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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So, I'm debating on which one to get. Between the 2 AFE which I been doing a lot of search online and haven't found a comparing between this 3. What would you recommend? Getting the Performance OEM , aFe Stage 1 Cold Air Intake System Type Cx or the Suppostly new aFe Power Magnum FORCE Air Intake System . I said suppostly new because It seems like it's been out a while yet I haven't found any information about it as people who have them. I have read that the "aFe Power Magnum FORCE Air Intake" seems to have marginally better HP gain. Stage 1 has the integrated cover design.

The aFe Stage 1 Cold Air Intake System Type Cx is better with the Pro Dry S which is a dry air filter so no oil is used. The filter is made of 2-layer synthetic material and can be cleaned with a house vacuum and/or soup and water and reused, thus it is marketed as a lifetime filter.
First look, the Pro Dry S seems to be well built. It is quite a bit smaller than the OEM Mann filter and the pleats are quite shorter as well. The number of pleats are fewer so they look far apart than those on the Mann filter.

http://www.modbargains.com/aFe-Stage-1-Cold-Air-Intake-BMW-E46-3-Series.htm

Then there is the aFe Power Magnum FORCE Air Intake System Which I don't know anything about.
So far it states:
This Stage 2 Intake produces 6hp and 12lbs. x ft. torque. It incorporates a unique coupling that smoothes air transition into the intake tract for better performance. The one piece heat shield features an integrated clip to allow for minimal assembly and provides a direct bolt on fitment to the factory air duct. The filter is constructed with 100% polyurethane for long life and multiple cleaning cycles.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=879523

Last we have the Performance BMW OEM
Which people says "Replacing the entire air box system, this intake flows better than stock, freeing up hidden horsepower. With a stylish design and carbon fiber accents, BMW Performance is inscribed on the top."

http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E46-325i-M54_2.5l/Engine/Intake/ES35343/

Which one will you recommend???
 

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I am currently running the BMW Performance Intake system. I purchased this system a while ago thinking it would be the better choice since at one point this was said to be over $1,000. Needless to say, I was pretty disappointed with the results. The only benefit I noticed with this intake was the cool looking carbon fiber accent with the BMW Performance sticker on it. I am very tempted to go with the aFe Power Magnum Force air intake system. It is very reasonably priced and aFe states the power gains are greater than the old stage 1 system, not to mention cheaper. That alone would rule out the stage 1 system for me. Although the stage 2 system looks like an open system, once the hood is closed it sits on top of the intake trim sealing it. This is just my opinion. I hope it helps. Good luck!
 

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Then there is the aFe Power Magnum FORCE Air Intake System Which I don't know anything about.
So far it states:

This Stage 2 Intake produces 6hp and 12lbs. x ft. torque. It incorporates a unique coupling that smoothes air transition into the intake tract for better performance. The one piece heat shield features an integrated clip to allow for minimal assembly and provides a direct bolt on fitment to the factory air duct. The filter is constructed with 100% polyurethane for long life and multiple cleaning cycles.
Stage 2's also have a current rebate to make the deal even sweeter:



I'm personally taking a look at this intake for my E46 as well. The one piece heat shield features an integrated clip to allow for minimal assembly and provides a direct bolt on fitment to the factory air duct. The filter is constructed with 100% polyurethane for long life and multiple cleaning cycles. PM me for details.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Looks cool. Just wondering why does the stage two make less power and cost less than the stage one? I would have imagined it to be the other way around. according to their description of the product on their site.

"This Stage 1 cold air intake system produces 20 max horsepower, 27lbs. x ft. torque and out-flowed the factory intake by 76%. Includes a durable 16 gauge, powder-coated heat shield; this air intake system features a washable/reusable conical air filter. This intake system incorporates a unique 3-angle filter adaptor that smooths air transition into the intake tract for better performance. One-piece heat shield requires little or no assembly and the filter is constructed with 100% polyurethane for long life and multiple cleaning cycles. "

http://afepower.com/shop/details_new.php?partno=54-10451&filter&menu=gas&engine=3.0L&searchtype=vehicle&make=BMW&model=330i&year=2002&engine=3.0L&&brandID=52


Seems to me the stage one makes WAY more power
 

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the bmw perf intake was not worth the 300 ish dollars I paid for it. I felt no real difference, except slight sound change under wot. For 300 bucks you get a plastic box, and a filter which sits directly on top ie the top portion of the intake box is replaced, not the bottom portion. You can use the same bottom from the stock set up. It is way over priced and totally not worth it in my opinion.
 

