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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 06-30-2010, 04:36 PM   #1
mvrk10256
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Post MVRK - The Updated "Everything You Need to Know About Ebay Headers" Thread

Now I have picked up a lot of information in the last few months, i improperly installed ebay headers, reinstalled stocks, and am now going to install ebay headers correctly. If i had a thread like this it would have saved me a ton of time and money. while this site is a great source of information, it can be sometimes hard to find the correct information. So after all my research and purchases I have decided to make a new thread to go over the entire project inclusively. I am not making a DIY on how to do anything I am simply putting together some FAQ answers and a shopping list. Hope this helps out.


PS DO YOURSELVES A FAVOR AND READ THIS WHOLE THREAD, THERE IS USEFUL INFO ON THE SECOND PAGE.

First of all if you have no idea what any of this is please read this. It is known as Kpeng's thread. it contains a lot of good information even if it is a little outdated. so please read this first.

FAQ


1. Maks who should I buy from? Will it fit?

there are a few different ways to go about this. "surewinproducts" seems to be the dominent ebay seller right now and they sell quality products. generally they cost about $95 shipped to your door. however keep your eyes out for their auctions and you can get a set as cheap at $51 shipped.

the other option is to be part of a group buy. I think the F1 autohouse GB is closed but Anthony@BimmerBrakes is doing another one now. he is a good guy and will take care of you, but it will be more expensive. Here is the link. Good guy to deal with.

The cheap headers fit just fine but you can only put o2 sensors in the two lower bungs. but it will fit with no modification.


2. Ok I have bought the headers but I have no clue how to install them please help?!?!?!

this DIY is pretty good. scroll down a little to see pics. if you have specific questions please pm me, but like i said I AM NOT making a DIY on this.

3. I dont want a CEL light, I wanna pass inspection blah blah blah....

sure. we all do. Here is a DIY that will allow you to pass inspection. Just do what he did. A note on buying the o2 sim. o2sim.com has TERRIBLE customer service, plus the sim i got from them was not the appropriate one for my car, never managed to even talk to them. Buy the one from Anthony, he is a good guy, a strong forum rep, and an excellent vendor.


4. So you told me i would get a complete shopping list....

I did. here it is. the prices listed are approximate but it will help you get an idea. I listed parts numbers for a 323i. if you have a different car i suggest you visit RealOEM. when it comes to things like gaskets I always go OEM, you can use the ebay sh1t for cheaper but I do not recommend it.

HEADER INSTALL PARTS:
1 x Ebay headers $51
2 x exhaust manifold to header gasket + heatshield (11621732969) - $41.92 each
2 x header to exhaust gasket (18301436334) - $12.63 each
16 x header nuts (11721437202) - $.78 each
16 header studs (11127506203) - $.38 each
2 x bolts and nuts for connection between header and exhaust - (11621427586 - bolts: 18301737774 - nuts) $.99 each - (Can substitute Grade 8, M10-40 bolts)
1 tube of red locktite - $3


o2 SIMULATOR INSTALL PARTS (electronics and relocation stuff)
1 x o2 sim from Anthony at BimmerBrakes.com - $40
1 x small project box from radioshack - $3
1 x double sided tape
2 x 18mm 1.25 pitch nuts (muffler shop) - $5
1 x small socket box + cover - $5


Real life cost for everything is about $220.


Pictures of all the necessary stuff (or almost all of it) can be found here.

5. Maks, some people told my car will be super loud. is this true?

Loud is an opinion. For example for about 4 months i drove around with oem headers with reused ebay gaskets (cheap much?). Today when i went under the car there was basically a half cm gap between my headers and exhaust . so basically a dump. I didnt think it was that loud just kinda drony. I used new oem gaskets and tightened everything down, and my car is actually quieter than my buddies with stock headers and stock gaskets (never been touched) so whoever says headers are loud probably has an exhaust leak. So my car is OEM quite. Eurospec Muffler in the future i think

6. Tell the truth. Any negatives?
Not really. The only thing I noticed was a faint smell of gasoline when idleing for a longer period of time. No cats so this makes sense. not dangerous or harmfull.

