TRD Exhaust or Aftermarket 4Runner Exhaust Systems? – What exhaust systems are available for the 4Runner and what should you buy?
Aftermarket exhaust systems for 4Runners are one of the easiest upgrades and 4Runner mods to install. If you have a couple guys and a few spare hours on the weekend, you can knock it out pretty quick. Exhaust systems also offer a noticeable difference in power performance.
The exhaust mechanism can be an afterthought for many owners, but to those of you doing research on it, you understand. Airflow is crucial to your performance. It’s not just a pipe that lets the waste gasses out of your car; it’s an essential step to the combustion process.
With a good performance exhaust, your 4Runner will run more efficient, sound a whole lot better and increase your HP. If you are looking for the best system for your 4Runner, there is no “best” option as best is all relative here.
First look at how you want your system to sound. If you want a deep, mean and aggressive sound you might want to look at the MagnaFlow. If you are looking for something a little more subtle, go with a Borla. If you want to add a major increase in HP, buy a set of Doug Thorley headers or a Magnuson Supercharger.
TRD Doesn’t make an exhaust for the 5th Gen 4Runner?
No, they don’t. What sucks about some of the TRD options on a 4Runner is that there aren’t that many. There is no TRD Supercharger and there is no TRD Catback system. TRD makes a system for the newer Tundra and the 2017 Tacoma but not for the 4Runner.
There are however many other aftermarket alternatives to the TRD systems. Like the Magnaflow, which in my honest opinion, kicks ass. As well as the Borla and the Flowmaster systems. We have read good and bad things about all of them, it’s on you to use your best judgment in deciding which exhaust system to install. You may want to check our 5th Gen 4Runner Mods Part 2 post as well for some additional information on airflow, performance and exhaust systems.
Aftermarket Exhaust Alternatives
- Flowmaster single/dual – Discontinued for 4R
- Magnaflow – Check Today’s Price
- Borla – Check Today’s Price
- Gibson Superflow Single
- Or you can always go the custom route and make your own…
- Pedal Commander Throttle Response Controller: Check Price
Reduction in Performance from Factory Exhaust Systems
Most modern engines use a four-stroke process. The last step of the combustion process is the removal of the waste gasses from the engine. When the waste gasses aren’t removed efficiently, this can cause back pressure, which reduces the power output of the entire engine. Therefore it is essential that the airflow method for the car be able to get out the burned gasses so that the rest of the combustion process can happen effectively.
At the beginning of the stroke, the exhaust valve opens. The piston pushes the gasses out. Ideally, there should be no resistance to this step, and the piston should be able to push the gasses out of the cylinder easily. If there is already pressure there and the piston has to push against any resistance, energy is wasted.
CAI (Cold Air Intake) System to Increase Performance
This is known as back pressure, and it causes inefficiency on the back end of your engine operation. To get the most out of your system, whether it is a TRD exhaust system, Borla, Gibson or Magnaflow, you want to install a CAI. A CAI system opens up the airflow even more.
There are many options when it comes to aftermarket CAI systems. We installed and recommend the TRD CAI (Cold Air Intake), the AFE and the K&N system.
How an Exhaust System should Act
The goal of the exhaust system is to move the gasses out of the engine and away from the car as quickly and effectively as possible. However, the waste gases can’t just be a tube leading away from the car. The gasses have to go through a catalytic converter and a muffler before they can be vented. This makes the car run quieter and also helps to reduce the greenhouse gasses that are emitted from the car. This is why the entire exhaust system is so important: to maximize efficiency and also give you a quiet, high-performance exhaust system.
A high-quality catback system combined with a CAI does exactly that for the car. They are engineered to provide maximum performance and minimum back pressure. They even increase your acceleration by adding low-end and mid-range torque and improving your horsepower.
Borla, Gibson, and Magnaflow are legal in all 50 states and lower the tone of the muffler to a deeper, more pleasant sound. Even the outer appearance is better. With many systems, you have a dual wall construction that keeps the bright, stainless steel outside from being discolored by the heat inside.