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      10-05-2009, 02:36 AM   #1
Finnegan
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Thumbs up Gintani Rear-Section Installed: Impressions

EDIT: 12/29/2010

Since I realize some folks may find this when researching exhaust options, I'm adding the following:
  • This was the original "Race" Version
  • The drone did not bother me initially, but over time it began to wear on me since it was present in the rev range most often used for cruising (under 3,100 RPM). As a result I eventually sold the exhaust.
  • Quality, fit, and other considerations stand as is.
  • I cannot speak to how this compares to the "Sport" version.

Original Review

I finally got my rear-section Gintani ceramic coated exhaust installed this week. To put it in a nutshell: “wow”!
  • My wife loves it
  • The guys at Concours d’Elegance at Serrano all said it sounded “great”, “perfect”, and “awesome” (including the Ferrari crowd)
  • Not “too loud” for a vert
My overall impressions are pretty consistent of those lugnut posted in July. Above 3.2K and to redline it just sings out beautiful notes. That’s when its voice it at its best. It really makes the car come alive! I finally feel the “sports” in this car with this exhaust. Whereas the engine stomped out the sound of the exhaust when stock the exhaust now has a voice that is a bit louder than the engine at some speeds and then pretty much even as the revs build. It’s nice and it adds the balance I was looking for.

Drone is present under 2.2K and seems to be at its loudest 1.2K until about 2.2K, and it quiets down a bit. But there is still some drone until about 3.2K. It’s not “too loud” at those engine speeds (at least for me) and it adds some very fun character to the car in the 2.2K to 3.1K rev range.

But to elaborate a bit on the lower revs, even in the low-rev “drone area” the car simply sounds like it means business now. Before the car seemed pretty docile; now it sounds mean (which I like very much). This exhaust adds a level of toughness I think the vert really needed. On a coupe or 4-door it’s just going to really make your car stand out with unique looks and a very unique sound. As lugnut said, this isn’t an exhaust that will let you fly under the radar!

I think those outside the car get the best seats for listening to this exhaust. I drove around town next to and in front of my wife’s car this evening and she says it’s not really very loud and it's very pleasant sounding from another vehicle’s perspective. So I got my wife’s thumbs up from inside the car and outside the car!

You just can’t beat the Gintani for looks either. The matte-black ceramic coat it works with the “no chrome” look I have going (badges are all that’s left to do). The large tips are just plain mean looking. There’s no ugly “anchor” under the car anymore and it makes the back-end look 100% better. (Damn that stock exhaust weighs a ton!)

The fit and overall quality of the exhaust is top notch. My installers, American Muffler & Brake in Roseville, thought it was a very nicely done system. Si, who has been doing exhausts for 40 years, thought it looked great form a quality perspective. (And he does handmade exhausts for classic and American muscle cars so he knows a thing or two about this subject.) By the way, if you’re in the Sacramento area and need someone to install or uninstall a system these are the guys to see. Their prices are reasonable and they do a fantastic job getting things to line up “just right”.

I have yet to go on an extended trip with this exhaust so that will be a test that will need to wait until next weekend. We’ll see if it stays livable for longer distance driving.

Application Note: If you carry clients in your car I don't think I could recommend this system. It's too hardcore for that.

Customer Service Note: Alex and the guys at Gintani are just great to work with. You can always get Alex on the phone when you need him, and they stand behind their products. Example: A major shipping company beat the crap out of the shipping box (looked like a gorilla threw it around for an hour and then tossed it off a 4 story building). I’m amazed that one section made it in one piece but the other wasn’t so lucky. The rear hanger was broken off at the weld and one tip smashed in. Alex and Gintani were right on this working to replace it right away and started on a new section right away. They did everything they could within their power to make me happy (and happy I am). These are guys who are there for you!
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Last edited by Finnegan; 12-29-2010 at 03:37 PM.
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      10-05-2009, 07:57 AM   #2
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Nice writeup! You have confirmed it for me, I want this exhaust!!
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      10-05-2009, 09:13 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finnegan View Post
[font=Tahoma][size=2][*]Nawaaz is going probably going to pop due to "happiness overload" when he installs the full Gintani exhaust system
[/list]
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      10-05-2009, 09:17 AM   #4
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Nice review!

