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Old 03-17-2017, 05:25 PM   #1
Banditos
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Another CAI Thread!!

Yes yes yes, its another CAI thread! I have some options for my BMW 330ci and I'd like to hear your opinion.

Lets get this out of the way: Yes I know CAI do not provide significant power gains, and yes I have all my preventative maintenance done. What I do want is the aggressive sound a CAI can provide.
Sometime in the future I'm planning on installing eBay headers and then hopefully a dyno tune to string it all together, so the CAI would be with no software at the moment.

How dangerous is the risk of hydrolocking with long tube CAI like the Dinan carbon fiber units? Assuming I bought a filter sock and those AEM air valves as well.
Would there be a difference in quality between the box style Injen, Dinan, or AFE CAI?

The best deals I've found online are these
$150 for Injen CAI
$370 for AFE CAI
$200-250 for Dinan Longtube style CAI off craigslist
$250 for regular Dinan CAI box style

Which would you pick?
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Old 03-17-2017, 06:16 PM   #2
shanneba
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If those are the choice - regular Dinan CAI box style
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Old 03-17-2017, 07:24 PM   #3
Geo31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Banditos View Post
Yes yes yes, its another CAI thread! I have some options for my BMW 330ci and I'd like to hear your opinion.

Lets get this out of the way: Yes I know CAI do not provide significant power gains, and yes I have all my preventative maintenance done. What I do want is the aggressive sound a CAI can provide.
Sometime in the future I'm planning on installing eBay headers and then hopefully a dyno tune to string it all together, so the CAI would be with no software at the moment.

How dangerous is the risk of hydrolocking with long tube CAI like the Dinan carbon fiber units? Assuming I bought a filter sock and those AEM air valves as well.
Would there be a difference in quality between the box style Injen, Dinan, or AFE CAI?

The best deals I've found online are these
$150 for Injen CAI
$370 for AFE CAI
$200-250 for Dinan Longtube style CAI off craigslist
$250 for regular Dinan CAI box style

Which would you pick?
In most cases I would tell you that long tube CAIs work. I've seen plenty of documented dyno evidence. Data talks. However, I've rethought my position for our cars. I'm not saying they work or don't work. The dual length intake system (governed by the DISA) is a variable that complicates matters. I've not seen proven dyno tests for any CAI that works for our cars. They may or may not work. Most cars they can provide fairly large gains if they were developed using dyno testing (such as AEM does). A filter sock will do NOTHING for you. Don't waste your money. The AEM bypass valve, OTOH, is a MUST HAVE for a CAI. I have a few friends who turned their cars into 200hp shop vacs and hydrolocked their engines. I would not run a true CAI without one.

BTW, cold air has NOTHING to do with how these make power.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shanneba View Post
If those are the choice - regular Dinan CAI box style
Any sort of under-hood intake is worthless. Under-hood temps at any normal speed are essentially ambient. I know this because I've had 3 friends independently instrument their cars (2 different platforms) with thermocouples and logged the data. Two were engineers and one was a PhD chemist. These were all guys who knew how to do instrumented testing and ensure correct and repeatable results. All three acheived the same result - under-hood temps were withing 2 degrees of ambient. BOX style intakes are worthless. Again, cold air is not how a CAI makes power.

OP, if you really want to go this route, I'd take the Dinan long-tube any day of the week and twice on Sunday. The rest I wouldn't even consider wasting my money on.

As for liking the sound, as I wrote in another thread, think twice about this. Yesterday on my way home from work I shared the road with a Mustspank that was really loud. But the really funny thing (ROTFLMAO) is that it couldn't get out of its own way. For all the noise, it was going nowhere really. Have a little more self-respect. You don't want people thinking the same thing about you (I hope).

That said, I'd guess the l-t Dinan to have the most hope of making any noticeable, repeatable power.
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Old 03-17-2017, 10:19 PM   #4
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Thank you for the detailed reply! I will most likely get the Dinan long tube and for sure get the AEM valve.
Don't worry, my 330ci is absurdly quiet for some reason. I want the CAI just to liven things up a little bit and get some interior noise, I still have a fully stock exhaust so I doubt the sound difference will be too noticeable from the street.
Thanks!
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Old 03-17-2017, 10:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Banditos View Post
Yes yes yes, its another CAI thread!
Yes and this has been beaten to death years ago.
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Under-hood temps at any normal speed are essentially ambient.
I thought that was true, too. Stuck a thermometer under the hood of the E36, in free air, but about mid- bay close to the hood.
It was 75 out. Until the thermostat opened, the thermometer read 80, 85 on city streets.
Got up onto the highway, the thermostat opened, and the thermometer maxed out at 120, and stayed there all the way home.
So it was over 120F.
Shocked the **** right outa me...

Also, my car had the big long Dinan intake on it. Sucking hot air, dirt and water right off the road and into the perforated gauze filter.
Didn't seem like a good idea to me...

t
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TobyB View Post
I thought that was true, too. Stuck a thermometer under the hood of the E36, in free air, but about mid- bay close to the hood.
It was 75 out. Until the thermostat opened, the thermometer read 80, 85 on city streets.
Got up onto the highway, the thermostat opened, and the thermometer maxed out at 120, and stayed there all the way home.
So it was over 120F.
Shocked the **** right outa me...

Also, my car had the big long Dinan intake on it. Sucking hot air, dirt and water right off the road and into the perforated gauze filter.
Didn't seem like a good idea to me...

t
Thermometer? Where you logging data real-time?

