The BMW E46 ///M3 is the M version E46 and puts out an amazing 333 HP and 262 lb-ft of torque at stock specs! There are an amazing amount of modifications for both the coupe and convertible models so read up and get started modifying your cars today!
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|03-02-2015, 04:46 AM||#1|
E46 M3 Definitive Exhaust Guide
I've been fascinated (or at times disappointed) with the various exhaust options available for the E46 M3, and at times obsess over the various details of the construction of the available systems. However, through this I was able to learn a lot about the available exhaust components for the E46 and figure this would help others when choosing a solution for their car. This actually took a lot longer than I anticipated, but it should have a fairly up to date list of exhausts made for the E46 M3.
Feel free to let me know if there are any I missed. I can also add video links to it (with everyones help!).
A few tips for those who are not up to date with the lingo or don't know the layout of the stock exhaust system.
The M3 exhaust is laid out in the following pathway:
Headers - Section 1 - Section 2 - Section 3
It's designed by Arvin-Meritor and their white paper can be seen here:
US cars came with the 200-cell cats built into the header contain 1 EGT bung, 2 pre cat and 2 post cat sensor bungs.
Euro cars came with headers without cats built into them. The factory cats are located in section 1.
This is the section immediately after the headers, and consists of a pair of parallel S-pipes.
US cars came with only one resonator.
Euro cars came with 200-cell catalytic converters and EGT bungs built into section 1. CSL euro cats are lighter due to thinner piping for weight saving purposes.
Longer portion of the mid section that connects to the muffler. There is a factory H-Pipe crossover in the beginning of this section, and a tiny straight through resonator halfway down on this section.
This is the actual muffler, including tips. The stock muffler weighs 56lbs and the CSL is claimed to be lighter 5-10lbs lighter. The muffler is not valved internally and is a very good flowing muffler. It features perforated tubes and one crossover chamber.
Table Of Contents:
US Factory Headers
Price: Seen these go for as low as $100.
Notes: Removal and/or further downstream relocation of catalytic converters improves sound and power.
Price: $550 - $750
Notes: Guaranteed perfect fit. Doesn't gain the most power, doesn't gain the least but you won't run into fitment issues as it's OE. Same design as US headers, with maybe slightly longer primaries.
Achilles Equal Length Headers
Notes: Truly equal length, but look to be one of the best made headers for the S54.
Active Autowerke Headers
Notes: Polished. AA is several generations into this now. I'm not too familiar with the past ones, but I think they are on generation 4 or 5 now.
aFe Twisted Steel Headers
Notes: This is a rather recent release. Looks promising.
Agency Power Headers
Price: $900 - $1200 new and $500 - 650 used
Bimmerworld 'PaceSetter' Headers
Notes: Made for BW by Jet-Hot. Comes ceramic coated.
BMW PTG Race Headers
Notes: Inconnel and oversized. No one on this forum has installed this to my knowledge.
Price: $100 - $600
Notes: Ebay headers are a hit or miss. M3ANONE headers are eBay headers modified by a forum member to fit correctly. He also coats them. JVT are slightly better than non-brand ebay headers, but are still ebay headers which are a hit or miss in general.
CPI Single Step Headers
Notes: This is one of the most recent E46 M3 performance product releases.
Epic Motorsports Headers
Notes: Odd header design from Europe. Can be found on the German ebay site.
Dixis Spirit Headers
Price: $3000 - $10,000+
Notes: Full titanium and Inconnel are also available.
Kromer Kraft Headers
Notes: Mysterious custom header that is claimed to be used in this video, to achieve the sound.
A better picture is below, but it's for an S5x engine. However, design is for the most part similar.
Macht Schnell Performance Headers
Turner Equal Length Stepped Header
Notes: I think it's been discontinued as it's no longer on their site.
Race Marquee Systems 'RMS' Headers
Price: Used around $1100
Notes: Huge oversized 2.5", large primaries, comes with reducer to adapt to stock section 1. Designed mainly for FI applications.
RD Sport Headers
Price: $695 (shipped from Europe)
Notes:Made in Europe, similar to RD Sport design.