Nice pics of cars, but need more! Post up some vids too!
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      10-05-2009, 09:19 AM   #5
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Nice review. Please post some shots from the rear when you can.
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      10-05-2009, 09:54 AM   #6
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Great job! Thanks for the impressions. Not sure if this is detailed elsewhere (this is actually my first time replying to a thread!), but is this system a bolt on, or does the stock system have to be cut off? If it does, can you or anyone else advise if it's possible to put the stock system back on when I have to turn in the car at the end of its lease?
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      10-05-2009, 10:09 AM   #7
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How is it cruising around 70-75mph? You're still in the drone/loud range?
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      10-05-2009, 11:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldM3guy View Post
Great job! Thanks for the impressions. Not sure if this is detailed elsewhere (this is actually my first time replying to a thread!), but is this system a bolt on, or does the stock system have to be cut off? If it does, can you or anyone else advise if it's possible to put the stock system back on when I have to turn in the car at the end of its lease?
It is completely bolt on and you do not have to cut your oem exhaust.
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      10-05-2009, 11:46 AM   #9
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Wow. That's great. This will be #1 on my list of mods when my 2010 E92 arrives!
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      10-05-2009, 01:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finnegan View Post
Nawaaz is probably going to pop due to "happiness overload" when he installs the full Gintani exhaust system
You got it Finnegan!

btw, you did an extremely awesome job in writing up your review!
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      10-05-2009, 02:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aus View Post
How is it cruising around 70-75mph? You're still in the drone/loud range?
He answered that below. By the way, 3.2K rpm on the 6MT is almost 80 mph.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Finnegan View Post
Drone is present under 2.2K. The exhaust seems to be at its loudest 1.2K until about 2.2K, and it quiets down a bit (but is still very present) until about 3.2K.
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      10-05-2009, 02:27 PM   #12
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Thanks Lad!

Finnegan.. awesome write up! Mine is coming soon I hope. Alittle longer than expected but it sounds like it will be worth the wait! I am in CT so I hope the shipping co. doesn't mutilate the packaging!

Def post some pics and videos! Best of luck with it!
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      10-05-2009, 03:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aus View Post
How is it cruising around 70-75mph? You're still in the drone/loud range?
Quote:
Originally Posted by elp_jc View Post
He answered that below. By the way, 3.2K rpm on the 6MT is almost 80 mph.
Yep, 3.2K is about 80 with a 6MT. At light throttle (level road, cruising) 65-75 is a bit louder than stock but it is not intrusive (talk radio is easy to hear at a low volume). It's not very noticable. Get on the throttle a bit more and it's noticably louder (as in starting to climb a very slight grade) but the radio can still be heard with it set at low volume. Go a bit heavier on the throttle though at those lower RPMs and it's really loud.

But as I said in the OP not many of us drive like that (I hope). Going up a grade I always downshift to get higher revs as the engine isn't happy lugging away at ~3K on a grade. I'm into fourth (and probably third) if I'm going to go WOT at around 70 MPH. I don't see this as a big deal (for me) as it isn't a change in my driving style as I've been driving the car that way since I picked it up.

One plus I did not mention is that with the exhaust my heel/toe is better in normal driving. In more spirited situations, at higher revs, I never had a problem rev matching and I was really smooth. But in more "around town" rev ranges I've struggled a bit as the engine/exhaust in stock form were so quiet. Now I can hear the revs I need to hit more clearly with the exhaust note from the Gintani and and that makes for a smoother driving experience and pretty seemless shifts. (I'll bet this is the case with most aftermarket systems BTW.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nawaaz View Post
You got it Finnegan!

btw, you did an extremely awesome job in writing up your review!
Thanks Nawaaz!


Quote:
Originally Posted by CT-Bimmer View Post
Finnegan.. awesome write up! Mine is coming soon I hope. Alittle longer than expected but it sounds like it will be worth the wait! I am in CT so I hope the shipping co. doesn't mutilate the packaging!

Def post some pics and videos! Best of luck with it!
I wouldn't worry about the shipping. At the same time mine was shipped a few hundred miles (to Norcal from SoCal) others were shipped cross country with no issues. Look at Nawaaz stuff--perfect and shipped to Texas from SoCal. I think they had some silverback out on loan from the local zoo who "personally" unloaded mine on from the truck! Honestly, I think it was just an abberation as I've received hundreds of shipments from this same carrier interstate and cross-country over the years w/o incident.

