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      07-24-2011, 02:18 PM   #1
Riley1524
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Review: AFE Stage 2 Intake and BMS PowerBox

Ok, First let me start off by saying that I never would have spent my own money on any air intake for this car. My girlfriend decided to surprise me with the AFE Stage 2 Intake system and while I was grateful, I wasn't really too excited on putting this on my car. I do however mod every car I have ever owned and I didn't want to piss her off, so I installed the intake to please her and not make her think I didn't like it.

Installation:
The Installation went rather smooth for me considering the instructions they provide is total crap!!! The intake is actually from a 06+ 328i, but there isn't much difference between the 128i and the 328i. I will say though that if you are considering this intake system, make sure you buy the correct one. There are 2 variations, 1 with active power steering and one without. This will most certainly cause issues , so pay attention to which power steering you have and order accordingly. I'm thinking this may be the fitting issue another forum member had when installing his system. The only problem I ran into was the pipe that connects to the heat shield box has this shitty, flimsy foam gasket that is practically worthless, but still I managed to install the system within 40min.

Sound:
I know this is the main reason why everyone wants to put aftermarket intakes on their cars. While it does sound cool, I guess I'm getting older and can do without the added noise and attention, but however it does sound pretty cool. The damn thing gets pretty loud around 3.5K with resonating, deep/smooth moan all the way up to 6.5K RPM's. Most other Intake systems I've heard had a throaty tone to it, not this Intake system. I can see why some people have complained about drone ( Didn't know drone was possible with a Intake), but it's merely the deep, resonance sound the system makes if the RPM's are held around a constant 4K RPM range. This can only be a problem if you deliberately hold the RPM's at this range, so it's really not a major issue. On a scale of 1-10, I give the sound around a 7 since I didn't mind the sound of the stock N52 to begin with. Some will love it though I'm sure.

Appearance and Build Quality:
This system actually is built quite well and looks decent under the hood. The only problem I have is with the Aluminum heatshield, which I think would look better in a textured black finish, so I went to the local autoparts store and picked up some stuff to prep and paint the shield to my personal liking. (Picture posted below). I also like the fact that the heat shield is bolted up to one of the stock bolt holes that the stock air box was connected to which in turn makes the system stable. This is a + since the Injen system apparently just hangs there. I give the overall appearance an 8 out of 10.

Performance:
I will be the first to say that I never have seen or felt any gains from any air intake system aside from the turbo'd cars I have had in the past and my Twin Turbo'd 370z. I'm the type that is not susceptible about any basic N/A bolt-on gains on any car and it would really have to make some noticeable gains for me to believe otherwise. I mean, I have a car that I DRIVE ON THE WEEKENDS THAT MAKES JUST OVER 500WHP!! Not trying to brag, but I know when there is a gain and when there is not. Now, I have had the BMS PowerBox set on map 3 for over 4 month's and I never actually felt any benefit from this mod alone, but since I installed this Intake, the car has some extra pull up top!! The extra power kicks in around 3.5k RPM and I mean it actually kinda kicks you back in your seat a bit lol and seems to have the extra pull all the way to 6K. I was really surprised by this and so was everyone else that has taken a ride in my car. The "kick" could be from the ECU learning the new airflow or it could be because the the Intake and BMS PowerBox likes each other, I dunno, but since this is my daily driver, I will enjoy my ride from work and back a little more now. The intake pipe also seems a lot cooler to the touch after driving around for a bit compared to stock, a big +. I give the performance aspect a 8 out of 10 and will update once the Intake has around 300+ miles on it for any changes I experience.

Final Impressions:
If you have your heart set on a Intake system on this car and have money to blow, I say go for it regardless of what anyone says. I was one of those guys that would try and deter other members from buying anything performance oriented for the 128i, but this car has surprised me so far and that is very hard to do. Sorry for the long post, but this Intake impressed me enough to waste the time and like I said, that's very hard to do considering past cars I have owned and the current weekend car I have now. Thanks for looking!!


Here's a quick picture with the painted heat shield cover:
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Last edited by Riley1524; 07-24-2011 at 02:29 PM.
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      07-24-2011, 04:08 PM   #2
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great review! I really like the build quality of it. : )

i have the injen, and agree about the sound. If you leave the revs at 4k the entire car shakes cause its so damn loud. However, driving normally everyday it makes an awesome sound.

Is the heat shield connected to the intake itself? I know my injen's heat shield also bolts up to the car at oem locations, but not to the intake itself. If it connects to the intake thats pretty cool!. My injen is on pretty tight, but I do agree that its just "floating" there, and at first worried me because of stability. I haven't had any issues however.

