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E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 Roadster, Z3 coupe, Z3 M Roadster and Z3 M Coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 12-16-2009, 06:09 AM
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Z4M/S54: Euro Headers Installed and Dyno'd

Part 1
As some of you know, I installed the European e46 M3 (not CSL) headers on my Z4MC a couple of weeks ago. I just installed the pre-cat O2 sensors on the headers and the 2 post-cat O2s and EGT sensor were not initially installed as there were no bungs for those.

I drove the car around for about 300-400 miles this way and could feel the power gains from a seat of the pants through the rev range. The power gains could be felt in the low end and mid-ramge during part throttle driving which was/is really great esp for the S54 which can use all it can get in this section of the power band.

Since the car was running perfectly fine without the 3 sensors mentioned (there is a check engine light/SES light), I brought the car to a dyno on Monday morning. The results compared to stock are VERY impressive.

Part 2
I brought the car to RRT in Dulles, VA to create a modular wiring harness that would allow relocating the post-cat O2 and EGT sensor connectors to under the car (under the black plastic cowl that hides the fuel filter, TPMS module etc.) or have them in their original location (on top of the valve colver). They used MIL spec wires, OEM black wire tubing, Deutsche connectors and gold pins to do this. James@RRT was meticulous and created an OEM style wiring harness.

He also installed an EGT sensor bung I had a friend make for me onto the secondary cats where the Euro Z4Ms and M3s have it.

Exhaust Gas Temp Sensor Discussion - Thanks to Randy Forbes, Ron Stygar, blau335, F360C, tnsbruce etc. for the help and discussions.

The other task was to possibly install the post cat O2 bungs onto the secondary cats similar to the European spec Z4M, but we were not sure if the heat shield on the OEM section 2 would get compromised during the install so that part is yet to happen.

Part 3 - Still researching this ....
I want the car to be emission compliant (no SES light) without a flash, if possible. So here are my thoughts/options so far

(1) Find a used Z4M secondary cat section and test that out with the bungs - if someone wants to sell me one, please PM me. The research will help us all at my expense

(2) Find how to source a Euro cat section from a Z4M. North Haven and Tischer dont even list that part #. This will be the easiest and should be plug and play now.

(3) Find a Euro M3 cat section with all the bungs and have the flange that connects to the X-pipe correctly oriented to match the Z4M.

(4) Talk to Fabspeed to see if they will match the flange for our cars.

(5) Find hi-flow OBD2 cats and get a custom section 2 made.

Your thoughts and opinions are very welcome.

Enough words ...

The Euro headers from an e46 M3 race car-


Removed this heat shield and the secondary air pump valve and black plastic tubing.




Under body shield removed


Stock headers exposed



I made sure which O2 sensor connector goes where though BMW has done a good job of labeling as well. 1- post cat O2 for the front bank and 2 - post cat O2 for rear bank. These two connectors were relocated yesterday to under the car along with the EGT one.



Next I broke loose the EGT and O2 sensors and unscrewed them by hand and removed them from the headers.



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  #2  
Old 12-16-2009, 06:09 AM
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Pre-cat O2s and EGT out and labeled. Post cat O2s are better removed from under the car.



All out ...


The flanges under the car use an E12 bolt head. I loosened these 4 but did not remove them just yet.


Next I took off the 18 11mm nuts that hold the header to the head. I found a 3" wobble head extension and a 1/4" ratchet to be the close to perfect tool for this task.


Half way there


Headers loose ... now I got under the car and removed the 4 flange bolts and guided the headers out from under the car. I could not take any pictures of this step as I had my hands full with humpty and dumpty.






Comparison picture ... the Euro headers look like athletes compared to the US spec ones.


View from the top. There is tons of space to remove these headers, but I found the easiest is to do it from under the car. F360C pointed me that way ahead of time so it saved me the aggravation of trying to do it from the top.


Install is reverse of removal. I slid the headers up from under the car and lined them up on the studs. Then loosely fitted the 4 E12 bolts on the flanges. Back on the top now to get the 6 new triangular gaskets in place (shiny side goes towards the cyl head) and the 18 nuts snugged up.

Pre-Cat sensors go in. All bolts and nuts checked and rechecked for tightness.





I disconnected the 2 post cat O2s and the EGT and labeled the connectors on the car that go to the DME.


I will post up pics of the EGT relocation and wiring harness extension later ... still not pulled them off the camera. Thanks to James@RRT for being patient and letting me take pictures and ask him a thousand questions. tnsbruce stopped by to check on progress and bought me lunch at this great Kabob place ... and I got to ride in his awesomely quick 530i.

Dyno Plots
These are the 2 clean runs. The dip in the first run was due to the car moving on the dyno in the low RPMs. Once the strapped were snugged up that dip went away so ignore that.

The car dyno'd 313.26 whp/245.26 w tq on Monday morning as the air was nice and cold with low humidity. The SAE corrected numbers were 295.93 whp/232.07 wtq.




