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Performance Intake

Discussion in 'E30 (1984-1993)' started by Elkoholic, Jan 1, 2009.

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    Elkoholic

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    Alright, let's have a show of hands...how many of you have performance intake upgrades?

    2009 is here (Happy New Year, btw!!! :)) and I've resolved, among other things, to really get moving with my baby project car. This is being initiated tomorrow, as soon as I get my new clutch kit. I'm really interested in adding a new cold air intake, to help it breathe better, but I was wondering if it's really worth spending up to or even over $200 on something like that for the performance it would return. I've been looking around at BavAuto, K&N, etc., and they're all very enticing. Or could I get away with just having a performance air filter and have noticeable results? :confused:

    I also saw this heat shield online--www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7f7htx9Kmw--the video's the cheesiest you'll ever see, but I like the footage of the car at the end...kinda want mine to do that sort of stuff :D This makes it seem worth it to get a cold air intake + heat shield combo...ugh $$$ :eek:
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    az3579

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    I've got a K&N filter on mine (cone) and it does nothing, other than give it a really cool "woooaap" sound at 2.5k. The sound is the only reason I keep it on, honestly.
    • Member

    Elkoholic

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    Now, did that alter any electronics, i.e. mass airflow sensor that's attached to the factory airbox?
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    mooseheadm5

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    I have never seen one that alters the intake other than the split second MAF conversion that is not worth the money. Get a chip and don't waste your money.
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    az3579

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    Nope. My brother did this job for me while I was away, but all he did was take out the factory airbox and put in a cone filter. Nothing else changed, no electronics or other parts had to be swapped in/out.


    I have to agree with Paul; get a chip, which you'll definitely notice, as opposed to a useless air intake, unless you plan on going all out, but that is costly for not much gain.

    By all out, I mean heat shield and a duct to draw cool air to your air filter. All of that is quite costly.
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    Elkoholic

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    Haha, okay, so I guess I'd better reallocate my funds to more worthwhile causes, like that free-flow exhaust, huh? ;)
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    mooseheadm5

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    I've got a real boomer you can have cheap. You'll hate me for it, though.
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    CRKrieger

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    No. The 'bottleneck' in a BMW engine's flow isn't intake and it isn't exhaust. It's valve and port design. So if you want to spend ~$5K or so actually making a difference ...

    Buy the chip. After that, forget messing with the driveline. Maybe get yourself a driver school or three. Oh, wait. You've got a cabrio. Well, maybe buy that roll cage so you can take a driver school or three ...

    missmelyssa guest

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    more power

    So after going to Bimmerfest my car could not keep up with the rest of them. Mind you, there were a bunch of M3's and M5's, etc. Heck the 2002's zipped passed me.

    Now I'm checking out the threads to see what I can mod (simply) on my ride.
    So far, I'll be lowering it some and upgrading the suspension.

    Chris, did you ever get the chip?

    z31maniac guest

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    I would say don't even waste your money on a chip, you'll get a touch of midrange and throttle response, but even the MarkD chip which is generally regarded as the best E30 chip available, made a paltry 1.4 HP over stock on a recent dyno test.

    The JimC chip actually lowered peak HP.

    Just save up for 24v.
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    MGarrison

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    Without being able to comment on whether driveability is better for for E30's w/ motronic versions later than what's on my '87 'is, I found driveability to be substantially improved when I added a chip (in my case, Conforti) - w/ the stock chip, w/ the air conditioning on, trying to putter along in 1st gear in stop-n-go traffic, the engine would buck, and make the car quite difficult to drive in those conditions. That problem disappeared due to the chip. The soft rev limiter of the Conforti chip is a substantial improvement over the stock rev limiter. On a stock motor you probably don't gain anything particularly power-wise from a chip's higher rev-limit, but it can spare you a shift in an auto-x or on the track, if you don't mind pushing the engine into near 7k rpm territory. So, you may find you have other considerations that make the option of a chip appealing besides a paper hp. gain.

