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  1. #1
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    Semi DIY for AR Design N63 Downpipes

    So seeing as I apparently had an exhaust leak in the engine bay I decided to get to the downpipes and make sure everything was on tight and while I was at it I'd try and get rid of the check engine light from my catless downpipes. When I began I thought I'd take some pictures and see if it would help those who have some interest in replacing their downpipes as I did basically everything you'd need to do to replace them.

    First step was to take off engine cover and remove the 8 bolts(use a torx T25 bit) on each air box:
    Click here to enlarge

    After all the airbox bolts are out take a flathead bit and loosen the clamps on the rubber coupler:
    Click here to enlarge

    Then you can pop the lid off the airbox and turn it around to get to the two Maf sensor bolts:
    Click here to enlarge

    Next slide out the Maf sensor and place it carefully to the side and put the lid away to reveal the air filter:
    Click here to enlarge
    Click here to enlarge

    To get the bottom of the air box out first push back this rubber piece back carefully it comes right out:
    Click here to enlarge
    Click here to enlarge

    Once thats done you can pull the filter holder out and see where the airbox sits on two other rubber bits just pull them out:
    Click here to enlarge

    Here was for me the hardest part of the whole thing, Now the air box is ready to come out but its still attached to the tube that feeds it. It has a little tab on the side facing outward that needs to be pushed in while pulling the airbox backwards. I didn't want to pull the tubing out of the coupler in the front so you need to be careful not to pull the airbox unless the tab is pushed in. I couldnt get a good picture of it but here is the tab on the airbox so you can see what i'm refering too:
    Click here to enlarge

    Heres what you left with after that last step, repeat the process on the other side:
    Click here to enlarge

    Then pull out these two sensors on each side by just taking them out of the holders:
    Click here to enlarge

    And after that unclip the square connector which goes to the primary 02 sensor:
    Click here to enlarge

    Theres a black bracket that holds the wiring in place, thats whats next so remove this bolt:
    Click here to enlarge

    And theres two more that are removed with a deep 14mm socket:
    Click here to enlarge
    Click here to enlarge

    Heres the bracket out and the heat shield exposed:
    Click here to enlarge
    Click here to enlarge

    To get the heat shield off you need to first remove a bracket that hold the wiring in place on both sides of the heat shield. Its a terrible picture(like all the rest) but you can see the two recessed bolts that hold it in:
    Click here to enlarge
    Click here to enlarge

    It just comes out now:
    Click here to enlarge

    Now its easy to get to the heat shield bolts(3 on each side):
    Click here to enlarge

    The car was still very hot as I started it as soon as I got home so I put on gloves at this point. The head shield is ready to come out so pry it up and backwards to get it out. The reason we unclipped the square primary 02 sensors earlier was so we could get the heat shield off now:
    Click here to enlarge

    Finally the turbos and downpipes are exposed. Since I was looking for a leak and not replacing the downpipes I took a wrench to tighten the primary sensors:
    Click here to enlarge

    And pulled out the two back secondary O2's which are the cause of my CEL for my trickery:
    Click here to enlarge

    I started at 4:42 and got to this point in 37 minutes. While this isn't a complete DIY for the downpipes(hence the title) really 90% of the work is done. From here you'd remove the V-Band, jack the car up and loosen the two bolts on each downpipe and they come out thru the top. Then reverse the process and your good to go, I really think that you couldn't take more than 3 hours for the whole thing and if you have access to a lift its even faster. Here is the rest of what I did.

    I'm putting two spark plug non foulers on each O2 sensor. One is drilled out and screwed onto the sensor and the second is left alone to cover the first one. The purpose of this is to get the sensor out of the direct path of the exhaust to reduce the amount of emissions that reach it and make it believe the cats are present and working.

    Heres one drilled out and one intact:
    Click here to enlarge
    Click here to enlarge
    Click here to enlarge

    Then it screws back into the DP and put everything back together.

  2. #2
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    how did it go with the CEL?

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    LOl I took it around the block to make sure it wasn't gonna blow up but the CEL is still on although that is to be expected. I'd have to either reset the ecu(if you can even do that with these) or drive it some more. I'll try to take it out longer either late tonight or tomorrow for work. I'm 50-50 on whether it will get rid of it or not but I've used it successfully on other cars.

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    Awesome- thanks for posting this! Gives me confidence in diy when the time comes...

    Good luck with the cel. I emailed Bavarian technic again yesterday and they still don't have an eta for coverage of our cars.

