A Complete Guide to Empire Exhaust Systems and Mufflers

a complete guide to empire exhaust systems and mufflers

Are you looking to upgrade your ride with a top-notch exhaust system? Empire Exhaust is one of the leading brands when it comes to high-performance exhausts that deliver great sound and improved horsepower.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Empire Exhaust systems to help you choose the perfect setup for your vehicle and goals.

What is Empire Exhaust?

Founded in 1996, Empire Exhaust has become one of the most reputable manufacturers of aftermarket performance exhaust systems. They are known for using 100% stainless steel construction, quality welding, and delivering customizable exhausts that really let your engine breathe.

Empire Exhaust offers cat-back, axle-back, and header-back exhaust systems for a wide range of makes and models. Their direct-fit bolt-on kits make installation straightforward while their flexible design options let you dial in the perfect tone and performance.

Unlike some cheaper brands that rust out quickly, Empire’s stainless steel exhausts hold up to the elements. They are also backed by a 90-day warranty which protects against defects.

Overall, Empire Exhaust aims to provide high-flowing, great sounding exhausts that are affordable and can be customized to match your vehicle and tastes. Keep reading to see Empire’s top exhaust kit options.

Top Empire Exhaust Systems

Empire True Dual Exhaust

The Empire True Dual Exhaust is one of their signature systems and comes with two fully stainless mufflers and pipes for a symmetrical dual exhaust look. It produces a deep and mellow exhaust note while increasing flow.

Some key features:

  • 304 stainless steel piping with polished 4” angle-cut tips
  • Stock OEM style hangers for easy no-hassle fitment
  • Two free-flowing stainless steel mufflers with a moderate exhaust tone
  • Increased throttle response and horsepower

This is a great option if you want a clean dual exhaust look along with a refined exhaust note that isn’t too loud or raspy. Expect around a 15-20HP gain.

Empire Muscle Exhaust

For owners looking for an aggressive muscle car sound, the Empire Muscle Exhaust delivers a throaty and powerful exhaust tone. Some highlights include:

  • Mandrel-bent 304 stainless tubing with a 3.5” tip
  • Single stainless steel muffler for maximum flow
  • Aggressive exterior sound matched with a smooth deep tone inside the cabin
  • Estimated 15-25 HP increase

This is Empire’s most popular and best selling system. It really opens up the engine’s power band while turning heads with the exterior muscle car rumble.

Empire Twisted Steel Exhaust

As the name implies, this Empire Exhaust uses a distinct twisted muffler and piping for bold looks to go with increased flow and performance. Features include:

  • Unique twisted muffler and stainless piping
  • 3.5” dual wall slashed cut tips
  • Increased engine power while maintaining a refined tone
  • 50-state legal

The twisted stainless steel design provides an eyecatching appearance and the relatively tame sound makes it suitable as a daily driver exhaust.

Empire Builder Series Exhaust

Empire’s Builder Series cat-back exhaust allows you to customize your setup with various muffler and tip options. Benefits include:

  • Customized muffler, piping, and tip combinations
  • Muffler options: Blackout, Single Buffer, Dual Buffer
  • Tip options: 3.5”, 4”, 5” angle cut or rolled styles
  • 304 stainless steel construction

This is great for those who want a truly one-of-a-kind Empire Exhaust system. Mix and match components to build your dream exhaust.

Empire Resonated Exhaust

This resonated exhaust system uses advanced chambered technology to reduce interior resonance and drone while still amplifying exhaust volume and flow. Highlights:

  • Resonated mufflers lower unwanted drone and rasp
  • Improves throttle response and adds 15-20HP
  • Polished stainless steel tips for corrosion resistance
  • Simple bolt-on installation

If you want an interior-friendly exhaust note with no drone, this Empire Resonated Exhaust is a great option to consider.

As you can see, Empire has exhaust kits suitable for anything from a refined exhaust note to an all-out aggressive sound. Next, let’s go over their exhaust sound ratings.

Empire Exhaust Pricing and Compatibility

Exhaust SystemPriceCompatible Vehicles
Empire True Dual$499Fits Ford F-150, Toyota Tundra, Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra, Dodge Ram
Empire Muscle$469Fits Mustang GT, Camaro SS, Charger R/T, Challenger R/T
Empire Twisted Steel$399Compatible with Ford Mustang, Chevy Corvette, Dodge Challenger, Charger
Empire Builder Series$379+Universal fitment, customizable for any vehicle
Empire Resonated$349+Compatible with most passenger cars – Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Subaru

Price range is $349 to $499 depending on the exhaust system. The Builder Series and Resonated exhausts start at $349 with different customization options that increase the price.

Empire Exhaust kits are designed as direct-fit bolt-on replacements for specific makes and models. The above table outlines which systems fit some of the most popular trucks, muscle cars, and import vehicles.

Be sure to lookup the exact year/make/model compatibility before purchasing an Empire Exhaust system. Their configurator tool on Empire’s website makes it easy to find the right exhaust system for your vehicle.

Empire Exhaust Sound Ratings

A major factor in choosing an aftermarket exhaust is the sound it produces. Empire Exhaust provides sound ratings measured in decibels for each of their systems. This helps you select the volume and tone you want.

  • Moderate Sound: ~80-90 db range. Better for a refined, mature rumble. Ideal for daily drivers.
  • Aggressive Sound: 90-100 db range. Provides a bold muscular exhaust tone that turns heads.
  • Straight-Pipe Loud: 100+ db range. No mufflers for maximum decibel levels. Awesome sound but impractical for street use.

