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  1. #1
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    Post REVIEW: cp-e SS 3" Downpipes

    NOTE: I originally wrote this review back in April '09, but wanted to post it up to inform everyone on this forum, as well.

    So, a few weeks back, after anxiously awaiting their release, my cp-e SS 3" catless downpipes finally arrived. Much like their catback exhaust, I'd been bugging cp-e for a while about when I could expect them... Mind you this was somewhat pointless though, since my car had been in storage since November. I guess it was just a matter of having them in my possession so I could "test" them as soon as my car came out for the season. Click here to enlarge

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    (Click for larger images)

    Here they are in all of their glory, prior to Hi-temp coating:
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    After admiring them for a few minutes, there were a few things that I immediately noticed:


    • The cast bellmouth housings are AMAZING quality. It was clear that all of the R&D was worth-while after just a quick inspection. These are something that EVERYONE building downpipes should be doing!
    • The overall quality of the rest of the pipe matches that of the housings. Great steel, nicely polished, etc.
    • The flanges that connect to the catback section of the exhaust are HUGE. You won't see any warping with these...
    • The lack of bends and smooth flow of these pipes is incredible... Even more so when compared to stock (later on in this review).

    So, after some debate, I finally decided on having these ceramic coated. I honestly was (and still am) not sure if this has any positive affect when running downpipes on the N54; however, it was pretty common in the Subaru community in which I was previously involved in... So I figured it couldn't hurt anything. I went with matte black on the outside (good for temps up-to 2000 degrees) and silver on the inside (which is supposed to aid in flow of the exhaust gases).

    Click here to enlarge

    While I was at it, I had the catback done too (helps to "stealth it up" a bit):
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    Here are some good comparison pics prior to the install. Note how perfectly everything is aligned... The angle of the bellmouth and exhaust flange(s), location of the O2 bung(s), etc. These pipes are absolute perfection and I knew it prior to ever installing them.

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    With regard to the install, there's honestly not much I can say... These went in like butter and there were ZERO surprises. The ONLY adjusting whatsoever involved rotating the downpipes to the same position as stock prior to tightening the v-band clamps. As-mentioned above, fitment of everything from the bellmouths & v-bands to the four O2 sensors, right up to the catback were perfect. They all mated right back up identically to stock. If it weren't for these being catless and the cp-e logo on them, one could have mistaken them for a superior OEM unit... Maybe BMW should talk to cp-e for the '10-'11 models! Click here to enlarge

    Here are a few random pics during the install:
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    (Know thy enemy... Silly power-robbing cats!)

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    (I love the smell of RTV in the morning... Click here to enlarge)

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    (Exhaust tips still exit perfectly with a mildly aggressive protrusion from the rear valance.)

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    (As-if it didn't look awesome before...)

    My final words for the install are these: DO THIS INSTALL ON A LIFT... or better, yet, just have a pro do it! Don't get me wrong, I pulled it off without a hitch. No leaks, "tweaking," etc. - like I said, cp-e did an awesome job manufacturing these; HOWEVER, I am not a contortionist and am guessing that most of you aren't either. I actually had access to a lift, but it's around 45 minutes away from my house... I figured the drive was more hassle than it was worth and took a stab at it this way. The 45 minute drive or $170-$250 it would have cost to have these installed would have been TOTALLY worth-while. I didn't keep track of how long it took, but it was more than the 2-3 hours most claim... and, in my feeble, shade-tree mechanic defense, I had the day off of work and decided to take my time so not to get frustrated and to take pics/notes for this review... Click here to enlarge

    On to the important stuff... The impact they've had on the car! Much like my review on the cp-e Cat Back Exhaust, I'm not going to comment much on power. This is for two reasons... First and foremost, I wasn't able to dyno the car prior to and immediately following the install. I *hate* speculation and for me to say, "I undoubtedly picked up 25+ whp from these pipes" would be unfair to all of you reading. I'm very much a 'dyno snob' and don't trust anything shy of a Mustang dyno... preferably the one I roll my cars on at Speed Industry in Troy, MI. I don't want to start a long debate here, but if it's not actually applying a load on the vehicle, it's not accurate for anything other than before & after #s. SECONDLY, this wasn't the only power-adder installed on my car since it went in to storage... An intake and tune have also since been installed and they've also had a positive affect on the car's ability to shred the rear tires!

