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      12-27-2013, 03:21 AM   #1
Hujan
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Corsa Exhaust -- Putting lipstick on a pig

Within a week of getting my M3, I ordered the Akrapovic Evolution exhaust. Like everyone, I was a huge fan of the craftsmanship, weight, looks, and performance of the system. But I eventually realized I was not a huge fan of the sound. In particular, I found it too bassy at low RPMs and felt it disappeared at higher RPM.

After listening to sound clips of numerous other exhausts and speaking with several people, it seemed the Corsa exhaust would give me the best chance of achieving my ideal tone: Minimal low-RPM boominess, minimal rasp, and a higher-pitched exotic sound. There is simply no denying that the Corsa exhaust for the M3 is a great sounding exhaust:






The problem? The Corsa is a bit rough on the eyes. The cans are large and hang low, and the tips are too small:






The Corsa's less-than-appealling looks were a big issue for me because the Akrapovic exhaust is, in my opinion, one of -- if not the -- best looking exhausts for the M3. Would I have to give up the great looks of the Akrapovic for the sound of the Corsa?

I decided to call Kris and Mark at Luftkraft Fabrication to see what they might be able to do. For those of you that don't know, Luftkraft is an amazing fabrication and finishing shop in Colorado Springs. They do work on a variety of things, from custom high-end bike frames to classic cars (e.g., Ford GTs and VW Busses) to modern sports cars and exotics (Porsches, Audis, Lamborghinis, and BMWs).

I first got in touch with Luftkraft to do a set of custom roundels and center caps for me. I wanted them in OEM colors, except with the chrome parts in Titanium Silver Metallic. They came out great!









Aside from doing great work, the guys at Luftkraft are among the nicest guys I have ever dealt with. They are always upbeat and in a great mood. I know they are busy, but they never make me feel like I'm bothering them when I call or e-mail. And I don't think Mark or Kris ever said "no" to anything I inquired about; whatever I was looking for, they said they could do it.

In speaking with the guys at Luftkraft, the original plan was to ceramic coat the cans and connecting pipes in a flat black and the tips in a satin silver. They also said they could add a logo on the tips, as my original intent was to put "///M" logos on them.

I then stumbled on this thread where "ROBS2K" discussed custom tips for his Corsa exhaust. As it turns out, he had the tips from the MRF Velaforza exhaust welded to his Corsa. I thought that was a great solution, because the Velaforza tips are, in my opinion, on par with the Akrapovic tips:






But because the MRF tips were so much wider than the stock Corsa tips, using the MRF tips would require us to make a new version of the "Y" outlet pipe that connects the tips to the muffler. Of course, Luftkraft said it would be no problem for them. A quick call to Malek at MRF confirmed that he still had several sets of the Velaforza tips in stock. He graciously agreed to drop-ship a set to Luftkraft in Colorado. That same day, I had a Corsa drop-shipped from Turner to Luftkraft. A week later, everything arrived in Colorado Springs and the guys at Luftkraft got to work.



One issue I didn't expect is that the Velaforza tips were much longer than the Corsa tips:







I feared the project might end there, but of course the guys at Luftkraft said it was no problem, and assured me they could cut the tips down to length without anyone ever being able to tell they'd been cut:







With the tips cut down and with the new, wider "Y-pipes" done, it was time to start welding everything together:






Here is the finished product after welding:








Here's a comparison shot of the factory Corsa tips and "Y-pipes," and the MRF tips with the new "Y-pipes" that Luftkraft made:






With the fabrication work done, it was time to start the ceramic coating. Luftkraft started with a primer for the ceramic:






After that, they ceramic coated everything in black. Although it looks like an uneven gloss finish in these photos, the black becomes even and satiny after it cures.








Once the black was laid down, they masked the exhaust and coated the tips in silver:







The final stage was to lay down the logos on the tips. In speaking with Kris, we agreed to go with logos on the sides rather than ones on the top, which might be concealed by the rear valence or a diffuser (if I ever went that route). As I said, I originally envisioned doing "///M" logos. But on a bit of whim, I got the idea of doing the Luftkraft logo instead. The logo is a bird (I like to think it's a humming bird) with a serpent in its belly:






I asked Kris if they would be willing to lend their logo to the project and he said they would be honored to do so. (And, of course, they agreed it would look great!)

There were only two problems: First, it was unanimously agreed that the logo would look odd if the bird's beak was oriented to the left instead of the right, thus preventing us from using it on the left-hand tips in each pair. Second, the new formulation of ceramic they used for the tips would prevent the logos from adhering properly. (A test run on a piece of scrap confirmed this.)

The solution to the first problem was to go with logos only on the right-hand tips in each pair. I was a bit unsure about the asymmetry at first, but Mark assured me it would look great. The solution to the second problem was to etch the logos instead of laying them down with ceramic. To get different shades, they would use different methods of etching. Mark was confident it would look good and I put my complete faith in him. I'm glad I did! Within two hours of talking these issues over with Mark on the phone, he sent me photos of the finished result. I couldn't be happier:








The exhaust will ship out on Monday for install with Malek at MRF Engineering. I will update this thread with photos of the exhaust on the car and, hopefully, a sound clip (if I can figure out how to get the GoPro my wife got me for Christmas to work!).

In the meantime, if you are looking for some good fabrication or finishing work for your M3, particularly to put some lipstick on your pig of an exhaust, I cannot recommend Kris and Mark at Luftkraft Fabrication enough. As you can see from the photos, they can pretty much do anything you can dream up.

