Here is the thing IMHO-
Exhaust - $500 - 20-30hp, maybe? No gain in MPG
, and very little satisfaction/dollar. You already have a muffler, so you probably have the sound you're after. Your EGTs
aren't a problem on the stock tune, and never will be, so the exhaust is just laying a foundation for future modifications, of which yours will be basic and don't need a full exhaust to truly benefit from.
Tuner - 100hp. MPG
gains depend on your right foot, and the tuner. Instant gratification. With a close eye on your EGT
gauge, you can really, really enjoy every dollar you spent. Towing will be a pleasure with the additional power. Spend $30 on a boost gauge that reads up to 35psi and be on your way. Enjoy the new power, no regrets.
I still haven't put an exhaust on the truck and I have 250/200 injectors, a tuner and an intake. My EGTs
are completely under control.
If anyone had $500 kicking around and wanted to put something on the truck, I always start with a tuner. It will satisfy the need for more power. It will open your eyes to the potential performance of the truck, and either make you want more, or just leave you with a perma grin.
If you wanted to throw a grand at it... then tuner and meth. lol. Or Tuner and exhaust.