Sound of Speed Headers
Notes: Made in Italy.
Status Gruppe Headers
Notes: Made in the USA.
*Supersprint is a little confusing because they have two piping sizes for their headers and section 1 counterparts. Stock diameter is 2.25" (adequate for most, even for low boost FI and compatible with stock headers and section 1) and their oversized increases the headers to 2.5" along with a matching 2.5" section 1.
Supersprint Stainless Steel Headers
Price: ~ $1800 new and $800 - $1200 used.
Notes: Stock replacement, works with stock section 1.
Supersprint Stepped Headers Version 1
Price: ~ $2800 new and $1200 - $1500 used.
Notes: The V1 is Supersprint's first stepped header design in the oversized 2.5 diameter tubing. This requires a oversized section 1 to mate to it. SS makes a 2.5" section 1 with optional hi-flow cats.
Supersprint Stepped Headers Version 2
Price: ~ $2800 new and $1200 - $1500 used.
Notes: The V2 was made after enthusiasts requested that the same stepped header was to be made in a 2.25" setup, which allowed it to be compatible with the stock section 1, and many other options.
Here is a comparison between the two. Top: V2 w/ Supersprint Race Cats. Bottom: V1 w/ Supersprint S-Pipes.
VAC by Fabspeed
Last edited by AzNbO187; 03-02-2015 at 03:14 PM.
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|03-02-2015, 04:47 AM||#2|
Notes: Dual-round straight through resonators, with a H-crossover.
CPI RTX w/ HFC
Notes: Comes with 200 or 400 cell HFC.
CPI RTX w/ AA HFC
Notes: Comes with ultra 100-Cell Active Autowerke HFC, with a H-crossover.
CPI Euro Style Resonated w/HFC
Notes: Euro style with 200-cell HFC. No crossover, same configuration as OE Euro/CSL style but with a pair of resonators.
CPI Euro Style w/HFC
Notes: Euro style with HJS certified HFC. No crossover, same configuration as OE Euro/CSL style.
Meisterschaft Section 1 Unresonated
Notes: Not to be confused with Eisenmann. This is made by GTHAUS, uncertain if still available new.
Price: $60 - $300
Notes: It's common to add a second resonator to the US section 1, to get the same result as the resonated aftermarket section 1's. Make sure the ID is 2.25".
Rogue Engineering Rasp Pipe
Notes: Uses two skinny bottle style resonators.
Status Gruppe Tuning Resonated
Notes: Utilizes two individual, round, 2-piece resonators.
Status Gruppe Tuning Un-resonated
Status Gruppe Tuning HFC
Notes: 200-cell, 400-cell, and 400-cell CA compliant available.
Supersprint Section 1 V1
Notes: Meant to mate to SS Stepped V1 2.5" headers. Uses slip on connectors between headers/section 1.
Supersprint Section 1 V1 w/HFC
NoteS: Meant to mate to SS Stepped V1 2.5" headers. 200-cell HFC.
Supersprint Section 1
Notes: Compatible with stock headers and stock section 2.
Supersprint Section 1 w/HFC
Notes: Compatible with stock header diameter and stock section 2. 200-cell HFC.
Agency Power Section 2
Notes: Replaces stock section 2, 2.25", eliminates factory cross-over and factory resonator. This piece is true dual all the way through.
CPI X-Stream Section 2
Notes: Similar design to Supersprint X-Pipe, Rogue Engineering and Status Gruppe, but with 3.25" diameter piping.
Notes: Dual titanium section 2. No resonators or crossover, true dual.
Larini Section 2 Pipe Resonated
Price: $400 - $500
Notes: Small resonator, similar in size to SS Resonated X-Pipe. Also 3" center section.
Meisterschaft Section 2
Price: $400 - $800
Notes: Stainless steel and titanium versions available. Fairly rare piece to come across. Made by GTHAUS and possibly discontinued.
Rogue Engineering w/optional EVC
Price: $600 (+$300 for EVC)
Notes: Same concept as SS, SGT, and CPI but with optional electronic cutout, right before the muffler. Also uses 3" diameter piping.
Sound of Speed Section 2 X-Pipe
Notes: X-Pipe crossover, no resonators on this unit.
