Is F150 Side Exit Exhaust Before Tire Worth It? [Answered]

When it comes to upgrading your F-150’s exhaust system, one question that often arises is whether a side exit exhaust before the tire is better. It’s a decision that can impact the truck’s performance, sound, and overall aesthetics. 

A side exit exhaust before the tire offers several advantages. It provides better ground clearance, protecting the exhaust system from potential damage during off-road adventures. The side exit positioning can also enhance the truck’s aggressive appearance and deliver a unique exhaust note. 

In this blog post, we’ll explore the pros and cons of side exit exhausts before the tire, helping you make an informed decision for your F-150. 

Benefits Of Having Ford F150 Side Exit Exhaust Before Tire

Choosing a side exit exhaust system positioned before the rear tire on your F-150 can bring various advantages.

From improved ground clearance to enhanced aesthetics, here are some benefits you can expect from this installation choice.

Improved Ground Clearance 

By routing the exhaust system to exit before the rear tire, you can increase the ground clearance of your F-150.

This can be particularly beneficial if you frequently drive off-road or encounter rough terrain, as it reduces the risk of damaging or scraping the exhaust system.

Enhanced Departure Angle 

The departure angle refers to the maximum incline or decline an off-road vehicle can navigate without damaging its rear end. 

By relocating the exhaust exit to the side before the rear tire, you can improve the departure angle of your F-150, allowing it to tackle steeper slopes and obstacles more effectively.

Reduced Risk of Water Ingress

If you frequently drive through water crossings or encounter wet conditions, a side exit exhaust can reduce the risk of water entering your exhaust system. 

You decrease the chances of water being forced into the exhaust system by venting the exhaust gasses to the side, away from the rear tire and the exhaust pipe’s usual position.

Unique Sound and Appearance 

Side exit exhausts can provide a different sound and visual aesthetic compared to traditional rear-exit exhaust systems. 

They tend to produce a more aggressive and throaty exhaust note, which some enthusiasts find appealing. 

Additionally, visually, side exit exhausts can give your F-150 a distinct and customized appearance, setting it apart from the stock configuration.

Increased Accessibility for Maintenance 

Relocating the exhaust exit to the side can also make maintenance tasks easier, such as inspecting or replacing the exhaust components. 

It provides better access to the exhaust system, reducing the time and effort required for maintenance and repairs.

Common Concerns and Myths about Side Exit Exhaust Before Tire

When considering a side exit exhaust before the tire for your F-150, you should be aware of some common concerns and myths. Let’s address a few of them-

Performance Loss 

One concern is that a side exit exhaust may result in a loss of performance. However, this is largely a myth. 

While the location of the exhaust exit may slightly affect back pressure and airflow dynamics, the impact on overall performance is typically minimal. 

In fact, some aftermarket side exit exhaust systems are specifically designed to enhance performance by optimizing exhaust flow.

Increased Cabin Noise 

Another misconception is that a side exit exhaust will significantly increase cabin noise, causing discomfort during driving. 

While it’s true that side exit exhausts can produce a more aggressive exhaust note, modern systems often incorporate mufflers and resonators to control and fine-tune the sound. 

As a result, the difference in cabin noise compared to a traditional rear-exit exhaust is usually manageable and can even be desirable for those seeking a more robust engine sound.

Legal and Emissions Compliance 

Concerns may arise regarding a modified exhaust system’s legality and emissions compliance. 

Ensuring that any modifications you make comply with local laws and regulations regarding noise levels and emissions is crucial. 

Different jurisdictions have varying rules, so it’s essential to research and consult with local authorities or professionals to ensure your modifications meet the required standards.

Reduced Torque or Towing Capability 

Some individuals worry that a side exit exhaust might compromise low-end torque or towing capability. In reality, the impact on torque and towing is negligible. 

The exhaust system’s design and exit location have minimal effect on the F-150’s torque characteristics or towing capacity. 

Therefore, you can typically enjoy the benefits of a side exit exhaust without sacrificing these important capabilities.

Water Ingress and Off-Roading

Although a side exit exhaust can help reduce the risk of water ingress, it’s important to note that no exhaust system is entirely immune to water damage. 

If you regularly drive through deep water or engage in extensive off-roading, additional precautions, such as waterproofing measures, may be necessary to protect your vehicle’s engine and exhaust system.

Maintenance Tips for Side Exit Exhaust Before Tire for Ford F150 Truck

Maintaining a side exit exhaust system located before the tire on your Ford F150 is crucial for optimal performance. 

By following these maintenance tips, you can ensure its longevity, prevent damage, and enjoy a smooth and efficient exhaust system.

Regular Inspection 

Periodically inspect the exhaust system for any signs of damage, such as leaks, loose connections, or rust. 

This includes visually examining the pipes, muffler, and any clamps or hangers.


Keep the exhaust system clean to prevent the accumulation of dirt, debris, and road salt. 

Use a mild detergent and water solution to clean the pipes and muffler. Avoid using abrasive cleaners that can damage metal surfaces.

Rust Prevention 

Apply a high-temperature paint or rust inhibitor to protect the exhaust system from corrosion. 

This is particularly important for side exit exhausts, as they are more exposed to moisture and road contaminants.

Check for Leaks 

Listen for any unusual noises, such as hissing sounds, which might indicate an exhaust leak. 

Additionally, check for black sooty deposits around the connections and joints, as they could be signs of a leak.

Secure Mounting

Ensure that all clamps, brackets, and hangers are securely fastened. Over time, vibrations and road conditions can cause these components to loosen. If you notice any loose connections, tighten them as necessary.

Maintain Proper Clearance 

Check the clearance between the exhaust pipes and nearby components, such as the suspension, bodywork, or wiring harnesses. 

Ensure that there is sufficient space to allow for movement without any contact, as this can cause damage or rattling noises.

Avoid Deep Water 

Be cautious when driving through deep water or flooded areas, as water entering the exhaust system can cause damage to the engine. 

Water entering the hot exhaust components can also lead to rapid cooling and potential cracking.

Frequently Asked Question

In this section, we address some common queries to provide you with the necessary information to decide whether a side exit exhaust before the tire is the right choice for your F150.

Does A Side Exit Exhaust Before The Tire Affect Ground Clearance On My F150?

A side exit exhaust before the tire may slightly reduce ground clearance, so it’s important to consider the terrain and your driving needs when choosing this exhaust configuration.

Will A Side Exit Exhaust Before The Tire Provide Any Performance Benefits For My F150?

A side exit exhaust before the tire can improve performance by enhancing exhaust flow, reducing back pressure, and potentially increasing horsepower and torque in your F150.

Are There Any Legal Restrictions Or Regulations Regarding Side Exit Exhaust Before The Tire?

Regulations vary by jurisdiction, so it’s important to check local laws. Some areas have noise restrictions or require specific exhaust configurations, so ensure your side exit exhaust complies with the regulations in your area.

Can I install a side exit exhaust before the tire on my F150 without voiding the warranty?

Installing a side exit exhaust before the tire should not automatically void the warranty. However, it’s recommended to consult your vehicle’s warranty documentation or contact the manufacturer to confirm any potential warranty implications.

Do Side Exit Exhaust Systems Before The Tire Require Any Specific Maintenance Or Care?

Side exit exhaust systems require regular inspection for any leaks, damage, or loose connections. Periodic cleaning and maintenance can prolong their lifespan and ensure optimal performance.


Remember that you can always consult with professionals or fellow F150 enthusiasts to gather more insights and make an informed choice. 

Choose the option that best aligns with your needs and enhances your driving experience.

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