Unless you’re a big fan of Jeep gear and like to get your hands dirty, you probably don’t even know much about the exhaust system. The naked eye can only see the tip, but the entire system is actually quite complex. The factory Jeep gear is pretty decent, but its efficiency leaves a lot to be desired. A top-notch aftermarket alternative, in turn, will be much more effective in removing exhaust gasses from the engine.
So, in this post, our focus will be on the best third-party exhaust systems for the Wrangler JK. We’ll check out three outstanding offers from leading brands, talk about their pros and cons, and expert recommendations. You’ll also find the answer to the question: Which is the Best Exhaust Type: Axle-Back or Cat-Back? For that, refer to the Buyer’s Guide at the end of the review.
Comparison Table – Best Exhaust for Jeep JK (Updated May, 2021)
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1. RedRock 4×4 Exhaust System
This isn’t one of those cheap and average-at-best products. With the RedRock exhaust system, you’ll get premium-grade build and material quality. That means it won’t break down in the middle of the road or get damaged easily. Another standout feature is the advanced protection against corrosion and rust. The black finish will make sure the individual parts always stay in excellent shape.
On top of that, the company backs the exhaust system with a limited lifetime warranty. Overall, if you’re not on a very tight budget and are looking for a top-notch axle-back exhaust, this one might be a good deal.
Despite the expensive price-tag, the Gibson exhaust will be money well-spent. It is made of high-quality materials and includes brick-strong protection against rust, corrosion, and other types of contamination. As a bonus, you’ll get a mild performance boost, a deep tone, and a stylish addition to your Wrangler JK’s engine system.
2. aFe Power (49-46219) Exhaust System
Some exhaust systems are manufactured outside of the States, while others are only partially a US-made product. However, Scorpion was designed, made, and tested in the US. So, rest assured you won’t have any compatibility, fitment, or quality control issues. aFe offers two different colors to choose from and packs all the necessary hardware for installation.
Most importantly, Scorpion is a highly affordable purchase with excellent value. It’s significantly cheaper than the other two exhaust systems on the list. The only downside – when you push the pedal to the limit, it can get pretty whiny. On the bright side, the system gets noisy only during hard acceleration. Some drivers also report minor rattling.
If you’re not turned away by the not-that-masculine sounds that this exhaust system makes, it might very well be the most reasonable pick. As a US-made low-budget aftermarket gear, it is, indeed, quite an attractive offer. Easy installation, good looks, and durability are a part of the deal as well.
3. Flowmaster 817674 Exhaust System
Last, but not least, Flowmaster will be a considerable purchase for the fans of aggressive sounds. This exhaust system sounds just right and will definitely turn heads both on and off the road. Plus, thanks to the patented Laminar Flow technology, it’s incredibly effective and efficient at removing harmful gases.
A quick note: this is a cat-back exhaust system, and, unlike the other gear on the list, it will increase the JK’s overall performance. Sadly, that also means installation won’t be easy as you might’ve hoped. For a pro, it won’t be a problem, but for a novice, cutting the pipe will be a big deal.
Flowmaster’s exhaust system greatly improves the engine’s sound. And, it does an excellent job of pushing gas fumes away and improving performance (HP and torque). However, unless you know your way around the JK and Jeeps in general, the installation will be a pain. Other than that, fans of cat-back systems might find it to be right up their alley.
For regular city and highway driving, JK’s factory exhaust system is decent. At the same time, if you’re hitting the off-road regularly, you might want to start checking out some aftermarket systems. The reason – they’ll do a better job of keeping the engine compartment free of all the fumes and burnt gases. Top-of-the-line pipes, manifolds, and converters will make sure the engine isn’t “suffocating” even when pushed to the limit.
If you’re on a tight budget and can’t afford the most expensive aftermarket gear, aFe might have exactly what you need. Gibson Performance, in turn, is pretty pricey but does come with a long list of extras that make it worth every penny. Finally, with Flowmaster, you’ll get the golden middle. This exhaust system has one of the best price-quality ratios on the market and can maximize the engine’s performance. So, make your choice wisely!