Of the current American full-sized pickup truck engines, perhaps none is better-known than the 5.7L Hemi V8 that Dodge uses in their Ram 1500. It’s a massive motor with a name so hallowed that non-enthusiasts might recognize it from commercials or popular culture. Even Ford and Chevy die-hards can concede that the sound of the Ram 1500’s Hemi V8 is pretty tough to beat.
Despite how good your truck sounds from the factory, it can be made to sound even better with an aftermarket exhaust system. You can find one with a volume level and tone that you want for your pickup. Best of all, a cat-back kit can open up the exhaust airflow to a level that is much less restrictive than the stock set-up.
Given the launch of a new generation, there are some differences between the 2018 and 2019 Ram 1500, meaning that the exhaust components are not interchangeable between the two iterations. While aftermarket parts for the new 2019+ models are still coming out, we’ve compiled some of our favorite cat-back exhaust systems for both generations. You can view both 2009-2018 and 2019+ options below, depending on the model year of your pickup.
Best RAM 1500 Cat-Back Exhaust Kits for Hemi V8 2009-2018
The 2009-2018 Ram 1500 models offered a range of configurations, but no matter the body style or bed, the Hemi V8 engine was a very popular powerplant choice. With good reason too, as it offers immense power, torque, and an unbeatable sound.
Magnaflow Cat-Back for 2009-2018 Ram 1500
To make that sound even better and to squeeze even more performance out of your motor, check out some of our favorite cat-back exhaust kits to add to your Ram 1500. There are a variety of different types, each offering a different exhaust note, style, and price point. These are all top-shelf brands, so it’s hard to go wrong with any choice.
We like the Borla systems for their rumbling, aggressive exhaust note. You’ll also get a deeper tone with more growl. aFe's kits have a sporty sound, with lots of richness and depth.
Check out our video below to take a look at the installation and sound of the MBRP system. The installation for a cat-back system on your Ram 1500 is going to be very similar regardless of the product you choose, so this will also serve as a great look at the work that’s required for the upgrade. For an experienced wrencher, installation should only take a couple hours at most. Novices might want to set aside a weekend to get the project done.
Best RAM 1500 Cat-Back Exhaust Kits for Hemi V8 2019+
With the redesigned RAM released in 2019, the exhaust requirements are different than the previous generation. Check out some of our top picks for the 2019-2020 and later Ram 1500 models.
For something that’s nice and mellow when you’re cruising but will really open up when you get on the accelerator, check out Flowmaster’s American Thunder system. The black tips add a stylish touch that will really help your truck stand out. And for a classic, muscle car-esque rumble, the deep, rich sound of the Borla Atak system has acoustics that are hard to beat.
Best RAM 1500 Hemi Exhaust Headers 2009-2018
While a cat-back kit is a great way to increase power and sound, to really unlock your horsepower potential, it’s worth going to the source. Exhaust headers connect your exhaust system directly to your engine and are a great component to upgrade if you want a serious performance boost. It’s up to you whether you want to choose long tube vs shorty headers, as each offers their own benefits.
With a new exhaust upgrade, you can get your Ram 1500 ready for work or play, with stronger performance. Best of all, you’ll get to enjoy the full roar of your Hemi V8 when you put your foot down on the throttle.
For other upgrades for your truck, check out our guide to the top Ram 1500 mods to find a wide variety of products for your truck, from lift kits to floor mats.