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From digest.v9.n1062 Thu Apr 15 09:35:17 1999
From: "Gayle, Michael D., LTC, OCLL" <>
Date: Thu, 15 Apr 1999 10:14:17 -0400
Subject: [E36]Active Autowerke Exhaust

I got the chance to evaluate one of Active Autowerke E36 Exhaust and I wanted to pass on some of my observations. A little about me; I am a LTC in the Army with special training in Program Management and Test and Evaluation. I have been trained to develop weapon systems based on cost, schedule and performance. I evaluate the performance of a system using form, fit, function, and suitability for the task. I tend to let these habits spill over into my decisions about what I install on my 97 M3. (Cost) Well, I compared your price with the competition and this piece right in line as one of the more reasonable at $649 ($585 with BMWCCA Discount). (Schedule) The exhaust arrived just as the sales technician stated and in great condition, however I believe the box could use a sturdier cardboard stock. I will say that upon seeing the ACTIVE AUTOWERKES E36 exhaust on your webpage ( I was intrigued. (Visual appeal) I was immediately smitten with its sleek, low profile, unique shape and extremely clean welds when I saw it in the flesh, or should I say STAINLESS STEEL! I have seen ballistic welders (tank welders) undergo training and only 5 out of 100 trainees can make the grade. Well, your welders would certainly pass the test. I must say that this exhaust is the most visually pleasing piece that I have seen. I have owned two Super Sprint Exhausts and one B&B and they can't touch what your artisans have done. (Performance, form, fit and function) Installation was a snap and the instructions provided were easy to follow. I must admit that the install was part of a rather elaborate "Underground Upgrade Club" Modification Program conducted while the wife was out of town. Myself, Duane Collie and "crew" were crawling all over my car to install new four new Bilsteins Sport Monotubes, 29910-2 H&R's, and R/D Sway Bars (27mm / 22mm). The crown jewel was changing the exhaust to make the install of the rear sway bar easier. (Suitability) I started the car up and was treated to the most beautiful sound. It was as if some were pouring Napoleon Brandy on a timpani drum expertly tuned to its lowest note. When I tapped the accelerator, my ears perked up. I have been running the stock exhaust for the last two years and the change was indeed welcome. Now for the real test, a spirited drive. Duane and I jumped in the car and immediately hit the back roads near his home. As I went through the gears, the exhaust note was as if I were listening to the M Power Sounds recording that I play on my recorder when driving to events to get "mentally" prepared, heh, heh (big smile). When we drove under bridges the echo would transport me to the main straight of Silverstone and I am testing BMW's newest dream machine, yeah right. But, the car does sound good. The butt dyno was engaged and does seem to feel a little more grunt when I was enjoying the ride, but I understand Jim C. is doing some real dyno testing and possibly tweaking his chip. Initial reports are that the ACTIVE AUTOWEREKES exhaust DOES MAKE POWER; without any changes to the computer!! Jim C. will have to verify that, I don't have the equipment. Still, with this new exhaust the car has been transformed. I believe the note will be enhanced as the pipe breaks-in over the next couple of weeks. The car will be tracked at least 10-12 times this season, I'll be running in all the autocrosses and I'll be at O'Fest. I can say that I am not the only one impressed with your product, as we had a tech session in which the car got plenty of attention and a good bit of positive feedback from the 30 or so National Capital Chapter members that got a chance to see the exhaust while the car was on the lift.

Mike Gayle
BMW CCA 40043
NCC Membership Chairman

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