For comparison, SAE numbers from a Dynojet are super consistent from run to run and even on different days. Below is my stock plot done on the same Dynojet compared to the one with headers. The gains are consistent with the butt-dyno ... headers are def THE exhaust modification on these cars for a solid improvement all around.





Discuss away.
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:21 AM
YGBSM YGBSM is offline
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Thanks for bringing the tech. So the bottom line is that Euro headers are worth ~20rwhp over completely stock?

Cost?
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:38 AM
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I hadn't realized the stock DME would allow such good gains; so the primary cats are that restrictive ... great photos. Sounds like the ESS software is what you'll need next.
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:54 AM
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If BMW had both of these headers available for use, why didn't the ///M division spec the less restrictive ones as OEM? Makes no sense to me. I can't believe the cost would be any different.
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Old 12-16-2009, 08:05 AM
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The gains are from deleting a set of cats AND the fact that the headers are now full headers without flow restriction by the stock US spec cats. Exhaust gases are more efficiently collected and flow out of the engine. What is more important to note are the low end and mod range gains - this is exactly where our cars need help. Now the part throttle response is great and puttering around time less of a chore as less shifting is needed.

chickdr - these ARE OEM headers, just from a european spec'd e46. The reason they are not OEM on our cars is for US emissions ...

YGBSM - In terms of cost, North Haven sells the CSL ones for around 1700 new. I however recommend (and this is what I did) searching e46 M3 classifieds as a ton of those guys have done this and some are now starting to part out their cars and have parts for sale for awesome prices.

The other option is to look at aftermarket new ones from places like Fabspeed. Those are around 1100'ish I think and gains are comparable, if not more due to the longer lengths of the pipes, from what I have read on the M3 boards.

I have an appointment with Fabspeed on Friday morning for them to see what is involved in adapting their e46 M3 sport cats to our cars. From the looks of it, it may just be changing the orientation of the post cat flanges to meet our x-pipe. Their cats are supposed to be OBD2 compatible so if they can make it work, then I will plug the relocated O2 sensors connectors for the post cats and the DME should be happy.

The car is running great and makes power as well so I am not totally sold on the ESS tune just yet ... but who knows down the line if I get CSL or Schrick cams then I will need the ESS tune.
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Last edited by pal; 12-16-2009 at 08:08 AM.
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  #7  
Old 12-16-2009, 10:12 AM
HotDogWater HotDogWater is offline
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Originally Posted by chickdr View Post
If BMW had both of these headers available for use, why didn't the ///M division spec the less restrictive ones as OEM? Makes no sense to me. I can't believe the cost would be any different.
emissions requirements
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Old 12-16-2009, 10:47 AM
blau335 blau335 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pal View Post
I have an appointment with Fabspeed on Friday morning for them to see what is involved in adapting their e46 M3 sport cats to our cars. From the looks of it, it may just be changing the orientation of the post cat flanges to meet our x-pipe.

The car is running great and makes power as well so I am not totally sold on the ESS tune just yet ... but who knows down the line if I get CSL or Schrick cams then I will need the ESS tune.
It is unfortunately not that simple. The lengths will have to be adjusted as well as the e46 is a tad bit longer (like an inch) It shouldn't be that hard and if it helps I'll compare the two again as I don't rem exactly.

I'm glad you did this dyno, I'll do another one with headers and ESS software in the future. I expect the gains will be higher. M3s get a lot better then 15hp from headers, our cars having a better ECU should be no different.


I've installed fabspeed headers before. They include their own copper gaskets and their secondary O2 bungs are shielded. It's a mechanical way to try and get around the 02 inefficiency. Good if you don't want a tune, bad if you're planning on tuning and putting a wideband in that spot. Only think is you have to cut/bend/ or remove the heat shied at cylinder #5.

I'll either do OEM CSL, Active, or fabspeed (if they can do one without the secondary shields) Not sure yet.
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Old 12-16-2009, 11:46 AM
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Good job Pal, nice verbiage and pictures.
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Old 12-16-2009, 12:36 PM
CaliAgents1688 CaliAgents1688 is offline
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Nice writeup! Brings back fond memories of bending every which way like a contortionist to remove those 18 copper nuts!
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Old 12-16-2009, 12:36 PM
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emissions requirements
Are US emissions requirements more stringent than Europe's? I thought they were worse there...
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Old 12-16-2009, 12:41 PM
CaliAgents1688 CaliAgents1688 is offline
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Are US emissions requirements more stringent than Europe's? I thought they were worse there...
Varies state to state, sometimes county to county.

AFAIK, Cali has the most stringent emissions requirements and any car sold in the U.S. needs to be 50-state emissions compliant you feel me?
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Old 12-16-2009, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by blau335 View Post
It is unfortunately not that simple. The lengths will have to be adjusted as well as the e46 is a tad bit longer (like an inch) It shouldn't be that hard and if it helps I'll compare the two again as I don't rem exactly.

