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  #1  
Old 06-18-2016, 01:38 AM
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Headers. Bolt on, hold on and try to not grin like an idiot.

Hey guys/gals.

M62 owners, both 4.4 and 4.6 (possibly 4.8is's too) versions, I have a treat for you.

Just so happens that a friend of mine is building custom headers. He built a set for his s62 and compared his dyno numbers against his dyno with Dinan headers and he gained about 25hp with 23 ft lbs increase, OVER THE DINAN's. That's like 65hp over stock!

This is great I thought but when I asked him about the "lesser" V8's he shocked me and said that since the ports and bolt patterns were the same that his headers would not only fit on the 4.4 and 4.6, he tuned his secondaries to mount on his e53.

So I asked if he'd be making a few more and his answer was "yes"

I give you the "Unicorn" header.














FROM THE DESIGNER/BUILDER




*"I started development on these headers April of 2014, right after I had finished the M5 wagon build. What I thought was going to be just a few months of work, turned into almost a year long challenge, but absolutely rewarding in every aspect. By every definition I had underestimated the cost, effort, time, blood, sweat and tears required for such an endeavor. Going through this exercise though, gave me tremendous insight into what really goes into developing such a product.*


So right about now, youíre asking yourself why? Why go through all this trouble and expense? The E39 is an aging model, everyone else has moved on. Well, I donít really care about everyone else. If youíre reading this, and youíre like me, we are not ready to move on and let go. In fact, we find every excuse to dump more money into the beast. I plan to keep my E39 M5 for as long as I can. We will all be probably driving electric vehicles in 10 years, but the legacy of the gasoline engined e39s will forever be a permanent part of my life.***


About a year into the M5 wagon build thread, when I was refreshing the S62 that was to go into the wagon, I had a chance to study the Dinan headers that was also going into the wagon, since they were off the car collecting dust on my garage floor. As I observed the Dinan headers, I marveled at its complexity and quality. But as days and weeks passed, (during those staring sessions in the garage after dinner and before bed times - you know exactly what Iím talking about!) staring at them closely, I started seeing things, and asking questions.*


Why did they do it this way? Why didnít they do it that way? Why is this thing like this? Why is this not like that? This was especially the case when I installed them for the very first time on my Anthracite M5, in my garage floor, on my back! Right about the same time, I had a set of Supersprint headers lying around from a parts car I purchased Ė same car where the S62 I used for the wagon came from. I also studied the Supersprint design and started asking a bunch of questions. Why 4 into 1? Why spring clamps? Why modular construction instead of solid 1 piece design like the Dinans? Why this? Why that? Why does the SS merge collector hang so low down on the car? Etc, etc.*


Also, at about the same time, I went with a group on a Saturday morning run up GMR where I had a chance to hold in my hands a set of Evolve headers that a fellow enthusiast just purchased. Staring at the Evolve headers, first question popped on my mind was why arenít these equal length? Whereís the stepping? Are these really made in the UK? Lots of questions indeed.**


I don't consider myself an expert on the subject, far from it, but Iím not completely foreign with headers and header design. Prior to this project, I had been playing with 4 different sets of headers on my E60 M5 (RD Sport, Agency Power, RPI and experimenting with my own variations). Previous to this, was playing with euro headers for my old E28 M5. Add in all the wrenching Iíve done in the garage for 20 years on BMWs; theory though, was learned as I went, consulting with experts in the field and master fabricators. The rest, I just mix in the passion and love for the hobby.**


After observing closely those 3 brands of headers mentioned above, I said to myself, ďman, I wish there was a set of headers that had all the features I liked.Ē Also asked the question, ďcan there be any more improvements made over what is out there?Ē ďCan it be done better?Ē I do believe in the equal length and tri-Y design of the Dinans, but I love the modularity of the Supersprints, I hate the 2-bolt flange type on the Dinans, I certainly didnít like the quality of the Supersprints and the Evolves. I didnít like that the Dinans were ceramic coated. I didn't like that the exit pipe was only 2.5" diameter. I didnít like that certain primary runners were angled so aggressively at the entry flange that the only way to screw in the nut was to move the entire header 1mm at a time closer to the head, tighten the nuts 1mm, rinse and repeat. I really loathed the fact that the front subframe had to come down to install any type of headers. But the one big question that kept coming back to me was, could there still be unfound horsepower to be gained by improving the design?*


What if I were to combine all those features that I liked in the different headers and took out the features I didnít like? I needed a stronger and more worthwhile reason to justify this whole exercise. LikeÖmore power throughout the rev range? Is that a good enough of a reason? But how much more power can be had? And at what cost? Wouldnít it be just ridiculously amazing if we get to that point? Such deep probing questions indeed.


Finally got the dyno results on my own header design. For those that are looking for more power, this can be a good option. My headers had a gain of 25hp & 23 ft/lb over the Dinan headers. So over stock, perhaps 65 hp, can be more with some tweaks and a tune. Test car used was my 2000 540iT that underwent a full M5 conversion build a few years ago."


