Top 10 Best Exhaust For 5.9 Cummins Reviews 2023: Buyer’s Guide

Are you searching for the best exhaust for 5.9 Cummins? And are you having trouble finding the right exhaust?

If you are, the best aftermarket exhaust manifold on the market right now is the BD Diesel 1045987 Pulse exhaust manifold.

This BD Diesel exhaust manifold is great for performance and for lowering those EGTs, and it is durable and heavy-duty.


Best Exhaust Manifold For 5.9 Cummins

BD Diesel Performance
aFe Power
aFe Power
BD Diesel Performance
RDP[Exhaust Manifold]
Parts Express
JJ Original Equipment

Here are ten of the best exhausts on the market right now for a 5.9L Cummins.

From the best sounding exhaust for 5.9 Cummins you can get to the most reliable and best performance exhaust manifolds.

Top 10 Best Exhaust For 5.9 Cummins

01. BD Diesel 1045987 Pulse Exhaust Manifold: Best 5.9 Cummins Exhaust Manifold Upgrade



  • Greater Temperature Resistance
  • Turbo Spool Time Increased
  • Cast Made of Ductile Iron
  • Greater Engine Performance
  • Pulse Manifold
  • Back Pressure Reduction
  • 2003-2007 5.9 Dodge Cummins
  • Fits 3943875, 39438871

& 3967995


  • Manufacturer: BD Diesel
  • Brand: BD Diesel Performance
  • Weight: 1.56 pounds
  • Model Number: 1045987

The BD Diesel 1045987 exhaust manifold is a great all-around performance exhaust for the 5.9L Cummins engine.

Not only is it the best exhaust for 5.9 Cummins. But this exhaust is a big improvement compared to the stock manifold.

It increases the turbo spool-up, reduces backpressure, and it does withstand the extreme temperatures and vibrations that exhaust manifolds go through.

And it also increases power. This exhaust manifold is well manufactured and very solid, after all, BD Diesel is a top manufacturer of aftermarket exhaust manifolds.

This is a great heavy-duty manifold for more exhaust flow. So, more toxic gasses will get released efficiently from your motor.

This exhaust manifold is great for lowering EGTs. Keep in mind the exhaust manifold can reach up to past 800 degrees Fahrenheit.


  • Well Built
  • Higher Exhaust Flow
  • Faster Turbo Spools
  • Lower EGTs


  • Semi Difficult Installation
  • Clearance Issues with Mounting Bolts

02. aFe 46-460032 BladeRunner Exhaust Manifold: best 5 inch exhaust for 5.9 cummins



  • Made in the U.S.
  • 9L Dodge Cummins
  • 2 EGT Ports
  • 1-Piece Design
  • Cast Ductile Iron
  • Heavy-Duty
  • Durable Design


  • Manufacturer: AFE Filters
  • Brand: aFe Power
  • Weight: 5 pounds
  • Dimensions: 6 x 27 x 5 inches
  • Model Number: 46-40032

aFe 46-460032 exhaust manifold is top-notch quality, looks great, and is American made.

This exhaust is great for better airflow and quicker turbo spool-ups.

And it will make your throttle on that 5.9L Cummins a lot more responsive.

This is a heavy-duty exhaust manifold that will last on your truck. And it even looks much stronger than stock.

aFe exhaust manifold also gives the 5.9L Cummins engine a deeper sound.

And this manifold will fit nicely on a 5.9L Cummins engine. This is also one of the best exhausts for a 5.9L Cummins.

Due to its heavy-duty construction, and its improvement inflow, and performance.

Although this manifold does have an issue with the stud spacers it is not a big problem.


  • Heavy Duty
  • Improved Flow
  • Well Machined
  • Quality Casting
  • Faster Turbo Spools
  • Improved Throttle Response


  • No Gaskets and Bolts for Coolant Line
  • Clearance Issues with Stud Spacers
  • Turbo Flange Bolts are Short

03. aFe 46-460012 BladeRunner Exhaust Manifold: Great quality manifold



  • Made in the U.S.
  • Cast Ductile Iron
  • 1-piece Construction
  • Dual Auxiliary Ports
  • Lowers Exhaust Back Pressure
  • Faster Turbo Spool Time


  • Manufacturer: AFE Filters
  • Brand: aFe
  • Weight: 24 pounds
  • Dimensions: 6 x 28 x 6 inches
  • Model Number: 46-460012

Another great replacement for a stock 5.9L Cummins exhaust manifold is the aFe 46-40012 exhaust.

