Benefits of Installing an Aftermarket Exhaust on Your Nissan Navara

Though new car sales have been stagnant during the last year, used car prices have skyrocketed. Aussies tend to go for reliability, value, and decent performance both at the wheel and the servo. Diesel-powered utes and 4WDs are still the option for most families and tradies, and now with limited new stock, older models are a reasonable choice.

Nissan has been a popular brand, comparable to the best Japanese and European makes, with a range geared towards utility. Daily drivers like the Qashqai and X-Trail, the workhorse ute the Navara, and the off-road beast the Patrol make the largest portion of sales. We can add here the recently discontinued Pathfinder to round out the picture.

The Navara has been at the forefront of the brand for over three decades. With the D22 available in all trims levels in the used market, you can snap up a decent car for a third of the cost of the recently released update. Most will have some miles ticking in the odometer, but will include extras like better intakes in the form of snorkels, some decent protection like a nudge or bull bar, tyres ready for the bush, and if you’re lucky, a canopy in good condition. To get the best out of the torquey 2.5-litre diesel you can outfit your car with a Navara D22 exhaust upgrade. Let’s take a look at the types of exhausts sold on the market and how they can improve on an already worthy ute.

d22 exhaust

Types of Exhausts for the Nissan D22 Navara

Depending on how much you’re willing to spend, there are different types of exhaust upgrades for the Nissan Navara D22. These include minor upgrades that add a little style or completely new exhausts that will give you some added performance when you need it most.

Axle-back Exhausts

Axle-back exhausts are the cheapest option that upgrades the stock parts from the axle to the exhaust tip. This includes the muffler, the tailpipe extension, the tailpipe and the exhaust tip. Though you won’t see any changes when you put down the pedal, an axle-back exhaust looks good, and the sound is even better. They’re also the easiest type to install, with most aftermarket options the D22 supplied with everything you need to do the work yourself.

DPF-back Exhausts

Being a diesel, the D22 includes a Diesel Particle Filter(DPF) that handles the toxic gases in burning fuel. A DPF-back exhaust replaces all the parts from the particle filter to the exhaust tip with larger, straighter pipes. This helps in a few ways. Larger pipes help exhaust fumes exit faster, which translated into plain speak means that your car goes faster. New air is readily available for combustion, so there’s no loss in available power. More toxic gases are burnt, improving emissions. Also in the sound department, you get a way better exhaust note.

Header/Turbo-back Exhausts

You can go the whole hog and rip out the entire stock exhaust and replace it with a header or turbo-back exhaust. This means all the parts are larger and wider, with thicker steel tubing to handle more exhaust flow at higher temperatures. Aftermarket options are specifically designed to fit within the recesses of the underbody, so no major modifications, like drilling need to be carried out. For the best performance gains, this is the exhaust to go for. It provides the most added horses, the best exhaust sound, and in the process helps remove unnecessary heat and pressure from building up in the engine. Yes, you do pay more, but you also extend engine longevity. The only downside with a turbo-back exhaust, besides the costs, is the time needed for installation.

Single vs Twin Exhausts

Most exhausts on the Nissan Navara D22 are single exhaust systems, that extend from a single exhaust manifold. You can go for a dual exhaust tailpipe for a sportier appearance. Intermediate sections just before the DPF filter may split and intersect for better gas separation. Real dual systems, however, feature on cars with larger displacement engines, like the 6 and 8 cylinder diesel and petrol Patrols or Pathfinders, with each exhaust tip feeding from a separate set of pipes. Here, it’s more about optimal exhaust management than appearance.

nissan navara d22 exhaust upgrade

Benefits of Aftermarket Exhausts

Stock exhausts are made as a cost-saving option to reduce overall vehicle price. Installing an aftermarket exhaust will mean better materials, generally stainless steel, reinforced brackets, and wider, tougher and straighter piping for better exhaust flow. The performance gains are evident, as are the better appearance, lower emissions, and deeper, rumbling sound. Depending on the type of exhaust you choose, upgrades will vary. If you choose to save a few dollars, go for aluminised mufflers which are generally up to par with the stainless steel variants.

Installation and buying

Nissan Navara D22 exhaust upgrades can be installed by anyone mechanically inclined. Kits include all the necessary brackets and bolts that fit into pre-drilled holes holding the stock exhaust. Or you can save time and get the exhaust installed by a pro, either with a retailer recommendation or at your local mechanic. Exhaust systems for Nissan and all vehicles sold in Australia are available from tuning and exhaust specialists.

Author: Michael Hobbs

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