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Markxr

320d downpipe

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...ordered one of these a couple of weeks ago as my exhaust flexi is split - still working up the courage to have a go at fitting it!

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BMW-E46-320d-Stainless-Steel-Decat-Exhaust-Downpipe/263281574508?hash=item3d4cce026c:g:ka4AAOxywh1TB2Uy

It arrived quickly and appears to be well made.

Ecotune market a 320d de-cat downpipe that is well regarded in various owners forums. Might be worth a look.

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19 hours ago, B.Merr said:

...ordered one of these a couple of weeks ago as my exhaust flexi is split - still working up the courage to have a go at fitting it!

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BMW-E46-320d-Stainless-Steel-Decat-Exhaust-Downpipe/263281574508?hash=item3d4cce026c:g:ka4AAOxywh1TB2Uy

It arrived quickly and appears to be well made.

Ecotune market a 320d de-cat downpipe that is well regarded in various owners forums. Might be worth a look.

Thanks i will get one of them for now 👍

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Finally got around to fitting this pipe. Took me a long, long time (car on axle stands).  A few tips:

1. I had to cut the three bolts holding the front to rear connection. Angle grinder with a metal cutting disc - reason being 13+ years exposure to the elements meant I couldn't get the rusty nuts/bolts free. Fortunately the bolt size is standard off the shelf in my local motor factors.

2. The left hand nut holding the downpipe at the turbo end is difficult to get on. Thread extension bars up over the dpf, with a universal joint and three inch extension before the 15mm socket. Took me several goes (and lots of head scratching). Also difficult to apply enough torque to get the nut turning.

3. To get on to the right hand bolt at the turbo is difficult too, as access is restricted. I unbolted the steering rack (2 bolts/nuts) then nudged in forward and sideways - this gives enough space to get at the second nut, as the steering column is budged a bit to the right.

4. Make sure you are in the possession of a specialist 22mm oxygen sensor socket. I didn't know they existed until halfway thru this job and I don't own one! So I had to take off all of the upper engine covers in order to locate the oxygen/lambda sensor wiring harness, which is at the the rear of the intake manifold and about 150mm down behind. Disconnecting the harness was a pig, due to the tight (one handed) access. Oxygen sensor sockets are around a fiver on ebay.

5. After the downpipe had been secured, I replaced all covers above and below then lowered the car. On starting the engine noticed a horrible loud vibrating sound at idle. Raised the car again, and inspected underneath. Could feel the top side of the downpipe was tight against one of the exhaust heat shields. Took some tin snips to the shield in situ, trimmed back enough aluminium shield to give the downpipe 20mm clearance. This cured the vibrating sound.

Driven a short distance this evening, not enough to form a real test. Will update here once a good few miles have been covered with the decat downpipe. One item that concerns me is that the original downpipe has two support/stabilising brackets, meanwhile the decat pipe doesn't have any support bracket fixing points :unsure:.

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...covered 40+ miles today and all is well with the new downpipe. Can hear the turbo spooling up more clearly with this pipe, also noticed a very slight improvement in performance - I guess the engine can 'exhale' easier without the sooted up dpf in the way! Still bugged by the loss of downpipe support/stabilising brackets, so will look at fabricating a hanger/bushing type component to give extra support to the exhaust (just for my own peace of mind).

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20 hours ago, B.Merr said:

...covered 40+ miles today and all is well with the new downpipe. Can hear the turbo spooling up more clearly with this pipe, also noticed a very slight improvement in performance - I guess the engine can 'exhale' easier without the sooted up dpf in the way! Still bugged by the loss of downpipe support/stabilising brackets, so will look at fabricating a hanger/bushing type component to give extra support to the exhaust (just for my own peace of mind).

Thanks for the update

Will get my mate to fit my one he did the turbo last year so knows what hes in for lol 

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Quick update, I've had to get under the car twice since installing this downpipe, due to exhaust fumes leaking from where the pipe meets the turbo. It's been seated and with exhaust paste 3 times now but always gives out after a couple of weeks or so. I suspect the mating flange is not finished to the same precision as the original bmw downpipe, leading to a poor fit, needing loads of exhaust  paste...which eventually cracks under heat and stress. Now considering removal of the downpipe to see if grinding down the flange slightly will help get a better connection.

The car is definitely a bit quicker with this downpipe, just annoying that those nasty fumes come into the cabin through the heating system...which is the reason I replaced the downpipe in the first place!!!

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Surprisingly no gaskets specified. I researched this over and over, no gaskets shown on realoem. Asked the downpipe supplier too. When I removed the original pipe there wasn't a gasket visible. Personally, due to the fume leak, I reckon the downpipe to turbo connection on mine would benefit from a gasket of some type.

 

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