Redline360 Mishimoto Radiators

Exhaust Shootout: Catback vs Axleback vs Turboback Exhaust vs Muffler


It's confusing and we get this question a lot. What's the difference between a catback exhaut and an axleback exhaust? What's the difference between a full exhaust and a turboback exhaust? What's the difference between a muffler and an axleback?

They are all very good questions and instead of telling our customers the same thing over and over, we decided to just create a post where we can clear it up. Below you will see the differences between the various types of exhaust and how they help with their intended purposes.

So what are the differences between the various exhaust components and what does each one mean?

Headers are the exhaust component that attaches to the cylinder head. This is why they are called headers. The headers are designed to scavenge exhaust from the cylinder ports and make the exhaust cycle more efficient. On a car or truck that is naturally aspirated, headers usually attach directly to the catalytic converter.

Downpipes are usually found on cars with a turbo. The downpipe attaches to the o2 housing of the turbo and then connects down to the catalytic converter. There are some cases where the design of the exhaust of a naturally aspirated car has a downpipe as well, but generally it's for forced induction applications.

Catalytic Converter
A catalytic converter, also known as a "cat", typically goes between the header and the intermediate pipe or catback exhaust. This is an essential piece of smog equipment that is against the law to remove, modify or alter. A catback exhaust is called a "cat back" because it generally is the full exhaust after the catalytic converter. It's the exhaust from the cat all the way back to the muffler (and including the muffler).

Test Pipes or Cat Deletes
As the name implies a cat delete is a pipe that deletes the catalytic converter from your exhaust system. They are more commonly known as test pipes as well.

Intermediate Pipe
The intermediate pipe, also known as the mid pipe, is designed to fit between the catalytic converter/cat delete pipe and the muffler section.

Catback Exhaust
The catback exhaust is the most popular upgrade. The catback exhaust replaces all of the exhaust piping from the catalytic converter back to the muffler. It replaces the muffler and tip as well. It's also commonly referred to as an "exhaust system".

Axleback Exhaust
Some cars have intermediate pipes or mid pipes that flow pretty good from the factory. So manufactures only release certain sections of the exhaust such as the axleback exhaust. An axleback exhaust generally replaces the muffler, tips and a small section of piping that connects to the intermediate pipes or mid pipe. Consider an axleback exhaust as a muffler section exhaust.

Generally, mufflers are universal and need to be welded on. A muffler shop would cut off your old muffler and weld on a new one.

Ok, so what's better and what are the differences between these?

So now that you know about the various components of an exhaust system, we're going to explain to you which we recommend which are better or worse.

Catback vs Axleback
In about 95% of the cases catback vs axleback debates are over power and cost. Which makes more power and is a catback worth it? Well, in just about all cases a catback exhaust will make more power than an axleback exhaust. What you have to decide is if the added cost of a catback is worth the gain in power. Every car and truck has different gains between these systems. In fact, some manufacturers only make axle back systems for your car. If this is the case for you, it could be that the factory system flowed so good that it didn't seem worth it for the manufacturer to replace all of the piping so instead they released a lower cost exhaust - the axle back. The factory muffler is usually pretty restrictive since it needs to be quiet, so this is usually where most of the power is gained from on a catback vs axleback debate.

Catback vs Turbo Back
In every case, a turbo back exhaust is going to make more power than a catback exhaust but will cost significantly more because you're replacing the full exhaust system. A catback vs turbo back comparison is usually not a fair one as the turbo back typically replaces the downpipe, catalytic converter and catback, so it's a much more comprehensive system. Obviously, only turbo cars have the option of a turbo back exhaust.

Catback vs Catless
You can't really have a catback vs catless exhaust debate as these are complimentary pieces. If you have a catback exhaust you can add remove the catalytic converter and replace it with a test pipe or cat delete so your system becomes catless. Keep in mind, this is for off road use only. So if you are deciding on catback vs catless you can't do this, you either have a catback exhaust with a catalytic converter or a catback exhaust with a cat delete.

Midpipe vs Downpipe
Similar to the above, you can't have a debate on midpipe vs downpipe as they are in different locations of the exhaust. A downpipe is in the front of the exhaust system and a mid pipe (or intermediate pipe) is toward the end, between the catalytic converter and axleback or muffler section.

In conclusion
So in conclusion, the exhaust is made up of many different components and it really depends on what you're looking for out of your car that will ultimately decide the way you go with your exhaust system.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask below! Hope this was informative!

