Project E46 M3, Part 17: Preferred exhaust, MKC/AEM tune


This is the charged piping. Hot, compressed air from the turbo’s compressor housing whips through here and into the intercooler to be chilled.

Looks like the charge piping is going from a 2.5-in diameter to a 3-in piping diameter at the intercooler’s inlet.

More Vibrant parts include a 3-in resonator. It was worth noting that the turbo is good for up to 900whp, although we doubt that’s the goal to be reached, given the size of the exhaust.

…along with an oil catch can, which was installed on the passenger side shock tower.

Stay tuned as we square off Project E46 M3 against a local E90 M3 six-speed!

Click here for more info on Project E46 M3.










  1. Dear All
    Just read your exhaust articles on the E46 M3. I’d like to replicate what you did with the VAC / Fabspeed headers, standard cat section then Corsa cat back. I’ve looked on VAC’s website but they only appear to sell Active Autowerke Performance headers ( Can you comment on this please? Do you think I’ll get the same / similar results that you did. I would like the slight improvement in power, no drone, decent quality and fitment, etc. My car is mainly road going with some track days.
    Thanks in advance for any help.
    Kind regards, John

    1. hi John, the droning issue will be taken car of at the mid-section and back/muffler end of the exhaust, especially the back. As long as the AA headers are similar fitment (legnth-wise) with the previous Fabspeed/VAC units, you should be fine, and I would assume make similar power, too. But that’s a question for VAC. Personally I’ve never had any problems with AA products, and I ran a lot of it in my earlier “E36” days. All of their exhaust stuff fit well, too. And if you still decide to go with Fabspeed, may just have to get them direct, is all, if VAC doesn’t carry it anymore. Thanks for reading, and best of luck!

  2. Thanks very much for the response. I have emailed Fabspeed as it looks like they only do left hand drive fitment but mine’s a right hand drive. Will see where this goes. Appreciate your help.
    Regards, John

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