    That said, I *will* speak on the throttle response here, which is IN-@&#*-CREDIBLE. I've had several people in the car since these pipes have been installed, two of which are seasoned drivers. One of them personally drove the car and the other (who is PAID to drive, mind you) had a fair bit of time in the passenger seat while I did some spirited driving. They've ALL noticed the car spools up much more rapidly and those that have driven it took immediate notice to the change in the throttle. As-if the pedal didn't already feel great on this car, adding these pipes have livened it up even more!

    As far as sound goes, I'm going to keep this simple... It's really easy to explain and if you've read this far, I'm assuming you're enough of a car fanatic to be familiar with the RB26DETT. For the laymen, this is the motor that's in the past few generations of the Skyline GT-R. I'm sure some BMW (and Skyline) purists will call this blasphemy... but the car now has a very similar tone to a highly-boosted version of that motor/car. Some may call "BS," but if you look at the specs on the N54 vs. the RB26, it makes sense! Also, IF your car has a Steptronic and the cp-e cat back, GET THE RESONATORS. My car is Step-equipped and can tell you it's LOUD and it drones a fair bit. I'm holding off on videos until I get them installed... I can tolerate the loudness and droning, but my wife hates it. The resonators will definitely correct this though. You've been warned. Click here to enlarge

    Lastly (but certainly, not least), I'd once again like to throw a shout-out to Custom Performance Engineering for building another DAMN nice upgrade for our cars. You guys (and gals) have once again outdone yourselves! :clap:

    Link to the downpipes: 304 SS 3" Downpipes

    Click here to enlarge

  2. #2
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    Even if you feel content has already been posted or is older, if you feel it is valuable, post it up. We could definitely use more Click here to enlarge

    No one is going to mind, especially when it is of this level of quality providing information for the N54 guys. Thank you Click here to enlarge

  3. #3
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    Great quality parts and great review !!

  4. #4
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    Good stuff. I've done the install now three times and can do the swap now in under 2 hours on a lift. They fit perfectly every time and are easier to get in there than the stockers - even that catted version.
    Last edited by boom; 02-08-2010 at 08:53 AM.

  5. #5
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by boom Click here to enlarge
    Good stuff. I've done the install now three times and can do the swap now in under 2 hours on a lift. They fit perfectly every time and are easier to get in there than the stockers - even that carted version.
    How big of a difference do they make?

  6. #6
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    DPs are one of the best mods for the buck. You get a very noticeable increase in power with a set of catless downpipes.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Got PSI Click here to enlarge
    DPs are one of the best mods for the buck. You get a very noticeable increase in power with a set of catless downpipes.
    Let me see a dyno Click here to enlarge

  8. #8
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    Dont have before/after dynos with downpipes. Unfortunately I only dynoed after I installed them.

  9. #9
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    IIRC it was like 20 hp at 10psi. More noticeable though is the throttle response. I went back to stock recently and my car feels like a pig. I can't wait to get that crispness back.

  10. #10
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    With cpe dps, air filters, and the cpe exhaust, meth, tuned, i busted it out over 420 to the wheels and went 12.3 @ 119x in my 6mt car on street tires. So yea, the dps fit flawlessly, and obviously help out with flow as my numbers were very good for the mods listed

  11. #11
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Laloosh Click here to enlarge
    With cpe dps, air filters, and the cpe exhaust, meth, tuned, i busted it out over 420 to the wheels and went 12.3 @ 119x in my 6mt car on street tires. So yea, the dps fit flawlessly, and obviously help out with flow as my numbers were very good for the mods listed
    Slip?

    Are the 335 and 135 downpipes the same?

  12. #12
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    Are these new ones? I thought they were 2.5" originally? Love the casting on these.

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    Those are the original 2.5" DPs. I'm not aware of a different version that they offer.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    Slip?

    Are the 335 and 135 downpipes the same?
    Should be on dragtimes.

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    I'm so close to pulling the trigger on these, argh. I might have to go catted though, emissions are annoying and I don't have a lift accessible to me so I'd rather not take them out.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Terry@BMS Click here to enlarge
    Are these new ones? I thought they were 2.5" originally? Love the casting on these.
    Guess it all depends on how you view them. I named the thread according to how they're listed on the website; however, I don't think there are any TRUE 3" downpipes out there, right? I know AR claims otherwise and by no means am I bashing them, but even theirs taper at the end, right?

