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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 06-19-2011, 07:59 PM   #101
TxZHP04
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Installed mine today along with new post cat O2s (just replaced the pre-cats back around Christmas). They fit great and actually seemed to provide a little better access to the studs so getting the nuts back on was actually a bit easier than getting them off from around the stock manifolds. I also had no access/clearance issues with the heat shields on the stock gaskets so was able to keep them, even though I did have the headers coated by Swain Tech.

I've driven around the block but that's about it so far. With the windows rolled up, I don't notice any difference in sound. With the windows down, it seems to have changed the exhaust note a bit although I'm not really sure how to characterize the change. I'll give it some time to "break in" before making any more comments about exhaust tone. I don't notice any obvious signs of an exhaust leak but I'll want to confirm that to make sure I'm not mistaking an exhaust leak for a change in tone. Could be my imagination but it kind of seemed like my car revved more freely when I goosed the throttle while parked and in neutral. Haven't pushed it yet though so no seat of the pants guesses as to whether it really helped power or not. I did a lot of work on the car in 104 degree heat this weekend so I'm still looking for anything I might have messed up along the way....
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Old 06-20-2011, 09:36 AM   #102
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Great! Glad to hear that you got them on. I'll be anxious to see if you do any better on the dyno. You were a brave man in the heat this weekend.
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Old 06-20-2011, 09:52 AM   #103
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Great! Glad to hear that you got them on. I'll be anxious to see if you do any better on the dyno. You were a brave man in the heat this weekend.
Yeah, not the most pleasant weather for a marathon weekend of car repairs and upgrades but my wife was out of town and I was getting tired of looking at all the parts collecting on my bench. Replaced my leaking oil pan gasket on Saturday which also allowed me to upgrade to Greg's 4 bolt oil pump. Since I already had the motor suspended from an engine support bar and the subframe down and the control arms out of the way, I figured there would never be a better time to tackle the headers. Heh, when I got everything back together yesterday evening and fired her up, she idled like total crap. My first though was that I had either mixed up the O2 sensor wires or caused a vaccum leak somewhere. I let it run 30 seconds or so to verify that it was building oil pressure and then shut it off. Restarted a few seconds later and it ran great, no problems since. Seems to be running stronger but that could just be the "fresh oil effect" which is kind of like the "car wash effect".... you know both are good for at least 20 hp.
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Old 06-21-2011, 10:04 AM   #104
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The butt dyno is giving positive feedback on these "headers". Car feels stronger and smoother than it ever has, all the way to red line.

Brady, are you headed to LG again anytime soon?
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Old 06-21-2011, 10:21 AM   #105
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Yep. I need to change my oil this week and then give them a call.
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Old 06-22-2011, 08:23 AM   #106
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Glad to hear the install went well and that they are easier to get back on! Can't wait to see the dyno results.
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Old 06-22-2011, 09:32 AM   #107
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Glad to hear the install went well and that they are easier to get back on! Can't wait to see the dyno results.
Aside from proving that they do indeed flow better, I'm not sure how informative the dyno results will be. I won't be able to specifically say that they are good for X amount of hp with Y amount of boost. The baseline dyno I ran showed significant timing being pulled from the top end, this is part of the reason it's taken so long for me to get around to installing the headers (I've been trying to figure out what was going on and how I could get a better baseline dyno). Well, as it would now appear, there was nothing wrong with the car per se... except that the stock exhaust manifold was too restrictive for the amount of boost I was running. Swapping manifolds (and installing fresh post-cat O2s FWIW) appears to have cured that, at least based on the butt dyno. I haven't had a chance to do any data logging or get back on the dyno yet.

The real question is whether the stock manifolds/cats were simply just that restrictive or whether the cats were clogged/damaged due to having about 120k miles (or perhaps some of both). Honestly, based on the size of the primaries and the far more efficient (looking) 3-1 collectors, I'm going to say the bulk of the change is due to increased flow capacity from the MagnaFlow design.

Regardless, now that these are available, I think it would be silly to retain the stock manifolds if you are boosted, regardless of how little boost you might be running. True headers without cats should flow better but if you don't want to deal with running catless this is definitely the way to go. For the NA cars, the picture isn't so clear. The MagnaFlow units definitely flow better than stock based on my experience so far (hopefully my butt dyno isn't too far out of calibration) but we just don't know how much benefit they will have on a NA car. We can use Brady's gains as an upper limit and then figure that you might see half or probably less of his gains (from headers alone) due to the cats.


