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///M3 Forum
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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Old 05-05-2013, 12:06 AM   #1
XKR
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how to you make a stock exhaust louder?

I don't really wan't to spend big bucks on a new muffler and i kinda like the OEM sound but it's just not loud enough for me. I heard that headers will let the exhaust flow more freely but which kind will give me the biggest improvement? Does the resonator have a big impact on the volume and if it does would upgrading it to something good like the AR-20 help? I would just go catless but I guarantee i'll fail the emission test, right?

If I were to go full out and get a full exhaust, which ones are the loudest? which exhausts are not street legal because I just may be interested in them too since im looking for that kind of loudness.
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Old 05-05-2013, 12:28 AM   #2
fat-marshmellow
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drill a golfball size hole in muffler. cheap, easy, loud


headers alone on a stock muffler will sound like poo. some ar20's would be needed but it will make it somewhat more quite which defeats the purpose of making it louder. suggestions....headers, aftermarket muffler and call it a day. full exhaust systems dont really have any performance gains on the e46 platforms. only headers. if im not mistaken....
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Old 05-05-2013, 02:13 PM   #3
XKR
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Originally Posted by xi_chee View Post
drill a golfball size hole in muffler. cheap, easy, loud


headers alone on a stock muffler will sound like poo. some ar20's would be needed but it will make it somewhat more quite which defeats the purpose of making it louder. suggestions....headers, aftermarket muffler and call it a day. full exhaust systems dont really have any performance gains on the e46 platforms. only headers. if im not mistaken....
I probably could never bring my self to drill a hole in a m3 haha. The only problem is finding a nice sounding muffler. There's so many videos on youtube but they do no justice since they sound different in person. I'm not sure if those deep sounding mufflers like borla, RE, and miltek are anything but loud. Some companies want about 5k like kreissieg for that valvetronic F1 sound
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Old 05-05-2013, 02:18 PM   #4
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How about getting rid of it
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Old 05-05-2013, 02:30 PM   #5
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How about getting rid of it
From the ones I've heard, it sounds kind of ricey. The sound is kind of growing on me so this might work. Would this throw off any sensors or no? Does the muffler have anything to do with the back pressure and if so would this lead to problems down the line?
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Old 05-05-2013, 02:31 PM   #6
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From the ones I've heard, it sounds kind of ricey. The sound is kind of growing on me so this might work. Would this throw off any sensors or no? Does the muffler have anything to do with the back pressure and if so would this lead to problems down the line?
Sensor tippin no
But back pressure I'm not sure on that one
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Old 05-05-2013, 08:45 PM   #7
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If you're feeling like a bada$$ save up like $2400 and buy evosport headers + bimmerworld resonated race exhaust. Cheaper investment than some of the high end mufflers that don't actually do anything but make it sound a bit better. You'll drop around 85lbs and get a solid 25whp kick! Plus the added bonus that it sounds amazing and shoots flames
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Old 05-05-2013, 08:48 PM   #8
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Orrrr for the same money you can run something like my old setup which was the evosport headers + rasp terminator (ar20's) + RE x-pipe with electronic dump valve + stock muffler. When I had the valve open it was the gnarliest an M3 will ever sound and when closed it was almost quiet as stock (except with less tingy rasp).

But either way plan on spending money haha
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Old 05-05-2013, 08:50 PM   #9
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If you're feeling like a bada$$ save up like $2400 and buy evosport headers + bimmerworld resonated race exhaust. Cheaper investment than some of the high end mufflers that don't actually do anything but make it sound a bit better. You'll drop around 85lbs and get a solid 25whp kick! Plus the added bonus that it sounds amazing and shoots flames
headers are DEFINITELY on my list of things to do. The problem is that there are so many types I have no idea which are the best ones. I heard JVT headers aren't that bad but I don't know why they're so cheap. I think I just may have to go all out on a good pair. Is evosport good as supersprint?

