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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 11-09-2010, 03:44 PM   #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2001bimmer330i View Post
Sorry I must have missed it.
NP let me know if you have install questions.
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Old 12-02-2010, 01:40 AM   #102
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Ordered mine 30 mins ago from surewinproducts and got em for $51shipped! I'm excited, to say the least. Now hopefully they'll fit on a 2003 325xi w/o trouble.

Oh and I need new cats. I was thinking of something from here. Possibly the Magnaflow #59905 or maybe the Magnaflow #59955.

My one problem left is figuring out where to put the cats and which of the two is recommended for performance (higher flow rate.)

If anyone can chime in and answer these questions it would be great!

Thanks!
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Old 12-02-2010, 09:13 AM   #103
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Originally Posted by deadwood83 View Post
Ordered mine 30 mins ago from surewinproducts and got em for $51shipped! I'm excited, to say the least. Now hopefully they'll fit on a 2003 325xi w/o trouble.

Oh and I need new cats. I was thinking of something from here. Possibly the Magnaflow #59905 or maybe the Magnaflow #59955.

My one problem left is figuring out where to put the cats and which of the two is recommended for performance (higher flow rate.)

If anyone can chime in and answer these questions it would be great!

Thanks!
deadwood
First check out summitracing.com - I am almost certain they beat that price by about 20 bucks. You need to be careful and make your sellection based on space, as it is limited. Also you have to place them as close to the engine as possible as cats have to heat up to work properly.
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Old 12-13-2010, 05:09 PM   #104
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any install pics or suggestions on those cats? 955 or 905?
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Old 12-13-2010, 06:11 PM   #105
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any install pics or suggestions on those cats? 955 or 905?
nope and nope. any cat of the right size should be fine.
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Old 12-16-2010, 12:22 PM   #106
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the bolt pattern on my headers is like a zig-zag or triangle pattern...wtf.
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Old 12-16-2010, 12:25 PM   #107
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the bolt pattern on my headers is like a zig-zag or triangle pattern...wtf.
wait what?

it should go like this

: . ' . : : . ' . :


thats an approximation but basically you have 4 - one at every corner of each header then you alternate - top and bottom.
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Old 12-16-2010, 03:05 PM   #108
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oh gotcha. im getting headers soon, im going to pay a muffler shop to do it as i dont feel like messing around with this and getting all pissed off because theres limited room to work with even though i have the tools.
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Old 12-30-2010, 03:28 PM   #109
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any install pics or suggestions on those cats? 955 or 905?
Actually I got 2x #59954.

Measured the pipe at the header-exhaust flange and the I.D. is 2" exactly. This matches up with reports I read somewhere on here about a 330xi having 2" I.D. piping. Ordered them from Planet Magnaflow for ~$76 each w/ free shipping. I'll try to post pics when the mechanic has these all installed.

The series similar to #59905 is offset and long-bodied, making them awkward and difficult to install into section 1.

Even with VHT flameproof primer and sanding (200 grit) of the headers before paint, they will chip/scratch during install. After following the directions on the can ,and letting them sit for 48 hours in a climate-controlled room, I was still able to go straight through all the paint with a fingernail. It seems to dry really soft.

Also, a bump for surewinproducs. They shipped the right headers but I thought they were wrong so I sent pics and an email with a link to the kpeng thread. They then opened a few boxes and made sure and sent another set free of charge. I was told to keep the previous set even though they were the right ones. Good company.
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Old 01-11-2011, 03:47 PM   #110
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I used this for my install and it was a great help. Thanks mvrk10256!
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Old 01-11-2011, 03:49 PM   #111
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I used this for my install and it was a great help. Thanks mvrk10256!
Glad it helped
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Old 01-11-2011, 05:59 PM   #112
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In for pics of cats installed. You really can't drive with the windows down in the summer with traffic.

O2 Sims are not reliable, still getting codes.
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Old 01-11-2011, 06:55 PM   #113
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Installed mine this weekend, took 2 days because the fitment was so far off. Outlet on rear header was twisted a couple degrees, and the front header's outlet flange was 1/2" too short and angled wrong. Friend with a small mobile tig came and helped, but there's still a bit of strain on the headers and exhaust. I had to hack off the rear O2 bung from the rear header because it was hitting the body. Living with CEL for now, ordered sim from BimmerBrakes last week but Justin had to wait until this week before parts arrived to build one. I should have paid the extra coin for the headers from BimmerBrakes, but hindsight is always 20/20 and the headers I got were already near me in Canada.

Did my usual trick of wiping down the headers with WD-40 before starting the engine up for the first time. Stainless is a finicky woman, she remembers finger prints and grease marks forever. WD-40 removes all that, and when it evaporates off from the heat it leaves a nice honey coloured finish.

Idle is still dead quiet, part throttle is still quiet, and full throttle sounds angry (stock exhaust). Did a baseline dyno before I installed the headers, I'll be going back soon to check gains after I check the header nuts for tightness this week. Torque doesn't seem to drop off after 5000rpm anymore, it keeps pulling hard to 6500rpm. Torque drop at 6000rpm before was so bad it felt like a soft-touch rev limiter, not anymore!
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Old 01-11-2011, 09:52 PM   #114
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MEOW!
Click image for larger version

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I meant to get a picture when it was on the lift but I tend to forget to do things I try to remember.

Do they fit the exhaust channel perfectly? Heck no! But they protrude less than the offset variety. They're staggered to try and keep the overall width down.