I don't know what to say other than to repeat myself.

Quote:
Any sort of under-hood intake is worthless. Under-hood temps at any normal speed are essentially ambient. I know this because I've had 3 friends independently instrument their cars (2 different platforms) with thermocouples and logged the data. Two were engineers and one was a PhD chemist. These were all guys who knew how to do instrumented testing and ensure correct and repeatable results. All three acheived the same result - under-hood temps were withing 2 degrees of ambient.
All three were independent tests.
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Old 03-18-2017, 01:02 AM   #8
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I have the dinan box. Does nothing but a little extra noise and looks good inside the engine bay. But I was expecting that.

Last edited by generalvp; 03-18-2017 at 01:03 AM.
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Old 03-18-2017, 01:58 AM   #9
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Not logging, just watching a digital thermometer.
Honestly, I was expecting temps to drop to ambient on the highway,
and then I was going to flip a friend some #waffles# for putting junk on his Subaru.
Because I don't think the things make any difference, either, and the factory intake
starting at the standard 2002 is about as good as it gets, unless intake noise is important.

The sensor was on the intake side of the engine, zip- tied off by the wire to the accelerator
cable. So about mid- engine.

I'll put it back on this weekend, if I think to, because it was a couple years ago, when I was old and stupid.

t
who runs stock intakes
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Old 03-18-2017, 07:26 AM   #10
Geo31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TobyB View Post
Not logging, just watching a digital thermometer.
Honestly, I was expecting temps to drop to ambient on the highway,
and then I was going to flip a friend some #waffles# for putting junk on his Subaru.
Because I don't think the things make any difference, either, and the factory intake
starting at the standard 2002 is about as good as it gets, unless intake noise is important.

The sensor was on the intake side of the engine, zip- tied off by the wire to the accelerator
cable. So about mid- engine.

I'll put it back on this weekend, if I think to, because it was a couple years ago, when I was old and stupid.

t
who runs stock intakes
Wow, that's really interesting because it's the exact opposite of 3 other tests.

If you try it again, perhaps secure it away from the engine a bit. You have me thinking... It's possible (it was 15 years ago) that in the other tests they measured temps in the intake tract. I may have to go back to try to find the info, although it will have to wait until I have some time.

Always nice to have more data.
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Old 03-18-2017, 03:48 PM   #11
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Yeah, I was really surprised, too. I stuck the thermometer back in there today- it's tied to the cable for the cruise control,
directly behind the MAF (e36 318).
Today's ambient was 55, and it was raining significantly on the way to work.
Underhood temp at cruise with no- one in front of me was 115f, and with a car less
than 200 feet in front of me, it went over 120f consistently.

That's a delta of 60f. Which is insane. I would have guessed it'd drop to 65f at speed, or something like that...

I'll move the sensor around- where it is right now is not in a high airflow spot at all,
as the E36 seals the back edge of the hood. But it's still open at the front, and below.

t
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Old 03-18-2017, 08:04 PM   #12
Geo31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TobyB View Post
Yeah, I was really surprised, too. I stuck the thermometer back in there today- it's tied to the cable for the cruise control,
directly behind the MAF (e36 318).
Today's ambient was 55, and it was raining significantly on the way to work.
Underhood temp at cruise with no- one in front of me was 115f, and with a car less
than 200 feet in front of me, it went over 120f consistently.

That's a delta of 60f. Which is insane. I would have guessed it'd drop to 65f at speed, or something like that...

I'll move the sensor around- where it is right now is not in a high airflow spot at all,
as the E36 seals the back edge of the hood. But it's still open at the front, and below.

t
Wow, this is good stuff. I wonder if you can rig a way to install it in the intake tract w/o causing a vacuum leak?
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Old 03-18-2017, 09:16 PM   #13
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I monitor IATs real-time via my UltraGauge on every drive. Coming within 2 degrees of ambient is a rare sight. At fast highway speeds, it is often 4-5 degrees off ambient.

Personally compared temps between the stock airbox and an aFe intake that I made a few modifications to. This was awhile ago, but from what I recall the aFe was cooler at speed and hotter in traffic. From traffic to highway, it also cooled down faster than the stock intake.

I disagree with under-hood intakes being useless. Look at the current Dinan one, for instance:

-Maintains the same sealed factory design
-Much larger filter over stock
-Draws in extra air from the brake cooling duct

For $250, it is a nice enhancement to the factory design.

For some extra power though, long tubes are the way to go.
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Old 03-18-2017, 09:46 PM   #14
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reasonable info here. (in a previously beaten to death topic)
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Old 03-19-2017, 01:18 PM   #15
Banditos
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glad my question stirred up some interesting debate. I will refrain from posting a Strut Tower Brace thread.
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Old 03-19-2017, 06:19 PM   #16
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Quote:
I wonder if you can rig a way to install it in the intake tract w/o causing a vacuum leak?
I moved it out and forward this morning, but then took the E46 to work.

I'll look at what it sees- then throw it in with the air cleaner. Shouldn't leak enough in one commute to suck in great gobs of goo.
It's fun to watch.
Last night on the way home, ambient was 40- and underhood read a little under 100- less going downhill for a long stretch, 115 going up the steep,
slow hill one over from us, and 105 or so in the draft.

t
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Old 03-19-2017, 07:01 PM   #17
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Get a used intake on eBay. I got a $500 AFE intake for my 128i for $200 in great shape. It's not like an intake wears out.

It won't give you gains but the sound is great. That's why I bought it.
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