7. OMGZZZZZ my engine is loping and throwing miss fire codes and crap and I dont know what to do.....!!!!!!!!

It will be ok. This is normal. All you did was mix up the precat o2 sensors. basically you put two o2 sensors into the headers. right? and you plugged them into the harness on the left side of the engine. right? Simply go and unplug both of them, and swap the connectors. Problem solved.


8. Maks do i need any special tools? any great tips?

-I would highly recommend a set of ratcheting wrenches and S wrenches. $20 at harbor freight for both, definitely worth it.

-take out the windshield wiper fluid tank, it will create space and make it easier to get to that nut on the very top first stud. when you get there you will know what I am talking about.

-DO NOT GRIND YOUR MOTOR MOUNT!!!!! comon guys its even called a motor mount - that means it supports your motor, you should NEVER grind down a thing that supports your motor. so if you cant get it to go back in it often helps to jack up the motor a little (you should already have a jack under it since one of the mounts is gone remember.....) It will fit. make sure you are putting it back in the right place.

- buy the stuff you need, dont cheap out. get good gaskets, an exhaust leak will make your car sound like a tractor dont ask me how i know.

- the precat o2 sensors HAVE to go back into the headers, its only the post cat ones that are relocated to the drugbin.

-The wiring harness for the o2 sensors takes almost as long to make as it takes to put the sensors in right (if you do it right) do it ahead of time so you just have to splice in the o2 connectors.
--get multi colored wires so you dont get confused when you extend the lines
-- at least 8 feet of shrink wrap in small sizes

-you can use the post cat o2 (stock) as the precat (simed) since they are longer, but if you do this pay attention to the connector. they are different and you will have to swap them.

--pull the secondary oxygen pump so you can get to the top bolts of the longer header from above.

Again if you have any questions please post here, or if its urgent feel free to pm me. but if you pm a dumb question that was answered in one of the links or in this thread i wont respond.


GOOD LUCK GUYS


Quote:
READ THIS BEFORE INSTALLING (it can save you hours)

OK. so after an unnecessarily long install, I have some advice in regards to this DIY (http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...16#post7891216)...

1. Ratcheting wrenches are a MUST for the header nuts (smaller ones are better since you can get more of a turn per twist...combine a regular, longer wrench for tightening/breaking tension).
2. The passenger's side motor mount will require force and some prying (with a thick flathead) to remove and re-install (maybe its because we put my car on ramps instead of jack stands, since jacking the engine up simply pushed the car up, lol).
3. Before mounting each header, be sure to bolt on its respective pre-cat 02 sensor.
4. Re-assemble by bolting on the REAR header first. (that fvcking DIY took away 3 hours of me and my cousin's life by claiming the opposite).
5. Do NOT tighten anything unless you are completely positive that the next parts will have enough clearance for reassembly (with the exception being the rear header...just make sure the 02 sensors and plugs are installed before you do so!).

Lastly, get a towel to lay on because 85% of the procedure requires you to work from under the car. Mechanix gloves will also save you're knuckles and wrists from A LOT of punishment.

Take care fellas!

p.s. thanks again Maks, for making this thread!
-Keno
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Old 07-01-2010, 01:34 AM   #2
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I'm gonna do this soon and was wondering why there wasn't already a thread like this. Awesome info! Thanks!
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i heard that this cars go like 300k miles
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Old 07-01-2010, 03:30 PM   #3
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just trying to help the community. stupid for other people to make the same mistakes i did.
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Old 07-01-2010, 03:48 PM   #4
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quick tip, from experience, use OEM block to header gaskets, i used the ones provided with the kit and the bottom of cyl 5 and 6 blew out completely and my car sounded like a POS honda. do it right, do it once. dont do it cheap.
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Old 07-01-2010, 03:49 PM   #5
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quick tip, from experience, use OEM block to header gaskets, i used the ones provided with the kit and the bottom of cyl 5 and 6 blew out completely and my car sounded like a POS honda. do it right, do it once. dont do it cheap.
+1 as mentioned above. buy the right stuff.
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Old 07-01-2010, 09:11 PM   #6
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sub'd. thanks a lot for the guide! i'm going to be buying some headers very soon...

how were the performance gains for you?
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Old 07-01-2010, 09:21 PM   #7
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sub'd. thanks a lot for the guide! i'm going to be buying some headers very soon...