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Cobra Command Intake


Nothing but RAM FORCE AIR B#(ch!!!! Those other competing products got nothing on this snake!
 

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the bmw perf intake was not worth the 300 ish dollars I paid for it. I felt no real difference, except slight sound change under wot. For 300 bucks you get a plastic box, and a filter which sits directly on top ie the top portion of the intake box is replaced, not the bottom portion. You can use the same bottom from the stock set up. It is way over priced and totally not worth it in my opinion.
zactly.
 

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Guys, air in motion has two properties (related to motion): static pressure and velocity pressure. Velocity pressure is the pressure related to the speed the air is traveling. Static pressure is the pressure that would be measured at a given velocity. Velocity pressure plus static pressure equals total pressure.

As you drive down the road, the air that enters your kidney grilles stops (in relation to your car), and the velocity pressure (at the speed you are traveling) converts to static pressure. So the pressure inside your grille compartment is somewhat above atmospheric (14.7 psi at sea level) pressure. This pressure is used to force air through your air filter and into your engine.

The engine will only take on (absorb) the air that it needs for combustion (air flow rate).

We have to assume that BMW engineers know all of this, and design the filter housing and ducting such that the air delivered to the engine is adequate at all speeds that the car is traveling down the road. They also know about turbulence and how far the MAF must located from the outlet of the filter box.

The key to all of this is the pressure at the intake valve. Some aftermarket systems may increase that pressure by decreasing the pressure drop from the front of the car to the intake valve, but it's not going to give you any significant increase in horsepower. The only way to increase pressure significantly at the intake valve is through forced induction.
 

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Guys, air in motion has two properties (related to motion): static pressure and velocity pressure. Velocity pressure is the pressure related to the speed the air is traveling. Static pressure is the pressure that would be measured at a given velocity. Velocity pressure plus static pressure equals total pressure.

As you drive down the road, the air that enters your kidney grilles stops (in relation to your car), and the velocity pressure (at the speed you are traveling) converts to static pressure. So the pressure inside your grille compartment is somewhat above atmospheric (14.7 psi at sea level) pressure. This pressure is used to force air through your air filter and into your engine.

The engine will only take on (absorb) the air that it needs for combustion (air flow rate).

We have to assume that BMW engineers know all of this, and design the filter housing and ducting such that the air delivered to the engine is adequate at all speeds that the car is traveling down the road. They also know about turbulence and how far the MAF must located from the outlet of the filter box.

The key to all of this is the pressure at the intake valve. Some aftermarket systems may increase that pressure by decreasing the pressure drop from the front of the car to the intake valve, but it's not going to give you any significant increase in horsepower. The only way to increase pressure significantly at the intake valve is through forced induction.
Platinum Plus Post.

I will add to this from a website I've been reading for close to a decade kenrockwell.com who has a strong engineering background:

INTRODUCTION

About 20 years ago I was very active in a motorcycle club in New York. One of our active members had an observation after giving up after trying every tweak he could to his new bike. "I've tried everything on my new bike, and you know, it's never run as well as when I first got it."

Why is that?

Every vehicle manufacturer has huge engineering staffs at their disposal. Compared to you and I or aftermarket tuners, these real engineers:

1.) Have complete access to every piece of secret insider data about what's going on inside the vehicle. They have supercomputer plots of airflow. They know about the micro differential temperature variations across the hood. They know what's going on inside a combustion chamber simulated out to the individual molecular level. When they do a simulation they have all the CAD data for accuracy. We don't.

2.) They are real engineers with degrees with the deep technical backgrounds required to understand what's really going on, as opposed to hobbyists and tuners who work by fuzzy feelings. It's tough to explain if you're not a degreed engineer. I do have an engineering degree, and all that calculus really lets you get inside what's going on.

3.)They get paid to work all day and night. That's all they do.

4.) They have huge budgets for research, since what they do is spread out among the many thousands of production vehicles for even the most exclusive model.

5.) In addition to the ubiquitous dynamometers, they also have wind tunnels and flow and combustion analyzers to know what happened and why.

