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Old 09-20-2007, 05:23 PM   #1
SLO Town
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BMW Performance air intake review #2

Hello Folks:

Just recently there was a thread about the new BMW Performance air intake. I'd already made up my mind to buy one previously. Here are my comments.

I bought mine locally at my dealer and got it for $720 plus tax. The parts guy mentioned that they had two of these in stock for two months and I was the first person to even ask about them.

The install was indeed straightforward and simple. However, I had to make a minor modification to make mine fit properly. I would not have expected this for a $700+ part, especially one purportedly designed, manufactured, and sold by BMW. BTW, both halves of the the plastic intake body had "Mahle" molded on it in couple of different places. FWIW.

Anyway, the intake snorkel that sits above the headlight (unique to this new unit) would not sit flush on the black crossmember that runs above the headlights. The culprit was the little plastic tab to the right of the radiator cap that instructs you whether or not the coolant is low. This little 30mm square piece has pictures of that little float on it.

I used a Dremel and cut the plastic tab off, it taking all of 30 seconds. I re-installed the intake and the snorkel now fit flush on the black crossmember as it was designed to. This is a little thing, but I wasn't expecting it on a factory piece. I should add also that my intake was in an unopened box - which had no directions inside - not that they were necessary.

As far as the engine sounding "stronger" as the Circle BMW website says; well that's true, but we are talking minscule changes in intake note. And these barely audible changes only occur about 4,000 to 4,500 RPM. I'm talking barely audible.

If you are buying an intake for the noise, forget this one. I didn't want an intake that hissed and growled all the time, but I wanted more than this.

As far as fit and finish is concerned, for a $700 piece I'd give it a C minus at best. There were enough little gaps here and there that I carefully evaluated the intake design to be certain the filter wasn't being bypassed somewhere. Disappointing for a $700 BMW part.

BMW claims a 3HP gain at 6,000 RPM. This was the last reason I bought it. My butt isn't sensitive enough to feel that, nor did I feel any change in throttle response, etc. In other words, it's not a "performance" part.

One other thing; you know that little bleeder valve you open to bleed the air out of the radiator when you've R&R'd your coolant? The intake snorkle above the head covers it so you have to take the top cover of the intake off to get to it. Once again, a little thing but disappointing given the maker of the part.

Right now, part of me wants to return it. I doubt I will, but knowing what I know now I absolutely wouldn't buy it over again.

You guys owe me, I just saved you $750! This part gets a two thumbs down review from me.

Scott

PS The BMW Performance brake kit was a fantastic upgrade. Given how thrilled I was with that stuff, perhaps this intensified my disappoint about the air intake.
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Original Owner 2003 330Ci ZSP, 3145 lbs, 5-spd, leather, Alcantara wheel, 19x8.5" BBS, RE-11s, ZHP FCAs/diff cover/weighted knob, M3 eng + trans mounts/outer RCABs/RCABs with Turner limiters, Group N inner RCABs, Bilstein Sports (E36 M3 rears), Eibach P-K, H&R bars, BMW Performance Rotors, Turner caliper bushings, StopTech lines, Borla, RE pullies/RSM, Stewart WP, M-Technic Trunk Spoiler, Mason pedal/strut bar/end links, B&M shifter, UUC DSSR

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Old 09-20-2007, 05:36 PM   #2
calvinz
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hell yea u saved us.

300 maybe but not 700 for an intake that only suppose to produce 3hp gain. something doesn't seem right here.

return the dang thing and mod other things with 700 bucks..
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Old 09-20-2007, 05:50 PM   #3
Alex323Ci
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good honest review.

fwiw the tab on the radiator neck that shows high/low just pops off.

being an enclosed filter i figured it would not be a loud intake. that's something i'd want. coming from bmw with CF accents i knew it would be expensive.
could you snap a picture or two for us.
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Old 09-20-2007, 05:55 PM   #4
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Do you have a review like this for your brake kit?
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Old 09-20-2007, 06:41 PM   #5
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Is there a break performance upgrade for the M3 as well? Thank you again for your honest review of this intake as I had guessed it wasn't a good investment to begin with.
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Old 09-20-2007, 06:44 PM   #6
Alex323Ci
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmoKeNfLY View Post
Is there a break performance upgrade for the M3 as well? Thank you again for your honest review of this intake as I had guessed it wasn't a good investment to begin with.
yes you can put the M3 CSL rotors on. brake not break
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Old 09-20-2007, 06:58 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Alex323Ci View Post
yes you can put the M3 CSL rotors on. brake not break
Well excuse my spelling, haha. But that is actually a good idea, does anyone have a price on those CSL rotor and "brakes"?
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Old 09-20-2007, 08:21 PM   #8
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Folks:

I simply had to do it. I called the dealer and explained my case. If you've been on this forum for awhile, you know I am extremely particular about what parts I use on my car. Simply said, the BMW Performance air intake did not meet my standards.

