The BMW E36 3 series is a popular car for car enthusiasts the world over, and many enthusiasts choose to modify the E36 exhaust on their cars in order to improve engine power and personalize the car to their own personal taste.
The most popular way to modify the E36 exhaust is to install a cat back exhaust system. A cat back is a muffler or a pair of mufflers and a pipe that runs from the car’s catalytic converter back to the back of the car.
The goal of modifying the exhaust system on any car is to reduce the amount of resistance or backpressure in the system. When an engine doesn’t have to work as hard to expel the exhaust gasses out of a restrictive system, more power is freed up to turn the wheels. This also can improve the car’s fuel economy.
Another popular way for a person to modify their E36 exhaust is to install an aftermarket header. A header collects all of the car’s exhaust gasses as they exit each cylinder, it then runs them into the rest of the exhaust system. This modification generally yields more horsepower gains than a catback, but it does also tend to cost more money.
Many owners, simply buy an exhaust system not for fuel economy or power, but to personalize their cars. In this case it is important for an owner to research the exhaust system he is looking at before buying it, as an exhaust system sounds different from manufacturer to manufacturer.
Below is a list of videos that show different E36 exhaust systems.