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      02-19-2013, 12:26 PM   #1
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SuperSprint Header Install/Review

As many of you know I installed SuperSprint headers on my car a few months ago. It was also a bit of fitment R&D as the SuperSprint headers were for the Euro 125i coupe, and it wasn't 100% assured the fitment would be perfect(it was). As far as I know, this is the only 128i Coupe in the US with SuperSprint headers.

I meant to have a thread on the subject up fairly quickly, but recently I have been so busy that it proved impossible. Fortunately, this has given me the ability to record my long term thoughts on the mod, so in the end this is probably the best situation. I also apologize in advance, photos were taken with a phone while working, so they aren't HDR perfection.

This thread will also be a very mild DIY, and I will be happy to give more detailed pointers/help to anyone else attempting this project. That said, since I don't support Chinese junk knockoff headers, I won't provide insight to anyone using MMW headers and the like. Buy from a reputable company like SuperSprint that refuses to export manufacturing and performs proper R&D before any project.


Section 1: The Install

Here is where it all started. In order to proceed you need to remove the cabin air filter cover, cabin air filter, cabin air filter frame, disconnect the wires/enclosure that run above the the valve cover, remove the valve cover, and disconnect a few miscellaneous plugs. In addition, the washer fluid tank mounting bolt needs to be removed so that you can maneuver the washer fluid tank to allow access to the engine block side of the header mounting hardware.




Here is what I installed. I never saw the SuperSprint headers in the raw as I had them shipped directly to Swain Tech for a full ceramic coating. For those who are curious, coatings like this maximize the thermal efficiency of exhaust components and lower overall engine bay temperatures. The net result is a gain in power and reduction in heat soak, both of which seemed highly important to me in a N/A engine that I'm trying to get every ounce of power out of and is built primarily from aluminum and magnesium.




When you finish with the topside disassembly, this is roughly what you should be left with. You may have noticed in this pictures that the precat O2 sensors are mounted on the top of the collector banks, where on the SuperSprint versions they are mounted further down the manifold. More on that later.




At this point you are ready to move under the car. Remove the front underbody panels which should expose where the factory collector track bolts to the factory mid pipe. Also of note in this picture is the anti-vibration bushing fitted to the base of the factory collectors. Seeing as it is connected to the factory pipes, you are unable to reuse it, but I can confidently say in 2 months of usage I haven't heard so much as a peep of a vibration/rattle from the SuperSprint replacements. Also, make sure to wear a sweater while modding, it is cold this time of year.




At this point, alternate from the top and bottom to remove the nuts from the engine block studs on the stock collectors. Some will be at awkward angles and require some ingenuity in terms of arm and body alignment for proper access. Don't worry about dropping/losing them as you should be replacing them with new factory hardware. The nuts are lock nuts and are a one time use item. Once you take them off they are spent and trash. New hardware also only costs a few bucks. When finished, return to the underside of the car and unbolt the headers from the mid pipe, making sure that you disconnected/removed the O2 sensors first. At this point you can feed the stock collectors down and out the bottom of the car, leaving you with this:




At this point I plunked the stock collectors down next to the SuperSprint headers for a photo op. The factory unit, while surprisingly light, still weighs a decent bit more than the SuperSprint version. In terms of equal length piping, there isn't even a shadow of similarity. This is also a good time to fit your new engine block to header gaskets in place on the headers. You need to do a good job of this because if you have a leak you will need to repeat the entire process over again. The fitment is extremely tight on the gaskets, so take your time. Also make sure to transfer the O2 sensors from the factory collectors to your new headers at this point.










After you have fitted the gaskets, you are free to feed the new headers up to the engine block. This takes a bit of time and positioning, but is a pretty easy process. I honestly forget exactly which one goes in first, but I vaguely remember it being one to about a halfway point, and then the other one joining it to go up. After you get them near the block, feed them on to the studs and apply a few new lock nuts to each bank to keep them from falling off. Work your way around and get a lock nut on each stud of the block. Working your way around again, tighten them all down equally in small amounts so that no nut gets far ahead of another in tightness.






