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Old 09-18-2012, 12:44 AM   #1
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325i decent sounding exhaust without bribing the emissions guy.

Just as the title says; what's a decent sounding exhaust that will pass emissions? A friend of mine has headers on his 325i and it sounds great but won't pass emissions. What do you guys think would be a good setup?
Thanks, Geirsen.
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Old 09-18-2012, 01:05 AM   #2
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Old 09-18-2012, 03:04 AM   #3
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Old 09-18-2012, 04:38 AM   #4
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Can we go back a bit? If it won't pass emissions, changing the exhaust won't help...unless in Canada, they fail it for loudness as part of the emissions test.

If your 'friend' removed the 02 sensors, then you either need to put them back, or figure out some electronic way to emulate the 02 sensor output so the car thinks it has them. If you have them and are still failing...the cat might be bad (or gone) and need to be replaced...and the warranty on cats is many years here...your 'friend' might be covered up there too.

When you replace one part of our car to get better something or other, you often then start a domino effect and can only get the car to work right when you've toppled all the dominos and made the car wrong...very wrong...then all will be right again!
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Old 09-18-2012, 12:20 PM   #5
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If you keep the stock headers then you shouldn't have a problem passing emissions no matter what exhaust you install since the cats are built into the stock headers.

Now regarding the sound, it's all up to you on how you define "decent". Search for clips on youtube and check out what you like best.
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Old 09-18-2012, 12:51 PM   #6
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If you keep the stock headers then you shouldn't have a problem passing emissions no matter what exhaust you install since the cats are built into the stock headers.

Now regarding the sound, it's all up to you on how you define "decent". Search for clips on youtube and check out what you like best.
This is what I was leaning more towards, the only problem is that it's hard to find a decent quality sound clip.

Would just swapping the muffler give me sound I can hear in the cabin? Or will it be suppressed?
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Old 09-18-2012, 01:01 PM   #7
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This is what I was leaning more towards, the only problem is that it's hard to find a decent quality sound clip.

Would just swapping the muffler give me sound I can hear in the cabin? Or will it be suppressed?
I have a Supersprint muffler, which is known to be a quiet exhaust, and I can still hear it in the cabin.
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Old 09-18-2012, 01:13 PM   #8
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Old 09-18-2012, 04:47 PM   #9
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I had a Dinan on my 325, sounded good. Mine was a M56 so it came with the 330 exhaust. I think the Dinan sounded much better. Try to pick up a used one like I did.
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Old 09-18-2012, 04:51 PM   #10
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Just as the title says; what's a decent sounding exhaust that will pass emissions? A friend of mine has headers on his 325i and it sounds great but won't pass emissions. What do you guys think would be a good setup?
Thanks, Geirsen.
If the car has a working CAT, it will pass emissions no matter how good or bad it sounds. You are asking about modifications behind the CAT, and those modifications have no affect on smog. You could remove the exhaust from the CAT to the bumper and still pass smog. It would not be very pleasant for you or anybody within about a block, but the smog would be okay.

Your friend took his CATs off. There is no good reason to take the CATs off of a street car. A track car, maybe, but not a street car. So, unbolt the exhaust system from the CATs and replace it if you want, just leave the manifolds and CATs alone.

Last edited by jdstrickland; 09-18-2012 at 04:54 PM.
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Old 09-18-2012, 05:43 PM   #11
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Can you go straight pipes from the cat and pass emissions? Usually there's a visual aspect of the inspecition, at least in CA, right?
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Old 09-18-2012, 05:50 PM   #12
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Can you go straight pipes from the cat and pass emissions? Usually there's a visual aspect of the inspecition, at least in CA, right?
Technically you can go straight pipes if you want as long as you don't touch the OE Catalytic converters, so most catback systems will be 100% fine, you'll just have to leave your headers in place since that's where your cats are.



So honestly, If you want something conservative, I'd take a look at the first option. If you want something that sounds deeper and will give you more power since it's a cat back, then look at the second option:


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Mill-finished pipes and muffler, mirror polished dual 3" angle cut, double-walled, staggered tips.
Entire exhaust utilizes TIG welded construction
Deep tone (stock center resonator is retained)
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Adjustable mounting positions allow variable positioning with aftermarket bodywork
Can be clamped or welded (because factory exhaust must be cut, professional installation recommended)



aFe MACH Force XP Exhaust System BMW E46 325i/330i

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Old 09-18-2012, 05:58 PM   #13
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I have a Supersprint muffler, which is known to be a quiet exhaust, and I can still hear it in the cabin.
Is a supersprint quieter than stock?

Im honestly looking for a cheap way to get a louder sound that isn't ricey. If I can get a deeper tone, that would be great too. Can I achiever this just by replacing the muffler? Or will I have to go further back?
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:24 PM   #14
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Some of those systems posted above look great. Other popular brands you can search are Remus,and Billy Boat. The Remus is usually a deeper tone muffler.


Edit: Also a muffler alone will likely get the results you want. Replacing the pipes further back typically eliminate the resonator and that is the part that keeps the rasp (ryce) in check. Leave those stock,you can always swap them out later if you want.
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:27 PM   #15
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Eisenmann race cat-back was good on my 325ci. This was their race muffler and mid-pipes:

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Old 09-19-2012, 09:16 AM   #16
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Old 09-19-2012, 06:20 PM   #17
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This sounds nice, Im just worried it'll be too loud.
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Old 09-20-2012, 04:42 AM   #18
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Is a supersprint quieter than stock?

Im honestly looking for a cheap way to get a louder sound that isn't ricey. If I can get a deeper tone, that would be great too. Can I achiever this just by replacing the muffler? Or will I have to go further back?
Supersprint is louder and sounds deeper than stock. It's got a nice, deep, German accent. Definitely not ricey. If you find it too quiet for your taste, you can always remove one or both resonators.
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Old 09-28-2012, 11:21 AM   #19
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I'm thinking of going with a muffler delete and just keeping the rest stock for the time being. Just so I don't get screwed, what would be a reasonable price to have this done?
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Old 09-28-2012, 11:38 AM   #20
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Can you go straight pipes from the cat and pass emissions? Usually there's a visual aspect of the inspecition, at least in CA, right?
The emissions test in California only looks at the CATs and the emissions. The test does not care what comes after the CATs, and there could be nothing and the car would still pass emissions. The noise makes problems, but emissions will be okay. The Smog Police do not look for a muffler, they only look for the CATs. Well, they also look for the necessary sensors and such, but they do not look for a muffler. The cops don't like the muffler to go away because this usually causes the noise to be above some acceptable limit.
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