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Orrrr for the same money you can run something like my old setup which was the evosport headers + rasp terminator (ar20's) + RE x-pipe with electronic dump valve + stock muffler. When I had the valve open it was the gnarliest an M3 will ever sound and when closed it was almost quiet as stock (except with less tingy rasp).

But either way plan on spending money haha
I think I just may take off my muffler just to see how crazy loud it'll sound lol. how do you install the AR20? is there welding involved??

Last edited by XKR; 05-05-2013 at 08:52 PM.
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Old 05-06-2013, 12:01 AM   #10
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if your asking how to install a ar20, best bet is to go to a muffler shop and give them the ar20's, they will install them and do it where they should be, its straight forward bud. Ar20's make it sound good to my ears on a OEM muffler.. Some like the rasp, some dont.. I dont prefer it myself.. But everyone is different.. but to answer the weld question, yes you will have to cut sections of your midpipe out and weld in the ar20 resonators. I highly suggest a muffler shop, it really wont be that expensive to add, If I was local Id say buy me some beer a pizza and take a photo of me taking a saw to a m3! haha no joke.. but in all regards jus let a pro do it if your iffy on how its done right now.. To learn is nice but dont let a m3 be a demo for learning.
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Old 05-06-2013, 04:08 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by XKR View Post
From the ones I've heard, it sounds kind of ricey. The sound is kind of growing on me so this might work. Would this throw off any sensors or no? Does the muffler have anything to do with the back pressure and if so would this lead to problems down the line?
Sensors no

Back pressure YES you will feel a Loss of power through out the power band.
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Old 05-06-2013, 01:04 PM   #12
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if your asking how to install a ar20, best bet is to go to a muffler shop and give them the ar20's, they will install them and do it where they should be, its straight forward bud. Ar20's make it sound good to my ears on a OEM muffler.. Some like the rasp, some dont.. I dont prefer it myself.. But everyone is different.. but to answer the weld question, yes you will have to cut sections of your midpipe out and weld in the ar20 resonators. I highly suggest a muffler shop, it really wont be that expensive to add, If I was local Id say buy me some beer a pizza and take a photo of me taking a saw to a m3! haha no joke.. but in all regards jus let a pro do it if your iffy on how its done right now.. To learn is nice but dont let a m3 be a demo for learning.
oh ok lol thanks for the tips!!!

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Sensors no

Back pressure YES you will feel a Loss of power through out the power band.
hmmm i wonder if someone did a dyno to figure this out because so many people are like "nah man it adds about 10 extra hp" or as you said "you will loose power". why does back pressure have to be such a controversy/enigma
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:22 AM   #13
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Sell your M3 and buy an early 90's civic with a rusty exhaust
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:11 AM   #14
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Isn't the stock exhaust very good anyways?
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Old 05-09-2013, 10:54 PM   #15
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Isn't the stock exhaust very good anyways?
it is but you have to really get on it to make it sound good. it's kinda weak when you drive casual.

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Sell your M3 and buy an early 90's civic with a rusty exhaust
lmao I'd rather walk then drive a civic.
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Old 05-09-2013, 10:59 PM   #16
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how to you make a stock exhaust louder?

pull out one of your resonator man..thats the easiest way..


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Old 05-09-2013, 11:03 PM   #17
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pull out one of your resonator man..thats the easiest way..


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but I thought they had no affect on the exhaust's loudness?
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:07 PM   #18
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how to you make a stock exhaust louder?

take a look on youtube...a lot of people just delete the resonator and its sounds amazing man!


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Old 05-09-2013, 11:08 PM   #19
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do a muffler delete
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:14 PM   #20
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do a muffler delete
my only issue is backpressure. people are saying that i will loose some power at low end but I'm not sure if i'll get it back in the upper powerband. I know muffler deletes are good on turbo cars cause they spool way faster but mine is still N/A. I need to find where they sell straight pipe exhausts from the muffler back also.

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take a look on youtube...a lot of people just delete the resonator and its sounds amazing man!


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wow lol kind of surprising how much it changed.
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