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      07-23-2008, 05:48 PM   #1
dchen2
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Exhaust drone with borla and a auto?

I recently installed the less aggressive single muffler borla exhaust onto my 08 335xi coupe auto and now my car is droning really badly along with a metallic vibration that happens in a certain rev speed..

The exhaust sounds extremely bassy idling and strangely from ~1500-2100rpm is very loud in a low bass tone sort of way but above 2200rpm quiets down and though somewhat louder than my stocks the borla sounds fabulous.

The problem is that since my local highways speed limits are mostly 55, I cruise ~60-65 which is right around 1900-2000rpm and around those speeds the droning is so loud it almost drowns out my music. Also right around 1700-2000rpm there is a weird vibration sound that sounds like either my rear console or part of the exhaust in the rear is vibrating creating a harmonic/resonance which is quite annoying. I have a feel that weird resonance is the cause of the exhaust sound so horrible at below 2200rpms but can't figure out where its coming from.

I had the muffler shop check for possible exhaust leaks and if parts of the piping might be vibrating but at first couldn't figure anything out.

During the recent Madison E90 meet earlier this week I checked out a couple other peep's cars and one member who had a Remius quad exhaust with midpipe secondary cat deletes in a 6sp 335i coupe was not nearly as loud idling and he had no drone when cruising.

I am pretty unpleasantly surprised since I heard the single muffler borla was supposed to be virtually drone free due to the built in crossover.

Anyone know what the problem may be and any possible solutions?

I am at the point of just wanting to restore of car exhaust back to stock due to the nearly intolerable droning. Other than the droning and really loud 1500-2000rpm range I really love the sound of the borla though!

Last edited by dchen2; 07-24-2008 at 12:22 AM.
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      07-23-2008, 09:45 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dchen2 View Post
Hi,

I recently installed the less aggressive single muffler borla exhaust onto my 08 335xi coupe auto and now my car is droning really badly along with a metallic vibration that happens in a certain rev speed..

The exhaust sounds extremely bassy idling and strangely from ~1500-2100rpm is very loud in a low bass tone sort of way but above 2200rpm quiets down and though somewhat louder than my stocks the borla sounds fabulous.

The problem is that since my local highways speed limits are mostly 55, I cruise ~60-65 which is right around 1900-2000rpm and around those speeds the droning is so loud it almost drowns out my music. Also right around 1800-2000rpm there is a weird vibration sound that sounds like either my rear console or part of the exhaust in the rear vibrating that is quite annoying.

I had the muffler shop check for possible exhaust leaks and if parts of the piping might be vibrating but couldn't figure anything out.

During the recent Madison E90 meet earlier this week I checked out a couple other peep's cars and one member who had a Remius quad exhaust with midpipe secondary cat deletes in a 6sp 335i coupe was not nearly as loud idling and he had no drone when cruising.

I am pretty unpleasantly surprised since I heard the single muffler borla was supposed to be virtually drone free due to the built in crossover.

Anyone know what the problem may be and any possible solutions?

I am at the point of just wanting to restore of car exhaust back to stock due to the nearly intolerable droning. Other than the droning and really loud 1500-2000rpm range I really love the sound of the borla though!

I had the same issue with my Remus.

Turned out that my number plate (US translation:license plate) was mounted really badly and was amplifying the sound through the boot lid (US translation:trunk lid)

I spent an hour taking the plate off and covering the back of it with felt tape and re-mounting it.

Drone almost eliminated. Good enough for me!
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      07-23-2008, 09:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrad01 View Post
I had the same issue with my Remus.

Turned out that my number plate (US translation:license plate) was mounted really badly and was amplifying the sound through the boot lid (US translation:trunk lid)

I spent an hour taking the plate off and covering the back of it with felt tape and re-mounting it.

