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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 > Forums Official Favorite Front Mount Intercooler



View Poll Results: Favorite FMIC/FMIC You're Currently Running
STETT Performance 23 8.71%
Helix 83 31.44%
Spearco 29 10.98%
Evolution Racewerks 11 4.17%
Extreme Turbo Systems (ETS) 14 5.30%
Active Autowerke 26 9.85%
AMS 25 9.47%
Race Precision (RPI) 5 1.89%
Dinan 3 1.14%
ASR 3 1.14%
Other 42 15.91%
Voters: 264. You may not vote on this poll

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      07-22-2009, 09:28 AM   #23
stealth-twntrbo
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I see helix being a favorite but I'm not a fan of that design for flow, its interesting using a stepped core but I think that isnt the best design.
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      07-22-2009, 12:04 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stealth-twntrbo View Post
its interesting using a stepped core but I think that isnt the best design.
Pray tell?
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      07-22-2009, 01:26 PM   #25
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I voted RPI...the FMIC is working great for me without any problems since install...
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      07-23-2009, 07:24 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stealth-twntrbo View Post
I see helix being a favorite but I'm not a fan of that design for flow, its interesting using a stepped core but I think that isnt the best design.
can I ask what your experience is in designing, testing and building intercoolers? I designed the Helix FMIC and have over 20 years of turbo-tuning experience, all the data on the intercooler collected by us in our testing as well as independant customer testing, AS WELL AS comparitaive testing(vs other aftermarket intercoolers on the market) done by an independant tuner, does not back up your point.

so please enlighten us how YOU would have made a better design in the space given in regards to size, shape, material selection, ambient and charge fin height and count?

heres a post of all the data and specs on the fmic.

***Design Note, we have slightly modified the intercooler width and mounting holes to eliminate potential trimming issues on the FMIC for the 335i application.***

Core Design-
Prior to this stepped core design you had the option to either go Taller or thicker with the cores. In my design process I measured the captive areas in the front of the bumper in both depth and height and went about designing an intercooler that took up all of this area, yet still retained the all important seal to the back of the fan shroud so the radiator fan could still draw ambient air through the core. The end result is an intercooler with 56% more frontal area as well as core volume. now about the core I was not constrained to an off the shelf core in regards to ambient and internal fin count as we custom spec'd the core to this application the core in the helix FMIC is a single unit stacked up to our specifications in regards to ambient and charge row height and internal and external fin count. since our core has more volume I could increase the internal fin count to remove more temperature and still meet the targeted air flow and pressure drop for this application. as you see by the AIT data logs the intercooler works amazingly well



Endank design- all endtanks are not created equally, air likes to flow in a smooth curved radius as you can see the Helix FMIC has rounded endtanks that are cast. Another thing you will noticie is we opted not to utilize the factory O-ring connectors even though we could have easily implemented them in this design. Our reasoning was simple the factory connectors are THE flow restriction in the charge side as they shrink down to less than 2 inches in diameter at the inlet and outlet.








Install:
Fits in stock location- YES
requires NO cutting,removal and/or permanent modification- Yes on MOST 335i, No on 135i
Can it be installed without removing front Bumper- YES
Utilizes factory mounting points- Yes
Design:
More core volume than stock- Yes 56%
More Ambient face than stock- Yes 56%
More charge rows than stock(8)- Yes 13
Bar and Plate construction- Yes
Removes restrictive stock O ring connectors- Yes
Seals to factory radiator fan shroud so air is drawn through when car is not in motion- Yes
Performance:
Helix intercooler at 13.5psi 63 degree ambient temps:
372whp +22whp
turbo outlet temperature 228 degrees F(estimated using a 63 degree ambient and 65% compressor efficiency at 13.5 psi)
AIT temp- 75 degrees F - 54 degree drop over stock
pre and post intercooler temp drop- 153 degrees F
Intercooler efficiency- 93% - 33% improvement in efficiency over stock
Core pressure drop spec is .5psi at 450hp(600cfm) airflow
Price: $969
STOCK 2-4 gear

Helix 2-4 gear

Independant AIT test through 2nd-4th gears-Incredible AIT control!



Independent testing and comments on the Helix FMIC:

“I've been testing the Helix FMIC and it keeps IATs within a couple degrees of ambient. Pretty ridiculous. In a good way, of course. And it doesn't block too much of the radiator either. That would be my recommendation.”
Shiv

“I've tested 3 different aftermarket FMICs in my car and the Helix unit performed the best in terms of cooling efficiency and pressure loss. I don't see things getting much better than that to be honest.”
Shiv

“I will attest that this intercooler will help your cars. I have had it on since early winter/last fall and have seen little to no decrease in power with the warmer weather or after repeated hard runs that would have heatsoaked the tiny stock intercooler in no time.”
Sniz

Last edited by TurboBullett@Ambient Thermal Management; 09-16-2009 at 04:02 PM.
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      07-23-2009, 01:21 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TTurboBullett View Post
can I ask what your experience is in designing, testing and building intercoolers? I designed the Helix FMIC and have over 20 years of turbo-tuning experience, all the data on the intercooler collected by us in our testing as well as independant customer testing, AS WELL AS comparitaive testing(vs other aftermarket intercoolers on the market) done by an independant tuner, does not back up your point.
Sniz
Hey Sniz,
Don't you already have a thread with all of this???
Do you mind just posting up a link to all the data and pics?
Not posting it in this thread crowded it up.
Thanks man, I'm not trying to get a FMIC war going.
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      07-23-2009, 01:47 PM   #28
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Evolution Racewerks hands down! R&D is never ending, craftsmanship & attention to detail is never over looked or undercut, every FMIC is hand built in house at ER & helped me to dyno in 85 degree weather at 439whp
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      07-23-2009, 02:07 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xPaulBaiLeyx View Post
Hey Sniz,
Don't you already have a thread with all of this???
Do you mind just posting up a link to all the data and pics?
Not posting it in this thread crowded it up.
Thanks man, I'm not trying to get a FMIC war going.

