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      01-09-2013, 07:49 PM   #1
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AR downpipes fitment issues?

Hey,

First problem was that one bolt didn't fit on the flange (front turbo DP's). Either the bolt head hit the pipes (which seem to be normal) or if you tighten up the bolt, the bolt's end will hit the pipe while tightening.
Like in this DIY http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ibq8MFtjBj8&t=25m40s I installed this bolt the other way around, but I had to shorten this bolt about 4mm so that it won't hit the pipe (I used 2 washer per bolt) otherwise I would not be able to tighten the bolt completely.
Is this normal?

The second problem is clearance. I only have 2-3mm clearance between the rear turbo downpipe and the heat shield.
Under light & high load/acceleration I hear rasp, I can also see some scratches on the pipe. I tried to adjust the pipes, but while tightening the flange, the pipe will move back until it has it's 2-3mm clearance.
So I checked some DIY's and some threads what to do. Firstly I noticed that in the DIY, the car don't have a heat shield at all:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ibq8MFtjBj8&t=28m8s
A lot of people don't have any problems with rasp, some other had to remove or bend the heat shield.

A third problem I noticed is that I can't tighten the support brace for the cat-back/tailpipes completely back on. There are 3-5mm left to the bolt's edge.

Could it be that the downpipes a wrong welded? Since the bolt at the flange didn't fit and the support of the cat-back can't be tightened completely?

Any tips/tricks to adjust the pipes? Should I remove or bend the heat shield?

And I bought AR dp's because of perfect fitment.. Or am I to dump to install the pipes correctly?

Asking you for suggestions. I will try to adjust the pipes tomorrow.

Best regards
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      01-09-2013, 08:34 PM   #2
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AR pipes are pretty spot on but then again the tolerance level is very small. I suspect its an installation problem and not the pipes
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      01-14-2013, 06:53 AM   #3
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Spent 5 hours on adjusting the pipes. Now I have clearance between heatpipes and outer downpipe. But now the flange are touching each other.

Everything looked great, then while tightening the last flange (inner downpipe) the DP was moving to the outer pipe until they touch each other.

I really have the impression that something is wrong, since I had to shorten the bolt for the flange so that it won't hit the pipe while tightening. I never heard that some had to shorten the bolt. For me it seems to be that the flange is welded with a wrong angle.
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      01-14-2013, 11:41 AM   #4
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I would take a picture if possible and sent it to the AR guys. Something doesn't sound right.
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      01-14-2013, 11:47 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn555ic View Post
AR pipes are pretty spot on but then again the tolerance level is very small. I suspect its an installation problem and not the pipes
+10000 AR DP's are the best fitting DP's we have installed. Where you fight with some other cheaper pipes. These go right in and save you throwing your wrenches across the shop. They have made enough of these things that is you are having a problem I would suspect it is either a rogue bad set of pipes of bad installation.
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      01-14-2013, 12:51 PM   #6
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I already wrote to Andrew, describing the whole problem like above. Got the answer that the pipes have to be adjusted a bit.
Thats something I already know, I already spend hours with adjusting.

No reaction on the problem that I had to shorten the bolt.
Serious, there is nothing you can do wrong when pushing a bolt through the flange and tightening.

Asked him for details in which order he tighten up the v-bands and flange to eliminate the fact that I am possibly to dump for installing 2 pipes.

I would be happy if it is my fault, because shipping the pipes over sea to get new ones will take weeks.
Therefore I'm looking for suggestions how to do a proper install or what else could be wrong.

I will take a picture next time. Unfortunately I have a lot of work at the moment, will probably have time on next Thursday.
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      01-14-2013, 01:36 PM   #7
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I used a 1/2 bolt head for the one flange... the rest are 9/16 size. Little tapping on the head to get it through maybe necessary.

As far as adjusting... if you loosen the v-bands should have about 5 to 10deg clocking movement in each to find the best position. I rotate each until I have at least 3mm+ of clearance everywhere. Tighten the v-bands before you put the exhaust on.

Not sure really what other advice I could give, but it would be surprising if it was the ARs fitment.
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      01-14-2013, 01:39 PM   #8
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You can also adjust the mid pipe bracket for more clearance depending on what you need. The downpipes can rotate a decent amount.
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      01-29-2013, 11:57 AM   #9
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Ok here we go.. I made some pics.

The flanges of the exhaust are straight lined, whereas the inner downpipe seem to be a bit shorter than the outer pipe! about 3-4mm displacement.


exhaust flange is straight lined.


As you see, the outer pipes fits perfectly with a gasket, everything is parallel.
The inner pipe has a great gap! Also the flange isn't parallel, has 2mm more space at top as at the bottom.


Outer pipe fits perfectly. While tightening the bolts the outer pipes doesn't move/bend at all.


With the bolts which are sent with the pipes, it is NOT possible to tighten the bolts. The end will hit the pipes while tightening.


If i use one gasket, the inner pipe will use the shortest path while tightening the bolts. The pipe will move to the outer pipe until they hit each other..

For a temporary solution I used 3 gaskets to avoid that the inner pipe moves to much. But even 3 gaskets are not enough.
You can also see that the gap at the top is greater.


With 3 gaskets I will result in 1-2mm clearance.


The clearance between the outer pipe and the heat shield seems to be okay.. bend the heat shield a bit.

I don't know but.. that's not "perfect fitment" as the downpipes claim to be.
What do you guys think?
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      01-29-2013, 12:32 PM   #10
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I wonder if there is slight difference in build on a European BMWs and US versions.

I had ton of work with my RR DPs , had to refit the flanges on my midpipes to avoid tension in exhaust pipes while installed.

