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      05-05-2013, 07:41 AM   #1
superflywheel
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For those who swap exhausts, what lessons learned?

I've searched a lot and I find it interesting to read exhaust review posts of someone loving the particular exhaust being reviewed, where the review thread is a few years old, yet their sig shows current ownership of a different exhaust. Actually this board looks like an exhaust swingers club! I'm new to the M3 and seeking a monogamous exhaust relationship so I'm hoping to benefit from some longer-term feedback that has slipped through the cracks of new exhaust reviews.

I'm simply looking for sound yet want to stay out of the obnoxious & heavy-drone camp and stay emission legal. I'm considering the following but have been giving most consideration to the MPE:
  • M Performance Exhaust
  • Challenge Exhaust
  • AE Performance Sport
  • Supersprint Race/Sport

Any interesting long-term insights from those on a similar path?
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      05-05-2013, 07:56 AM   #2
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consider the ACM mod
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      05-05-2013, 08:31 AM   #3
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I love my exhaust and wish I put it on sooner. It's not loud enough for a lot of the guys on here, but for me it's perfect.
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      05-05-2013, 08:58 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superflywheel View Post
I've searched a lot and I find it interesting to read exhaust review posts of someone loving the particular exhaust being reviewed, where the review thread is a few years old, yet their sig shows current ownership of a different exhaust. Actually this board looks like an exhaust swingers club! I'm new to the M3 and seeking a monogamous exhaust relationship so I'm hoping to benefit from some longer-term feedback that has slipped through the cracks of new exhaust reviews.

I'm simply looking for sound yet want to stay out of the obnoxious & heavy-drone camp and stay emission legal. I'm considering the following but have been giving most consideration to the MPE:
  • M Performance Exhaust
  • Challenge Exhaust
  • AE Performance Sport
  • Supersprint Race/Sport

Any interesting long-term insights from those on a similar path?
I did the Active Autowerke's exhaust. Very, very little drone for a microsecond at about 2.2/2.5k RPM's. Not obnoxious or "ricey" sounding...but def. aggressive when you get on it.
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      05-05-2013, 09:04 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superflywheel View Post
I've searched a lot and I find it interesting to read exhaust review posts of someone loving the particular exhaust being reviewed, where the review thread is a few years old, yet their sig shows current ownership of a different exhaust. Actually this board looks like an exhaust swingers club! I'm new to the M3 and seeking a monogamous exhaust relationship so I'm hoping to benefit from some longer-term feedback that has slipped through the cracks of new exhaust reviews.

I'm simply looking for sound yet want to stay out of the obnoxious & heavy-drone camp and stay emission legal. I'm considering the following but have been giving most consideration to the MPE:
  • M Performance Exhaust
  • Challenge Exhaust
  • AE Performance Sport
  • Supersprint Race/Sport

Any interesting long-term insights from those on a similar path?
Bottom line is that there a lot of nice sounding exhausts for the M3. But sound is SOOOOOO subjective. The problem is this: Few people really have the opportunity to hear an exhaust before they buy it. Even those that get a chance to hear exhausts at car meets really don't get to experience the sound while driving under varied conditions. Online sound clips also fail to properly capture the sound properly.

With this in mind, I went with the M Performance exhaust. Coming straight from BMW, you know you have the greatest chance of getting a great sound that is still streetable and legal.

Anyway, I am very happy with this decision. I won't try and describe the sound since, like I said, nobody will ever really understand it until they experience it.

Bottom line.....when faced with a daunting number of options and possibilities, with so much unknown, why not go with the option that will give you the greatest probability of satisfaction.
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Last edited by LarThaL; 05-05-2013 at 12:02 PM.
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      05-05-2013, 10:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarThaL View Post
Bottom line is that there a lot of nice sounding exhausts for the M3. But sound is SOOOOOO subjective. The problem is this: Few people really have the opportunity to hear an exhaust before they buy it. Even those that get a chance to hear exhausts at car meets really don't get to experience the sound while driving under varied conditions. Online sound clips also fail to properly capture the sound properly.

With this in mind, I went with the M Performance exhaust. Coming straight from BMW, you know you have the greatest chance of getting a great sound that is still streetable and legal.

Anyway, I am very happy with this decision. I won't try and describe the sound since, like I said, nobody will ever really understand it until they experience it.

