Ford F-250: Exhaust Modifications

This article explores in depth the exhaust modifications available for Ford F-250 and F-350 Super Duty. There are costs attached to each modification and the effect it has on the engine performance. There also supporting modifications explored and their pros and cons they have on your Ford Super Duty.

By James Karuga - October 27, 2014
Contributors: Jason Thompson

Various exhaust systems and supporting modifications exist for the Ford Super Duty models. They vary in sound output quality and engine performance. This guide explores the DPF/ Catback, Turboback and smoke stack exhausts and their supporting modifications like the EGR Delete kits and engine tuning. We explore the pros and cons of supporting modifications on the Super Duty models performance.

Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF)/ Catback Exhausts

DPF Back Exhaust

DIY Cost – $300-500
Professional Cost – $400-650 with labor
Skill Level – Simple, takes around an hour

These are value added exhausts that combine sound quality while maintaining engine performance. These exhausts replace the piping after the catalytic convertor/DPF. Increased piping diameter means for less backpressure and a cooler exhuast temperatures.

The sound output with these is a deep roar with spiced with a whistle. They can be fitted at home with a basic vehicle tool kit while following instructions.

Turboback Exhausts

MBRP Turboback Exhaust

DIY Cost – $300-500
Professional Cost – $400-650 with labor
Skill Level – Simple, takes around an hour

The signature sound of these exhausts is a loud turbo whine since there's no DPF or catalytic convertor to muffle it. Turboback exhausts, increase horsepower, torque and lower turbulence and the exhaust gas temperature thus preserving the engine.

However, they create backpressure and choke the engine inhibiting performance.Ford Super Duty owners vouch for the Hog and ATLAS exhaust brands due to their sound performance and relatively low cost at $200 to $600. Hog and 4 inch Atlas exhausts are easy installs for any Super Duty owner

Smoke Stack Exhausts

Parley's Diesel Performance exhaust tips

DIY Cost – $450-$600
Professional Cost – $550-800 with labor
Skill Level – Moderate, Doing it yourself allows for customization.

The most distinguishing feature for smoke stack exhausts is their pronounced appearance on the Ford F-250 or F-350 Super Duty truck bed and roof. The stacks big size means they lower the exhaust gas temperatures and it should improve fuel economy for diesel trucks. Ford Super Duty truck owners argue about the fuel economy aspect frequently.

Smoke stacks have the added benefit of keeping your wheels clean by emitting soot upwards instead of behind your truck. If it rains, though, soot will stain the trucks upper body panels (like the roof). Also worth noting is that poorly installed stack exhausts will make the truck owner a butt of jokes. They're also loud, which, depending on what you want, could be a bad thing.

Smoke stack exhaust cost over $1000 and fixing them requires a level higher than basic skills. They also take up the bed space when fixed there.

Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) Delete Kits

DIY Cost – Cost of parts, around $50 on average
Professional Cost – $100-150 with labor
Skill Level – Simple, takes around an hour

EGR is a mechanical technique that lowers nitrogen oxides being emitted from the exhaust. This is achieved by allowing the oxygen low, exhaust gases into the intake of the engine to lower combustion temperature. EGR delete kits are aftermarket accessories that remove a vehicles EGR system. EGR systems cause an engine to have stuck valves, coolant problems and leaking cylinders. EGR delete kit removes the EGR system and allows the engine to still run at cool temperatures. This improves the performance and makes the engine run cleaner and last long. A kit costs around $280 and various Ford Trucks owners advocate for EGR delete though it’s illegal. A DIY EGR delete can cost around $70 but a higher level of mechanical skill is vital.

Engine Tuning

DIY Cost – Cost of parts, around $50 on average
Professional Cost – $100-150 with labor
Skill Level – Simple, takes around an hour

An engine tune adjusts the way your engine operates by manipulating a variety of computer settings. Things like air/fuel ratios, and engine timing are reprogrammed to ensure optimal performance. You can tune an engine to focus of fuel efficiency too, but typically people go for more power. This has merits and demerits. For instance, tuning an engine for power may result in reduced fuel economy.

Superchips Custom Tuning (SCT) is one tune option that increases power but lowers the miles per gallon (MPG) by over 1 MPG. However an SCT fuel economy tune for Super Duty according to owners raises MPG by less than 1. Diesel Power (DP) Tuners are also preferred by most Ford Super Duty owners over SCT tuners. With DP tuners, exhaust gas temperature is lower when towing and the performance improved. Super duty owners say the DP tuner is easy to install and in some instances increase the MPG by over 4 MPG. DP tuners cost from over $200 to over $2000 and SCT tuners cost from $380 to $700.

Pro Tips

Ford Super Duty owners concerned about MPG than appeal, argue for sticking with conventional straight piped exhaust systems that can gain them 1 to 2 miles per gallon. They also say deleting the DPF or re-tuning it increases the MPG. Still with any option chosen for tuning or deleting there are merits and demerits for it and auto manufacturer argue for no tampering of factory settings.

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