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      10-18-2013, 12:11 AM   #1
e46m3to135i
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E9X M3 test pipes?

I'm about to purchase a set of test pipes and started thinking. With the going rate for these things, why couldn't a good exhaust shop just make a set??

I mean seriously, they are about 18" long each and look to have only a single bend in them, no welds other than on the flanges. I am by no means an exhaust expert nor have I ever done any custom exhaust work myself but I have seen shops do custom work before on pieces that look WAY more complicated.

I did a search and couldn't find any threads on anyone who has had gone this route.

I'm sure I'm coming off as sounding cheap but that's really not the case. I just don't like paying more for something that gets the same results. IMHO, test pipes shouldn't cost more than $200 tops. I feel like I'm getting robbed at $400+ for these things.

Once again, having the funds for these is not the issue, its the principle of the cost that matters.

Please keep the thread on topic.

-Nick
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      10-18-2013, 02:32 AM   #2
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Nick,

A test pipe is more than just a straight pipe of pipe.

You have one end which is flared to meet the header flange. You then need 2 x stainless steel flanges (these are more expensive than most people think). 4 x lambda bosses + TIG welding. In the case of most test pipes 2 x clamps are supplied. In the Evolve test pipes you have the other end enlarged with slits to form a precise inference fit slip joint + clamps.
I should also point out that most test pipes have 2 bends in each pipe. The second bend is very shallow.
Each test pipe must be made in a very accurate jig and there is time taken to ensure the bends are precision.

Making small parts like this consumes the same time approximately as making the front section of a full X Pipe (before the X section). The only difference is the amount of stainless steel length. The labour in making this part is the same as the frontal section.

Small exhaust parts are always expensive in terms of production in comparison to the physical mass.
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      10-18-2013, 02:45 AM   #3
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Thanks for your insight Sal.

Coming from the N54 platform, a pair of quality down pipes are less than $400. When you look at a pair of N54 DP's and then compare them to a set of e9x test pipes one would think the latter is a bit over priced. Speaking in comparison of difficulty to produce of course.

I do prefer Evolves design above the other designs. ACM has a nice set also. Not crazy about Turners.

Looking forward to getting the Evolve tune from you guys. You should see my order come through here shortly.

Nick
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      10-18-2013, 03:18 AM   #4
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If we had them made in the far east in vast quantities the price would come down. Even then, not by much.

However, we as a company will not venture down a path where quality may be compromised with respect to the accurate fitment and this is where the far east really does let companies like us down.

Look forward to tuning your car.
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      10-18-2013, 05:55 AM   #5
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While evolve does have some valid points, all manufacturers apply the "M" tax to parts..
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      10-18-2013, 09:39 AM   #6
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I also thought 400 (+tax +ship, turner charges extra for new gaskets etc) you can run well over 500. Most people can't install it themselves, so expect another 100 on top. I got mine used for 300 then had them welded for 170. Plus you'll need a tune (1k) to delete CEL. All together you're paying ~1500.

that said, STILL WORTH IT. Car drives soooooo much betteer and its a huge performance gain. The only real mod outside FI that will make an instant improvement on the butt dyno
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      10-18-2013, 10:59 AM   #7
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Yes very nice performance gain, plus great exhaust note imo
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      10-18-2013, 11:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KmndntKlink View Post
I also thought 400 (+tax +ship, turner charges extra for new gaskets etc) you can run well over 500. Most people can't install it themselves, so expect another 100 on top. I got mine used for 300 then had them welded for 170. Plus you'll need a tune (1k) to delete CEL. All together you're paying ~1500.

