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Augmenting Your Tacoma’s Upgraded or Stock Exhaust

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Shop Tacoma Exhaust Accessories

Modifying your Tacoma's exhaust doesn't have to stop at the pipes. Additional add-ons such as heat wrapping and high flow catalytic converters contribute to horsepower as well as efficiency. Don't forget about swapping out worn out exhaust hangars, and maybe even an exhaust tip to accentuate your style.

Tacoma Exhaust Parts >

Let’s discuss some further upgrades you can do to your Tacoma’s stock exhaust. Some of these are simple and cheap, while others are more costly and require supporting modifications. We’ll also give you some tips on maintaining your Tacoma’s exhaust system so it’ll work properly and provide endless miles from your Toyota.

What is Heat Wrap, and What Does It Do?

Heat wrap is an exhaust insulator that comes in a roll. It is comprised of either fiberglass, or pulverized lava rock stranded into fiber and woven together. The heat wrap is wrapped around the exhaust piping and secured with metal ties.   
Heat wrap is designed to keep the heat inside the exhaust piping.

By keeping the exhaust temperature high, it helps to pull the exhaust out of the cylinders faster, and pulls the air-fuel mixture into the cylinder faster. This is called scavenging and will assist in making more power.

By keeping the heat in the exhaust, the heat wrap also helps to lower under hood temperatures. The cooler the air heading into the engine, the better the performance.

When Should You Consider Heat Wrapping You Tacoma’s Exhaust/Headers?

If you have done some other upgrades to your Tacoma’s exhaust, wrapping your headers/exhaust should be considered. It will help to make the parts you have already replaced work more efficiently.

If you are going to be using your vehicle off-road, be sure to use a heat wrap kit that comes with a can of ceramic coating. Apply the ceramic coating and allow it to dry before wrapping.

The coating protects the header from moisture becoming trapped between the metal and the wrap. It will also protect the header from becoming super-heated and warping the metal of the header.

If you are someone who spends a good amount of time in water or mud, you should probably avoid header wrap. A header with a ceramic coating, however, will fair far better in a high-moisture environment.

How a Catalytic Converter Affects Engine Performance

Catalytic converters are often thought of as a power robber. This isn’t necessarily true. As long as the converter is the proper one for the car, and in fairly new condition, it will affect performance very little. It is when the converter gets to be older, (8 years), that it may start to become clogged. When the converter becomes clogged, flow is reduced.

At this point, replacing the converter will help to restore the original power of the engine. If you have done performance work to your Tacoma’s engine, increasing the horsepower output by 20% or more, you may want to consider a high flow catalytic converter.

A standard catalytic converter is comprised of a steel outer shell, with a ceramic honeycomb inside that is coated with precious metals. These precious metals heat up as the engine runs, and help to burn off pollutants in the exhaust before they exit the system.

A high-flow converter has a much less restrictive medium inside. This allows increased flow through the converter, while still eliminating the pollutants. While these high flow converters will work well to compliment other modifications, it should be noted that they would have very little performance effect on a stock engine.

Off-road mid-pipes eliminate the secondary catalytic converters, replacing them with resonators. This provides maximum flow and increased sound. These are a great choice if you have otherwise modified your engine for performance.

Without those supporting modifications, you will not realize the full potential of the mid-pipe. These mid-pipes are designed for off-road use only. If you live in a state where emissions inspections are required annually, the mid-pipe will not pass the inspection.

Where the Exhaust Hangers are Located

The exhaust is held in place by several rubber hangers. On the V6 Tacoma, there are two hangers on either side of the y-pipe, or mid-pipe. There is a single hanger at the front of the muffler, and two hangers at the rear of the muffler. The final hanger is located near the end of the tailpipe.

On the 4-cylinder Tacoma, the first hanger is in the mid-pipe between the two catalytic converters. There is one hanger at the front of the muffler, and two attached to the rear. The last hanger is near the end of the tailpipe.

The rubber hangers on these systems are prone to failure. Rubber, when exposed to the elements, has a tendency to deteriorate. To keep your system in top shape, you should periodically check the hangers. To do this is simple; jack up and support the vehicle. Crawl under the vehicle, and visually inspect the hangers.

Be on the lookout for broken or missing hangers. Replace these immediately. Then, shake the exhaust side to side and up and down in the area of each hanger. 

If any part of the exhaust system contacts other vehicle components, or moves excessively, replace the hanger. The metal portions of the hangers can also be damaged or broken by hitting obstacles off-road.

Again, jack up and support the vehicle. Examine all the metal hangers going from the exhaust system to the rubber hangers. Repair may be as simple as unbending the metal hangers.

Any hangers that are damaged beyond repair should be replaced as soon as possible. You may be able to replace just the hanger, or in some cases, replacement of a whole exhaust system component, (muffler, converter, tailpipe, etc.), may be necessary.

Other Mods that Compliment an Upgraded Tacoma Exhaust System

There are many mods that can compliment your Tacoma’s upgraded exhaust system. The simplest one would be a cold air intake. This will help get more air into your engine, while the exhaust will help get air out of the engine faster.

A programmer for the computer in your Tacoma will also go well with an upgraded exhaust. This will modify parameters for the engine’s computer, allowing more fuel and altering transmission shift points.

Machine work on the intake manifold and cylinder head(s) will also increase airflow into the engine, resulting in more power.  The biggest modification to make more power would be forced induction.

You can either add a turbo or supercharger system. These help to force more air into the engine, resulting in more power so long as your fuel system can compensate for the added compressed air.

Fitment includes: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, Pre-Runner, X-Runner, SR, SR-5, TRD-Sport, TRD-Off-Road, Limited, TRD-Pro