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Thread: E36 M3 (S50) no drone custom exhaust?

  1. #1
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    E36 M3 (S50) no drone custom exhaust?

    I know there's been a lot of custom exhausts built on here!

    Give me the best setup for a no drone, streetable, custom exhaust. I'm looking for weight savings (and some fun fabrication).

    I'm thinking stock headers, single 2.25" or 2.5" pipe, cat, resonator, and muffler. I'd love to re-use my current Stromung muffler cause I like the sound. But am open to anything that'll save weight, minimal/no drone, and not too loud.

  2. #2
    NeilM is offline Member BMW E36 M3 Expert
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    Why stock headers, especially the S50 ones?

    Neil

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    Quote Originally Posted by NeilM View Post
    Why stock headers, especially the S50 ones?

    Neil
    I'm open to suggestions. And it has been on my radar to replace the cast iron S50s with S52s...but blunty, this scares me. lol

    poAcB9Z.jpg

  4. #4
    NeilM is offline Member BMW E36 M3 Expert
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    I do see your point, but unless you've had the cat section off in recent memory the lower flange studs are probably as bad — or worse. I imagine those studs in your pic would come unscrewed from the head and need to be replaced anyway. Good opportunity to use the N54 version studs (am I remembering that right?) instead.

    Cheap eBay SS headers actually work pretty well.

    Neil

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    Well....as a pertinent update....I think I need a headgasket.
    I've had the mid-pipe off several times. Added lots of anti-seize to that header/mid-pipe interface. But, it scares me too. lol.

    Looking at header options now, cause HG.

    Ug, why did I wait until the start of the season????

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    If you want a set of S52 manifolds, I gots some for pretty cheap.

  7. #7
    NeilM is offline Member BMW E36 M3 Expert
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    Quote Originally Posted by aeronaut View Post
    Well....as a pertinent update....I think I need a headgasket.
    Just saw your other thread — understood.

    As a present to myself for the aggravation I bought my shorties when I did the HG.

    Neil

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    Anyone? Just looking for a solid recommendation for single tube size, and resonator & cat brand, for something that won't drone (much).

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    Quote Originally Posted by aeronaut View Post
    Anyone? Just looking for a solid recommendation for single tube size, and resonator & cat brand, for something that won't drone (much).
    Going to 3” will yield the most weight savings but may lead to a louder setup. Good compromise is to reuse the factory duals halfway and the convert to a single 3” pipe using a quality merger like the Vibrant 1035336. For cats, typically want to run them as close to primaries as possible. I went with a 100 cell cat by Mil-Spec.

    For resonators, space permitting, my first choice would be the Magnaflow 12249 which is 8” wide and 5.5” thick. But if width is an issue, then look at the Vibrant 1142 which is only6.75” wide and only 4.5” thick (4.5” vs 5.5” can mean all the difference for ground clearance).

    Muffler wise, if you’re looking for closest to stock as possible I’d give the Flowmaster Hushpower series a shot, offered both in 12” and 16”.. I have the 12” version and it does a good job of keeping the edge off.

    First version of my 3” exhaust: SS headers + Vibrant bottle resonator + Flowmaster Delta 40. Sounded awesome but way too loud...


    Since then I've gotten the system to sound pretty close to stock using parts listed above. Still gives off nice growl at speed but never gets fatiguing nor obnoxious.
    Last edited by Dubbedown; 03-29-2018 at 10:22 PM.
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    It all depends on how old you are and what you can put up with.

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    Dubbedown, thanks for the great info.

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    Turner shorty headers, dual 2.25 inch pipes straight back (no cats) to a borla cat back. Very little drone.

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    ^ Thanks. If I could find a used set of TMS shorties, I'd consider it.

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    I just put dual 2.5" all the way back in my E36 and it reduced my ground clearance a bit, mostly around the differential. Up front, everything still tucked up above the convertible cross-brace just fine. There's a little overhang below the floorpan everywhere else, but only like an inch. By the left rear suspension, though, it's down a good bit lower.


    I'm not sure whether it will turn out to be a problem yet because I don't have much time on the car (I finished it last weekend). But I seem to recall you are still DDing yours, so I thought I would mention it.
    Last edited by JBasham; 03-23-2018 at 02:10 PM.
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  15. #15
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    ^Thanks, good info. I'm surprised 2.5" removes that much ground clearance. Isn't the stock well over 2" OD?

