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  • Custom Exhaust

    So I've been shopping around San Diego looking for a shop to do my exhaust. The plan was to run a single 2.5" SS exhaust from the headers back utilizing a Y-pipe with two magnaflow mufflers (take out the cat) and dual 3" polished tips. In preparation, I purchased an exhaust flange from Lee to make the fabrication a little easier. It seemed many people on here had had similar exhausts made ranging from $500 to $800 depending on the quality of parts used.
    So far, I've been to 4 different shops and haven't been very happy.

    1st shop (best one so far):
    $900-$1000 for everything. Would utilize a burns Y pipe.
    2nd Shop:
    ~$970 for everything, but run dual cats (muffler shop wouldn't make catless)
    3rd Shop:
    ~$1700 for everything. Everything fab'd in house.
    4th Shop:
    ~$670 if I provide the Burns Y-pipe, high flow cat, and aluminized instead of SS piping.

    Now what am I doing wrong? Am I going to the wrong shops? Have parts/labor gone up a lot? Anyone know of any other good exhaust shops?

    Thanks,
    Chris

    "Unlike the latter day E36 and E46 M3's, the
    original E30 M3ís main purpose in life was to
    win races on the track, not the street. It
    got the job done."

  • #2
    I dunno what to say, except I think a lot of people tend to low-ball what they actually paid for a job, or their buddy did it, or the work is absolute crap.

    I had my exhaust done at SPD near Sacramento. It is a shop very similar to Burns stainless. They did absolutely everything including the front flange and sourcing the mufflers. There is a removeable center resonator with V-band clamps that can be replaced with a cat. They fabbed everything up so I can swap in the cat or the resonator in about 10 minutes.

    Anyway, I paid more than any of your quotes.

    Admittedly, SPD is an upper end shop. However, I don't get these guys posting that their entire exhaust cost $300 including the mufflers and all parts........:lostme:

    Comment


    • #3
      That is true. I'm mainly comparing my quotes to this thread:
      http://www.s14.net/forums/showthread...ight=magnaflow
      Mostly paintpro's setup as that is almost exactly what I want.
      Maybe he'll chime in here.

      "Unlike the latter day E36 and E46 M3's, the
      original E30 M3ís main purpose in life was to
      win races on the track, not the street. It
      got the job done."

      Comment


      • #4
        Well I'm currently gathering the parts for my exhaust right now. A local shop I went to quoted $450-500 for everything, mandrel stainless with them making a custom Y pipe (Burns is nice but very pricey!) I opted to source the flange, cat and muffler myself. I found the 3" magnaflow cat for $105 shipped from Jegs, flange from Lee, rear muffler, etc. That should knock off a couple hundred from the above price. All I need now is the custom Y, tubing and labor putting it all together. Shop around and get some more prices.

        88 M3 - LACHSSILBER/M TECH
        89 M3 - ALPINEWEISS II/SCHWARZ
        85 323I S52 - ALPINEWEISS/SCHWARZ
        91 M TECHNIC TURBO - MACAOBLAU/M TECH


        Comment


        • #5
          Barry, what kind of shop did you go to? A muffler/exhaust shop or a tuner shop? I also found those magnaflow mufflers online for around $100 which is funny because most the shops were quoting $270. Maybe I should just drive up to torrance and go to the shop you found.

          "Unlike the latter day E36 and E46 M3's, the
          original E30 M3ís main purpose in life was to
          win races on the track, not the street. It
          got the job done."

          Comment


          • #6
            I went to a small muffler/performance exhaust shop in San Pedro. I find that most of these guys are enthusiasts as well. I chose this particular shop just because it's close to my house and I'm comfortable with the price.

            88 M3 - LACHSSILBER/M TECH
            89 M3 - ALPINEWEISS II/SCHWARZ
            85 323I S52 - ALPINEWEISS/SCHWARZ
            91 M TECHNIC TURBO - MACAOBLAU/M TECH


            Comment


            • #7
              My total cost was $802 including everything:
              VAC flange
              Burns creating the way utilizing the flange
              magnaflow cat (polished)
              2.5 in/out staggered polished muffler
              magnaflow tips
              stainless pipes to connect it (not 304 but the lower grade stainless 406 or what ever) bought from the shop doing the labor.
              labor to put it together
              I think the only thing I didn't account for was the shipping cost of the flange.

              I paid the fuller shop about 250 for everything they did, and sourced everything else online. burns pipe was somewhere around 325 or including the flange.

              specs on the y pipe was simply the 55mm evo flange from VAC. what ever tubing diameter they deemed necessary to use with that flange (they used 2.25" I believe and tucked it into the flange as they were matting up to my rally A header which is 50mm I believe). and then what ever length cone they requied to connect to a 2.5" straight section. I thought there would be more though required when I talked to them, but they said they've done it before and really just need to know what output you wanted.
              ApexRaceParts.com - Facebook Fan Page - Twitter

              Comment


              • #8
                My experience is very similar to Eddy (paintpro). I can't remember the exact numbers, but the Burns work for a Y was about $200 with my flange and then about $500 for a performance shop to do a magnaflow cat, magnaflow muffler, and all piping (low grade stainless). the Burns work is amazing and well worth the money. I would love to have my entire system done like that, but the cost does not make sense in my mind. Many other things I'd rather do.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Looks like I got more shopping to do, but I'm running out of places to look.
                  Also gonna call burns tomorrow to see how much the Y-pipe will cost.