Any tuner can improve on one or two aspects of anything. Most tuners have dynos, some might have wind tunnels. None of them have all the data BMW has, or it's research budget. The whole point of a BMW is to do everything well over all conditions. That's why it makes no sense to waste time trying to outsmart BMWs engineers at their own game. Even if you had a supercomputer, wind tunnel and research engines loaded with probes you still don't have the base data from which to start calculating.

Back in the 1950s cars were so primitive and under stressed that it was easy and safe to hotrod them.

In the 2000s every car is running as well as it can. It already has every reasonable tweak incorporated as part of its very soul. Unless you're doing a ground-up complete rebuild, there is nothing you can bolt on to make an overall better car. You may be able to trade off one aspect for another with something serious like adding a blower, but BMW knows better than anyone how to make their cars as good at as many things as possible all at the same time. Add a blower and you'll probably pop your U-joints a lot faster than stock, for instance.

Tweaks are for people who enjoy tweaking for its own sake. I don't bother with them.

Most or all BMW enthusiasts are middle aged men. These guys love to play with things. We take great pleasure in fixing and improving things. I personally would rather drive than tweak.

It's easy to improve things by tweaking. My subtle point is that if you tweak something well enough to improve one thing, like adding stiffer springs, something else suffers, like ride comfort. I'm odd for a BMW enthusiast: prefer to keep my hands off and enjoy the perfect balance my Bavarian brothers designed into my car. I really am 1/4 Bavarian.

I realize this will probably get me a lot of hate mail because guys who love to screw with their cars don't want to hear this. Personally I take great pleasure in being the only guy with a car exactly as it left Bavaria. This becomes more fun as a car hits 10 or 20 years old, when few BMWs are left as they were intended. Sure you can add a blower and dust me, but then I'll still have more cruising range leading to better speed made good over long journeys, etc. It's all a trade off and I prefer the balance struck by BMWs real engineers.

Cold Air Intakes and Induction Systems

Cold air has more mass than warm air. Using colder air allows the engine to make more power, since you have more air mass per unit volume. More air means you can burn more fuel and make more power.

The factory system pulls cold air in from under the front fender. This is good. There is a filter box inside the hood between the engine and the fender.

For some reason all the aftermarket cold air induction systems I've seen use a filter dangling at the end of the engine's air intake where the standard air filter used to be. These aftermarket systems pull in warm air from under the hood, making them less effective than the standard system!

I don't get these tweaker guys. Does anyone really think BMW would save $5 and use too small an air filter and loose horsepower, which is a major competitive number? Have a look at the 540's filter element. It's huge, and it sucks air directly from the cool outside air, not the hot air under the hood.
 

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I'm odd for a BMW enthusiast: prefer to keep my hands off and enjoy the perfect balance my Bavarian brothers designed into my car.
Yeah, I can live with this. :bow:
 

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I'm odd for a BMW enthusiast: prefer to keep my hands off and enjoy the perfect balance my Bavarian brothers designed into my car.
Is that better? ;)
 

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The whole point of a BMW is to do everything well over all conditions.
Right ... they're making concessions.
It's all a trade off and I prefer the balance struck by BMWs real engineers.
Right ... It's all a trade off. These cars were designed for the masses. Am I to be admonished for wanting stiffer springs or a freer flowing intake?
 

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Right ... they're making concessions.

Right ... It's all a trade off. These cars were designed for the masses. Am I to be admonished for wanting stiffer springs or a freer flowing intake?
No. You are willing to accept that trade-off. However, in the case of most if not all intakes relative to stock, this "freer" flow isn't working to any meaningful advantage. Certainly and especially not when price is factored into it. The stock paper filter element certainly has enough surface area for flow not to be a problem.

Now that being said I would buy a BMW performance intake--but for a couple of reasons:

1) The sound

2) The way it looks/coolness factor

3) It's made by BMW who has insider data/info on their own cars and has the proper resources and most capability to turn that into something tasteful and meaningful in the case of an air intake.
 

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Right ... It's all a trade off. These cars were designed for the masses. Am I to be admonished for wanting stiffer springs or a freer flowing intake?
Not at all. Just realize that a "freer" flowing intake doesn't give you much hp gain, and stiffer springs are a pain in the ass when you reach my age. ;)
 
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