Without disclosing too much, Iíll share with you what we did. Iím sure youíll understand if I leave out some details for obvious reasons.*


Working with a master fabricator, we gathered every spec I could find on the S62. Taking into consideration for the design, *the following:***


Engine configuration

Maximum RPM range*

Useable RPM Peak HP/Peak Torque Discplacement/Bore/Stroke Compression ratio*

Throttle body diameter Intake/Exhaust port dimensions*

Intake/Exhaust lift at valve Intake/Exhaust duration at .050 lift*

Intake/Exhaust opening at BBDC Intake/Exhaust rocker arm ratio Intake/Exhaust lobe centerline Intake/Exhaust closure at ABDC***


The specs above in addition to a few other considerations helped us determine all aspects that were built into the design. With my own wish list of features, we made the every effort possible to not leave anything out. In other words, if I was going to set out to build my own headers for the S62, here is my chance to incorporate everything I can and leave out things I donít want.*


The springs hold the merge collectors against the runner that feeds it. A double slip joint is used at each merge collector, all other joints are butt joints and TIG welded. The whole system, once in place is pretty rigid and won't run the risk of "coming apart" from vibration.*


The double slips allow the header system to expand as it heats up and at the same time alleviate any stress or pressure at the joints, hence cracking or stress fractures are completely avoided. The springs allow the system to expand and still keep things in place. At maximum expansion, the spring tension is nowhere near its tensile limit, since the spring hooks are positioned exactly to minimize spring tension.


Another point I should mention was the issue of dropping the subframe to install headers. I wanted to see if I it was possible to install headers with the subframe in place, along with the steering box, steering column and hoses in place. The packaging constraints of the headers were many. If you are familiar with the lower part of the engine bay, there isnít much room down there.*

Until the nuts are finally torqued down, the whole system has some flex to it to help in the assembly. The install is very straightforward.*


For someone who doesn't have access to a lift, it can still be installed on your own.

Also, knowing that the exhaust ports on the S62 heads share the same pattern and size on the M60/M62 engines, I thought it would be great if these headers worked for the 540i/740i brothers looking for headers for those powerplants.**


So, fast forward to today. My headers were designed and built for every reason you can think of and for no reason at all haha. Are these what unicorn dreams are made of? Who the hell knows. But I know that Iíve been dreaming of these headers for quite a while, and to see them finally a reality is absolutely astonishing."


So, here's what you get;


4 -2 -1 (Tri-Y) modular design*

True equal length runners*

Full T304 Stainless Steel construction 100% Mandrel bent tubing*

TIG welding, fully back purged w/ Argon Solar Flux type B in cases where back purging is not applicable*

Laser cut exhaust port flanges*

Oversized exhaust ports to accommodate ported cylinder heads*

3Ē V-band flange exit pipe*

Profiled merge collectors*

Double-slip joints w/ stainless steel spring clamps*

Tuned stepping*

Removal of front subframe not required for installation*

100% of raw materials & supplies sourced from USA manufacturers.*

Mandrel bending, welding and fabrication services provided by USA vendors.

Any questions?
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  #2  
Old 06-18-2016, 01:53 AM
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Those gains over Dinan don't surprise me. I don't think they even do headers anymore.

Those are pretty though. Very pretty. If I had a m62b44 or m62b46 I'd be jonesing.

I guess being first... I'll ask the question... what's it going to cost?
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  #3  
Old 06-18-2016, 02:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crystalworks View Post
Those gains over Dinan don't surprise me. I don't think they even do headers anymore.

Those are pretty though. Very pretty. If I had a m62b44 or m62b46 I'd be jonesing.

I guess being first... I'll ask the question... what's it going to cost?
Not cheap I'm afraid but considering the effort, man-hours and materials not to mention the possible gains and more gains with a good tune... (pause for dramatic effectl)
$5,500 for the headers and if you want to add the secondary pipes with cat-delete and bungs for O2 sensors it's another $600.

Fits S62/M62/M60 V8s
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Old 06-18-2016, 11:27 AM
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Pause for dramatic effect is right lol. That's as much as some people pay for their X5's.

Don't think he'll sell many at that price, but then again, it probably wasn't ever his goal to do so. Still, many props on seeing an endeavor like that through... custom headers are not fun in the cramped engine bay of a V8 BMW.
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2006 X5 4.8is Build 11/05 Maintenance/Build Log
Nav, DSP, Pano, Running Boards, OEM Tow Hitch, Cold Weather Pckg (Purchased 08/15 w/ 90,500 miles) Imola Red II on Creme Beige Nappa
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  #5  
Old 06-18-2016, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plattus1000 View Post
Not cheap I'm afraid but considering the effort, man-hours and materials not to mention the possible gains and more gains with a good tune... (pause for dramatic effectl)
$5,500 for the headers and if you want to add the secondary pipes with cat-delete and bungs for O2 sensors it's another $600.