Bottom line.....when faced with a daunting number of options and possibilities, with so much unknown, why not go with option that will give you the greatest probability of satisfaction.
I completely agree with this. Exhaust modifications are probably the MOST subjective modification one can do to their car (Outside of aesthetics like paint and wheels). I have spent weeks looking at posts about exhaust modifications, and very few exhaust reviews are the same.

That being said, from one newcomer to another, there are a few key questions you need to ask yourself:

1) What is your budget?
2) Are you paranoid about your warranty?
3) Are you just looking for better sound?
4) Are you looking for performance increases?
5) Are you worried about emissions?
6) Are you going to be tracking, or just street driving?

Once you answer those questions, it will help narrow your search down.

1) If money is no object, then from the searches I've done, the most common choices are Akra, and MPE (But only MPE if you are just doing axle-back).
2) If you are paranoid about your warranty, then either the MPE or the Dinan will be your best chance, since if you get it done at the dealer, those are the most likely exhausts they would be willing to install. Depending on how lenient your dealer is, you could try AA or another brand, but the key is to have the dealer install it if you want to maintain your warranty. Many people are fine with having an Indy mechanic put it on, and if you had a warranty issue, you probably would be fine, but having the dealer install it is the only sure-fire way to keep your warranty in-tact.
3) This is where subjectivity comes into play. If you are looking for just sound, the only thing you can do is research. Look at videos online (Which again, does not give you the same sound as in person), or even better, if you live near forum members, try to arrange a meet-up to hear the exhaust. Even better, do what I did and join a car club. There are a couple other M3 owners in the club that I joined, and they have different exhausts, which allowed me to hear them under different driving conditions while we were doing the club drives.
4) If you are looking for performance upgrades, the proof is in the pudding. Look at dyno results, and forum reviews. For the most part, most aftermarket exhaust systems are very close to one another with performance gains, so usually, it will come back to which one you like the most for sound.
5) If emissions are a concern (Which your post says you are concerned with), than you should probably stay away from catless exhausts. Any catless exhaust setup will require you to add software to prevent the CEL from coming on, and this may cause issues with your emissions check. I'm not sure if there are others, but I know AA has a nice HFC x-pipe that even though I think it requires software, you might be fine with emissions.
6) This partly ties into the emissions concern, because most people that track their cars go with catless x-pipes, since that's where most of the performance gain typically comes from. If street driving is all you're going to do, then again, you're back to the subjectivity aspect of sound.

I know this probably isn't the answer you're looking for, but when it comes to exhaust, the decision needs to be your own. You really can't just have someone tell you what exhaust is best, because what is best for one person, may be the worst for someone else.

All this being said, personally, I went with the MPE because at the time, I was concerned with my warranty, and I LOVED the sound. As many posts state, it seems to get better as you break it in. I'm a member of an exotic car club, with Lambo, Ferrari, and other exotic car owners, and everyone says it sounds great. I am now comtemplating getting an x-pipe for it (Leaning towards the AA HFC), since I would now like some more HP, and would also like it a bit louder. Many reviews on the site say the MPE gets really loud and raspy with test pipes, or a catless x-pipe, which is why I'm going to go with HFCs, or a quad-resonated pipe. If it's too raspy, then I'll try to add a couple resonators to the HFC pipe if possible. If that still doesn't work, then I'll sell the MPE and get some other axle-back that I like. If it sounds great, well, then that's a win for me!

With the exception of the last paragraph, everything I've stated here is based on my findings from reading countless numbers of forum posts about this topic. The best thing for you to do is keep looking around, watching videos, trying to see exhausts in person, and roll the dice. Good luck, it's a fun ride!

Last edited by epbb; 05-05-2013 at 10:19 AM.
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      05-05-2013, 10:22 AM   #7
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Had Dinan XPipe + AA Rear.
Too much drone and headache producing.

Switched to M Perf Rear + ACM Test Pipes.
Excellent. Perfect for this car. Much more exotic and refined sounding than previous setup. This belongs on an M3. Absolutely no drone. Keeps the BMW a BMW and test pipes add the performance.
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      05-05-2013, 10:46 AM   #8
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A local friend just did the OEM exhaust mod (replaced perforated pipes with solid) and the reports I'm getting are that it sounds awesome. The price is good too, since a local exhaust shop handed us the pipe for free (we did tip him), so all it cost was cutting discs, sawzall blades and welding supplies.

He bought a used OEM exhaust to modify so that his car wouldn't be out of commission. Now that he's all set, I am hoping to get his stock exhaust modified.

