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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Powertrain and Drivetrain Discussions > N54 Turbo Engine / Drivetrain / Exhaust Modifications - 335i > DPs: AA installed for $750 or VRSF installed myself...



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      11-21-2012, 05:21 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Tiago@VRSF View Post
If you're not too comfortable installing themselves, you could always just go for the VRSF DP's + install and you'll be int he $520 - $550 range

Most shops will only charge between $200-$250 to install a set of DP's.
Hey Tiago! After doing some more ive come to the conclusion that your pipes are just as good as your competitors, as yours are TIG-welded, 3" catless, with great fitment, and the lowest price. My only concern is the width of the pipes, as ive heard your pipes restrict down to 2.5" in certain parts. Is this true, and if so, what are the downsides to this?

Also, im somewhat mechanically inclined, would you recommend i do the install myself on jack stands? Ive watched ARs video, and it seems its simply removing O2 sensors on both ends, removing cat-back bracket, loosening the Vband clamps, and unbolting both downpipes. Reverse for re-install. Im sure it'll take me 6 hours, but at least ill know how to take them in/out and get familiar with my car


If i decide to tackle this myself, what should i use to raise the car? I dont have anything currently, but i could borrow my friends jack and stands. Or should i invest in some ramps?
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      11-21-2012, 05:23 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric335 View Post
Hey Tiago! After doing some more ive come to the conclusion that your pipes are just as good as your competitors, as yours are TIG-welded, 3" catless, with great fitment, and the lowest price. My only concern is the width of the pipes, as ive heard your pipes restrict down to 2.5" in certain parts. Is this true, and if so, what are the downsides to this?

Also, im somewhat mechanically inclined, would you recommend i do the install myself on jack stands? Ive watched ARs video, and it seems its simply removing O2 sensors on both ends, removing cat-back bracket, loosening the Vband clamps, and unbolting both downpipes. Reverse for re-install.

Im sure it'll take me 6 hours, but at least ill know how to take them in/out and get familiar with my car
Every single downpipe, including AA's neck down to 2.5". It's a requirement in order to bolt on to the factory/aftermarket mid pipes.

It's a bit more involved than that really. It's recommended that you unbolt the steering rack, then bend the heat shield out of the way so you have room to work with. If you have time and can afford a bit of downtime, do it yourself but otherwise I'd take it to a shop

Took me a bout 4-5 hours my first time. Now it takes me about 1.5-2 hours depending on the conditions of the car/clamps.
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      11-21-2012, 05:25 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Tiago@VRSF View Post
Every single downpipe, including AA's neck down to 2.5". It's a requirement in order to bolt on to the factory/aftermarket mid pipes.

It's a bit more involved than that really. It's recommended that you unbolt the steering rack, then bend the heat shield out of the way so you have room to work with. If you have time and can afford a bit of downtime, do it yourself but otherwise I'd take it to a shop

Took me a bout 4-5 hours my first time. Now it takes me about 1.5-2 hours depending on the conditions of the car/clamps.
I could probably devote a Saturday to installing the DPs. When you say bend the heat shield, is this the heat shield by the front O2 sensors? Im not terribly sure what you meant by that. I know that the steering rack should be moved in order to better reach the front V-band clamps/02 sensors

If i decide to tackle this myself, what should i use to raise the car? I dont have anything currently, but i could borrow my friends jack and stands. Or should i invest in some ramps?
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      11-21-2012, 05:29 PM   #26
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If you have confidence in your mechanical abilities then you shouldn't have a problem given you have enough time.

Ramps help, jack and jackstands are also a good choice. You can generally lift the car a bit higher on jackstands than you can with ramps though.
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      11-21-2012, 05:30 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiago@VRSF View Post
If you have confidence in your mechanical abilities then you shouldn't have a problem given you have enough time.

Ramps help, jack and jackstands are also a good choice. You can generally lift the car a bit higher on jackstands than you can with ramps though.
Thanks for the advice. I think jackstands are the way to go then.

If i decide to invest in a set myself, what would be a good jack/jackstands? My friends all use Harbor Freights, but ive heard horror storries about those jacks...
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      11-21-2012, 06:19 PM   #28
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How about the AA DPs for $480 but i install them myself? Worth the premium over VRSF?
IMO, go with AA. Why? Because they're a golf standard product on every BMW platform they've decided to mod. Something I really like that the AA, Fabspeed & Akrapovic DPs all feature is the OEM style subframe mounting bracket (circled in red below). While it's a really minor detail, it ensures the closest to OEM fitment & guarantees that the DPs will not rotate once installed (thus, avoiding any subframe rubbing even after everything is bolted back up).

At the end of the day, it's your call & if that extra cost justifies the product quality. But if I had a choice between these specific products, I'd be making an appointment with that shop to get the Active Autowerke DPs installed.

Last edited by benzy89; 12-05-2012 at 11:11 PM.
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      11-21-2012, 09:05 PM   #29
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I would get the VRSF and install them yourself.

I previously had a 135i. I have zero mechanical skills. I installed a set of AR pipes in a parking lot on Rhino ramps. It was not so bad. I don't think it would have been much easier on a lift. The lift would not give you any more space in the tight areas and you would have to have your hands above your head which would get tiring.

