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Go Back   E46Fanatics > Tuning & Tech > Driveline, Engine & DME Tuning

Driveline, Engine & DME Tuning
Talk about driveline improvements, NA tuning and DME tuning your E46 BMW here. This includes diffs, intakes, exhausts, chips, software and OBD tuning.

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Old 01-20-2010, 10:34 PM   #1
95blkmax
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E46 328i Header Install

First thing's first- Thank you Hamann330ci for having put together that writeup! And thanks Alex "Supermeng" for helping me out with this project!

Well I started late and I got caught by the night. I called it a night after having torqued down the front header. Tomorrow I will pick it up at torquing down the rear header and reassemble the car.

I got these headers on Ebay and were $113shipped. They are not perfect (the secondary o2 bungs pointing the wrong way so as for me not to be able to put oxygen sensors... I sense a CEL coming on upon startup lol), but other than that, they were in great shape and all. For the imperfections that they may have, really you cant complain given the price. The welds were solid and flanges thick, collector was smooth and on the inside any highspots on the welding were grinded down already (Makes one wonder if $1400 Supersprint headers are REALLY worth the difference?... but that's a subject for another thread).

On to the good stuff!

I must say the factory M52TUB28 headers are freagging disgustingly restrictive!!!! Their design is something I'd expect to see on a Cummins turbo deisel in the sense that it's a common log very short and leading into a single chokepoint for the tube, it's ridiculous! (not to mention WOW they were heavy!)




Cleaned off the headers with brake parts cleaner, then started painting them with DEI Silicone paint...




Once 2 layers of DEI silicone paint went on the headers, I wrapped them with DEI exhaust wrap as much as I could reach (Dont mind my toes, I was wearing "Jesus-Sandals" lol)


No headers in the engine bay (It's a BMW! you KNOW I had my Heinekens for the beer-breaks )


Car as it sits right now


Tomorrow morning it should be finished up and I will post up pics soon as I can (I'm back at work tomorrow). I cant wait!!!
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Old 01-20-2010, 10:37 PM   #2
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The install will be better than the removal. Goodluck
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Old 01-20-2010, 11:23 PM   #3
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Thanks! Hey guys question!

What the heck do I do with the air pump? The writeup says nothing about re-installing it, but it also doesnt say for sure that I could throw it away. Also if I could leave it out, what do I do with the part that the hose goes to on the engine (the part that looks like it has a vacuum line going into it, at the front of the engine, to which goes the other end of the air pump's big hose)? Can that be just left open? I ask because I have no idea what the thing is. If I did I could figure it out and do as I please lol

Thanks for the help in advance!!!
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Old 01-20-2010, 11:37 PM   #4
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not sure...when I did mine it was just hooking up the o2 sensors on them and taht was a bout it. Well minus the stuff removed for the install.
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Old 01-20-2010, 11:45 PM   #5
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not sure...when I did mine it was just hooking up the o2 sensors on them and taht was a bout it. Well minus the stuff removed for the install.
So is the air pump present in your car right now or was it removed? If removed, is it ok to leave that thing on the frontside of the engine open? lol
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Old 01-21-2010, 11:16 PM   #6
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So is the air pump present in your car right now or was it removed? If removed, is it ok to leave that thing on the frontside of the engine open? lol
NEVERMIND about the air pump. Upon closer inspection with sunlight it became obvious that the thing has no connection to the headers (unlike on the 02 Camaro SS I came from that the airpump injects the air from the airbox right into the headers to heat up the cats...) I have no idea how the air gets routed after that big hose . Little by little, Im learning about this car lol

Anyways! Guys lesson learned lol. Some people get lucky with e-bay headers, and some do not. I was in the clear aside from the o2 bung issue from yesterday... until it came time to put on the engine mount... The DAMN PRIMARY sits too close! The writeup says that u may have to trim off some of the shield on the mount in order to get clearance but even with that it was waaay far off. Well I wasnt going to let that stop me. After all, Im the king of rigs around here in all my cars! Sooo I went downtown on the mount bracket with my grinder...







I actually went further than what this pic shows. I went to the top edge of that rivet just above where you see I grinded. And even STILL it was not fitting right (the bracket would not fit flush against the block at the top 2 bolts). It was lined up. So I thought ok... Im not going to force it because that's just asking to crack it.... AH!!! make some sort of spacer to go bet'n the bracket and the blockso that I could actually torque down the bolts with no fear of cracking the bracket!


