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      05-17-2017, 11:22 PM   #1
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N52 Intake, Exhaust, & Tuning

Howdy! I'm posting to start a discussion and get some advice on what to do with my 1'er. She's treated me very well and I want to put some power in her. I've been looking at COBB tuning kits and high flow air intakes, intercooler, tuning (all that jazz) but i'd love to see what input I can get on here regarding upgrades. I've read that these N52s really benefit from minimal tuning/upgrades to the air intake/exhaust. Really looking for anyone who has done this before to throw some advice in this thread! If this already exists in another place please don't hesitate to point me in the right direction. Thanks!
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      05-18-2017, 09:21 AM   #2
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Intercooler/Cobb tuning? The N52 doesn't have any of that.

Check out the 3-stage intake with the Bimmer Performance Center or Active Autowerke tunes. Also AA or Supersprint headers. Full bolt on this engine can get to like 280ish crank hp.
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      05-19-2017, 12:34 AM   #3
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Thanks for advice. Does the N52 benefit from tuning at all? I'm checking out the intake manifolds and headers. If you upgrade a header would it be wise to make upgrades to the rest of your exhaust system as well or can you get away with just doing a header and then the manifold. Or vice versa, do the intake manifold and then the header?

Which upgrade would would produce results independent of the other? It's my knowledge that the exhaust performance relies on your HP.
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      05-19-2017, 11:05 AM   #4
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Intake manifold with software will give you ~30HP at the crank.

You can do headers and leave the rest of the exhaust stock, which for a daily driver would probably be the best way to go. Headers you can expect 15-20rwhp (18-24 crank HP) with AA or Supersprint headers.

If you want sound and power increase go headers. If you just want more power do the intake manifold. Headers would be the cheaper option as well, assuming you're looking at new parts for either options.
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      05-19-2017, 02:23 PM   #5
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like most everyone else
3 stage IM
active headers
axle back exhaust
tune of your choice(I went active because of headers and exhaust)

my person results/opinoin.....
the car revs like an animal and keeps going all the way to redline. It takes away the sluggishness and livens things up. Its well worth the $ and the sound is incredible. weighloss total is about 25lbs(16.5 for the exhaust can and 9+/-for headers)
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      05-19-2017, 04:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk94 View Post
Intake manifold with software will give you ~30HP at the crank.

You can do headers and leave the rest of the exhaust stock, which for a daily driver would probably be the best way to go. Headers you can expect 15-20rwhp (18-24 crank HP) with AA or Supersprint headers.

If you want sound and power increase go headers. If you just want more power do the intake manifold. Headers would be the cheaper option as well, assuming you're looking at new parts for either options.
By software do you mean tuning? This car is my daily driver. She already makes a great deep sound stock but it would nice if could hear it a little more from inside Headers sound like the way to go for now until I can invest in an IM.

gixracer i'm picking up what your laying down! My ultimate goal would be to set her up like that.

As far as tuning what do you guys use to do that? I bought an OBD connector and some sh*t software off Amazon once and didn't really get anywhere with it. If you guys know of some product that works great please make me aware!
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      05-19-2017, 04:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFD View Post
By software do you mean tuning? This car is my daily driver. She already makes a great deep sound stock but it would nice if could hear it a little more from inside Headers sound like the way to go for now until I can invest in an IM.

gixracer i'm picking up what your laying down! My ultimate goal would be to set her up like that.

As far as tuning what do you guys use to do that? I bought an OBD connector and some sh*t software off Amazon once and didn't really get anywhere with it. If you guys know of some product that works great please make me aware!
When you do the intake manifold swap, you'll need to tune the ecu to make use of the new IM, otherwise you won't get any gains.

Turner sells software and AA also sells software that can be used when you do the IM swap.
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      05-19-2017, 04:27 PM   #8
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Gotcha. I'm assuming the software is like a patch that you install via the OBD or is there another connector to interface to the ECU? Anything other than OBD is news to me and I have not seen anything on it before.
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      05-20-2017, 07:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFD View Post
Gotcha. I'm assuming the software is like a patch that you install via the OBD or is there another connector to interface to the ECU? Anything other than OBD is news to me and I have not seen anything on it before.
With the two companies that are out there you can either send in your dme or buy their hardware and install through obd. Flash software can be customized with their hardware. If you send in they will do the box tune for your mods.

You can drive with all the mods before the tune without issue. The bolt ons will not be optimized and you might throw a code but no real issues. I had my IM then added headers before tune without issues. When I got my tune AA gave me a break on my exhaust, so I have the full monte minus a section 2 cat/resonator delete. I had no need for the extra noise. It's properly aggressive without being obnoxious.
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      05-21-2017, 01:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gixracer View Post
With the two companies that are out there you can either send in your dme or buy their hardware and install through obd. Flash software can be customized with their hardware. If you send in they will do the box tune for your mods.

You can drive with all the mods before the tune without issue. The bolt ons will not be optimized and you might throw a code but no real issues. I had my IM then added headers before tune without issues. When I got my tune AA gave me a break on my exhaust, so I have the full monte minus a section 2 cat/resonator delete. I had no need for the extra noise. It's properly aggressive without being obnoxious.
That's exactly what I am trying to go for. Aggressive without being obnoxious. I'm not trying to wake any babies up.

What about taking the mods to a BMW specialist shop and having them install everything and do the tune? If you buy an AA upgrade would need to have AA do the tune or it seems like another shop with the know-how could do it.
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      05-21-2017, 01:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFD View Post
That's exactly what I am trying to go for. Aggressive without being obnoxious. I'm not trying to wake any babies up.