Understand, it had nothing to do with horsepower, etc. I returned it because of poor fit and finish. The stock air intake has superior fit and finish and is better intergrated with the rest of the car.

The dealer is giving me a full refund. This dealership knows how paricular I am and that I buy the best parts available. No doubt this fact helped me make my case.

I'm relieved. I've been very fortunate in life but I don't have $750 to waste.

Here are a few pictures.

Scott

PS I might add this is one reason to buy from your local dealer. Had I used the internet I guarantee you I would have kept it - either by choice or because I couldn't return it.
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Original Owner 2003 330Ci ZSP, 3145 lbs, 5-spd, leather, Alcantara wheel, 19x8.5" BBS, RE-11s, ZHP FCAs/diff cover/weighted knob, M3 eng + trans mounts/outer RCABs/RCABs with Turner limiters, Group N inner RCABs, Bilstein Sports (E36 M3 rears), Eibach P-K, H&R bars, BMW Performance Rotors, Turner caliper bushings, StopTech lines, Borla, RE pullies/RSM, Stewart WP, M-Technic Trunk Spoiler, Mason pedal/strut bar/end links, B&M shifter, UUC DSSR

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Old 09-20-2007, 08:38 PM   #9
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SLO Town,

Thanks for the review. It was very helpful.

I'm interested in the brake upgrade you got. Give us some more info!

Thanks
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Old 09-20-2007, 09:21 PM   #10
SLO Town
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Folks, here are two more pictures that will illustrate some of my issues. I don't expect this from a $700 part, and I most certainly don't expect it from BMW.

Scott
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Original Owner 2003 330Ci ZSP, 3145 lbs, 5-spd, leather, Alcantara wheel, 19x8.5" BBS, RE-11s, ZHP FCAs/diff cover/weighted knob, M3 eng + trans mounts/outer RCABs/RCABs with Turner limiters, Group N inner RCABs, Bilstein Sports (E36 M3 rears), Eibach P-K, H&R bars, BMW Performance Rotors, Turner caliper bushings, StopTech lines, Borla, RE pullies/RSM, Stewart WP, M-Technic Trunk Spoiler, Mason pedal/strut bar/end links, B&M shifter, UUC DSSR

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Old 09-20-2007, 09:27 PM   #11
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FlzRider:

Here is my original post about the brakes. Lots of great pictures and quality that exceeded my expectations! I'm 100% happy with this stuff! It wasn't cheap but it was well worth it. I expected the same with the intake.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=504694

I haven't driven the car much since I installed the brakes so I can't give you a road test yet.

Scott
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Original Owner 2003 330Ci ZSP, 3145 lbs, 5-spd, leather, Alcantara wheel, 19x8.5" BBS, RE-11s, ZHP FCAs/diff cover/weighted knob, M3 eng + trans mounts/outer RCABs/RCABs with Turner limiters, Group N inner RCABs, Bilstein Sports (E36 M3 rears), Eibach P-K, H&R bars, BMW Performance Rotors, Turner caliper bushings, StopTech lines, Borla, RE pullies/RSM, Stewart WP, M-Technic Trunk Spoiler, Mason pedal/strut bar/end links, B&M shifter, UUC DSSR

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Old 09-20-2007, 09:30 PM   #12
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Good Review

Thanks for the review and pics. It's dissapointing that you cannot notice any difference. What about daily driveability, idling and accelerating with AC on etc. Sounds like I may pass on this 'upgrade'.
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Old 09-20-2007, 09:42 PM   #13
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Thumbs down

its basically $750 for a better looking air box BMW has disapointed me with this one
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Old 09-20-2007, 10:08 PM   #14
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looks good!!, but i guess we'll see these pop up on the f/s forums soon
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Old 09-20-2007, 10:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SLO Town View Post
Folks, here are two more pictures that will illustrate some of my issues. I don't expect this from a $700 part, and I most certainly don't expect it from BMW.

