• TuningTech FS Comparative Testing of E46 M3 S54 Headers, Tune, & More

      This Saturday we had the liberty of testing many products first hand at our facility. We perform multiple dyno runs on each individual change. (3-4 back to back) Although, we mainly focus on tuning of the different platforms. These testing opportunities allows us to gain a better first hand knowledge of some of the products on the market to help provide a more accurate expectation to our customers.

      We had an almost stock car visit our shop. I say almost stock because he had a K&N filter with less than 7k on it. All runs were done on the same day, same gas, same fan, and same Wrench Monkeys.

      Here are the results. Please note all runs are best of 3 and sometimes 4.

      stock/k&N




      Shiny, We have no fitment issues


      Great fitment


      Headers run




      Headers with RTX Section 1.


      Headers vs Headers/RTX


      Tune





      We also swapped out an oem intake elbow for an an aftermarket version sold by many vendors, which was tested after the tuning and concluded zero gain and zero loss. However, it is fair to note that due to the build quality of such elbows it is more resistant to heat relative to the stock elbow.

      Overall it was a great day. We were pleased with the stepped headers because it did as expected and provided great low end torque and the tune really made it a complete package by providing the top end power. It was great to see such a gain from the tune despite the opportunity of letting the car adapt to the changes.
      This article was originally published in forum thread: TuningTech FS Comparative Testing of Headers, Tune & More (Pics & Graph Heavy) started by TTFS View original post
      Comments 21 Comments
      1. KhanArt's Avatar
        KhanArt -
        Great work @TTFS, I love how the extra time and effort is taken to document each change.
      1. 0-60Motorsports's Avatar
        0-60Motorsports -
        Good work guys.
      1. Vert-igo's Avatar
        Vert-igo -
        How long does the car take to adapt after a tune? I recently flashed my DME (Renegade C38-92) and then took it out and drove it for a datalog - after resetting the fuel adapations. The car was doing some weird things.... The new tune is for 100 octane as opposed to 93.
      1. TTFS's Avatar
        TTFS -
        I don't recall tuning a renegade in CA. This was not tuned with us am I correct ? How many miles have you put on the car since resetting your adaptations ? Are you still on the same tank of gas?
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Nicely done guys! On to the front page. Just need to do some formatting work.
      1. bmw_knight's Avatar
        bmw_knight -
        Ha, good to know about the intake elbow, too bad I already installed mine.

        Well at least it looks nice.
      1. TTFS's Avatar
        TTFS -
        Since this got promoted to the front page. It is only fair to give you guys some more updates. The customer came back for Active Pulleys and CPI section 2. We were in the process of installing his section 2 when he decided he wants to complete the set up with an Active exhaust Click here to enlarge

        Click here to enlarge



        Attachment 35363



        Here is the final run with all the mods. The car as you can see is a convertible so the tune was primarily focused for the weekend enthusiasts for the open road with lots of mid-range torque. The tune off course can't take all the credit for the torque because the exhaust set up played a big role.
        Attachment 35364

        Just to give everyone an idea, I have seen similar torque numbers from an e46 m3 supercharged car running 4-4.5psi non-intercooled. (Please don't take this out of context this does not mean this car is as fast as a supercharged m3. Just similar torque)
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        That's a nice bump from just a rear section! Not bad.
      1. TTFS's Avatar
        TTFS -
        The car had pulleys, exhaust, and a section 2 installed on saturday. Although, the section 2 was mainly for sound control because it added more resonators than stock this was due to the customer wanting to reduce rasp and drone.

        In other words, the gains are not just from the exhaust. On the other hand, we slapped it on and threw it on the dyno again and there was not much time to adapt. One would think since we dyno it last week the adaptations should have worked itself out, however, due to the weather conditions he had driven his M since his last trip to our shop. In fact this was the last drive until Spring time! (So we are told)
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by TTFS Click here to enlarge
        The car had pulleys, exhaust, and a section 2 installed on saturday. Although, the section 2 was mainly for sound control because it added more resonators than stock this was due to the customer wanting to reduce rasp and drone.

        In other words, the gains are not just from the exhaust. On the other hand, we slapped it on and threw it on the dyno again and there was not much time to adapt. One would think since we dyno it last week the adaptations should have worked itself out, however, due to the weather conditions he had driven his M since his last trip to our shop. In fact this was the last drive until Spring time! (So we are told)
        I see. Thanks for the additional details.
      1. Vert-igo's Avatar
        Vert-igo -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by TTFS Click here to enlarge
        I don't recall tuning a renegade in CA. This was not tuned with us am I correct ? How many miles have you put on the car since resetting your adaptations ? Are you still on the same tank of gas?
        It was tuned by Karl @ AA (I am in Dallas) and I only put about 50 miles on the car since resetting adaptations and am still on 100 octane. I switched to 100 octane on my last tune and wanted it optimized for this instead of moving to Direct Port meth (like Marks car), as I have a Direct Port Nitrous system that is awaiting the forged build. I haven't seen any definitive information on how long adaptations take after a tune but would like to know before hitting the dyno again.

        Nice work on your SC tunes BTW - I hear about you all time from other M3 folks.
      1. TTFS's Avatar
        TTFS -
        Tripleblackrag,

        I think you should contact Karl@AA to help sort out any problems that is occurring with the dyno tune. The active team is very good at what they do. As for the adaptation it depends on how you drive it and how short or long was the 50 miles. Happy New year and thank you for the kind words.
      1. Vert-igo's Avatar
        Vert-igo -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by TTFS Click here to enlarge
        Tripleblackrag,

        I think you should contact Karl@AA to help sort out any problems that is occurring with the dyno tune. The active team is very good at what they do. As for the adaptation it depends on how you drive it and how short or long was the 50 miles. Happy New year and thank you for the kind words.
        Thanks for your help with adaptation question. AA has always been good to me - I hope no one thinks I was implying AA did anything wrong on my tune. Its an aggressive set-up and takes time to perfect the tune. The fact Karl was working on this himself says a lot about his level of customer service.
      1. TTFS's Avatar
        TTFS -
        You are welcome. I am pleased to see that they are taking care of you.Click here to enlarge
      1. Imolam3louis's Avatar
        Imolam3louis -
        Very nice torque. Do you think these headers offer any improvement over euro ones?
      1. TTFS's Avatar
        TTFS -
        It depends on your needs for aftermarket headers. If you track your car and are usually between 6.5-8000 because of the atmosphere where you race etc. These headers may not benefit you too much. However, if you mainly drive your car on the street or smaller tracks where torque is more valuable out of the corners, Then these headers are great for the price due to their very strong bottom and mid-range torque. Now we can tune it and you get to enjoy the best of both worldsClick here to enlarge
      1. GG///M3's Avatar
        GG///M3 -
        I did a decent job on this exhaust, but I was rushed. It could've been better, but I just didn't have the time. Thanks for the kind words everyone.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by GG///M3 Click here to enlarge
        I did a decent job on this exhaust, but I was rushed. It could've been better, but I just didn't have the time. Thanks for the kind words everyone.
        People who don't understand your sense of 'humor' may get confused.
      1. GG///M3's Avatar
        GG///M3 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        People who don't understand your sense of 'humor' may get confused.
        Life is confusing. What can 1 do?
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by GG///M3 Click here to enlarge
        Life is confusing. What can 1 do?
        Make it less confusing?