Filed under: Exhaust No Comments

TEIN Coilovers and TEIN Springs: How to spot the real/fake counterfeit products


Often times, a manufacturer spends many hours and research dollars to create a product that offers something unique only to be copied in an overseas factory that tries to pass off a fake and copied product as genuine. Recently, this has been happening often with TEIN Suspension which makes the very popular TEIN Lowering Springs and TEIN Coilovers.

Here at Redline360, we sell only genuine and authentic TEIN Suspension products, but others aren't always as honest. However, due to our customers hearing about fake TEIN springs and fake TEIN Coilovers, we have decided to create this post to showcase how some of these look real to the untrained eye but are actually very different.


In the image above, you can see the two differences between the real TEIN Coilovers and the fake TEIN Coilovers. Some of the most important parts of the coilover system are fake. You can see the product label is obviously fake as the product name here happens to be "TEINS" plural instead of "TEIN" and doesn't have the correct font or logo. Also, the Spring Seat & Lock as well as bracket lock are not the same design as stock which is designed to correctly lock in place to prevent the spring from adjusting. The adjustment knob (dial) is also different and has a much cheaper design which doesn't follow with TEIN's quality adjustment.

In addition, TEIN adds a 2 layer anti-rust powder coat treatment that prevents rusting. The cheaper counterfeit coilovers are simply painted and do not offer the same protection.


Above you can see the fake and counterfeit springs. You can tell right away which is real or fake by the way they use a different font to describe the type of spring it is.


Above, you can see the horrible job they did to put the logo on the spring. Its obviously a fake.


Above, you can see the real logo and how it's better integrated into the spring. If they can't take the time to put a logo on a spring, you can only imagine what other corners they cut in the quality and construction!


Above is another obvious giveaway. TEIN stamps each spring with a part number to properly identify it. Their stamping follows the spring in a smooth fashion.


Above you can see how the counterfeit fake spring is stamped in a very careless way.


And last but not least, you can see the real TEIN springs use a label that fits inside of a green outlined box.


Above, you can see that the fake springs have a label that doesn't fit into the box properly.

Now that we have showed you real vs fake TEIN suspension products, we believe the counterfeit factories are going to update their springs and coilovers to look more real to throw off unsuspecting customers. It's important to buy your parts from a trusted source such as Redline360 to ensure you are getting the quality products you are paying for.

Shop real TEIN products here: TEIN Lowering Springs and TEIN Coilovers.

We hope this was useful information! Please contact us with any questions.

Filed under: Suspension No Comments

W211 Mercedes E55 AMG Coilovers Require OEM Lower Control Arms

If you have a 2003, 2004, 2005 or 2006 Mercedes E55 AMG chassis code W211 with Airmatic suspension, you can't simply bolt on coilovers like BC Racing without any modification. Because the Airmatic models do not have a spring seat in the rear lower control arms, the LCAs must be replaced with an OEM Mercedes control arm made for steel spring suspension. These parts are available at reasonable cost from salvage yards or dealers.

Non airmatic rear lower control arm needed to install BC Coilovers on a W211:

This type rear lower control arm must be replaced with OEM non-airmatic type to install BC Coilovers on W211:

To see the coilovers, click here: BC Racing Coilovers Mercedes E55 AMG [BR Type] (2003-2006) J-05

Filed under: Suspension No Comments

C7 Z06 vs Hellcat Video

This video shows a C7 Z06 being challenged on the freeway by not one, but two Dodge Challenger Hellcats. The Z06 is driven by "Mr Z06" and one of the Hellcats is "FATT-CAT". Both of these are 8 speed automatics. These cars are monsters!

Filed under: Corvette, Dodge No Comments

Thunderhill Track Day (Bypass) with NCRC in our E92 BMW M3


We had a great time last Saturday at Thunderhill Raceway with NCRC. We brought out our street prepped 2012 BMW M3 E92 DCT ZCP and the car performed absolutely flawless. Lots of people have been asking us for specs on the car and it's numbers so we decided to create a post with all of the info.

NCRC was running the Bypass configuration at Thunderhill. It's a bit faster than the Cyclone but just as fun. Our car did a 2.05.09 lap time and hit a top speed of 128.7 MPH going down the straight into Turn 1. Some of the Porsche GT3s were hitting about 131 mph so we were pretty happy considering they were entering the turns just a bit faster than us. Many other cars were on race tires while we were on street tires.

