2023 Ford Ranger build: Pacemaker King Brown exhaust system

Our Ranger is ready to rumble with a King Brown DPF-back exhaust upgrade.

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Ford’s 3.0-litre diesel V6 engine brings the performance and refinement of the Ranger ute up to a whole new level. It’s not all about outright grunt but it’s the way it delivers it that makes the V6 the engine to have in the RA Ranger… and soon the 2023 VW Amarok.

The V6 is smooth and refined bringing a new level of comfort and touring pleasure to the category. There is no other diesel-fuelled vehicle in the midsize 4x4 ute class that gets on with the job as well as the ‘Lion’ V6 powered Ranger.

As good as the Lion V6 is there are always ways to make it better, right? After all, when OE manufacturers create a vehicle they are constrained by budgets and costs, and the need to create a product to suit a wide variety of uses. That’s where the aftermarket steps in, to create a products to make the OEM offering better suited to specific requirements, and nowhere are those requirements more specific than the harsh Australian Outback.

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Well-made durable system for long-lasting use.

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Australia’s aftermarket industry is renowned globally for manufacturing some of the best gear on the planet. To make the grade on Aussie tracks the products need to be tough, durable and built to last. And if they can improve on the performance of the OEM product at the same time then it’s a win-win for the end user.

South Australia’s Pacemaker Exhausts has been building better exhaust systems for Aussie drivers for decades and is well known in the performance game. Pacemaker’s King Brown brand makes its products for four-wheel drive vehicles and like the deadly snake they are named after, the systems are the apex predator in the market.

After fitting a King Brown system to our PX Ranger a few years back, and being totally happy with it, it was a no-brainer to go back to the Aussie manufacturer for the system on our new Ranger.

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Since the introduction of mandatory DPFs in exhaust systems on diesel vehicles, you are limited with what you can achieve with an aftermarket replacement exhaust system, and the OEMs are making the factory systems relatively large to keep them free-flowing for optimum performance. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement.

Without going to the massive expense of replacing the factory DPF with an aftermarket one, the best option for modern 4x4 owners is a DPF-back replacement system, and that’s just what we got for the Ranger from Pacemaker.

The factory Ford exhaust system is 80mm in diameter from where it comes out of the DPF and back to the long muffler, and 2.75-inches back to the tailpipe which ends just behind the rear axle housing. Pacemaker’s King Brown system for the Ford V6 is three-inches all the way through to the Pacemaker muffler and over the axle where it ends a bit higher than the factory exhaust.

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Pacemaker also offers the option of a tailpipe that extends back to exit under the rear bumper of the ute, but with the Trig Point service body on the back of our Ranger we didn’t think it would suit this application.

Pacemaker also offers the system with a straight through three-inch pipe and no muffler at all, but again we didn’t feel this would be what we wanted for our application.

What makes the King Brown exhaust better than the factory offering are the materials it is made from. This is 409 stainless steel that will never rust away like mild steel and for further protection it is coated in a hard brown finish to guard against stone chips and damage. Stainless steel will also better stretch and flex from the normal torsion loads generated by heat stress and engine vibration for further durability, so this system is really made to last.

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The Pacemaker muffler used in the system flows better than the OE Ford muffler for better performance and while it won’t make the car any faster, it will work better with any other engine modifications designed to increase performance. The freer-flowing system is also claimed to reduce the temperatures within the DPF which will increase the life of this expensive part.

Being a DPF-back replacement system, it was relatively easy to install, taking the guys at Performance Exhausts in Rowville less than an hour to do the job on the hoist. It’s certainly a DIY job if you prefer but might take a bit longer to do on stands in your garage.

The King Brown exhaust system includes provisions for the OE air bleed fitting just aft of the DPF making it a truly a simple bolt-in installation.

The system gives a slightly more audible growl from the engine but it isn’t really noticeable unless you’re listening for it. The last thing we wanted was a noisy exhaust that would ruin the refinement of the Ranger but if that’s your thing you could always choose the straight-though system for your vehicle.

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Well-made durable system for long-lasting use.


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