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      02-27-2010, 02:44 PM   #1
Lloyd
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Active Autowerke 135i Signature Exhaust Videos and Review

Earlier this week I went down to Active Autowerkes. They have a great shop with all the works, on my visit they were in the middle of dynoing a supercharged Stage II M3 (Ryan correct me if I'm wrong). On this visit I received sponsorship and had their 135i exhaust installed.

My first impression of the exhaust is that it is built solidly, near perfect welds, smooth curves, and of course it has a nicely polished surface. Lifting it you can easily tell it was a very light part. Later, when the stock exhaust muffler was taken off I definitely noticed how much lighter it was and how less bulky it is compared to the huge canister that of the OE.

I had the exhaust installed by the guys at Active Autowerkes, while doing that, Mr. Hugh was taking pictures for their new install guides. Installation didn't take long at all. The included adjustable mounting brackets guarantee the perfect positioning of the tips. I'm sure Ryan @AA could shed more light on the installation, and maybe supply the pictures.

Upon completion installation and cold start, you could definitely notice a louder idle; deep, very slight throaty note. Inside the cabin isn't as quiet anymore, you can hear and feel the low roar of the exhaust. In general it isn't too loud of an axle-back exhaust.

While driving, it is louder but not obnoxious. I don't think your neighbors will complain too much. In slow speed, low RPM driving, between 1.5k and 3k, there is the low growl and rumble, with the occasional backfire. Then coming up into higher RPM the exhaust seems to be fighting with the screams of the engine. Yet if you try to tune out the engine could hear the higher rate and note of the exhaust.

As far as performance, there much of a difference for it is only an axle-back. If anyone out there installs this with an aftermarket tune, I am sure this will help make the flow of the exhaust much smoother.

This exhaust is worth buying, after just two days and speeding ticket, I enjoy every minute in my 1er, well that is after the longer starts in cold weather (HPFP fail!).

Heres a quick video I made today, this isnt exactly a cold start, I did warm it up for a few minutes, drove it around the block. Rev progression at 7k at the highest on the last rev. Only current modifications are Forge Diverter Valves. I also think Ryan@AA can also share another video of a drive-away that they made in front of their shop.

[u2b]<object width="560" height="340"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/-1oFlFwAkLw&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0&hd=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/-1oFlFwAkLw&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0&hd=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="560" height="340"></embed></object>[/u2b]

Vimeo link:

Last edited by Lloyd; 02-27-2010 at 11:39 PM.
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      02-27-2010, 03:05 PM   #2
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nice review and video...sounds f'n mean!
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      02-27-2010, 09:44 PM   #3
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Is the car stock other than this exhaust? I love the sound!!!
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      02-27-2010, 11:38 PM   #4
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oh yes, I forgot to mention, stock at the moment other than forge dv's.
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      02-28-2010, 09:48 PM   #5
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sounds good man, wish you could have made it to the meet today, would def love to hear it in person
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      03-01-2010, 11:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by escobar929 View Post
sounds good man, wish you could have made it to the meet today, would def love to hear it in person
me too, unfortunately I have Sunday morning routines starting at either 9-10:30 or from 11:30-3. The last two weeks, I've been busy till 3. One of these days.
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      03-01-2010, 11:52 AM   #7
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Congrats Sir Enjoy The Car Safely
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      03-01-2010, 11:52 AM   #8
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Enjoy the car in good health!
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      03-02-2010, 11:25 AM   #9
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Active Autowerke Signature 135i Exhaust Drive Off

[u2b]<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/sC2TC3flPZs&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/sC2TC3flPZs&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>[/u2b]
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      06-01-2012, 03:14 PM   #10
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Sorry to bring up an old thread but I just wanted to bring to light something about the install. It is extremely easy to screw up the threads on the cat when removing the original exhaust. I am always careful to avoid cross-threading and try to take it easy but I wasn't expecting it to be this easy to to mess up the threads. Especially during removal! Usually cross threading happens when putting the bolts back in. Not the case here. I lined everything up and carefully began bolting the new exhaust in and the bolt just stopped dead. There was nothing I could do after that. The top bolt on the cat was no problem. Now I need to go a shop to see if it can be tapped. Just a warning for everybody. Maybe best to get the dealer to put it in.

Other than that this exhaust is fantastic. Andrew from Active Autowerke hooked me up and it is worth every penny. I was thinking of going with Corsa but for almost twice the price, no way. There is no possibility of the Corsa exhaust being twice as good. The sound of the Active Autowerke is definitely deep and mean with the N55. Not too loud either. When cruising without accelerating it just barely gives you the impression that something special is there. When you roll on the throttle it wakes up nicely and sounds about twice as loud as stock with a better tone overall. It's perfect in my opinion. I didn't get high up in the RPMs yet though since I bitched up the one bolt.

Now the downside. There isn't much. The rear mounts are reused from the OEM exhaust and there are long rods that get installed into the old hanger rubber mounts. The mounting for the rear of the exhaust is just a bit clumsy overall. It moves around more than the stock unit but it's not bad and maybe I did something wrong too. I was getting jacked near the end due to the cat bolt problem.

Last edited by loesch; 06-01-2012 at 03:49 PM.
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      06-01-2012, 09:13 PM   #11
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working those bolts in was a pain in the ass because the hump on the bolts just a bit back from the thread kept getting stuck on the flange of the axle-back. you have to coax the exhaust up and around just a bit to get the bolt past and you're all good.
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      06-01-2012, 10:13 PM   #12
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Got ya but in my case it wasn't the hump. I pulled the whole thing back out and tried the bolt without the spring to make sure.
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      06-02-2012, 12:15 PM   #13
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How is it on the highway? Drone?
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      06-02-2012, 05:29 PM   #14
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I'm away on vacation for a week. Ill let you know when I get a chance to try it.
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      06-03-2012, 01:17 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBurro View Post
How is it on the highway? Drone?
It's bareable. I would estimate that the highest level of drone is around 2.5-2.8k rpm, unfortunately thats around cruise rpm. So to stay out of drone you would need to be going around 80mph or up.
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      06-12-2012, 08:32 PM   #16
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I disagree with imported_pinoy. Maybe it's different with the N55 but I don't experience any kind of drone that I would classify as annoying. Yes, it is audible on level ground and uphill at highway speeds but it isn't unpleasant at all to me. IMO the only situation that doesn't sound good is at around 1500 RPM under load. It seems to sound like a truck at very low RPMs. Not terrible but any means though.
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      06-12-2012, 08:46 PM   #17
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Here's a vid of my AA when it was on my car for anyone that is interested.

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      06-13-2012, 03:37 PM   #18
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Nice, I want one
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      01-01-2013, 03:19 AM   #19
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How would this compare to a Berk Full Street Cat-Back Exhaust? The Berk has a muffler so I'm wondering on sound. Anyone know? Thanks
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      01-01-2013, 04:17 AM   #20
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AA is WAY louder than berk street... AA is comparable to Berk Race mate.

Ive had The berk street and race on my car. and a friend has the Active Autowerkes. AA is louder even with N54 mids than race.
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      01-02-2013, 11:06 PM   #21
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I'm really going back and forth between AA and BMW PE. Unfortunately, I haven't heard either on an N55 in person. I was hoping some of you may give me some perspective. What are your opinions?

I would like to pull the trigger this month. Thanks for your help.
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      01-03-2013, 02:59 AM   #22
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i love mine!!! sounds great with my AA down pipe.
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