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      07-09-2009, 03:00 AM   #89
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Looking good! Thanks for the pics and updates!
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      07-09-2009, 04:55 PM   #90
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So cool. Great progress. I'm sure you will be thrilled with the outcome. As far as the interest in selling a few of these goes - it looks promising. However, from my perspective it is a bit like polishing a turd. The OEM system is far too heavy and far too ugly to have such fine and detailed customization thrown at it. I'm still considering an aftermarket system with a bypass that can be added entirely externally.
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      07-09-2009, 05:24 PM   #91
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damn
that's some nice welding
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      07-10-2009, 12:58 AM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swamp2 View Post
..from my perspective it is a bit like polishing a turd. The OEM system is far too heavy and far too ugly to have such fine and detailed customization thrown at it.
Polishing a turd. Haha, I like that. For me, there were a few big advantages to using the stock exhaust, such as:
  1. I didnt have to spend $2500+ on an aftermarket one (or the parts to make one) then another $700 on the valve parts
  2. It retains some of the stock appearance (sleeper)
  3. I know exactly what I'm going to get when the valves are closed, because thats what was on before.
  4. It would seem to me that the service department would give me less of an issue than if I had a totally aftermarket exhaust, although when I spoke to my service department about that, they didnt seem to really care what I do to my car, so I guess this point is mute.
  5. Also, remember that the oem system was tuned by BMW to eliminate drone with the Helmholtz chamber. Now, I don't know if I've seriously affected the tuning of it with my mods, but there seems to be a good chance I haven't. I wont know till I fire it up, open the valves and drive, but it seems likely to me that apparent drone should be very minimal to nonexistant.
Quote:
Originally Posted by McLuVan View Post
damn that's some nice welding
He was actually pretty upset with how they came out. Sam has pretty high standards for his work, but I think the welds are awesome considering the gap he had to fill. He didnt even want me to posts pics of them! You know, in the end, they are just welds and who the hell is going to look under my car and say wow those welds arent perfect?!?! The reality is they are strong as hell and certainly wont break/leak.

--------------------------------------------------
[Long Term Valve update] For anyone considering buying Race Ready Valves, you should read this first:
http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthr...40#post9589740
Changing gears, I spent some time tonight messing with the switch section of this project. My plan was to embed the wireless receiver inside of the oem headlight assembly, but there was not a lot of room and the buttons didn't line up that great. Also, it would have been hard to retain a good button feel (you know, sort of long throw and squishy). So, I was forced to put the wireless remote externally. When I took a good look at the BMW circuit board, I realized that with a couple mods, I could actually use the switch assembly to activate my wireless controller. Onto the pics!

This shows the three soldering points I had to make. I tested the pads with a multimeter first to make sure that I was hitting the right pads for each button (open and close). I drilled a small hole in the enclosure for the exiting wires.


This shot shows all of the internals of the oem headlight assembly and my parts. Yes, those are legos.


I've soldered on the other end of the leads to the oem circuit board now. I'm pressing one of the button pads to illuminate the led (left edge of the remote as shown). Interestingly, there are two pads for each button - the one to the right of my finger is identical in its operation. Oh, btw careful when removing the stock parts from the car, I sliced the hell out of my finger - the edges are really sharp.


These are two lego parts that I assembled. I didn't create this idea, its fairly common with the fog light mod guys, but I used different parts than them to get the right feel. I've epoxied them together so they dont fall apart [UPDATE: after 1.5 years, still holding strong and feels great!].


This is showing a step that was necessary so that my fog lights didnt come on when I press the buttons. I snipped the pins correlating to the two buttons so that they did not make contact to the car's wiring harness. I didn't snip the third common pin because it was shared with the center dial as well. So far, the car doesn't seem to mind!


Everything is in its place now ready for snapping back together.Note that I filled the backside of the lego blocks. I found that after a lot of button presses, the rubber pad things from the circuit board tended to wander into the middle of the lego block. This also gave the button a better feel, perhaps because its using both pads now instead of maybe one.


Testing the buttons, all is well. The top button will open the valves, the bottom will close them.




I hooked up the wiring to test the assembly and check the range. I was able to go a decent 40 feet and still make it work. This is a decent remote setup. It will loose some range when installed in the dash, but not much probably, and it will certainly be strong enough to reach the controller box in the trunk.

Valve open..


The rest of the surrounds and the left button blank are on now. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.


I just used industrial velcro to attach it to the back of the headlight switch assembly. the batteries in these remotes are pretty good, so I'm not too worried about having to remove the switch to put a new one in. I didnt take any tools to remove the dash panels, just grippy fingers.


The dash pieces are just held into place with those blue resistance pegs. A gently slow tug is all you need to get them off, or push them on. You can see the connector here for the headlight switch. You slide that lighter gray bit left to right to release the connector.


The headlight switch has a lip there so you have to take the vent piece off first.


Looking stock! I may design and cut some vinyl stickers of little tail pipes to go over the buttons later.