Redline360 BMW M3 E92 Power Setup
- Full weight 2012 BMW M3
- Stock DCT Transmission
- Stock S65 engine (4.0L V8)
- aFe Stage 2 Intake w/ Dry Filter in the stock air box - 8whp gain
- Corsa Exhaust - We got a ton of compliments on this!
- ESS X Pipe
- ESS Stage 2 Tune
- ESS DCT Software

Redline360 BMW M3 E92 Suspension Setup
- BC Racing ER Type Coilovers with custom rate Swift Springs and revalved shocks - See below
- StopTech ST60 380mm Front Brakes (6 Piston) with Street Pads
- StopTech ST40 355mm Rear Brakes (4 Piston) with Street Pads
- APEX EC7 Face 3 Wheels 18x10 ET25 Square Setup
- Michelin Pilot Super Sport (PSS) 275/35/18 all around
- 2.7 degree front camber, 2.2 degree rear camber, 0 toe

Redline360 BMW M3 E92 Datalogging Setup
- iCar ODB2 WiFi reader
- Harry's LapTimer
- iPhone 6 Plus

Redline360 BMW M3 E92 Video Setup
- WASPcam 9900 - with WiFi Controller and External Mount

Our Suspension Setup Rocked!
We worked closely with BC Racing to ensure we picked their best suspension setup for a street driven E92 M3 that could also tear up the track. We ended up with our favorite combo yet, and it's available for sale here.

- BC Racing ER Type Coilovers. We picked these because they were both rebound and compression adjustable so we can fine tune it. These are the ER Type which means they come with an external reservoir for the shock fluid. This helps keep the fluid cool under extreme track conditions.
- Swift Spring Upgrade. We went with the Swift springs because of their proven characteristics. We also did custom rates of 504 lb front springs and 784 lb rear springs. According to our research this is the same spring rates used in the European E92 BMW M3 GTS.
- Revalved Front Shocks. We had BC Racing revalve the front shocks to be reliable with the added front spring rate.
- Our recommended settings. We ran it with 25 compression front and rear (5 clicks from full hard), and 20 rebound front and rear (10 clicks from full hard).

The result is an awesome suspension setup that had tons of grip even with the Michelin Pilot Super Sports which are a high treadwear street tire. We were able to click off faster lap times than many full race cars! We plan on running AD08 tires next time to see if we can get into the sub 2.00s!

We sell everything we race with. We don't recommend it unless if we've tried it ourselves. Let us know if you need any advice on your E92 M3.

Filed under: BMW M3 E92 No Comments

ESS Supercharged BMW E92 M3 by Liberty Walk

Liberty Walk isn't only known for their awesome wide body kits, they're also know around the racing scene for building some of the coolest cars. This E92 BMW M3 is driven by Francesco Conti in last year's 2014 King of Europe drift competition. It's powered by an ESS supercharger that's custom to produce over 700 horsepower to light up the tires in a beautiful show of force. The car features a relatively subtle for Liberty Walk body kit and an awesome Bacci Romano sequential transmission.

In this video you can hear the beautiful sounds of the supercharged S65 V8 doing it's thing and blowing fire out of the custom side exit exhaust.

We're excited to see this car competing in more drift competitions and seeing how far Conti and team can go with this setup.


DIY: BMW M3 E90/E92/E93 DCT Steering Wheel Install


We love the alcantara BMW Performance M3 steering wheel for the BMW M3 E90 (Sedan), E92 (Coupe), E93 (Convertible). The alcantara steering wheel offers much more grip than the stock leather steering wheel as well as a blue ring at the top dead center that's race inspired. We love the way it feels and think it's a great upgrade.

Today we're going to cover the install of the steering wheel in a 2012 BMW M3 E92 with DCT. If your car is a 6MT (manual transmission) then you don't need to worry about the shifter paddles and your install would be easier. It's pretty straight forward and you can do it with simple hand tools. The only tool most people might not have would be an impact gun, which really comes in handy when you need to remove the factory nut that holds the stock wheel in place.


Above you can see the stock factory OEM steering wheel. We forgot to snap a picture of how we remove the center horn section - sorry about that! It's pretty straight forward though. You need to get a small flathead screwdriver. On the left and right side of the steering wheel, you'll see what looks like a soft spot in the side. If you push the flat head through there, you can feel some resistance... if you push against it, sort of like pushing against the side of an open paper clip, you can unlatch the horn section.


Above you can see the connectors that go to the air bag sensors. You need to remove these carefully from the stock air bag/horn section and you do this by gently prying up on the connectors until they pop off. Be careful, you don't want to break these!


If your car has a DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission) then you will need to disconnect the left and right shifter paddles here. You need to remove the bolt holding them in as well as the sensor plugs.


Above you can see we have removed the steering wheel bolt in the center as well as unclipped the sensors. It's pretty straight forward once you get to this point, just disconnect the sensors from the steering wheel brace.

