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Go Back   E46Fanatics > Tuning & Tech > Driveline, Engine & DME Tuning

Driveline, Engine & DME Tuning
Talk about driveline improvements, NA tuning and DME tuning your E46 BMW here. This includes diffs, intakes, exhausts, chips, software and OBD tuning.

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Old 05-30-2014, 01:24 PM   #1
raichean
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Advanced Flow Engineering (aFe) cold air intake stage 1 DIY guide and review

Howdy all!

I have had the pleasure of working with aFe directly, and partnering with them to create a full DIY installation guide for the stage 1 CAI kit, magnum force intake tube and intake system scoop!

I wanted to share the guide here along with the review of the products as well. This is specifically for the M3, but they make products for a really wide line of vehicles so is applicable for everyone. Side note: I wish they made one for my GSX-R!

In short, I am REALLY impressed with the quality of the products and results of the installation. This has been the best bang for the buck performance install I have done on my M3 yet.

I cannot recommend these kits more highly.. there are many CAI kits out there, but all of my local independent shops (I checked with them first!) recommend aFe as the best of the lot and I understand why now.

Check the attached links for the formal review and install guide, and feel free to ask any questions here or send me a PM!


Review excerpt:

Review and notes

The BMW e46 3 series is an incredible work of automotive art and mechanical design. Even as the E46 is more than ten years old, it still turns heads and creates jealous looks at stop lights and parking lot conversations.

As the cars have aged though, technology and automotive design has continued to advance and improve in a number of ways. The good news is those advances can be easily integrated into our BMWs to improve their already impressive performance.

A cold air intake is a tremendously economical way of both improving stock performance and how your car sounds. This is an excellent place to upgrade your car as the return on investment is very high both in direct value and in the time to do the work and Advanced Flow Engineering (AFE) is a fantastic place to start.

The Advanced Flow Engineering cold air intake stage 1 is a substantial change from the OEM airbox design and filter. At peak it adds 11 horse power and 10 pounds of torque which is a significant increase you can both hear and feel. Adding real horsepower to a car as well designed as the BMW M3 can be a challenge, but this product actually does it.

I won’t repeat all of the posted statistics as you can refer to them here, but will focus on how it feels and sounds to have this CAI installed. What matters is how the dry statistics of HP and torque gain translate into the literal and visceral sensation of driving your car. Instead of formal dyno statistics, what do your ears and your “butt-dyno” tell you?

How does the car feel?

Quick notes regarding installation:

The CAI stage 1 kit was installed with the Pro 5R oiled air filter and optional intake system scoop and torque booster tube. I highly recommend including both as they do what you need and provide higher air volume into the airbox. Refer to the installation guide links included below for HOW to install these products.


Testing components:

Magnum FORCE Stage-1 PRO 5R Intake System; BMW M3 (E46) 01-07 L6-3.2L 54-10461
http://afepower.com/shop/details_new...2L&&brandID=52

Magnum FORCE Intake System Scoop; BMW 3-Series/ M3 (E46) 01-06 L6 54-10468
http://afepower.com/shop/details_new...2L&&brandID=87

Magnum FORCE Torque Booster Tube; BMW M3 (E46) 01-07 L6-3.2L (Blk) 54-10469-B
http://afepower.com/shop/details_new...2L&&brandID=18

Last edited by raichean; 05-30-2014 at 01:26 PM.
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Old 05-30-2014, 01:48 PM   #2
raichean
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I have access to an E82 (X3) E60 (550) and two E92s as well (335i and M3) and if there is interest and need I may be able to partner with them further to do those as well. If interested in those, please shoot me a PM or (better) a reply here?

Thanks!

Last edited by raichean; 06-03-2014 at 04:22 PM.
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Old 11-20-2014, 01:22 PM   #3
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Im sorry; I read your reviews and not sure if you compared the stage 1 vs the stage 2 against each other to see if the added expense is worth it.

I am strongly considering this intake solely because as a California resident, I need the CARB certification.

I take it both the Stage 1 and 2 both are 50 state legal. Am I right?

Can you elaborate on the accessory tube and scoop deeper in terms of whether they are worth the expense.

We all know when it comes to CAI there is a strong law of diminishing returns here and I can hope you can be a little more objective here as opposed to "everything great, get it all"
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Last edited by Alpine/Imola M3; 11-20-2014 at 01:32 PM.
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Old 11-20-2014, 01:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpine/Imola M3 View Post
Im sorry; I read your reviews and not sure if you compared the stage 1 vs the stage 2 to see if the added expense is worth it.

I am strongly considering this intake solely because as a California resident, I need the CARB certification.

I take it both the Stage 1 and 2 both are 50 state legal. Am I right?

Call aFe directly, they won't bs you on something concerning "CARB certification".


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Old 11-20-2014, 01:30 PM   #5
Alpine/Imola M3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob43 View Post
Call aFe directly, they won't bs you on something concerning "CARB certification".


Rob43

Oh I know I can call them but I was wanting this users "objective" opinion since he used and reviewed both the Satge 1 and 2 systems. The Stage 1 system is a couple hundred dollars more and as far as I can tell, the only difference is a shroud which I'm not sure is functional or cosmetic.

Nowhere on Afe's site do they directly compare the 1 vs 2.
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20" black R22's
Stoptech brake kit
Racemesh grill
Alpine system with (2) 10's
Aluminum interior
Alcantara wheel with aluminum trim
coded markers

Last edited by Alpine/Imola M3; 11-20-2014 at 01:31 PM.
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Old 11-20-2014, 02:11 PM   #6
raichean
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpine/Imola M3 View Post
Oh I know I can call them but I was wanting this users "objective" opinion since he used and reviewed both the Satge 1 and 2 systems. The Stage 1 system is a couple hundred dollars more and as far as I can tell, the only difference is a shroud which I'm not sure is functional or cosmetic.

Nowhere on Afe's site do they directly compare the 1 vs 2.
They are both CARB certified, *I believe*, and the S1 especially came with this CARB sticker you can put near the filter for that specific reason. So yes, I believe so.

In comparing the S1 and S2, because of the S1 kit coming with the upgrade of the intake tube as well when I got it. I have the S2 kit in my car as the final point for normal operation and feel like it is worth it.

I would do the S2 myself, and feel the intake tube with the S2 is superior to the S1 with the add on. In addition, the S1 kit as that big shroud aluminum shroud which while it looks cool, gets stunningly HOT. I would think that actually holds heat a bit, which isn't a great idea.

The S1 kit plus upgrade tube is equal to the S2 kit, if you compare HP gains on their dyno charts. I would go straight to the S2 and call it good.

For me the benefits are three fold. Easier cleaning and a lifetime filter. Noticable change in engine note and tone, and from my own dyno +10rwp.
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