Supersprint Section 2 X-Pipe
Notes:Single 3" pipe configuration with two y-merges on each end. Compatible with stock section 1 and stock muffler.
Supersprint Section 2 X-Pipe w/ Resonator
Notes: Same as above with a single, small round resonator. Compatible with stock section 1 and stock muffler.
Status Gruppe Tuning X-Pipe
Notes: Same design as SS, CPI, RE. 3" center section diameter. Replaces section 2.
Status Gruppe Tuning X-Pipe Resonated
Notes: Comes with a single bottle style resonator. 3" center section diameter. Replaces section 2.
Notes: Features X-Pipe crossover vs OEM H-Pipe. Also dual bottle resonators instead of the tiny OEM resonator.
Section 1 & 2 Combo
Borla Midpipe V2
Notes: Replaces Section 1 and 2, cannot be used individually. Factory h-pipe is replaced with x-pipe and single oval resonator with dual in, dual in straight through internals is used. The V1 did not have the x-crossover seen in the second section originally and users suffered from power loss.
Borla Midpipe V2 w/HFC by CPI
Notes: Same as above, but CPI adds two 200-cell HFC to the configuration.
Notes: 2.5" piping with dual resonators replaces section 1 and section 2. Appears to have no cross-over section, keeping it a true-dual setup all the way until the muffler.
|03-02-2015, 04:48 AM||#3|
Section 3 - Muffler
Notes: Comes with dual "quad" tips that are in the shape of a figure 8.
Notes: I think they are on their 6th Version now?...AA seriously needs to just make a version they are happy with.
Price: $1200 new and $600 - $750 used
Notes: Agency Power made two versions of their muffler. The first (discontinued) being dual oval canisters (similar to the SS Race) and the latter being the dual parallel canisters (possibly a replica of the MXP).
Notes: Stainless steel exhaust from Japan. Very unique construction. Available in quad tip and dual tip.
Price: $1200 new and $300 - $600 used.
Notes: Very low and rumbly. Fairly loud muffler.
Price: $2000 new and $700 - $900 used.
Notes: Less aggressive note. Various tip styles available.
Price: $2000 new and $700 - $900 used.
Notes: Internal muffler construction features are very similar to the E46 M3 OEM muffler. The main differences are the lack of an "section 1" which is present on the OEM muffler. Also, all internal pipes are perforated on the length that runs parallel to the muffler shell, unlike the OEM muffler which features a non-perforated for the inner two exhaust tips. Mixing chamber also appear larger. Various tip styles available.
Price: $1400 new, $600 - $800 used.
Notes: Single wall, satin black tips. Driver side tips are non-functional. Muffler internal construction features parallel perforated tubes, running horizontal like the muffler. Perforated tubing is a step larger in diameter for the 1/3 closest to the inlet of the muffler. No perforation on the bends of the pipe.
Dixis Spirit Titanium
Price: $1500 - $2000 used.
Notes: Titanium. Aggressive, but one of the milder titanium mufflers available. Beautiful pie cuts, and strong unit despite the titanium construction.
Filthy Habits Fabrication
Notes: Valved exhaust with beautiful hand-made turn downs. Various sound levels available as they are made to order.
Gruppe M Titanium
Notes: Titanium. Minimal sound deadening. Very close to straight pipes, slightly more refined, but still very loud.
HPF Exhaust Titanium
Price: $800 - $1200
Notes: Full titanium. No resonators or mufflers. Nothing more than titanium piping and some muffler tips here.
JIC Cross Titanium
Notes: SS version also available for roughly $1800.
JIC Cross Dual Canister Titanium
Notes: One of two JIC titanium muffler designs.
Kreissieg F1 Valvetronic
Notes: Valve operated muffler. Essentially straight piped once the valves are open as it bypasses the muffler completely.
Price: $1150 new and $900 used.
Notes: This rather rare exhaust features a unique X-merge prior to splitting off into two separate canisters. The canisters are straight through with a single chamber.
Meisterschaft Stainless Steel
Price: $1600 new and $500 - 600 used.
Notes: Fairly hard piece to come by, mounting brackets had some issues.
