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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Powertrain and Drivetrain Discussions > N54 Turbo Engine / Drivetrain / Exhaust Modifications - 335i > aFe N54 Stage 2 Sealed CAI # 54-82002 - Review



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      04-11-2012, 06:49 PM   #1
BuraQ
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aFe N54 Stage 2 Sealed CAI # 54-82002 - Review

Part 1

This post will serve as my journal and review of the aFe N54 Stage 2 SI or Sealed Intakepart # 54-82002. You might want to subscribe to this post so in order to keep you updated with the progression on this intake. There will be many parts to this review.

Today, 04/11/2012, I received my aFe Stage 2 SI via UPS. I saw this huge box and was almost afraid to left it cause I thought it was going to have some weight to it. I was suprise the box was light, too light, and I wondering if UPS jacked me for my intake



Well it seems UPS didnt jack me, everything was in the box as expected. One of my cats weight mroe than this thing...hehe



The box is solid when everything is assembled. The thickness of the structure is acceptable, I think even better than the stock structure.



As I begin to take this intake apart, i notice something. ITS NOT TRUELY SEALED ! There is no sealing around the external parts that can be seperated:



This intake serves more as an "enclosure" rather than it being "sealed" intake. Now the only reason I can see it was designed like this is to allow some sort of "passive" airflow from the stock snorkel.

For those of us with tuned cars this is not good, as there will be significant preasure loss from the stock snorkel, mixed with heat from the engine bay that will be "sucked" into these unsealed slots.

However, there is an easy fix for this. Just get some sealing tape and problem resolved and I will have a true "SEALED" intake like the Dinan and Mr 5 setup up. In part two of my review I will show the parts that can be easily sealed up with sealing tape and make it look proffessional.

If the design intent was to allow some sort of passive air flow then the option to remove the secondary inlet plug would have been the solution instead:



This secondary inlet leaves alot of potential for this intake if harnest correctly, but first, properly sealing the box is a MUST before installing this intake in a tunned car running significantly more boost over stock.

This filter and intake inlet are firm and sturdy "together". There is a metal brace in the filter to prevent the filter from collapsing from high PSI. The open mouth of the inlet that connects to the turbo inlets adds support to the filter also.



After taking eveything apart the box itself stood sturdy by itself. the stock box is thinner and harder, the aFe box is thicker with some flex to it making it hard to break. You can run a truck over this box and it will not break. If you do that with a stock box it will break into pieces.



The glossy internal is a coating to keep heat out and easy transistion of air and cleaning. the inlet for the turbo inlets also has this coating and as you can see there is nothing but smooth curves in the inlet



This concludes my Part 1 review of the aFe Stage 2 intake for the N54 motor. Next I will be a dyno run with stock intake, then the installation of the aFe intake after I have sealed it up. I will post pics of all of this or perhaps a video of the sealing. So back into the box it goes until this friday



Click HERE to go to Part 2
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Last edited by BuraQ; 04-21-2012 at 01:01 PM.
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      04-11-2012, 07:22 PM   #2
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Thx for putting up this review.

I was looking at this intake and couldn't find any meaningful user feedback.

Good work!
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      04-11-2012, 08:12 PM   #3
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suscribed.
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      04-11-2012, 09:03 PM   #4
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Ive been getting a lot of questions about this intake and looking forward to more feedback.
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      04-11-2012, 09:59 PM   #5
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Thanks for detailed initial review. Looking forward to the results...
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      04-11-2012, 10:07 PM   #6
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In for install and dyno information. Thanks for the detailed start!
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      04-12-2012, 08:29 AM   #7
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Thanks for the review I am interested. But they shouldn't be calling it a SEALED intake if it is not properly sealed....just allows hot air in again.
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      04-12-2012, 10:50 AM   #8
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Slowly converting you away from Dinan products

I'm just curious, when you taped it to make it "sealed", how does this allow for any more airflow than the stock box with a drop-in? It's nice looking, just don't see it performaning any better than stock until I see some independent dynos.
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      04-12-2012, 11:08 AM   #9
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I am not going to say that this system is an advantage but, even if it was, it would not likely show up on a dyno. If he sealed the box to take advantage of the "ram air" effect of the stock snorkel, that would only appear at speed, where you could have ram air. Putting a fan in front of the car will not provide enough pressure to make a difference.
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      04-12-2012, 11:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Velocity26 View Post
If he sealed the box to take advantage of the "ram air" effect of the stock snorkel, that would only appear at speed, where you could have ram air.
I also wonder if the box comes without a full seal due to the ram air effect. If ram pressure exceeds what the engine can take in, the gaps we see could be there to allow the pressure to dissipate. It will be interesting to see if the seal that has been added stays intact after a high speed test run in Mexico.
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      04-12-2012, 11:19 AM   #11
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So glad you are doing this! Thanks!

Also, when you dyno, you should do stock vs your new intake, and then vs your new intake with the "cowl induction" piece off and tubing attached.
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      04-12-2012, 11:22 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whoosh View Post
I also wonder if the box comes without a full seal due to the ram air effect. If ram pressure exceeds what the engine can take in, the gaps we see could be there to allow the pressure to dissipate. It will be interesting to see if the seal that has been added stays intact after a high speed test run in Mexico.
LOL. You are NOT going to make enough pressure from the stock intake scoops even at 200mph to over-pressurize the turbo inlets under load. If anything you will never get above 0 psi in the intake system under load.

0 PSI right in front of the compressor wheel would be ideal, but unrealistic.
Those blades pull in a LOT of air to make even 16PSI. You're going to have vacuum through the whole inlet system.