Sound wise, they do make a difference relative to stock. I'm still running the stock ZHP exhaust but the headers add a little extra growl. I'm not yet sure I'd refer to it as raspy... I'm still analyzing the sound change.
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Old 06-23-2011, 08:01 AM   #108
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We have not cranked up the car yet but given your exhaust sound experience and my UUC/Corsa TSE3 exhaust I fully expect a louder sound than before.

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Old 06-24-2011, 02:02 AM   #109
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True headers without cats should flow better but if you don't want to deal with running catless this is definitely the way to go.
What about running catless headers along with OEM center cats like these? http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/BMW-E46-Cataly...item3368c7f4d4 It would be similar to how many of the M3 guys (myself included) run the OEM section 1 cats with catless headers. Sure it's not strictly legal since the cats end up being relocated, but it's better than running catless, and it's all OEM. Too bad that guy doesn't want to ship, because that's actually a great price for brand new OEM cats...

Edit: Didn't realize that the center cats found in some E46s are secondary cats (and therefore don't have O2 bungs). Thought it was like the M3.
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Old 06-24-2011, 06:16 AM   #110
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What about running catless headers along with OEM center cats like these? http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/BMW-E46-Cataly...item3368c7f4d4 It would be similar to how many of the M3 guys (myself included) run the OEM section 1 cats with catless headers. Sure it's not strictly legal since the cats end up being relocated, but it's better than running catless, and it's all OEM. Too bad that guy doesn't want to ship, because that's actually a great price for brand new OEM cats...

Edit: Didn't realize that the center cats found in some E46s are secondary cats (and therefore don't have O2 bungs). Thought it was like the M3.
This is a question I'm hoping to answer. My car has both the cats in the headers and the secondary cats in your link. My plan is to use catless headers and modify the secondary cats to have bungs for 02 sensors.

Not sure of the cell count of the secondary cats but if the M3 CSL manages to get away with 200 cell cats in the secondary position maybe I can too.

EDIT: I mean pass the UK MOT emissions test with 200 cell cats downstream.
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Old 06-24-2011, 07:58 AM   #111
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What about running catless headers along with OEM center cats like these? http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/BMW-E46-Cataly...item3368c7f4d4 It would be similar to how many of the M3 guys (myself included) run the OEM section 1 cats with catless headers. Sure it's not strictly legal since the cats end up being relocated, but it's better than running catless, and it's all OEM. Too bad that guy doesn't want to ship, because that's actually a great price for brand new OEM cats...

Edit: Didn't realize that the center cats found in some E46s are secondary cats (and therefore don't have O2 bungs). Thought it was like the M3.
Unless BMW has a Euro tune available that matches that particular cat configuration (and that tune wouldn't support any other mods), I'm not sure it's worth it. Too many US market non-M owners have had problems with codes being thrown when relocating the cats downstream. The only reliable fix running that way is to wire up an LC-1 at which point you could run much higher flowing race cats or simply go catless (legalities aside). I'd also be concerned that by running only 2 of the 4 cats from a 4 cat setup that the exhaust wasn't being scrubbed as well as it should - I also understand that some are willing to compromise a little on the emissions to gain a little power.

I like this solution because it's a direct plug and play swap with no worries about impacting the response of the O2s. It's also completely legal in 49 states (don't know if MagnaFlow plans to pursue CARB cert for these or not). I also get to feel good knowing that the catalytic efficiency of my setup hasn't been compromised while at the same time improving flow - enough that my exhaust can now keep up with the 8.5 psi of boost coming through the intake.
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Old 06-24-2011, 08:00 AM   #112
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Originally Posted by TxZHP04 View Post
Sound wise, they do make a difference relative to stock. I'm still running the stock ZHP exhaust but the headers add a little extra growl. I'm not yet sure I'd refer to it as raspy... I'm still analyzing the sound change.
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We have not cranked up the car yet but given your exhaust sound experience and my UUC/Corsa TSE3 exhaust I fully expect a louder sound than before.
I am currently running catless Technik gen 2's with Borla exhaust and I'm getting tired of the rasp. I will also soon be installing my ESS TS1. We will see how that changes the exhaust tone, then the gen 2's are coming out and these are going in!

