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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've a 2003 325i Sport with manual transmission. The front part of my exhaust configuration consists of a twin pipe that bolts directly to the manifold twin pipes and is held in place by bracket that mounts onto the transmission housing. This bracket is connected to the exhaust via a single bolt and another bracket that wraps around the twin pipe and has two bolts running through the centre of it.

It's this wrap around bracket that I have the problem with. It has a very flimsy flange connecting it to the straight bracket [that bolts to the transmission housing] and it is this flimsy flange that's cracked through an broken.

The problem here is that this wrap around bracket is welded on either side so even if the two bolts through the centre were removed, you'd still be unable to get it off the exhaust. The only way I can see of removing it is by cutting through it. Far more infuriating however is the fact that BMW do not sell a replacement or aftermarket substitute for this bracket... instead you need to replace the entire exhaust system... and no guessing how much that costs ! My exhaust system itself is absolutely perfect so I'm hoping that somebody here has experienced a similar problem and has some suggestions on what can be done.

Many thanks.
 

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Id think most muffler places could fix this easily with substitute parts. ( and maybe a touch of welding)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Id think most muffler places could fix this easily with substitute parts. ( and maybe a touch of welding)
Thanks for the reply... the few I've gone to so far aren't allowed to weld because the material's too thin. I would hope that it can be braized or something though... I'll keep trying that route.
 

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Which piece, because none of them should be welded......If it is what I am thinking about anyways. I just removed mine to do my headers three months ago.

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That's a very interesting diagram. Parts 9 and 10 are welded together... and having spoken to BMW, can only be bought as an integrated part with the entire exhaust system. Are they separated pieces on your car ? You see the flange holding that piece to part 7 [via a bolt], that's what's severed on mine. In other words that flange has separated from the wrap around bit. The other thing I've noticed is that the bolts 11 and their corresponding nuts are welded on mine.
 

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I still think the muffler shop could take a piece of flat stock and replace #7 entirely, then twist and run it under the bracket for support and lateral restraint, and weld it on from the bottom where the bracket has thick points. Or weld it directly to the exhaust pipes. That's just one of any number of ways it could be done. Exhaust pieces are welded all the time.

Usually it's not a good idea to do it when there are bolt-on pieces to the system, but if you can't find the right part or it's part of a bigger piece that's too expensive, you bite the bullet and weld in a bandage. It's easily removed later if need be.
 

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Mine are not welded in any way. They don't actually hold the exhaust so to speak, they are just there to keep it from banging around when you turn and such. I took mine off when I did my headers. I can check my friends salvage yard for you. I'll swing by today. Is your car a 5 speed?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Mine are not welded in any way. They don't actually hold the exhaust so to speak, they are just there to keep it from banging around when you turn and such. I took mine off when I did my headers. I can check my friends salvage yard for you. I'll swing by today. Is your car a 5 speed?
Ya mine's a 5 speed September 2003 325i Sport [i.e. the 4 door saloon]. It's a right hand drive European model as I'm in London (UK)... so not unless there's a difference between the US and European spec. or something ?

Your other point about them not holding the exhaust up is very interesting too. If that's the case, then I guess I could just remove the broken flange piece and bolt and leave alone. I was just concerned that not having it there may cause the exhaust to crack on resonating etc... You don't think that's the case ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I still think the muffler shop could take a piece of flat stock and replace #7 entirely, then twist and run it under the bracket for support and lateral restraint, and weld it on from the bottom where the bracket has thick points. Or weld it directly to the exhaust pipes. That's just one of any number of ways it could be done. Exhaust pieces are welded all the time.

Usually it's not a good idea to do it when there are bolt-on pieces to the system, but if you can't find the right part or it's part of a bigger piece that's too expensive, you bite the bullet and weld in a bandage. It's easily removed later if need be.
This may well be the solution.
 
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