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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 01-02-2009, 01:26 PM   #21
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It's not just for the sound, do you like breathing hot air when you're running? It's just better all around and just because our cars are tuned so much from the factory and they come stock with a ram-air intake of sorts and this doesn't yield a lot of whp doesn't mean it's not worth doing. Of course its going to add to performance, even if it's just slighty, because you are getting a higher air/fuel ratio but it also helps with gas mileage. When you can breathe better and are cooler you can run longer and perform more efficiently. On a lot of other stock non-BMW's CIA's actually add a fairly siginificant gain in performance, some as much as 10-15whp/wtq. It does sound nice as well, especially when combined with a full exhaust.
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:47 PM   #22
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It's not just for the sound, do you like breathing hot air when you're running? It's just better all around and just because our cars are tuned so much from the factory and they come stock with a ram-air intake of sorts and this doesn't yield a lot of whp doesn't mean it's not worth doing. Of course its going to add to performance, even if it's just slighty, because you are getting a higher air/fuel ratio but it also helps with gas mileage. When you can breathe better and are cooler you can run longer and perform more efficiently. On a lot of other stock non-BMW's CIA's actually add a fairly siginificant gain in performance, some as much as 10-15whp/wtq. It does sound nice as well, especially when combined with a full exhaust.
Some intakes, like the Gruppe M intake have been shown to lose some power, intakes have zero effect on air to fuel ratio since it is electronically controlled, and the stock intake runs cooler than many since it is completely enclosed in plastic, which is a very good heat insulator. I was looking for more facts than internet hype.
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:59 PM   #23
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i love my intake, i got it from autozone and everything cost me less than $100 and its a cold air intake not a short ram intake. it has a deep growl to it and the whistle
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Old 01-02-2009, 08:06 PM   #24
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i love my intake, i got it from autozone and everything cost me less than $100 and its a cold air intake not a short ram intake. it has a deep growl to it and the whistle
Even with the hood closed and with the engine revved up?
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Old 01-02-2009, 08:10 PM   #25
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Old 01-02-2009, 08:17 PM   #26
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Factory design for cold air intake is already very good, using the grill as an air scoop and having the high volume duct to the airbox. That's why the gains from CAIs are small (and sometimes negative).
If you do gain anything, the MAF and ECU will adjust the fuel mix anyway and on the downside you can lose fuel economy without noticeable performance gains.
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Old 01-02-2009, 08:30 PM   #27
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People say their intakes sound great and add hp, but I really don't understand the sound part. I mean, just messing around, I take my entire air filter box out and rev up the engine, sure I can hear a little woosh of air when I first step on the throttle, but above 4000 rpm the engine noise drowns out the intake sound.

Are there any videos out there where the camera isn't 3 inches from the intake? Or a vid with the hood closed? Or anyone that who bought an aftermarket intake and doesn't notice a sound difference either?

So many people are wanting to buy intakes and others are replying saying the sound is totally worth it. I'm starting to feel crazy with my beliefs that aftermarket intakes are useless.
Ummm...that's not a good thing to do....
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Old 01-02-2009, 08:43 PM   #28
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mine is a true Cold Air intake. Pulls nice from down low, and sounds like a plane...
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Old 01-02-2009, 08:57 PM   #29
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I have an ECIS intake on my 330 and swear by it. I felt better throttle response and it sounds aggressive. On certain cars CAI's can cause a drop in power but that doesn't tend to be the case on E46's.
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Old 01-02-2009, 08:57 PM   #30
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Has anyone tried the Dinan air box?
I know it looks like having a stock air box, but I like the fact that it looks factory but as well the tube going down to the brake duct and it has more volume over stock.
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Old 01-02-2009, 09:00 PM   #31
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its a small small difference and cant really be felt but its still worth it i think, eventually with other mods it can add up. Im runnin a Dinan and love it.
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Dinan Intakes are really loud actually. My s*** whistles so much, right when you hit the gas, but it will make the car louder anyway.
dinan ftw you can hear it from second you start to accelerate. the sound is pretty unique and if you know how to listen you can hear it over even a aftermarket exhaust. pair that with a dinan exhaust and you'll really hear and feel the difference. that said, is it necessarily worth the hp/$ ? prolly not, honestly. the sound/$, yes, and collecting dinan points is so choice...
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Old 01-02-2009, 09:02 PM   #32
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Some intakes, like the Gruppe M intake have been shown to lose some power, intakes have zero effect on air to fuel ratio since it is electronically controlled, and the stock intake runs cooler than many since it is completely enclosed in plastic, which is a very good heat insulator. I was looking for more facts than internet hype.
I never understood why people install the Gruppe M (& Simota) on non-m cars, they literally are HOT air intakes, unshielded from heat directly drawing air from the engine bay Plus they sound like a dirt devil!!!
A friend of mine made an intake with autozone parts for his 330 and said he lost top end power, he took me for a ride and it was def. more sluggish than stock....maybe if he had made a heatshield it would be a different story.

Intakes like the BFP (I haz one) and dinan offer an awesome grunt throughout the entire powerband, slightly sharper responsiveness, and the nice look of carbon fiber under the hood. Not to mention the fact that they are TRUE CAIs, when you cut your brake duct or pair it with a CSL bumper it practically force feeds cold air to the engine. My average mpg went up 2 miles after a month of installing it.

The misunderstanding is that intakes are not cost effective mods for our E46s, the FACT is that they are if you choose the right ones! Stay away from unshielded intakes, and imo its not worth it unless they draw air away from the engine bay. You'd be better off with a drop in filter.

