are you working on an e90 or e92? I installed mine on my old e92 multiple times going through the lid on the top. Never touched the air filter once in my e92 or e90. Yea your hand gets jacked up from jamming it into the housing buts its definitely doable.
//BMW Performance Exhaust//BMW Performance Spoiler//BMW Performance Grills//KW V3//Cobb Stage 1 Aggressive//Afe Stage 2 intake//AA Charge pipe//S2 Interior LED kit//HPB 3000K HID fog lights//M3 CDV//Llumar CTX 40//