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S54 exhaust sound

Discussion in 'E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)' started by ggondek, Oct 12, 2009.

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    I have two M roadsters; a '98 and an '01. The '01 (S54 engine) has a sound around 4,000 RPM like a loose heat shield that is rattling a little bit. I talked to a guy at the Z fest in Cinti. who has had several M roadsters and he told me there is nothing loose, they just sound that way. I love the car but wish that it sounded like my '98. Any comments on this?


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    I would poke a little deeper for a loose part or shield, even get it up on a hoist if you can. My 2000 M makes no such noises and I've not heard others making such a noise either. Good luck.

    M3Driver guest

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    Sounds like the 'rasp' that is quite common with that engine/exhaust set-up. UUC Motorwerks makes a mid-pipe that is supposed to quiet it down.
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    Randy Forbes

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    98-00 and 01-02 engines are completely different from each other and will never sound the same.

    This "rattle" was a hot topic when the cars were new (eight years ago, in the case of my 01) and the solution then, as now, is to just get used to it.

    Interestingly enough, mine has never had the rasp; not all of them do it, but there is no loose heat shields or baffles.

    For the record, I have a 99 & an 01 M Rdstr, bought 11/00 & 08/01, respectively.

    Randy Forbes
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    Hey Randy, welcome to the CCA Forum! Not quite as much traffic here as on Bimmerforums...

    willconltd guest

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    UUC doesn't make a mid pipe. They made a prototype, and then gave up because they suck. Clint has the only one.

    It could be the rasp, but I would bet its more likely you have lost a body nut and the thick tin-foil heat shielding is rattling and driving you crazy. If you can get under the car and inspect it, you will probably find you need to adjust the heat shielding that protects the drive-shaft from the exhaust. The body nuts cost about a nickel, they are cheap stamped steel. I have known several people with this issue.

    If its actually the rasp you don't like, you can pick up the European resonator that bolts in place where the H pipe is on the S54. 18107831421 $330 from getbmwparts.com currently. It made a big difference in tone on my car, thats for sure.
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    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    Well, egad! Is that for the M3 with the S54, or is it an M roadster variant? I find the exhaust note of my roadster to be way too vanilla. (The Germans told me, "You're just not revving it high enough!")

    Steve Dinan actually prototyped an exhaust system for the Z4 M roadster, but declined to put it into production. . . and the prototype went away with the car before I could talk him out of it. Perhaps this resonator would enhance my manhood?

    willconltd guest

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    The Euro resonator is a part for the 01-02 Z3 M Coupe and Roadster.

    These cars have a 4 piece exhaust system. Headers (with integrated cats), then mid pipe, then an H pipe, then mufflers.

    The Euro cars also had a 4 piece exhaust system. It was headers (without cats), then mid pipe with cats, then the Resonator, then the mufflers.

    All of these parts are interchangeable, so you could theoretically install both Euro and US cats, or neither. ;) You can also swap in the resonator or H pipe. The mufflers are the same.

    None of this information would apply to the Z4. The Z4 M has the same headers and cats as the Z3. I found that the Euro headers and cats completely changed the sound of my car. Where the resonator/H-pipe would bolt up to the rear of the midpipe on the Z3, the Z4 has its own center resonator and mufflers. However, I am not a Z4 expert, so do your own research.

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