Drone almost eliminated. Good enough for me!
Ohh, if only it was that easy for me. Tried it with the plate off and no joy .
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      07-23-2008, 11:43 PM   #4
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Check the clearance between the cross-over section of the exhaust and the chassis brace. Most shops will secure the exhaust as is sits may cause the cross-over pipe to come in slight contact with the chassis brace. Pre-load the system with a spin jack, then secure all the clamps, that usually does the trick.

How many miles did you put on the exhaust? There is a break-in period for the Borla system.

Harold
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      07-24-2008, 12:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dchen2 View Post
Ohh, if only it was that easy for me. Tried it with the plate off and no joy .
Also, It takes 2000-4000kms (US Translation: 1500-3000 miles) to tone down...
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      07-24-2008, 12:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HP Autowerks View Post
Check the clearance between the cross-over section of the exhaust and the chassis brace. Most shops will secure the exhaust as is sits may cause the cross-over pipe to come in slight contact with the chassis brace. Pre-load the system with a spin jack, then secure all the clamps, that usually does the trick.

How many miles did you put on the exhaust? There is a break-in period for the Borla system.

Harold
I'll go back to the muffler shop and have them check that out again tomorrow night. I bought the exhaust used and it shows sign of wear so I assume the Borla should be past break-in already.

I had a friend ride along with me who examined the rear cabin while I accelerated in the troublesome 1500-2000rpm range and confirmed the vibration wasn't coming from a loose trin piece (before with the stock exhaust the vibration definitely wasn't there.).
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      07-24-2008, 12:27 AM   #7
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That's odd... i had the Borla for a long time and never once did I hear any droning
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      07-24-2008, 12:32 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrad01 View Post
Also, It takes 2000-4000kms (US Translation: 1500-3000 miles) to tone down...
I bought the exhaust used and believe it has had ~3000-5000miles on it so it should be past the break in right? the connections were reclamped though so maybe the clamps need to time to tighten up or something.

I went for a joyride tonight after work and reconfirmed how great the car sounds being driven hard in DS with the revs up and I definitely feel the car significantly stronger in the upper rev ranges where it felt slightly weak before.

Unfortunately commuting or cruising, I am mostly in the 1500-2000rpm range and that really bassy boom combined with the metallic vibration/resonance is driving me crazy even with the audio on and windows up .
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      07-24-2008, 12:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dchen2 View Post
I bought the exhaust used and believe it has had ~3000-5000miles on it so it should be past the break in right? the connections were reclamped though so maybe the clamps need to time to tighten up or something.

I went for a joyride tonight after work and reconfirmed how great the car sounds being driven hard in DS with the revs up and I definitely feel the car significantly stronger in the upper rev ranges where it felt slightly weak before.

Unfortunately commuting or cruising, I am mostly in the 1500-2000rpm range and that really bassy boom combined with the metallic vibration/resonance is driving me crazy even with the audio on and windows up .

After a few thousand miles, it should be broken-in.

You may want to check all the clamps and exhaust to body clearance once again.

There can be some drone in the low rpm range. Manual cars seem to get out of that much quicker than autos. And manual cars tend to spend most of its time beyond the drone ranges.
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      07-24-2008, 02:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NPDAN View Post
That's odd... i had the Borla for a long time and never once did I hear any droning
Do you have a e92 auto trans and/or the secondary cat delete installed? Will having the secondary cat delete make a factor in the droning/vibration?

(sorry, hard to tell if your car is a E90 or E92 with your compressed sig )

I was really puzzled too, since everything I heard here said the single muffler borla was the most drone-free and semi-aggressive but good sounding exhaust out there for the e9X's. (though at the cost of ~10hp tuned compared to a dual muffler more aggressive solution).

I've had a L-tuned exhaust on my old Lexus GS430 that sounded similar to the borlas in tuning the car to sound somewhat louder and deeper but the L-tuned had a pretty consistent increase in sound level increase across all rpms unlike the Borlas that right now are really enhancing the 1500-2000range (the renasonce present in that range might be amping the sound though) and the L-tuned definitely had only very minor/not bothersome droning.