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    Well I'm driving it now as before I just wanted to turn it on and go for a quick drive. Now it's up to temp but CEL is still on but it's for the same two codes P0420,P0430 and it says "catalyst system efficiency below threshold". It's running fine though.

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    Yes, those are the codes for P0420h & P0430h. It needs to be disabled in the MSD85.x along another function.

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Jimefam Click here to enlarge
    Well I'm driving it now as before I just wanted to turn it on and go for a quick drive. Now it's up to temp but CEL is still on but it's for the same two codes P0420,P0430 and it says "catalyst system efficiency below threshold". It's running fine though.
    Last edited by LW@MTG; 12-02-2011 at 12:13 AM.

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    I've been driving for about 25 minutes and got some confidence so I went to a road I know to be desolate and did a 0-120 blast and it pulled fine. Can't say it felt any stronger but certainly not weaker. Damn CEL is still present though guess this thing is alot smarter than I.

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    Give it like a day of driving before conclusions! On the X5m took almost a day to get reduced power mode, but that's been fixed already.

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Jimefam Click here to enlarge
    I've been driving for about 25 minutes and got some confidence so I went to a road I know to be desolate and did a 0-120 blast and it pulled fine. Can't say it felt any stronger but certainly not weaker. Damn CEL is still present though guess this thing is alot smarter than I.

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    Where in Miami are you? Do you work at a shop?

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by m54b25 Click here to enlarge
    I work for a tuning house in Palm Beach, FL & do some bit&bytes stuff for a garage in Miami, FL.
    Ahh I ask cause I grew up in Miami and go frequently. I called a few shops in town last week looking for a tune for the 550i as I was down there for TG.

  11. #11
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Jimefam Click here to enlarge
    Ahh I ask cause I grew up in Miami and go frequently. I called a few shops in town last week looking for a tune for the 550i as I was down there for TG.
    Nice! I'm usually on the weekends in Miami.

    I doubt you'll find anyone in town for any F series powered by N63 that have a clue how to even read out the stock calibration to even start tuning it outside BMW AG (unless it's a DINAN dealer & props to them=) .

    Besides, a F01 750i or F10 550i with spare DME from the BMW dealer connection I could probably look into.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by m54b25 Click here to enlarge
    Nice! I'm usually on the weekends in Miami.

    I doubt you'll find anyone in town for any F series powered by N63 that have a clue how to even read out the stock calibration to even start tuning it outside BMW AG (unless it's a DINAN dealer & props to them=) .

    Besides, a F01 750i or F10 550i with spare DME from the BMW dealer connection I could probably look into.
    I tried purchasing a spare dme from tischer but they said they are Vin locked and can only have one at a time? I wanted to have the spare tuned and keep the stocker untouched.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Jimefam Click here to enlarge
    I tried purchasing a spare dme from tischer but they said they are Vin locked and can only have one at a time? I wanted to have the spare tuned and keep the stocker untouched.
    It's a touchy subject to get a spare DME, since mfg want's to know why you need a spare DME specially for the new cars. PM

  14. #14
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    Nice write up! Would like to turn it into a full downpipe DIY article though but since you were not installing or touching them understandable.

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    Well I'm thinking about taking them off to have them heat coated and probably wrapped next week so I'll probably finish it.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Jimefam Click here to enlarge
    Well I'm thinking about taking them off to have them heat coated and probably wrapped next week so I'll probably finish it.
    Now that is the spirit... details on the heat coating would be awesomeness as well.

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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    Alright like I said earlier I planned on taking off the downpipes and having them heat coated and probably wrapped to see if it helps drop the engine bay temp a bit and also because the exhaust has a drone between like 1600-2000rpm on partial load that annoy's me and I'd like to see if wrapping it will help. If I was brave I would do things right and take the turbos off and exhaust manifold off and have all that coated to get the full effect but since I dont know how to purge air from the coolant system and I'd have to do that for the water lines that cool the turbos I'll chicken out and just do the downpipes. I would KILL for of an FSM of this car! Here we go:

    Put the car on ramps got underneath and saw that each DP has two nuts that need to be removed(hard to get good pics underneath the car):
    Click here to enlarge

    Not 100% sure its the same as OEM but AR designs used 13mm nuts to connect, the difficult part is removing the nut without spinning the bolt above. Its hard to hold the bolt in place because space is non-existant but I'd run into similar problems before so I have the solution:
    Click here to enlarge