One is in fact 3 washers superglued together just for ease to handle them when Im putting it into place (doing it with 3 individual washers would take me all day!), the other is actually a spacer for the Exhaust Gas Recirculator (EGR) of my old 95 Nissan Maxima (it pays off to keep all those misc parts!)

from the front


from the rear


Im not the type to whine and complain when something doesnt work. When Im this far into a project and I run into something, I MAKE it work at all costs

Hey here's one good thing about these e-bay headers! The flanges on the rear lined up pretty easily! The one closer to the pass side needed some encouragement from my "master key" (a 2ft crow bar ) but it wasnt anything to require going to a muffler shop like some have had to do.

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Old 01-21-2010, 11:22 PM   #7
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nice writeup
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Old 01-22-2010, 12:05 AM   #8
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lol indeed. Driving impressions so far have been gathered with street driving. Tomorrow I will have PLENTY of highway driving on it so I will come back with a full impression tomorrow night. But so far, I have a rasp at 3000-3500 that it sounds like the Hondas are on the march, then from 3500-redline it sounds like automotive sex. Mind you that I still have the stock muffler. But so far, I like it!
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Old 01-22-2010, 12:11 AM   #9
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Now all you need is a good exhaust and a good tune. The tune will get rid of your chk eng light and well it will optimize your headers so you don't run so lean. There will be a slight noise change after the tune but to me it was for the better. If you look enough on here you will get many great exhaust ideas. I personally have a Rouge Ikon and love it. Well enjoy those headers in the mean time!!!
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Old 01-26-2010, 11:25 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Now all you need is a good exhaust and a good tune. The tune will get rid of your chk eng light and well it will optimize your headers so you don't run so lean. There will be a slight noise change after the tune but to me it was for the better. If you look enough on here you will get many great exhaust ideas. I personally have a Rouge Ikon and love it. Well enjoy those headers in the mean time!!!
Thanks man. I wont change the exhaust for a while, I have other plans for it and it involves a full custom setup for both intake and exhaust (I wont talk about it for a while though, I dont plan on this for a good year while I do other things to the car like new struts/shocks and maybe a new set of wheels, my wheels weigh like boat anchors!). So until then I will be rocking the stock muffler lol.

OK! DRIVING IMPRESSIONS

After fixing that exhaust leak I had at the bottom flange... . The Honda-attack that was going on at 3000-3500rpm is gone! It BEGINS to rasp around there but it's a nice rasp (like a milled down, M3 with no cats sort of rasp) so I like it. According to the buttdyno there is more power everywhere. Off the line the response is great, revs much more freely throughout the powerband, after 3500 it moves noticeably better than with stock headers/cats. But you also notice it on normal street driving. Overall, Im very impressed by them.
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Old 01-26-2010, 11:33 AM   #11
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As of right now, this is how the underside of my car looks...

Upfront


Middle (yes both resonators were removed prior to doing my baseline dyno)



Rear


I may go dyno it either tomorrow or next week Weds. Depends on how good it goes at work today. I will buy a new thumbdrive so I could get both the runfiles from my baseline and also the post-headers dyno to overlay them and see exactly, with SAE #s, what the headers alone did to the powerband.... ACTUALLY, I might as well wait for next week! I ordered an intake off of ebay (yes I know it's not for power, but just for laughs and giggles, it was only $45 shipped anyways, plus it's going to sound great along with the headers). So ok, next weds, I do 3pulls on headers alone, change my intake over to the ebay intake, and see what that does if anything (again, just for laughs and giggles).

Stay tuned!
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:36 PM   #12
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Awesome write-up, pictures and feedback. Very encouraging for other looking to add headers to their car.
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Old 01-26-2010, 02:33 PM   #13
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You should do a true cold air intake, and not a short ram type. Make sure you have a good filter too, or it will foul your maf.
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:05 AM   #14
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Quote:
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Awesome write-up, pictures and feedback. Very encouraging for other looking to add headers to their car.
thanks!