Unfortunately as it stands, especially with the cheap rattling/metallic vibration sound emanating from my exhaust, my car sounds exactly like a 80s/90s civic with a rice'd out coffee can exhaust whenever I am just ambling around town! (and it sounds exactly the same as the forementioned civic from the interior as well from sad to admit personal experience (riding around with a buddy with a horrible car taste))

Quote:
Originally Posted by HP Autowerks View Post
After a few thousand miles, it should be broken-in.

You may want to check all the clamps and exhaust to body clearance once again.

There can be some drone in the low rpm range. Manual cars seem to get out of that much quicker than autos. And manual cars tend to spend most of its time beyond the drone ranges.
I'll definitely request the muffler shop do that and if they can't solve the problem, might even drive down to North Chicago 3hours away to get it checked out by one of the many fine performance shops down there (that is assuming I can bear to cruise in my car for three hours enduring the horrible sound that is!). Beats the alternative of spending $150 labor to uninstall it and junking it since I can't in good concionous sell the exhaust in this state to another board member or even fellow fleabayer.

I so badly want this exhaust install to work out since I am loving the exhaust sound reving past 2k rpm and appreciate that extra near redline kick as well as the improved rear cosmetics. Just got to make the exhaust livable on a daily basis first!
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      07-24-2008, 04:39 AM   #11
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Drone with Steptronic

I have a the dual muffler Borla and had a good amount of drone at those same ranges too. I can only tell you that after about 3000 miles 90% of the drone in "D" has gone.

I hear what you're saying. It was such an annoyance I didn't used to drive in "D", but now it sounds great in both D and DS.

One thing that I did was found that the metallic resonance/vibration was being amplified in the rear storage bin between the "two" rear seats. I put some Dynamat (sound & vibration deadener) in the bin and that killed a lot of it.

Honestly, when I first installed the exhaust it was one of my least favorite mods because of the drone. Now I LOVE it and it seems to get better and better. Still think it sounds amazing in DS. Love the burble tooling around in DS and have gotten several compliments.

Don't be afraid to beat on the car to break that exhaust it in
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      07-24-2008, 04:42 AM   #12
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One other point

I have an '08 XI coupe also. Not sure if that makes a difference. As Harold said check to see if there's an contact with the mid-pipe. Not sure if it's something to do with our XI system. Just speculation...
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      07-24-2008, 09:03 AM   #13
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By adding the 2nd cat deletes, you may be able to change ther rpm or range the exhaust drones.
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      07-24-2008, 09:14 AM   #14
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I have:

Catless DPs
High Flow Cats in the place of the OEM secondaries
X pipe in the place of the OEM resonator
Borla single muffler


Seriously guys, the reason for drone is the Auto!
Look at what I have.
I don't have any drone whatsoever! NONE.

Leave your auto in a lower gear and you'll have no drone.
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      07-24-2008, 01:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. 5 View Post
I have:

Catless DPs
High Flow Cats in the place of the OEM secondaries
X pipe in the place of the OEM resonator
Borla single muffler


Seriously guys, the reason for drone is the Auto!
Look at what I have.
I don't have any drone whatsoever! NONE.

Leave your auto in a lower gear and you'll have no drone.
Sigh... Auto trans being the case was what I feared but didn't want to hear . Thats what I get for ignoring my first instinct of going for the manual... first missing out on the $1210 auto credit by a week, then learning DCT is coming in 09 for the the convertibles/coupes, and now the auto messing up perfectly good exhausts.

Unfortuntely when cruising in SD instead of D I see my instant mileage plunge 25% lower from ~32-35mpg normally in D to 24-27mpg and it also makes the throttle a bit too sensitive for rush hour driving along with lots of engine braking.

