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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 > Wagner Tuning FMIC Review (w/ Pics!)



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      04-19-2012, 01:17 PM   #1
rmw04c
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INSTALLED! Wagner Tuning FMIC Review (w/ Pics+Maps!)

I purchased this FMIC new from Wagner Tuning (USA) here: http://www.wagner-tuning.com/BMW-135...ngine_p_9.html.

This FMIC hasn't gotten very much attention, probably due to their horrendously cumbersome website, and the fact that most think you have to ship from Germany to get this. Not the case. I wanted to do an extensive write-up for those who are interested in an FMIC that requires ZERO modification of stock, utilizes the stock charge pipe and couplers (for those still under warranty like me), and is of good build quality and reputation. From what I can tell, it looks like they've taken their smaller one pictured out of production, and switched to a bar and plate design similar to their larger one, only with the stock couplers welded on.

PACKAGING 10/10

The packaging was the best I've seen for something like this yet. Much better than how my AA one was packed (no offense to Lutz. It was packed well also...its better vs. best honestly). It was padded with extruded foam, bubble wrap, inlet/outlets were capped, more foam, and then TRIPLE BOXED and marked with "caution glass." In German. Got me on that one haha. Nonetheless, there was NO WAY this thing was going to get damaged in shipment even if it did come from Germany (it came from CA).



BUILD/DESIGN 9.5/10

Upon opening the box, I was pleasantly surprised. From their website the pictures were very small and not detailed enough for me to tell, but I was willing to give them a shot. Glad I did. Not one single fin was bent or misplaced on the core, the welds are spot on, and the end tanks look great, as do the stock-designed couplers. The only thing they did was leave some of the masking tape on over part of the locking groove, which I removed. It uses stock mounting points, and has the tabs on the rear of it. Very well machined.





Inside the end tanks, finish is not polished (which can actually disrupt airflow), but is somewhat rough. In my opinion its about the perfect amount of roughness not to disrupt airflow.



I was surprised to see that it is actually of bar/plate construction, though some rumors have gone around that the smaller one that they offer (which I purchased) is actually of tube/fin design. It is not. While we're on that subject, inner fin count looks to be the same as outer, leading me to believe pressure drop is probably comparable to any of the other aftermarket FMICs out there.



Build sizes. I didn't post the pics but I have them if you want. The main portion of the core is 20"W x 6"H x 5"D, not including the stepped portion. This is an inch shallower than the AA, Helix, HPF, and others out there. Frontal area including the stepped portion brings this number to 8.5". Might lead to some heat soak since the core is not as dense as some others...we'll have to see. I'd venture to say that's probably negligible, too. What it doesn't have in depth, it makes up for in height. Because of the cast end tank and smooth characteristics of the design, it looks as though this FMIC will probably be able to utilize the stepped portion fairly well, as the Helix does (FYI I would have bought the Helix over this if they used the stock couplers...not because I'm lazy, but I didn't even want to pry off the original hose clamp and give the dealer an excuse to void my warranty).

INSTALL 8/10 (could have been a 9 if I'd used two people!)

The install was straightforward for the most part. This kit came with no installation instructions whatsoever, but there are enough videos out there to know how to take the bottom panel off, and if you've done one, you've done them all. And with the stock couplers, it really is plug and play. I highly recommend 2 people, though. The FMIC weighs 18.6lbs so its not incredibly easy to hold the driver's side up while you bolt in the passenger side. It was a pain in the dick to get the passenger side bolted in, which finally led me to get someone else involved. I had one of the shop attendants hold the driver's side while I leveraged the passenger side into place and screwed it in. All in all, the install took me under 2 hours from the time I pulled it in the shop to the time I was out of the bay. Granted I had a lift (which is highly recommended...) but it could be done on ramps. Honestly it might be easier on ramps since you could get your buddy laying down and just bench press the thing into place.



FIT/FINISH 9/10
As advertised, the Wagner FMIC uses the stock piping and couplers. You have to pry the metal clips off the old FMIC and put them on the new one. The only downside to this is while the stock FMIC couplers can hold this clip in the "open" position, the Wagner will only hold them in the locked position so you have to get the stock piping in place with one hand, and then fumblef*** the metal band into the groove on the FMIC to get it in place. This was frustrating, but only took 15 min to get them both on.



The FMIC fit snugly in place, and the hardest part was getting that passenger side on. I firmly believe that if I had used a second person from the start, I'd have had this install done in maybe 45 min.

On another note, the usable area of this FMIC is almost entirely in the front grille. It covers it from bottom to top, and sticks above the top of the lower grille by maybe 1/2", and same with the lower. I would say this fits better than the AA FMIC, honestly. No cutting was required whatsoever.


DRIVEABILITY/PERFORMANCE 9.5/10
I noticed only a small increase in turbo lag with this FMIC. However, it does seem to pull a LOT harder above 2500rpm. Between 2500-5000 it felt amazing. IAT seemed to stay pretty damn level throughout the WOT runs I did. I've done some logs that I'll post later...but I've got some work to do and the computer is still in the car. While I haven't used all of the other FMICs available, I would say that overall this one performs very well, fits extremely well, and on top of it all, is EXTREMELY stealthy. While I love the looks that you get for having an FMIC, this one will not get you that. It is so dark that you can hardly see it. Good for being stealth (which I like), but I'd say a stenciled image would almost make this more tasteful (which I considered doing, but wanted to see how it fit first before I tried that). I'll probably go back and stencil a BMW "M" on there later or something small along those lines.



