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  1. #1
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    AFe N54 Sealed Intake

    Hey guys,

    I installed my AFE Stage 2 Sealed intake with dry filter for the N54 a few weeks ago, and thought I would just give you guys some of my thoughts on the intake.

    For one, I have ran the stock box and filter, drop in filter, BMS DCI, and now this intake on my car. From a logging perspective, I can tell you that my wastegate duty cycles as well as PWM on the JB4 G4 have dropped 5000rpm+ with the AFE and BMS intakes over stock. I did not notice any difference in these values changing the filter in the stock box. From a drivability standpoint, I noticed no noticeable butt dyno difference at WOT between all the setup I have ran. What I did notice, however, is the stock box always felt like it had a bit more throttle feel compared to the DCI's that I always felt, as I mostly drive in the city. The AFE Sealed feels the same as the stock box with regards to throttle feel, which I was very happy about (Best of both worlds)

    I am running this air box using the stock snorkel, with an open cover. This is essentially serving as an enclosure for an air filter, and it was exactly what I was looking for without doing a DIY heat shield for the DCI's. I plan on purchasing AFe's upgraded snorkels and scoops for the intake soon, but as of right now I don't think it's absolutely necessary.

    Here's a rundown of my thoughts:
    Stock intake:
    Pros: Good throttle response, shielded from engine bay heat, quiet induction
    Cons: Shows restriction in logs at higher RPM's on map 1
    BMS DCI:
    Pros: Not restrictive, max flow, if you like compressor noise, best bang for the buck by far especially with meth
    Cons: I personally felt a slight drop in throttle response.
    AFe Sealed:
    Pros: OEM-like filtration with Dry filter, good throttle response, quiet, shielded from heat
    Cons: None to me. Addresses all of my concerns

    All in all, I like this intake. It's a bit pricey for what it is, but it looks good and addresses my concerns pointed above. Logs showed no restriction, you know there is denser air reaching the compressors (more dense air=less turbine RPM), it's silent and all turbo noise comes out the exhaust, and it looks good with great throttle response and filtration. I ordered from @Jeff @Topgearsolutions, he carries alot of AFe products. If you are on a budget for an intake, I would get a DCI because the stock intake IS a restriction and it's evident at higher RPM's.

    Thanks to @BuraQ for convincing me to get this intake! This isnt a very detailed review, but more of my thoughts about this intake as I know they are scarcely used so I apologize for lack of Dyno's etc. Here are some photos of what my setup looks like:

    Click here to enlarge
    Click here to enlarge

    Thanks
    Nick

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    Looks ok, but look how it's single snorkel cross-sectional surface is even lower than the stock snorkel surface. I'm not even sure the overall surface of the filter is more than the surface of the stock filter (I measured the expensive Gruppe M / Simota intake filter and it has a lower surface than the stock filter - so they are worthless - not saying it's the case here but should be measured).

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    Thanks for the review man. I saw you got this intake and I was about to PM you asking how it is but you posted this thread. Just curious why did you opt for the dry filter instead of the oiled one?

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by cstavaru Click here to enlarge
    Looks ok, but look how it's single snorkel cross-sectional surface is even lower than the stock snorkel surface. I'm not even sure the overall surface of the filter is more than the surface of the stock filter (I measured the expensive Gruppe M / Simota intake filter and it has a lower surface than the stock filter - so they are worthless - not saying it's the case here but should be measured).
    how? the stock panel filter has a tiny surface area compared to even the most basic cone filter.. i always have wondered why the N54 has such a small box/filter though, the filter in my N52 is massive in comparison lol

    the filter shown in the OP looks massive, when you take into account the actual area those filters suck from

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    Paper vs cotton. Big difference.
    LEMANS BLUE M-TECH E92->PROCEDE REV3::ETS 7" FMIC::RACELAND DPS::WAVETRAC DIFF::DEFIV DIFF LOCKDOWN::DEFIV OCC::DEFIV INTAKE::RB PCV