Why, simply because it offers a noticeable increase in spool uptime, and the installation is easy.

This manifold also gives the 5.9L Cummins engine a deeper tone, and the throttle response gets better.

And this aFe exhaust also drops the EGTs by a good chunk.

So, if you are looking for better sound for that 5.9L Cummins. You can’t go wrong with the best sounding exhaust for 5.9 Cummins.

It is an aFe exhaust manifold too. So, it is durable along with great for better engine performance.

And this manifold is good for lower backpressure. But this model does come with brass plugs that are a bit fragile, so be careful when installing them.


  • Lower EGTs
  • Fits just like Stock
  • Faster Turbo Spool Time
  • Improved Throttle Response
  • Better Deeper Sound


  • Brass Plugs are a bit Fragile
  • Alignment Issue with the Manifold Tube

04. BD Diesel 1045989 Pulse Exhaust Manifold



  • 9L Dodge Cummins
  • Great Quality
  • Can Fit Multiple Vehicles
  • Exceeds OEM Specifications


  • Manufacturer: BD Diesel
  • Brand: BD Diesel Performance
  • Weight: 24 pounds
  • Model Number: 1045989

The BD Diesel 1045989 exhaust manifold is another great manifold for the 5.9L Cummins engine.

This manifold is universal, so it can be used with different vehicles.

And it is one of the best exhausts in this review because it does come with everything you need to correctly install it.

So, you won’t need to buy any extra bolts or gaskets before installing it. Like with some of the OEM exhaust manifolds.

And this BD Diesel performance exhaust works great and makes your engine bay look awesome.

Performance-wise it does improve on the exhaust flow, lowers EGTs, and you get faster spool-ups.

It does lower back pressure like the first BD Diesel Pulse exhaust mentioned as well.

And it is well manufactured, after all, BD Diesel performance exhausts are built to last long.

So, this exhaust manifold is a good replacement for a 5.9L Cummins stock manifold.


  • Looks Great
  • Fairly Easy Installation
  • Complete Kit
  • Improves Performance


  • No Issues or Complaints

05. ATS Diesel 2099202272 Exhaust Manifold



  • 2-Piece Pulse Flow Manifold
  • Increased Power
  • 9L Dodge Cummins
  • Improved Mileage
  • Great Quality


  • Manufacturer: ATS Diesel
  • Brand: ATS Diesel
  • Model Number: 2049202272

The ATS brand is considered to be a pioneer engineer in the Cummins engine exhaust industry.

Brands of ATS exhaust manifolds are known to improve performance and power, along with lower EGTs and backpressure.

ATS exhausts are also heavy-duty for maximum durability. So, they are great for 5.9L Cummins engines.

Thus, the ATS 2049202272 exhaust manifold is a great replacement for your stock manifold with its great build and fitment.

It does a good job of reducing backpressure.

This ATS manifold does give the 5.9L Cummins more power and better performance than the stock manifold.

This specific exhaust from ATS also improves mileage. By efficiently burning the emissions from the 5.9L Cummins engine.

And this exhaust will keep going strong after 5,000 miles.

One downside to this exhaust though is that the turbo support nuts don’t have much clearance to tighten them.


  • Works Great
  • Great Replacement for Stock
  • Extremely Well Built
  • Increase in HP
  • Better Mileage
  • Will go past 5,000 miles


  • Turbo Support Nuts have Limited Access

06. Dorman 674-602 Exhaust Manifold: Reliable exhaust manifold 



  • Heavy-Duty
  • Ideal for Selected Vehicles
  • Long-Lasting
  • Trustworthy Manifold
  • Ensured to Fit
  • Precision Made


  • Manufacturer: Dorman- OE Solutions
  • Brand: Dorman
  • Weight: 15.02 pounds
  • Dimensions: 28.88 x 12.63 x 7.88 inches
  • Model Number: 674-602

The Dorman brand is known throughout the exhaust industry, as one of the most durable brand manufacturers of exhaust manifolds.