My favorite design:


True CAI on a E46 318:


Crap Hot-Air-Intake sounding like a power drill or dirt devil
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Old 01-02-2009, 09:57 PM   #33
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Ummm...that's not a good thing to do....
revving your engine for 1 or 2 minutes with no filter isn't going to do anything.
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Old 01-02-2009, 10:21 PM   #34
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revving your engine for 1 or 2 minutes with no filter isn't going to do anything.
yes it can, depending on the air quality (dust, dirt, etc.) unfiltered air is a nono

ps- love the dinan intake on my 540 sounds 100X better than stock
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Old 01-02-2009, 10:26 PM   #35
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Most likely it won't do much, especially if you don't drive it on the street.

... but driving it on the street is how you will determine if it makes more noise with no intake.

mkodama -- I don't do "internet hype". I was a skeptic when I bought my intake. That's why I tried it out. For the record, I have one year toward my PhD in statistics specializing in experimental design, a master's degree in mathematics and several years math/stats teaching experience at the college level and I KNOW HOW TO SET UP A TEST.

I did everything I could to isolate the intake swap for external variables and came away absolutely convinced that the intake added power -- both from objective testing and from subjective feel while driving the car. I definitely a go before show type of person. I get a lot of pleasure out of driving a 325Ci that is quicker than it ought to be, and yes my car stilll has the Style 44's and looks very stock. And yes it's good for mid to low 14's at sea level, even with me driving.

Yeah, I know. People say all sorts of crap on the internet so believe me if you want. You asked and I answered to the best of my ability and that's all I or anyone else here can do. Make your decision and if you change the intake on your car, please post up the results for the rest of us.

Cheers,
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Old 01-02-2009, 10:53 PM   #36
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A word about the GruppeM intake.


Ppl with the intake say it does well. Others say it doesn't make a measurable difference in performance but dramatically "improves" sound. OK.

Dyno testing has shown that the intake shows little improvement if any, and may in fact show a drop in hp.

OK... does that mean the intake doesn't improve performance?

Um.... NO.

Intakes rely on air pressure and temperature. GruppeM may not show much gain on a dyno with a fan aimed at the front of the car with an open hood, but is that the same as driving the same car on your favorite track at 90+mph into turn 3? Um..... nope. Intakes perform best with a ready supply of cool air, preferrably hitting the intake with positive velocity (relative to the car).

IMO the jury is out w.r.t. GruppeM for that reason. Show me lap times, drag strip ET's, or other stuff like that. Until then, the jury stays out. But I don't fault ppl who have the GruppeM. They did what I did -- choose an intake and see how it does.
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Old 01-03-2009, 03:58 AM   #37
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Before my FI work I installed an ECIS intake and noticed nothing. Maybe if I had noticed something.. ANYTHING, I would have left it in there, saved a lot of money and just been content. Really, I didn't feel a thing.
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Old 01-03-2009, 04:42 AM   #38
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Hi Bimmers ! ... Well the main thing here I dont see it yet. ....The main change is obtained only when you install your (for example K&N) air filter within a cage that allows the engine to accept only COLD air. Then you will notice the gain on HP difference. If warm or hot air goes into you pistons you have a awfully bad installation. Remember that no hot air coming from the radiators should go into the air intake !
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Old 01-03-2009, 09:26 AM   #39
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+1 Nick@JLeviW.

The intake system is a direct pipeline to the combustion chambers and can produce quite a lot of noise. Stock systems are designed to meet certain hp requirements and also to meet sound level requirements as well.

For example, my 1997 SHO (3.4 liter Yamaha DOHC V8, 235 hp) had an intake baffle that took up most of the (substantial) space in the left front fender area forward of the wheel well. The baffle looked and operated the same as an exhaust muffler. Removing it produced a ton more engine sound, although it was hardly noticeable from within the car with the windows up.

http://www.v8sho.com/SHO/intake1.html

When I replaced my stock 325 airbox with an aFe intake, the change in engine noise was obvious, even with the windows rolled up. Not all the change was good. Along with the more aggressive engine sound under hard acceleration came an intake whistle at low speeds and part throttle. I can barely detect it with the windows up but it's very noticeable with windows down when I'm cruising around town.

As for power -- the engine is designed with hp targets in mind and also with noise generation targets. Aftermarket intakes are under no such constraints. That's why they're generally much simpler than a factory intake design.

My aFe intake absolutely, positively makes the car louder AND faster.

When I put it on the car I did a write-up on it:

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=337494

Not only do I stand by those results from almost three years ago, I can back them up up with a dyno run showing a good increase over stock hp.

Keep in mind it's a 325 with 160 rwhp stock. Dyno pull with Shark injector and aFe CAI was 176.1 rwhp. The car was pretty strong for a 325, but after the intake swap it caught me off guard a few times. Not supercharger strong but definitely a more powerful car.

I keep hearing how these boltons don't do much for our cars, and almost didn't try anything on mine. But in the case of the air intake, I have to disagree with "the experts". Based on my own experience I recommend a short ram system such as K&N, ECIS, Conforti and aFe.

Cheers!
you recommend a short ram that sucks the hot air from the engine bay and this setup will give you more HP, in the summer if i wanted to work on my car i would not drive it or open the hood for hours to cool down because they get so hot under there and this hot air will help in HP gain,.. think i'll go spend $350 right now for a intake and $500 for software?

am thinking 90-95% of your gain was software and 10-5% the intake to help with the software mod.
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Old 01-03-2009, 10:39 AM   #40
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revving your engine for 1 or 2 minutes with no filter isn't going to do anything.
I watched a video of what dust can do the a cylinder wall. It wasn't pretty.
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