i'm not sniz, i designed the Helix FMIC. just defending the design and posting relevant data... isn't this an intercooler thread? No need for fmic wars but what is wrong with posting relevant information pertinant to this thread?
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      07-23-2009, 07:54 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TTurboBullett View Post
i'm not sniz, i designed the Helix FMIC. just defending the design and posting relevant data... isn't this an intercooler thread? No need for fmic wars but what is wrong with posting relevant information pertinant to this thread?
My bad, at the end of that right up it says "Sniz". I assumed. . . Different screen name or something.
Yes this is an intercooler thread, not a Helix Intercooler thread. Post the link to the relevant information.
If i'm asking too much then forget about it.
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      07-23-2009, 07:55 PM   #31
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Helix was my favorite and my choice.

I bought their 1st unit produced, their test mule. Loved it since day one over 2 years ago.

great unit.
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      07-28-2009, 04:29 PM   #32
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Find it hard to believe that only 90 members have FMIC. . .
More votes people?
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      07-28-2009, 07:52 PM   #33
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tturbobullet,
***Design Note, we have slightly modified the intercooler width and mounting holes to eliminate potential trimming issues on the FMIC for the 335i application.***
As of when? The most recent threads I've read about the Helix install state modification of the fan shroud, drilling new holes is required?
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      07-28-2009, 08:37 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cvc 22349a View Post
tturbobullet,
***Design Note, we have slightly modified the intercooler width and mounting holes to eliminate potential trimming issues on the FMIC for the 335i application.***
As of when? The most recent threads I've read about the Helix install state modification of the fan shroud, drilling new holes is required?
I had the new helix fmic installed w/mtech front bumper

installer said he literally had to take a file and file off .5mm worth of plastic on the back of the front plastic grid (no cutting)...said it was 99% direct fit

*also, as far as I know the units shipping out now, have the bracket mounting hole on the endtanks drilled out a smidge more so you dont even have to file anything @ all...but its a minor point if not a non-issue
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      07-30-2009, 03:31 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vudoo4u2 View Post
I had the new helix fmic installed w/mtech front bumper

installer said he literally had to take a file and file off .5mm worth of plastic on the back of the front plastic grid (no cutting)...said it was 99% direct fit

*also, as far as I know the units shipping out now, have the bracket mounting hole on the endtanks drilled out a smidge more so you dont even have to file anything @ all...but its a minor point if not a non-issue

That's alot less modification required than I thought.
I was under the impression that some cutting was necessary.
Good to know.
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      07-30-2009, 09:54 PM   #36
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I voted for AA, obviously the one I am using. Their reputation for BMW tuning is what sold me.
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      07-30-2009, 10:35 PM   #37
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helix all the way , great performance and good value
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      07-31-2009, 06:10 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by got psi View Post
anyone have pix of upgraded FMICs with mtech or m3 front bumpers?

im debating going that route.
Are you looking for a install pic or just one of the front. I can help you with a Helix front pic on a E90 Mtech.
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      08-03-2009, 02:34 PM   #39
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Another one for Helix.
Best product available for the price.
Yes there are cheaper, but I didn't buy a price - I bought an intercooler.
Read many posts on which to buy, instead of requesting the information from owners. Every owner is obviously going to be bias in their selection - due to the pride factor. If you want the facts on which is best (performance, not looks) - the best way to do so is to get comparable charts to what the helix guy provided you with from each manufacturer. Each will have slightly different variables, but some tests are done on the same car - same day.
After viewing the gains & losses on each FMIC chart, I strongly believe that you will agree with me - Helix being the best product for the price.
I must confess a couple things though:
1. I own a Helix FMIC & can be considered bias, but I am biased only in my opinion of price for quality available to me - based on documented facts.
2. I purchased mine in a group buy & saved a little off retail. (paid $800ish)
3. I installed AR Design Down-pipes at the same time, so it is harder to depict the individual performance gain, but I am confident that my FMIC is performing up to par - especially after doing plenty of research on what was available to me for under $1150
Last - the install was completed by a mechanic friend of mine, but he said it went exactly as the instructions stated - no problems at all. I purchased mine from Ralph & have been very happy with it now for about 4 months. Hope this helps...
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      08-03-2009, 02:44 PM   #40
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This thread could be titled "Which FMIC are you using?" since I imagine everyone will vote for the IC they have.

But on a different note, is there really much difference between all these? From the data i see, it looks like they all are pretty close. So wouldnt you just want to get the cheapest one?

Also, I havent seen any details on the VK IC. Anyone with pictures or data?
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      08-03-2009, 02:54 PM   #41
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      08-03-2009, 03:21 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by got psi View Post
anyone have pix of upgraded FMICs with mtech or m3 front bumpers?

im debating going that route.
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      08-03-2009, 03:28 PM   #43
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The one I made myself...
no way tell more...

i have code 3 and love it i could tell a huge difference right away ...
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      08-03-2009, 03:44 PM   #44
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Here is a pic of the code 3 with my mtech front with studie lip it was sagging cuz i was in the process of taking it off and re attaching it lol
please dont hate i know the car is FILTHY haha

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