    Putting that above on the bolt will keep it from spinning since there isn't clearance for that to turn and allows me to hit the 13mm's with a socket. Once they've been removed you go into the engine bay and do what I outlined earlier from there we take out all the O2 sensors and then hit the Vbands with a 13mm(Iirc) socket:
    Click here to enlarge

    Then remove the Vband and the downpipe comes right out threw the top:
    Click here to enlarge

    Do the same to the other side:
    Click here to enlarge

    And you've got your downpipes out. Now just do everything in reverse and your good to go, It took me 1hr 13mins this time from when I put the car on ramps to this point:
    Click here to enlarge

    I promptly took them to my local ceramic coater who will blast them and then coat them titanium color for me. They are pretty quick about turn around time. http://www.procryo.com/CERAMIC.html I'll see if they take some pictures for me of the process and of course I'll update this thread when I get them back and its time to reinstall.

    Click here to enlarge

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    Nice. Does it look like there is clearance in there to remove the stockers (which would have chunky cats on them) the same way you did above?


    Good luck on the FSM - I bet it's a couple years before we even see a Bentley manual...

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    I can't imagine them coming out any other way there's no room thru the bottom. Besides the stock cats are right where the flex pipe is on the AR ones so it really doesn't affect how it comes out.

    I need to get friendly with someone at my local dealer. I really wanted to get those turbos and manifolds off but being unsure of how the cooling system works I didn't pull the trigger.

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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    Got the downpipes back but I was out of town for the week so it wasn't until yesterday that I put the car back together. I'm happy with the way the downpipes came out and I didn't heat wrap them because there really is very little clearance to do what I wanted to do. Heres how they look:

    Click here to enlarge

    Click here to enlarge

    Click here to enlarge

    It took me almost an hour to install just the downpipes again. First of all there tricky to get at underneath the car to put them where their supposed to go without a lift but my problem was I made a mistake. I installed the downpipes without putting in the sensors first and when I went to put them in I didnt have clearance for my EGT sensor on the drivers side DP so that meant taking them both off again and doing the whole thing over. Also I would say it is extremely important that if someone goes to do this they have that wrench head that I used, I can't see another way of holding the bolt in place while tightening the nut without this tool.

    Click here to enlarge

    Click here to enlarge

    Click here to enlarge

    From this point it took about 20 minutes to get everything back together. I really would say if your doing it from start to finish at once you shouldn't take more than 3 hours and If I was taking it to a shop to be done I'd expect to be charged that or less since they have a lift(which would have saved a good bit of time, thats something I'll be buying soon).

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Jimefam Click here to enlarge
    Got the downpipes back but I was out of town for the week so it wasn't until yesterday that I put the car back together. I'm happy with the way the downpipes came out and I didn't heat wrap them because there really is very little clearance to do what I wanted to do. Heres how they look:

    http://www.bimmerboost.com/images/im...IMG_1039-1.jpg

    http://www.bimmerboost.com/images/im...IMG_1041-1.jpg

    http://www.bimmerboost.com/images/im...IMG_1043-1.jpg

    It took me almost an hour to install just the downpipes again. First of all there tricky to get at underneath the car to put them where their supposed to go without a lift but my problem was I made a mistake. I installed the downpipes without putting in the sensors first and when I went to put them in I didnt have clearance for my EGT sensor on the drivers side DP so that meant taking them both off again and doing the whole thing over. Also I would say it is extremely important that if someone goes to do this they have that wrench head that I used, I can't see another way of holding the bolt in place while tightening the nut without this tool.

    http://www.bimmerboost.com/images/im...IMG_1044-1.jpg

    http://www.bimmerboost.com/images/im...IMG_1051-1.jpg

    http://www.bimmerboost.com/images/im...IMG_1054-1.jpg

    From this point it took about 20 minutes to get everything back together. I really would say if your doing it from start to finish at once you shouldn't take more than 3 hours and If I was taking it to a shop to be done I'd expect to be charged that or less since they have a lift(which would have saved a good bit of time, thats something I'll be buying soon).
    Those came out pretty nice...

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    Nice!
    Click here to enlarge
    sales@ardesign.info | tel. 303.351.3515| www.ardesign.info
    Powering some of the world's fastest BMWs

  23. #23
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    still get the CEL?

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by LostMarine Click here to enlarge
    still get the CEL?
    Lol yup.

  25. #25
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    You can't use o2 sensor spacers on these cars. Will never work. Need a flash tune. Click here to enlarge
    Click here to enlarge
    sales@ardesign.info | tel. 303.351.3515| www.ardesign.info
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