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      06-16-2009, 05:18 PM   #1
645Nm
only in it for the torque - awuleth'umshini wami
 
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Thumbs up Review: Rpi Intercooler & Install Pics

Who do I have to thank?
**********s - for allowing me to jump the queue and for delivering the RPI intercooler in record breaking time as I was preparing for a special car event. This was an item I ordered and wanted immediately.

The RPI intercooler looks stunning on its own and in the car but I had to get rid of the RPI logo, not because I have anything against the company logo, I wanted the IC to appear stock once installed. With aluminium spray with a high temp tolerance, I erased the logo. Frankly, once the RPI intercooler is installed and the bumper back on, the Intercooler is still VERY noticeable behind the mesh compared to stock.

It took us exactly 1 hour and 30 odd minutes to install the RPI intercooler. The install process was really easy for me as a novice. The only difficult part was lifting the car using the jacks and bricks that were lying around – if you are not the DIY type - do not try this at home – safety first!!
Removing the covers and bumper was a breeze – I read on the forum some people installed the RPI Intercooler without removing the front bumper. I think it can be done; but it is so much easier if you can see what you are doing by removing the bumper (and take pictures)

Basic tools are needed which you can pick up at your local hardware store such as basic metric sockets, screwdrivers, torx bit, ratchet handle and maybe an extension.

Removing the stock IC after unclipping it from its connectors will literally slide out. This you can do on your own without any help. The attach pictures show how small it is compared to its replacement and certainly MUCH lighter. I don’t think the plastic sides of the stock IC is bad or impacting on performance or badly designed – it just looks cheap.

Pushing the RPI intercooler into the gap is not easy because it is much larger than the stock unit. (But the tight spot further secures the IC) One person cannot do this alone. I had to use my feet as well to push the new unit into place. But once in and the clips on the connecting pipes clicked in (make sure you hear those clips “click” in place); two screws fastened –the job is done. All that remained was the bumper and bottom covers refitted. And whalla!!!

When you start up the car a little bit of smoke and funny smells will come from the exhaust, probably the IC cleaning itself? But after a quick drive it will be back to normal. Well not actually!

But before I describe the new driving experience let me share some of my concerns:

1.The stock intercooler had dirty “blow back” oil on both sides of the connecting pipes that will certainly find their way into the turbos and filter intakes. It is disconcerting for a car with only 4 000km on the clock. Without an “oil catch can” this will happen with the new intercooler as well. BMW engineers better fix this!
2.The RPI intercooler does not have any hooks or holes at the bottom to attach the bottom car covers – at high speeds the wind lifted/pushing into or down the bottom covers – there is no other way to attach the covers. With the stock IC the covers screwed into the stock intercooler holding everything nicely in place. (This has since been fixed by using three small ties to attach the covers - which is now strong and secured)
3.
The RPI intercooler does not require any cutting or modifications to the bumper/covers or the plastic housing of the radiator. But due to its size the RPI intercooler does bend some of the existing plastics below the radiator. This will not cause permanent damage but it is not an “exact” fit either.

4.My first install attempt flopped . I did not properly connect the intercooler pipes with the stock pipes. The left hand side pipes were connected properly but the damn pipes on the right slipped out because the clip was not correctly inserted. So when I took the car for a test drive I had quite a few limp modes with reduced power. From the advice of some of the forum members such as oddjob2021 and Mariopalza, I was able to trace and fix the problem – thanks guys.

The drive
The sound is the first thing that changed. The exhaust tone is louder, deeper and throatier outside and inside the cabin (but a nice racy sound). The “ssssh” of the BMS dual cone filters appears less pronounced.

But the car feels less enthusiastic almost lethargic at lower revs in “D” and “DS” modes. But the moment you push it above 3000rpm, the devil is let loose. The “butt dyno” pull is even and strong. Drive feels much smoother compared to stock. The car runs cooler and the engine oil temp remains shy of the 120 degree Celsius.

Another good investment for the 335i. Enjoy the pics!!!
Attached Images
              
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JB4. 15ohm /Catless DPs/BMS DCI/BHS Oil Catch Can/RPI FMIC/Bilstein B16/BMW Perf Exhaust/BMW Perf Rims 19'/BMW Perf Steering Wheel/BMS Meth Kit/CMGS Guage/BMS Speed Limiter Defeat/STETT Chargepipe & DV's/DREAMLIST:Upgraded Turbos
REVIEWS: Bilstein B16 Ridecontrol//BMW Performance Exhaust//RPI Intercooler//Race Camara Mount

Last edited by 645Nm; 06-20-2009 at 01:29 AM.
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      06-17-2009, 07:56 AM   #2
Menno11
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Looks nice Bud! Accentuates the front a bit more! Are we gonna Dyno the car next week?

Last edited by Menno11; 06-17-2009 at 08:17 AM.
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      06-17-2009, 09:52 AM   #3
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great review.. As usual
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      06-17-2009, 11:13 AM   #4
645Nm
only in it for the torque - awuleth'umshini wami
 
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Thanks guys

I will arrange with zeemax for the dynos and PM you.
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JB4. 15ohm /Catless DPs/BMS DCI/BHS Oil Catch Can/RPI FMIC/Bilstein B16/BMW Perf Exhaust/BMW Perf Rims 19'/BMW Perf Steering Wheel/BMS Meth Kit/CMGS Guage/BMS Speed Limiter Defeat/STETT Chargepipe & DV's/DREAMLIST:Upgraded Turbos
REVIEWS: Bilstein B16 Ridecontrol//BMW Performance Exhaust//RPI Intercooler//Race Camara Mount
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      06-20-2009, 01:32 AM   #5
645Nm
only in it for the torque - awuleth'umshini wami
 
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Update

The ECU has adapted nicely to the new intercooler - it might take many more kilometres to adapt fully but I take the rewards as they come. The initial "lethargy" at lower revs is gone and the car feels more responsive. The urgency at higher revs is also back but more aggressively especially with the JB3. The sound is great! I hope to put the car on the dyno soon.
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JB4. 15ohm /Catless DPs/BMS DCI/BHS Oil Catch Can/RPI FMIC/Bilstein B16/BMW Perf Exhaust/BMW Perf Rims 19'/BMW Perf Steering Wheel/BMS Meth Kit/CMGS Guage/BMS Speed Limiter Defeat/STETT Chargepipe & DV's/DREAMLIST:Upgraded Turbos
REVIEWS: Bilstein B16 Ridecontrol//BMW Performance Exhaust//RPI Intercooler//Race Camara Mount
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