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      10-17-2017, 01:56 PM   #1
asiflicious
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N54 135i exhaust differences

Hey everyone, lately I've been starting to think about getting an exhaust for my car. However I don't want to sacrifice daily drivability. I don't mind if the car is loud as hell under wot but I'd prefer it to quieter, yet still aggressive, around town with minimal to no drone on the highway. Any recommendations? Also I'm a bit confused as to the difference between an axleback and catback exhaust. Aside from where they attach, is there any benefit to paying the extra money for a catback? Is there a difference in sound?
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      10-17-2017, 03:16 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asiflicious View Post
Hey everyone, lately I've been starting to think about getting an exhaust for my car. However I don't want to sacrifice daily drivability. I don't mind if the car is loud as hell under wot but I'd prefer it to quieter, yet still aggressive, around town with minimal to no drone on the highway. Any recommendations? Also I'm a bit confused as to the difference between an axleback and catback exhaust. Aside from where they attach, is there any benefit to paying the extra money for a catback? Is there a difference in sound?
For N54 there are secondary cats in the mid pipes. The stock setup is as follows:

Turbos > downpipes with cats > catted mids > axle back/can

For the N54 I'd suggest keeping the downpipes and midpipes stock and doing an axle back. OR doing a high flow catted DP and get N55 mid pipes which are not catted, and keeping the axle back stock. Either of those options will give you some fun noises but avoid drone and being too loud while cruising.
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      10-17-2017, 03:32 PM   #3
asiflicious
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matticus91 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by asiflicious View Post
Hey everyone, lately I've been starting to think about getting an exhaust for my car. However I don't want to sacrifice daily drivability. I don't mind if the car is loud as hell under wot but I'd prefer it to quieter, yet still aggressive, around town with minimal to no drone on the highway. Any recommendations? Also I'm a bit confused as to the difference between an axleback and catback exhaust. Aside from where they attach, is there any benefit to paying the extra money for a catback? Is there a difference in sound?
For N54 there are secondary cats in the mid pipes. The stock setup is as follows:

Turbos > downpipes with cats > catted mids > axle back/can

For the N54 I'd suggest keeping the downpipes and midpipes stock and doing an axle back. OR doing a high flow catted DP and get N55 mid pipes which are not catted, and keeping the axle back stock. Either of those options will give you some fun noises but avoid drone and being too loud while cruising.
I'm planning on going fbo (meowless Downpipes, fmic, maaaybe dci). Would the berk race axle back with meowless dps and stock mids have an aggressive sound without being over bearing? I don't want a muted sound, I'd rather it be more on the louder side than quiet side but without being obnoxious
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      10-17-2017, 03:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asiflicious View Post
I'm planning on going fbo (meowless Downpipes, fmic, maaaybe dci). Would the berk race axle back with meowless dps and stock mids have an aggressive sound without being over bearing? I don't want a muted sound, I'd rather it be more on the louder side than quiet side but without being obnoxious
If you're going FBO and catless DP's then I'd suggest also going catless mids and sticking with stock axle-back exhaust. Try that out first and if it's not loud enough just change the axle-back. Berk race is known for excessive drone and noise, it's essentially just a straight pipe. I think the AFE one at least has a resonating chamber.
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      10-17-2017, 03:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asiflicious View Post
I'm planning on going fbo (meowless Downpipes, fmic, maaaybe dci). Would the berk race axle back with meowless dps and stock mids have an aggressive sound without being over bearing? I don't want a muted sound, I'd rather it be more on the louder side than quiet side but without being obnoxious
That setup is gonna be pretty loud. The berk race axle back is just a pipe. I think any axle back system with an actual muffler will give you an aggressive sound (especially with catless DPs) while still being fairly civilized while cruising
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      10-17-2017, 04:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asiflicious View Post
I'm planning on going fbo (meowless Downpipes, fmic, maaaybe dci). Would the berk race axle back with meowless dps and stock mids have an aggressive sound without being over bearing? I don't want a muted sound, I'd rather it be more on the louder side than quiet side but without being obnoxious
Just go with BMW Performance Exhaust, or do the performance exhaust mod on your stock setup. It won't be loud but it has a nice sporty sound to it.