I didn't have the shop put the post-cat O2 bungs behind the cats because I would still get codes. The stock cats are insanely efficient (partly because they get so damn hot, and they're effing heavy) so when the computer compares the new cats to those, the new ones are found lacking.

phamine, where did you get your sim?

HTH

Man those welds are ugly.
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Old 01-12-2011, 12:09 AM   #115
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if you do it right Anthony at BimmerBrake sims should not throw codes - but your will have a monitor not ready if you have a special software that can fread that stuff.
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Old 01-14-2011, 06:36 AM   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadwood83 View Post
MEOW!
Attachment 389460

I meant to get a picture when it was on the lift but I tend to forget to do things I try to remember.

Do they fit the exhaust channel perfectly? Heck no! But they protrude less than the offset variety. They're staggered to try and keep the overall width down.

I didn't have the shop put the post-cat O2 bungs behind the cats because I would still get codes. The stock cats are insanely efficient (partly because they get so damn hot, and they're effing heavy) so when the computer compares the new cats to those, the new ones are found lacking.

phamine, where did you get your sim?

HTH

Man those welds are ugly.
I got mine from Anthony. I may have to return them to him.

So what high flow cats are available that any cat efficiency codes.
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:59 AM   #117
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I got mine from Anthony. I may have to return them to him.

So what high flow cats are available that any cat efficiency codes.
From what I've read (and this could be VERY VERY wrong), the general rule of thumb is that if you have aftermarket headers you will get catalytic inefficiency codes.

I look at it this way though: OEM cats have very 'clean' filtration. What matters inside a catalytic converter (in terms of cleaning power) is the surface area of the substrate and the accumulation of a proper amount of heat. To maximize surface area, most cats have either ceramic beads or a honeycomb pattern with flow-optimized channels/holes. In order to have a greater amount of surface area in the same sized package, the holes/channels would need to be smaller and more numerous which restricts flow. Additionally, the OEM cats are right next to the cylinder head, causing them to accumulate metric buttloads of heat in a short amount of time, aiding their efficiency.

Imagine it this way: if you have a 4" diameter bunch of soda straws held together by rubber bands, it will have a good flow rate and a decent amount of plastic contacting the air. This is your high-flow catalytic converter. They have just enough substrate to clean the exhaust to a point where they are 49-state legal. Now think of a different 4" diameter grouping of coffee straws. It is the same overall size as the previous bunch but the amount of plastic touching the air is immensely greater. Also, if you try and blow through the coffee straws you'll obviously have a harder time of it. The coffee straws are your OEM-efficiency cat.

I would imagine that if you placed OEM-efficiency cats after the headers it would almost negate the header install and your car still wouldn't burn as cleanly as stock. You'd be re-instituting the same bottleneck as before (but probably worse since the OEM cats are a 5-6" I.D. and most aftermarket cats I've seen are 4" I.D.), just further down the line.

In case you think I'm going nuts (oh man that pun hurt me deep), here is a nice write-up on how catalytic converters work! I would suggest you read it. This should be required reading for anyone installing headers and wondering about cats.

I think your best bet is to maybe throw some high-flow cats in section one (to deal with most of the smell) and then revisit your sim install. From what others have said, it sounds like BimmerBrakes is a good company and if it really is a faulty sim, I'm sure they'll make it right. If you want ultra-efficient cats, look for ones with a C.A.R.B. (California Air Resources Board) certification. Make sure that the GVW rating of the cat is NOT below the weight of your vehicle. Most aren't. I haven't seen a cat that fits our cars rated for less than 3400lbs.

I ordered a sim from BimmerBrakes as well (exactly 15 miles after the headers went in my SES light came on). I'm hoping that it'll help pass OBD2 scans here and, at the very least, get rid of that orange aberration on my dash (it's throwing off the symmetry!). Here's to hoping your experiences are an isolated case.

I use a lot of parentheses (hope it doesn't bother you too much). I also <3 long posts and the word, "also." Oh, and pictures. Here is a picture of the oxidizing stage of a catalytic converter, taken from the earlier link.

ETA: mvrk I'm assuming the evap system failure code is just coincidental, and not a result of the sims? In UT for 03+ cars you can only have 1 fail/not ready and no SES light. I don't see how the sim could cause it, just making sure.
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Old 01-15-2011, 03:05 AM   #118
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Thanks for the response; it was a good read.

I'm going to send the O2 Sim back for a replacement and see how that goes. Did everyone get 1 O2 sim with their header order?

Looking at these high flow cats.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/2-5-C...ht_2034wt_1165
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Old 01-15-2011, 01:36 PM   #119
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Thanks for the response; it was a good read.

I'm going to send the O2 Sim back for a replacement and see how that goes. Did everyone get 1 O2 sim with their header order?

Looking at these high flow cats.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/2-5-C...ht_2034wt_1165
I think 2.5" is a bit big. Measure the outer diameter of your exhaust piping (via calipers or string+math) to try and find the perfect size. If these cats are anything like Magnaflows (I think they're a clone) then no matter what size is listed, they will have a 4" diameter catayst. The sizes are merely for the fittings on both ends. A 2" cat in this case would have the same flow through the catalyst itself as a 3" model.

That said, the piping on my e46 had a 2" inner diameter so I got 2" cats.

As for the O2 sim, it's a dual-output unit so the one sim should cover both sensors.
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Old 02-17-2011, 08:28 PM   #120
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Has anyone had issues with the 02 sensors hitting the engine? The guy installing mine called and said he cant mount them because the outlet for the sensors are right on the engine. Mine came with 4 02 sensor outlets and im almost 99% sure they're the right headers judging by the pictures from the other ebay header thread. Don't know what to do now..
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