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From digest.v6.n426 Tue Mar 25 14:19:42 1997
From: "fastestM5 " <>
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 97 15:57:00 UT
Subject: <B&B Tri-Flow Update>

It's time to update the tormented saga of my B&B Tri-Flow. Since I've used this forum in the past to recount the various problems I experienced with B&B Fabrication, Inc.'s "Tri-Flow" for the E34 M5, it's only fair that I now share my most recent POSITIVE experience with B&B. But for those who haven't been on the list long enough to know the history, I'll quickly summarize it.

In April of 1996, I took delivery of a Tri-Flow for my car. Upon attempting to install it, I discovered that it did not fit; in fact, it wasn't even close to fitting, so I contacted B&B and sent it back for repairs. It came back, and being wiser, I took it to my muffler shop this next time for installation. Still didn't fit. I faxed B&B a diagram showing the problem areas and sent it back again. The third try at the muffler shop was also unsuccessful, so rather than send it back yet again, this time we simply cut out the part that didn't fit (the center outlets didn't line up with the inlets to the mufler) and welded in replacement piping. Even with this, it still didn't fit quite right (tips nudging the lower valance), so I ended up taking it off and storing it in the attic of my garage where it's been sitting for months. Then about two months ago, Dan T. wrote about his great experience with B&B, so I figured why not give it another try?

I contacted B&B, and after a few faxes back and forth, B&B agreed to replace my unit for a new unit under their two year warranty. I hack-sawed my "problem" unit in half (it had been welded into one piece - like the factory unit), shipped it back to B&B, and started waiting. Well, the new one arrived a few days ago. It is not on the car yet, but there are several notable visual differences I'll describe below. Plus, I am very impressed that B&B has, in fact, honored their warranty.

The first thing I noticed about the new unit was that the front resonators are now nicely formed "bullet" shapes, instead of the previous unit's poorly welded "can" shaped resonators. Next, the inlet pipes to the muffler housing are now reinforced with small solid triangular-shaped brackets welded between the muffler and the housing. And finally, the twin 3" tips, this time, are even on the horizontal plane (instead of having one droop), and contain no waves or ripples (as they did previously). In additional all of the piping has nicely formed mandrel-type bends, so now, at least visually speaking, I'd give the unit high marks for workmanship and appearance and now have to completely retract the "homemade appearing" label I placed on it before. Without a doubt, it has been substantially improved over the one I sent back and now really looks like a high quality piece. And improved performance with this on the car was never an issue, so there's only one thing left . . . .

Needless to say, the litmus test will be when I do the installation this coming weekend. Good judgment says take it to the muffler shop just in case . . . but, renewed faith says just jack up the car and do it - it looks so good it ought to fit!. I'll post the result.

Steve C.

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