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      02-10-2018, 11:00 PM   #1
ecitizen
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How hard is a downpipe install?

Trying to find a place in the Phoenix area to get an ER DP installed on my 328 xdrive (n20). Not having luck. How hard is it to do it myself? I don't have much in the way of tools or experience but is it straightforward?

Thanks.
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      02-10-2018, 11:12 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ecitizen View Post
Trying to find a place in the Phoenix area to get an ER DP installed on my 328 xdrive (n20). Not having luck. How hard is it to do it myself? I don't have much in the way of tools or experience but is it straightforward?

Thanks.
Not hard. Throw it up on jacks and you'll get it done under two hours. If you decide to get it installed, should not cost more than $200.
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      02-10-2018, 11:14 PM   #3
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You will need a O2 sensor socket. But you can get that from a local auto store.

I've done it several times now, I'd say now I can do it in a couple hours from unbuttoning the understray to closing all up.

It's far easier on a lift, but can be done on jack stands.

More than anything it's just a pain in the butt to unplug O2 sensors connections and get the DP back into its place with the gasket into the groove with the V-band clamp in its position.
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      02-11-2018, 05:49 PM   #4
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Jacking the car is the hardest. Everthing else is easy
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      02-12-2018, 01:01 AM   #5
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Yeah under 2 hours my ass, maybe if you've done it before. It will probably take a days work first time but after the learning curve you'll be able to do it again much quicker. Of course my garage is a mess and half the time it took was from looking for tools. It takes even longer if you bought a downpipes with poor fitment like myself..
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      02-12-2018, 11:02 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lukeiswright View Post
Yeah under 2 hours my ass, maybe if you've done it before. It will probably take a days work first time but after the learning curve you'll be able to do it again much quicker. Of course my garage is a mess and half the time it took was from looking for tools. It takes even longer if you bought a downpipes with poor fitment like myself..
This sounds like an organization problem.

If you can unscrew things efficiently and assuming you don't run into anything getting stuck or poor fitment, under 2 for sure.
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      02-12-2018, 11:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BunkerJ View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by lukeiswright View Post
Yeah under 2 hours my ass, maybe if you've done it before. It will probably take a days work first time but after the learning curve you'll be able to do it again much quicker. Of course my garage is a mess and half the time it took was from looking for tools. It takes even longer if you bought a downpipes with poor fitment like myself..
This sounds like an organization problem.

If you can unscrew things efficiently and assuming you don't run into anything getting stuck or poor fitment, under 2 for sure.
You're probably right lmao nothing ever goes 100% as planned when doing something to my car
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      02-12-2018, 11:52 AM   #8
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You're probably right lmao nothing ever goes 100% as planned when doing something to my car
Oh god, trust me. I feel the same way sometimes.

Headlight swap? Locking nuts do not lock and spin, forcing me to stuff my hand and a pair of vise grips in there to hold it... Took an extra hour.

Rotor replacement? Yeah, caliper bracket bolts stuck and trying to hammer those in the wheel well? No space and tons of cuts. Extra hour or two...
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Last edited by BunkerJ; 02-12-2018 at 02:12 PM.
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      02-12-2018, 12:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ecitizen View Post
Trying to find a place in the Phoenix area to get an ER DP installed on my 328 xdrive (n20). Not having luck. How hard is it to do it myself? I don't have much in the way of tools or experience but is it straightforward?

Thanks.
Its not hard, but I would recommend getting it done on a lift if you can access one if doing yourself.

Downpipe installs on jack stands suck

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      02-12-2018, 12:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike@N54Tuning.com View Post
Its not hard, but I would recommend getting it done on a lift if you can access one if doing yourself.

Downpipe installs on jack stands suck

Mike
Agreed. If you have any lifts you can use or rent, definite bonus.. Will save some time and frustration. The worst part is unscrewing the 22 belly pan screws lol. And if you get stuck and something doesn't budge, not a lot of wiggle room. Can be done ofc, but a bit harder.
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      02-12-2018, 01:06 PM   #11
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Brian does a really good job showing you what the install looks like on Jack stands. This is on a 335i but is almost the exact same on the N20/26.

