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Searched around on the forum and couldn't find any info on this... I'm thinking about making my own custom CAI through bits and pieces I can buy at the local auto store and I can't decide on which air filter to go with. I want to stick with the non-oiled filters because of the horror stories of the oiled ones screwing up the MAF:thumbdwn:. I've narrowed it down to two choices:

aFe Pro Dry S
AEM DryFlow

I don't want the full kits, just the filters. So if you guys know anything about the two please let me know. Also if you've run into any issues with either one, let me know too. Thanks!

Also, please don't mention anything about spending my money somewhere else because CAI's are "pointless." I think they look cool and they sound awesome. Whether or not I gain HP or gas mileage is indifferent.
 

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I had one, the amount of heat soak is nuts. I went back to oem and the responsiveness increased noticeably.
Really? Mine seems fine.
 

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I switched to an aFe Pro Dry S filter on my former Audi at 25K miles (panel drop in, stock airbox). The car is still in the family, and 50K miles later, no issue. Very well built product.

I thought about getting another aFe drop in for the E46, but am sticking to Mahle OEM for the time being. Maybe down the road I'll switch.
 

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I had the aFe Pro dry kit, didn't have any issues. I didn't notice any heat soak either, they have a nice box for the filter and the stock intake snorkle hooks right up to it. I don't think heat soak is as big of a deal on N/A BMW's as on turbo Audi's where the air box is directly beside the turbo. and exhaust manifold.
 

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went with AEM

Just installed the AEM short ram kit (does come with a heat sheild) on my 3 series and the thing I can say is the throttle response is great! I am very happy zipping through Atlanta traffic! I didn't tell any passengers that I changed the OEM to the aftermarket intake and they could feel a differance..."what did you do?" they asked," your car seems quicker for some reason."
As far as heat soak...don't have an issue with that. After long periods of driving I popped the hood and the intake and the filter were both rather cool to the touch...the heat shield...not so much. As far as sound it is subtle, until you hit it. I know a lot of guys here hate on aftermarket intakes ( my guess is they expect too much), but I love it! It didn't even cost me $150 on Amazon. The guys at AEM know what they are doing, they have been doing it for 25 years...AFE (I do like too, don't get me wrong), has only been around 10 or so years, and costs more.
 

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In my opinion/experience, the AFE ProDryS filters are everything that they claim and unlike K&N they don't sacrifice filtration yet still outflow stock.

On my 328, over the time I've owned it I have gone through most of the intake kits on the market, because while very few actually provide a power increase, they all have pluses and minuses. This includes the K&N CAI, AFE Stg1 CAI, AEM SRI, ECIS CAI, Dinan box intake, Dinan long tube carbon fiber CAI, Conforti CAI, and a few others.
I found the Dinan CF tube CAI to make the mostpower, but I didn't like the filter. The AFE was secondin power, and this is w the Dry filter.

I ended up with my own FrankIntake, using the Dinan tube, the AFE Stg1 heatshield, an AFE Dry cone filter, and I replaced all the tubing behind the heatshield w mandrel bent thick aluminum tube (treated by SwainTech to prevent any heatsoak, which it very much does).

I had to modify it for the supercharger build, but it's still essentially the same and still outperforms the others (well, I don't have the Conforti or K&N anymore).


I use the AFE Stg1 dry on my 325i, and a dry AFE panel filter for my 740i Sport, and I love them.
 

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Can you get the aFe cone filter alone? Or do they only offer it with the kit? Like I said before, I'm trying to make a "FrankIntake" like nleksan did.
 

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I think the aFe Pro Dry is pretty slick. No oil, no mess, and you can wash it in soap and water, or vacuum it for cleaning. You'll love the improved throttle response and sound!
 

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Just got my 4th BMW a few weeks ago. 2003 325i with Luxury/Sport Package(s)! I have been thinking about purchasing an aFe Pro Dry air filter. I have done a load of research on the filters in general on a wide range of vehicles but would really like to hear from fellow 2003 325i owners regarding performance/MPG gains (hopefully gains). Thanks in advance folks. Cheers ... rs
 
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