Dorman exhausts are long-lasting and heavy-duty. The Dorman 674-602 exhaust manifold will fit flawlessly on a 5.9L Cummins.

This manifold is of trustworthy design you can rely on.

If you care more about reliability than performance, it doesn’t really get more reliable than the Dorman 674-602 manifold.

This exhaust manifold works great with all the selected models it is meant to be used with.

And another key feature of the Dorman brand is variety. This brand is known for its variety of exhaust manifolds.

So, if you want a good performing and very durable 5.9L Cummins manifold better than stock the Dorman 674-602 is it.

The only issue with this exhaust manifold is that the kit doesn’t come with everything you need to install it.


  • Exact fit for 2000 RAM 2500
  • Works great


  • Needs Gaskets and Bolts
  • Not a Complete Kit

07. RDP Polished Stainless-Steel 5.9L Cummins Exhaust Manifold



  • 2003-2007 5.9L Cummins
  • Polished 304 Stainless Steel
  • Performance Stock Replacement
  • Better Engine Performance
  • Thick Wall Design
  • Better Exhaust Flow
  • Maximum Durability
  • Faster Turbo Spool Time
  • Lower EGTs


  • Manufacturer: Rudy’s Diesel
  • Brand: RDP
  • Weight: 25.2 pounds
  • Dimensions: 26.3 x 10.51 x 10.12 inches
  • Model Number: DD0144-P

The RDP DD0144-P exhaust manifold is a good replacement for your 5.9L Cummins stock manifold.

RDP is known to make good exhaust manifolds for the 5.9L Cummins engine.

This exhaust looks good with its polished stainless steel, and it performs well. Expect lower EGTs and a smile when you open that engine bay.

Since, this manifold is made from polished 304 stainless steel it is stronger than mild, and aluminum materials.

This RDP stainless steel manifold is tough and durable. The direct fitment of this exhaust also makes it an easy installation.

But before you can install it you will need to purchase longer studs. And the inside of the casting is kind of rough but is it not a big issue.


  • Good Performance
  • Lowered EGTs
  • Looks Good
  • Direct fit for 2004 Cummins
  • Would Recommend
  • Stronger than Stock


  • Rough Finish Inside Manifold
  • Turbo Flange is not Cut Correctly
  • Needs Longer Studs

08. 5.9L 5135788AC Exhaust Manifold



  • Quality Design
  • Ensured to Fit
  • Reliable Manifold
  • Dorman


  • Manufacturer: Parts Express
  • Model Number: 5135788AC

The 5.9L 5135788AC exhaust manifold is a good Dorman exhaust manifold for the 5.9L Cummins engine.

Even though Dorman isn’t the manufacturer of this model it is still under the Dorman brand.

If you are looking for something not too expensive like the top brand’s BD Diesel, brands of aFe, or ATS exhaust manifolds.

This Dorman exhaust is a great option for the price point.

If reliability is first and foremost on your list, this is another good reliable choice after the Dorman 674-602 and RDP DD0144-P manifolds.

And this exhaust will lower EGTs, improve backpressure, and improve performance.

So yes, it is better than a stock 5.9L Cummins manifold.

This manifold is manufactured to last long and improve the performance of the 5.9L Cummins engine.

After all, Dorman is known for durable exhaust manifolds.

You can expect great fitment for this exhaust manifold. Overall, this manifold gives you good durability with performance.


  • Good Value & Quality
  • Would Recommend
  • Fit Perfectly


  • No Issues or Complaints

09. APDTY 785713 Exhaust Manifold 



  • 1999-2002 Dodge RAM
  • 9 Dodge Cummins
  • OEM Factory Fit
  • For Parts 501417AC, 5014170AD,

5014170AE, & 5014170


  • Manufacturer: APDTY
  • Brand: APDTY
  • Weight: 14.57 pounds
  • Dimensions: 12.63 x 7.88 x 28.88 inches
  • Model Number: 785713

The APDTY 785713 exhaust manifold is a great OEM exhaust manifold for a 5.9L Cummins engine.

It is simply a good manifold that will work with all the selected models.

So, if you are in the market for an OEM exhaust manifold.

APFDTY 785713 is a good option to consider.

It isn’t premium by any means, but it will do what an exhaust manifold is meant to do.