I'm glad you did this dyno, I'll do another one with headers and ESS software in the future. I expect the gains will be higher. M3s get a lot better then 15hp from headers, our cars having a better ECU should be no different.
Understood. The Friday morning appointment with Fabspeed is just so they can put my car on a lift and see what needs to be modified on their existing e46 cat section to fit our cars. Since their cat section is supposed to be modular, length trimming should not be too bad.

They did mention that their cats are OBD2 compliant ... we'll see how this works out.

Look forward to your results. Try to dyno on a Dynojet and get the DRF files so we can overlay etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Forbes
Good job Pal, nice verbiage and pictures.
Thanks Randy.
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Old 12-16-2009, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by CaliAgents1688 View Post
Varies state to state, sometimes county to county.

AFAIK, Cali has the most stringent emissions requirements and any car sold in the U.S. needs to be 50-state emissions compliant you feel me?
We got the CATS.
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Old 12-16-2009, 02:23 PM
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Nice writeup! Brings back fond memories of bending every which way like a contortionist to remove those 18 copper nuts!
Easier to access in his Z4 than our cars.

Whenever I have to pull the (head or) exhaust manifold, I remove the barrier around the DME compartment; opens up a lot more room.
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Old 12-16-2009, 02:38 PM
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View into the secondary cat section. The honeycomb was much further back than I thought ... almost at the second crease when looking from the X pipe end.





Relocated EGT bung goes here ...





These 3 connectors are relocated to under the car ...




MIL spec wires, Deutsche connectors (these are actually made in the USA) and gold pins. Each pin is used per wire and crimped on using a special Deutsche tool that put 8 crimps (I think).





Connectors are cut off and adapted to a Deutsche connector ...





The 8 pin connector accepts the 2 O2 sensors. The little one is for the EGT.




The master (James@RRT) at work. He is very meticulous and I was glad to have the car in his care ...




OEM sleeves on the wiring harness




Heat shrunk on




Custom brackets to hold the new connectors and OEM style fit and routing.




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Old 12-16-2009, 03:01 PM
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View into the secondary cat section. The honeycomb was much further back than I thought ... almost at the second crease when looking from the X pipe end.
Room for the sensors.
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Old 12-16-2009, 05:42 PM
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Wow Pal this post is amazing! I am sure it will serve as the z4m bible now when it comes to headers. I am glad I could help you out what little I did! Can't wait to meet up in person!
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Old 12-16-2009, 06:20 PM
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Silly question, but could be flow gains be made by removing the catalyst materials in the primary cats on the headers and leave all the sensors where they normally live? Or would the sensors not like that change and toss an SES light?

Of course that might not be as optimal flow-wise as the M3 header or a custom header... and you'd have to sacrifice a set of stock headers to find out. Still...
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Old 12-16-2009, 06:36 PM
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Silly question, but could be flow gains be made by removing the catalyst materials in the primary cats on the headers and leave all the sensors where they normally live? Or would the sensors not like that change and toss an SES light?
Hmm ... In theory removing the cat materials on the stock headers will lead to a big volume increase and hence slow down exhaust velocity. I am not an expert, but I doubt that can be good for power.

And I am sure you will get an SES light since post "cat" O2's will not see cleaned exhaust gases. It's almost the same as not running the O2's or running catless.

We do need to meet F360C
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:13 PM
blau335 blau335 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zuzax View Post
Silly question, but could be flow gains be made by removing the catalyst materials in the primary cats on the headers and leave all the sensors where they normally live? Or would the sensors not like that change and toss an SES light?

Of course that might not be as optimal flow-wise as the M3 header or a custom header... and you'd have to sacrifice a set of stock headers to find out. Still...
It will not be good performance and it will sound really really bad. People still do it though.
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Old 12-16-2009, 10:39 PM
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Pal -

Why couldn't you mount the o2 sensors on the x-pipe just after the secondary cats?
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Old 12-17-2009, 03:43 AM
Starscream88 Starscream88 is offline
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We do need to meet F360C
Count me in too, Jersey meet!!
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Old 12-17-2009, 05:22 AM
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Why couldn't you mount the o2 sensors on the x-pipe just after the secondary cats?
Couple of reasons -
(1) Takes away the option of changing out the x-pipe down the line.
(2) We were not sure how that would impact the O2 sensor signal to the DME.

Starscream - A Jersey GTG sounds good ... I will try and set something up on a good day in January or something. I am curious about the 4.1 rear end on your Z4M.
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Old 12-17-2009, 10:17 AM
Starscream88 Starscream88 is offline
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Starscream - A Jersey GTG sounds good ... I will try and set something up on a good day in January or something. I am curious about the 4.1 rear end on your Z4M.
it is a great mod (albeit expensive) but one that I would do again,
All I believe I am missing is the headers, but getting around NJ emissions is something I need to be able to do,
Otherwise the car is plenty quick as I have it
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