At this point, it's just all about reinstalling everything back the way it was once you transfer the DCT paddle shifters to the new steering wheel as well as any sensors.


Above, we have installed the new alcantara performance steering wheel. Make sure you mark the location of the old steering wheel, so when you pull it off, you can put the new one back in the same spot. This will prevent you from having to do any alignment after, or pulling the wheel off again because it's crooked.

Once you get to this point, you need to put the horn/air bag section back into the new steering wheel and it should just pop into place.

Go take the car for a test drive and make sure the horn, paddles and buttons on the steering wheel work. Enjoy!

If you have any questions about this DIY or any questions about how to do yours, just ask below in the comments!

Filed under: BMW M3 E92 No Comments

Torque vs Horsepower – What’s the difference? A Few Facts…


Most car and truck manufacturers advertise the amount of horsepower an engine provides and also the amount of torque it provides. But many people do not know what those numbers mean and how the two concepts are related. In this post, we want to explain the difference between the two and also some facts.

What is Horsepower?

Power is defined as the rate at which a work is done, and the power produced by an engine is called horsepower. In mathematical terms, horsepower is the power needed to move 550 pounds one foot in one second, or the power needed to move 33,000 pounds one foot in one minute. This accounts for three things: the amount of weight involved, the distance the object is being moved, and how long it takes to do it. Horsepower pushes, pulls, shoves or drags your rides through the friction-filled world. If you want to go faster, it takes more horsepower and if you want to go slower, it takes less horsepower. Horsepower gets the vehicle to move quickly down the track and that is why professional race engines are built to achieve maximum horsepower.

What is Torque?

Torque is a measurement of twisting or rotational force generated by the engine that results in motion. This force is transferred through the drive system into the wheels. Torque is what pushes you back in the seat when the accelerator is pushed down. Torque gets your car moving at lower speeds. So a car’s ability to jump off the line from a complete standstill depends on how much torque it has. However, once the vehicle gets moving it is important to have less torque and more horsepower to maintain a high speed. Torque is measured by the amount of force multiplied by the length of lever through which it acts. If you use a one-foot-long wrench to apply 10 pounds of force to a bolt head, you are generating 10-pound-feet torque. The torque of a vehicle is measured at various engine speeds, or revolutions per minute (RPM).

Torque vs Horsepower

Most people think that horsepower and torque are two separate and unrelated values. They are wrong, because horsepower is the product of torque and RPMs.

Horsepower = torque*rpm/5252

The torque and horsepower values illustrate what a truck or car can do. Torque gets you the required speed quickly, and horsepower keeps you in that speed. The horsepower basically picks up where torque leaves off. Below 5252 rpm, torque will always be more than horsepower, at 5252 rpm they will be equal, and above 5252 rpm torque will be less. The greater the torque figure, the faster the acceleration.

A car’s performance is tested with its torque, which is measured with a dynamometer and there is no machine to measure a car’s horsepower. The measure of an engine’s performance is torque, and the horsepower is an additional number attained by multiplying the torque by the RPMs. The unit of measure for torque is the pound-foot (lb-ft) and for work it is the foot-pound (ft-lb). Even with low-rpm setups, the engine that makes the most torque at equivalent rpm points will make more power and should be faster.

The gear system can affect the work that occurs within the engine. To understand this, consider a lightweight race car and a heavy truck. The race car develops a large amount of horsepower and the torque of the engine is used for producing high speed. A race car does not need a huge amount of work to push it forward. So, more power is left for speed. Whereas in a truck using the same size engine that produces the same amount of horsepower, torque is used for doing more work through gearing. Although a truck cannot reach high speeds, it can carry heavy weights.

When the question arises whether you need better torque or horsepower in your vehicle, the answer is dependent on your driving style. When you choose an engine with higher torque, you do not need to down shift quite so often when accelerating from lower speeds. The high torque gives you more access to power at lower revs and this makes driving more relaxed.

When your vehicle’s engine has little torque, you will have to change down a gear more often to explore the rev range to unleash the engine’s power. Engines with lower torque figures have to be worked harder to get up to speed. Although when an engine is built for torque, the horsepower will take care of itself, the end goal is to generate maximum power within the engine’s operating rpm range. One thing you should remember is you cannot have horsepower without torque, but you can have torque without horsepower. In racing when there is an accident, horsepower is how fast you hit the wall and torque is how far you move that wall.

Horsepower and torque are not exactly the same, but there is a close relationship between horsepower and torque, and they cannot work without each other.