What about taking the mods to a BMW specialist shop and having them install everything and do the tune? If you buy an AA upgrade would need to have AA do the tune or it seems like another shop with the know-how could do it.
The hard parts, 3 stage IM and headers you can do with a bit of mechanical skill. The tune you can do yourself with the programming units that AA sells. It comes down to getting the IM for cheap/used or if you want to spend the cash for new. Used IMs are about $500 +/-used, ecs or turner sells new kits of $1300 ish. There were diys out there. As far the tune you can pay the cash for the handheld and use it for codes afterward.
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      05-21-2017, 08:49 PM   #12
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tune

Quote:
Originally Posted by gixracer View Post
The hard parts, 3 stage IM and headers you can do with a bit of mechanical skill. The tune you can do yourself with the programming units that AA sells. It comes down to getting the IM for cheap/used or if you want to spend the cash for new. Used IMs are about $500 +/-used, ecs or turner sells new kits of $1300 ish. There were diys out there. As far the tune you can pay the cash for the handheld and use it for codes afterward.
The IM you reference comes off of which model and year(s) specifically? I've heard the 330i year 2006 would work but are there others as well? I've never done an extensive tune and I would think getting a used one off of a part out would be the way to go as a starting point.
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      05-23-2017, 01:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JIM1inWisconsin View Post
The IM you reference comes off of which model and year(s) specifically? I've heard the 330i year 2006 would work but are there others as well? I've never done an extensive tune and I would think getting a used one off of a part out would be the way to go as a starting point.
From my search for an IM, I found this....
it's not difficult to get the right part, when I sourced the intake manifold through car-parts, I went through by filtering for 2006 and up X3, X5, 330, Z4, etc for the manifold, then when I actually start calling the dealers to order it, I asked them to give me the OEM intake manifold part number, if it matches 11617559523 then you got her!

I think I spent 3 weeks watching car-parts.com until I found one from an 2011 x5. Just be sure the part# matches and you are good. install instructions can be found in various places. The best being
http://www.zpost.com/forums/showthre...=455180&page=7

good luck. It makes the 128 haul ass!
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      05-23-2017, 10:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gixracer View Post
The hard parts, 3 stage IM and headers you can do with a bit of mechanical skill. The tune you can do yourself with the programming units that AA sells. It comes down to getting the IM for cheap/used or if you want to spend the cash for new. Used IMs are about $500 +/-used, ecs or turner sells new kits of $1300 ish. There were diys out there. As far the tune you can pay the cash for the handheld and use it for codes afterward.
What handheld equipment do you recommend?

Quote:
Originally Posted by markslc1 View Post
From my search for an IM, I found this....
it's not difficult to get the right part, when I sourced the intake manifold through car-parts, I went through by filtering for 2006 and up X3, X5, 330, Z4, etc for the manifold, then when I actually start calling the dealers to order it, I asked them to give me the OEM intake manifold part number, if it matches 11617559523 then you got her!

I think I spent 3 weeks watching car-parts.com until I found one from an 2011 x5. Just be sure the part# matches and you are good. install instructions can be found in various places. The best being
http://www.zpost.com/forums/showthre...=455180&page=7

good luck. It makes the 128 haul ass!

So you guys are talking about just using an IM from an upper tier model and throwing it in the 1 series? Would that perform as well as buying a new stage 3 IM?
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      05-24-2017, 12:10 AM   #15
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Quote:
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What handheld equipment do you recommend?




So you guys are talking about just using an IM from an upper tier model and throwing it in the 1 series? Would that perform as well as buying a new stage 3 IM?
Buying used saves a ton of money. Disa valves do go bad so Get a low mile one from a late model for piece of mind. Installation takes an afternoon and requires a tune. Remember I'm talking about the n52 here. As the n51 already has a 3 stage manifold.
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      05-24-2017, 08:04 AM   #16
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Getting used is not going to hurt the final performance. Make sure DISA valves are good to go and your set. AA has a handheld that you buy then connect to your car, download from their site, and program the car simple and fast once you have the handheld. BMS has a handheld option also

Last edited by gixracer; 05-24-2017 at 06:28 PM..
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      05-25-2017, 11:08 PM   #17
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Nice thanks for all of the advice. Will be scouring the internet of things for the right part and DIYs.
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      06-06-2017, 04:52 PM   #18
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Just to chime in, I currently run the 3-stage intake manifold, cold air intake and BMW performance exhaust. Bought the Active Autowerke software and Simon 3 to do the programming myself. What a difference! I am currently adding the AA header and contacted Viral in sales to get the tune modified. Of course the customer service from Viral was top notch and look forward to getting it downloaded and installed. Will update with final results, it should scream!
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      06-06-2017, 05:29 PM   #19
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I did 3 stage intake myself; working slowly it took about 4 hours. You'll need a few smaller torx driver tools including one for a ratchet (I think it was for the throttle body, under all the other stuff). Nothing truly trick, just slowly taking my time. My software is BPC, and I'm VERY happy with what I have now! BTW, car already had a BMW performance exhaust as well as a Wave Trac limited slip with a slight mechanical advantage bump.
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      06-07-2017, 10:10 AM   #20
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I just purchased the BPC tune, will do the tune alone first while I search for a used manifold. Can't wait to get this all in!
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      06-22-2017, 10:51 AM   #21
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Our 128i axle back systems are finally back and ready to go: https://store.activeautowerke.com/pr...re-exhaust-n52

It's a great complement to our headers and software as well!
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      11-12-2017, 04:02 PM   #22
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Finally got my new IM off of a 2007 328 that had about 70k'ish miles on it. Can't wait to install it! Gotta get the software and cable to do the tune now.
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