that said, STILL WORTH IT. Car drives soooooo much betteer and its a huge performance gain. The only real mod outside FI that will make an instant improvement on the butt dyno
Couldn't agree more. I'd rather go this route than buy a muffler first.
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      10-18-2013, 12:19 PM   #9
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ACM test pipe BPM tune. 👍
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      10-18-2013, 02:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8k3 View Post
Yes very nice performance gain, plus great exhaust note imo
yeah it really makes it sound meaner, but not too much, just perfect.
Quote:
Originally Posted by W/// View Post
Couldn't agree more. I'd rather go this route than buy a muffler first.
Agreed! I'm sure glad I did, I may even keep OEM for a while, the test pipes help make the stock exhaust sound less constricted/boring. Sounds fantastic now.
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Originally Posted by R_lara View Post
ACM test pipe BPM tune. 👍
I went with turner's & BPM, very happy. BPM is hands down the best option for a tune IMHO, you get the most with them. So OP, def go for test pipes & shoot Mike Benvo a pm, he'll hook you up and you will be happy like the rest of us
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      10-18-2013, 02:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KmndntKlink View Post
yeah it really makes it sound meaner, but not too much, just perfect.

Agreed! I'm sure glad I did, I may even keep OEM for a while, the test pipes help make the stock exhaust sound less constricted/boring. Sounds fantastic now.


I went with turner's & BPM, very happy. BPM is hands down the best option for a tune IMHO, you get the most with them. So OP, def go for test pipes & shoot Mike Benvo a pm, he'll hook you up and you will be happy like the rest of us
Spot on man ! 100 % agreed with you
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      10-18-2013, 05:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KmndntKlink View Post
yeah it really makes it sound meaner, but not too much, just perfect.
Really? Mine is definitely louder but sounds more raspy/hollow above 4K RPM. But I guess its worth it for a few extra HP.
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      10-18-2013, 06:29 PM   #13
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Anybody have any sound/video clips of OEM exhaust mod(Perforated middle pipes replaced, not the ACM style mod) and test pipes?

-Nick
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      10-18-2013, 07:35 PM   #14
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test pipe prices are fair compared to xpipes or mufflers. we are getting ripped off for sure. proof is megan muffler + test pipes. sounds damn good to me for a fraction of the cost with comparable power gains
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      10-19-2013, 07:13 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W Cole View Post
Really? Mine is definitely louder but sounds more raspy/hollow above 4K RPM. But I guess its worth it for a few extra HP.
agreed, it's a very unsubstantial and hollow V8 growl turning into the signature M V8 howl, don't get me wrong, it sounds fine when it's howling, but growl is like the frequency and quantity of noise went up (example, from 70hz @ 83db before, to 250hz @ 93db after). It's not a bad quality of noise, it's just "different" having exhaust "buzz" vs. exhaust "boom" around 1,800-2,000rpm compared to having cats. It's also raspy in sound when accelerating at heavier throttle inputs until the exhaust warms up. The exhaust "pop" that it farts out after each DCT shift and downshift sounds pretty cool though.

If I were to do it all over, I would have gone with a thicker walled X-pipe to quell some noise emanating from the test pipe area (I can tell a difference, and no, there's no exhaust leak), or install a small resonator on the test pipes.
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      10-19-2013, 08:05 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spool twice View Post
agreed, it's a very unsubstantial and hollow V8 growl turning into the signature M V8 howl, don't get me wrong, it sounds fine when it's howling, but growl is like the frequency and quantity of noise went up (example, from 70hz @ 83db before, to 250hz @ 93db after). It's not a bad quality of noise, it's just "different" having exhaust "buzz" vs. exhaust "boom" around 1,800-2,000rpm compared to having cats. It's also raspy in sound when accelerating at heavier throttle inputs until the exhaust warms up. The exhaust "pop" that it farts out after each DCT shift and downshift sounds pretty cool though.

If I were to do it all over, I would have gone with a thicker walled X-pipe to quell some noise emanating from the test pipe area (I can tell a difference, and no, there's no exhaust leak), or install a small resonator on the test pipes.
Yeah on cold start it sounds raspy & much louder (I tested 85db), but you can tune that out. With Xpipe too it will be much louder, but I kept it stock for just the reason you're talking about. Also wanted to reduce the smell by not going full catless. Even just test pipes, there's a noticeable smell (more than I was expecting), which kinda bums me out but its not so bad. I can only imagine how bad a full catless setup would be, totally unliveable IMHO.

