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  1. #1
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    Would like your opinions on a quiet FBO setup for the n54

    Does a quiet FBO setup even exist for the n54? Right one I have AR 3 inch cat less dp's and a vanguard exhaust. While the vanguard has a nice growl to it and pops/gurgles on deceleration, I feel like it might be a little loud for me. I'm getting a little annoyed. I am going to take my car in for the turbo recall after Mpact and will most likely have to throw on the stock dp's so while I'm messing with it, I might try to change out the exhaust.

    Would a gutted stock exhaust system sound better and still give me the same performance? Since I don't want to use meth and don't have any e85 stations close enough to use, I'm straight 93 Oct, so I don't want to sacrifice power, but I'm growing tired of the howl of my AR's and vanguard.

    What setups are you guys running? What about a custom setup with the BMW Performance exhaust?

    Suggestions wanted!
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    ESS 6XX kit

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    Dont go BMW PE, its nascar loud with catless downpipes and has a farty sound at lower RPM's. I say put stock mufflers on, everything else is just too loud. Besides, i dont think your losing much hp with stock catback.

    Just to give you an idea of my dilemma - heard on the internetz that BMW PE was the most amazing exhaust ever, so i ordered it. Put it on with a set of catless downpipes at the same time - i was very dissapointed. Farty civic sound at lower rpms, rasp in the midrage, but sounded terrific at higher rpm's albeit OMG its loud. So i ordered in some vibrant resonators and went to have them welded in, only spot we could fit them in was where the factory midcats were. So we hacked off the cats and welded in the resonators, sounds much better but still not ideal and now my car has a smoking problem.

    Some have said you can go BMW PE, resonators, and leave the midcats in place but it takes surgical precision to fit them all in - something most shops dont have. @Dr. G , can also provide mucho feedback on the BMW PE set-up as its been a journey for him as well.

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    Stock exhaust works quite well I've heard. Click here to enlarge

    My car is just a hair louder than stock and I'm as modified as they come.

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    Honestly, aside from downpipes, upgraded exhaust systems on these cars don't seem that impressive power wise. Nothing like upgrading the exhaust on an Evo or STi or something. Probably slightly better with upgraded turbos, though. I think catless DP's and stock (or catless) trans-back exhaust would probably be the best compromise.

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    Are you guys running a gutted stock exhaust? Or just OEM stock? I am now worried my protune may need to be modified with the added slight change the stock exhaust would make...ugh
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bobS Click here to enlarge
    Are you guys running a gutted stock exhaust? Or just OEM stock? I am now worried my protune may need to be modified with the added slight change the stock exhaust would make...ugh
    Stock exhaust no rear cats here.

    And I highly doubt you will need to modify your pro tune if you went that setup.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by themyst Click here to enlarge
    Stock exhaust no rear cats here.

    And I highly doubt you will need to modify your pro tune if you went that setup.
    Ok cool....obviously my protune is locked so essentially I'd have to buy another map, I guess I would do some logs and make sure it's all good. I think ACM does a modification to the stock exhaust that works well.
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    I wouldn't mod a stock exhaust. I loved going from vanguard back to stock for driving, it felt "right". But, it doesn't have a tuned sound. If you were to get an exhaust, lookup the miltek. It was slightly louder than stock, but in no way over aggressive.
    I had videos, but don't think I do anymore

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    I've been thinking on going back to stock exhaust as well, cold start in the AM and cruising around town its just too loud for my taste. you wont loose much HP either, 8-15hp TOPs! if i end up selling ill probably delete secondary cats and replace the resonator with a x pipe.
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    The stock e92 335i exhaust will flow enough for 450whp. any more than that and you would gain alot more power by going to larger piping diameters. You could delete the secondary cats like themyst has done, but with catless downpipes on a 6AT im afraid it might drone. You could look at a 6AT sideways, and it will drone more Click here to enlarge

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    The AE is very conservative for a full aftermarket exhaust. Aside for being a little boomy at low speeds under 2000 rpm, its very manageable around town. No rasp. Girlfriend approved Click here to enlarge

    Otherwise, I'd stick with the stock exhaust, which is really decent as far as OEM exhausts go. Maybe replace the underfloor cats with resonators.
    Last edited by nitehawk; 08-31-2012 at 10:15 AM. Reason: typo
    [02/07 E92 335i 6MT] - Under Construction

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    Ive actually thought about replacing my stock secondary cats with 200 cell high flow vibrants cats......also thought about swapping my n54 stock catback with an n55 stock catback (n55 catback comes with no secondary cats from the factory)

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Stucks Click here to enlarge
    The stock e92 335i exhaust will flow enough for 450whp. any more than that and you would gain alot more power by going to larger piping diameters. You could delete the secondary cats like themyst has done, but with catless downpipes on a 6AT im afraid it might drone. You could look at a 6AT sideways, and it will drone more Click here to enlarge
    I have catless DP's on my 6AT, no drone and sounds nice.. I'm thinking of deleting the secondary cats soon for increased sound

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by boosted-M Click here to enlarge
    I have catless DP's on my 6AT, no drone and sounds nice.. I'm thinking of deleting the secondary cats soon for increased sound
    I too have catless downpipes with the stock exhaust and secondary cats still in place. Theres a little bit of drone when going up hills or in certian rpm ranges, but nothing terrible. Everyone is sensitive to different levels of drone.

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    Keep in mind I have an e90 which has a resonator, the e92 has an x-pipe. Could explain the varying opinions.

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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    I have tried a few different exhaust setups and tried a few friends exhausts, and nothing works better then a modified stock exhaust.

