Stacks or No Stacks?

August 2019 Ask The Expert Colin Peterson

Something has been buzzing around my mind for much of my life about what's one of the most attention-grabbing aspects about diesel pickups. And that something is exhausts. Diesel exhaust has such a lovely sound that's music to our ears for all vehicles and machines you could think of. I find myself specifically thinking about why some people choose stacks for their trucks and why others stick with a regular side rear exhaust.

Stacks can be good for so many performance- and looks-related aspects, and they're perfect if you use your truck as a daily driver or show horse. Unlike a traditional exhaust, stacks behind the cab make your truck look, sound, and even feel more like a semi, especially if the truck's suspension, tires and wheels are all decked out. That always gives your rig enormous personality and sets it apart as a true diesel in ways I can't describe. With the amazing sizes they're available in, they really do a great job in helping your truck to breathe better and get more out of your engine. They can really blow your mind. On top of that, nothing beats the big semi-like roar you get out of them. Because of their location above the bed and not underneath it, stacks can even make it a bit more pleasant for the traffic surrounding your wheels on a busy road.

However, stacks can also have several drawbacks, depending on what you do with your truck. If you're using your bed to haul large objects, though, or you're pulling an open trailer with sensitive cargo in it, such as a horse trailer, stacks may be less of a good idea. Of course, no creature can breathe what's coming from the back of your cab. With stacks, cargo that takes up a lot of height on your bed may also become dirty and/or contaminated. If that tall cargo is large appliances you're moving from point A to point B, the residue from the stacks may very well ruin those appliances in addition to making them all dirty. The same goes for big objects on trailers. In these cases, you are definitely best off sticking with a standard rear side exhaust.

I just wanted to bring up a quick message about the options if you're thinking about doing an exhaust mod, and I know many of us are always. Happy trucking (no pun intended on semis)!

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