Best Exhaust Systems For Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi – 2021 Guide

Want to make your Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi a bit quicker off the line while also getting great fuel economy?

The answer just might be a new exhaust system.

By increasing the exhaust flow out of the system, your Ram operates more efficiently, giving you the opportunity to harness every bit of its Hemi power.

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Comparison of the Best Exhaust Systems for Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi

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What Makes an Exhaust System Great For a Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi?

An exhaust system is more than just a menacing engine growl and dual tailpipes. While those are two of the foremost reasons why Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi owners choose an aftermarket exhaust, this piping system also provides several other great benefits.

Pipe Size of the Exhaust System

If you want your Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi to maintain its aggressive sound, you should consider exhaust systems that use larger-diameter pipes than the stock system. Because these pipes are wider, sound can resonate more, which results in a lower rumble than narrower pipes. 


Type of Exhaust System

In general, exhaust systems for the 1500 come in three types: header back, cat back, and axle back. Each type corresponds to the overall length of the exhaust system and what part of the stock system it replaces:

  • Header back exhaust system start at the header and run to the tailpipe
  • Cat back exhaust systems range from the end of the catalytic converter to the tailpipe
  • Axle back exhaust systems run from the rear axle to the tailpipe

Each of these systems have pros and cons based on your budget, ease of installation, and other preferences

Single vs Dual Exhaust Systems

Another exhaust option for the Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi is the choice between single and dual. As the name would suggest, a single exhaust has a single exhaust pipe with a single tailpipe. Dual exhaust, however, is a bit more complicated due to marketing from automotive manufacturers.

Most dual exhaust systems refer to two tailpipes in the rear coming from a single exhaust pipe. True dual exhausts have two catalytic converters in addition to two tailpipes, but these are less common.

H-Pipe vs X-Pipe

H-pipes and X-pipes are the two types of crossover pipes in an exhaust system that balance exhaust flow and provide smoother performance. In most cases, trucks use an H-pipe due to a lower, more truck-like growl, while X-pipes tend to be a bit higher pitched. Besides, over X-pipes.


Are Exhaust Systems for Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi Universal?

Not all exhaust systems are universal for the Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi. But they come in two different types: universal and direct fit. Manufacturers make universal exhaust systems for a wide variety of vehicles. Therefore, the universal exhaust may fit not only on a Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi but also on some other pickup trucks.

On the other side, direct fit exhaust systems are specifically tailored to the Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi. Because companies produce them to fit the model, buyers don’t have to modify or change anything on the vehicle or exhaust system to finish the installation process. 

Review of the Best Exhaust Systems for Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi

With X-pipes, H-pipes, dual, single, cat-back, and every other term, deciding which exhaust system is perfect for your truck requires a bit of extra research. So whether you’re undecided or just researching possibilities, here are some of the best exhaust systems for the Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi.

Best Overall:Borla Stainless Steel Cat-Back Exhaust System

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  • Split rear dual exhaust
  • Chrome-tipped tailpipes
  • Stainless steel construction
  • Noticeable difference in horsepower and torque
  • Mellow rumble when idling with more aggression when accelerating


  • On the high end of the price spectrum
  • May not be loud enough for some Ram 1500 Hemi owners

What Recent Buyers Report

Overall, buyers report that the Borla Stainless Steel Cat-Back Exhaust System is one of the best exhausts that money can buy. While expensive compared to other options, the boost in performance and aesthetics are worth the purchase price. However, some buyers were disappointed that this system produces a sound that’s not much louder than the stock system.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Borla is a trusted name in the exhaust system industry with a mind-blowing 1 million-mile warranty. And with simple bolt-on installation, alluring looks, and a growl that’s quiet in the cabin but loud on the outside, few other exhaust systems can compete with.

Bottom Line

Budget-conscious buyers may find the price off-putting, but if you have the budget, few other options will have all of the top features and durability of the Borla Stainless Steel Cat-Back Exhaust System.

Runner-up:Flowmaster Direct-Fit Exhaust System for Dodge RAM 1500 5.7L V8

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  • Built-in resonator to reduce noise in the cabin
  • Dyno-tuned for the best possible performance
  • Stainless steel construction for maximum durability
  • Includes all hardware and hangers for simple installation
  • Direct-fit to eliminate any fitment issues found with universal exhaust systems


  • Far too loud for some tastes
  • Some buyers report exhaust leaks with this particular model

What Recent Buyers Report

More than anything, buyers praise the throaty, raspy sound that comes from the Flowmaster Direct-Fit Exhaust System for Dodge Ram 1500 5.7L V8. With a thumping low-end and a bit of raspiness, the exhaust redefines how a Hemi can sound. But despite being a direct-fit option, some buyers still report slight fitment issues with bolts lining up, as well as others experiencing exhaust leaks within a short time after installation.

Why it Stands Out to Us

With nearly 40 years in the industry, the Flowmaster name is synonymous with excellent exhaust systems. It only requires basic tools to install, and within about an hour, you’ll get to experience the engine purr that the Hemi deserves. And with a lifetime limited warranty, buyers can put their concerns to rest.

Bottom Line

Moderately priced yet high-quality, the Flowmaster Direct-Fit Exhaust System for Dodge Ram 1500 5.7L V8 delivers on all fronts. And with limited knowledge required for installation, it’s an ideal choice for beginners and novice DIYers.

Best for the Money:Shop Line Dual Exhaust System 2.5″ Black

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  • Hardware included
  • Converts single exhaust to dual exhaust
  • Black, slash-cut tips for an aggressive look
  • Mandrel-bent pipes for improved exhaust flow
  • One of the most affordable exhaust systems available


  • Fabrication may be required
  • Doesn’t fit with Ram 1500s with through-bumper exhaust

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers report that the Shop Line Dual Exhaust System 2.5” Black is a solid, budget exhaust system that provides a deep sound ideal for the Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi. However, this kit is certainly not for beginners, requiring professional installation and some fabrication that DIYers may not be able to complete on their own.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This exhaust system stands out for one main reason: price. At a fraction of the cost of other exhaust systems, you can have a voracious growl that turns heads at every corner. 