Look it up on YouTube. I think you'll like it.
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      10-17-2017, 05:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeddo45 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by asiflicious View Post
I'm planning on going fbo (meowless Downpipes, fmic, maaaybe dci). Would the berk race axle back with meowless dps and stock mids have an aggressive sound without being over bearing? I don't want a muted sound, I'd rather it be more on the louder side than quiet side but without being obnoxious
Just go with BMW Performance Exhaust, or do the performance exhaust mod on your stock setup. It won't be loud but it has a nice sporty sound to it.

Look it up on YouTube. I think you'll like it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeddo45 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by asiflicious View Post
I'm planning on going fbo (meowless Downpipes, fmic, maaaybe dci). Would the berk race axle back with meowless dps and stock mids have an aggressive sound without being over bearing? I don't want a muted sound, I'd rather it be more on the louder side than quiet side but without being obnoxious
Just go with BMW Performance Exhaust, or do the performance exhaust mod on your stock setup. It won't be loud but it has a nice sporty sound to it.

Look it up on YouTube. I think you'll like it.
This was my original plan but at $1400 it's not exactly a bargain and I've never heard it in person :/
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      10-17-2017, 06:15 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by asiflicious View Post
This was my original plan but at $1400 it's not exactly a bargain and I've never heard it in person :/
The mod is even cheaper. Check this out if you don't want to DIY it.

http://www.**********s.com/OEM-BMW-E...xhaust-MOD.htm

mod
bargains
.com
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      10-17-2017, 06:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asiflicious View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeddo45 View Post
Just go with BMW Performance Exhaust, or do the performance exhaust mod on your stock setup. It won't be loud but it has a nice sporty sound to it.

Look it up on YouTube. I think you'll like it.
This was my original plan but at $1400 it's not exactly a bargain and I've never heard it in person :/
Yeah, it's hard to make an expensive decision like that when you haven't heard it in person. With that being said, I will add that the Performance exhaust sounds great in my opinion, not being too (obnoxiously) loud but has a very nice sporty tone. I've also heard a few people say they get some drone, but I don't get any to speak of. Had mine since 2011 and I think it just gets better with age.
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      10-17-2017, 07:37 PM   #10
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Where abouts are you in Portland? I've got the PE on mine that you could take a listen to although it's N55 which will make a difference or so I've read.
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      10-17-2017, 07:41 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by PDXE82 View Post
Where abouts are you in Portland? I've got the PE on mine that you could take a listen to although it's N55 which will make a difference or so I've read.
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Originally Posted by PDXE82 View Post
Where abouts are you in Portland? I've got the PE on mine that you could take a listen to although it's N55 which will make a difference or so I've read.
Yeah, N55 sounds a lot different (better imo) than the N54. However, we could always meet up and go on a cruise!
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      10-18-2017, 11:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asiflicious View Post
Yeah, N55 sounds a lot different (better imo) than the N54. However, we could always meet up and go on a cruise!
I'd be down for a cruise sometime. I think I've only seen one other 1 series in my area.
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      10-19-2017, 01:08 AM   #13
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I have stock downpipes and midpipes with a Berk race axle back. There is a bit of drone under partial load with the rpm at 2100-2150 or so. Other than that it is a great sounding setup.

Granted you plan on getting catless (meowless, fucking lol) downpipes so you would have a lot more dB's than I do.
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      10-19-2017, 02:49 PM   #14
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2009 BMW 135i  [4.25]
Get catless downpipes with n55 midpipes to stock catback.

I have catless downpipes with stock midpipes and did a golf tee mod. It's a pretty good compromise imo.
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      10-20-2017, 03:09 PM   #15
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I'm on catless DP's, Berk mids and stock rear.

For daily cruising it's fantastic. If I leave the flap stock no one even knows the car is 500hp. No drone and very civilized in town.
WOT it gets louder, but it's still quieter than everything else on the track.
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