This past summer was hot one for us. I truly think that this was one of the first years that you cold fry an egg on the sidewalk. My brother and I spent countless days working on our trucks in our garage and I remember gleaming down the street laying down on my creeper, seeing the heat waves rising off the asphalt. We have not gone for the complete lift yet, but after saving for a couple of months, I might beat my brother to it.
The main thing that we tested in August was a couple of different exhaust tweaks and some cold air intake enhancements that we made under the hood. I have read on the forums that these can help performance, and sound sweet. I do like cruising the strip and revving up from time to time, so beefing up my exhaust was a pretty top priority for me.
My brother was more in it for the performance improvements that he read he could receive. It's funny because we both have '04 Dodge Rams and I get nearly 8 MPG's better than his ride. He is a bit chubbier, but not enough to make that much of a difference 🙂
So we set out to get our first big investments for our rides. I was amazed to see the price ranges for all of these products. It's pretty confusing because because there are so many options available, and so many companies are making products that they claim are the hottest. "So why should I pay $ 600 for this muffler and tip kit if this one is $ 400?" I kept finding myself wondering who I could trust and where I should go for an answer.
I found great answers to questions that I had on the forums out there online, especially the Dodge Ram specific forums. Those guys that are on there all the time REALLY know their trucks. They can tell you every part and explain all of the ins and outs. So I posed my question that I had about exhaust and got a lot of replies, lots of brands that would be cool, and went with one called JBA. I'm not sure what the letters stand for, but I like to think that it means Jams, Boosts, Accelerates, because that's what my truck did when I retrofitted it with the new kit. The sound was insane, sounded like a completely different truck. I almost tried re-painting the entire vehicle too because it was a different beast. I think it really helped that it's a '04 because the performance really benefited from the upgrade. And the sound too, probably something special locked inside the JBA headers, maybe a pit-bull or something really mean.
The experience that my brother had was totally different. He heard about all sorts of intake companies out there and how some were better than others, closed-box, versus no closed box, etc. He ended up chatting with one of the older guys on the forums about how to make an improved air intake for his make and model from scratch. So he did not have to dish out too many dollars to improve his MPG's.
We both lucked out, but my miles per gallon are still better and my exhaust sounds WAYYY better than his – Spoken from a true older brother.