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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 > Helene Streamline SE drop-in air filter - my review



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      07-29-2009, 12:15 PM   #1
cstavaru
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Helene Streamline SE drop-in air filter - my review

So after 22.000kms I figured an air filter change would be needed. Well, the stock air filter did not seem extremely dirty, to be honest.

I read alot on this forum about air intakes and drop-in air filters. My personal conclusion is that the open element intakes (aka dual cones) are not very good for the engine because hot air is sucked into the turbos. There are two downsides to this: hot air is less dense so the turbos have to spin harder in order to move the same amount of oxygen, and cool air may help in cooling the turbos. But its just my opinion.

After reading reviews and some dynos on this forum, I decided my best bet would be the Helene Streamline SE drop-in filter. But their website is gone, altough the filter is still available at some online stores. Luckily I had an older email from someone from Helene and sent an email to the guy. I received an answer, I have negotiated a final price shipped ($115 shipped to Romania) and a week later I received the filter.

The filter seems to be of high quality, looks and feels very good. The install was not very easy, the filter rubber margins seem to be thicker than the ones of the stock filter, but I managed it without much effort.

I didn't get to do an extensive test-drive in the 3 days since I have it, but I can't feel any significant differences compared to stock. I believe that there is reduced turbo-lag down-low and up-top the engine seems to rev a little faster but nothing to write home about. However, this filter may benefit if you have a tune. I am stock. The engine sound is the same as before.

That's about it...if you need to change your air filter, you may consider a performance drop-in like Helene or K&N.

UPDATE: After about 2 weeks with the Helene filter, I am surprised to find out that the car pulls noticeably faster in 2nd gear especially after hitting 3000RPM ! Last few days I found myself wondering every day "what the hell is happening, the car pulls better or is it in my mind ?". I never asked myself this before, so I suppose it is because the filter. The gas is the same as before, I use mostly 93 octane.

UPDATE2: I dynoed my car on a Mustang dyno with the stock filter and with the Helene filter. The runs were IDENTICAL So I keep the stock filter...

Last edited by cstavaru; 08-12-2009 at 12:39 PM.
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      08-11-2009, 07:30 AM   #2
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UPDATE: After about 2 weeks with the Helene filter, I am surprised to find out that the car pulls noticeably faster in 2nd gear especially after hitting 3000RPM ! Pulls really nice, if you ask me I would say its about 10-12hp more, but don't take my word for this. Last few days I found myself wondering every day "what the hell is happening, the car pulls better or is it in my mind ?". I never asked myself this before, so I suppose it is because the filter. The gas is the same as before, I use mostly 93 octane.

I am planning to do some dyno pulls in a few days with stock filter, helene filter, BMW Performance Power Kit+stock filter and Power Kit+Helene filter (I plan to order the kit in a few days).
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      08-11-2009, 08:01 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cstavaru View Post
I am planning to do some dyno pulls in a few days with stock filter, helene filter, BMW Performance Power Kit+stock filter and Power Kit+Helene filter (I plan to order the kit in a few days).
Keep us updated - sounds intriguing! I always thought a drop-in would not be good for more than 2-3hp (and honestly I don't believe one can feel such a small difference). I have the BMC air filter (which is I believe somewhat similar to the Helene) and did not notice a fundamental difference.

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      08-11-2009, 10:14 AM   #4
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I liked the Helene filter as well.
It's just too bad they went out of business.
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      08-11-2009, 12:07 PM   #5
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I think it's a pure placebo effect. Last year I had installed in the following order: ITG, BMC, AFI dry, DCI, all combined with D1Swoop scoops and found only the DCI minus the scoops that does make a slight difference over stock car with tune. Here is a very interesting read with results:

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showth...t=filters+dyno
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=104383
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      08-11-2009, 12:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NRG View Post
Here is a very interesting read with results:
But you forgot this interesting read which shows nice gains on Helene:

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=132028
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      08-11-2009, 01:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cstavaru View Post
But you forgot this interesting read which shows nice gains on Helene:

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=132028
If you do a long search, you'll find a lot of info on drop-in filters in the first year production of N54 (06,07), since no other intake options where available at that time. The real world gains are minimal to none on almost all of them. The thread from "hotrod182" proves that clearly!
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      08-11-2009, 02:43 PM   #8
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All drop in are useless. The gain in flow is so minimal that you wont Feel the difference. Placebo effect it is. I had a bmc and changed it straight away for a dci. Only tha I could feel the car pushing harder.
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      08-12-2009, 05:41 AM   #9
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There is another thread right now with dyno results on stock airbox vs dci and dci wins hands down, especially once you go over 360-370whp, the stock airbox is then a bottleneck.

Hot intake air is handled by the IC, and the bigger the better
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      08-12-2009, 06:10 AM   #10
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      08-12-2009, 10:56 AM   #11
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Helene is replaced by Macht Schnell. I put it in my car a month ago and can notice a difference over stock. Still torn on dci's. I know that dci's will pull more air but don't like the fact that it is drawing in hot air. I am waiting for the new Dinan CAI and some test results. It looks promising.
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      08-12-2009, 11:46 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drakos View Post
Helene is replaced by Macht Schnell. I put it in my car a month ago and can notice a difference over stock. Still torn on dci's. I know that dci's will pull more air but don't like the fact that it is drawing in hot air. I am waiting for the new Dinan CAI and some test results. It looks promising.
I hope you are saving your money.
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      08-12-2009, 12:40 PM   #13
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UPDATE2: I dynoed my car on a Mustang dyno with the stock filter and with the Helene filter. The runs were IDENTICAL So I keep the stock filter...

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=291455
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      08-12-2009, 01:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cstavaru View Post
UPDATE2: I dynoed my car on a Mustang dyno with the stock filter and with the Helene filter. The runs were IDENTICAL So I keep the stock filter...

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=291455
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      08-12-2009, 01:30 PM   #15
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New clean filter, OEM or whatever > old dirty filter.
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      08-12-2009, 08:04 PM   #16
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I don't FEEL any difference w/the Helene filter. I've got it now, but if I had to do it over, I'd stick w/the oe filter.
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