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      02-12-2018, 02:14 PM   #12
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Not sure why you removed any belly screw. The downpipe has easy access without removing anything besides engine cover and the insulation foam. I installed and reinstalled my downpipe 4+ times and never had to remove any pans. First install was 4 hrs but the pipe was built wrong by VRSF, went with ER and took 1hr start to finish each time
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      02-12-2018, 02:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drivef30 View Post
Not sure why you removed any belly screw. The downpipe has easy access without removing anything besides engine cover and the insulation foam. I installed and reinstalled my downpipe 4+ times and never had to remove any pans. First install was 4 hrs but the pipe was built wrong by VRSF, went with ER and took 1hr start to finish each time
Are you talking about the right part? DP is underneath the car and would be pretty difficult to do it from above. Even if you did it from above, engine cover/foam wouldn't need to come off.
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      02-12-2018, 09:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gen13 F36 View Post
Jacking the car is the hardest. Everthing else is easy
+1
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      02-13-2018, 12:50 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drivef30 View Post
Not sure why you removed any belly screw. The downpipe has easy access without removing anything besides engine cover and the insulation foam. I installed and reinstalled my downpipe 4+ times and never had to remove any pans. First install was 4 hrs but the pipe was built wrong by VRSF, went with ER and took 1hr start to finish each time
How
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      02-13-2018, 07:33 PM   #16
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Nope, Im talking about my ER Catless downpipe. Engine cover and foam is removed to unplug both O2 sensor plugs. Then you go under the car, you remove the 2 bolts securing downpipe bracket to transmission. Then you go back uptop and undo the C clamp on the downpipe/turbo connection... back down and remove the downpipe.


Im a N20 so not sure how much different it is on a b48. But I also did my friends n26 the same way. Let me know if you guys have any questions in regrads to the install.
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      02-13-2018, 09:54 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drivef30 View Post
Nope, Im talking about my ER Catless downpipe. Engine cover and foam is removed to unplug both O2 sensor plugs. Then you go under the car, you remove the 2 bolts securing downpipe bracket to transmission. Then you go back uptop and undo the C clamp on the downpipe/turbo connection... back down and remove the downpipe.


Im a N20 so not sure how much different it is on a b48. But I also did my friends n26 the same way. Let me know if you guys have any questions in regrads to the install.
ya that sounds like the correct procedure to me on most bmw downpipes..

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      02-14-2018, 09:50 AM   #18
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Not that difficult at all. We did my buddies in right about 2 hours. The video link posted above is a good tutorial for doing the job.

As for the O2 wrench, you can rent them as loaner tools from advanced auto or autozone. You just pay for them when you pick them up and they give you a full reimbursement when you return the tools. Makes sense to have them before you start the job.

You will feel a lot more pride about your vehicle when you do the mods yourself. Not to mention save a decent amount of money. However, if you do not feel confident after reviewing the instructions I would highly recommend hiring a professional.

Having you tried any local muffler shops. Some of those guys might help you out.

Good luck.
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      02-15-2018, 02:55 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valetudo81 View Post
Having you tried any local muffler shops. Some of those guys might help you out.

Good luck.

This is a good option to try if on a budget as its really exhaust work and the muffler guys charge much less power hour, but I would imagine they would lack the experience in a downpipe install.

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      02-15-2018, 07:21 PM   #20
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It really depends, a lot of franchise shops won't touch anything to do with the cats. Find a local mom and pop shop and pay cash...

Xi is harder then the RWD counterpart. If you are a handy mechanic it's definitely do-able but usually if someone has to ask I recommend a professional.
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      02-16-2018, 08:08 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike@N54Tuning.com View Post
This is a good option to try if on a budget as its really exhaust work and the muffler guys charge much less power hour, but I would imagine they would lack the experience in a downpipe install.

Mike
Agreed Mike. I just thought it would be an additional option since he is having some trouble locating a shop. I know the guys around here would do it no problem.
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      03-14-2018, 10:59 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ecitizen View Post
Trying to find a place in the Phoenix area to get an ER DP installed on my 328 xdrive (n20). Not having luck. How hard is it to do it myself? I don't have much in the way of tools or experience but is it straightforward?

Thanks.
Checking back to see if you have had any luck? I have a 2015 328xi and am thinking about installing a catless as well. I'm in Illinois so I would have to change it back every two years and was wondering how big of a pain it would be.

I was beginning to wonder if many people put them on xDrive cars as 99% of every N20 swap you find on the net is on a rwd.
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