With everything tightened down, you should be left with something similar to this. This is also when you need to reroute the wiring from the O2 sensors. Using some of the original factory clips and some other routing, I was able to get them back up to the factory connectors under the valve cover. It is a tight fitment, but it works. I should note that the scuffs you see on the headers are from a bit of the heat shielding rubbing off onto them during the install, not the other way around.



At this point you just need to reassemble everything you took apart from the top and bottom sides of the car.



Section 2: Review

Wow.

I was simply floored at the difference the headers made over stock. I installed them expecting a few HP(SuperSprint is notoriously conservative in their gain estimates) and what I got was a completely transformed car.

Fitment was perfect. I'm used to this from a large amount of experience with other SuperSprint products, but it is the case all over again. Don't expect this with Chinese junk knockoffs, I've seen that pain first hand many times.

In terms of power there are gains across the entire band. Low end torque is vastly improved, mid range power is more insistant, and top range horsepower really pulls the car along now. Throttle response is also vastly improved without feeling jumpy in any way.

In terms of sound the headers would be worth even if they made zero power. On stock pipes aside from the "golf tee" mod the car is perfect. Zero drone inside the car, complete comfort with the windows up, and the sounds of an absolute animal when you get on it. Even low speed driving is a complete blast. Let off the gas from 2500-3500 and the car has a spectacular new burbly overrun. I sadly was unable to capture it on video, but you will find yourself tapping the gas incessantly to trigger it. I welcome any 128i owners who are in my area to swing it for a demo, it is fantastic.

Without further ado, the video, which like all exhaust videos, barely captures how awesome it is:

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      02-19-2013, 12:31 PM   #2
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And it looks like while I made this SuperSprint finally got around to releasing a dyno for their N52 headers:

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      02-19-2013, 12:46 PM   #3
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Having driven and ridden in this car before and after... It feels MUCH faster and sounds completely awesome!

Fitment was like every SS product-- like stock, or better than stock.
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      02-19-2013, 01:07 PM   #4
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Also should be noted that not all the runs in that video were WOT, tried to have a variety.
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      02-19-2013, 01:43 PM   #5
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Do you have the part numbers? I just looked at their NA site and wasn't sure what to choose since they don't have the 128i or 125i as options...

Sounds good, def a nice throaty tone to the exhaust note.
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      02-19-2013, 01:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jb2178 View Post
Do you have the part numbers? I just looked at their NA site and wasn't sure what to choose since they don't have the 128i or 125i as options...

Sounds good, def a nice throaty tone to the exhaust note.
789001

It isn't on their North American site as far as I know. This is the right set though:

http://www.supersprint.com/en/prod-c...converter.aspx
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      02-19-2013, 01:56 PM   #7
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Man those are pretty, pricey too but knowing they are high quality is worth it. And you are just running the stock exhaust with the golf tee mod, right?
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      02-19-2013, 02:06 PM   #8
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Bravo!!
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      02-19-2013, 02:15 PM   #9
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what is the best way to source these? Through which vendor?
Do they came with o2 bung's?
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"The 1-series is the last car that BMW engineered before the Germans, as a car-making culture, fell out of love with driving." - R&T 2013 135is

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      02-19-2013, 02:30 PM   #10
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I have a few questions for you:

1) What about emissions? How will it affect my car passing my annual state emission testing?
2) What is the "golf tee" mod that you mention? (Sorry if this has been discussed already in other threads)
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      02-19-2013, 02:36 PM   #11
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Pretty sure stig is at work now, so...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jb2178 View Post
Man those are pretty, pricey too but knowing they are high quality is worth it. And you are just running the stock exhaust with the golf tee mod, right?
yes he is

Quote:
Originally Posted by andrey_gta View Post
Do they came with o2 bung's?
yes


Quote:
Originally Posted by andrey_gta View Post
what is the best way to source these? Through which vendor?