It will make your engine work more efficiently.

So, if you are looking for a cheaper model that will work better than stock and give a decent performance for your 5.9L Cummins gives this exhaust a shot.

It won’t give as much performance or power as an ATS or aFe exhaust manifold or give you the durability of a Dorman or BD Diesel.

But it will be a good replacement for your 5.9 Cummins stock exhaust manifold.


  • Fits Great
  • Inexpensive
  • Overall Good Product


  • Rough Casting
  • No Bolts Included

10. JJ Original AK6BTPM24 5.9L Exhaust Manifold



  • 1999-2002 5.9L Cummins
  • 3-Piece Manifold
  • Moly-Bendum Ductile Iron Cast
  • T3 Flange
  • Eliminates Cracking & Leaking Issues
  • Extreme Heat Resistance
  • JJ Original Equipment


  • Manufacturer: JJ Original Equipment
  • Brand: JJ Original Equipment
  • Weight: 27 pounds
  • Dimensions: 10.5 x 10.5 x 6.5 inches
  • Model Number: AK6BTPM24

The JJ Original Equipment AK6BTPM24 exhaust manifold is a 3-piece design manifold.

This exhaust is not quite the best OEM exhaust manifold, but it works.

It will work better than the stock manifold on the 5.9L Cummins. Considering stock manifolds only consists of a 1-piece design.

The 3-piece design does improve on emissions flow out of the exhaust system.

So, you will get an increase in performance, lower EGTs, and less backpressure.

If you don’t want to spend extra money or buy from the actual diesel power source brands this a good exhaust for the 5.9L Cummins.

This manifold does give you more performance than stock.

The only downside to this model is that it is hard to install.

But that problem can be solved by going to a repair shop. And, this exhaust manifold does fit any 1999 to 2002 5.9L Cummins engines.


  • Great Quality
  • Good Fit


  • Difficult Installation
  • Requires Modifications

 How To Pick Best Exhaust For 5.9 Cummins

Whether you are looking for the best exhaust for 5.9 Cummins or the best sounding exhaust for 5.9 Cummins on the market.

Here are some buying considerations to take into account before purchasing an aftermarket exhaust manifold.

First, consider why you are looking for a replacement exhaust manifold.

For example, do you just need a suitable replacement for the 5.9 Cummins stock manifold? Or do you want an improvement in performance?

Or are you simply looking for a reliable exhaust manifold that will work better than stock?

Top manifolds

These questions are important to take into account because there is an exhaust manifold for every type of need.

You just need to identify exactly what you want.

If you care about the best all-around exhaust manifold, meaning the one that will give you the best performance with reliability and durability that would be the BD Diesel 1045987 Pulse exhaust manifold.

If you care about power and performance, the aFe 6460032 manifold or the ATS 2049202272 exhaust manifold are the best options.

Or If you want durability and long-lasting performance instead of performance enhancement, you should go with either the Dorman 674-602 exhaust or the RDP DD0144-P exhaust manifold.

And, if you just want an exhaust manifold that is durable and better than stock. Without spending top dollar, go with any of the OEM exhaust manifolds mentioned.


A pointer on OEM manifolds though is they are generally more work to install.

Because most OEM manifolds come with a few missing bolts or even a gasket, and they occasionally need a few modifications.

Because some of the components of the manifold are a little off sometimes.

Once they are on though, that 5.9L Cummins will be working more efficiently than with the stock manifold.


If you care about premium and quality, you should go with either a BD Diesel Pulse, aFe BladeRunner, or an ATS exhaust manifold.

The Dorman 674-602 is also a great option for the 5.9L Cummins engine.

To put it simply, every single exhaust manifold on this review is a good choice to replace a stock 5.9L Cummins manifold.

Although depending on which manifold you get, some of the kits don’t come complete with everything you need to install them as previously stated.

The exhaust manifolds that come with everything needed for installation are generally the BD Diesel, aFe BladeRunner, and ATS exhausts.

Even the Dorman exhaust manifold can be a complete kit.


If you are good at mechanical work and don’t mind making a few modifications here and there, the OEM manifolds will be relatively easy to install.

They might take some time to install, but if you know what you’re doing it shouldn’t be a problem.

