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To Dual or Not to Dual

I have a 1969 Ford F100 that has a 360 in it. The exhaust has seen it’s better days. Right now it’s a single pipe out to back.

I was considering doing dual exhaust on it and maybe some Flowmaster chambers. Wouldn’t dual exhaust help a BB Ford breathe better? If there’s no real significant improvement, i oughtta stay with the single.

I don’t want it super loud, so I was considering Flowmaster chambers. I’ve had a 40 or 50 Series on my Mustang and it was just right. Do “Turbo” exhaust chambers kinda sound the same. Descriptions allude to “quiet smooth tone”.

I have heard that kits that you can order that fit that specific year, engine, etc. doesn’t always fit. Muffler shop told me this. I was looking at a Dual Turbo Exhaust system in LMC Ford magazine for $220.00 plus frieght. Has anyone had good experience with after market “bolt ons”?

Thanks for your time. Hope I supplied all needed info.

Take Care & God Bless

A bolt on exhaust system will probably be a pain if you have never done exhaust work before. You should definitely be sure your manifold studs are in good shape, or bolt some headers on there so you have something new to work with. A sawzall will definitely come in handy for removing the old stuff and possibly cutting the new stuff to fit. Like you heard, they don’t always bolt up out of the box. If you are going all the way to the back bumper, you will also need to watch out for clearance with your rear axle, shocks, fuel lines, and brake hose.

An alternative to consider would be to bolt on a set of headers and take the truck to an exhaust shop. You will (should) get a professional grade, fully custom system for about the same money. You could possibly save some money by reusing your manifolds as well. A good exhaust guy or gal will be able to install new studs unless they are really bad. For similar or a little more money, you could have it done for you and not have to deal with the hassle. Some shops can also get a good, generic alternative to Flowmaster mufflers that sound the same, but for half the cost.

Here’s a catalog of mufflers I used to install quite a bit. They sound and are built like Flowmasters, but are much less expensive. Most any good exhaust shop orders from this company and can get you what you need. Xlerator, VX, and VR are the lines you will be looking at.

On the older vehicles like this engine performance and even mileage can be improved a bit with true dual exhausts.
I’ve got some service manuals for older vehicles and when one peruses the engine specs on those older cars there are a number of engine options marked with an asterisk. That asterisk means a dual exhaust system as compared to the single and in just about every instance there is a 10 to 20 HP difference with everything else on the engine or car being identical.

As to proper fit I cannot comment on that as I try to avoid exhaust work and have never installed a complete header to tailpipe system. I have installed some aftermarket catback systems and they fit fine.

If the mufflers you refer to as Turbo mufflers are the same as the ones I’m thinking of I do not care for them personally. One of my project vehicles has a pair on it. At idle and at steady highway speeds they’re not bad but under acceleration they’re a bit noisy for my tastes.
I put a Borla on my oldest son’s Camaro and it sounds great; kind of a subdued growl.
(Pricy though at 500 bucks but on the upside it’s stainless steel and guaranteed for life.)

A dual system will look nice, sound nice, and increase HP, though only at higher RPMs. It will also cost more, and be twice the work if you do it yourself. If you get a single pipe sized big enough, the benefits of a dual system will be pretty much negligible if the motor is stock. Since this is an engine from before emission controls, the project would be simplified a lot if you choose to do duals. Duals also offer more stuff to rust out or break, especially if the vehicle is driven off-road.

The choice is up to you.

I was ready to tell you not to worry about the larger exhaust, until I rechecked your message and read that it was a 1969 model. I think this is the first time I ever recommended a larger exhaust. You might gain some meaningful power. Not supper increase, but noticeable. The game changed a few years later and putting in duel or larger exhaust on a modern car, will not really help because the manufacturers figured out that larger exhaust was a cheap upgrade.

Exhaust work is ALWAYS a pain. Your dealing with rusted bolts…welded parts…under the vehicle work…

I HATE doing exhaust work. We have several custom exhaust shops near where I live that will actually do this kind of work for you. Check them out…might be worth it…I know it would be for me.

Me, I’d take it to a nearby independent muffler shop and have THEM put on a set of duals with two high-quality mufflers. They do it all the time, no need to by a ‘kit’. And you should notice a bit of an increase in power, maybe even economy.

Don’t forget to figure in the fabrication of an exhaust cross-over. Sometimes, this complicates the install when going to duals where it was a single before. However, there should be tons of room under that vintage truck to put it in the best position without compromising or being overly complicated to do.

What happens if they leave off the crossover?

The crossover helps with exhaust scavenging. With valve overlap, there’s a tendancy to suck some of the exhaust back towards the engine. When you install a crossover (H or X pipe), the exhaust pulses from the other side of the engine help to smooth out the exhaust flow (alternating pulses fill in the gaps) and keep it from reversing. Better scavenging = better performance up to the point you start over scavenging but that won’t happen unless you do something foolish like remove all source of backpressure from the exhaust. It will also change the exhaust tone, which is something a hobbyist might be interested in achieving.

There never seemed to be any appreciable power gain from duals on any engine in use as a daily driver. And I recall having a difficult time with seized exhaust manifold bolts on Ford big blocks that often broke ears off the heads even with a great deal of effort to avoid it.

Aftermarket bolt ons generally work fine.

Dual exhaust helps, but it’s a 42 year old F100. Don’t get too optimistic. You could end up spending a wad of money with minimal results.

My recommendation would be to simply replace the old system with a direct-fit replacement exhaust system. I doubt of you’ll get much for the extra money you’ll spend.


If you do this dont even think about doing it yourself. Go to a Midas or Car X and have them bend and fit. If the manifold studs are rusted thin or the threads rusted off they can get them out. Box kits will not fit and you will end up with a couple of pounds of rust sticking out of your eyes so you will look like some kind of alien.

Trying to improve the performance of a 360 Ford is like kissing your sister…Save your money. It’s a very old, very tired, truck…

A $220 dual exhaust system could last 220 days. Don’t do it if you get snow where you live. There will be no extra performance. Put a glass pack on it if you want more noise plus they don’t rust out as fast.