Remus Exhaust for the 1.9 Z3

Pros: Better Performance, Great Sound, Do-It-Yourself Installation
Cons: Cost, Not 100% Stainless Steel
Cost: $529 (from Bavarian Autosport)


I’ve had it with the tinny, rattly, metallic sound of the stock exhaust. I placed an order with Bavarian autosport for the Remus Exhaust System. After a little haggling I got them to sell me the Remus exhaust for $529, including shipping.

Feb. 7, 1997

A very beat up box was delivered today (no damage to the exhaust), but I’ll have to wait until the weekend to install it.

Feb. 8, 1997

Installed the Remus today. It makes a difference, but I was hoping for more. Also concerned about the install because the chrome tip is rubbing.

Feb. 10, 1997

Took the roadster to a muffler shop and they “adjusted” the install. Now it fits better and for some reason sounds a little better.

Feb. 15, 1997

When I initially installed the Remus I said, “I was hoping for a little more.” Well, now it’s a week later and I GOT IT! The system sounds better every day. The friend of mine that took delivery of the Remus system had not heard the results until yesterday (so the last he heard was the stock exhaust). He said it was a tremendous difference and he loved it. The exhaust now meets with my $529 expectations.

April 1997

The Remus exhaust system just keeps sounding better. It took about a month to fully break in and now I love it. At this point, the Remus has pleased me enough to consider it my best upgrade so far.

June 1997

Drove a roadster with a stock exhaust for the first time since upgrading mine to the Remus 6 months ago. There was a slight difference in acceleration and a tremendous difference in the sound. After driving a stock roadster again, I have even more appreciation for my Remus.

September 1997

Returned from the Z3 reunion. After 2000 miles I am convinced that the Remus was the single best upgrade I have done on the Z3. I heard many 1.9 and 2.8 Z3s during this trip and I prefer the exhaust sound from my Remus over them all.

October 1999

A 1.9 owner that recently installed the Remus exhaust adds this advice… “I would suggest purchasing new nuts and bolts from a dealer (at less than $2.) prior to the installation (The springs can be reused.) After several years, the already-soft copper nuts are almost impossible to remove. I managed to horse off the lower nut with vise grips, but ruined the nut and bent the bolt. And cutting off the upper bolt was the only viable option for it.

Installation of Remus exhaust

I had finally had it with the tinny metallic sound of the stock exhaust. On Jan. 31 I placed an order with Bavarian autosport for the Remus Exhaust System. Every time I called the price changed, but with a little negotiating the final price with delivery was $529. On Feb. 7, a very beat up box was delivered. Upon opening the box I discovered a small 5×7 index card size instruction sheet. On this small piece of paper were the install instructions in three different languages. My first thoughts were, “I hope this is an easy to install as this makes it seem.” One humorous note to add here: I had the exhaust shipped to a friend’s house because he would be home. The Remus exhaust can NOT be put inside the roadster. My friend had to put it into his car and drive it over to my house.

The next day I jacked up the car and attempted to crawl under it to see what had to be done. First problem, the jack that came with the car can lift the car just high enough to get the wheel off the ground, but not high enough to replace the exhaust. The other conclusion I came to was that this was a two person job. So I put everything back down and called a friend who had a better jack and some stands. He was happy to help, and invited me over to his house to do the work (he has more and better tools for doing this stuff so this was definitely a good decision). Of course after hanging up I remembered that the exhaust is too big for me to haul around so I had to call him back and ask that he drive over to my house to pick up the exhaust.

Okay, I’ve finally got the roadster, the tools, the exhaust and a friend all in one place. So the first order of business is how to get under the car. This proved to be a rather difficult task, but we finally got the left side of the car tilted up enough where one could crawl under the car from the rear and the other from the left side. We started by looking at the stock exhaust and the Remus exhaust to make sure everything looked like it would fit. Although this picture was taken later this is a good time to show you the two exhausts side by side.

The exhaust is attached to the roadster in four places. The first place is where the exhaust fits/plugs into the catalytic converter. This fit is very precise and tight, BMW designed this clamp thing that attaches the two parts together with a couple of bolts that have springs on them. This design is great but this is where we spent most of our time because to we could just barely get to one of the bolts and only had a small amount of room so it took a long time to loosen this bolt. The other thing that slowed us down is the catalytic converter was very hot (so a good suggestion would have been to start after the car had cooled down for a couple of hours). The Remus fit just as precisely as the stock system however we could not get the stock bolts to fit so we had to reverse them. (The bolt and spring was toward the back and a nut toward the front, we had to put the bolt and spring toward the front and the nut toward the back although this should not make any difference it would have been nice if the instructions would have pointed it out).

After bolting the Remus to the roadster the other three connections are made using rubber rings that allow the exhaust to move slightly side to side. However the second connection concerned me. This picture to the right is actually of the stock exhaust, you can see that even the stock exhaust was not connected here. The rubber ring does not make contact with the stock exhaust and has slipped forward. This appears to be a because the exhaust is hung slightly too high in the rear. After installing the Remus exhaust I found that the same situation occurred and this second connection was not making contact. This really bugged me but I decided to go ahead and finish the install since the problem occurred with both the stock and the Remus systems. (later I figured out what the problem was, but I’ll come back to this).

The final two connections are in the rear of the car using thick rubber rings with holes for the support pegs. I had to pull and pull to get the stock exhaust off of these rings, however about a month after the install another roadster owner said that a shot of WD-40 made this easy (why didn’t I think of that?). So to review the Remus system fit just like the stock system, bolted on in the front and attached in the back with three rubber rings that allows the unit to swing freely (slightly). The Remus exhaust fit precisely in place of the stock exhaust, so precisely that the Remus exhaust did not make contact with the middle support ring. I was going to live with this until I discovered that the chrome tip was making contact with the top of the hole cut out in the rear for the exhaust. This made me decide to take the roadster to a muffler shop and show them the Remus install and the part that didn’t fit. The muffler guy took one look and said, “well you didn’t finish the install job”. He fired up his blow torch, heated the two rear support arms on the Remus exhaust (that those rubber rings are connected too) and the whole setup slowly sank another 1/4 – 1/2 inch. He then turned off his blow torch and said “now your done, no charge”. He said he had installed over a hundred exhaust systems on various cars and trucks and he has yet to have one fit without slightly bending those rear supports. He claimed that most after market systems need a little custom modifications for that perfect fit.

Performance

At the peak torque values, the Remus exhaust gained 3 ft/lbs of torque. Looking at the entire torque curve and measuring the differences every 50 RPM the Remus exhaust averages a gain of 2.91 ft/lbs of torque between 2000 and 6500 RPM.

Click on the graph to the right for a full dynograph of the before and after differences.