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    I charged some speed bumps last night and cleared without grinding, so it looks like it's okay. I'll take some pictures later this morning and post them so you can take a look.


    Okay here's the original mid-section (cats). Right side goes to the headers, left to the rear bumper. (Stock right side has been cut off for previous modification running 2.5" header collectors to the firewall.)
    DSC_4477.JPG

    The stock pipes were about 1 7/8" and the new is 2 1/2". The only really low spot is at the back where I needed to cross the left rear control arm/differential point on the subframe, and then curve up to the top of the muffler well. You can see right at the upturn point, the pipe is above the bottom mounting point for the left rear damper, but only about 3 inches higher.
    DSC_4479.JPG

    Here is a close-up of the crossover point at the control arm, with the control arm in full droop. You can see the top of the exhaust is placed up to the control arm as tightly as possible without cooking something. The Borla muffler is located where the cats used to be, and it's up nice and high too, as high as the cats pack goes on the stock setup.

    DSC_4480.JPG

    Here are the turndowns at the rear bumper.
    DSC_4481.JPG

    This photo is from the front passenger side. It shows how the front pipes feeding in to the muffler are maybe an inch below the bottom of the frame rail.

    DSC_4482.JPG

    All in all, there is enough room in the existing chassis channels to hold dual 2.5" side by side pipes without too much fabrication effort. That rear low point also looks like it's positioned in a spot that isn't causing problems, because it's close enough to the axle to catch a ride up with the chassis whenever the wheel goes over a peak.
    Last edited by JBasham; 03-25-2018 at 02:05 PM.
    If God meant for man to motor-swap LS engines into track cars, He wouldn't have created Corvettes.

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    One more detail from the roughing-in stage that shows the low point a little better.

    DSC_4471.JPG
    If God meant for man to motor-swap LS engines into track cars, He wouldn't have created Corvettes.

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    Great pics and info, thanks!!! I wonder how people get 3" diam without even more ground clearance issues?

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    I edited my post showing how it sounds now. The magnaflow muffler is the limiting factor clearance wise but it’s still not that bad. Guess depends how low you are...
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  20. #20
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    So, after fabbing up a simple exhaust for a friend's race car this last weekend, I'm back in the mood to fab up my own. Reminder that for me it's all about weight savings, but still drive-able to/from track (not too loud, minimal/no drone).

    All the online charts say 2.5" is just fine for up to around 250HP. Also, 2.5" has nearly identical cross section area as 2 1.75" pipes.

    So my current thoughts for a custom exhaust are:

    S50 engine, stock, with S52 headers.
    Cut mid-pipe ~12" from header flange, and install Y-pipe merge to single 2.5".
    Vibrant ultra-quiet 1141 resonator.
    V-bands where needed.
    Muffler TBD.

    Notice I'm planning to use stock headers. I've just not read anything convincing that the huge selection of $100 ebay headers buys me anything.

    I know getting a sound I 'like' might take a few tries at different resonators or mufflers, but that's life.

    Thoughts? Issues?

  21. #21
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    Starting to make decisions and order parts. BW Y-Pipe in. Flange is not perpendicular to the inlet pipe. Is this the correct fitment of the flange, or did they F it up? (It's going to be a few weeks before I can even start to test fit.)
    IMG_20181025_111931.resized.jpg

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    FYI, I called Bimmerworld, and then sent them some pics. They state it's as it should be, and they are welded in a jig. Thanks BW for quickly answering my questions!

  23. #23
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    I did a 2.5 " single pipe set up...

    mf hi flow cat....borla turbo rear can..on an s50

    no drone really........and she wailed above 4800 rpm or so...

    it was a track day e30/s50..I drove her all over.

  24. #24
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    Thanks, I like the 2.5" sanity check.
    Everything I read says 250HP does not need 3", especially downline when the exhaust temps are lower.

  25. #25
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    Well, after some measuring and thought, I'm going with 3". Although past the resonator, I'm making it oval. Also, for now, going to merge my 3" into a 2"x2 into my Stromung muffler. For now. Also, Vibrant 1795 resonator. 18" long, 4" diameter. Everything's fitting nice and tight so far, surprisingly.

    I'll post up better pics when finished.

    exhaust-1.jpg

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