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      10-11-2011, 05:31 PM   #1
Bubba Ho-Tep
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Drives: 2011 E92 335i xDrive
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: South Jersey

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AFE N55 Intake Review

Got my AFE intake yesterday from **********s (thank you Elliott). Went to do the install this morning and wanted to post my thoughts.

The instructions were well documented and clear. In fact the entire install up until the last two steps was very easy (even for a novice like myself). The very last steps you have to install the gasket along the top of the intake box. Well the gasket wouldn't bend sharp enough to go around the square corners of the box. I called AFE tech support and they said the gasket should have been pre- cut- which it wasn't. They suggested getting tin snips and making my own cuts to allow it to hug the corners better.

So...I decided to carry on with the install and simply put the gasket on the best I could for now and have them send me a pre-cut one as a supplement (I'm not going out and buying tin snips and attempting to make the correct cuts for fitment on my own).

PS Looking forward to having the N55 stage 2 & AR cattless DP installed this week in Philly by VAC Motorsports!

On the very last step (installing the intake pip) I had major alignment issues. When I would loosely attach the right side then pull the right side down to align it with the hole it needs to be mounted to it would torque it and pop off. No matter what angle I tried it did it every time. I even tried to tighten the collar then gently try to align the hold on the right and it STILL popped out.

Perplexed as to how to address this apparent fitment issue I called AFE back and I got a secretary who explained they are ALL in a meeting. So I had her transfer me to a tech's voice-mail where I proceeded to leave a message explaining my issue and asked them to call me back. Well....they never called me back. A BIG thumbs down for AFE tech support.

I decided to try another method and loosened the bolt on the stock portion of the intake pipe on the left side. This ended up giving me enough wiggle room to finally get it aligned.

Ok- so I fire her up and drive it gently for about 3 miles. i immediately could hear the whoosh noise after letting up on throttle. Nice but very subtle not loud at all. Once it warmed up a bit I got on the highway and did a couple of mild low-speed (under 70) pulls. To my butt dyno it doesn't feel a lick different. Granted I'm not the type to fall for the placebo effect.

From stoplights (I'm an xDrive)- the car did feel to have a hair more midrange power. Though even this I question. It's really tough to notice- if it is making power it's certainly not a lot and seemingly limited to the lower end of the power-band. I don't know if I should have removed the negative terminal on the battery or not. I opened up the compartment in my trunk and it looked like a rats nest of thick wires looping around the battery. I didn't want to touch it. Additionally since I had no codes on startup I didn't bother.

The product has a decent fit-n-finish, easy directions, and close to oem looks (thus the reason I opted for the AFE over the Injen). However I am very disappointed with customer support and the stock fitment (at least in my personal experience). I don't think I should have had to take extra steps to get the fitment correct, especially on a bone stock 1 month old 2011 model. If there were known issues/variables it should have been documented in the directions. Additionally as mentioned before the gasket wasn't pre-cut- so...if I decide to keep it I'll definitely have them send me a new one that is set up with the cuts to the gasket in the right spots.

Overall I'm disappointed with the product. If this was a basic $200 intake system then fine but this was in the upwards of $500.

PS Looking forward to having my N55 stage 2 and AR cattless DP installed this week at VAC Motorsports in Philly! I'll let you guys know how my experience is.