Hopefully the muffler guy and I can jury rig a solution without resorting to me using SD all the time (which doesn't avoid the problem of when driving from standstill still hearing the bad drone/vibration reving 1500-2000rpm). I'll update later tonight with my findings.
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      07-24-2008, 01:37 PM   #16
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I'm not sure if this is related to you guys, but there was a SIB for the vibration in the cabin because of a certain frequency with the convertibles 55-65 MPH - it causes a resonating frequency that vibrates within the cabin and car ONLY from 55-65 mph. probably not a cause, but thought you might like to know.

Did you have any of this prior to having the exhausts installed?
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      07-24-2008, 03:21 PM   #17
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Also, to add a little more, I just drove to work today with my back seats and all of the trunk crap out of the car since I'm going to the strip tonight.
I sometimes wondered that maybe my car was just doing a good job in muffling the drone, but in all honesty, with all of the stuff out it just sounded better.
I have a smooth sound; no drone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dchen2 View Post
Sigh... Auto trans being the case was what I feared but didn't want to hear . Thats what I get for ignoring my first instinct of going for the manual... first missing out on the $1210 auto credit by a week, then learning DCT is coming in 09 for the the convertibles/coupes, and now the auto messing up perfectly good exhausts.

Unfortuntely when cruising in SD instead of D I see my instant mileage plunge 25% lower from ~32-35mpg normally in D to 24-27mpg and it also makes the throttle a bit too sensitive for rush hour driving along with lots of engine braking.

Hopefully the muffler guy and I can jury rig a solution without resorting to me using SD all the time (which doesn't avoid the problem of when driving from standstill still hearing the bad drone/vibration reving 1500-2000rpm). I'll update later tonight with my findings.
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      07-24-2008, 03:23 PM   #18
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I have driven a step 335i with Borla exhaust for a day. By the end of every drive I wanted to shoot myself. The droning was pretty bad. Considering that my car has Eisenmann Race and I don't hear any drone, imagine what Borla sounded like.

Just my input. I don't exclude that it might not have been installed properly.
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      07-24-2008, 03:28 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retrodrive View Post
I have driven a step 335i with Borla exhaust for a day. By the end of every drive I wanted to shoot myself. The droning was pretty bad. Considering that my car has Eisenmann Race and I don't hear any drone, imagine what Borla sounded like.

Just my input. I don't exclude that it might not have been installed properly.
This is just so amazing how different the auto is than the manual.
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      07-24-2008, 04:02 PM   #20
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Sigh...

I have been planning on getting either the single or dual muffler borla exhaust for awhile now, but it appears I may need to reconsider.

Is everyone that has the borla exhaust on an AT experiencing bad drone?
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      07-24-2008, 05:14 PM   #21
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I have auto and the single Borla exhaust and very minimal drone (stock 2nd cats INTACT still).

However, when I had the 2nd cats removed, it droned like a bitch and gave me headaches everytime I drove my car. I now have the stock 2nd cats placed back on and love the Borla exhaust now.

Like what Mr5 is saying, you will drone no matter with auto.
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      03-09-2012, 10:39 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dchen2 View Post
Sigh... Auto trans being the case was what I feared but didn't want to hear . Thats what I get for ignoring my first instinct of going for the manual... first missing out on the $1210 auto credit by a week, then learning DCT is coming in 09 for the the convertibles/coupes, and now the auto messing up perfectly good exhausts.

Unfortuntely when cruising in SD instead of D I see my instant mileage plunge 25% lower from ~32-35mpg normally in D to 24-27mpg and it also makes the throttle a bit too sensitive for rush hour driving along with lots of engine braking.

Hopefully the muffler guy and I can jury rig a solution without resorting to me using SD all the time (which doesn't avoid the problem of when driving from standstill still hearing the bad drone/vibration reving 1500-2000rpm). I'll update later tonight with my findings.
Seems this is an old post but I had exactly same situation as yours. Literarily, every single word you said described my situation. I am curious what was the outcome and solution?

Last edited by jclariel; 03-09-2012 at 11:15 AM.
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