And if you are an individual who prefers to buy complete kits and who doesn’t like to worry about doing any modifications.

Just do yourself a favor and buy a BD Diesel, aFe, or ATS exhaust manifold.


If you want to know why the best brands of aftermarket exhaust manifolds are BD Diesel, aFe brands, and ATS.

It is because they work great with the 5.9L American made Cummins diesel engine.

And all three of these manufacturers produce great products.

Doesn’t matter which brand you go with all three brands do improve the performance of the 5.9L Cummins engine.

Eliminated Issues

The aFe, BD Diesel, and ATS exhaust manifolds are also better than OEM manifolds because they are all heavy-duty constructed.

They flow better and eliminate any type of cracking and flexing issues.

So, the issues that arise from old stock manifolds like exhaust leaks, low boost pressure, and bad performance are eliminated with these aftermarket exhaust manifolds.


All these major issues come with age and constant use of the old stock manifolds.

So even the exhaust for 5.9 Cummins on this review can be prone to these issues.

But the good thing is that BD Diesel, aFe brands, and ATS exhaust manifolds last longer for maximum durability.

Because of the materials, they are made from stainless steel and Ductile Iron castings.

They are stronger than mild, aluminum, and stock exhaust manifolds.

Best Size Exhaust For 5.9 Cummins: FAQ’s

 What is the difference between an exhaust manifold and headers?

 Some primary differences to using exhaust manifolds are that they are inexpensive, lower backpressure, lower EGTs, and increase turbo spool and performance.

They are made of cast iron most of the time. Which isn’t the most durable material to use, but it is better than using stock exhaust manifolds.

Although, some are made from stainless steel. And even though exhaust manifolds can increase performance, lower EGTs, and lower back pressure better than stock manifolds.

They still tend to crack over time due to backpressure that is still created over time, because of the thickness in the designs of the aftermarket manifolds.

That doesn’t allow fuel toxic gases to pass very freely out of the exhaust system.

Headers eliminate this problem since they are made of stainless steel and are thinner than exhaust manifolds.

But, the thinness of headers creates another problem.

Headers tend to be a lot louder than exhaust manifolds, which can be a complete downside depending on an individual’s tolerance for exhaust noise.

Why do exhaust manifolds crack even if it is not stock?

Even though exhaust manifolds made by BD Diesel, the brand of aFe, and ATS are better than stock manifolds.

The original problem of time and wear and heating pressure of toxic gasses doesn’t completely go away with aftermarket exhaust manifolds.

They will still crack over time and your vehicle will still lose performance, and efficiency due to the constant use of the vehicle over time.

Now, even though the problem is not completely eliminated exhaust manifolds by BD Diesel, aFe and ATS will still work significantly better than stock manifolds.

Why should you upgrade from the stock exhaust manifold?

The main reason you should upgrade from the stock manifold is that stock manifolds are made of a 1-piece cast iron material compared to a 2-piece or 3-piece cast iron material found on BD Diesel, aFe, or ATS exhaust manifolds.

Since the 5.9L Cummins stock manifold is made of only a one-piece design this makes the cast iron shrink over time.

And by doing so the toxic gasses that are meant to leave the motor through the exhaust manifold and out the exhaust system tend to stay trapped.

And a build-up of heat or backpressure causes many heat cycles to occur in your vehicle over time.

This problem is common in the Cummins 12-valve. So, a 2-piece or 3-piece manifold, allows the heat build-up of toxic gasses to pass through and exit the exhaust system with better flow. In the process reducing heat temperatures and backpressure.

How long do aftermarket exhaust manifolds last?

Even though the life expectancy of exhaust manifolds varies from the driver, vehicle usage, and weather conditions.

The typical life of a premium exhaust manifold that is heavy-duty made can last about 8 years.

This will vary greatly though, on how you drive, and what weather conditions the vehicle is driven infrequently. So,

if you do plan on buying an aftermarket exhaust manifold for your 5.9L Cummins, make sure it is built for maximum durability.

How to tell if your exhaust manifold needs a replacement?

One of the most common issues with failing exhaust manifolds are cracks, breaks, and leaks.

These issues lead to an exhaust leak which causes the exhaust to become noisy.

