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      01-10-2008, 05:45 PM   #1
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RPI FMIC vs AA FMIC

So I recently saw that AA was releasing their FMIC as a replacement for the stock unit. I was thinking which of these 2 do you guys think is the better purchase, taking everything into account. Volume/efficiency/HP/Cooling/Price/Quality

Everything being taken into account, which one performs best and is best for the price? They are both similar in price, the RPI goes for $1200 from what I've seen and the AA currently is selling for a 1195 special purchase.

Any thoughts/ideas??
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      01-10-2008, 05:47 PM   #2
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Depends on what you want, what are your priorities? Ease of install? ultimate efficiency?
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      01-10-2008, 05:51 PM   #3
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This could end up to be an interesting thread if people put forth the effort.
I tested out all of the tuners now somebody else needs to test out all of the FMICs.

It would be very interesting to see the differences bewtween the manufacturers' desings. It would be nice to see the comparisons in air intake temp, oil temp, water temp, pressure drop, etc.
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      01-10-2008, 05:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O-cha View Post
Depends on what you want, what are your priorities? Ease of install? ultimate efficiency?
install
i installed the RPi and it was not at all difficult and fit perfect, i read say 3 months back that he AA invloved cutting and other changes, so ease of install is most likely RPi.

performance
as i do not have a dyno i cannot help u here. anyone know btween RPi and AA which one performs better? and how does the "winner" stack up (performance wise) to the "newer kids on the block?"

thanks
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      01-10-2008, 05:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midlife View Post
install
i installed the RPi and it was not at all difficult and fit perfect, i read say 3 months back that he AA invloved cutting and other changes, so ease of install is most likely RPi.
That's why I asked him AA will be difficult but their design is much better.
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      01-10-2008, 06:11 PM   #6
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Just contacted a local shop local. They recommended AA over other venders in regard to software and exhaust. I personally am contemplating all AA including intercooler.
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      01-10-2008, 06:18 PM   #7
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why specifcally aa and rpi? arent there a few others out there to consider as well?
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      01-10-2008, 06:49 PM   #8
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yeah i saw a great write up in European Car Mag that talked about a whole slew of inter coolers sadly only one for the 335 but a damn good read!!! if i wasn't in the middle of a move for a couple months for work i would scan it for you guys!!! i am sure someone on here has one!!! still i wouldn't understand why AA would make it so difficult if it wasn't necessary!!! but when it is all said and done why worry about the install after driving it for 110000miles are you gonna be thinking man i should have never bought it b/c the install was so hard!!!

the quality and hp/tq gained is what matters to me!!! i would rather put the best in and have a more difficult install than put one in that produces the same gains but the quality is for shit!!! make sense?

i just want whatever is the best!!! is there such a thing in the fmic world..i don't know they all have pluses and minuses!!!

I just hope we can get some good concrete side by side info for most of the inter coolers!!! not just these 2.. what about spearco and others!! if these 2 are the absolute best then ok but i don't think they are!!! i hope one of the vendors can chime in with some concrete info!!!! though on these forums i think it is very difficult to find info like that!!! you gotta fish through all the BS you know?

this really has awesome potential but not just these 2 i want more info from them all!! just like everyone!!!
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      01-10-2008, 06:54 PM   #9
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!!!!!!
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      01-10-2008, 07:15 PM   #10
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Why not include the Helix FMIC in the fray? we picked up a solid 22whp and 20+whp through alot of the power range.
[IMG][/IMG]
-Helix FMIC drastically drops AIT over stock and goes along way to prevent the high AIT overboost/DTC.

This intercooler is thicker like the RPI and taller like the AA. here are some things to note about the heilx FMIC with polished cast high flow end tanks and 56% larger ambient face and core volume than stock.
[IMG][/IMG]
[IMG][/IMG]
-Removes restrictive factory charge piping that shrinks down to less than 2 inches in diameter.
[IMG][/IMG]
-installs with no cutting of permanent modification, and also installs WITHOUT bumper removal, simply remove the front belly pan.
[IMG][/IMG]

-The Helix FMIC is the most affordable at $969

Last edited by TurboBullett@Ambient Thermal Management; 01-10-2008 at 08:16 PM.
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      01-10-2008, 07:40 PM   #11
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+10 for the Helix, I actually think it is the best designed on out there...
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      01-10-2008, 07:42 PM   #12
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is helix ic available yet?
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      01-10-2008, 07:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ontopofm View Post
is helix ic available yet?
Currently in production.
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      01-10-2008, 07:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TTurboBullett View Post
Why not include the Helix FMIC in the fray? we picked up a solid 22whp and 20+whp through alot of the power range.

when i said the "new kids on the block", i was specifically referring to Helix and any other new IC brands...
maybe i could have been more specific LOL.