Questions about Horsepower vs Torque?

Ask below in the comments!

Filed under: Tuning No Comments

Intake Install DIY/How-To for E90/E92/E93/E9X BMW M3

The E90 (M3 Sedan), E92 (M3 Coupe), and E93 (M3 Convertible) are all known as the E9X platform. In this particular DIY, we use our 2012 E92 BMW M3 Coupe and install a aFe Stage 2 Intake kit on it. The intake install is pretty straight forward and with the aFe Stage 2 intake, it reuses your factory air box, so you don't need to remove that. You'll find a lot of people on the M3 forums saying that an intake is a waste of money. The reason they say that is because the factory closed air box system is actually very good. However, on this aFe Stage 2 intake, we were able to see gains of 8 whp. In addition to more power, the car has better sound and better throttle response.

Our install below is the aFe Power MagnumFORCE Stage-2 Pro DRY S Intake Systems; BMW M3 (E9X) 08-13 V8-4.0L part number 51-31662 (Pro Dry S air filter). Here's aFe's description on the intake: "This Stage 2 air intake system produces 12 max horsepower, 9 lbs. x ft. torque and out-flowed the factory intake by 41%. This unique intake system is designed to use the factory intake box to seal the intake tube and filter and tube against unwanted underhood temperatures while increasing air flow and velocity for optimum performance. This air intake system features a washable/reusable conical Pro Dry S air filter for maximum convenience and filter life, a dyno tuned intake tube and all the hardware necessary for an easy installation. This system is truly a silent killer."

For pricing or to purchase this intake, click here: aFe Power MagnumFORCE Stage 2 BMW M3 Intake with Pro Dry S air filter

and now... on to the install!


To get started, you need to get a Torx 20 screw driver and a flat head screw driver. These are the only tools you'll need.


When loosening your Torx 20 screws, we don't recommend completely removing them. Loose them enough so they are out of the base of the air box, but you don't need to completely take them out. This will prevent you from losing them.


Once you loosen all 8 Torx 20 bolts, you can lift up on the top of the air box and expose the air filter. You can see when we removed the lid, there were leaves in here and the air filter was a bit dirty.


When we removed the factory air filter, we saw there was a lot of sand and dirt in the air box, so we used our shop vac to clean it out. This would be a good time to ensure your air box is nice and clean before you put the new air filter in there.


Here you can see the factory air intake elbow vs the aFe Stage 2 intake elbow. The aFe elbow is much smoother and direct.


Here is a comparison of the really big factory air filter vs the smaller and better shaped aFe Stage 2 air filter.


Above you can see the aFe coupling installed on the factory inlet. We put the coupling on here first, but after playing with it a bit, it was easier to put the coupling on the intake elbow first, and then put both the elbow and coupling on the inlet at the same time.


This inlet above is easy to connect, just plug and play!


Here's a shot of the intake and elbow installed. Pretty easy and straight forward.


Finished product.

The install was easy and straight forward. This install was obviously for the aFe intake, but others such as the Macht Schnell and other popular intakes will be very similar. If you guys have any questions on this DIY/How-To, please leave your questions below!


Filed under: BMW M3 E92 No Comments

Spring Rate Conversion Chart – Easily Convert KG/mm to LBS/in

Many of our customers are looking to buy coilovers or lowering springs for their car. Half of the manufacturers show their spring rates as kg/mm while others show them as lbs/in. It's easy to forget what the conversion is so we put together a quick and easy chart to use for reference.

Roughly 1 KG/mm is equal to 55.997 LBS/in. Easy way to remember is 1 KG/mm = 56 LBS/in.

Here's a few quick charts:

700 lb/in = 12.5 kg/mm
650 lb/in = 11.6 kg/mm
600 lb/in = 10.7 kg/mm
550 lb/in = 9.8 kg/mm
500 lb/in = 8.9 kg/mm
450 lb/in = 8 kg/mm
400 lb/in = 7.1 kg/mm
350 lb/in = 6.2 kg/mm
300 lb/in = 5.3 kg/mm
250 lb/in = 4.5 kg/mm

kg/mm to lbs/in
16 = 896
15 = 840
14 = 784
13 = 728
12 = 672
11 = 616
10 = 560
9.0 = 504
8.5 = 476
8.0 = 448
7.5 = 420
7.0 = 392
6.5 = 364
6.0 = 336
5.5 = 308
5.0 = 280
4.5 = 252
4.0 = 224
3.0 = 168
2.0 = 112

Hope you guys find this helpful! Let us know if you have any questions about these numbers.

Filed under: Suspension 1 Comment