Bottom Line

You won’t find a better price on an aftermarket exhaust system than the Shop Line Dual Exhaust System 2.5” Black. And while the installation process may require a professional, the resulting sound and look are on point with far more expensive exhaust systems.

Editor’s Pick:Borla Cat-Back Exhaust System

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  • Million-mile warranty
  • Deeper, throatier growl without being overly loud
  • Fits factory bumper cut-outs (through-bumper exhaust)
  • Built from top-notch T-304 stainless steel for maximum longevity
  • CNC manufactured to ensure a perfect fit wit the Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi


  • Hefty price tag
  • Some issues with the muffler slipping off the hangers without modification

What Recent Buyers Report

With stellar reviews across the board, the Borla Cat-Back Exhaust System is one of the top-rated exhaust systems on the market. From a deep growl without being annoyingly loud to increase performance, this exhaust system checks all the boxes, even with a price that may be off-putting to some buyers.

Why it Stands Out to Us

In short, this exhaust system is made to last. Made from stainless steel and CNC manufactured mandrel-bent pipes, the million-mile warranty doesn’t seem too far off. And with noticeable upticks in performance, a deep engine sound, and dual chrome-tipped exhaust tips, it tingles all the senses at once.

Bottom Line

Few other exhaust systems can provide the trifecta of looks, performance, and sound that the Borla Cat-Back Exhaust System provides. However, those on a budget may want to look at the Shop Line exhaust or a more affordable aftermarket kit.

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Perks of Getting a New Exhaust System For Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi

When you install one of the above exhaust systems on your Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi, you get a wide range of benefits extended far beyond the aesthetics of a chrome tailpipe. Here are some of the top perks of getting a new exhaust.

Better Fuel Economy

Another one of the most pronounced benefits of a new exhaust system is better fuel economy. By improving the exhaust flow, the engine or cylinder heads can pull in more air. This, in turn, mixes with fuel at a more optimal rate, boosting mileage. Keep in mind though, unless you drive carefully, it’s unlikely you’ll see an improvement here. An apples-to-apples easy commute should show a 0.5-1mpg improvement.

Superior Performance

Another benefit of a new exhaust system is superior performance. In the same way that an exhaust improves fuel economy, it does the same to power and performance. With a purer air-to-fuel ratio, the engine fires more efficiently, which can create a little boost to horsepower and torque. Manufactures quote a wide range of horsepower enhancement, typically between 2% and 10% – but those are marketers pushing their products. We would suggest you don’t expect to see more than 5-10hp, if that.


The exhaust, which includes the muffler, plays a pivotal role in the sound emanating from your Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi. While the stock exhaust does an adequate job of showcasing the power of the truck, aftermarket systems take this to the next level.

If the growl of the engine is important to you, make sure to avoid exhaust systems with multiple noise dampers. By doing so, you ensure a nice purr when idling and accelerating.


How to Install Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi Exhaust System

Most direct-fit and even universal exhaust systems are bolt-on and require only basic tools and hangers. However, note that some universal systems may require modifications for proper installation. If you’re a novice, you may want to consult a mechanic or have the system professionally installed. But if you have some know-how and you’re up to the challenge, here are step-by-step instructions on how to install a Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi Exhaust System.

  1. Remove the factory system. In some cases, you may have to cut the system out, but remember that this is probably the most difficult aspect of the installation.
  2. Remove the stock bolts.
  3. Unmount the muffler.
  4. Hang the new exhaust on the existing hangers or the ones included with your new exhaust system kit.
  5. Tighten the exhaust bolts to the catalytic converter.
  6. Put the muffler back in place on the hangers and bolt to the new exhaust pipe coming from the catalytic converter.NOTE: Take a look at your muffler to see if there’s a small drainage hole. Make sure this is facing down before you reinstall the muffler.
  7. If you’re installing a dual exhaust, you may need to install a second hanger on the opposite side of where the original single-pipe exhaust was.
  8. Ensure the final piece with the tailpipes (in dual exhaust systems) is level and centered.
  9. Adjust the rear piece after a few drives. This allows the pieces to undergo a “heat cycle,” which is when the parts settle after the manufacturing process.


Don’t Make the Choice Exhausting

With so many different options, choosing an exhaust system can seem a little overwhelming. But don’t let that deter you from moving forward. As soon as you hear the engine roar, feel the performance improvements, and see the boost to overall aesthetics, you’ll be glad you purchased an exhaust for your Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi.

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People Also Ask

If you’re purchasing a new exhaust system, you may have some additional questions to narrow your search. Here are some of the most common questions that people also ask about Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi exhaust systems.

Is Single Exhaust Louder Than Dual?

In the true sense of two mufflers and two catalytic converters, dual exhaust is louder than a single exhaust. However, because most dual exhausts are purely for stylistic purposes, they aren’t necessarily louder than a single exhaust. The greatest determining factors are the muffler, the width of the pipes, and whether or not the new exhaust or muffler contains sound dampeners. That said, many enthusiasts claim that Flowmaster produces the loudest exhaust with Magnaflow and Borla having more modest rumbles.

How Much for an Exhaust for a Ram 1500?

Exhaust systems for a Ram 1500 span a wide range of prices based on the types of materials, brand name, and universal or direct fit. Typically, a new exhaust will run from around $200 up to $1,000+ for premium products. Installation can cost between $100 to $300 depending on if the mechanic has to make any alterations or fabrications.

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