I was looking to deepen the v8 growl & idle/low rpms so was looking @ the megan, the test pipes got it pretty close to perfect already. Just like you said, it turns into a great M howl as you step on it, I love the character of the car even more now.
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      10-19-2013, 01:21 PM   #17
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Has anyone used macht schnell test pipes before? A forum member said he'd swap his for my stock ones but they don't seem to be popular here.
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      10-19-2013, 01:41 PM   #18
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Has anyone used macht schnell test pipes before? A forum member said he'd swap his for my stock ones but they don't seem to be popular here.
This thread is MS test pipe & megan exhaust..sounds amazing...
Check out the video on this page >>>http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=819010
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Last edited by ///M Power-Belgium; 10-19-2013 at 01:48 PM.
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      10-19-2013, 01:50 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///M Power-Belgium
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZEEM3R View Post
Has anyone used macht schnell test pipes before? A forum member said he'd swap his for my stock ones but they don't seem to be popular here.
This thread is MS test pipe & megan exhaust..sounds amazing...
Check out the video on this page >>>[intlink]819010;[VIDEO] E90 Megan exhaust + MS track pipes + MS drop in w/ scoops[/intlink]
Ahhh thanks appreciate it
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      10-19-2013, 02:16 PM   #20
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You can tell which people are creative business folks and who is a salaried employee. Products in general are way way more than the material involved in the parts of making the thing. R and D, market size vs RandD cost (335 is a HUGE market where you can profit by charging lower prices but selling way more). The quality etc is obviously a factor. However work going into preparing an accurate jig, time into researching the efficacy or quality, cost into building it and than there are parts.

You buy all the supplies include the clamps, piping, O2 sensor crevices and take it to exhaust shop and see what they charge you.

Being cheap and nave are the worst combo.

same with exhaust. People always complaining about exhaust being 3 times more expensive for the m3 than 335 but has almost the same material. Well again market size vs RD cost is a huge driver of this.
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      10-19-2013, 03:09 PM   #21
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Yeah I dont have a MBA. Sorry. My job/duty position doesn't really ford me the opportunity to attain one when most of ones career is in Iraq or Afganistan.

Guessing if you don't have a degree these days, then you should just roll over and let people take your money??? Great therory.

I really don't think anyone needs a degree to figure out test pipes are stupidly overpriced along with everything else exhaust related to our M3's. Take a look at these REALLY cheaply made N54 DP's:

http://www.burgertuning.com/BMS_135_335_downpipes.html

BTW, there has NEVER been a report of them not fitting correctly or failing and they have been installed on N54's for close to 2 years now if I'm not mistaken. They fit like a glove on my previous N54. You tell me which part required more R&D, E9X test pipes or N54 DP's. Its pretty obvious.

Here's set for a 350Z made by Berk Technology. Oh yeah they make really crappy products too(sarcasm):

http://www.nissanraceshop.com/produc...FbFxQgod4EwAjQ

I took my car to a indy shop yesterday that does custom exhaust work and they quoted me $175 for the set installed. They also said, anything over $200 would be robbery considering what the materials and labor costs. At $175, he said they are still making a good profit. The shop also mentioned any decent exhaust shop could make these as the bend angles are not extreme, just be sure to request good material(304 stainless).

Before I traded my 335i for my M3 I was well aware of the M3 tax. Im sure it sounds like this thread is about that but its not. It's about the degree of it. In my opinion, should there be an increase based off of supply/demand, yes. Theres a difference bewtween S/D and taking advantage of people.

In the end, will I go with a brand name test pipe set or a set from the indy shop? I'm undecided as I like to support local vendors.

I started this thread to get an explanation of why E9X test pipes were considerably higher than other platforms. When I got the answers, I really wasn't that impressed.

-Nick
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      10-19-2013, 03:42 PM   #22
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How many mods on an e90 m3 will get you 20hp for 400 bucks?
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