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      01-29-2012, 10:04 AM   #1
Acetech
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Helix intercooler install 1M

Just installed a Helix intercooler in my 1M.
I removed the bumper for optimum clarity and options on the install, I think you could possibly install without removing the bumper.
I found that the intercooler can be installed without cutting but not optimally, it dose fit in the space but it will sit back around 8-10 millimeters. For a optimal install it should be flush to the back of the radiator as the stock intercooler rests, this is important for proper fan fitment.
Additionally by choosing to trim you get better air flow by removing obstructions in front of the intercooler.
To get the best fit i needed to get the intercooler to move forward about 8-10 mm, this put the back face of the intercooler flush with the back of the radiator and allowed the fan to sit properly in it's mounts and flush against the rad and intercooler.
This required trimming the lower air shrouding and the sides and the area the air temp sensor sits in. See the pic of removed trim.
I also notched the screw mounting area of the intercooler to allow the two mount screws to sit further back.
I spent about 4 hours installing and considering all my options, I am happy with the fit and quaility.
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      01-29-2012, 10:42 AM   #2
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Nice writeup and garage setup, what's the sun system for?
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      01-29-2012, 04:35 PM   #3
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how much more power are u getting with that?
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      01-29-2012, 04:41 PM   #4
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At simple sight, it seems to me that what you gain in height you lose in width. This probably won't yield much power, if any at all.

Yes there is the argument of a larger surface/more vertical surface facing the front of the car, but it doesn't seem all that beneficial considering the opening of the bumper.

Keep us posted.
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      01-29-2012, 04:59 PM   #5
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It's not all about power. For us track junkies, it's also about warding off heat soak.

The Helix is one of best engineered FMICs available.

Neil
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      01-30-2012, 08:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1SerieStud View Post
At simple sight, it seems to me that what you gain in height you lose in width. This probably won't yield much power, if any at all.

Yes there is the argument of a larger surface/more vertical surface facing the front of the car, but it doesn't seem all that beneficial considering the opening of the bumper.

Keep us posted.

Lose in width? It's at least as wide as the stock unit. You mean depth? Its also at least as deep as the stock unt. It's much taller but is stepped in the back to be able to fit in the confinces of the stock setup in the rear.
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      01-30-2012, 09:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertm
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1SerieStud View Post
At simple sight, it seems to me that what you gain in height you lose in width. This probably won't yield much power, if any at all.

Yes there is the argument of a larger surface/more vertical surface facing the front of the car, but it doesn't seem all that beneficial considering the opening of the bumper.

Keep us posted.

Lose in width? It's at least as wide as the stock unit. You mean depth? Its also at least as deep as the stock unt. It's much taller but is stepped in the back to be able to fit in the confinces of the stock setup in the rear.
Yes width dimension reference is subjective to the viewer, what you refer to as width I refer to as length (from side to side). And yes, the stock unit IS wider (or longer if you refer to how much it expands from front to back as length).
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      01-30-2012, 09:24 AM   #8
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Acetech - do you have more side profile shots (showing the step)of the intercooler?
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      01-30-2012, 10:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1SerieStud View Post
At simple sight, it seems to me that what you gain in height you lose in width. This probably won't yield much power, if any at all.

Yes there is the argument of a larger surface/more vertical surface facing the front of the car, but it doesn't seem all that beneficial considering the opening of the bumper.

Keep us posted.
I did a baseline with my stock fmic and made 350whp with just a tune and downpipes on a dynojet. After installation of my Helix FMIC, I went up to 370whp while making power throughout the whole rev range on the same map. Stock FMIC on the n54's are complete garbage especially when you start upping the boost with a tune.
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      01-30-2012, 10:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1SerieStud View Post
Yes width dimension reference is subjective to the viewer, what you refer to as width I refer to as length (from side to side). And yes, the stock unit IS wider (or longer if you refer to how much it expands from front to back as length).
The new one is just as wide (front to back) if not wider at the base, it gets thinner up top at a height above the height of the stock unit. The picture makes it appear as though its the same thickness top to bottom but its not.
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      01-31-2012, 03:51 PM   #11
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Wonderful write up. We did an install in the shop for a test fitment and did not have to trim anything except the plastic around the ambient air temp sensor. No worries, I'm sure you did what you had to and I'm glad you were able to see the great gains of installing our intercooler. Like it has been said before the intercooler takes up as much available room as possible without having to hack into your bumper support

As for pictures, Here you go guys:



Last edited by Alex@Helix; 01-31-2012 at 04:03 PM..
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      02-01-2012, 10:58 AM   #12
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Is there increased lag with the larger intercooler?
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      02-01-2012, 11:48 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex@Helix View Post
Wonderful write up. We did an install in the shop for a test fitment and did not have to trim anything except the plastic around the ambient air temp sensor. No worries, I'm sure you did what you had to and I'm glad you were able to see the great gains of installing our intercooler. Like it has been said before the intercooler takes up as much available room as possible without having to hack into your bumper support

As for pictures, Here you go guys:


Great product Alex! I'll definitely be looking into this over the summer.
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      02-01-2012, 11:52 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpencerMH View Post
Nice writeup and garage setup, what's the sun system for?
was thinking the same thing...not a lot of people have sun systems sitting around in their garage unless it's an old spark or sunfire.
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      02-01-2012, 02:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TUNEDM3 View Post
Is there increased lag with the larger intercooler?
+1

I'm curious too!
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      02-01-2012, 02:42 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TUNEDM3 View Post
Is there increased lag with the larger intercooler?
Nope.
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      02-06-2012, 09:42 AM   #17
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What tune are you using also i had trouble pulling my bumper off i took off all the screws under the bumper and inside the fender but couldnt figure it out. I took off the bumper on my 135i and i thought it would be the same so it would be helpful if you could post that up!
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      02-06-2012, 09:47 AM   #18
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Also i installed my hpf intercooler without even taken the bumper off because of it took about 2hours 30 mins
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