That TSE3 should sound AWESOME with these headers in!!
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Old 06-25-2011, 10:43 PM   #113
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This is great stuff. I was planning on getting Stett headers but based on responses on rasp, this maybe a better alternative for me. This might be my next mod

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Unless BMW has a Euro tune available that matches that particular cat configuration (and that tune wouldn't support any other mods), I'm not sure it's worth it. Too many US market non-M owners have had problems with codes being thrown when relocating the cats downstream. The only reliable fix running that way is to wire up an LC-1 at which point you could run much higher flowing race cats or simply go catless (legalities aside). I'd also be concerned that by running only 2 of the 4 cats from a 4 cat setup that the exhaust wasn't being scrubbed as well as it should - I also understand that some are willing to compromise a little on the emissions to gain a little power.

I like this solution because it's a direct plug and play swap with no worries about impacting the response of the O2s. It's also completely legal in 49 states (don't know if MagnaFlow plans to pursue CARB cert for these or not). I also get to feel good knowing that the catalytic efficiency of my setup hasn't been compromised while at the same time improving flow - enough that my exhaust can now keep up with the 8.5 psi of boost coming through the intake.
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Old 06-26-2011, 12:06 PM   #114
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Yeah, there scamming you if they didn't mention you also need the REAR section PN #49759, for the same price. Total $1096.92

The question of the day is does this "DIRECT-FIT CATALYTIC CONVERTER
PART# 49760" fit in the center section of the Magnaflow PN #16533. The catback system that so many of us bought into on the group buy, a year & a half ago ? If it does we could easily just swap this cat section in at the time of state inspection. Quick & easy, and then just pull it back out.
#49759 from them is $903.41!
https://www.truckpartshub.com/produc...-fit-converter
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Old 06-26-2011, 12:17 PM   #115
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Best price: get #49758 here for $521.04: https://www.truckpartshub.com/produc...-fit-converter
Get #49759 here for $742.99: http://www.jegs.com/i/Magnaflow/642/49759/10002/-1
$1264.03 total, free shipping from both.
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Old 06-26-2011, 12:27 PM   #116
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Haha, also available at local O'Reilly's for $1236 but will have to pay tax on that.
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Old 06-26-2011, 12:50 PM   #117
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Or you could just see if Brady's contact can still do the special fanatics pricing mentioned earlier in this thread (which was significantly better than what was listed in the last few posts).

Also, I wouldn't be surprised if truckpartshub pricing for 49759 isn't actually about the same as their price for 49758. Doesn't make sense for one to be so much more expensive than the other. Probably just an error on their web site.
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Old 07-15-2011, 02:45 PM   #118
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We have not cranked up the car yet but given your exhaust sound experience and my UUC/Corsa TSE3 exhaust I fully expect a louder sound than before.

Jim
Cranked up and drove the car and, yep, it is louder - a little louder below 3K but really noticeable above 3K. The pull, my butt dyno says, is stronger because it revs up faster. Next, when I can save up some money, is the dyno tune to dial it in - and I will have some HP numbers then. I will have to research what to do to the exhaust to quiet it down some without killing the power.

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Old 07-21-2011, 04:09 PM   #119
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Cannot stand the noise level any more so I talked with UUC about their TSE3 system that I have. It is about the same sound as a set of headers. Basically it will take longer resonators in place of the existing ones to make it quieter. Can't go wider as there is not enough room between the two pipes. Apparently the longer the better. UUC is asking Corsa, the maker, about the exact resonator to install. I will try two first then if this is not enough I will install the 2nd pair for a total of 4 longer resonators. Then, as a last resort
will be longer mufflers.



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Old 07-21-2011, 04:31 PM   #120
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Cannot stand the noise level any more so I talked with UUC about their TSE3 system that I have. It is about the same sound as a set of headers. Basically it will take longer resonators in place of the existing ones to make it quieter. Can't go wider as there is not enough room between the two pipes. Apparently the longer the better. UUC is asking Corsa, the maker, about the exact resonator to install. I will try two first then if this is not enough I will install the 2nd pair for a total of 4 longer resonators. Then, as a last resort
will be longer mufflers.



Jim
Wonder if it might just be easier and possibly even more economical to sell off the TSE3 intact and replace it with the MagnaFlow cat-back (I think it can currently be found for about $550). From outside the car, that didn't seem too loud on Brady's car with headers and no cats.

Don't know what order you installed your mods but did you notice an actual power gain with the TSE3 over say the stock ZHP exhaust? I've got a tiny exhaust leak in a weld where the pipe runs into the rear resonator and I'm debating whether to just "patch it" or upgrade to something like a MagnaFlow, Borla, or HKS cat-back. I figure an exhaust is worth maybe 10 hp tops on a SC'd car and I'm not sure it's worth the extra noise over the stock exhaust.
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