Price: $2400 new, $500 - $600 used.
Notes: Rare titanium muffler. Lower price due to bracket issue and the fact that titanium is a more complex metal to weld.
Notes: Same dual canister design as AP, SGT, and MXP. Some concern on small fitment issues with tips pointing down. Megan also makes matching Section 1 with dual resonators and a section 2, however, reviews are mixed on the mid-section.
Price:$2000 new and $800 - $1000 used.
Notes: Milltek also makes a section 2, with a long X-crossover and a medium sized oval resonator. This mates up to a stock section 1.
Milltek - Large Canister
Price: $2000 new and $800 - $1200 used.
Notes: Milltek made two versions of their muffler. The large canister version also is compatible with their section 2 mid-pipe.
MXP Dual Canister
Notes: Dual canister design also found on Agency Power and SGT. Unclear who the originator is, but all three brands seem to have good quality parts. Uncertain about eBay non-brands and their quality.
MXP Single Canister
Notes: Imported from Japan. Replicas exist on ebay under ztek/ssauto.
OEM Muffler Modification
Notes: There are tons of ways to modify the stock muffler. Some hit, some miss. Here is how the stock internals look like exposed.
Notes: Recent arrival from England.
Sound of Speed
Status Gruppe Tuning
Notes: Various tip options available. Same design as Megan and Agency Power, but with better QC and possibly better muffler internals. Internals appear straight through, a la resonator style.
Status Gruppe Tuning - Scorza
Notes: SGT bought Scorza and their original muffler design. Improved internal rattle construction via floating piping to allow heat cycle movement. One exhaust pipe passes through the canister once, while the other receives a double-penetration for eargasm! Yeah!
Notes: Quietest out of the three trim levels.
Notes: Most aggressive out of the three SS options.
Notes: Comes with 90mm tips which is one of the largest available.
Notes: More recent release from Remus with some seriously sweet tips.
Notes: Various tip choices available when ordering new. Also available in over-sized diameter which produces slightly lower note. Based on Dixis Spirit design. Internal canister construction features two perforated pipes all the way through, no crossover no baffles.
Price: $1400 - $2000
Notes: Replica of Powerhouse Amuse system, also made out of full titanium.
|03-02-2015, 04:48 AM||#4|
Price: $250 - $600
Notes: Stainless Steel eBay replica of the Gruppe M Titanium exhaust. Hit or miss as there are various versions of it and most use low quality resonators that do not do much silencing. Essentially a straight pipe setup with minimal noise reduction.
Notes: Limited batch made by Southern California shop. No longer manufactured.
Price: $2500 new, $700 - $900 used.
Notes: Made in Italy. Tubi also makes exhaust systems for exotics such as Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc). A matching section 2 is also available, removing the factory H-Pipe and replacing it with a x-pipe and adding two bottleneck resonators.
Price: $1000 - $1200 new depending on resonator/options. ~$800 used.
Notes: 27lbs. Strictly for race use only. Seriously.
Notes: Came out more recently than the Sport Exhaust.
Borla Sport Exhaust
Notes: Comes with 4xdouble walled round tips or dual oval-rolled tips.
Fluid Motor Union
Price: Made to order.
Notes: These are custom, hand-made to order. This setup utilized a single 3.5" midsection, Vibrant mufflers, and custom single walled exhaust tips.
Dixis Single Titanium
Notes: This is a section 2 and muffler setup made of full titanium by Dixis. Requires rear diffuser as it doesn't utilize the factory exhaust outlets.
Kreissieg F1 Valvetronic
Notes: Another version of the Kreissieg F1 Valvetronic that merges into a single pipe setup and replaces both the muffler and section 2.
Price: $1000 new and $500 - $700 used
Notes: Very interesting exhaust system. Replaces Section 1 with a single oval resonator with dual in, dual out internals, no crossover. Section 2 features a MF stamped tru-x crossover and loses the H-Pipe and mini resonator. Sound is a bit rough and raspy, especially with headers. A MF Tru-X Muffler in place of the Tru-x pipe should remedy that.
Price: Made to order.