Thanks for watching and the comments!
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DON'T BUY Race Ready Performance electronic cutout valves. Here's why: http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthr...40#post9589740

Last edited by Subw00er; 05-13-2011 at 12:17 AM.
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      07-10-2009, 08:49 AM   #93
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NICE!!

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      07-10-2009, 09:15 AM   #94
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Really amazing work. I can't wait to hear it in operation.
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      07-10-2009, 09:18 AM   #95
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This is such a cool project

I can't wait to see the finished product!!
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      07-10-2009, 11:34 AM   #96
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This is fascinating... I love the ideas, the customization, and the detailed reporting!!

Thanks for keeping my attention for more than 2 seconds. I can't wait to see/hear the finished product.
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      07-10-2009, 01:20 PM   #97
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      07-10-2009, 02:06 PM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Subw00er View Post
Polishing a turd. Haha, I like that. For me, there were a few big advantages to using the stock exhaust, such as:
  1. I didnt have to spend $2500+ on an aftermarket one (or the parts to make one) then another $700 on the valve parts
  2. It retains some of the stock appearance (sleeper)
  3. I know exactly what I'm going to get when the valves are closed, because thats what was on before.
  4. It would seem to me that the service department would give me less of an issue than if I had a totally aftermarket exhaust, although when I spoke to my service department about that, they didnt seem to really care what I do to my car, so I guess this point is mute.
  5. Also, remember that the oem system was tuned by BMW to eliminate drone with the Helmholtz chamber. Now, I don't know if I've seriously affected the tuning of it with my mods, but there seems to be a good chance I haven't. I wont know till I fire it up, open the valves and drive, but it seems likely to me that apparent drone should be very minimal to nonexistant.
Yes, I agree there are many good reasons to stick with the stock system. It seems to meet your requirements just fine. Again for me personally I just can't stomach the huge weight penalty and poor aesthetics of the stock unit.

Like the rest of the project, the button work is fantastic. Would be a good option for me if I go a similar route except I already used one of those for the rear fog light mod.

Eager to see a video!
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      07-10-2009, 03:29 PM   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Subw00er View Post
For me, there were a few big advantages to using the stock exhaust
Good work buddy. Hey, just curious: are you going to finish your project by polishing the visible part of the exhaust??? I'd look much better . Take care.
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      07-10-2009, 04:48 PM   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elp_jc View Post
Good work buddy. Hey, just curious: are you going to finish your project by polishing the visible part of the exhaust??? I'd look much better . Take care.
Good question. Sam and I were chatting about that last time we were working on it. There are some tape marks and stuff that we need to clean up. I guess there are two options. One is that we just take a polisher to it and shine it up a bit to remove the stuff, or just go to town with goo gone or something.

The other is to use a trademark swirl pattern that Sam does to a lot of his artwork. Here is an example of the finish:

or

It is hard to photograph, but it looks pretty nice in person. I am not sure if it really fits an exhaust per se, but Id' like to do it sort of as a trademark thing. The other sort of negative part would be that it might be really distracting from the rear, and would definitely kill my "keeping stock" look. Your thoughts?

Part of me just wants to paint the thing in black, maybe powder coat or something. The other idea idea we had was to make some sort of small plaque with that design and Sam's trademark, and weld it on... then just clean up the exhaust.

BTW, if you are interested in art, have a look at Sam's website. He is a welder by trade, but at heart, he is an accomplished artist. This is his new website: http://samuelegallery.com

BTW, about the tips.. there have been some manufacturing delays, not sure they will make it on or not. We'll see. Are there any other vendors selling black chrome tips for the e92?
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      07-10-2009, 05:10 PM   #101
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damn im too dumb to think of stuff like this, cant wait to see the finished product
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      07-11-2009, 09:12 AM   #102
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Great Job! Can't wait to hear the sound.... I am amazed with the work you have been doing, keep on posting the update and Thanks for sharing your excellent works.
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      07-13-2009, 12:11 AM   #103
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You cra-zy mon

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      07-13-2009, 02:52 AM   #104
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jeezus u guys are amazing
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      07-13-2009, 11:44 AM   #105
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We may finish up tonight!

Any opinions on the finish - swirl vs buffed vs just cleaned up?
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      07-13-2009, 12:24 PM   #106
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swirl would be unique, and cool. but in my opinion it's a waste of time and just cleaned up is all you need to do
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      07-13-2009, 01:10 PM   #107
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+1 on the no swirl. Swirl is for bar tables, architecture, art, etc., not a muffler. A polish might look OK.
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      07-13-2009, 01:22 PM   #108
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No on the swirl. (Not that I don't like it--I do, it's awesome work--but just not for an exhaust. Art yes, exhaust no.)

I like the vision of keeping the stock appearance, so just clean it up to those "standards" and you're done. If it's too polished or another color that defeats the idea of keeping it stock.

Of course, you can always do other things in the future if keeping it stock looking is no longer a goal a stock look for now doesn't restrict future options.
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      07-13-2009, 01:24 PM   #109
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I would say no to the swirl looks great on furniture etc, but not a huge fan of it on cars.
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      07-13-2009, 01:33 PM   #110
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Black.

-Andy
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