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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 06-16-2012, 10:51 PM   #1
rkneeshaw
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Modding the Magnaflow 16533 cat-back

I have catless headers and the Magnaflow 16533. I love the sound, great exhaust, but its just a touch on the loud side, and there's a slight bit of rasp in the 3500-4500 RPM range. I've been thinking of ways to address these problems but without hacking up this exhaust too much or going with a full custom cat-back. Plus, the tone of this setup is just damn sexy, if I could just drop the decibels a few notches I'd have a permanent smile on my face....

Rob43 posted an interesting possibility: replace the x-pipe with a resonated x-pipe, such as a Magnaflow 11386 (or 14386 if you like polished). The 11386 is a muffler with an internal x-pipe:





Rob43 suggested placing the 11386 here in place of the existing xpipe:



The thought is you maintain the benefits of the xpipe, and probably even keep the tone exactly the same but the resonated xpipe would simply lower some decibels and just maybe eliminate that last bit of rasp in the mid RPMs.

I like this idea, so I slid under the car to take a few measurements and I think this is doable, with about 1/2" of clearance all around. Basically the 11386 is a 4" tall by 9" wide oval muffler with internal x-pipe. The length of the muffler body measures 14" and is 20" long overall. The catch is you won't be able to simply rip out the xpipe and swap in the muffler; the muffler will have to be moved downstream about 3 inches or so in order to fit into a heatshielded "pocket" under the car, and I won't lie, I think it will be tight. 1/2" on all sides is not a lot of room, but its enough!

Here are a few more pics from under the car to give you an idea of what we've got to work with:











So I think you can tell there is room for the body of the 11386 if it starts halfway down the current x-pipe position.

Also, there will be minimal bending required on just one of the 2.5" pipes that runs from the current x-pipe to the rear muffler. In my estimate it only needs to move laterally about 1/2".

My biggest challenge right now is finding a qualified exhaust shop that I would trust to do a good job...
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Old 06-17-2012, 06:04 PM   #2
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Do it
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Old 06-17-2012, 06:18 PM   #3
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Damn dude that's legit right there. I wonder if that muffler x pipe will do much for sound but we may have a winner here if it does.

This would be a smart option for the high line tuning/other catbacks as well. VERY interesting . Can't wait to hear your thought on it.
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Old 06-18-2012, 11:39 AM   #4
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I did it. No rasp.
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Old 06-18-2012, 11:57 AM   #5
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this resonated x-pipe looks like it would fit the stock exhaust fine, as well. i think i'm going to attempt it, to reduce the rasp and tin-can sound from my headers
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Old 06-18-2012, 10:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryce-o View Post
this resonated x-pipe looks like it would fit the stock exhaust fine, as well. i think i'm going to attempt it, to reduce the rasp and tin-can sound from my headers
Back in the day I had bought the 11385, which is a slightly shorter version of the 11386, and discovered two things. First it wasn't a tru x-pipe in side, more like a hollow chamber (hard to describe, it just opened up inside instead of redirecting flow across each pipe). And second, the shop I went to didnt think they could fit it into the stock exhaust. I think it was something about the way the pipes were routed. If you're able to get it done please take pics and share.

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Originally Posted by e60fan View Post
I did it. No rasp.
Same place as I'm looking to install it? Do you have the 16533 cat-back as well? If so you've got me very excited!
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Old 06-19-2012, 01:40 AM   #7
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I'm also interested to see if this is possible. I have the magnaflow catback as well and plan to get headers soon... though I would welcome the rasp... I just don't like my exhausts being that loud. I wish I could have both.
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Old 06-19-2012, 03:42 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by rkneeshaw View Post
Back in the day I had bought the 11385, which is a slightly shorter version of the 11386, and discovered two things. First it wasn't a tru x-pipe in side, more like a hollow chamber (hard to describe, it just opened up inside instead of redirecting flow across each pipe). And second, the shop I went to didnt think they could fit it into the stock exhaust. I think it was something about the way the pipes were routed. If you're able to get it done please take pics and share.