how were the performance gains for you?
you feel a bit more pull on the top end, when i put them on the first time. at least on the 323 you dont notice a giant gain when you first put them on. but when you put the stock ones back its like its stiffling your engine. so they do help quite a bit. especially at autox
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Old 07-02-2010, 12:37 AM   #8
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hey I saw you're post in the other thread. good write-up! I appreciate your help.
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Old 07-02-2010, 01:17 AM   #9
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i will probably use this in the near future
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Old 07-02-2010, 10:52 AM   #10
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hey I saw you're post in the other thread. good write-up! I appreciate your help.
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i will probably use this in the near future
your welcome guys and like i said we are always looking for information to add.
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Old 07-02-2010, 06:00 PM   #11
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Old 07-02-2010, 08:37 PM   #12
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Subbed
thanks
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Old 07-07-2010, 11:58 AM   #13
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well i have the DIY planned for tomorrow, if i come across anything else tomorrow I will update the OP. wish me luck.
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Old 07-07-2010, 12:08 PM   #14
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I went to this shop that only works on BMWs and they said that headers on my 328i would take a whole day to do that the job is hellish and that i would not notice any real performance gain... I'm guessing you'd all disagree about that then?
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Old 07-07-2010, 12:18 PM   #15
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I went to this shop that only works on BMWs and they said that headers on my 328i would take a whole day to do that the job is hellish and that i would not notice any real performance gain... I'm guessing you'd all disagree about that then?
the first part is accurate. I takes me about 11 hours to do it. but that includes a lunch break, and a few trips to autozone. however i am by myself on the garage floor with a home set of tools. a good expansive set of tools but still nothign like a shop. It is hellish, espeicially if its hot. but you can totally feel it on the butt dyno especially above 3.5K rpm. depending on what they charge to isntall it i would still say go for it.
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Old 07-07-2010, 05:33 PM   #16
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the first part is accurate. I takes me about 11 hours to do it. but that includes a lunch break, and a few trips to autozone. however i am by myself on the garage floor with a home set of tools. a good expansive set of tools but still nothign like a shop. It is hellish, espeicially if its hot. but you can totally feel it on the butt dyno especially above 3.5K rpm. depending on what they charge to isntall it i would still say go for it.
haha fvck that, i'm going to do that sh1t myself. I was just getting an alignment from them, i try to do everything myself. I've done the normal maintenence things um vanos seals, coolants system overhaul, pwer steering, plugs, vcg, brakes, various sensors etc. would it be safe to say this is by far the harderst thing i will have tried? thanks for making this outline i will have my computer by me at all times when trying this
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Old 07-07-2010, 05:43 PM   #17
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haha fvck that, i'm going to do that sh1t myself. I was just getting an alignment from them, i try to do everything myself. I've done the normal maintenence things um vanos seals, coolants system overhaul, pwer steering, plugs, vcg, brakes, various sensors etc. would it be safe to say this is by far the harderst thing i will have tried? thanks for making this outline i will have my computer by me at all times when trying this
This is not as delicate or detail oriented as VANOS but more of a pain in the ass. the only-able-to-turn-wrench-a-quarter-of--turn-at-a-time kind of pain in the ass. I like your attitude and definitly share it. just take your time.
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Old 07-07-2010, 05:49 PM   #18
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Also, I noticed in the O2 sim thread, you said 325/330 headers wont fit on the head of your car. Actually, the only difference is the exhaust flange placement. The 330 headers are a bit longer if I remember correctly.
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Old 07-07-2010, 05:52 PM   #19
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Also, I noticed in the O2 sim thread, you said 325/330 headers wont fit on the head of your car. Actually, the only difference is the exhaust flange placement. The 330 headers are a bit longer if I remember correctly.
i have bought 323/328 headers both times.....
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Old 07-07-2010, 06:00 PM   #20
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This is not as delicate or detail oriented as VANOS but more of a pain in the ass. the only-able-to-turn-wrench-a-quarter-of--turn-at-a-time kind of pain in the ass. I like your attitude and definitly share it. just take your time.
thanks man and i'll keep that in mind. I'm going to try to wake up early one of these weekends and just knock it out in a day but worst comes to worst, i will stretch it out across both days. Good luck with your re-install!
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