Coming in third on my list was also the seemingly cheapest option known as the OEM Perforated Mod. Imagine this – the muffler has three chambers and there are four pipes that connect the outer chambers. These four pipes are perforated through the middle chamber, which is filled with sound deadening material. So the perforated mod essentially involves peeling open the middle chamber like a can of sardines and replacing one or more of the four perforated pipes with solid pipes so that the exhaust can’t get muffled by the sound deadening material in that middle box. The result may be described as insanely OEM. Replacing all four perforated pipes with solid pipes retains all of the raspiness the M3 is known for and elevates volume to the moon. That said, many owners opt to replace just two to keep the peace.
Sounds easy enough, right? The problem I’ve found is that by the time you pay for a shop to do this cleanly it’s a 4-5 hour job and suddenly you’re half way to a used aftermarket option that not only sounds good but also weighs less, has nicer exhaust tips, etc. Unless you have a friend with good welding skills, plan on dropping $500 to 600. Add another $200 if you want to add some nicer tips. See what I mean? And you’ve still got a heavy muffler.
So now the aftermarket options are sounding better.
For my second choice – the Corsa Perforamnce exhaust system exhaust. It’s a tad under $1,800 new and if it was more popular would no doubt be easier to score for about a grand second hand. But alas, these just don’t pop up often on the used market. Probably because they sound so damn clean. No drone, great design, light weight. Nearly perfect you say? So close. Not sure who over at Corsa is responsible for selecting the exhaust tips but boy are they ugly! And this alone may be the reason why it’s not so seemingly popular. Sure, the tips can be replaced, but add another $200 to the tab and we’re at $2,000. No thanks.
My number one choice was also one of the most popular as far as the aftermarket goes due to it’s availability through BMW dealers. You guessed it, or maybe the article title gave it away, the Dinan exhaust. I’ve not once heard a bad sounding video and everyone one claims there is no drone in the cabin – something that was top of my list due to my use of the M3. It’s my daily driver and we use it for the weekend car with the family. An intrusive exhaust would be unacceptable, plain and simple.
To seal the deal, I just happened to have a friend near by with the Dinan exhaust installed on his DCT equipped M3. I never drove the car but heard it drive by and heard it while driving along side at highway speeds. It had an unmistakably exotic-slash-tuned note that didn’t beg, no no, it demanded your ears in the subtlest way possible. I loved the hollow exhaust note that was reminiscent of my Mustang days of Flowmasters (even though I rocked Bassani). It was definitely me.
Now I just had to find one.
As luck would have it, my buddy was selling his M3 and offered me his Dinan exhaust in trade for my stock but the new buyer ponied up more cash in the end to keep it on the car. Can’t blame him. So I took to the Internet and as luck would have it, I found a mildly used Dinan exhaust with an asking price on the upper end of my comfort zone. It was Craigslist after all, so a after a few negotiation email exchanges we agreed on a price and a place. On to the video.
Post impressions of the Dinan exhaust are great overall. The note and tone are so perfect. It’s not too loud, though I wouldn’t be upset if the volume levels were 5 db or so higher. I don’t even know what +5 db would actually sound like but that’s what we’re going with. Maybe it’s just right as-is because the wife hasn’t seemed to notice, which just reaffirms the mild volume increase and truly daily drivable character of the Dinan exhaust. A few weeks ago she asked if my car was louder (it was still stock) so I was banking on her not telling the difference. I might tell her one day but for now – naaaahhhhhh.
I’m content for now but I can see adding test pipes and a tune down the road. The black tips have also grown on me. Those who know me know that I’m not a fan of the “murdered out” look but these flat black exhaust tips with the Dinan engraving don’t look half bad. They wouldn’t have been my first choice if given tip options but they’re clean and protrude out an inch or two more than stock to further announce their presence!
Just watch your legs if you put the car away hot in a small garage. Learned that the hard way. 10/10 would buy again.