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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 > AR Catless downpipe vs BMS catless Downpipe on 335i Xdrive coupe



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      03-26-2013, 08:32 PM   #1
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AR Catless downpipe vs BMS catless Downpipe on 335i Xdrive coupe

Hello, I am wondering why there is such a big price difference in the catless downpipe from BMS and AR Design? The AR downpipe is $1000 and the BMS downpipe is $600.
Thanks for your time!
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      03-26-2013, 09:34 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 335ixdrive2009
Hello, I am wondering why there is such a big price difference in the catless downpipe from BMS and AR Design? The AR downpipe is $1000 and the BMS downpipe is $600.
Thanks for your time!
Well first of all the AR's are no where near $1000 and the BMS are no where near $600, both are much cheaper. And the AR quality is better and it has the smoothest transition from 3 to 2.5 inches. That's why they're more expensive.

PM Mike@n54tuning for best prices. I got mine from him.
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      03-26-2013, 09:35 PM   #3
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Also I could be wrong but I don't think BMS makes xi downpipes yet...
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      03-26-2013, 09:42 PM   #4
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      03-26-2013, 10:34 PM   #5
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BMS doesnt fit XI model. I just ordered the AR one for mine.

And yeah AR are close to 1000$
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      03-26-2013, 10:38 PM   #6
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I paid $780 for y AR design 1 year ago. XI here
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      03-27-2013, 01:00 AM   #7
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The BMS DP's are RWD only. We do offer an XI alternative at a very reasonable price
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      03-27-2013, 10:35 AM   #8
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stick with AR Design if you want quality. AR Design ACTUALLY manufactures their downpipes.
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      03-27-2013, 11:03 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by triggz
stick with AR Design if you want quality. AR Design ACTUALLY manufactures their downpipes.
Dude, it's a pipe! If it fits what's the difference? Other than a smoother 1/2" taper on the AR, which arguably won't effect flow at most people's power rating, why spend $300+ more?
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      03-27-2013, 11:27 AM   #10
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The price range on DP's is really amazing. At the low end $149 OBX, the high end $1500 Akrapovic. Funny there are no dyno comparisons...none

I bought a set of Xi OBX's just too look at them. Needed a lot of dremeling inside and flow/welds did not look so good. 2.5" all the way. Ended up buying some VRSF's for like $360 shipped (can't remember exactly). Looked like same basic material (304?) as the OBX's but had a bigger/wider bell area tapering into 2.5" about 1/3 way down, much better flow (eyeballing them) and fit pretty well. Also came with good gaskets and higher quality hardware. OBX's I never did install even after 2 hrs dremel work. Mainly I read a lot of people having fitment issues with them and I did not want to find that out mid installation.

YMMV but I can't see ANY engineering, durability, or performance case for DP's costing more than $400 or so. Unless it is the soothing peace of mind you get knowing you've paid a great deal of money for some pipe.
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      03-27-2013, 11:32 AM   #11
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There's a bit of detail when comparing the OBX to any reputable brand, the OBX build quality is a bit worse which has been known to lead to pre-mature failure, their SS material is actually 200 grade stainless rather than the 304 they occasionally claim and their flange material is generally always coated mild steel.

These things may not matter if you're only using the pipe for a year or so, but if you want something that's going to last more than a couple years and then still retain resale value, the material is what I'd be concerned with. Assuming the pipe fits of course

Last edited by Tiago@VRSF; 03-27-2013 at 11:43 AM.
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      03-27-2013, 11:38 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiago@VRSF View Post
There's a bit of detail when comparing the OBX to any reputable brand, the OBX build quality is a bit worse which has been known to lead to pre-mature failure, their SS material is actually 200 grade stainless rather than the 304 they occasionally claim and their flange material is generally always coated mild steel.

These things may not matter if you're only using the pipe for a year or so, but if you want something that's going to last more than a couple years and then still retain resale value, the material is what I'd be concerned with.
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Then fitting..Then design
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      03-27-2013, 11:46 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiago@VRSF View Post
There's a bit of detail when comparing the OBX to any reputable brand, the OBX build quality is a bit worse which has been known to lead to pre-mature failure, their SS material is actually 200 grade stainless rather than the 304 they occasionally claim and their flange material is generally always coated mild steel.

