During my last few days in baltimore, I decided to install my Eisenmann Race 2x76 Exhaust as well as my OEM Engine Strut Brace...
Eisenmann Race Exhaust:
I'm going to start off saying that it's worth every penny, and it's the perfect mod for those who seek a slightly more "aggressive" exhaust tone will keeping the classy subtle luxury car status. I know a few of you might be wondering about the price--the install (cut, mount, weld -- Eisenmann Race Exhausts are NOT a straight bolt on -- for those that didn't know) cost exactly $65, and the guy did a great (fast) job, so I tipped him $20... I originally thought the labor would cost around $80, so the tip was well deserved... if you get quoted a price higher than that, you're getting shafted.
Now for the critique. Albeit it's just a muffler swap, the eisenmann is much quieter than i thought. True, if it was a cat-back it would be much louder, but based on one of the member's video's (soundclip) right above and outside the exhaust (i'm referring to the mac video of the eisenmann race exhaust on a 325xi) the exhaust sound is a bit different... and i have great speakers on my computer, so sound quality isn't really a problem. If I were to rate the level of the stock exhaust note, i would give it a 2 for idle, and 6 for wide open throttle. With the Eisenmann, it would get a 3 for idle, and 6.5-7 wide open throttle... It's just not really loud. The biggest difference is during the rev bands 2k-3.5k rpm. There, the exhaust is noticeably deeper-sounding, without sounding anything like an Mitsubishi Evo, or Sub STI... it's just has a noiceably lower growl that sounds like it's stock... Better yet, the exhaust note given by the eisenmann is what the car should sound straight from the factory -- given that BMW has luxury ideals in mind... I'm not sure if my description fully explains how quiet it is, so here's an example... I was driving around with my buddy in his g35 coupe... when both cars idle, you can barely hear the eisenmann over the g35... during WOT, the g35 exhaust note (whiny but attractive sounding exhaust) overpowers the eisenmann... By no means am i saying the eisenmann isn't noticeable... it is... all throughout the rev bands, the eisenmann purrs -- which sort of brings the car to "life."
As for Butt Dyno:
The performance gains are all in your head. The 5whp or whatever is barely noticeable. I "think" i got some power, but that's probably because it's in my head. Otherwise, the car feels and pulls nearly the same... just my 2 cents. Lastly, if anyone wants to argue that you can feel 5whp blah blah blah, remember, it's JUST a muffler... it's not even a cat-back... If i were to put on the SR pipes, that would probably yield a recognizable butt dyno pull.
Cutting the description short, the exhaust is perfect for those who want a subtle change in their exhaust note. I just want to note that the exhaust pressure is not restricted anywhere... blah blah blah, due to bad install... and the exhaust to midpipe connections have no leaks... As for the next step, in mid summer, i'm going to put on the SR pipes to make the car a bit louder -- the eisenmann is just too subtle of a change... it looks great though!
Lastly, i'm not a fan of extremely loud exhausts. I hate cars that wake or grab my neighbor's attention from the initial starting of the engine, and actually driving away... if it's able to distract my neighbors from their daily activities, the exhaust is too loud for me...
(FINAL NOTE: this impression was based on the fact that all of my windows were up, and it's referring to the cabin noise... only during my comparison to the g35 were the windows down)
OEM Engine Strut Brace:
Install, 5 minutes. Feels maybe slightly more solid around hard corners... yet, that's also probably in your head. it does look beautiful though
I'll be in MachuPichu, Peru venturing 21000ft above sea level hiking the inca trail from May 19th - 27th... so i won't be able to respond...