btw, even though i have the RPi IC, yours looks very tempting.
it seems that your gains are similar to the RPi website dyno gains.
price is very good also....besides that, i am sure anyone who gets your tune would be hard pressed not to get your IC
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      01-10-2008, 07:58 PM   #15
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any complete comparison of ICs would have to include weight, with the stock IC winning in this one category only
i expect we will find certain ic designs will prove to be best at different things, for example sustained high speed racing applications, max boost applications, autocrossing or everyday street use.
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      01-10-2008, 08:00 PM   #16
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The thing I worry aobut with the IC being taller is the water temps.
This is why I want to see a comparison of the water temps.
Especially with the Helix one. Taller and thicker? Doesn't leave much room for the radiator.
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      01-10-2008, 08:07 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. 5 View Post
The thing I worry aobut with the IC being taller is the water temps.
This is why I want to see a comparison of the water temps.
Especially with the Helix one. Taller and thicker? Doesn't leave much room for the radiator.
the thick portion doesn't cover any of the radiator its actually below it. the thinner portion of the FMIC covers about 3 inches of the radiator.
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      01-10-2008, 08:09 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XS4 View Post
any complete comparison of ICs would have to include weight, with the stock IC winning in this one category only
i expect we will find certain ic designs will prove to be best at different things, for example sustained high speed racing applications, max boost applications, autocrossing or everyday street use.
weight in a fmic can be a plus as the intercooler acts as a heat sink, the heavier it is the longer it takes to heatsoak. whats awesome about the 335i is that the intercooler seals to the radiator shroud so it has the fan to cool it off at idle and low speed situations.
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      01-10-2008, 08:10 PM   #19
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i believe the rpi intercooler claimed a 26whp gain...and that attache dyno claims 22whp....though at the top of the dynojet chart it states :"dyno attache helix FMIC 93 octane vs race gas"
doesnt that mean its comparing 93 octane vs race gas.(100 octane?)

i was gonna go with rpi..but i think ill wait for helix's to make my decision. AA was tempting...but the install bothered me...also im not sure what they claim their gains are. I really thought intercoolers caused little hp gaains but were meant for controlling temps to not lose any power from heat. Even though intercoolers do not help the heat soak i dunno inderstand how their hp gains are so large.
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      01-10-2008, 08:10 PM   #20
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Hello Board,

As far as the cutting that is required it is a bit misleading and I apologize for that. There is a plastic shroud that has to be clipped to make room for the intercooler. The intercooler install is completely reversible and we have done it on a couple cars when we were testing for performance and for the fit.

I am going to work on getting you some hard data on as far as the water temps are concerned but the car was recently track tested by Roundel magazine and he stated the car ran cooler all around in both stock and "tuned" mode when compared to a factory 335.
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      01-10-2008, 08:14 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supramano View Post
i believe the rpi intercooler claimed a 26whp gain...and that attache dyno claims 22whp....though at the top of the dynojet chart it states :"dyno attache helix FMIC 93 octane vs race gas"
doesnt that mean its comparing 93 octane vs race gas.(100 octane?)

i was gonna go with rpi..but i think ill wait for helix's to make my decision. AA was tempting...but the install bothered me...also im not sure what they claim their gains are. I really thought intercoolers caused little hp gaains but were meant for controlling temps to not lose any power from heat. Even though intercoolers do not help the heat soak i dunno inderstand how their hp gains are so large.

OOPS sorry I linked the wrong pic I'll update that

[IMG][/IMG]

as far as your questions regarding power production there are numerous factors that affect this:
-end tank design, smoother air movement = more power
-inlet and outlet design and size, removing restrictions = more power
-internal fin count(removing flow restriction while still allowing for temp drop)
-intercooler mass, the heat sinkability affects heat soak and recovery(which can be manipulated by external fin count)
-Temp drops, lower AIT = better timing and denser air charge = more power

as you can see intercooler design is not simply slap things together and pray, there is a science behind it
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      01-10-2008, 08:21 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supramano View Post
i believe the rpi intercooler claimed a 26whp gain...and that attache dyno claims 22whp....though at the top of the dynojet chart it states :"dyno attache helix FMIC 93 octane vs race gas"
doesnt that mean its comparing 93 octane vs race gas.(100 octane?)

i was gonna go with rpi..but i think ill wait for helix's to make my decision. AA was tempting...but the install bothered me...also im not sure what they claim their gains are. I really thought intercoolers caused little hp gaains but were meant for controlling temps to not lose any power from heat. Even though intercoolers do not help the heat soak i dunno inderstand how their hp gains are so large.
Here are the results from our testing. I agree with you as well, we did not design the intercooler for HP gains however we did end up gaining power.

AA Intercooler Equipped Tests:

Stock Intake Air Temp Tests:

These are three back to back runs on our 335 with the stock intercooler.



AA Intercooler Equipped Tests:

These are three back to back runs on our 335 with Active Autowerke Intercooler Kit installed.



Comparison: Two Hottest Runs ( Active Autowerke Intercooler vs Stock )

These are the results from our hottest run with the stock intercooler and with our Active Autowerke Intercooler.

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