These things may not matter if you're only using the pipe for a year or so, but if you want something that's going to last more than a couple years and then still retain resale value, the material is what I'd be concerned with.
That is good to know, I am no metallurgist so please excuse the mistake. They were clearly of inferior build quality compared to yours. The basic pipe part (not the flanges) looked to be identical material to my untrained eye though.
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      03-27-2013, 11:50 AM   #14
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Completely understandable, it's really one of those things that you'd notice after the pipe has been exposed to heat/time/moisture.
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      03-27-2013, 11:53 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiago@VRSF View Post
Completely understandable, it's really one of those things that you'd notice after the pipe has been exposed to heat/time/moisture.
So like if I make a giant double bong out of the OBX's like I had planned, it might not last?
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      03-27-2013, 11:58 AM   #16
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      03-27-2013, 01:30 PM   #17
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American Welding and Labor cost a lot more then overseas labor.... just a heads up for people wondering why there is a cost difference. Sometimes it's a quality issues or fitment issues and other times it just depends on who's making the product.
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      03-27-2013, 02:06 PM   #18
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As an engineer, I certainly appreciate the differences in metal selection, as well as proper welding techniques and good basic design. That said, I would like to see a dyno comparison that shows a difference, real world, between the bargain basement pipes, the cheaper ones that are made of good material, and the holy grail downpipes which evidently cure cancer and add a couple inches to your manhood. Until we see some real data, I think it's really just enthusiastic championing of a design that most people really do not understand the flow characteristics of. *shrug* Just my opinion, but hey, I've only done flow modeling, balancing, and work on fluid systems for the Department of Defense for 11 years. Just because in theory there is a difference doesn't mean that in the real world you can even tell that difference exists.
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      03-27-2013, 02:30 PM   #19
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I think the point is pretty well represented that there is not going to be any difference. Intercoolers are even worse, these units selling for $1000-$1200 look SHOCKINGLY similar to VRSF's that is $400.

Boils down to if you want to support an American built product vs. an Asian built product. I don't really mind as long as the quality is there. I have VRSF DP's and am getting ready to order a new FMIC as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SCGT View Post
As an engineer, I certainly appreciate the differences in metal selection, as well as proper welding techniques and good basic design. That said, I would like to see a dyno comparison that shows a difference, real world, between the bargain basement pipes, the cheaper ones that are made of good material, and the holy grail downpipes which evidently cure cancer and add a couple inches to your manhood. Until we see some real data, I think it's really just enthusiastic championing of a design that most people really do not understand the flow characteristics of. *shrug* Just my opinion, but hey, I've only done flow modeling, balancing, and work on fluid systems for the Department of Defense for 11 years. Just because in theory there is a difference doesn't mean that in the real world you can even tell that difference exists.
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      03-27-2013, 05:19 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCGT View Post
As an engineer, I certainly appreciate the differences in metal selection, as well as proper welding techniques and good basic design. That said, I would like to see a dyno comparison that shows a difference, real world, between the bargain basement pipes, the cheaper ones that are made of good material, and the holy grail downpipes which evidently cure cancer and add a couple inches to your manhood. Until we see some real data, I think it's really just enthusiastic championing of a design that most people really do not understand the flow characteristics of. *shrug* Just my opinion, but hey, I've only done flow modeling, balancing, and work on fluid systems for the Department of Defense for 11 years. Just because in theory there is a difference doesn't mean that in the real world you can even tell that difference exists.
That would be a waste of resources. The differences are negligble between ALL the downpipes.

The differences are materials, wedling, and labor cost.

However, there are certain attributes that are different in design but none will make a lanslide victory in terms of performance.

Some downpipes taper to 2.5 earlier then others. Others have a cast bell mouth inlet. To name a few.

It's a popularity contest for the most part. Just being brutally honest.
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      03-27-2013, 05:34 PM   #21
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Oh I know it would be a waste. I wouldn't be a very good engineer if I didn't already know that. The point is, for those extolling the virtues of the high priced items, do they have any data for their assertions, or is it all because of a warm fuzzy feeling? I know the answer and you do too.

You know the rules though, keep repeating something enough and it's a fact. Right?
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      03-27-2013, 06:13 PM   #22
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Does VRSF make downpipes for N54 335i Xdrive models?? Or is AR my only choice?
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