Does Evolve offer any loyalty discounts/combinations
Stig ordered these directly from SS NA. No idea what evolve offers, but I'm sure they can source them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron Man View Post
I have a few questions for you:

1) What about emissions? How will it affect my car passing my annual state emission testing?
2) What is the "golf tee" mod that you mention? (Sorry if this has been discussed already in other threads)

1) Car still passes sniffer test via secondary cats. The plan is to have evolve set the post cats 02s so they show, for plug in OBD2 testing purposes, that the cats are present and functioning properly

2) Keeps the exhaust flap open full time. Search it.
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      02-19-2013, 02:37 PM   #12
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Man the video makes it sound good, how loud is it compared to the PE with the headers on?
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      02-19-2013, 02:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jb2178 View Post
Man those are pretty, pricey too but knowing they are high quality is worth it. And you are just running the stock exhaust with the golf tee mod, right?
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrey_gta View Post
what is the best way to source these? Through which vendor?
Do they came with o2 bung's?
Quote:
Originally Posted by 631twentyeighteye View Post
Man the video makes it sound good, how loud is it compared to the PE with the headers on?
It sounds MUCH better in real life than it does in the video.
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      02-19-2013, 02:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Obioban View Post
Pretty sure stig is at work now, so...

1) Car still passes sniffer test via secondary cats. The plan is to have evolve set the post cats 02s so they show, for plug in OBD2 testing purposes, that the cats are present and functioning properly
Exactly. Evolve is capable is turning down(not off) the O2 sensors via software so that for the electronic tests they show up perfectly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jb2178 View Post
Man those are pretty, pricey too but knowing they are high quality is worth it. And you are just running the stock exhaust with the golf tee mod, right?
Yes, full stock with golf tee post SuperSprint headers.
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      02-19-2013, 02:51 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 631twentyeighteye View Post
Man the video makes it sound good, how loud is it compared to the PE with the headers on?
It sounds as loud as my no Secondary cat set up. It is livable/civil, some what louder than PE and probably very addicting.

Im sure any MPG benefits are lost to a heavy foot
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      02-19-2013, 02:56 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrey_gta View Post
It sounds as loud as my no Secondary cat set up. It is livable and some what louder than PE and probably very addicting.

Im sure any MPG benefits are lost to a heavy foot
It's more than livable, it is downright quiet inside with the windows up.

I can't stress enough how much it needs to be experienced in person.

Also, MPG is up a bit despite harder driving.
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      02-19-2013, 03:00 PM   #17
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Nice. Hope you got some Supersprint stickers for your engine cover.


Us east coast people need to see if we can visit Bimmerfest East

Would be nice to see everything in person for anyone
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      02-19-2013, 03:07 PM   #18
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awesome job and writeup St|G wish I could hear your car in person.
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      02-19-2013, 03:09 PM   #19
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I ask because i like loud.. like real loud. lol. I got rid of my PE because it was too quiet, perfect sound just not loud enough. my muffler delete is perfect but god knows it's gonna be deathly loud with supersprints added to the equation.

if we can't all make bimmerfest, we should just get an east coast meet together.
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      02-19-2013, 03:09 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrey_gta View Post
Nice. Hope you got some Supersprint stickers for your engine cover.


Us east coast people need to see if we can visit Bimmerfest East

Would be nice to see everything in person for anyone
They actually owe me some swag, I should get on that...

In for Bimmerfest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Killswitch View Post
awesome job and writeup St|G wish I could hear your car in person.
It's just fantastic.
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      02-19-2013, 03:19 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 631twentyeighteye View Post
I ask because i like loud.. like real loud. lol. I got rid of my PE because it was too quiet, perfect sound just not loud enough. my muffler delete is perfect but god knows it's gonna be deathly loud with supersprints added to the equation.

if we can't all make bimmerfest, we should just get an east coast meet together.
Having heard an S54 with just SS headers, I'm sure it can be absurdly loud if you want.
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      02-19-2013, 03:32 PM   #22
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To give you guys an idea of a muffler delete on our cars, my friends can hear me when i pull into their neighborhood.. they live about 1.5 miles into the neighborhood and that's me trying to be quiet. I can clearly hear my exhaust with all the windows up although it sounds cleaner and more crisp with them down. i'd say its maybe 1.5 times as loud as the PE.
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