Same place as I'm looking to install it? Do you have the 16533 cat-back as well? If so you've got me very excited!
no, i have custom magnaflow exhaust at my e60, and resonated X-pipe was installed as much as possible close to SS rep headers
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:02 PM   #9
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e60, sounds great! I'm glad to hear you've had success with this kind of approach. I just got word back from Magnaflow that they think this should work to "subdue" the exhaust a bit, but not effect the tone. Now I've got to find a good exhaust shop that will do quality work with stainless, which seems might be the toughest part.
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Old 06-19-2012, 10:49 PM   #10
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This is great. We can potentially run something like magma flow,afe, or the highline tuning cat back with this and have great results. This is a great idea!
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Old 06-22-2012, 01:53 PM   #11
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Looking like I might get this done the last weekend of July, I'll keep everyone updated on progress.

On a side note, bigjae just had the rear muffler replaced for a dual-in/dual-out magnaflow product and claims he noticed a significant performance improvement for his SC'd car...... might be yet another way to improve this cat-back.....
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Old 07-09-2012, 09:32 PM   #12
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UPS man came today:









Booked at an exhaust shop for Sat July 28.
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Old 07-09-2012, 10:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkneeshaw View Post
UPS man came today:









Booked at an exhaust shop for Sat July 28.
Let me know how it works and sounds. I am interested in doing the same to mine.
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Old 07-10-2012, 01:42 AM   #14
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Does it look like it will fit?
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Old 07-10-2012, 07:03 PM   #15
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Yes, I think it will! Placement has to be just right for there to be about a half inch of clearance around each of the two tight spots, so its important I think to have a good skilled exhaust shop handle the job.
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:02 PM   #16
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I may do this resonator as well. I have the same rasp and I don't mind it. But my exhaust is even louder with the new muffler. Then there's a drone at 2k RPM which is not a big deal since I'm never really at 2k RPM anyway. At least I got rid of the whistling

Kind of sucks that Magnaflow's rear muffler is woefully inadequate. If you are supercharged or making significantly more power than stock, you really need to change the rear section.
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Old 07-27-2012, 01:15 PM   #17
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SUCCESS

I just left the exhaust shop a few hours ago. Greg at Great Lakes Customs (http://www.greatlakescustoms.com) did a fantastic job in my opinion, I couldn't be happier!

So first of all, it fits! I'm not going to lie, its tight, but I have about a 1/2" clearance around the tightest spots.

Now in terms of sound I am very happy to confirm that this modification both reduces the sound levels slightly AND kills the last remaining rasp I had in this system. The tone of this exhaust is awesome, and with this modification it is consistent and smooth all the way through the power band. Now if you like the exhaust to sound a little raw, then this isn't for you because it smooths it out. But in my opinion it is perfect. Finally my BMW once again sounds as smooth and refined as it is, something I haven't heard since I first installed my headers.

I did take some videos before and after, but the problem is the mic on my camera did not pick up the rasp. In fact, if you watch and listen to this video you can't tell that the last segment was recorded AFTER the modification. The "after" clip actually sounds louder in the video, which is the opposite of reality. So I'm sorry guys, you'll have to take my word for it. It sounds MUCH better; down to a moderate volume level with zero rasp and the sound of pure sexy time.



And here's a few pictures of the install:



Cut this section out and reused everything except the x-pipe and about 6" of pipe after that
















I can't keep my windows up now, it just sounds so good!

A huge thank you to rob43 for the great idea!
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Old 07-27-2012, 08:02 PM   #18
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Awesome, I am going to have to give it a shot. Did he have to do any pipe bending and did he use your current pipe or new pipe?
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Old 07-27-2012, 11:12 PM   #19
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He used the existing pipe, and he didnt really bend it at all. I think he heated up the ends of the muffler to help the pipe slide in a little easier, but he never put those pipes in a bender.
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Old 07-28-2012, 10:03 AM   #20
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Does it drone? The drone at 2k in my car is quite boomy.

I might try this...I really want to turn down the volume a tad.
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