Over the couple of years I had the car I uninstalled and re-installed them a few times. I would have spent a lot if I had to pay someone for all that. After the first install I got a set of the flex head gear wrenches. These will save you a lot of time! The hard bolts are the ones that secure the DP to the back exhaust and the ones that tighten the clamp that holds the front part of the pipe to the turbo. I think they are either 12mm or 13mm (check the DIY guides). Trust me, get the flex head gear wrench in this size (I got mine at Lowes) and it will save you a few hours.

When i sold my 135i, i sold off my AR pipes. I recently got a 335i. I have always thought the ARs are the best DPs on the market. That said, I could not resist the incredible price of the VRSFs. I just got a set of VRSFs delivered today and to my delight they are basically the same as the AR's I haven't installed them yet, but i think I will be very happy with my choice.
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      11-21-2012, 09:36 PM   #30
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Thanks for all the opinions people! VRSF and ActiveAutowerkes are both fantastic companies. Ill be making a decision within the next couple days, and cant wait to get my future DPs. Id like to thank everyone who has posted in this thread!
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      11-21-2012, 09:37 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by benzy89 View Post
IMO, go with AA. Why? Because they're a golf standard product on every BMW platform they've decided to mod. Something I really like that the AA, Fabspeed & Akrapovic DPs all feature is the OEM style subframe mounting bracket (circled in red below). While it's a really minor detail, it ensures the closest to OEM fitment & guarantees that the DPs will not rotate once installed (thus, avoiding any subframe rubbing even after everything is bolted back up).

At the end of the day, it's your call & if that extra cost justifies the product quality. But if I had a choice between these specific products, I'd be making an appointment with that shop to get the Active Autowerke DPs installed.
This, combined with the location of their HQ (in Florida) are two reasons that i believe i will go the AA route. Plus, i found a stellar deal that would allow me to purchase a jack/stands and still come out to about the same price as having them installed Ill be able to reuse the jack/stands when i get a VRSF FMIC
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      11-21-2012, 09:55 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benzy89 View Post
IMO, go with AA. Why? Because they're a golf standard product on every BMW platform they've decided to mod. Something I really like that the AA, Fabspeed & Akrapovic DPs all feature is the OEM style subframe mounting bracket (circled in red below). While it's a really minor detail, it ensures the closest to OEM fitment & guarantees that the DPs will not rotate once installed (thus, avoiding any subframe rubbing even after everything is bolted back up).

At the end of the day, it's your call & if that extra cost justifies the product quality. But if I had a choice between these specific products, I'd be making an appointment with that shop to get the Active Autowerke DPs installed.
The stock DPs probably weight 3x what the aftermarket pipes weight. Also the stock pipes are bendible/flexible. IMHO the subframe mounts are not needed on the aftermarket DPs. If anything I would be afraid they might make install more difficult. I never had any rubbing on my AR DPs.
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      11-21-2012, 11:33 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wes.
Don't cheap out on downpipes. Go with AA.
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      11-21-2012, 11:39 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Juicer View Post
The stock DPs probably weight 3x what the aftermarket pipes weight. Also the stock pipes are bendible/flexible.
This & a poor install are the main reasons why people get subframe rubbing issues from a DP install. After installing catless DPs & being unable to resolve subframe rubbing issues (they were installed by a BMW mechanic so they weren't installed wrong), I opted for Akrapovic DPs because they had both a flex section & the subframe mounting brackets.

They went right in like OEM & I ended up wishing I bought them from the start.
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      11-22-2012, 08:11 PM   #35
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Quote:
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This & a poor install are the main reasons why people get subframe rubbing issues from a DP install. After installing catless DPs & being unable to resolve subframe rubbing issues (they were installed by a BMW mechanic so they weren't installed wrong), I opted for Akrapovic DPs because they had both a flex section & the subframe mounting brackets.

They went right in like OEM & I ended up wishing I bought them from the start.
But 2.5"
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      11-22-2012, 08:15 PM   #36
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But 2.5"
No performance difference on stock turbos so I don't care (not upgrading the snails -- I'm an AT & have my eyes on the next toy)
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      11-22-2012, 08:21 PM   #37
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No performance difference on stock turbos so I don't care (not upgrading the snails -- I'm an AT & have my eyes on the next toy)
You sure about that?

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=316974
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      11-22-2012, 08:30 PM   #38
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You sure about that?
  1. The Akra's are 2.75" (compared to the full 2.5" URs; also common knowledge all DPs taper back down to 2.5" anyhow)
  2. A quality tune will easily overcome the ~5 HP "lost"

If we're gonna waste our time arguing over 5-10 HP, the power/weight is going to have a more significant impact. My car is a street/DD 335, not a racecar/track build


If it was a race build, I've spend the money & have a custom build straight pipe setup instead of buying "off the rack" parts.
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      11-22-2012, 08:31 PM   #39
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AA's have been ordered. Picking up a floor jack, jack stands, torx kit, stubby drive socket, and swivel head drivers tomorow at Sears for the BlackFriday sale! Anything odd i need in order to install the pipes? Ive got a 220-pc toolset and a slew of random tools to sort through.

Quote:
Originally Posted by benzy89 View Post
  1. The Akra's are 2.75" (compared to the full 2.5" URs; also common knowledge all DPs taper back down to 2.5" anyhow)
  2. A quality tune will easily overcome the ~5 HP "lost"

If we're gonna waste our time arguing over 5-10 HP, the power/weight is going to have a more significant impact. My car is a street/DD 335, not a racecar/track build


If it was a race build, I've spend the money & have a custom build straight pipe setup instead of buying "off the rack" parts.
Very true
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