|Product Review: UUC Exhaust
Always accused of being highly anal (hey, Im and Engineer, I cant help it!), I was prompted by the unsightly muffler now bereft of most all of its factory paint and exposed below the bodywork, to contemplate dropping the exhaust and hitting it with some black hi-temp. However, being a subscribing member of the UUC creed, obviously, I could see a potential upgrade was available to be had here. I did the usual searches, reviews, and queries of owners of the apparent choices; B&B, Supersprint, AA, Dinan, etc. In the end, there is toss all in the cost with comments ranging from too noisy, all the way through, to too expensive. I decided to go with UUC based on my satisfying short shifter experience. Not the cheapest, not the most expensive, but I was counting on Rob having been through the hoops with his 5-ers and a custom design.
About the time I was ready to push the order button, a note popped up on one of the BBs from a fellow Bimmerhead that had just installed his UUC exhaust. I gave him a quick e-mail and asked about the install, as I was planning to do it myself. He reminded me that you did need to snake the pipes a bit and if you had short jackstands, you might not be able to get enough vertical play to put it on. Ouch, good point, guess Ill see what other avenues are available. I hit the UUC site, scanned their retailers in my area and voila, here is a BMW factory shop that also does UUC products. Huzzah, that would pretty much negate the after-market warranty argument issues if they put it on? I rang them and they said no problem 75$ to install, and we can have it next week for you. Humm, floor jack, jack stands, rusty bolts, gaskets, muffler belts, 101 degrees in the shade, naw, Ill let you do it.
Rolled up to the dealer on the appointed day. Now, bear in mind that the boys who do the wrenching there have 4 M3s totaling well over 1200 hp and its also a Dinan shop, I arrived to find them having a good scrutiny of the exhaust. Seems that I was their first customer for a UUC exhaust. Oh boy, here we go, melted valence, welding, pry bars, and some good swearing, no doubt? Nope, could not be further from the fact. The tech was right on top of it. He had to do a bit of fiddling and replace one hanger (broken) but put it on without so much as a single expletive. Perfectly centered and looks like it was factory installed.
Well, I do not know how may of you Bimmerfolks go to a dealer that has a track in back of the performance shop, but I do <G>. The tech fires the car up, blips the throttle a couple of times then powers down. He says, hey, you want to have a go at the track, er, ah, um, to test out the exhaust? Ummm, yeah, but you did all the work, how about you have a go first, as I toss the keys back to him. It took about one nano-second before he roared off. He came back grinning and said, hey, you know you could do some more with this car (yeah, right, this from a guy who drives a 95 M3 with Dinan SC). Sure, with my money and your time maybe later .
The First Days:
I have read the various notes back and forth on the BBs from UUC, and owners who were a bit taken aback by the droning, or humm that the exhaust produces (guess they never heard a B&B?). Well they are right, to a point. Switching from a BMW factory exhaust, this one is loud and does drone/humm the first day. But in all fairness, Rob has stated that they change notes significantly around 400 miles as the excess packing burns off. Needless to say, on day two, I hoping so, else its back to the factory muffler for me. Interesting enough, I freeway commute daily about 30 miles each way. The darn thing changed notes almost daily for the first week. By about the 400~500 mile range its pretty mellow in low rpms, fairly aggressive at about 4.5k and downright screaming at red line. Wow, this gets better by the day.
The Thousand Mile Checkup:
It has been about 1500+ miles now. The exhaust is pleasing, no excessive droning, no harmonic hums, no nothing but a wonderful sound. The UUC site sound bite is an adequate reproduction of the exhaust, but it is still better to hear it in person. And, on one broken in.
Is it expensive? Well, more expensive than a used BMW replacement, but less than other alternatives.
Is it too loud/boomy/noisy? Well, its suits me mid road on the noise scale I would guess based on listening to the competition.
Is your plastic diffuser melted? Nope, if it is centered properly, no problems.
Would you do it again? In a heartbeat (apologies to Chevrolet).
Did you get big HP gains? Havent a clue, dont care. What I did get was a great exhaust, quality construction, a pleasing note, and also got rid of several pounds of ugly paint peeled factory muffler.
Exhaust UUC System U exhaust, DTM tips
Installer Momentum BMW Performance, Houston, Tx.
Cost you can do the math
Grin factor huge
Stealth factor - none
PS: Hidden feature -> You know, you can run around in those concrete multi-level parking lots at a few revs and tell which cars have sensitive motion detectors?
- - -The first picture is the old exhaust and the other three are of the new UUC exhaust - - -