Thanks for reading!
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Last edited by Hujan; 12-27-2013 at 06:23 PM.
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      12-27-2013, 03:51 AM   #2
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Nice one! Gotta say, I saw the Corsa exhaust on an M and was like WTF is that exhaust because it looked worse than stock...so good on you to take that sound and improve the look. Akra def can't be beat in the looks dept.
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      12-27-2013, 05:20 AM   #3
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Way to go on Customization!
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      12-27-2013, 07:21 AM   #4
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Great solution and work! Cant wait to see it installed...
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      12-27-2013, 07:59 AM   #5
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Way to go on the customizing of your exhaust they look top notch

Last edited by SoCal BimMn'; 12-27-2013 at 08:04 AM.
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      12-27-2013, 09:16 AM   #6
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At first I thought you were in Colorado, then I realized you were getting everything shipped. What a cool shop. The exhaust looks 1000% better than before, can't wait to see finished product!
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      12-27-2013, 09:19 AM   #7
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Awesome work. I regret selling my corsa. While I didn't like the original tips the sound is the best I have heard from a e92 m3. It does sound exotic w it. You solved this issue.
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      12-27-2013, 09:26 AM   #8
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That looks sweet!
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      12-27-2013, 10:17 AM   #9
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Wow. Great work...can't wait to see it installed!
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      12-27-2013, 10:20 AM   #10
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Exceptional write-up and I can't wait to see it all finished up and on your M3.
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      12-27-2013, 11:55 AM   #11
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very nicely done, including logo!
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      12-27-2013, 01:09 PM   #12
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Sweet. Glad I inspired you to do the same. The Corsa tips look terrible but you cannot beat the sound IMO. Great job and post pics when its all on the car.
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      12-27-2013, 01:29 PM   #13
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Love your/the attention to detail. I think my favorite part is the etched logo but Im sure the tips will look amazing tucked under the rear bumper. I love these one off projects.
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      12-27-2013, 02:09 PM   #14
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good job

I had the Corsa exhaust before and the only thing I did'nt like was the look, definetly one of the best sound for an M3!!
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      12-27-2013, 06:33 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mmmdreamer View Post
Nice one! Gotta say, I saw the Corsa exhaust on an M and was like WTF is that exhaust because it looked worse than stock...so good on you to take that sound and improve the look. Akra def can't be beat in the looks dept.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ashtaron14 View Post
Way to go on Customization!
Quote:
Originally Posted by ottoblotto View Post
Great solution and work! Cant wait to see it installed...
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCal BimMn' View Post
Way to go on the customizing of your exhaust they look top notch
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlpineE92M3 View Post
That looks sweet!
Quote:
Originally Posted by skins333 View Post
very nicely done, including logo!
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamadub View Post
Wow. Great work...can't wait to see it installed!
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewRifle View Post
Exceptional write-up and I can't wait to see it all finished up and on your M3.
Quote:
Originally Posted by alynM3 View Post
Love your/the attention to detail. I think my favorite part is the etched logo but Im sure the tips will look amazing tucked under the rear bumper. I love these one off projects.
Thanks, guys! I'm glad you like it. I will definitely follow up with photos of it installed!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex07M3 View Post
good job

I had the Corsa exhaust before and the only thing I did'nt like was the look, definetly one of the best sound for an M3!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by gazosnic View Post
Awesome work. I regret selling my corsa. While I didn't like the original tips the sound is the best I have heard from a e92 m3. It does sound exotic w it. You solved this issue.
Thanks, guys! Yeah, as much as I hated the look, I kept coming back to the Corsa for its sound. Hopefully this and Rob's identical project will help others realize they can eat their cake and have it too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by W/// View Post
At first I thought you were in Colorado, then I realized you were getting everything shipped. What a cool shop. The exhaust looks 1000% better than before, can't wait to see finished product!
Thanks! I cannot recommend Luftkraft enough. I put a very high priority on customer service and Mark and Kris are flat out the best I've dealt with. BPM, Malek/MRF, iND, and Luftkraft have the best customer service in the business, IMO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ROB_S2K View Post
Sweet. Glad I inspired you to do the same. The Corsa tips look terrible but you cannot beat the sound IMO. Great job and post pics when its all on the car.
What up, Rob! You definitely inspired me to give it a go. I really appreciated your thread and the photo you posted showing the new "Y-pipe." The only problem with my exhaust is that I won't be putting it on a LSB M3. Your car is (was?) amazing!
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      12-27-2013, 06:45 PM   #16
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Initially i thought the "pig" in the title was the E92 M3, but I couldn't of been more wrong. The stock corsa is damn ugly.

Very cool customization, love the attention to detail. Cant wait to see the finished product on the car!
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      12-27-2013, 09:32 PM   #17
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Very nice! I love the custom work! First time going to MRF? You will love it.
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Last edited by JEllis; 12-28-2013 at 01:00 PM.
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      12-27-2013, 10:08 PM   #18
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That video you posted was of my old E90

Good job on the mods. Looks perfect now.
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      12-27-2013, 10:32 PM   #19
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Pics after install!
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      12-27-2013, 10:47 PM   #20
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      12-27-2013, 11:02 PM   #21
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Idk how those tips made it into production over at corsa. but the exhaust does sound pretty dam good. those new tips look incredible although probs costed a lot like most things that are incredible do. lol
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      12-27-2013, 11:50 PM   #22
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Exhaust

Awesome craftsmanship looks very clean an mean all in one love it
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