aka the wallet diet

Home brew e30 m3 exhaust, intro…

I’m a cheap kind of E30 M3 owner. Kind of oxymoronish, but true. So when I set off to replace my clogged original exhaust, the prices of most pre-fabbed systems were pretty high. For example, using a VSR1 mid section and Stromung rear would be around $1,300. Add $100 for installation. This is a tried and tested combination that works great on the E30 m3. I also looked at “custom” stainless systems from Europe, about $700 but without a proper cat. Plus shipping would be mad!

Not finding a nice modest sporty exhaust, I went on to do my own for about $500. This is including 3″ mild steel mandrel bent tubing (16 gauge), a large polished 22″ Magnaflow muffler, 50-state legal catalytic converter, and band clamps. To my relief, it is possible. In states other than California, where  a “special” cat isn’t needed, subtract $100; or for a track car, where one isn’t needed all, subtract $200.

Now, I know 3″ is pretty radical for a stock 2.3 S14,  but I’ll be building up a high tech lump in the near future.  Might as well do some R&D now.  Plus, I wanted it to fit my new Burn Stainless Y-pipe collector.

Parts List:

Magnaflow Polished 3″ in/out Muffler 5″ x 11″ x 22″ (part number 14589) – $124

Magnaflow “California) catalytic converter (part number 41409) – $200 eBay price

4 x 45° 3″ mandrel bent 16 gauge pipe (link) – 4 x $12.50 = $50

1 x 18° 3″ mandrel bent 16 gauge pipe (link) – $12.00

4′ 3″ mandrel bent 16 gauge pipe, straight (link) – 4 x $5.50/ft = $22

2 lap joint exhaust clamps (link) – 2 x $9.50 = $19.00

4 butt joint exhaust clamps (link) – 6 x $7.75 = $46.50

All the above comes out to be around $500 with shipping and taxes (much of it was non taxed and shipped free)

Part 2 coming next week…teaser picture below:


One Response to “Home brew e30 m3 exhaust, intro…”

  1. This looks good. I think (!) I did something similar a few years back but I now need to replace it. I’ve been told that the E30 M3’s engine generates a lot of water vapour so the exhaust system rusts out easily. I shall take your info to my local car guru.

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