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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 06-04-2011, 06:24 AM   #1
Dan330Ci~
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DEi Reflect-A-Gold airbox + homebrew Alpina B3S duct

In an attempt to improve the stock airbox I've been planning to modify it to be the same as the Alpina B3S airbox, which will draw air in from the brake duct location. However the stock airbox absorbs a lot heat from the engine bay, prompting me to consider how best to insulate it. I went for DEi Reflect-A-Gold to try to reflect a lot of the radiant heat (certainly better than a black airbox). I have used almost a whole 2" x 15' roll, needing only scissors and a scalpel for trimming. This process is time consuming, it took probably 4 hours to get to what you see below. I've only covered the areas facing the engine that absorb the most heat, and also tried to be discreet I might put some more around the front inlet area due to the expansion tank.

I have a Stett Performance E46 M54 3.0L Silicone Throttle Body Boot Kit in the post and they will be getting the same treatment

I didn't think to take IAT readings before but I'll get some for after anyway

You could go mental and cover the whole thing but some of the areas don't heat up at all above ambient.







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Old 06-04-2011, 08:34 AM   #2
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Finished the front inlet area:

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Old 06-04-2011, 08:52 AM   #3
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Interesting, I wonder if it made a noticable difference. I mean at WOT your engine is sucking so much air that it really doesnt have time to heat up so the only way I can see this helping is in traffic or stop lights perhaps.
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Old 06-05-2011, 02:58 AM   #4
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Cool. I can't wait for some installed pictures.
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Old 06-05-2011, 03:19 AM   #5
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Old 06-05-2011, 03:22 AM   #6
Drew@Swift Motorworks
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that's kinda cool. Where did you buy this? Sorta want to put it under my hood to replace the foam insulation
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Old 06-05-2011, 05:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FastHackem View Post
Interesting, I wonder if it made a noticable difference. I mean at WOT your engine is sucking so much air that it really doesnt have time to heat up so the only way I can see this helping is in traffic or stop lights perhaps.
I agree but I can already tell the intake tract temperature is much reduced (at least up to the MAF) as before it would get as hot as the valve cover in some areas, now everywhere is just slightly warm to the touch so I'm pretty happy. I figure the cooler I can keep the whole tract the better, the Stett silicone hoses covered with this stuff will make a nice difference as they are down in a real hot area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drewdown View Post
that's kinda cool. Where did you buy this? Sorta want to put it under my hood to replace the foam insulation
Just from the cheapest seller on eBay, DEi also make sheets in 12"x12" and 24"x24" so that would probably be best for a large flat area, would give a much cleaner finish. I also might do that area as I have already removed the foam and my paint on the underside is getting grubby.
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Old 06-05-2011, 05:21 AM   #8
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Is NO joke. L.A. Traffic. My god.
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Old 06-05-2011, 06:02 AM   #9
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It's pretty inconspicous apart from the top of the joining duct, I might redo that part and not cover the top. I'm going to put some kind of thermal barrier between the slam panel and the scoop as there is some serious conduction going on between there, I guess something like exhaust wrap type stuff would work.

The Stett hoses are going to be pretty in your face but at least they're simple shapes so it will be easy to get a clean finish.

I now want a CF vented bonnet to mitigate some heat convection. I've had too much free time on my hands this week
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Old 06-06-2011, 05:20 PM   #10
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Alpina B3S intake for reference:



Ok so I know it's ghetto but it seemed to work out ok. I took a 3" hole saw to my airbox to try to replicate the Alpina B3S duct above (which supports 305hp). The only way to measure the angle of the pipe that needs to meet up to the corner of the airbox was to remove the headlight and do it that way. This is critical as the wrong angle will mess up how the pipe comes out of the airbox and probably foul against the bodywork.

I was pretty lucky and it came out good, I've just put a bit of spare 3" aluminium pipe in there for now to show the concept. The last pic is actually a 3"-2.5" reducer but it fits in the new hole snug until I can make a permanent solution. You can see how close I am to the 'brake' duct there. My plan is to make a hole in the top of the duct and use a 3" flange and some flexible ducting to get to the airbox.

The B3S actually uses 3.5" ducting but whatever. It would make sense as the MAF and intake boots are 3.5". Would be pretty easy to make the hole in the airbox and the rest of the stuff bigger though.







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Old 01-16-2012, 01:29 PM   #11
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Ok so I finally got some time to upload these pictures.

I cut a 3" hole into the 'brake' duct (lol). I used automotive polyurethane sealant around the aluminium pipe, I'm also going to seal up the front rectangular intake with a piece of aluminium, it's no longer needed.

I may put a flange onto the brake duct and join it to the pipe on the airbox with some flexi hose, or potentially put a 90 degree piece in there to get some frontal cross section area.

The final step will be to fit an ITG panel filter, not so much to reduce pressure drop (restriction) but to maintain the same pressure drop throughout the 'life' of the filter i.e. from zero dirt load to 'full' dirt load. The graph illustrates this quite nicely (not e46 specific), and an equivalent to the stock filter would be 'MANN'. You can see that K&N type filtration media gives a lower pressure drop over stock or others, which is where the small hp gains are made, but performs poorly once an amount of dust is introduced (frequent cleaning requirements).

Once I've got an ITG panel filter and finished off, along with the Stett silicone hoses I'm pretty happy.













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Last edited by Dan330Ci~; 01-16-2012 at 01:34 PM.
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