Performance Mod: Upgrade Your Navara D40 with Aftermarket Exhaust

The Navara has been Nissan’s mid-sized, big dog in the ute market for a long time. That’s why for Navara aficionados, distinguishing between their two most popular variants, the D22 and the D40, is as easy as looking at the body trim. For owners who prefer their distinguishing features to have a bit more bark, the differences that matter to them are found under the bonnet.

Producing up to 190kW in its newest and absolute beefiest 4-cylinder 2.5L rendition, and over 170kW in its torquey V6 3.0L guise, these turbo-charged diesel powerplants are what gives Navara owners the courage to go slug it out off road with the full-sized utes. These are strong powerplants that aren’t lacking for power by any measure, but like most turbo diesels their real potential is choked off by a restrictive exhaust system.

Replacing the Navara’s stuffy 2.5” OE exhaust with an aftermarket 3.0” turbo back system is going to give it the opportunity to exhale the way it wants to. It’s going to put more bite behind the Navara’s bark and make no mistake: the more these engines can exhale, the more freedom you’ll have to help them inhale better too.

The D40 Upgrade Advantages

Close-up of Nissan Navara from underneath

From swapping in a higher capacity intercooler, to adding a freer flowing air filter, there are a lot of straightforward, bolt-on performance upgrades you can make to a Navara. This is especially true for the D40. However, no other upgrade is going to let you experience the performance difference the way bolting on a low restriction Navara D40 exhaust upgrade is going to do.

In fact, upgrading your D40’s exhaust is going to deliver a better value proposition than any other single performance modification you can make. That’s because no matter how much more fuel or oxygen you’re able to force into an engine, all of that breathing potential is lost if the spent exhaust gases can’t be expelled efficiently.

Unlike basic aftermarket exhaust upgrades that only include a low restriction muffler and a tailpipe, a proper turbo back D40 upgrade does more than just change how your exhaust sounds. Sure, it’s going to have a deeper, richer audible afterwards, but the real difference is going to be in what you feel.

·   More responsiveness acceleration. An optimally sized exhaust reduces turbo back pressure, allowing better scavenging and exhaust evacuation.

·   More peak power. A larger diameter pipe improves high range RPM, resulting in more power available on the top end of the engine’s curve.

·   Better airflow, better induction. There’s less resistance in a high-capacity mandrel bent system, and increased exhaust velocity allows for better air and fuel induction.

An instant 10% power increase is achievable only with a D40 exhaust upgrade. That’s significantly more than you’ll get from any other performance mod that doesn’t require major engine work or need to be combined with a host of other mods in order to reap its full benefit. Doing away with the heavy OE cast iron catalytic converter also brings a weight savings which, along with better breathing, can yield a modest increase in fuel economy.

With all the advantages, however, unless quality’s an equal consideration when upgrading your D40’s exhaust, then it’s an upgrade that’s really not worth much more than pushing hot gas. Fortunately, when it comes to the best systems and quality, you don’t need to look any further than one that’s wholly made and tested in Australia, and ready for any of the extremes the Aussie climate can toss at it.

High-Quality Exhaust Parts

A high-quality exhaust system is more than just a collection of parts that fit well together: they also have to work well together. That’s where a well-engineered 3.0” D40 exhaust system stands out above both OE and less well-designed system, and includes:

·   Heavy duty turbo dump pipe;

·   200 cell, high flow diesel catalytic converter;

·   Front connector pipe with double-braided flex joint;

·   Complete tail pipe assembly; and,

·   Baffled muffler or resonator assembly.

At a thickness of 2mm, and with 10mm flanges and stainless-steel fittings made to match all the OE mounting points, high-quality D40 Navara exhaust systems will fit vehicles equipped with either the 2.5L or 3.0L engines, or with manual or automatic transmissions. There’s still more to a high-quality exhaust system than just having a good combination of parts and fitment hardware, though. The real hallmark of quality is in the materials, and the best 3.0” exhausts won’t disappoint.

Close-up of Nissan Navara D40 exhaust system

High-Quality Materials and Coatings

Let’s be honest: there’s no shortage of aftermarket D22 or D40 exhaust systems being produced and exported from countries where Navaras are assembled. And although the quality that goes into those systems may be ideal for their local environments, Australia has environmental demands that are unlike any in the world.

Things get hot out in the bush, and heat of any kind robs engines of power, performance, and fuel economy. That’s why with turbocharged engine exhaust temperatures regularly exceeding 200°C, exhaust systems play the main role of thermal regulation within the exhaust pipe, inside the engine compartment, and what’s radiated up through a vehicle’s floorpan.

When it comes to the kind of build quality that keeps heat in check, Australian made Nissan Navara D40 exhaust systems lead the way with:

·   A cerachrome pipe coating. Upgraded D40 exhaust dump pipes are ceramic coated, helping to keep the heat radiated from the turbo locked away from the engine and inside the exhaust system where it can expedite quicker flow-through.

·   409 grade stainless steel tubing. The 409 stainless offers great rust and corrosion resistance, and has 60% more heat transfer capacity than either 304 and 316 stainless.

·   Heat resistant enamel coating throughout. 800°C thermal paint provides added protection from rust and corrosion, but its primary job is keeping the blistering combination of exhaust and outback heat inside the system and away from the passengers.

In short, when you upgrade your Navara D40 exhaust system, you want to make sure that you’ve chosen a quality system from an Australian supplier and manufacturer who knows precisely what your exhaust is going to go through. Wrap it all up in a 5-year warranty, and you can rest assured that your system won’t just perform better, it’s going to help your engine last longer too.

The Final Word

Close-up of Nissan Navara D40 from behind

At the end of the day, the D22 and D40 Navaras are among the best and most popular utes in Australia. Their 2.5L and 3.0L powerplants are as strong and as reliable as any when it comes to mid-sized 4WDs, and they can perform even better with the right upgrades.   

The D40s are especially nice platforms though, and a low restriction Navara D40 exhaust upgrade is just what’s needed to let these mid-sized Nissans reach their potential. They’re the perfect mod to make when it’s time to replace a worn out OE system, or when you’ve decided to boost your truck’s performance across the board.