I would take the car to a exhaust shop and ask them to do adjustment or modify the pipes, MP.
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      01-30-2013, 11:38 AM   #11
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The bolt simply needs to be flipped around. Also, tightening one side before the other is a sure-fire way to get leaks. The downpipe flanges are supposed to be staggered, as they are in pics. I would highly recommend taking the car to a shop that has experience installing downpipes, and have them adjust them for you.
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      01-30-2013, 12:11 PM   #12
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I have installed 15 sets of these and they are always perfect, usually when there is a figment issue it is when someone tries to tighten the rear flanges, get everything started (dps to turbo and exhaust) then tighten. If you tighten just the flange on the rear it will throw the dips to turbo off and vice versa. The bracket holding down the exhaust must be bolted up last, if you do this first it will torque the pipes up and will cause serious fitment issues.
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      01-30-2013, 12:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ar design View Post
The bolt simply needs to be flipped around. Also, tightening one side before the other is a sure-fire way to get leaks. The downpipe flanges are supposed to be staggered, as they are in pics. I would highly recommend taking the car to a shop that has experience installing downpipes, and have them adjust them for you.
I installed the bolts as recommanded in this vid http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ibq8MFtjBj8&t=25m40s. If I flip the bolt arround it's not possible to push the long bolt with an angle in that hole.

I didn't tighten only one side of the flange. The flange is hand tightened on that picture to show you the gap. I know that you have to tighten the bolts in cross to avoid leaks.

Why are the flanges staggered if the flanges of the exhaust aren't?
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      01-30-2013, 12:35 PM   #14
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That's the way I installed my DP's:

1. install the new dp's and pull the clamps over the flange but don't tighten up the clamps
2. make a first alignment and put the bolts on the exhaust flanges and tighten up by hand.
3. make a second alignment such that you will have nice clearance
4. tighten up the clamp of the outer pipe
5. tighten up the flange of the outer pipe
6. check clearance if the outer pipe won't hit the heatshield
7. tighten up the clamp the the inner pipe
8. tighten up the flange of the inner pipe
9. reinstall the support brace of the exhaust

At point 8. the inner pipe will move/bend to the outer piper because it has to close a big gap.
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      01-30-2013, 12:51 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lux3m35i View Post
That's the way I installed my DP's:

1. install the new dp's and pull the clamps over the flange but don't tighten up the clamps
2. make a first alignment and put the bolts on the exhaust flanges and tighten up by hand.
3. make a second alignment such that you will have nice clearance
4. tighten up the clamp of the outer pipe
5. tighten up the flange of the outer pipe
6. check clearance if the outer pipe won't hit the heatshield
7. tighten up the clamp the the inner pipe
8. tighten up the flange of the inner pipe
9. reinstall the support brace of the exhaust

At point 8. the inner pipe will move/bend to the outer piper because it has to close a big gap.
you have one thing in a bind, very easy to do...if you put these pipes in a bind u will not be able to put bolts thru the flange.
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      01-30-2013, 11:03 PM   #16
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I have had a set of ar downpipes that we had to send back for poor fitment. AR was very good about the situation, and comparing the new/old set there was a half inch difference. I have a picture around here somewhere but AR impressed me with the customer service. The only way we could get the pipes to fit without leaking was if it was hammering on the motor mount.
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      01-31-2013, 02:53 AM   #17
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Salut. Great to see another 335i enthusiast from Luxembourg here!

On my AR downpipes one O2 sensor bung had to be relocated. But apart from that they fit good.
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      01-31-2013, 11:48 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWN54tech View Post
I have had a set of ar downpipes that we had to send back for poor fitment. AR was very good about the situation, and comparing the new/old set there was a half inch difference. I have a picture around here somewhere but AR impressed me with the customer service. The only way we could get the pipes to fit without leaking was if it was hammering on the motor mount.
And how to determine if the pipe is faulty or not?

It cause me quite a headache every day. I don't know what's going wrong. The flanges on the exhaust and DP's are flush, face to face. Don't need to rotate the pipe a lot to get clearance. But then tightening the longer DP, the pipe gets tension because of the gap and the flange moves to the shorter pipe.
But there is no way to adjust the pipe such a way to move the pipe back or forwards?

I'm trying to find a person in my area to get an alternative opinion.
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      01-31-2013, 06:13 PM   #19
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Id give AR a call and let them know of the issue you are having so it can be documented from the start. Its just about trial and error. I know people love having true 3" downpipes but this is one of the headaches associated with them. I'm more of a fan of the smaller pipes for ease of fitment.
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      02-14-2013, 04:55 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWN54tech View Post
I have had a set of ar downpipes that we had to send back for poor fitment. AR was very good about the situation, and comparing the new/old set there was a half inch difference. I have a picture around here somewhere but AR impressed me with the customer service. The only way we could get the pipes to fit without leaking was if it was hammering on the motor mount.
The DPs definitely do not fit. Regrettably and rather surprising as I've had two sets of AR Design DPs on my car and for both the fitment was spot-on.

I'd also hope that the customer service of AR Design is as you described it. Right now it doesn't really look like it but we hope to be pleasantly surprised.

Alpina_B3_Lux
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      02-14-2013, 07:30 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpina_B3_Lux View Post

I'd also hope that the customer service of AR Design is as you described it. Right now it doesn't really look like it but we hope to be pleasantly surprised.

Alpina_B3_Lux
How so? I already emailed the customer and told him to send the downpipes back, and that we would repair or replace, no charge.
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      02-14-2013, 11:10 PM   #22
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ARs customer service seems to be top notch in my experiences so far. I hope people dont read the previous comment, and believe otherwise
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