                  "Unlike the latter day E36 and E46 M3's, the
                  original E30 M3ís main purpose in life was to
                  win races on the track, not the street. It
                  got the job done."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Just to provide some perspective, since I'm not in California, I had a 3" system put together a couple years back. I provided the flange and the muffler, they built the system which included one v-band clamp behind the rear subframe and a flex joint near where the cats would normally go. They charged me around $700. Just remember, you'll suffer with a poorly built (but inexpensive) exhaust for much longer than you'll feel the sting of a more expensive, well built system.
                    You get what you pay for.
                    Jeff






                    NASA GTS5 #945
                    NASA GTS5 Midwest Regional Champion ('09,'11,'12 & '14)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm in the middle of an exhaust project as well. Got a quote from Burns this week on a Y-pipe: $243 w/o a flange. ($40 weld fee to weld the flange on + cost of flange brings the final to about $360.) I also got a quote from SPD: ~$346 using their flange. Both y-pipes in 304 SS. My specs DO differ from yours, so your prices will vary.

                      I also got a quote from Dr Gas. They use aluminized pipe only but the cost for essentially a built to spec y-pipe was ~$100 w/o a flange. If you're willing to go aluminized, this is a great value. See: http://www.drgas.com/store/product.p...6&cat=3&page=1

                      Here's one last option: do a search on "FLO-Y200250" at summitracing.com. It's a 2" to 2.5" Y collector. $42!!! (Obviously, your shop will have to adapt it to work. But at $42, its worth a look.) You could probably find it even cheaper elsewhere.

                      Other things to take into consideration:
                      Mandrel bends are more expensive but flow better. Crush bends are cheaper but don't flow as well. Not all shops can mandrel bend SS (only aluminized). TIG welding is superior but far more expensive than MIG welding.
                      304 SS is better than 409 SS, but 409 is cheaper and will still likely last as long as your M3 does.

                      Lots of places online to buy Magnaflow stuff at v/g prices.

                      And regarding cats - I strongly disagree that dumping the cats is the way to go. Cats are inexpensive, reduce sound levels (that's good b/c do you *really* want your M3 to sound like a "tuner" Civic?), and don't hurt performance that much. And oh yeah - they clean the air WE ALL HAVE TO BREATH. If it's a street driven car, it ought to have a cat (especially in CA or CO where we have strict emissions laws). Lastly, do *really* want to be swapping out your system so you can go get the car smogged? And if you're running something other than the Motronic, you may have to switch maps, etc. And your cat map better be well sorted! Sooner or later, it will become a PITA and not worth it in the long run.

                      Lastly, I believe that as concerns about "global warming" increase, we could start seeing more and more road-side emissions testing. Gross polluters could someday get tickets in the mail, just like some jurisdictions do photo radar. (Remember - its about generating revenues too. It's easy for a municipality to argue they are just trying to clean up the air by taxing gross polluters.)

                      HTH,
                      -Dietrich
                      Prefers dogs, but has cats too.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        You do get what you pay for.

                        I watched SPD build my system. They not only use mandrel bent everything, they have all these long polishing attachments. They use them on a die grinder, and go inside the pipes after they are welded to polish smooth the inside of all the welds. They also do all the welds with absolute perfection, like you see on the Burns "Y" pipes.

                        I realize this is not Formula One, but they build the system like it is. That is what you are paying for.

                        Whether it is worth paying for is another question........:wee:

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Great post Dietrich. I decided to just run the cat full time for those very reasons. Thanks for the info on the dr. gas Y pipe, looks like a great alternative for less than 1/2 the price. I read somewhere that aluminized is about as good as low grade stainless just much cheaper. Any truth to this?

                          88 M3 - LACHSSILBER/M TECH
                          89 M3 - ALPINEWEISS II/SCHWARZ
                          85 323I S52 - ALPINEWEISS/SCHWARZ
                          91 M TECHNIC TURBO - MACAOBLAU/M TECH


                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thank you everyone for your responses. I actually started thinking about running the cat last night. If you get a high flow cat, how much does it really hinder the performance of the exhaust? I want to say that it wouldn't be too noticeable.

                            "Unlike the latter day E36 and E46 M3's, the
                            original E30 M3ís main purpose in life was to
                            win races on the track, not the street. It
                            got the job done."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The way I see it, this custom exhaust is going to flow a lot better than the stock exhaust. So I don't think you can lose either way. I'm thinking the difference would be negligible with a large high flow cat.

                              88 M3 - LACHSSILBER/M TECH
                              89 M3 - ALPINEWEISS II/SCHWARZ
                              85 323I S52 - ALPINEWEISS/SCHWARZ
                              91 M TECHNIC TURBO - MACAOBLAU/M TECH


                              Comment

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