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5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60) Chat relating to the BMW 5-Series of all generations. Specific models include: BMW 518, BMW 520, BMW 520i, BMW 530i, BMW 528i, BMW 530i, BMW 518i, BMW 524d, BMW 525i, BMW 525e, BMW 528e, BMW 540i, BMW 535i, BMW 520d, BMW 525td, BMW 525d, BMW 530d, BMW 525i/xi, BMW 530i/xi. (BMW 5-Series Forum)

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Old 01-24-2006, 10:30 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I'm gonna slap some Magnaflow cats on her...

About 6 months ago, the dealer discovered a fault code stored in the computer. The code was, "Catalytic Converter for Cylinders 1-3 below threshold efficiency." No big deal, it can wait to be replaced.

I have the Bavauto round ODB tool and have been resetting the Check Engine light/ clearing the code (11- E9) since it first started. The code reappears every few thousand miles and the cats make a horrible racket at idle and warming up in the morning.

Fast forward to present. I have ordered 2 Magnaflow 53004 universal cats to replace BOTH for $110. The Midas shop said they will install for $75-$100. Yes, I looked at the direct fit, and considered taking it to the dealer for OEM but I don't think $1,800 for the dealer is reasonable for a SINGLE cat.:

Now, I haven't received these magnaflows yet and wanted to ask for everyones opinion on this. Has anyone else done this? What kind of experience are you having? What would you have done different?
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Old 01-24-2006, 10:40 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozarkmark
About 6 months ago, the dealer discovered a fault code stored in the computer. The code was, "Catalytic Converter for Cylinders 1-3 below threshold efficiency." No big deal, it can wait to be replaced.

I have the Bavauto round ODB tool and have been resetting the Check Engine light/ clearing the code (11- E9) since it first started. The code reappears every few thousand miles and the cats make a horrible racket at idle and warming up in the morning.

Fast forward to present. I have ordered 2 Magnaflow 53004 universal cats to replace BOTH for $110. The Midas shop said they will install for $75-$100. Yes, I looked at the direct fit, and considered taking it to the dealer for OEM but I don't think $1,800 for the dealer is reasonable for a SINGLE cat.:

Now, I haven't received these magnaflows yet and wanted to ask for everyones opinion on this. Has anyone else done this? What kind of experience are you having? What would you have done different?
I don't know about cats, but people have put magnaflow mufflers on bmws and they sound quite great.... i know that doesnt help, but at least we're both talking about magnaflow. :lol:
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Old 01-24-2006, 06:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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magnaflow ftw

1800? what kind of dealership are you going to?
the "we rape you more than any other bmw dealerships" kinda one?
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Old 01-24-2006, 06:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I hate to pass along heresay, but I recall reading on other forums that there is increased risk of "check engine" light issues when using anything other than the OEM cats. I suggest you try a search on Roadfly.com:
http://bimmer.roadfly.org/bmw/forums/e39/

I don't blame you for wanting to go with the Magnaflows, just do your research and be prepared.

And if you do stick with the M-flows, let us know how it turns out and whether you have any check engine light problems.
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Old 01-25-2006, 07:38 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I put on some aftermarket cats on my z3 and the check engine light didnt come on again for about 2 months, then after that, every other drive cycle it will go on, then off, on then off with the threshold efficiency being the code every time.

You CAN use aftermarket cats, just make sure you use OBD-II rated cats, made for use on euro cars. I didnt because I was in a hurry but there are specific ones out there that have the o2 sensors directly before and after the cats, and thats what you need. They are more expensive, but wont have the check engine light come on.
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Old 01-25-2006, 04:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superdeadman
magnaflow ftw

1800? what kind of dealership are you going to?
the "we rape you more than any other bmw dealerships" kinda one?
I use NW Arkansas BMW which used to Hart BMW. I asked the service writer TWICE if he was sure about the $1,800 for the OEM and he confirmed it.
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Old 01-25-2006, 05:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric S.
I hate to pass along heresay, but I recall reading on other forums that there is increased risk of "check engine" light issues when using anything other than the OEM cats. I suggest you try a search on Roadfly.com:
http://bimmer.roadfly.org/bmw/forums/e39/

I don't blame you for wanting to go with the Magnaflows, just do your research and be prepared.

