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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 11-01-2011, 05:50 PM   #1
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Which aFe intake is better, Stage 1 or Stage 2?

Recently noticed that aFe now offers two intakes for the E46 330, the traditional "Magnum Force" Stage 1, and the newer Stage 2. Does anyone know which is better?

Stage I, List price $395:
Uses metal velocity stack to direct airflow to MAF
Top seals with screwed on aluminum cover.
Cone filter appears to have open end.
Separate models for 325/328 and 330 (3.0" vs. 3.5" MAF coupling)
aFe claims up to +20HP

Stage II, List price about $300:
Uses plastic elbow tube to direct airflow to MAF
No cover; top seals against hood with rubber seal
Cone filter appears to have closed end
One model for all E46 non-M (includes 3.5 to 3.0" adapter)
aFe claims up to +6HP

Has anyone here tried the Stage II? Does anyone know if the Stage I uses a larger cone filter that might offer more airflow?

Stage I listing and photo at Mod Bargains

Stage II listing and photo at TMS site:
Lowering my car's resale value one track day at a time...
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:41 PM   #2
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It depends what your definition of "better" is. If you are looking for performance, the stage I system is the way to go. If you are looking for an affordable solution that still free's up some performance, the stage II would be the way to go. I would personally recommend getting the stage I. It is only a bit more, but you get much more performance. You can choose either the Dry or Oiled filter. I suggest getting the Dry, unless you don't mind re-oiling the filter after cleaning. We sell both stages. Let me know if you have any questions.
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Old 11-01-2011, 11:42 PM   #3
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Neither. Get a better intake.
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Old 11-02-2011, 01:08 AM   #4
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JFYI, NO intake makes 20+ HP on a M54 N/A motor....NEVER.

3-5 WHP, sure.

With all the money your gonna save, I drink Coors Lt.

Good luck.

(DynoDynamics https:vimeo.com/8486878 Dyno Video)
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Nitrous is a little trickier than boost, but it's not the spray that kills motors, it's STUPIDITY!!
I Know How To Fix The Rear "Bouncing" Problem On Your Cheap Coilovers Like: Jom RL FK SE & RK.
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Old 11-03-2011, 11:21 AM   #5
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Thanks, everyone. I did see Rob recommending that Cosmo racing intake earlier and have thought about it, though I'm not eager to relocate my Xenon transformers. I knew no intake is going to provide +20 HP, but was wondering if the higher claim for the Stage I meant that it made more power, for example would the aFe Stage 2 give me +6HP and the Stage 1 would give me +8HP. If that is the case, is it because the Stage 1 has a bigger filter, velocity stack, or better hot air exclusion?

Being in California, I also noticed the Stage 1, which has been around a long time, has the CARB # while the Stage 2 does not (at least not yet).
Lowering my car's resale value one track day at a time...
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Old 12-20-2011, 09:16 AM   #6
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what intake do you suggest for a E46 M3?
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afe, cone filter, intake

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