30||35||32.9|
|Latest Price||Find on Amazon||Find on Amazon||Find on Amazon||Find on Amazon||Find on Amazon|
These are some of the features that are important when you are deciding which exhaust system is best for your Wrangler JK.
Type and Strength of Materials – The types of steel used in exhaust systems are not all of the same quality. There is durable and corrosion resistant 409 Stainless steel, even more durable 304 stainless steel, and aluminized steel, which is a lighter grade of steel that has been hot-dipped in an aluminum-silicon coating to give the steel better protection against corrosion.
Best Exhaust System for Type and Strength of Materials: MagnaFlow 15160 Street Series Performance Exhaust System
Horsepower Increase – Aftermarket systems are designed to allow freer flowing exhaust gases than the factory installed systems. They generally have larger diameter pipes and smoother bends, relieving exhaust gas back pressure. When the engine can breathe better, it will deliver more horsepower and torque.
Best Exhaust System for Horsepower Increase: CORSA 24412 Axle-Back Exhaust System
Increase In Fuel Economy – Installing an aftermarket exhaust system decreases the load on the engine caused by the exhaust gases. In doing so the engine becomes more efficient and it will burn less fuel per mile.
Best Exhaust System for Increase In Fuel Economy: CORSA 24412 Axle-Back Exhaust System
More or Better Sound – The growling or roaring sound of the engine when you step on the gas improves with an aftermarket exhaust system. Although increased sound does nothing for the performance of your Jeep, it can be very satisfying for the auto enthusiast.
Best Exhaust System for More or Better Sound: MagnaFlow 15160 Street Series Performance Exhaust System
Exhaust System Reviews
MagnaFlow 15160 Street Series Performance Exhaust System
Where other companies use 409 stainless steel, the designers at MagnaFlow construct their Street Series exhaust systems of 304 stainless steel, making this system a poplar choice from a recognized industry leader. This Street Series system increases a sound that is deep, without becoming obnoxious to passengers and drivers inside the vehicle. That said, the sound will increase in magnitude as the mileage on the system passes the 500-mile mark.
The system has a black-coated finish that looks good on any color vehicle. The 2.5-inch, 304 stainless steel pipes are highly resistant to rust and corrosion. Installation of the system is fairly simple.
- Resistant to salt corrosion
- Pleasant engine-sounding rumble
- Easy installation
- Attractive black-coated design
- Sound will increase over time
- Driver side tip extends slightly farther and lower than the passenger side
- Weakness in some welds
Flowmaster 817674 American Thunder 409S Cat-Back Exhaust System
Due to this system’s patented Laminar Flow technology, it is very efficient at moving exhaust gases through the 2.5-inch pipes and out of the vehicle. As a result, you can expect improved performance and increased fuel economy. It will fit 2 and 4-door Wrangler models with either a 3.6L or a 3.8L V6 engine.
The tailpipe on the American Thunder exhaust is located higher than many other systems, improving ground clearance, making it better for any off road adventuring. The 3-inch tip is polished stainless steel. Engine sounds are of a slightly higher pitch than some Jeep owners may be happy with.
- Moderately aggressive sounding
- Better ground clearance
- Easy fit and installation
- Fits both 2-door and 4-door Wrangler JKs
- Installation may be more challenging for the novice
- Exhaust leak issues reported by other owners
- Owners of vehicles with a lift kit could experience installation issues
aFe Power 49-48055 Mach Force-XP Cat-Back Exhaust System
The Mach Force-XP is constructed of 2.5-inch, 409 stainless steel and will fit both 2-door and 4-door models. One of the best features of this system is its hi-tuck design. This design feature ensures better ground clearance, which is important if you plan to do any off-road driving.
At lower RPMs the rumble is very pleasing. Over time this system’s engine sound will increase, but it will still be at an acceptable level.
- Constructed of 409, mandrel-bent stainless steel
- Deep engine tones with low RPM rumbles
- Fits both 2-door and 4-door models
- Fits most aftermarket skid plates
- Some buyers report of leaks developing over time
- Sound increases over time
- Installing this system can be a little more difficult
Borla 11834 Rear-Section Exhaust System
The Borla 11834 has 2.5-inch pipes with dual 3-inch, angled-cut polished tips and is constructed of 300-series stainless steel. The sound produced by all Borla systems is unique and easily identifiable by anyone who has heard them before. The sound produced is deep and throaty, yet mellow at the same time, with no drone at highway cruising speeds.
The Borla 11834 system enhances airflow and increases horsepower due to its straight-through baffled design. Installation is a breeze, alignment and fit is perfect.
- Moderately mellow engine sounds
- Improved airflow
- Adds an elegant custom look
- Simple installation – easily completed 30-40 minutes
- Pricey compared to other systems
- Not recommended for people looking for louder engine sounds
CORSA 24412 Axle-Back Exhaust System
The CORSA 24412 will deliver a drone-free, custom tuned aggressive sound using CORSA’s Reflective Sound Cancellation Technology (RCS). If you want your JK to sound like a high-powered truck, you will probably be better off selecting a different system, as this exhaust is only slightly louder than the factory system.
This is a lightweight system, with 3.5-inch polished tips and 2.5-inch stainless steel pipes that will add an estimated 7HP and increase airflow by 44%. Installation is fairly simple, with no welding required, so novices will have no trouble getting everything to fit together properly.
- Drone free
- Produces mellow engine sounds
- Installation is easy
- Chrome on the tips is subject to pealing off
- A little too quiet for some owners
No matter which of the above systems you choose, you will improve your Jeep Wrangler JK engine’s ability to breathe and that will improve overall performance. It all comes down to owner preference. How much and what type of sound that is produced is pretty much determined by each individual system. The MagnaFlow 15160 may be the loudest, the Borla 11834 is the most distinct and identifiable. If increased performance is your aim, the CORSA 24412 may be the better choice. When it comes to durability and strength, the MagnaFlow’s 304 stainless steel construction can’t be beaten (>>> Check on Amazon). All five are great exhaust systems and any of the five will be a great addition to your Jeep.