And if you do stick with the M-flows, let us know how it turns out and whether you have any check engine light problems.
I already have a check engine light p roblem and have said the heck with it - I can always use myBav Auto tool to reset.
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Old 01-25-2006, 05:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nukeduster
I put on some aftermarket cats on my z3 and the check engine light didnt come on again for about 2 months, then after that, every other drive cycle it will go on, then off, on then off with the threshold efficiency being the code every time.

You CAN use aftermarket cats, just make sure you use OBD-II rated cats, made for use on euro cars. I didnt because I was in a hurry but there are specific ones out there that have the o2 sensors directly before and after the cats, and thats what you need. They are more expensive, but wont have the check engine light come on.
This is awesome advice - thank you! I will make sure the ones I ordered are the ODB II.
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Old 01-25-2006, 05:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone for the input. I will keep everyone aprised of how it goes.
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Old 01-30-2006, 12:13 PM   #10 (permalink)
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OK - I got the Magnaflow cats and after looking at them, I have decided they probably are not going to work with the before and aft, o2 sensors.
I studied a diagram of the OEM direct bolt on cats and there is a hole for the primary o2 sensor right on it.
Magnaflow makes the 43000 model series with the o2 holes already tapped but do not offer it in the 2" diameter in/out pipe.
Before I send them back and order a direct bolt on system, I am going to get my mechanic/exhaust guy to confirm my suspicion.
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Old 02-10-2006, 10:05 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Update - I sent back the Magnaflow cats and ordered the OEM direct fit instead.

I just don't see how the 53000 Magnaflows would have worked.used:

The best price I found for my direct fit cats was at catalyticonverters.com for $312.50!

Here is the link:

http://www.catalyticonverters.com/bm...converter.html
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Old 02-10-2006, 01:38 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Hey - thats a pretty decent price for the cats.

Hope it works out
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Old 02-15-2006, 12:28 PM   #13 (permalink)
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YES! I received the OEM part and took her up to Midas for installation. The direct bolt on took about45 minutes to install.
A few things to expect if you go this route with Midas.
1) They probably will not weld the joint after the secondary o2 sensors because they can't reach the top of the pipe with the welder. Instead, they will use some heavy duty clamps, torque the bejesus out of them and seal with a high temp grade silicone. Guess what! NO Leaks!!
2) She sounds like a HE now. The engine sound is much more throaty now but not much louder.
3) out the door cost including parts and labor was $400.

I am VERY satsfied. No more snap crackle pop when I shut off the engine.
We'll see if the CE lights come on. lol.....

edit---
The bolt on cats needed to be flanged about 1/8" in order for it to slip onto the exhaust pipes before the primary resonator. No big deal since Midas had the right equip. I would go so far to say this install could be done by a moderately experienced do it yourselfer. Just be wary of the fact you may need to flange the exit pipes a little to get them to slide on to the exhaust.

Oh yea - maybe its my imagination/wishful thinking but I swear the engine has slightly better accelaration than before. The original cats were apparently in poor shape.

It was the first time having the car up on a lift where I could look around. With the new tranny and cats it is looking new and shiny. Those Germans really know there stuff. The suspension is a work of art IMO.
God I love this car....

Last edited by ozarkmark; 02-15-2006 at 12:51 PM.
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Old 02-15-2006, 07:31 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Awesome! Let us know how it does over the next week or so and whether you see any CEL!! I'm now at 124K miles on my 1999 540/6 and still have the original cats. Hopefully they'll last many more years, but in case they don't, I can always copy your solution!
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Old 02-16-2006, 11:47 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Awesome! Let us know how it does over the next week or so and whether you see any CEL!! I'm now at 124K miles on my 1999 540/6 and still have the original cats. Hopefully they'll last many more years, but in case they don't, I can always copy your solution!

It looks like everything is going to be OK. Today I took a 4 hour trip and usually the CE light will come on during this particular drive.

IF it does come on and the code is the same as before I will definatley let everyone know. Until then, I am keeping my fingers crossed.

FWIW - I mentioned the sound is a bit more throaty than before and I am fine with that. The fact of the matter is it sounds like my old 1986 Camaro (2.8 V-6) from high school.:lol: :lol: :lol: It is most prevalent during accelration from a stop. On the highway it is the same sweet turbine-like music as before.
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