The Ultimate Guide to Axle Back Exhaust Systems

Are you looking to give your vehicle a boost in performance and sound without breaking the bank? Well, look no further! An axle back exhaust system might be just what you need. This article will take you through everything you need to know about axle back exhaust systems, from their benefits and installation to choosing the right one for your car. So buckle up, and let’s dive into the world of axle back exhaust systems!

What is an Axle Back Exhaust System?

An axle back exhaust system refers to the section of the exhaust system from the rear axle to the exhaust tips. Unlike a full cat-back exhaust system, which includes the muffler and additional piping, the axle back system is a simpler and more affordable modification. This makes it a popular choice among car enthusiasts looking to enhance their vehicle’s performance and sound without making significant changes to the entire exhaust system.

Benefits of an Axle Back Exhaust System

  • Improved Sound: One of the most noticeable benefits is the improved exhaust note. An axle back system can give your vehicle a more aggressive and sporty sound, making it stand out on the road.
  • Enhanced Performance: While the performance gains are not as substantial as a full exhaust system, an axle back exhaust can still provide a slight increase in horsepower and torque by reducing back pressure.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: Many axle back systems come with polished exhaust tips, giving your car a more refined and sporty look.
  • Easy Installation: Since it involves fewer components, installing an axle back exhaust is relatively straightforward and can often be done with basic tools and minimal mechanical knowledge.

How to Choose the Right Axle Back Exhaust System

When it comes to selecting the perfect axle back exhaust system for your vehicle, there are several factors to consider. Here are some key points to keep in mind:


Most axle back exhaust systems are made from either stainless steel or aluminized steel. Stainless steel is more durable and resistant to corrosion, making it a better long-term investment, especially if you live in an area with harsh weather conditions.


Different exhaust systems produce different sounds, from deep and throaty to high-pitched and raspy. Listen to sound clips or watch videos of the exhaust systems you’re considering to ensure you choose one that matches your preference.


Ensure the exhaust system is compatible with your vehicle’s make and model. Some exhaust systems are designed specifically for certain vehicles, while others are more universal.

Brand Reputation

Opt for a reputable brand known for quality and performance. Brands like Borla, Flowmaster, and MagnaFlow have established themselves as leaders in the exhaust system market.

Installation Guide

Installing an axle back exhaust system is a task that many car enthusiasts can tackle in their garage. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the process:

Tools You’ll Need

  • Jack and jack stands
  • Socket set
  • Ratchet and extension
  • Penetrating oil
  • Safety glasses
  • Gloves

Step-by-Step Installation

  1. Safety First: Park your car on a level surface and use a jack to lift the rear end. Secure it with jack stands and ensure the vehicle is stable before you begin working underneath it.
  2. Remove the Old Exhaust: Spray penetrating oil on the bolts and hangers to make removal easier. Use a socket set to remove the bolts holding the exhaust in place. Carefully slide the exhaust off the hangers.
  3. Prepare the New Exhaust: Lay out the new axle back exhaust system and ensure all parts are accounted for. Compare it with the old exhaust to confirm proper fitment.
  4. Install the New Exhaust: Slide the new exhaust into the hangers and loosely tighten the bolts. Make sure everything is aligned correctly before fully tightening the bolts.
  5. Double-Check: Once the new exhaust is securely in place, double-check all connections and make sure there are no leaks or loose components.
  6. Lower the Vehicle: Carefully lower your vehicle and start the engine to check for any exhaust leaks or abnormal sounds.

Common Questions about Axle Back Exhaust Systems

Will an Axle Back Exhaust System Increase Horsepower?

While an axle back exhaust system can provide a slight increase in horsepower, the gains are generally minimal compared to a full exhaust system. However, the improved sound and aesthetics are often worth the investment.

Is an Axle Back Exhaust System Legal?

In most areas, axle back exhaust systems are legal as long as they meet noise regulations and do not interfere with emission control systems. It’s always a good idea to check your local laws before making any modifications.

How Much Does an Axle Back Exhaust System Cost?

The cost of an axle back exhaust system can vary widely depending on the brand, material, and vehicle compatibility. On average, you can expect to pay between $300 and $700 for a quality system.

Can I Install an Axle Back Exhaust System Myself?

Yes, many car enthusiasts install axle back exhaust systems themselves. With basic tools and mechanical knowledge, you can complete the installation in a few hours. However, if you’re not confident in your abilities, it’s best to seek professional help.

Does an Axle Back Exhaust System Affect Fuel Economy?

Generally, an axle back exhaust system does not have a significant impact on fuel economy. The primary benefits are improved sound and aesthetics, with minor performance gains.


An axle back exhaust system is a fantastic way to enhance your vehicle’s sound, appearance, and performance without a major overhaul. With a variety of options available, you can find the perfect system to match your style and driving needs. Whether you’re a seasoned car enthusiast or a beginner, installing an axle back exhaust system is a rewarding project that can be tackled with basic tools and a bit of patience.

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By the time you’re done reading this article, you’ll be well-equipped to make an informed decision about purchasing and installing an axle back exhaust system.