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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Powertrain and Drivetrain Discussions > N55 Turbo Engine Tuning and Exhaust Modifications - 335i Tuning > AFE N55 Intake Review



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      10-11-2011, 05:31 PM   #1
Bubba Ho-Tep
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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.
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      10-11-2011, 06:25 PM   #2
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Good review! Reason why i have not bougth one yet
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      10-11-2011, 06:51 PM   #3
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Pics!

When are you headed down to VAC? I'm going tomorrow morning myself.
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      10-11-2011, 07:49 PM   #4
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Vac looks like the place to go, would love to read a review bout them.
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      10-12-2011, 12:44 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turugara View Post
Pics!

When are you headed down to VAC? I'm going tomorrow morning myself.
Thursday morning for me. What are you having done? Apparently this will be their first N55 stage 2 install. Hopefully it goes smoothly.
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      10-12-2011, 12:45 AM   #6
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Vac looks like the place to go, would love to read a review bout them.
No problem will do!
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      10-12-2011, 01:12 AM   #7
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WoW! This sucks! But at the same time it's good.

I have been having so many second thoughts about getting the AFE Intake....

I wanted to get the AFE over Injen since AFE looked more like stock, and it seemed like the one that would get more cold air VS Injen.

But after reading this, I don't know which problems are better. Dealing with installation issues with AFE, or fitment issues with Injen. Cuz everyone seems to complain about the Injen hitting their hood.

This Sucks!

But thank you for your Review. At least now I know what I will be getting into....
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      10-12-2011, 07:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubba Ho-Tep View Post
Thursday morning for me. What are you having done? Apparently this will be their first N55 stage 2 install. Hopefully it goes smoothly.
I can't imagine it not going smoothly. They build entire engines for breakfast.

I'm getting an intercooler fitted and a tech inspection.
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      10-12-2011, 09:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SRT14PimPin07 View Post
WoW! This sucks! But at the same time it's good.

I have been having so many second thoughts about getting the AFE Intake....

I wanted to get the AFE over Injen since AFE looked more like stock, and it seemed like the one that would get more cold air VS Injen.

But after reading this, I don't know which problems are better. Dealing with installation issues with AFE, or fitment issues with Injen. Cuz everyone seems to complain about the Injen hitting their hood.

This Sucks!

But thank you for your Review. At least now I know what I will be getting into....

Not a problem that's what this community is for. Again- this was my experience with the fitment, I may have had a wacky copy of the intake system, who knows. I know it DOES look different than in the pics on **********s website. It has a depression and hole in the upper intake pipe maybe 2" behind the cone filter end. That's where you have to bolt it down. Most of the photos on line of the system don't have this hole. It may be necessary and an update to the system somehow but not only did it force the location of the upper pipe to a very strict area- it creates an obstruction in the piping in general (considering the plastic where the bolt threads through goes right through it from the top of the intake pipe to the bottom.
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      10-12-2011, 09:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turugara View Post
I can't imagine it not going smoothly. They build entire engines for breakfast.

I'm getting an intercooler fitted and a tech inspection.
Understood. It's just that the N55 stage 2 isn't only little molex connectors- there are several bare wires that have to be connected...that's the part that scared me off.

I'd like to get an intercooler as well- however I'm worried it's even worse of a bang-for-buck mod than the intake. 1k is steep for what is essentially a radiator.
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      10-12-2011, 10:37 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubba Ho-Tep View Post
Understood. It's just that the N55 stage 2 isn't only little molex connectors- there are several bare wires that have to be connected...that's the part that scared me off.

I'd like to get an intercooler as well- however I'm worried it's even worse of a bang-for-buck mod than the intake. 1k is steep for what is essentially a radiator.
Depends on what you do with it. If your just driving it on the street from point A to point B, not much use in an intercooler. If your on a track, huge benefits in being able to make consistent power throughout the session and day.
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      10-12-2011, 11:42 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turugara View Post
Depends on what you do with it. If your just driving it on the street from point A to point B, not much use in an intercooler. If your on a track, huge benefits in being able to make consistent power throughout the session and day.
Gotcha, or back to back hot laps at the 1/4 mile track.
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      10-12-2011, 03:08 PM   #13
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Nice detailed review! If you get a chance post up some pics. I'd like to see it
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      10-13-2011, 07:50 PM   #14
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Nice detailed review! If you get a chance post up some pics. I'd like to see it
Will do. Btw, just got my AR cattless DP and N55 stage 2 installed today at VAC Motorsports in Philly.
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      10-13-2011, 08:31 PM   #15
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Will do. Btw, just got my AR cattless DP and N55 stage 2 installed today at VAC Motorsports in Philly.
Bro... that is awesome!!! How does it feel? It made all the difference in the world for me. You got to be SO stoked
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