"As part of my Mechanical Program, I write individual entries about maintenance items and products that don't require the documentation of a Special Series.
In this entry, I chat about the usefulness of pleasure and the dangers of boredom - euh, I document the carbon exhaust brackets for the E46 M3 and E9x M3. "
In the middle of the Summer, Silvano reached out as he was going back from a 6 months hiatus from work. He was in a good mood and showed me these brackets along a few other small carbon parts.
Silvano: Matt, this is really useful - less weight, more rigid, it's a must have!
Matt: Aww, send it over then!
There is no good answer here, only rationally bankrupted justifications. Still, I'll entertain.
1. Your Genuine BMW exhaust bracket is rusted.
That happens, a lot - it's nearly inevitable if you live in a humid environment, like WInter, or Florida, where salt is common.
It happened to my M3 V8 - it experiented a single Winter and the bracket was rusted beyond the flaking meh coating of BMW's mild steel.
This applied to all the steel components of the rear end.
The rational, useful, financially smart way to go about it is to just sandblast, and recoat the bracket. It's what I did in 2021 - maybe I was smarter back then (!).
We were also testing a new combination of primers and sealants. The brackets get a beating, so it was a good test.
After 2 years, it was rust free, and in great condition. Wait, that's not helping my case at all.
2. Fat-loss junkies
I'm on a mission to get my E92 M3 DCT down into the 3,2xx range with full interior. It's not an easy task, and every single pounds count. The OEM brackets weight nearly a kilo, and on the E46, we have two!
I'm again totally exaggerating to find justification for these. They are actually 730 grams.
The carbon units are 163 grams each. So we're saving over 1 kilogram of weight on the E46!
Nice, I may have found a new marketing tagline.
3. Why not, I'm bored.
Ultimately, this is a why-not upgrade. Many long term M3 V8 owners have gone through the various fundamental upgrades to the V8's chassis. The reality is bringing an M3 V8 up to spec is a very, very expensive proposition.
The M3 owners that buy these are usually past the point of no return, they have over 50,000$ in their car - so what's about 300$ for a carbon bracket?
Case in point, my exhaust bracket got bolted to the 9,000$ US Akrapovic Evo.
It's a 1:1 replica of the original design, installation was a piece of cake.
The underside is also covered in heat insulation material to avoid breaking down the carbon composite. This is a pre-preg, and autoclave part - technology used for aerospace and motorsport.
For me, this is all that mattered. The process of receiving these, finding an angle to justify offering them, installing it with friends and being able to deliver fresh sarcasm across Facebook Groups was fun.
I tried to convey this in the trailer to this entry.
This will be a must have for some, and for others, the symbol of M3 V8's extravagant aftermarket.
At the end of the day, you do you do - as long as you know what you're getting into.
I can source the brackets year long here.