You can really notice the variations from a refined note to an all-out loud straight piped system. Figure out your preferences and desired sound level before choosing your Empire Exhaust system. An aggressive system may sound awesome but drone on long drives.

Empire Exhaust Tips and Styles

Most Empire Exhaust kits come standard with polished stainless steel exhaust tips. These resist corrosion and stand up to the elements.

Empire offers a range of tip options:

  • Rolled/Angle Cut Tips: This is an angled cut tip with a rolled edge. Provides a clean, finished look.
  • Slash Cut Tips: A jagged slash cut tip provides an aggressive, race-inspired look.
  • Polished vs Brushed: Polished tips have a reflective chrome shine while brushed tips have a matte brushed metal finish.
  • Tip Size: Empire Exhaust tip diameters range from 3.5-inch, 4-inch, to 5-inch. Match the tip size to your vehicle’s stock size.

You can also choose from single exhaust tips or dual exhaust tips. Many Empire systems come standard with dual 4-inch angle cut tips. But you can customize your exhaust tips however you prefer.

Customizing Your Empire Exhaust

A big advantage of Empire Exhaust is the ability to customize finish, sound, and styling. Here are some popular custom options:

  • Exhaust Coatings: For a stealthy look, Empire’s black exhaust coating eliminates the shiny stainless appearance. Or go bold with a chrome coating.
  • Custom Exhaust Tips: Change your tips to a different size or style for a unique look.
  • Muffler Delete: Removing the muffler increases volume for a straight-pipe sound. But it may fail emissions.
  • Additional Resonators: Adds a deeper tone while reducing rasp and drone. Great for cabin comfort.
  • Y-Pipes: Dual into single Y-pipe setups for custom mixed piping configurations.
  • DIY Modifications: Further tune the sound by modifying baffles or repacking mufflers.

Work with Empire’s exhaust experts online or your local muffler shop to customize the perfect exhaust system for your ride.

Do You Need a Muffler Delete?

Straight piping your exhaust by removing the muffler is a popular DIY mod to increase sound. But is it right for you? Here are the main pros and cons of a muffler delete:


  • Louder, more aggressive sound
  • Weight reduction
  • Improved throttle response
  • Cheaper than a full system


  • Potentially fails emissions laws
  • Increased interior drone at highways speeds
  • No thermal protection from removed muffler
  • Possible raspy/tinny sound at certain RPMs

If you want to straight pipe your exhaust, pairing it with an additional resonator can help smooth out the raspy tone. Sound dampening material like Dynamat can also be added to reduce cabin droning.

Overall, a muffler delete is best for dedicated race/show vehicles. For street driven vehicles, a full Empire Exhaust system with mufflers will provide the best experience.

Installing an Empire Exhaust System

Empire Exhaust kits are designed for simple bolt-on installation to replace your stock OEM system. Here is an overview of the process:

  • Raise and support the vehicle safely using jacks and jack stands
  • Loosen the stock exhaust system starting from the rear
  • Lubricate the exhaust hangers and rubber isolators
  • Remove the old exhaust from the headers or catalytic converter back
  • Install the new Empire exhaust system by loosely attaching the hangers
  • Align and tighten all clamps and hangers fully
  • Check for leaks and re-align if needed
  • Lower vehicle and start the engine to test sound

Total install time ranges from 45 minutes to a few hours depending on experience. Basic hand tools and a sawzall or hacksaw to cut the stock exhaust are required.

You can always pay a professional exhaust shop $75-$150 labor for installation if you don’t want the hassle of DIY. Or find an experienced buddy to help you out.

Here are some tips for installing your new Empire Exhaust:

  • Use WD40 or penetrating oil on stuck exhaust hangers
  • Tighten the clamps starting at the front and working back
  • Confirm proper clearance from chassis, suspension, and brake lines
  • Have an extra set of hands to position the system

Take your time and follow the instructions to ensure your new exhaust system fits perfectly.

Empire Exhaust FAQs

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Empire Exhausts:

What’s the difference between an exhaust manifold and header?

The exhaust manifold is the stock component that routes exhaust gases from the engine’s cylinders into one pipe. Headers have individual runners for each cylinder allowing for better performance, power, and scavenging effect.

My exhaust is leaking. How can I fix it?

First tighten the clamps fully at the leak points. If that doesn’t work, the gasket may be blown out and need replacement. Realigning the exhaust components or adding a header wrap can also help seal leaks.

How long do Empire exhausts last?

Empire’s stainless steel systems will last many years – even decades – with proper care. Their quality materials withstand corrosion and resist rust.

Does Empire provide any warranty?

Yes, Empire exhausts come with a 90-day limited warranty against defects. Contact them for any replacement parts needed.

Will an exhaust improve performance?

Yes, exhaust upgrades like Empire systems improve horsepower and torque by increasing airflow. You can expect gains of 15-25HP depending on the vehicle.


We’ve covered everything you need to know about Empire Exhaust from their top systems to sound clips and customization options.

The key is choosing the right Empire exhaust system that matches your vehicle, sound preferences, and budget. Their direct-fit kits make installation straightforward while their quality stainless steel construction will go the distance.

Whether you want a refined note or straight-pipe loud, Empire Exhaust has the perfect system waiting for your ride. Their customizable exhausts provide awesome performance, great sound, and head turning style.

Let me know if you have any other questions!

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