    Catless DP + no secondary cats with resonator in place with stock mufflers is pretty quiet. I wanted to go a bit louder, so i deleted my E90's big resonator.
    Catless DP+ no seconadary cats with no resonator (divorced piping no x-pipe) with stock mufflers is what im running and i LOVE it. Almost no drone, tocuh of rasp at certain rpm, and around town its not loud at all. Really the perfect exhaust

    I was thinking of going with BMW performance mufflers, but ive heard it fully catless and its raspy as hell.

    Only difference between my setup and a fully catless E92 would be i deleted the resoantor on my E90 and divorced the piping at that point, as where the E92 has a small X-pipe. Not sure what effect a x-pipe vs divorced piping has effect on the N54.
    I would think a fully catless E92 with stock mufflers and oem x-pipe in tact would sound great aswell.
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    Catless DPs with a Milltek over here (no cats just resonators and mufflers).. One of the more tame exhausts, but with catless DPs sounds perfect to me. Not too loud unless you open it up and even then its not as loud as the others. Much more refined sound wise as well.. Not loud just to be loud.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Stucks Click here to enlarge
    The stock e92 335i exhaust will flow enough for 450whp. any more than that and you would gain alot more power by going to larger piping diameters. You could delete the secondary cats like themyst has done, but with catless downpipes on a 6AT im afraid it might drone. You could look at a 6AT sideways, and it will drone more Click here to enlarge
    With the resonator intact no drone. It's pretty tame for the power it makes.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by themyst Click here to enlarge
    With the resonator intact no drone. It's pretty tame for the power it makes.
    true, forgot you had an e90 lol. i have an e92 and there is in fact a teeny bit of drone rarely with my catless downpipes and stock catback

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    Secondary cat delete w/ the OEM muffler. Let's you keep the OEM exhaust flap so it shouldn't be loud until you stomp on the gas
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    I have the Mr 5 modified stock exhaust with Matt Schnell Cattless DP. My second cats are deleted with vibrant resonators in their place and i have magnaflow mufflers. It's not very loud but drones kind of bad. My interior trim pieces rattle at certain RPMs. I'm getting ready to just do a muffler delete or find some used Remus or some kind of other mufflers.
    2011 335is DCT, JB4 + MHD BEF, stage 2 LPFP, e50 + 50/50 meth, FBO, MT ET Streets when needed


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by 5soko Click here to enlarge
    I have tried a few different exhaust setups and tried a few friends exhausts, and nothing works better then a modified stock exhaust.

    Catless DP + no secondary cats with resonator in place with stock mufflers is pretty quiet. I wanted to go a bit louder, so i deleted my E90's big resonator.
    Catless DP+ no seconadary cats with no resonator (divorced piping no x-pipe) with stock mufflers is what im running and i LOVE it. Almost no drone, tocuh of rasp at certain rpm, and around town its not loud at all. Really the perfect exhaust

    I was thinking of going with BMW performance mufflers, but ive heard it fully catless and its raspy as hell.

    Only difference between my setup and a fully catless E92 would be i deleted the resoantor on my E90 and divorced the piping at that point, as where the E92 has a small X-pipe. Not sure what effect a x-pipe vs divorced piping has effect on the N54.
    I would think a fully catless E92 with stock mufflers and oem x-pipe in tact would sound great aswell.
    Can you post a vid of your setup? I currently have catless dp's, replaced my e90 resonator with x pipe, and stock mufflers. I'll be deleting my secondary cats soon and was planning on putting resonators in place of the sec. cats but if yours sounds good without them I may just try that instead.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by lulz_m3 Click here to enlarge
    Some have said you can go BMW PE, resonators, and leave the midcats in place but it takes surgical precision to fit them all in - something most shops dont have. @Dr. G , can also provide mucho feedback on the BMW PE set-up as its been a journey for him as well.
    What he said!

    I've had AE, Remus, Vanguard, BMW PE - and to be honest I think the catless BMW PE might be the loudest up top. The others are deeper so the bass travels further, but the up top scream of the PE is so frikken loud I think it's louder than my Vanguard was.

    BMW PE with stock cats is my fav setup so far, but once I put the DP's on it became raspy and I can't do any logging or vbox'ing without creating a huge scene. I'll be welding in resonators into the midpipes while keeping the secondary cats in place sometime between sept 12-15th. I suspect it to still be pretty loud up top though just without the rasp and the low end will quiet down a bit. If it turns out how I expect it to it will be my fav setup since the PE has the best sound, but I just haaaaaated the rasp and this should remove the rasp and give me a sexy clean sound.


    Stock exhaust with no cats sounds pretty raspy, I actually mistook my buddies car for a civic and was making fun of the sound until I saw him pull into the parking lot haha, but with resonators it's not bad. If you really want to go quieter I would go with stock exhaust with some ULTRA QUIET resonators in the mids. I used to love my loud exhaust, but now sometimes when I want to do a quick run I shy away simply because the car is so damn loud at WOT.
    Last edited by Dr. G; 08-31-2012 at 04:59 PM.

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    2 out of 2 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    Only exhaust mod I have is DP's. Otherwise the car is so damn quiet and still quick enough. I ran my buddies H/C/I camaro and sat right there with him while I didn't make a peep. Hoping my new e85 tune will do even betterClick here to enlarge

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    Damn you guys have me worried now.

    I have the BMW PE and love it, but granted the rest of the exhaust is stock. I ordered some AR downpipes with the resonators and was hoping that it wouldn't change the sound. Hell, that's the may reason I popped for the resonator version over the straight catless version.

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