Toyota’s “unbreakable” Hiluxes have been a fixture of Australia’s highways for more than half a century. And from pulling farm trailers in the west, to SuperUte truck racing in the east, there’s almost nothing that’s been asked of these legendary haulers that they weren’t able to deliver on.
For all their notoriety though, Hiluxes have always felt short of horsepower; and not because they didn’t have it, but because they weren’t able to use it. Automakers have used restrictive exhausts to tame their vehicles for different markets for decades, and 3rd – 7th generation Hiluxes are no exception. Even Toyota’s most venerable diesel 2.8L workhorse, the 1GD, has had its exhaust detuned for the sake of efficiency.
Fortunately, unleashing that horsepower is as simple as upgrading to an aftermarket exhaust system. It’s an upgrade that you can make in only an hour, and you’ll be stunned by how much punchier your Hilux is going to feel afterwards.
Fix Your Hilux’s Breathing With an Exhaust Upgrade
If you’ve ever felt like your Hilux was naturally capable of producing more power than it does, you’re absolutely right; and a stainless steel high-performance Hilux exhaust can instantly unlock 10% more horsepower for you without changing anything else on your engine, or modifying your engine control. It’s an impressive increase by any measure, but it’s the horsepower that your engine’s already making. By replacing your exhaust system, you simply allow the engine to breathe the way it was designed to breathe.
What this means in real terms is that no matter which generation of Hilux you drive, you’re going to feel and hear the difference the moment you press the accelerator. A better breathing exhaust system means:
- A significant improvement in pick-up and response;
- An increase in both low-end torque and peak power
- A throatier exhaust growl.
There aren’t any downsides to investing in an upgraded Toyota Hilux exhaust system. Some upgraded systems even replace heavy, heat-retaining OE components like cast iron catalytic converters and manifolds with lighter ones. This allows for more heat to be evacuated away from the engine, helping to reduce the likelihood of EGT (exhaust gas temperature) sensor problems, an inevitable increase in fuel consumption, and compounded engine breathing problems that can stifle performance.
Tuned ExhaustComponents for All Forms of Hilux Performance
There are 2.5”, 3”, and 3.5” Hilux exhaust system upgrades available for the full range of 2.4L, 2.8L, and 3.0L engine/transmission configurations that were available with Australian-delivered vehicles, including:
- Normally aspirated 3L and 5L, 3.0L 4-cylinder engines;
- Turbo aspirated 1KD and 1KZ 3.0L 4-cylinder engines; and,
- Turbo aspirated 2.8L 1GD, and 2.4L 2GD 4-cylinder engines.
For basic Hilux exhaust system upgrades, you can choose between a range of turbo-, cat-, or DPF-back configurations that consist of:
- A front or intermediate connector pipe with a braided flex joint;
- A complete tailpipe assembly; and,
- A baffled muffler or resonator.
For added performance, however, there’s also a selection of optional Hilux exhaust upgrade components to choose from, which would include:
- A 200 cell high flow diesel catalytic converter;
- A new turbo dump pipe; or,
- A new tuned header extractor pipe.
TIG-welded flanges inside and out, and consistent, mandrel-bent curves are also standard features with each of these upgraded Toyota Hilux exhaust system components. They ensure that there’s no power-sapping loss of exhaust velocity anywhere within the system that could restrict scavenging or increase back pressure.
The whole key to producing more power is getting exhaust gases to evacuate the system quicker, and these larger diameter, smoother-flowing pipes make that possible. Materials and coatings also play a huge part in how well those gases are evacuated, and that’s where the superior heat transfer properties of stainless steel make a difference.
High-Temp 409 Stainless is the Best Alloy for Any Exhaust
Make no mistake: when it comes to the pursuit of better breathing engines, aftermarket Toyota Hilux exhaust systems rely almost exclusively on premium grade 409 stainless steel tubing. Unlike “prettier” stainless steels like 304 and 316 which generally attract attention because of their golden-coloured annealing, titanium-stabilised grade 409 is easier to form, and repair, and has 60% more heat transfer capacity.
Other 409 stainless advantages include:
- Heat resistance to 675°C, with intermittent resistance up to 815°C;
- Less prone to fatigue or failure due to heat cycling or vibration; and,
- Greater resistance to corrosion resulting from exhaust gases or on-road exposure.
With 409’s high chromium oxide content of 10.5 -11.7%, it’s known for its tendency to form a passive layer of surface rust. This surface rust actually forms a protective barrier between the pipe and the atmosphere, helping to make 409 stainless one of the most stable alloys anywhere for the money.
Heat-Resistant Coatings that Promote Efficient Heat Transfers
Heat-resistant enamel coatings are the second most essential part of aftermarket exhaust pipe development. They’re absolutely vital for holding in the heat that promotes exhaust scavenging, and they’re equally crucial for preventing heat from radiating away from the exhaust system and up through your floor plan.
Along with their distinctive black or grey topcoats, the heat-resistant coating on high-performance Hilux exhaust systems is designed to handle operating temperatures in excess of 800°C, and to lock heat inside the pipe to aid with exhaust gas evacuation. In fact, heat-resistant coatings are the ideal complement for 409 stainless’s heat transfer properties by further reinforcing:
- Protection from the effects of extreme heat cycles;
- Improvements in exhaust gas scavenging; and,
- Heat-blocking characteristics that prevent pipe radiation.
In short, if you’re thinking about looking into a larger-diameter Hilux exhaust for sale, you want to insist on one that has the efficiency of a thermal coating.
The Final Word
At the end of the day, there’s hardly a bad word that can be said about the Hilux. Its reputation for durability and reliability is second to none, leaving it in want of only a few extra horsepower to otherwise be the perfect truck. It’s no surprise, however, that the Hilux already has the extra horsepower – it just needs the right exhaust to unleash it.
A high-performance, stainless steel Hilux exhaust is all you need to let your truck perform the way you already know it can. It’s an upgrade that you won’t regret making, and your Hilux is going to feel even more unbreakable than ever.