And for those worried about a performance loss, I'd just like to say this (which I'll post in the correct forum later). As I was driving to Atlanta this weekend, I had some dude in a G8 GXP (415hp/415lbft stock) start goosing me. I'm pretty sure he had mods (exhaust at a minimum) because his car was pretty damn loud. So I gave it to him. And I DESTROYED HIM. Six times. We went from 80-160mph about 4 times in a row. No loss in performance from this FMIC. I wasn't logging at the time because I was just cruising on the hwy and he surprised me, but this thing pulls hard as hell.

For the questions that will arise, this is what I was running: JB4 Map 5, AFE DCI, Wagner FMIC, Stett CP, Synapse BOV, BMS OCC. That's it.

LOGS

These were near consecutive, with maybe a few seconds in between depending on traffic. I'm going to pull the CSVs into excel and make a better scale graph to show specific WOT runs to get a better idea of the actual values. Two of them were consecutive, hence the times across the bottom. It was roughly 85 + degrees during this test. Working with excel, minus one blip, the IAT decreased during the pull, starting at 98 and dropping to 95 at max boost (4500rpm on one pull). So overall, I would say that having it roughly 10-12 degrees above atmosphere with a decrease during pulls is pretty damn good performance.



Last edited by rmw04c; 04-23-2012 at 04:10 PM.
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      04-19-2012, 01:34 PM   #2
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I the wanger similar I the wagner? Haha just playing. That looks like a nice kit. Congrats
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      04-19-2012, 04:04 PM   #3
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LMFAO I didn't even notice that holy crap hahahahahahahhaha yes they're similar I guess that's why mine is bar/plate. I got the knockoff.
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      04-19-2012, 04:12 PM   #4
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They have both bar&plate and tube&fin design of the smaller intercooler. You got bar&plate, but tube/fin is also available (maybe not in the US).
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      04-19-2012, 04:31 PM   #5
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Nice. I'm in the fence about this.
1. I was hoping to try the tube and fin. They said the performance is the same and it's lighter

2. I received some logs from Wagner and it seems the iat increased 20f over ambient at 400 ps (hp?)

3. The quality of the bar and plate looks better than the tube and fin

3. Looking to get one to run Cobb stage 1 + fmic

4. The stock coupling got me. Although I'm handy I am too lazy at this point
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      04-20-2012, 03:57 AM   #6
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Hey guys

glad you like our product and the way of packaging it

have fun with the cooler!

basti
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cheers Basti
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      04-20-2012, 08:05 AM   #7
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That is a very solid looking FMIC for a very competitive price. I would love to see some logs of its performance. Great job Wagner.
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      04-20-2012, 10:42 AM   #8
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surprisingly competitive pricing....even their DPs

how bad is the shipping?
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      04-20-2012, 12:12 PM   #9
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How much is the FMIC?
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      04-20-2012, 01:50 PM   #10
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Looks very nice, although it looks like there was some idea copying going on.

Glad to see companies taking the end tanks seriously!
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      04-20-2012, 02:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmw04c View Post

INSTALL
Coming Soon....

FIT/FINISH
Coming Soon...
When are you installing? Can't wait to read your review
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      04-20-2012, 02:26 PM   #12
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I cant wait for a update
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      04-20-2012, 02:52 PM   #13
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Yeah I'm thinking about selling mine to buy one of these
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      04-20-2012, 03:00 PM   #14
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I wonder if there made in germany if i can just pick them up from the shop, could you pm me price
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      04-20-2012, 03:04 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Basti@Wagner-Tuning View Post
Hey guys

glad you like our product and the way of packaging it

have fun with the cooler!

basti
Hey Basti, do you guys have experience with the fmic on the 335d? We need an option here in the U.S.! Please let me know! (OP, sorry to bust in on your thread, but he only has 1 post, so I can't pm him).
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      04-21-2012, 02:24 AM   #16
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Nice products !
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      04-22-2012, 01:53 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 335isGuy View Post
How much is the FMIC?
$690 is what I paid. Very reasonable IMHO.
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      04-22-2012, 01:54 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Basti@Wagner-Tuning View Post
Hey guys

glad you like our product and the way of packaging it

have fun with the cooler!

basti
Yeah no problem, you guys rock! I'd suggest a GB on this here because I guarantee some people will buy provided I post my logs and they're good haha.
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      04-22-2012, 03:05 PM   #19
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Nice pics and great review. I was on a fence for a while for FMIC and finally decided on this one. I hope I'll have the same good experience like you. GL
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      04-22-2012, 10:32 PM   #20
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Glad to hear it's helping people out. I'll probably post my logs tomorrow!
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      04-23-2012, 02:08 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmw04c View Post
Glad to hear it's helping people out. I'll probably post my logs tomorrow!
Let's see them!
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      04-23-2012, 04:13 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spoolin View Post
Let's see them!
There you go! Excel graphs will be up tonight hopefully.
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