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Pelican Technical Article:

Muffler Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$200

Talent:

**

Tools:

Set of sockets, pipe cutter, flathead screwdriver, pry bar

Applicable Models:

BMW 325Ci Coupe/Conv (2001-06)
BMW 325i/xi Sedan/Wagon (2001-06)
BMW 330Ci Coupe/Conv (2001-06)
BMW 330i/xi Sedan (2001-06)

Parts Required:

Rear muffler, muffler mounts and exhaust clamps

Hot Tip:

Work with a cool exhaust

Performance Gain:

Replace worn muffler system

Complementary Modification:

Use performance muffler

The exhaust system wears out or rusts and becomes leaky with age. A leaky exhaust can be a severe health hazard to passengers if odorless CO or other exhaust gases find their way into the cabin. A leaky exhaust system is usually far noisier than an intact one. Finally, bear in mind that the catalytic converters and oxygen sensors, an integral part of any modern automobile exhaust system, are critical to the emissions control system of the vehicle. Generally speaking, a vehicle with a defective exhaust system fails most annual state safety and emissions tests because of the safety hazard, excess noise and emission control failure.

On the BMW E46, you can replace the rear muffler without removing the entire exhaust system. If youâÂre replacing the center mufflers, remove the entire exhaust system as one piece. See our tech article on removing the exhaust system. Once the exhaust has been removed, repairs or modifications can be made. Keep in mind that a number of other repairs such as driveshaft replacement, transmission removal and fuel tank removal require that the exhaust system be completely removed from the vehicle.

This article will illustrate how to replace the rear muffler. You can replace your muffler with a stock style muffler or a performance muffler. 

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches. 

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you are working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Do not work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability. 

Vehicle models change and evolve as they grow older, so the vehicle shown in our illustrations may vary slightly from yours. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

Raise and support rear of the vehicle on jack stands. See our Pelican Parts technical article on Jacking Up Your BMW.

Working at the rear muffler, mark the length of the new muffler pipes on the old exhaust system.
Figure 1

Working at the rear muffler, mark the length of the new muffler pipes on the old exhaust system.

Use a pipe cutter to cut the pipes.
Figure 2

Use a pipe cutter to cut the pipes.

Remove the four 13mm muffler mounting fasteners and lower the exhaust enough to access the tailpipe flap.
Figure 3

Remove the four 13mm muffler mounting fasteners and lower the exhaust enough to access the tailpipe flap. Arrows point to mounting brackets with two fasteners each (green arrows).

If your vehicle has a tailpipe flap, disconnect the vacuum hose to the tailpipe flap (green arrow).
Figure 4

If your vehicle has a tailpipe flap, disconnect the vacuum hose to the tailpipe flap (green arrow). Remove the muffler from the vehicle.

Install the exhaust clamps onto the old exhaust. Then the raise muffler and install the muffler mount fasteners, do not tighten them yet. Slide the clamps so they are half on the old unit and half on the new exhaust. Tighten the muffler mount fasteners. Align the clamps to bolt the ends, point down, then tighten the clamps. Check the muffler alignment to the body and adjust as needed.

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Page last updated: Wed 12/7/2016 02:20:46 AM