If you're looking for sound, I don't see why you wouldn't give it a shot since it's extremely economical and if you don't like it, you can sell the modded exhaust when you replace it with the next thing you try.
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      05-05-2013, 10:54 AM   #9
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      05-05-2013, 11:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parkanzky View Post
A local friend just did the OEM exhaust mod (replaced perforated pipes with solid) and the reports I'm getting are that it sounds awesome. The price is good too, since a local exhaust shop handed us the pipe for free (we did tip him), so all it cost was cutting discs, sawzall blades and welding supplies.

He bought a used OEM exhaust to modify so that his car wouldn't be out of commission. Now that he's all set, I am hoping to get his stock exhaust modified.

If you're looking for sound, I don't see why you wouldn't give it a shot since it's extremely economical and if you don't like it, you can sell the modded exhaust when you replace it with the next thing you try.
100 % agreed....check this out...my post about this mod. with pics,DIY, video and sound v v v
http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=733817
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      05-05-2013, 11:23 AM   #11
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I went down the same path (axle back, emission compliant, not obnoxious, no drone). I tried these in my search:

1) MPE
2) E. Race
3) AA Signature
4) Borla Attak

They all sounded great! It really came down to the in-cabin experience. The E. Race and AA droned too much for me so they were out. The Borla didn't drone but was a little too loud, it drowned out some of the engine/induction noise I like to hear. The MPE was the one that did it all for me. Kind of an expensive journey but c'est la vie. I have no experience with the other exhausts on your list, I'm sure the MPE is the most expensive if that's a factor. Good luck!
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      05-05-2013, 12:06 PM   #12
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So has anyone done MPE and NOT liked it?
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      05-05-2013, 02:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarThaL View Post
So has anyone done MPE and NOT liked it?
Only those that have paired them with catless x-pipes / test pipes and didn't like the raspyness of the setup.
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      05-05-2013, 04:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarThaL View Post
So has anyone done MPE and NOT liked it?
From what I've seen, guys that have sold their MPE's are because:

1) Doesn't pair well with an xpipe for added pwr. Too much rasp reported.
2) Not loud enough.

Guys sterring away from the MPE are because:

1) Price
2) Think it's ugly (helps rationalize price)
3) 1&2 above

I'd say this is a small minority, most guys seem to be very satisfied with the MPE.
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      05-05-2013, 06:06 PM   #15
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Lesson learned is not do ever do the factory upgrade. over priced and never is loud enough. That was with last car not my M.

You wold be surprised how quiet a car can still be with "upgrading" just mufflers. I did the Exhaust mod with replaces the pipes in the mufflers. I would love to do a full exhaust and make it loud as shit.
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      05-05-2013, 06:25 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ezio View Post
Lesson learned is not do ever do the factory upgrade. over priced and never is loud enough. That was with last car not my M.

You wold be surprised how quiet a car can still be with "upgrading" just mufflers. I did the Exhaust mod with replaces the pipes in the mufflers. I would love to do a full exhaust and make it loud as shit.
Remove the primary cats and replace it with the test pipe it ads also 30-35 HP
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      05-05-2013, 07:32 PM   #17
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Quote:
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Remove the primary cats and replace it with the test pipe it ads also 30-35 HP
I would do it in a heart beat if i didn't care about warranty.
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      05-05-2013, 07:33 PM   #18
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go with ae and either sport or race pipes from challenge
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      05-05-2013, 07:37 PM   #19
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so guys, how does the MPE sound with HP catted mid pipes?

or is it that the MPE only sounds good as long as you keep the mid section stock?
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      05-05-2013, 09:25 PM   #20
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SSJ,
I love my M perf with test pipes. It is far less raspy than with a catless Xpipe from what I have seen. There is a little rasp to it which I like but I definitely wouldn't call it a raspy sounding setup.
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      05-05-2013, 09:53 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NikB316 View Post
SSJ,
I love my M perf with test pipes. It is far less raspy than with a catless Xpipe from what I have seen. There is a little rasp to it which I like but I definitely wouldn't call it a raspy sounding setup.
damn i need to hear them in person, cuz i like the idea of the mpe but i deff eventually down the road wanna get some hfc and get more power, maybe ill have to just fall back on a akra evo, cuz in the end i deff dont want any drone at all during daily driving
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      05-06-2013, 01:43 AM   #22
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No one ever talks about the Dinan exhaust. 0 drone, keep your warranty, nice clean sound, and it's so much cheaper than MPE
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