I'll have to hit up another forum member for a video (mine was broken recently). Can do on some other shots, probably Tues evening.
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      10-05-2009, 09:19 PM   #14
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Great review and glad ur liking ur exhaust.

As far as drone goes, I think its pretty much not possible to have a loud exhaust with no drone. When u go loud u will have to accept some drone. But In my op, this exhaust doesnt have enough to where it will annoy u and the great sound u get just makes u forget its even there most of the time.
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      10-05-2009, 09:31 PM   #15
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Congrats on the choice of exhaust Gintani ftw.
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      10-05-2009, 10:51 PM   #16
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Glad you like it, it's a pretty awesome exhaust.
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      10-06-2009, 09:02 AM   #17
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Great review. I would imagine that it must sound absolutely insane with the top down. I've put about 2k miles through it and it still sounds great.

My one regret is that my girlfriend can't drive a stick (no jokes please ), so I don't know what it sounds like from outside the car.

I agree with Finnegan about the compliments I get from sports car owners across the board. Everyone from hot rod guys, to italian exotic owners have told me that the Gintani sounds great. My co-worker actually wont let me start my M3 until after he starts his stock E46 M3 because he feels embarrassed at how quiet his is.
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      10-06-2009, 10:00 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lugnut View Post
Great review. I would imagine that it must sound absolutely insane with the top down. I've put about 2k miles through it and it still sounds great.

My one regret is that my girlfriend can't drive a stick (no jokes please ), so I don't know what it sounds like from outside the car.

I agree with Finnegan about the compliments I get from sports car owners across the board. Everyone from hot rod guys, to italian exotic owners have told me that the Gintani sounds great. My co-worker actually wont let me start my M3 until after he starts his stock E46 M3 because he feels embarrassed at how quiet his is.
My wife hates driving a manual, but I've still been teaching her in empty, wide open parking lots.

She's got the hang of it slightly, so I should hopefully get the opportunity to hear my exhaust from the outside in the near future.
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      10-06-2009, 10:20 AM   #19
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Spot-on review of the Gintani exhaust. My impressions were similar during my test ride a couple of months ago.

However, I have to disagree with you about the engine "lugging" at 3,000 rpm. The torque curve is pretty flat even at that rpm. The DCT computer puts the car between 2,000 and 3,000 rpm all the time. (Yes, I understand you have the 6MT, but it's the same engine.) So I think the caveat with this and other racing exhausts is that you either have to drive in a lower gear to keep the revs up or learn to live with the resonances at certain rpm ranges.

Cheers.
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      10-06-2009, 11:42 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slipstream View Post
Spot-on review of the Gintani exhaust. My impressions were similar during my test ride a couple of months ago.
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by slipstream View Post
However, I have to disagree with you about the engine "lugging" at 3,000 rpm. The torque curve is pretty flat even at that rpm. The DCT computer puts the car between 2,000 and 3,000 rpm all the time. (Yes, I understand you have the 6MT, but it's the same engine.)
Feel free to disgree, I'm cool with that. I just find that on a grade if you want to accelerate a bit or even keep the same speed the engine doesn't feel "happy" at ~3K RPM and it's a lot happier one gear down. Maybe "lug" is just too strong a word and then again my observation is highly subjective.

Quote:
Originally Posted by slipstream View Post
So I think the caveat with this and other racing exhausts is that you either have to drive in a lower gear to keep the revs up or learn to live with the resonances at certain rpm ranges.
I totally agree with this statement. That hits the nail on the head. If you're not willing to accept this trade-off then something with a helmholtz chamber (such as Dinan or AA) would be a good choice.
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      10-06-2009, 06:04 PM   #21
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Anyone who has the full gintani exhaust setup, how's the drone at 70mph, 75mph and 80mph in 6th gear (MT)? Do you guys experience any high pitch drone right at 2900-3200rpm?
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      10-06-2009, 06:18 PM   #22
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Hey buddy, im glad your liking the exhaust!! Once again were sorry about what happened with the first shipment, but glad everything went smooth after that. Cant wait to see some pictures of your car.
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