It's not even a "Ram Air" effect. More of just thermal efficiency approach by drawing ambient air that is generally quite a bit lower in temperature than engine bay air. This is effective due to the greater amount of oxygen (air density) per unit of cooler air vs warmer.

Ram Air would be drawing from a high pressure area on a naturally aspirated car to try and keep the intake manifold somewhat pressurized under load vs no ram air. This is why you see the "backwards" cowl induction scoops on NA drag cars. There is high pressure on the face of the windshield at speed.

You want coolest air draw and least amount of pressure drop. It's that simple.

Last edited by Fundahl; 04-12-2012 at 11:29 AM.
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      04-12-2012, 01:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Syndicategt View Post
Slowly converting you away from Dinan products

I'm just curious, when you taped it to make it "sealed", how does this allow for any more airflow than the stock box with a drop-in? It's nice looking, just don't see it performaning any better than stock until I see some independent dynos.
Converted from Dinan tune yes, Dinan mods still in my blood. Infact the Dinan Mods are doing very well at this level.

I havent taped anything yet for sealing. I need a seal type gasket for the cover and the filter cup. WIll ahve to do some searching at home depot if I can get a roll of thick soft material that I can cut out and use for gasket like seal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by whoosh View Post
I also wonder if the box comes without a full seal due to the ram air effect. If ram pressure exceeds what the engine can take in, the gaps we see could be there to allow the pressure to dissipate. It will be interesting to see if the seal that has been added stays intact after a high speed test run in Mexico.
Actually the secondary ram inlet on the side will act as a release

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fundahl View Post
So glad you are doing this! Thanks!

Also, when you dyno, you should do stock vs your new intake, and then vs your new intake with the "cowl induction" piece off and tubing attached.
Sounds like a plan....
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      04-12-2012, 10:49 PM   #14
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Part 2

Part 2

I have sealed up the intake which turned out really good. I used a high resistant thermal insulation rubber tape and a caulk gun.The insulation tape is used in plumbing to wrap heated pipes.

These are the things I bought at Home Depot, except for the pot pie - my dinner



Turned out all I needed was the caulk gun, the insulation rubber tape, and of course my pot pie to eat.



I used the caulk gun on the turbo external part of the inlet that is inserted into the air box. After it has hardened I will cut the residue.



Next I started to seal up the air box cover with the insulation tape and the top part of the box



All is ready tomorrow for installing right after I dyno with the stock intake. After installing I will be heading out the Palm Beach International Race Way for some test runs and for the DME to adapt.

Click HERE to go to part 3
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Last edited by BuraQ; 04-21-2012 at 01:00 PM.
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      04-13-2012, 03:56 AM   #15
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I've got this same intake but never thought to seal everything up so meticulously, sounds like a great project for this weekend!
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      04-13-2012, 05:17 AM   #16
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I can't see any advantages with this intake over the stock intake with a drop in filter.
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      04-13-2012, 06:28 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BT#2 View Post
I can't see any advantages with this intake over the stock intake with a drop in filter.
i agree, except for looks it is an identical product... in reality it is the crazy $900 AFE box that they probably over produced, so they sealed the second inlet port, put a new lid on it and are now selling for half the price...great trickery and marketing
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      04-13-2012, 04:48 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BT#2 View Post
I can't see any advantages with this intake over the stock intake with a drop in filter.
Quote:
Originally Posted by imageautodetail View Post
i agree, except for looks it is an identical product... in reality it is the crazy $900 AFE box that they probably over produced, so they sealed the second inlet port, put a new lid on it and are now selling for half the price...great trickery and marketing
I am going to pick on you two on this and those who agree with your opinions. Your statement express how little you know about the stock intake vs the aFe Stage 2 SI for the N54.

BTW the aFe version intake I am testing DOES NOT cost $900. This version intake is the one that uses the STOCK snorkel. The cost on this intake is between $400-$500 and perhaps less than $400

Even the stage 2 SI Pro that you are referencing doesnt cost $900. You can get it for $700-$800 and perhaps less than $700

All off you should know because you are E90post.com members you get special pricing way below that marketing price.

The stock box intake air travel goes IN > UP > DOWN . It has to bank "SHARP" corners with through a SMALL space

The aFe intake air travel goesn IN > DOWN. The is not sharp bank cornering of the air. The air turning is ample wide with a rounded down "Y" spliters into the turbo inlets.

Here is a tech sheet on the airflow. I have sealed the box so there should be less restriction on the stock snorkel.
Attached Images
 
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      04-13-2012, 04:52 PM   #19
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Just placed order with Jeff from TGS

I'll be testing it against my current BMS DCI.
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      04-13-2012, 04:58 PM   #20
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Glad to hear that your happy with the aFe stage 2 Si (sealed intake) system. We're also running this on our project 135i and have nothing but great things to say about it!
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      04-13-2012, 05:27 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuraQ View Post
I am going to pick on you two on this and those who agree with your opinions. Your statement express how little you know about the stock intake vs the aFe Stage 2 SI for the N54.

BTW the aFe version intake I am testing DOES NOT cost $900. This version intake is the one that uses the STOCK snorkel. The cost on this intake is between $400-$500
lol.. Just get a drop in filter and a cheap Chinese intercooler for the same price as your magic aFe Stage 2 SI-what-ever-intake, and then we can talk the best-performance-for-the-money-talk.
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      04-13-2012, 07:28 PM   #22
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Where do you get the a and b part on the diagram??

Ah it only shows up if you choose 335i and not 135i
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