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You should do a true cold air intake, and not a short ram type. Make sure you have a good filter too, or it will foul your maf.
It's supposed to be the "long" tube intake, not the short iddy one they have.
this one

But even still, like I said, it's not for power, it's for sound, so I dont care lol. It's all going to get changed around in a year so why complicate myself and spend more than what I have to . If you're curious as to what Im going to do with it... LOL This is a quick vid leaving a toll plaza when I had my Maxima on 6psi. At 9psi the turbine sound was just insane, I miss it :-P lol. But that's a conversation for another thread, on another day
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Old 01-29-2010, 04:56 PM   #15
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Great write-up!! Thanks for the helpful hits and pics. I just picked up a full ZHP cat-back and am getting 330 Headers from F1 Autohaus...can't wait!!
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Old 01-29-2010, 08:30 PM   #16
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Great write up, excellent pictures and hats off to you, I would never attempt a DIY like that. One question. I have just ordered my headers, from ebay (paid a bit more) and want to know. Does everyone wrap their headers? If so or not, why?
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Old 01-29-2010, 11:07 PM   #17
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Great write-up!! Thanks for the helpful hits and pics. I just picked up a full ZHP cat-back and am getting 330 Headers from F1 Autohaus...can't wait!!
Good stuff man! Just a pointer for the headers, the longest part for sure is removing the 32 dang nuts/studs (mine always came out with the stud) from the stock manifolds. They a bulky huge and get on your way, but dont give up. With a 3/8" drive ratchet and deep/short sockets, and also 1/4" drive ratchet with deep/short sockets, it's very much doable, but it will take time. Just dont get frustrated, EXPECT it to take a while.

Quote:
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Great write up, excellent pictures and hats off to you, I would never attempt a DIY like that. One question. I have just ordered my headers, from ebay (paid a bit more) and want to know. Does everyone wrap their headers? If so or not, why?
Thanks man.

Not everyone wraps their headers. It is beneficial to do so, but it has it's drawbacks.

Pros-
- Maintains the heat inside the tubing (greatly reducing under-hood temperatures)
- Promote scavenging effect by keeping the air hot and thus faster moving (due to rate of expansion of this hot air contrasted by a cooler temperature exhaust gas). On turbo'd engines wrap makes a big difference in spoolup times for example. On my Maxima I saw 700-800rpm QUICKER spoolup by just wrapping the exhaust leading up to the turbine

Con-
- It's made of fiberglass. If you have ever been up in an attic (insulation) or worked around boats, you may know that fiberglass (depending on how sensitive your skin may be) will cause you to itch like hell (doesnt do anything to me but a slight discomfort, but the forearms of the friend that was helping me looked like he allowed jellyfish to sting him LOL)
- DEPENDING on how you install the wrap, and the kind of metal the tube is made of, it may cause the pipe to corrode. Some people just buy headers, wrap them, and install them... WRONG! CLEAN the surface with brake parts cleaner and a shop towel; spray DEI silicone paint on the tubing to be covered by the wrap (this will act as a barrier in case moisture gets passed the wrap so it doesnt linger there on bare metal to rust it out); NOW wrap the tubing; after wrapping, go downtown with the DEI paint on the wrap itself (SOAK the paint into the fabric, this will act as an outer barrier to repel moisture for the most part from soaking the wrap and entering down to the metal). There you go.

This is in lameman's terminology here. If someone wants to nit-pick it and go at it with technical terminology go right ahead
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Old 02-03-2010, 01:48 PM   #18
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Dyno update!!!

Well not bad!



That is my best baseline dyno run(#3 blue), Vs my best post-headers run (#5 red), both on SAE #s of course.

PEAK GAINS-
WHP- 174 to 180= 6whp
WTQ- 185 to 189= 4wtq

NOTE-
Notice that after 6000rpm, the baseline run's WHP line plateau'd. Now with the headers, it is actually still increasing power at redline.

REDLINE GAINS-
WHP- 168 to 179= 11whp
WTQ- 136 to 145= 9wtq
******************************

From a Cost/Benefit Point of View-
Cost- Headers were $113shipped... that's it!

Benefit-
(redline) 11whp= $10.27/whp

Not bad! Especially with how ripped off the BMW client base is with some products just for the fact we drive BMWs, that so many companies think they can charge ridiculous prices.
***************************

It should be noted that the a/f mix is now much richer than before, so there is still WHP and WTQ to be gained from simple a/f tuning alone. Headers on this car (as with most other cars) are a great bolt-on, however to get the most out of it, they usually require some tuning.

From my experience tuning engines of various displacements, I could estimate that with air/fuel tuning alone this car could gain another 3-4whp at peak.

Hope this information helps someone out there!
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Old 02-03-2010, 02:43 PM   #19
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Old 02-03-2010, 06:55 PM   #20
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Something isn't right. You're car is not making optimal power at all, considering the stock manifold has a drop off past 6000rpm. I'd say a bit of tuning could get you more than 4whp...
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