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      08-24-2012, 02:01 PM   #2
Brigadier General

Drives: 2013 BMW M3 ZCP Coupe
Join Date: May 2009
Location: El Segundo, CA

iTrader: (1)

Originally Posted by LM3 View Post
(Vids at the end of the post for those not interested in installation matters and driving impressions.)

I've wanted to pick up an exhaust for months now, and have contemplated every brand and direction ad nauseam.

Truth be told, I want an Akra, but don't want to pay for it damn you Slovenians and your titanium goodness.

So a couple of weeks ago I went in the complete opposite direction and picked up a Megan Racing Exhaust. First impressions upon receipt were favorable. It was light, the welds were as expected, and it came carefully packaged.

Finally got around to installing it last night with a much more mechanically inclined buddy.

Install Notes/Issues & Fitment

(I'm no mechanic, so please don't crucify me if I misidentify hangers, bushings, brackets, etc.)

Removing the stock exhaust was really quite straightforward. As suggested in other threads, we used a jack and 2x4 to support and finally bring down the muffler, which made life a lot easier. Once removed, we snapped a pic to show the significant contrast between the systems.

With a ~$500 system, one suspects that there has to be compromise somewhere. In my experience it was in the lack of sufficient hardware, and somewhat puzzling (yet consistent) misalignment and incorrect sizing in the side muffler hanger/bracket area.

Regarding the lack of sufficient hardware --

The muffler is in part supported by two side hangers/brackets. It's fastened to them via a lateral bolt, which bolts through the bushing and directly into the stock muffler hanger. Here you're looking down at the nut that is welded to the vertical muffler hanger on the stock system.

Long story short, the Megan system did not come with a nut to meet with this bolt. The bolt came through the bushing to meet.. nothing. You can see it coming through the top of the bushing here.

The photo above also highlights the lack of alignment between one of the supports on the Megan exhaust and the bottom hole in the black bushing. This is the exhaust support that meets with (what appear to be) safety ties on both sides of the muffler (pic below). Not really an issue in and of itself -- probably not critical that the bolt actually insert into the bottom of the bushing. The problem is that the safety ties have a metal piece on the end with a bolt hole that is supposed to match up with the bolt hole on the exhaust support, and they don't. There is some overlap, but not enough.

The result is one ends up with a much smaller diameter bolt hole, and so the stock bolts cannot be used. We happened to have a couple of smaller bolts on hand to bolt up the ties.

So based on my experience, you'll need 4 nuts and 2 bolts (+ washers) not supplied by Megan to complete the install.

Also, one of the clamps for the connecting pipes was way too wide. We had to struggle like hell to compress the clamp just to get the bolt through far enough to catch both washers and the nut on the other side.

On a positive note, the Megan system did match up with all of the primary mounting points, and once installed everything was spot on. The muffler, tips. (Took a level to the tips -- spot on.) I find it an all-around massive improvement over stock in the looks department.

Driving Impressions

First, I'll say that I really like the sound of this thing. I've driven a couple hundred miles now in nearly all conditions -- city, highway, country road. It makes the driving experience more fun, more of an occasion, and that's what I was after.

How loud is it? Pretty damn loud. It's vocal for sure. Honestly, I think it's about twice as loud as the stock system. Engine noise used to overpower exhaust, and now it's the other way around. If I could I'd reduce the decibels by 25%'ish.

Does it drone? You betcha, but it's limited and bearable (to me). Anything south of 2 k rpm and the cabin is filled with some boomy buzziness -- especially with windows down. The good news is @ 2 and above it sounds fantastic. My typical shift point out of first is ~4k, which puts me engaging 2nd at above the drone-zone.

If I lived in a metropolitan area with mostly start/stop city driving, this would not be my exhaust because of the drone down low.

Highway? This I was really worried about. I drive the M to Florida, 2 hours to my "local" track, etc. so I really didn't want highway drone. The deal is it's dead quiet @ 75 mph in 6th. If you really listen you can hear it, but it's very faint.

I also travel a lot of 55 mph roads. Here it's a bit more noticeable, but again not overbearing or annoying. Doesn't disrupt phone calls or music.

We were able to capture a few video clips that capture the sound fairly accurately I think.

Thanks for reading. Let me know if you have any questions!

I've had mine on for a yr. has been perfect. Nothing broken or loose. It will get quite a bit louder with age. Wait until you do a primary cat think it sounds good now..he he.

2013 M3 Coupe-MR/BLK ZCP, ACM test pipes, BPM Stg2 dev. tune and Megan catback, AFE Stg2. with C/F elbow VMRV810 19x10&19X11 275/295 Mich PSS.
Previous rides: 2011 M3 Coupe-MR/Blk
2007 Porsche 997C2S Speed Yellow/Blk sport seats
2004 BMW M3 Imola/Blk