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Old 12-04-2008, 02:36 PM
Holson Adi's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Boston, MA
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190E 2.6L exhaust modifications (m103)

OK my 190E's exhaust is droning at highway speeds and at low rpms it's got an annoying rumble (not the nice kind from a V8 - just droning sound). It's just an awful sound.

My guess is there's a hole in the exhaust system somewhere. The valve seals were also replaced recently since oil had been going into the combustion chamber at a rate of 1 qt / 300 miles. My guess is the cat(s) arent in the best of shape anymore.

As such I would like to just upgrade it with newer stuff

can anyone shed some light as to what the stock 2.6 exhaust is like?

It looks like it's the following (in order from engine to exhaust tips)

6 to 3 to 1 manifold
a small cat conv. (pre-cat?)
a bigger cat conv.
a resonator
the rear silencer

I wanna start at the front. I don't think there exists a header for the 2.6, so I'll just start with the cats.

Does anyone know which high flow cats can be used with this model? Ive been looking at the magnaflow ones but not sure which ones will fit.

I'm guessing the exhaust shop would have to cut a hole into the universal high flow cats to put in the O2 sensors right? (which Im sure I want to replace while they are out)

thanks in advance!
2008 BMW 335i Coupe
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Old 12-04-2008, 07:30 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 3,280
If I were going to do a complete exhaust on that car, I'd delete the center resonator and use a single "quiet" performance muffler. I've also wondered if installing an "h" pipe somewhere before the cats would help power.
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Old 12-07-2008, 03:08 AM
hey_allen's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Tacoma, WA
Posts: 728
Isn't the 190e an inline engine, with a single exhaust pipe? I'm just curious how an H pipe would work out.

If it's a split between 3 cylinders and the other 3, it might make a difference though...

I replaced the rusted out and scuffed euro dual exhaust on my SEC with straing pipe and what was supposed to be a relatively quiet muffler on in the rear.
Apparently I overdid the system size in trying to reduce back pressure while I was at it, as even with an H pipe in the system, ahead of the transmission, it definitely has a grumble at idle, roars when accelerating, and drones at highway speeds.
(Of course going from dual ~1 3/4" pipes to dual 2 1/2" pipes might have had something to do with it, not to mention the elimination of a set of resonators...)

A few of the sites that sell Magnaflow cats, as well as others have them rated by the displacement of engine that they are supposed to be rated for. Jeg's and Summit Racing come to mind right off the top of my head.

If you want to keep it free flowing as well as reasonably quiet, a fleet mechanic I know has recently started praising the Aero Turbine mufflers here that he's tried on their fleet to replace the stock ones when damaged.
From what he was telling me, and then from what I heard in person, they do grumble a bit, but they have a reasonable tone. (and they'd likely be a 'bit' quieter if it weren't a 4" system, which was the one I heard, on a Suburban!)

Best of luck, whichever way you decide to go!
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