Another way to tell if your manifold is failing is if you notice a decrease in power, acceleration, and fuel efficiency, meaning lower engine performance than usual.

This is a good sign your exhaust manifold is bad.

The third issue is if you notice a burning smell coming from the engine bay, it is probably because the manifold is having problems with the high amounts of heat that builds up from failing manifolds.

This excessive heat causes damage to electrical and plastic components.

Another thing to note is that exhaust manifolds are generally built to be heavy-duty for long-lasting performance.

But they are still prone to falling sooner than expected if the vehicle is put under high-stress conditions frequently.

What is the best way to install an exhaust manifold?

Now, chances are if you are searching for the best exhaust for 5.9 Cummins, you probably need to know how to install an exhaust manifold.

The best way to install a new exhaust manifold is by doing the opposite process of removing the old one.

First, you attach the gasket to the studs that are on the cylinder head, then install the same gasket underneath and in between the manifold and exhaust pipes.

Then, attach the new exhaust manifold to the exhaust pipes, and slide the manifold to the cylinder head studs.

After that tighten each nut on the cylinder head studs, then tighten the bolts on the exhaust manifold.

Now you reinstall the heat shield to the exhaust manifold, then reattach all the parts.

After that, refill the radiator with the appropriate coolant, and remove all tools and materials used for the installation.

Finally, reattach all the battery terminals.

What different materials are used in exhaust manifolds?

Depending on which brand or what type of exhaust manifold you go with, there are three main types of materials used in exhaust manifolds.

One is stainless steel either 409 or 304. The other is cast-iron, that over time through wear and tear tends to shrink leaving less room for the gasses of the engine to flow out efficiently.

The third material is heavy gauge steel which is thick steel, this kind of steel allows the exhaust manifold to be stronger than regular stock exhaust manifolds.

What is the price to repair an exhaust manifold, instead of buying a new one?

Typically, aftermarket exhaust manifolds range between $130-$400.

If you want to repair your exhaust manifold it will cost around $570-$900 depending on which repair shop you go to.

The majority of the high cost is because a repair shop will charge about $400 to $550 for labor alone.

So, basically, you would be paying more than a new aftermarket exhaust manifold to repair a stock exhaust manifold.

You should do yourself a favor and save money by just buying a new one.

What is the main purpose of the exhaust manifold?

An exhaust manifold is a place where the emissions or toxic gasses released from fuel-burning of the engine to generate power goes to.

And then the released toxic gasses go to the valves in your engine, once the emissions get to the valves they get further burned.

Then the exhaust manifold sends those gasses out to the rest of the exhaust system. By sending the emissions out the exhaust pipes.

So, without this component in the engine bay, your engine can’t further burn those emissions or release them out of the exhaust system.

Can a part within the exhaust manifold fail?

Yes, although the components of the stock exhaust manifold are supposed to last for the entire lifespan of a vehicle.

Sometimes the extreme heat temperatures that exhaust manifolds reach can be up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit, causing a gasket to get damaged.

Which you will then need to replace it because if you don’t this can cause other damages to the exhaust cylinder hardware.

Like valves, retainers, and keepers that will cause further damage to the motor.

What is an exhaust leak?

An exhaust leak is the toxic gasses or emissions that come from the motor after it burns through fuel to generate power.

When those toxic gasses leftover can’t exit the motor through the exhaust system correctly.

The motor of your vehicle can’t run properly and efficiently.

The exhaust manifold’s job is to hold these toxic gasses and store them until they are burned appropriately to exit the exhaust system.

So, when there is an exhaust leak the exhaust manifold doesn’t allow these toxic gasses to leave the motor like they need to.

Putting at risk other engine components or parts in the vehicle.

Review Summary

Whether you’re looking for a suitable replacement for that 5.9 Cummins stock manifold or you are just wondering about a potential upgrade.

The process of finding the right aftermarket exhaust manifold can be a painstaking frustration.

So, to summarize the product reviews, the best exhaust for 5.9 Cummins is the BD Diesel 1045987 Pulse exhaust manifold.

And the best sounding exhaust for 5.9 Cummins is the aFe 46-460012 BladeRunner exhaust manifold. is a participant of the Amazon Affiliate program. We may earn a small commission if you purchase through our recommended links. More details.

Leave a Comment