Fits S62/M62/M60 V8s
Hey is this M5Jed from the M5board that built those headers? They look familiar from the ones that the M5 board member (M5Jed)fabricated. Considering the Dinans were 8k when they were offered this is a relative deal but costly for the average X5 owner.
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Old 06-18-2016, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X53Jay4.8is View Post
Hey is this M5Jed from the M5board that built those headers? They look familiar from the ones that the M5 board member (M5Jed)fabricated. Considering the Dinans were 8k when they were offered this is a relative deal but costly for the average X5 owner.
True, but when they were offered, the M5 was a $75000 vehicle. There is a reason Dinan stopped making them... I bet they didn't sell many even during the e39's hay day.

But, again, not to take away from this guy's work. It's incredible, and if he can find a few people willing to pay that... great. I'm willing to bet this was a thing he wanted for himself, and if others ask... he came up with a price that would make it worth his while for the trouble. Although he did make a jig, so maybe he did intend to sell. Who knows. At any rate, it's a cool set of parts and he got his desired result. My hat's certainly off to him.
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Old 06-18-2016, 07:33 PM
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Jed is indeed the architect and brains behind these. Yes, they are expensive.

Find me a guy with a 4.6is who wouldn't love to drop these in and Sa-moke a 4.8is next time they had a chance.

I'm planning on some forced air down the line so opening up the flow on the back end is a real treat.

As far as cramped space, if you took a lunch break to read that whole thing, it's all modular, shouldn't be difficult at all for the e53. One custom weld if you're keeping cats and a steep downward bend for the secondary collector.
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Old 06-19-2016, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Plattus1000 View Post
Jed is indeed the architect and brains behind these. Yes, they are expensive.

Find me a guy with a 4.6is who wouldn't love to drop these in and Sa-moke a 4.8is next time they had a chance.

I'm planning on some forced air down the line so opening up the flow on the back end is a real treat.

As far as cramped space, if you took a lunch break to read that whole thing, it's all modular, shouldn't be difficult at all for the e53. One custom weld if you're keeping cats and a steep downward bend for the secondary collector.
For the price... I think FI is attainable and the gains much greater. And I'm curious if the 5spd vs. the 6spd trans would still have the 4.8is be neck and neck? An S62 with ITB's and other improvements over an M62 is going to benefit more from these and the HP gains are going to be much more modest on the non-M engine.

Again, not saying these aren't worth $5500 or taking anything away from the work done. Being able to install these without dropping the subframe is a huge plus as well. I'd just be very surprised if someone with a 4.4 or 4.6 would want to do these vs. a Vortech.
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Old 06-20-2016, 03:42 AM
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Good points to bring up. These aren't cheap but either has the $18k we put into the wife's X5 in the last 2 years just to keep it going. It's all perspective I guess. I've seen $5k stereos and $5k in wheels, either make the car more fun to drive unlike this.

As this car is my mid-life crisis car and lifelong project, I might as well go for the good stuff now while I'm earning money.


I am running a 4.6 in my wagon and plan on installing these with before and after dynos. All questions should be answered there.

I will say this about the headers being worth what they cost:

If I went VF supercharger, for $5-6k I get a kit and for another few grand in testing/tuning/parts I finally get it up and running, I'd worry about things breaking. With headers, these headers, after the install and tune, I'm not only not worried about things breaking, I am not wondering of I could have passed up on better headers.
People who've gone evolve or SuperSprint sometines question if they should have gone with another setup. I won't be doing that.

Now if the gains are above 40hp, I'm totally happy and if I can hit that mark in torque, also thrilled.

It will make the power loss from running a supercharger (50hp to run the damn thing) seem not so noticed. But, even if I decide to keep things naturally aspirated, what fun it'll be.

Truth be told, if you just want power for the buck, an LS is the only answer but there's a fun challenge in getting more power from a stock engine that retains all the features of the stock vehicle. (I know mjne isn't stock but it is a bmw engine and almost exactly like the 4.4 I had originally)

I don't love bmw's for their economical prowess. Smiles per gallon is all I'm in it for.

Wait till they get installed and I get some real numbers off the dyno and then we'll know. I have high hopes.

-side note-
My goal in the entire engine swap on my wagon was to beat M5's. As is, I am neck and neck in the only 3 races (safe areas to do so) I've been in. But the look on the face of the M5 owner as I pull away is what I'm really in this for. If I can do that naturally aspirated, I'm happy as can be and might not even get a blower down the line. Who am I kidding, of course I'll force air but just for funzeez.
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Old 06-20-2016, 10:04 AM
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I totally admire your dedication to going "all out" on the 4.6 with parts as nice as this. My sensibility bone would just keep getting in the way from even considering a $5500 set of long tubes. I'd be surprised at 40hp at the crank. My 4.6L Mustang didn't make that many after BBK long tubes and a tune. Came close, but those long tubes cost $500.

True, LS is the "cheapest" way to big HP. I, like you, prefer a BMW engine in a BMW... but the LS would be cool too. I'm definitely hooked on your project and if you've got the scratch to go with these, AWESOME! Looking forward to seeing what the results are for sure.
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2006 X5 4.8is Build 11/05 Maintenance/Build Log
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