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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, Aug-11-2017, 08:40:19 PM   #1
breadvan
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Default Another "Which header is this?" Welds much better than Supersprint

From the reading I have done, perfect welds on stainless will have no discoloration. This header looks to have achieved that. I always thought that the rainbow banding effect around the welds looked cool and had no idea that was undesirable. The purples, blues, and orange hues are actually oxidation from overheating and compromises the anti-corrosion properties of stainless steel.

The primaries don't look like anything I've seen and definitely do not resemble Supersprints. Anyone seen these before? They definitely don't fit in the category of an Ebay special to me.



These look like tig welds if I am not mistaken. Very clean, very unlikely to be made overseas in China/Taiwan.



Port matched flanges. The flanges look thick and appears to be two flanges tacked together, welded on the inside, and then honed smooth. Definitely need to use the E36 or E90 studs for these.


Another view of thick flanges. From Googling around, some header manufacturers tack the outside flange to header in a few places and then weld the inside to minimize chance of flange distortion. I wonder if this is the case here. Aesthetically, brazing the circumference around the outside would look better but once they're in you can't even see the headers anyway.


o2 Bungs in foreground and EGT port in background


Another bung view.



Compare them to Supersprint headers which look outright sloppy in comparison. Flat/dark gray welds are bad. Seems as if Supersprint's welding jobs are inconsistent as some are outright laughable (especially at their price-point) and some are very nice. Make sure your headers aren't made on Monday I guess



Last edited by breadvan; Tue, Aug-15-2017 at 02:44:55 AM.
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Old Fri, Aug-11-2017, 08:44:11 PM   #2
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Default Re: Another "Which header is this?" Welds much better than Supersprint

Nice clickbait title. To the best of my knowledge there isn't any documented Supersprint header failure. Not sure how it could get "much better" than that.
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Old Fri, Aug-11-2017, 08:48:13 PM   #3
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Default Re: Another "Which header is this?" Welds much better than Supersprint

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaiv View Post
Nice clickbait title. To the best of my knowledge there isn't any documented Supersprint header failure. Not sure how it could get "much better" than that.
No one mentioned anything about SS failures. Rather, I simply pointed out their inconsistent weld quality when comparing them to the other headers. Since you did bring up failures you've been around long enough to know that there have been several instances where Supersprint header bungs have broken off. And as an fyi I actually have a Supersprint header on my car for probably 20,000 trouble-free miles.
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Old Fri, Aug-11-2017, 09:21:49 PM   #4
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Default Re: Another "Which header is this?" Welds much better than Supersprint

The more important question is do they fit. All the SS products I've had on my m3 and m5 have fit perfectly. The headers I had on the m3, which were not ebay but a known brand, I had to send back because they didn't fit. SS is a quality product.
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Old Fri, Aug-11-2017, 10:07:24 PM   #5
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Default Re: Another "Which header is this?" Welds much better than Supersprint

So where did you buy them? And what's your ebay account? Lol
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Old Fri, Aug-11-2017, 10:56:22 PM   #6
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Default Re: Another "Which header is this?" Welds much better than Supersprint

You are right to a point. Without nerding out about stainless tig welding the blues and golds you get are more from heat VS. travel speed. Not necassrily an inferior weld.

Once the stainless turns dull, greyish, or even black and burnt you have then changed the metals composition.

To me the welds posted look like they were deoxidized to remove any coloration.

They also look like they were welded on the cold side so possibly poor fusion. If they did not back purge the inside they could also be total junk.

Sincerely

-An aerospace tig welder.
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Old Fri, Aug-11-2017, 10:57:37 PM   #7
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Default Re: Another "Which header is this?" Welds much better than Supersprint

They kinda look like they're sprayed with header paint
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Old Sat, Aug-12-2017, 12:19:09 AM   #8
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Default Re: Another "Which header is this?" Welds much better than Supersprint

Quote:
Originally Posted by ECB View Post
The more important question is do they fit. All the SS products I've had on my m3 and m5 have fit perfectly. The headers I had on the m3, which were not ebay but a known brand, I had to send back because they didn't fit. SS is a quality product.
My SS headers fit like a glove so yeah, no worries on that front. SS is definitely a well-respected company.

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Originally Posted by 2006E46M3fan View Post
So where did you buy them? And what's your ebay account? Lol
They aren't mine. I am searching for new headers just because I like to tinker and experiment. Life is short, have fun!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joefresh View Post
You are right to a point. Without nerding out about stainless tig welding the blues and golds you get are more from heat VS. travel speed. Not necassrily an inferior weld.

Once the stainless turns dull, greyish, or even black and burnt you have then changed the metals composition.

To me the welds posted look like they were deoxidized to remove any coloration.

They also look like they were welded on the cold side so possibly poor fusion. If they did not back purge the inside they could also be total junk.

Sincerely

-An aerospace tig welder.
It's great to hear from someone who does this for a living everyday. I will see if I can track down pictures of the welds on the inside. I am also itching to see what the collector looks like as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrfuzzybagels View Post
They kinda look like they're sprayed with header paint
Definitely not header paint lol. That's good ol' bare stainless steel, most likely a quality grade.
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Old Sat, Aug-12-2017, 12:52:09 AM   #9
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Default Re: Another "Which header is this?" Welds much better than Supersprint

You can see the HAZ (Heat Affected Zone) in the second and third picture and without being able to inspect them in person it looks like they have been wire brushed after welding as you can still see the shadow of the HAZ (which is normally where your "coloured" zone would be)... there is always some amount of colouration and the colour of the colouration in the HAZ is how you tell if the composition has changed... the pure presence of a colouration in the HAZ is not an indication it has been comprimised it depends on the colour (which also depends on which alloy it is... ie 316L vs say a Duplex Stainless Steel, which this won't be but as an example).

As they are headers it will either be a 304SS or a 316SS... 316 would be the preferable option as it has better corrosion resistance then 304 especially in salty environments (ie any cold snowy european country where they salt the roads when they get icy or coastal areas in the US)... to illustrate how important the difference is between 304 and 316, 304 is banned on all offshore Oil and Gas facilities I have ever worked on, due to its poor corrosion resistance in salty conditions... But even with that, the difference between 304 and 316 is not enough that you will be able to tell from a picture... and I would be surprised if it is any other grade of Stainless Steel than those...
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Old Sat, Aug-12-2017, 01:41:13 AM   #10
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Default Re: Another "Which header is this?" Welds much better than Supersprint

Now this leads me to ask why the welds (MIG?) on the factory BMW OE Euro headers look so crummy. I know the welds are probably very strong but I would imagine BMW would have a robotic tig welding system easily at their disposal. Welders please chime in.



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Discussing Another "Which header is this?" Welds much better than Supersprint 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)