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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Fri, Dec-06-2019, 01:57:40 PM   #1
ctres
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Default Section 1: Resonator vs. Muffler

I'm working out the details for an exhaust that I'll be fabbing for my S54 swapped E30 and I'm curious if anyone has considered using small mufflers in the section 1 rather than resonators.

The mufflers I'm considering are about the size of a resonator and are round. Vibrant resonators are the other option I'm considering. Either option will be followed by an H pipe in the factory location, and a dual 2.25 or 2.5 system all the way back to another dual in dual out muffler at the tailpipe.

Are there any potential downsides to straight through mufflers in this location, either in terms of power or exhaust note? My main goal is to eliminate the rasp of the S54. Anyone have any thoughts on this?
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Old Fri, Dec-06-2019, 02:22:45 PM   #2
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Default Re: Section 1: Resonator vs. Muffler

Haven't seen anyone run inline mufflers in section 1, but if you want to nix the rasp an easy way is to get two OEM Section 1, cut them apart and just use both resonated sides. Bolts up and everything.
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Old Fri, Dec-06-2019, 02:27:54 PM   #3
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Default Re: Section 1: Resonator vs. Muffler

Just get catted section 1
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Old Fri, Dec-06-2019, 02:37:46 PM   #4
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Default Re: Section 1: Resonator vs. Muffler

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Originally Posted by Aeko View Post
Haven't seen anyone run inline mufflers in section 1, but if you want to nix the rasp an easy way is to get two OEM Section 1, cut them apart and just use both resonated sides. Bolts up and everything.
I'm aware of this and it's something I'm considering since I already have a stock section 1 that seems to fit nicely. It will still require fab work on the other end in the e30 but it will help somewhat. My main gripe is that the OE parts are really heavy and I'd prefer 304 stainless. I'm also debating whether to stick with 2.25 or go full 2.5" .
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Old Fri, Dec-06-2019, 03:33:29 PM   #5
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Default Re: Section 1: Resonator vs. Muffler

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Originally Posted by ctres View Post
I'm aware of this and it's something I'm considering since I already have a stock section 1 that seems to fit nicely. It will still require fab work on the other end in the e30 but it will help somewhat. My main gripe is that the OE parts are really heavy and I'd prefer 304 stainless. I'm also debating whether to stick with 2.25 or go full 2.5" .
Gotcha. Since you're building the exhaust I'd go full 2.5" since that's what most people with stock wind up upgrading to anyways. And lighter is always a bonus
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Old Fri, Dec-06-2019, 03:41:10 PM   #6
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Default Re: Section 1: Resonator vs. Muffler

I think you're getting caught up over names here. A "straight-through" muffler is just a large resonator. So it sounds like you're just trying to get the largest resonators you can in the section 1 to eliminate rasp.

There's not a lot of room in that area of the E30, so your options are limited.

I'm selling a cheap resonated and catted sec1 for the E46 M3 for cheap because the ******* that sold it to me drilled out the middle of the cats without disclosing prior to purchase.

If you want full cats I can also replace the substrate sections with 200 cell metallic units, but then the price would almost double the $350 I'm asking.

http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=611443

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Old Fri, Dec-06-2019, 06:42:42 PM   #7
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Default Re: Section 1: Resonator vs. Muffler

I may be getting caught up in the lingo here, but my understanding was that resonators generally do not have any insulation material whereas mufflers do.

Resonators use various designs of chambers to cancel out certain resonant freqencies without necessarily reducing the volume. I was curious if a muffler in place of a resonator might actually result in lower volume but more rasp because it is less efective at cancelling out the raspy frequencies.
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Old Fri, Dec-06-2019, 07:02:19 PM   #8
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Default Re: Section 1: Resonator vs. Muffler

I believe what has been said is correct. Exhaust companies have always told me that a resonator is just a small straight muffler designed to help reduce sound within the exhaust system. A muffler is a larger resonator which the primary purpose in reducing sound. Due to the size they are placed towards the tail of the car. Your biggest issue is going to be if the space will work with the resonator or muffler you would like to use.
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Old Fri, Dec-06-2019, 07:14:06 PM   #9
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Default Re: Section 1: Resonator vs. Muffler

The original "Muffler" typically had baffles and as well as chambers that impeded flow.

For the sake of performance and efficiency, your typical modern mufflers have essentially become very large resonators with perforated and solid pipe with some kind of fiberglass insulation. More advanced OE mufflers may use different chambers like a helmholtz chamber to deal with certain frequencies. Some aftermarket muffler systems, like the Corsa also incorporates a helmholtz chamber, though they brand it "Reflective Sound-Cancellation (RSC) technology."

Typical straight-through bottle-style resonators use perforated pipe and fiber glass insulation.

Anyway, you'll be limited to the typical bottle-style resonators just because of space for the sec1. But you shouldn't have to reinvent the wheel. Dual resonators and a decent rear "muffler" should eliminate most/all of the rasp.

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Last edited by C///M; Fri, Dec-06-2019 at 07:17:55 PM.
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Old Fri, Dec-06-2019, 07:32:12 PM   #10
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Default Re: Section 1: Resonator vs. Muffler

I'd like to see someone try something new. It would be awesome if someone was able to fit something like this in the section 1:

https://www.borla.com/products/proxs...t__400286.html
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Discussing Section 1: Resonator vs. Muffler in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)