Notes: Comes as a full exhaust system with section 1, 2 and muffler. Designed for FI applications, but can be used for N/A.
Powerhouse Amuse Titanium
Price: $4500+ new and $3500 used
Notes: Full titanium section 2 and muffler. Imported from Japan and extremely rare. Comes in dual/quad tip configuration. Utilizes H-crossover.
Price: Made to order.
Notes: Custom, high precision exhaust featuring a 3" single pipe midsection and a total of three low-profile, long taper resonators.
|03-05-2015, 08:11 PM||#6|
Join Date: Jun 2014
My Ride: invisible car
Wow this is awesome. I spent about 45min reading every single description. All of those images should be backed up for safe keeping and this thread stickied.
Giubo. G I U bo. Pronounced joo-boh. Don't allow yourself to sound ignorant.
|03-05-2015, 09:03 PM||#8|
Join Date: Feb 2009
My Ride: m Twee lol
This is crazy awesome.
Rock Hard Abs Racing
Agency Power Headers!
email@example.com for outside contacting
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|06-18-2015, 11:16 PM||#10|
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Germany Freilassing & USA Arizona
My Ride: BMW E46 M3
I've done PTG headers
The BMW street engine is known as the S54B32 producing approximately 333HP. The BMW factory works race engine at BMW AG Motorsport division is known as the P54B32 producing 420HP and if it's the EVO P54B32 producing 435HP. This engine was delivered to the original BMW works team PTG who further modified it with a stroke 3.4 L to produce 468HP with 338 ft. pounds of torque. This power was right on the line with the torque ability of the HEWLAND 6 speed used on these factory works E46 M3 GT race cars. Did you know that BMW AG Motorsport refers to the S50B32 engine used in the late 1990's as the P50B32, this engine was also stroked to a 3.4 liter by the BMW works team PTG. While we are talking about exhaust systems the BMW works team started the side pipe exhaust trend on the BMW E36 M3GT ALMS race cars. Another fun forum fact, did you know the very first BMW E36 M3 GTR race car made its official debut in 1993 in Europe with BMW works team Schnitzer Motorsport GmbH?_nr_
|06-19-2015, 05:30 PM||#11|
Join Date: Aug 2012
My Ride: E46 M3 Cabrio
E46 M3 Definitive Exhaust Guide
Amazing dedication here for a ture race machine that is reborn with each new owner. The e46 M3 will go down/has already gone down in history as the true drivers car that is widely available.
One thing I would add to this amazing write up, which I believe you mentioned, is a video link for the section 3s as well as a source/hyperlink where to buy.
In no way am I knocking the amount of work that went into this, people should be grateful. I am simply saying that this is a great foundation to an information archive to all new comers for the e46 M3 platform.
I would be willing to help with it as well, pm me if you would like.
Great work man!
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Last edited by Chello_335XD_MC; 06-19-2015 at 05:31 PM.
|06-29-2015, 09:09 AM||#12|
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: San Diego/Las Vegas
My Ride: 2004 BMW M3
hmm, any full exhaust system that includes the headers as well? anyways good list, now I got an idea which to buy once I get a M3 by the end of the year.
anyways this thread should be stickied, just saying =P
Last edited by erickrayos; 06-29-2015 at 09:10 AM.
|07-17-2015, 05:21 PM||#14|
|07-17-2015, 08:11 PM||#15|
Join Date: Feb 2003
My Ride: 2006 M3 ZCP
Sticky this please!!!
2011 X5 Sport
2006 ZCP M3
Gone but not forgotten
2006 C6 corvette
1995 Nissan Maxima (where my user name came from)
2002 Nissan Maxima
|08-16-2015, 10:31 AM||#16|
Thank you for your time and all this info!!
Very nice and helpful thread!!
I want more rasp/tiny/metal sound!!
Euro spec exhaust system.
What exhaust mods do you suggest at a reasonable cost and without negative affects on performance?
Which part of the M3 exhaust produces the rasp sound in the S54 M3 E46?
|08-17-2015, 12:19 AM||#18|
Last edited by zaharias; 08-17-2015 at 12:19 AM.
|13th letter, e46 m3, exhaust|
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