Scott
I suggest that because you bought it in an open box that the part may have been damaged. The part I bought from Tischer did not have those issues and was a perfect replacement of the oem box.
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Old 09-20-2007, 10:33 PM   #16
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TommyBoy, I am returing it and getting my money back. The dealship already graciously agreed because of the business I give to them with both parts and the references about my car purchase experience - they were great!

Daniel, no, the box was unopened. Out or nothing more than trying to be polite and respectful of you, I'm reticent to disagree with you here. But basically, there was nothing wrong with my intake other than it was poorly designed and manufactured.

The reason I say this is I called a second dealership first, and they said they had one for a 330. When I got there it was for a 325. He opened the box for me because we were both curious. I noticed the gap in the housing on that one too, and even pointed it out to the SF Bay Area parts guy. He agreed, for a $700 part that it was not something he would have expected. To be clear, both models had the same problem - and it's because of poor design.

Your original post indicated to me that we have many of the same opinions about aftermarket parts, etc. I like to mod but I insist on quality and a minimum of negative trade-offs for a small gain in performance (like you).

The only reason I bought the intake was because I wanted a little bit of intake growl. Just a little. Nothing obnoxious or all the time. I got virtually nothing, and I got far too many quality trade-offs.

Since you seem to have an eye for uber-quality, I suggest you look into the BMW Performance brake rotors. That's the kind of stuff I expect out of BMW. They hit a home run on that stuff, but they missed the boat on the intake.

Respectfully,

Scott
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Old 09-21-2007, 04:41 AM   #17
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Quote:
The only reason I bought the intake was because I wanted a little bit of intake growl. Just a little. Nothing obnoxious or all the time. I got virtually nothing, and I got far too many quality trade-offs.
Hey SLO Town....I wanted the exact same thing you are looking for. I found it with the Dinan Highflow Intake. It is slightly more aggresive than the stock intake but not too much. If you roll down your window, turn on your A/C and then hammer the gas pedal it will give you a real good idea of what this intake sounds like. The only thing is that you need the Dinan Stage 2 software to go along with it. I actually really like the software cause it sped up the throttle response which makes blipping the throttle on downshifts much more fun. If you still want to spend the money...I highly recommend this intake
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Old 09-21-2007, 05:07 AM   #18
SmoKeNfLY
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Does anyone have a picture or a review of the high performance brake kit? On that matter, do they even produce one for the M3 or will I just have to switch over to the CSL brake system?
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Old 09-21-2007, 05:55 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmoKeNfLY View Post
Does anyone have a picture or a review of the high performance brake kit? On that matter, do they even produce one for the M3 or will I just have to switch over to the CSL brake system?
you're totally thread jacking. here you go. pictures of the BMWP 330 rotors and the two kits for M3 and CSL/ZCP
http://www.turnermotorsport.com/html...&subcat_id=104
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Old 09-21-2007, 08:17 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SLO Town View Post
TommyBoy, I am returing it and getting my money back. The dealship already graciously agreed because of the business I give to them with both parts and the references about my car purchase experience - they were great!

Daniel, no, the box was unopened. Out or nothing more than trying to be polite and respectful of you, I'm reticent to disagree with you here. But basically, there was nothing wrong with my intake other than it was poorly designed and manufactured.

The reason I say this is I called a second dealership first, and they said they had one for a 330. When I got there it was for a 325. He opened the box for me because we were both curious. I noticed the gap in the housing on that one too, and even pointed it out to the SF Bay Area parts guy. He agreed, for a $700 part that it was not something he would have expected. To be clear, both models had the same problem - and it's because of poor design.

Your original post indicated to me that we have many of the same opinions about aftermarket parts, etc. I like to mod but I insist on quality and a minimum of negative trade-offs for a small gain in performance (like you).

The only reason I bought the intake was because I wanted a little bit of intake growl. Just a little. Nothing obnoxious or all the time. I got virtually nothing, and I got far too many quality trade-offs.

Since you seem to have an eye for uber-quality, I suggest you look into the BMW Performance brake rotors. That's the kind of stuff I expect out of BMW. They hit a home run on that stuff, but they missed the boat on the intake.

Respectfully,

Scott
Hey no problem. I was just searching for a possible explanation. I may have overlooked this gap on mine being that I was excited to get it mounted as fast as possible. I'll take another look this weekend when I swap it out for the dyno. We are both on the same page with a discerning eye for what we'll put on our cars. The Brake rotors are definitely on my list of upgrades when my rotors need replacing.
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