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      01-02-2009, 12:00 AM   #1
wa128
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128i Performance Intake Installed & Reviewed

My performance air intake system was finally installed yesterday. I drive a steptronic so I can’t say how much better this system might perform with the 6MT. Expectations and impressions/opinions follow.

I was expecting to receive better throttle responses over a broad rpm range, lessen a perceived dropoff at about 1500 rpms and hopefully feel a bit quicker acceleration. From what I’ve come across about modern normally aspirated BMW engines it is difficult to extract any significant horsepower and torque increases just by adding bolt-on products here and there. I’ve done the Dinan powertrain stuff on an old E46 and know what a disappointment that can be after having spent thousands of dollars. For those owners who measure the value of a product strictly in terms of numbers gained and 0-60 times, this intake system is NOT for you. This project was entered into with a view towards achieving more practical gains for a daily driver. No racing for me.

In D mode throttle response feels about the same below 2,000 rpms. Stab the gas pedal more than ¾ of the way down and at 4,000+ rpms there is a sudden rush of power and the tach needle climbs quickly to 5,000+. I don’t remember sensing that much of a rush with the stock intake before. It felt a bit more linear in the past. It seems as though the new intake opens up the floodgates the higher the rpms climb.

Shift into DS mode and this is where I believe the new intake shines, for me anyway. Previously, the car felt kind of jumpy from a standing start. Now acceleration is still strong but smoother at lower rpms. Jump on the gas while cruising anywhere above 40 mph/2,100 rpms and the car pulls strongly and quickly past 5,000 rpms. Throttle responses are immediate. There is a little more kick. Very nice. I can see improvements in freeway passing here.

And finally, the sound. On the freeway when accelerating the engine sings more clearly with a slightly deeper voice; no hint of raspiness. I think the tone is a tad deeper but you can judge for yourself by viewing the attached video. There’s also a couple of pics with the new intake installed and a pic of the old one unassembled.

One other thing – design style. The BMW performance intake integrates nicely within the general layout of the engine bay. It gives a very clean and finished look plus the carbon fiber is a nice touch. Other cars with certain types of aftermarket intakes especially those with open cone designs (which serves a functional purpose) look out of place and out of proportion.

Anyway, this BMW product is a great product even though a little pricey. I’m sure the tuner community will eventually come around with alternatives that may be less expensive but with similar gains/benefits. For now, however, this intake blends functional benefits with style and warranty that no one has yet matched as far as I can tell. To conclude, allow me to borrow the title of a 3 Series article…”Bar, raised…Bench, marked”.

Before & after:
Attached Images
   
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      01-02-2009, 02:56 AM   #2
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Just watched your video, inside cabin noise sounds louder after the intake. Sounds awesome and looks the money, CONGRATS
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      01-02-2009, 08:26 AM   #3
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Nice pics, thanks for posting these. It sounds good.

So is there any difference in filter size/type at all? Or is the new intake basically the same size/shape as the stock one, except made out of carbon fiber?
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      01-02-2009, 12:54 PM   #4
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Thanks for posting the followup. Now I've got to start saving up for one. Love the way it looks in the engine bay too. Nice.
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      01-02-2009, 11:26 PM   #5
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Thanks for the writeup... it definitely sounds deeper... I bet it goes a bit better and provides noticeably better throttle response. I have put a few different short ram and cold air intakes on a few different Mazdas and they made a bit more power but really opened up the throttle response. A freer flowing exhaust would really help. Good job! David
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      01-03-2009, 10:39 AM   #6
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Great comparison videos.....very helpful, sounds better with the intake. Thanks for posting!
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      01-03-2009, 07:56 PM   #7
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I knew that I should NOT have looked at this thread.

CF Intake.. now on the wish list.

Looks/Sounds GREAT!
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      01-03-2009, 08:41 PM   #8
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love the deeper sound, plus the CF intake ain't to shabby either! very nice!
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      01-04-2009, 09:33 AM   #9
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Very nice! Does it affect the warranty?
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      01-04-2009, 10:56 AM   #10
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very nice mate. I just ordered the Performance exhaust and going to install this Friday. CF intake will be my next choice after installed the short shifter.
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      01-04-2009, 11:03 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkp1187 View Post
Nice pics, thanks for posting these. It sounds good.

So is there any difference in filter size/type at all? Or is the new intake basically the same size/shape as the stock one, except made out of carbon fiber?
I have not seen myself but according to BMW there is a new filter element. I would image the filter is a different shape being that the airbox is different in shape and size also. The air passage in the carbon fiber housing is larger. There is a third air inlet under the longest front edge of the airbox (that's the large unit connected to the right of the carbon fiber housing). From reading some articles I understand that the size of the air snorkel that feeds air from the airbox into the throttle body also matters in creating an effective system. I hope and am pretty certain BMW engineers took that into consideration.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rawhide View Post
Very nice! Does it affect the warranty?
There is no effect on warranty. Since the intake system is from BMW, it has a valid BMW OEM part number and is covered under warranty. The labor is also covered under warranty since I had it installed by a BMW service center (my dealership).
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      01-04-2009, 11:06 AM   #12
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Hey guys, thanks for all your compliments. I appreciate it!
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      01-04-2009, 11:28 AM   #13
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You need to update your sig :roundel:
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      01-04-2009, 11:47 AM   #14
wa128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bozola View Post
You need to update your sig :roundel:
I know...I've thinking about that and looking at all the great sigs w/pics on the forum.
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      01-04-2009, 01:10 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wa128 View Post
There is no effect on warranty. Since the intake system is from BMW, it has a valid BMW OEM part number and is covered under warranty. The labor is also covered under warranty since I had it installed by a BMW service center (my dealership).
Cool. Can you share a link where this can be bought online? Google is not being very helpful this morning...
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      01-04-2009, 01:17 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rawhide View Post
Cool. Can you share a link where this can be bought online? Google is not being very helpful this morning...
Every bmw performance stuffs is on the main website.
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      01-04-2009, 01:40 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windmaker View Post
Every bmw performance stuffs is on the main website.
Thanks, never saw that.

They don't let these go for very cheap, do they?
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      01-04-2009, 11:46 PM   #18
wa128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rawhide View Post
Thanks, never saw that.

They don't let these go for very cheap, do they?
Try here: http://www.trademotion.com/partlocat...catalogid=6218

Dan at United BMW is a suppporting vendor on this forum. He has the best prices on any BMW accessory.
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      01-06-2009, 11:26 AM   #19
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the price is still a little outragous for an intake system that only adds between 4-8 hp, and there is a little sound difference but not completely noticeable i would rather wait for a better price, you could get a full exhaust system for the same price.
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      01-15-2009, 07:26 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by italiantank26 View Post
the price is still a little outragous for an intake system that only adds between 4-8 hp, and there is a little sound difference but not completely noticeable i would rather wait for a better price, you could get a full exhaust system for the same price.
Yeah, you're paying for the fact that (a) it's Carbon Fiber and (b) it's from BMW, I think.
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      01-15-2009, 11:05 AM   #21
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And the fact that it continues warranty!
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      02-03-2009, 04:54 AM   #22
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I guess you have added 25 bhp with this mod. LOL.
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