Do you have any sound clips or videos? I am curious as to how it sounds. There haven't been many good video clips of the AFE. I preferred the injen because the sound is more deep and aggressive, but by reading your post, the AFE fits you well because it is not overly loud and obnoxious.

How is it in the summer? I feel a small loss of power in the summer, but its only about the first 2 mins. I think people call it heat soaking, but after my car warms up and air gets flowing, it goes away. But then again its 100+ here for 3 weeks now .

I believe intake + powerbox does give more gains then intake by itself. I think its when you do intake + exhaust + powerbox, then the powerbox becomes useless, but I don't have a powerbox.

Congrats on your purchase, looks great!

Maybe I should buy the top heat shield from the AFE and see if I can put it on the injen hehe. Then injen has a weird side shield, and leaves the top exposed.

edit: do you happen to have any pictures of the intake with the heat shield detached? I am curious as to what it looks like.
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      07-24-2011, 09:02 PM   #3
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The AFE has a full encloser that the filter sits in that attaches to a mounting point on the car. If you take the top lid/ heat shield off, the filter lies inside the bottom portion of the encloser.

I've actually heard the Injen and I prefer the AFE more. It's still loud, but it's smooth and doesn't seem to be as obtrusive as the Injen.

I haven't actually noticed any heat soak issues at all. After driving the car around a while, the intake pipe seems to be warm, not hot and performs great. It's been hot here to (90-95)

I'll try and take pics with the lid off tomorrow, I don't think the AFE system would integrate with the Injen though.
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      07-26-2011, 11:22 AM   #4
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Here's some extra pics for those interested. I'm really impressed by this intake so far.
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      07-26-2011, 11:33 AM   #5
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Have to ask. Where did you purchase?
Price?
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      07-26-2011, 11:40 AM   #6
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autoanything.com
It was $270 shipped with promo code: (Loyalty) which gives you 15% off
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      07-26-2011, 04:14 PM   #7
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Wow, it's nice that it is fully enclosed to an extent compared to the stock intake. I thought it was always just covered on the top, not all the way around. I wonder if it actually ads the advertised gains.
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      07-26-2011, 04:46 PM   #8
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Great write up - thanks.

Glad to see you have felt an improvement. I have modified my air box on my 130i, by cutting away the bottom corner and adding an air feed to the BMWP filter. It has made a difference and even on the dyno showed a small gain but most noticeable was how it kept the engine temps down - as you have noticed.

Though, you get the option of 2 different filters, a dry one and the blue one. Does that mean the blue filter is oiled??
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      07-27-2011, 03:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvoGlynn View Post
Great write up - thanks.

Glad to see you have felt an improvement. I have modified my air box on my 130i, by cutting away the bottom corner and adding an air feed to the BMWP filter. It has made a difference and even on the dyno showed a small gain but most noticeable was how it kept the engine temps down - as you have noticed.

Though, you get the option of 2 different filters, a dry one and the blue one. Does that mean the blue filter is oiled??
Yeah, the oiled filter allows 75% more airflow over stock, while the the dry filter is like 50% more. Like I said in the review, I never felt any major gains with any bolt-on on any car, but this intake paired with the BMS powerbox seems to make a difference so far. I alos looked at the stock airbox and noticed some things could be modified to at least make it sound different.
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      07-27-2011, 04:07 AM   #10
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So errors with the oiled filter??

I ran a K&N filter in my car and it eventually started causeing MAF issues so the car kept going into limp mode. The BMWP filter is the K&N filter just without oil with no issues.
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      07-27-2011, 04:29 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvoGlynn View Post
So errors with the oiled filter??

I ran a K&N filter in my car and it eventually started causeing MAF issues so the car kept going into limp mode. The BMWP filter is the K&N filter just without oil with no issues.
Nope, and no errors at all. I imagine if the filter has excessive oil, it would cause oil to get on the sensor but thats not the case with this filter
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      08-11-2011, 08:10 PM   #12
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Power box?

Would be good to hear the intake in person. Let me know if you ever make it to Athens.

You decide to keep the box?
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      08-15-2011, 07:33 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hilandscott View Post
Would be good to hear the intake in person. Let me know if you ever make it to Athens.

You decide to keep the box?
I'll be in Athens at just about all the Ga Bulldog home games, so I'll try and let you know when I'm in town. There was some talk in the regional forums for a Atlanta meet, but I haven't heard anything else about that. Maybe we can get some locals to meet up???
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      08-30-2012, 10:47 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riley1524 View Post
Nope, and no errors at all. I imagine if the filter has excessive oil, it would cause oil to get on the sensor but thats not the case with this filter
Hey, are you still satisfied & issue free? Did you ever dyno?

thx
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