    Before you start throwing money into modifications _hoping_ they'll accomplish what you want, make sure everything's solid to start with - if you're losing power because compression is down in a cylinder or two but you don't know it, throwing in a chip or headers or whatever won't compensate for a base-level problem. No need to over-worry, but it's worth considering before launching down the power-mods path. Keep in mind that keeping-up-with-the-joneses (or in this case M3's & M5's) probably would take a lot of money and modifications to get comparable hp/weight ratios as those types of highly tuned bimmers.

    missmelyssa guest

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    Seems like everyone has a different experience with chips.

    Yes, I figured I'd take it to a shop and have those enthusiasts take a look at it to see if anything's causing an issue. It could be that the engine is just tired. But I love the little ride, so I'll probably just stick to making it pretty first.

    Actually eyeing this e46 M3 vert.
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    Elkoholic

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    YUMMSKII!!! :D

    missmelyssa guest

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    2 BMWs

    Well I figure there's no harm in owning 2 BMWs is there?
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    CRKrieger

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    Those 2002s didn't zip past you because they're better or faster cars. They did it because they're faster drivers. As an example, my ratty old stock 535is was the second fastest 5 Series at the Oktoberfest autocross, beaten only by Roy Wicklund's nasty fast E28 M5. Roy and I outran all the other newer, theoretically faster cars, including a couple of E34 M5s, simply because we can drive better.

    IIRC, you're new to this stuff. Have you taken any of our club driver schools? If not, even a car control school that many chapters offer will be a real revelation (and I know of no chapters that will allow you to drive your droptop in a high speed school). Don't go modifying the car until you can safely and repeatably slightly exceed its performance limits with your driving. When that occurs, you'll know what it is you need to change - and why.

    missmelyssa guest

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    True.
    I was going to ask Brian A since he does autox with his vert (same chapter).
    And I believe they have a car clinic coming up too.

    Everything is stock on my car, and I don't believe any of the suspension has been replaced.
    I'd need to have that checked out first before attempting to put anymore pressure on them.
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    granthr

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    2!! :eek: I just brought a fourth into the fold! :D Still the hack mechanic has me beat with 5 BMWs and 10 cars total!! There is no such thing as too many, right doc? ;)
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    Brian A

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    ... actually, I bought a 318i sedan this winter so retired the convertible from autocross duty. Having said that, the convertible was a really fun autocross car.

    Unless something is really shaky, just come out. Scott Miller wrote that article in the "Bombe" this month on how to check over your car. That's all you need to do. I bet you'd have NO problems autocrossing your convertible as-is. Besides, it's not really that stressful and you can control that anyway by deciding how hard you drive.

    There is an autocross this Sunday. Its a great technical course.(http://www.justracing.com/ggc_bmw_cca/viewtopic.php?t=835). If you want to attend, you might email Matt or Kris to see if there are openings. A week or go or so they said that they said they were going to have to draw from the waiting list. If not, the next one is June 14. The volunteers of the Golden Gate Chapter are amazing people.

    The good news about AX is that there is no prior experience necessary; beginners look just like the experts, just a little slower. Its not like you look like you don't know what you are doing or anything. There are instructors very willing to hop in the passenger seat to give you tips if you want that. You can also often hitchhike a ride in other people's cars to learn the course and the techniques.

    Two driver cars are allowed, so both you and hubbie could come out and both run your convertible.

    After the official runs, there are usually "fun runs" where some people switch cars. You could ask one of the hotshots to drive your car and make suggestions about its handling balance. You'd be welcome to take my 318i out for a fun run or two.

    Car control clinics are great. Next one is May 31 (http://www.ggcbmwcca.org/?page=calendar&id=413).

    vvurdsmyth guest

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    CRKrieger, I can imagin what, but specifically, what is wrong w/ the port design and what measures might be take to improve the ports...?

    vvurdsmyth guest

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    MGarrison, what did the Conforti chip cost you...?

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