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Old Sun, May-03-2009, 02:19:00 AM   #1
Ivan Collazo
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Question Advise on headers

Guys, with so many options on headers out there is not easy to pick the best option for my E46 M3. So I am opening this thread to get advise and to benefit others. I have seen headers ranging from $250 to $2,000. You can find JVT, Agency Power and other not known much on ebay and others like Euro specs and Supersprint on dedicated BMW performance stores likeTurner, NA Motorwerks, etc.. In my case, I will like to hear your comments and advise on the following before picking my headers:
1. Does Ebay $250-$350 headers do the work? Like JVT headers? Any performance or fitment issues? What about Agency Power headers?
2. Do you recommend to do a Cat free installation? I know you should do more power without cats but what about noise, passing emissions at inspection, how to manage the signals from the O2 sensors after the cats.?
3. How is the power band affected after installing the headers? Do you have less or more torque on the lower RPM range (1,000-4,000 RPM's)?
4.I have seen the newer stepper headers that supposely add more power. Does any of you have tried them? Can you install one of these sets with a high flow cat system without affecting power and torque?
5. Do you recommend to cover the headers with any of the available heat resistant material to dissipate and control the heat out of the headers into the engine bay?
6. I already install a Magnaflow cat back system into my 2004 M3 so can I fit any set of headers available to this system?
7. Turner offers an OEM Euro spec headers and cat kit for about $4k but although they say you can feel a huge difference from the US spec headers they only add 17 hp and about 19 ft.lbs of torque. Have any of you tried this set up? Does it worth the investment?

These are a lot of questions but I am sure there should be few of us asking the same questions about header installs. I will appreciate all the advise you can provide in this matter.
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Old Mon, May-04-2009, 06:24:42 AM   #2
stussystatus
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Originally Posted by Ivan Collazo View Post
Guys, with so many options on headers out there is not easy to pick the best option for my E46 M3. So I am opening this thread to get advise and to benefit others. I have seen headers ranging from $250 to $2,000. You can find JVT, Agency Power and other not known much on ebay and others like Euro specs and Supersprint on dedicated BMW performance stores likeTurner, NA Motorwerks, etc.. In my case, I will like to hear your comments and advise on the following before picking my headers:
1. Does Ebay $250-$350 headers do the work? Like JVT headers? Any performance or fitment issues? What about Agency Power headers?
2. Do you recommend to do a Cat free installation? I know you should do more power without cats but what about noise, passing emissions at inspection, how to manage the signals from the O2 sensors after the cats.?
3. How is the power band affected after installing the headers? Do you have less or more torque on the lower RPM range (1,000-4,000 RPM's)?
4.I have seen the newer stepper headers that supposely add more power. Does any of you have tried them? Can you install one of these sets with a high flow cat system without affecting power and torque?
5. Do you recommend to cover the headers with any of the available heat resistant material to dissipate and control the heat out of the headers into the engine bay?
6. I already install a Magnaflow cat back system into my 2004 M3 so can I fit any set of headers available to this system?
7. Turner offers an OEM Euro spec headers and cat kit for about $4k but although they say you can feel a huge difference from the US spec headers they only add 17 hp and about 19 ft.lbs of torque. Have any of you tried this set up? Does it worth the investment?

These are a lot of questions but I am sure there should be few of us asking the same questions about header installs. I will appreciate all the advise you can provide in this matter.
About the heat wraps. I'd avoid them. Sure they do contain the heat, but thats not always good. Higher chances of it cracking due to the high heat contained. I'd stick with a heat shield.
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Discussing Advise on headers in the E46 FAQ Forum - at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)