We are restoring a 2000 GMC Sierra 1500 that I bought in 2020, and it’s been a fun project so far. I am looking forward to the next stage which will start in the summer of 2023 which is body and paint. This will get it closer to the look that I am going for.
If you haven’t read about the truck and the back story you can start by checking out Part 1 here: Truck Project Build: Truck Purchased or read about the engine rebuild process here: Truck Project Build: Engine Rebuild or how I cleaned all the parts and the engine bay here: Truck Project Build: Cleaning Parts.
The New Exhaust System
The idea with this truck is to make it sound aggressive and my thought was to make it loud. This is why I got the 3″ long tube headers for it from Speed Engineering. When I started the engine up for the first time, it was so loud. With the sloppy cam this thing sounded serious. No way was I going to drive anywhere with open headers like that.
Calling around to a few exhaust shops in town I found out that I had to install the exhaust my self because there is no place to put the cats and they won’t work on an exhaust system without cats. My truck doesn’t have cats. I will eventually redo the exhaust system to make it a more professional one with cats and all but for now I want to enjoy the truck with straight pipes. haha. Well with a muffler because it is way too loud.
Buying the exhaust system is a new trick for me so I was a little intimidated with all the options that are out there and I didn’t want to order something that wasn’t going to work and then have to deal with the return process. This is why I decided to go back to Speed Engineering and find a matching system to the headers that I bought.
This process ended up being a lot simpler than I was afraid it was going to be. I just found the headers I bought on my past orders page and the only spec on there that I needed to match is that it is a 3″ exhaust and works with 1 7/8″ long tube headers.
Searching for exhaust system for a 2000 GMC Sierra 1500 was easy and then out of the options they presented, I selected the true-dual 3″ exhaust system, which gave me 2 options and one of them specifically said that it works with the 1 7/8″ long tube headers. So this was a no brainer. I ordered the Silverado & Sierra True Dual Exhaust System 1999-2006 (Crew & Extra Cab) “Axle Dump” Kit for about $599. They also threw in a free muffler for me so that was nice of them.
It arrived a few days later and I was excited to get it on the truck. This kit came with everything I needed to get it installed and the installation was super easy. The clamps that connect the pieces together were hard to tighten to get them wrapped around the tubes tightly but I got it done with the help of some additional leverage on the wrenches and ratchets.
The New Sound
The truck was super loud with the open headers. It was loud and sharp. Had lots of high notes that pierced through the brain. The new exhaust system took it down a notch and smoothed out those high pitch piecing sounds and made it bearable. The new sound is still very loud and aggressive when you hit the gas but quiet when idling.
I got the “Axle Dump” variety of the exhaust system and am now regretting it. Because it dumps the sound and gasses under the bed, the fumes get into the cab and also it is very loud inside the cab. I installed a small sub in the cab so I can listen to some tunes as I drive this thing around, but it is useless. I can’t hear anything but the exhaust inside haha.
Although there will be future-future plans of redoing the entire system to something more professional, the next step for the exhaust will be to extend it out the back of the bed under the bumper and to get a good muffler.
I’ve researched some in the past and I think i’m going to go with a Flowmaster 40 Series. Here is a good overview video of all their mufflers.
And here is the video of the 40 Series but I think its to quiet for my liking. I will need to figure out how to keep it a little more louder than that. If you have some pointers for that or other ideas, I’m all ears, comment below please!
That is the new exhaust system for now. Like I said, I’m happy with it other than it is too loud, which is not a huge problem and is fixable. I am looking forward to extending it past the bumper and getting the cab a little quieter so I can hear some music when I drive. It is also very uncomfortable for any passengers that ride along. This being the only truck we have, I’ve already had to use it to bring furniture and etc. which were long trips. It is not pleasant to drive long distance with that sounds pounding in your ear the entire time.
Ok, that is all I have for today, next, we’ll talk about the rebuilding of the rear end. Until then!
Valik loves tinkering in the garage and is currently restoring a 2000 GMC Sierra 1500 truck. He also writes about the progress on this blog. When not in the garage, Valik is also a web developer and a blogger. I know, strange, a hand in two completely different worlds. And that is the way he likes to keep it.