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E46 General discussion and technical help for 1999-2004 3 series cars.

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Old 03-11-2012, 09:17 AM   #1
Buds217

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Hello Bimmer community - just got a 04 E-46 vert a few months ago and am here looking to get some info on mods. I must say " I am now a BMW fan" these are incredible cars.

Looking for some exhaust ideas?

New brakes

And an xtended warrantee

AFE exhaust installed recently, along with a strut tower brace.

Now I'm looking to do headers and a full exhaust - any suggestions on brands and why

Just got new rubber

Last edited by DEATH2000; 03-11-2012 at 10:32 AM..
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:36 AM   #2
DEATH2000
 
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What kind of performance gains are you looking to make?

How much do you want to spend on new brakes? BBK Kits run over $1,500 for 2 piston caliber ones.

Why are you looking to do a full exhaust when you said you had an AFE one installed recently? Headers Arnt worth the ridiculous price tag really. Full carnage exhaust is expensive enough.

How's your maintenance? All fluid changes up to date? How are the rest of the wearable parts like bushings? Rear Shock Mounts?
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:49 AM   #3
Buds217

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Full exhaust?

The car had 29000 original miles when I picked it up. Had it inspected and everything is immaculate, BMW offered me there best full warruntee after they did their inspection, and i took it. I did an afe in take, changed all fluids and put new brake pads and rubber, but am looking to get an x-pipe no cats through to exhaust with a descent sound. If you say don't bother getting headers are you saying the stock ones are good enough? If so I don't mind saving - just looking to do it right and get the most bang for the buck. I'd like to do the right mods that will give me the most hp and of course for the least amount of money. If its worth it, I will spend the money, just want to make sure I start off in the right direction. Thanks for your input.

Last edited by Buds217; 03-11-2012 at 10:58 AM..
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:57 AM   #4
DEATH2000
 
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The reason myself and others will say maintenance first is because a lot of important parts can get neglected and fail. RSMs are a common fail point and are often overlooked. When lowering the car it adds extra stress to this area and can increase failure rate, and damage. As an example.

As for headers, the aftermarket ones can be close to $2,000 and unless your running a high boost turbo setup you won't see or feel any gains from them. Not worth the money IMO. If you wanna run cat-less check your local emissions laws first. Make sure it's legal before you spend the money. also cat-less kinda stinks. If your okay with the smell of rotten eggs then go for it. I'm keeping my cats because it's a DD car. You can purchase full cat back exhausts that keep the cats, but use less restrictive ones. If you wanted to you could have a muffler shop custom fab pipes from the headers back and throw on just a muffler. Cheaper then full cat back.
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Old 03-11-2012, 11:08 AM   #5
Buds217

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Muffler shop sounds pretty good too thanks. No emissions inspections down here for about 15 years now, so I'm safe there. What exhaust would you recommend and where should I look for the best deals on one? Also what are some good prices on super chargers, would you recommend that or a turbo and will I still be able to use those stock headers?
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Old 03-11-2012, 11:28 AM   #6
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Their are a few good brands out their making some really good products. Depends on the sound and the price point you want, but a few are: UUC, Eisenmann, Rogue Engineering, Actie Autowerks. Looking on YouTube for sound clips is the best way to start. Most of these exhausts will push $1,000. But you get what you pay for. These have all been engineered and tested to optimize performance. Cheap knockoffs are just that. Cheap. They come with no guarantee and may sound like shit.

Personally, if it's a DD car, get a supercharger. Turbos are very complicated and very expensive. Superchargers are pretty much bolt on applications, and they keep the DD feel. When you mash the throttle you'll feel it, but sitting in traffic won't suck as much. At the same time a supercharger allows you to use the stock internals and retain the factory compression ratio. Most turbo setups require beefing everything due to higher pressures. You would be able to use the stock headers fine.

Active Autowerks in Miami FL makes really nice kits for the E46. Their going to be my choice for a kit. Second to that VF Engineering makes them as well and they are highly rated as well. Costs start at around $4,000 and go up.
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