    My top two choices were the cp-e pipes and the AR pipes. Reasoning for going with cp-e: while the AR do seem to taper later, it's more abrupt, whereas the cp-e pipes have a very nice, gradual/smooth taper in the bellmouth housing.

    If I'm wrong, please correct me... But this was my observation at that time.

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    Are the 335 and 135 downpipes the same?
    Yes. The 335xi pipes are slightly different and the 535i flanges are a little more rotated; however, the 135i and 335i pipes are the same.

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by saikyo Click here to enlarge
    I'm so close to pulling the trigger on these, argh. I might have to go catted though, emissions are annoying and I don't have a lift accessible to me so I'd rather not take them out.
    Just DO EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEIT. Click here to enlarge

    Going catted is no fun, but much better than stock, for sure. And the install isn't terrible, but I still wouldn't recommend swapping them in and out. Get the catted, claim your new power and enjoy the ride!

  17. #17
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    I just reinstalled my cp-e catted dp and the crispness is very noticeable. I'm beta testing their new catalyst technology and everything is so far so good. You will not regret DPs. The throttle response is so much better and there is actually less drone with the cp-e DPs than with stock believe it or not.

  18. #18
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    anybody know if they have these in 3" yet? im thinking of swapping DP's and these seem like a good choice, if they are in 3"

  19. #19
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by LostMarine Click here to enlarge
    anybody know if they have these in 3" yet? im thinking of swapping DP's and these seem like a good choice, if they are in 3"
    What are you currently running, stock DPs?

  20. #20
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by SlicktopTTZ Click here to enlarge
    What are you currently running, stock DPs?
    Please don't tell us your running VK downpipes
    Click here to enlarge

  21. #21
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    Does anyone have performance reviews/dynos on the catted downpipes? Emissions is rather annoying where I'm from as well and would prefer to get DP's installed and not worry about removing them every 2 years. However, I haven't seen any #'s or reviews on catted DP's.
    Click here to enlarge
    National Capital Chapter BMW CCA #367673

  22. #22
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    no RR V1 i believe, so im ok, but probably not optimal..looking at a few options

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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    CP-E makes some bad ass DP's and exhausts.. I had there catted DP and exhaust on my last ride. They used Random Technology High Flow Cat on mine and it was very cool .......if i recall the difference between the catted and non-catted was about 5hp +or-..but having a rather sensitive honker to exhausts and especiallly older cars without cats that stink and i opted for the catted version and if i would of kept the car that long enough it probably would of went thru inspection....as far as volume is concerned...going from my stock exhaust that was pretty aggressive to the full TBE was very loud and did drone a bit...it was cool and did take some getting used to but at times late at night it was loud...during the day ok....But performance wise it was very noticable and the car breathed much better....but someday maybe for me on the 1.....to many questions right now on engine HPFP issues and frequent dealer visits that install/B.take offs on DPs is too much for me to deal with. But if warranty issues is something that is not an problem the CP-E DP's area a GREAT mod....and quality is certainly not a issue here, or a lifetime warranty does not hurt either.

  24. #24
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    ^ Well, sounds like you are pretty damn happy to put it mildly.
    Chrome Space Bar Issue: http://www.boostaddict.com/showthrea...338#post738338


    Stage 2 or 2.5 E9X M3 S65 V8 supercharger kit for sale
    : http://www.boostaddict.com/showthrea...r-kit-for-sale

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    I was very happy with the TBE for 3 years till i threw a CEL from a faulty cat.. The dealership was already giving me warnings for the mods on my car and when this happened they refused to work on the issue unless i paid for service..normal actually from a dealership, the faulty cat was not there OEM product...... and when the CEL happened i did not have much choice but to take it off send it back to CP-E for a new cat, which was fixed without issue. I then brought the car back to stock, and was thinking of selling it anyway... sold it and bought the 1....Used 09 CPO 9200 miles on it and had the BMW Factory Performance Exhaust put on before pick up....I like the Performance Exhaust but it is a wee bit tame for me and would like it a tad louder, but not as loud as the full TBE....So i am serching right now for a exhaust mod to make the BMW PE a tad more aggressive...any ideas anyone??

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