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      11-26-2008, 02:37 AM   #1
masmole
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Woot! Another Active Autowerke Exhaust customer here, with a twist! (and pics)

I got my Active Autowerke last friday thanks to prompt shipping from Kenny@jlevisw (thanks!). I decided to do the install myself after reading about how easy it was from another forum member's post. Well, the install turned disastrous because the fitment wasn't quite ideal. I followed the CD instructions very closely yet by the time I had to bolt up the rear bracket, it didn't line up properly with the rearmost mouting points on the each exhaust piece. Either this was a manufacturing defect or the exhaust mouting brackets may have been damaged during shipping. Confused with the poor fit, I examined the exhaust more closely and discovered that the mounting brackets on the exhaust themselves looked more angled and bent on the driver's side exhaust than the passenger's side, and overall, just about every one of them looked bent. It just didn't seem right (see pic below).


Either way, I wasn't going to send it back as I was determined to make it fit one way or another before the weekend was done. With some crude tools and a butane torch in hand, I managed to bend some of the brackets to what looked straight to my eyes and attempted the install again, this time with better results. The exhaust finally mated to the rear mounting bracket at least enough so that I could thread the bolts through. However, even after several adjustments and tweaks per install instructions, the driver's side exhaust sagged and had a tendency to rotate so that the outer of the two tips was closer to the valence and inner was about 1/4 inch lower, because the mounting bracket apparently was not quite straight enough despite my efforts to right them. Longing for perfection, I decided to remove the exhaust once more to further remedy the fitment. BIG MISTAKE. I proceeded to strip both bolts on the rear bracket since they were being overly stressed by the poor fitment to begin with, and snapped both of them inside the welded nut. A few extra hours, a cutting wheel, and a home-weld-job later, I had new nuts welded on the bracket and new bolts (from a hardware store) and decided to put it back together and leave well enough alone.... at least well enough until I can take it to my friends who run a local tuning shop to do the rest of the dirty work. In the end, the fitment was idealized and I am now a happy camper. Based on past testimonies from friends who had many of their products, I don't doubt the quality and workmanship from the folks at AA so I will chalk this up to shipping damage.

So how does it sound? I love it. I will just echo what several others have already said about this exhaust. It's not the loudest, not the quietest, but it's certainly a mean sounding exhaust in keeping with what you might expect a V8 M3 should sound like. Not American muscle, not ferrari-esque roar, but rather a refined grunt that brings an ear-to-ear smile as the revs creep up to redline. It's like stock except throatier and all the good mechanical rumblings are amplified. Like others have said before, there is a strong resonance at 2000-2100 rpms under load but so does stock and it's really not intrusive at all. This exhaust rocks!

More pics....

Damage during shipping? Who knows. I'm over it.



Here's a pic of the saggy driver's side after my DIY install, before I had it remedied by my mechanic friends.



I've expressed my concerns before about the visible shiny NCC canisters and what can be done to make them more inconspicuous. So what's the first thing I did before the install?.... I painted that sucker

VHT high temp flat-black paint


I masked the rest of the exhaust with tape and trash bags, and this is the result:


What NCC canisters? I no see them



Comparing stock vs AA...

Stock on rhino ramps before the install:



Pics taken today after everything was made right. (Note the 'invisible' NCCs)





Video just added:

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Last edited by masmole; 11-28-2008 at 11:53 AM.
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      11-26-2008, 02:49 AM   #2
Blake
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your license plate rocks. nice exhaust too!
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      11-26-2008, 03:15 AM   #3
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Oh, I like how you painted them, very nice.
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      11-26-2008, 06:47 AM   #4
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My drivers side exhaust had a bent bracket as well from shipping and with a minor tweak all was better. I love to tinker and play with bolt-ons but I was nervous on getting the thing on just right (and I have been busy as hell) so I had Auto Talent put mine on and I am definitely glad that I did. Bummer for the hard install for you but like you said, its a great exhaust system. Im actually taking mine back in after a few more weeks of driving and break-in for final tweaking and I think I just may follow your lead and paint the NCCs. It looks great... Did you just apply the paint or did you sand the NCCs first???
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      11-26-2008, 09:52 AM   #5
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Congrats on the AA and nice install
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      11-26-2008, 12:27 PM   #6
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did you consider painting the rest of the canistars?
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      11-26-2008, 12:45 PM   #7
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Thanks for sharing..congrats then..sound clips?
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      11-26-2008, 12:48 PM   #8
masmole
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blakepilot View Post
your license plate rocks. nice exhaust too!
Quote:
Originally Posted by schnell325 View Post
Oh, I like how you painted them, very nice.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate@IND View Post
Congrats on the AA and nice install
Thanks all.
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      11-26-2008, 12:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spectrumphoto View Post
Did you just apply the paint or did you sand the NCCs first???
I sanded it a little bit just to roughen up the surface for the paint to adhere to, cleaned it, and sprayed 3 coats.
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      11-26-2008, 12:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buschy View Post
did you consider painting the rest of the canistars?
I did consider painting at least the visible portions of the canisters viewed from behind but was concerned about possibly reducing heat-dissipation and transferring more heat to the tips causing discoloration (even though they're double-walled). But then again, I don't know anything about thermodynamics. I'm quite happy with how shiny and clean the canisters look as they are. My issue was really with the NCCs based on many pics people have posted, and with regards to that, painting them worked very well.
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      11-26-2008, 01:21 PM   #11
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The exhaust looks great and I'm glad you like it! Be sure to post some video clips
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      11-26-2008, 04:32 PM   #12
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Came out nice. Congrats !
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      11-26-2008, 05:05 PM   #13
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Cool!
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      11-26-2008, 11:10 PM   #14
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That looks SLICK! I really like the black paint on the mufflers, awesome job.
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      11-27-2008, 03:09 AM   #15
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Looks good and came out great!
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      11-28-2008, 11:42 AM   #16
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Here's a video I just made...

Video as promised

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      11-28-2008, 11:48 AM   #17
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sweet
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      11-28-2008, 05:13 PM   #18
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Nice video. Sounds pretty sweet. Much easier to tell the sound than from the other videos I've seen.
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      11-29-2008, 03:56 AM   #19
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Ha. No wonder I liked the look so much better than other AA systems when I was checking out the other video thread I posted in. Not quite sure what they were thinking about the looks of this system from the rear (before your mod!). Nice job.
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