Side Cars

Side Cars

As we mentioned yesterday, after the end of the day, we do side projects on our own cars and assorted vehicles. Today is Craig’s turn in the spotlight.

This is his car in question, a car you probably see on the road more often than you’d think — an E46 325i sedan.


The E46 sedans are, without a doubt, one of the most popular models to be rolling around in this part of the Chicago suburbs. For the last few weeks, Craig worked on the car’s motor after work, slowly bringing it back to factory fresh. Now that all the mechanical work is done, it’s time to set this car apart from the crowd in one easy way. By now, if you know us, you know the “one easy way” is a custom exhaust. After all, if it’s his car, it may as well sound the way he wants it to. So we threw the E46 up on the lift and got to work. Removing the exhaust was easy; it hadn’t been on the car since we started the engine work.


Don’t forget, most of this work is taking place after the actual work day is over. Craig ends up staying late and coming in early so much that he’s able to fly through a few things before the camera even turns on for the day. Such is the case this past week, as what seemed like one overnight resulted in the first two-thirds of the exhaust being done and welded together. The kid’s quick.


A little while later, everything’s all done and ready to be reinstalled on the E46. In keeping with how we prefer our inline sixes to sound, the two banks are merged together directly after the headers, where the midsection then runs through two Vibrant pass-through resonators before branching back out into two pipes at the rear bumper, where both pipes run through a Vibrant pass-through muffler before exiting out the tips. The tips were tough to pull off, as the mufflers were a bit large, so we had to sneak one tip off to the side a bit in order to get both to come out of the bumper at the same angle. And, of course, they’re turndowns.


We were just aiming for a refined sound with this exhaust, nothing too loud or ostentatious, and we feel we accomplished that using this number of resonators and mufflers. No drone, no annoying levels of rasp, just a nice bassy tone that really brings out the good qualities of the motor. It’s being reinstalled as we speak, but before we did that, we took the opportunity to shoot some of the welds on the exhaust. After a 13 hour work day, you’d think Craig’s hands would be the opposite of steady — one may expect a jittery and tired man laying down beads that look like lightning bolts. Nope, not Craig. Either he took a whole bottle of Valium before getting down to the task of welding, or he’s just a boss. We’re aiming for the latter.


Decent, right? We think we’ll keep him around for another week or two.


With that out of the way, hopefully Craig can grab a couple extra hours of sleep tonight — he definitely deserves it. In the meantime, though, it’s still working hours over here at Fluid MotorUnion, so we’re knee-deep in action on both sides of the garage. We’re finishing up plotting out our roadmap for the remainder of 2012 and the beginning of 2013, and we’ve got some pretty exciting things coming down the pipeline, including branching out our FMU Rear Section collection a bit. If you can guess what car is below, more power to you — we didn’t make it easy. This one’s still early in the development stage, but we’re cruising along at our usual pace, so you should be seeing more and more action on the blog as the days and weeks pass by.


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  • Kamil
    Posted at 15:43h, 27 September

    That is some art work there. Great Job Guys

  • James
    Posted at 17:01h, 27 September

    That looks great! How much louder than stock is it, and how much would you charge to do something similar on a 2002 525i?

  • Bokopholia
    Posted at 02:50h, 28 September

    Would be really nice if we got a little sound clip … pretty please 🙂

  • fluidmotorunion
    Posted at 07:14h, 28 September


    Shoot Mike an e-mail at and he can answer all your pricing questions!

  • Patrick
    Posted at 17:50h, 30 September

    would love to hear this thing. I am curious how the sound is compared to my Corsa header back system

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