Pieces of a Ford Ranger exhaust include a catalytic converter, damper, manifold and a muffler. Additional pieces used throughout the exhaust system include brackets, nuts, studs and gaskets.
The purpose of a catalytic converter is to convert harmful emissions, like carbon monoxide, into less harmful elements, such as water, carbon dioxide and nitrogen. State and federal regulations require all vehicles to have catalytic converters and other emissions control devices. The Environment Protection Agency enforces these regulations and failure to comply with them is punishable by law.
An exhaust damper regulates a vehicle's engine temperature. It does so by controlling the speed of the exhaust coming from the engine. When an engine is cold, the damper closes to keep in the heat. When an engine starts to get warmer, the damper opens to let the heat escape.
The combustion process of a vehicle's engine produces burned fuel residue that becomes exhaust gases. An exhaust manifold removes those gases from the engine cylinders and sends it out through the exhaust system. Over time, the heating and cooling of the engine creates cracks in the manifold and leaking exhaust through those cracks is hazardous to the engine and negatively affects engine performance.
A muffler reduces exhaust noise as it escapes the engine and manifold. Mufflers use baffles to bounce around the exhaust. This process disperses the energy being released, consequently quieting it.