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by ihc95 Click here to enlarge
    Thanks for the review man. I saw you got this intake and I was about to PM you asking how it is but you posted this thread. Just curious why did you opt for the dry filter instead of the oiled one?
    No problem. The reason I'm using the dry filter is because I prefer clean air and good filtration over anything else. I don't like the idea of relying on oil to catch pollutants from entering my motor. It's just a personal preference, and the flow probably isn't even impacted to any measurable degree with my boost levels. Not to mention, it's stupid easy to clean and looks more OEM
    Last edited by E90Company; 03-24-2013 at 09:13 PM.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by cstavaru Click here to enlarge
    Looks ok, but look how it's single snorkel cross-sectional surface is even lower than the stock snorkel surface. I'm not even sure the overall surface of the filter is more than the surface of the stock filter (I measured the expensive Gruppe M / Simota intake filter and it has a lower surface than the stock filter - so they are worthless - not saying it's the case here but should be measured).
    Yeah it's definately bigger SA than stock, especially the paper filter. When mounted, the filter lifts from the bottom of the box so theres 360* flow entering the filter area. With the cover off you are getting more air into the filter as well, and it's not as hot as air rising from the bottom of the engine bay. The actual housing also has a heat resistant coating inside of it, and you can feel a large temp difference with your hand if you compare the DV area and the box inside.

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    It should be noted that the sound of the air being sucked into the intake is very noticable on the cotton oiled filter with the cover off.

    When the hood is closed, which is only like less than an inch beween the aFe intake box and the hood, Air is drawn mostly from the snorkle and from the cowl area to the rear of the intake box getting more dense air to the turbos

    When he gets the aFe air scoop he will have a RAM-Air affect to enhance the air flow even more with or without the upgraded snorkles

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by E90Company Click here to enlarge
    No problem. The reason I'm using the dry filter is because I prefer clean air and good filtration over anything else. I don't like the idea of relying on oil to catch pollutants from entering my motor. It's just a personal preference, and the flow probably isn't even impacted to any measurable degree with my boost levels. Not to mention, it's stupid easy to clean and looks more OEM
    How's the quality of the box compared to the OEM one?

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by ihc95 Click here to enlarge
    How's the quality of the box compared to the OEM one?
    Outstanding. It's like an improved OEM box, and was exactly what I was looking for

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by BuraQ Click here to enlarge
    It should be noted that the sound of the air being sucked into the intake is very noticable on the cotton oiled filter with the cover off.

    When the hood is closed, which is only like less than an inch beween the aFe intake box and the hood, Air is drawn mostly from the snorkle and from the cowl area to the rear of the intake box getting more dense air to the turbos

    When he gets the aFe air scoop he will have a RAM-Air affect to enhance the air flow even more with or without the upgraded snorkles
    This is true. That's what I am doing next

  12. #12
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by E90Company Click here to enlarge
    This is true. That's what I am doing next
    Where are you getting the rest of the AFE pipework from?
    Alpine White 2008 6MT 335i - Cobb AP - PTF Tuned - RB Turbos - AR DPs - VRSF 3.5" exhaust - Custom FMIC - 380mm BBK F&R - BMS DCI - M3 DCT LSD - Whiteline subframe bushes - M3 Sways and rear arms - M3 wishbones - ER CP - Spec Stage 3+ clutch and steel SMFW - AST 4100 Coilovers - UUC DSSR -UUC Black tranny mounts - TMS Alu diff bushes - Forge DVs - Aquamist HFS-4 meth - Alufelgen CS7s - BMWP V1 Steering Wheel

  13. #13
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by idnan Click here to enlarge
    Where are you getting the rest of the AFE pipework from?
    Direct from AFe

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    I did some testing with a similar setup years ago. Didn't have any measurable gains (40-120mph, 1/4 mile, etc) vs the DCI or a fully sealed "cold air intake", but it does look cleaner. And it seems AFE finally corrected how they connect to the factory pipes. They used to use thick rotomolding with an interior diameter of only 2" instead of 2.25". When you take the lid off it effectively operates like a DCI only slightly more restrictively as it can only draw in heavy volume from the top between the the gap between the airbox and the hood rather than from all around. Probably not a big deal. My only concern with that specific filter, which is the same size as we use for our N55 intake, is it may become a flow restriction with larger turbos. Especially once it starts to pickup dirt. I would not waste time on the scoops they won't do anything. Back in the day did lots of 1/4 mile testing with those too.

    Click here to enlarge

    Click here to enlarge
    Last edited by Terry@BMS; 03-25-2013 at 07:48 PM.
    Burger Motorsports
    Home of the Worlds fastest N20s, N54s, N55s, N63s, S55s, and S63s!

    It is the sole responsibility of the purchaser and installer of any BMS part to employ the correct installation techniques required to ensure the proper operation of BMS parts, and BMS disclaims any and all liability for any part failure due to improper installation or use. It is the sole responsibility of the customer to verify that the use of their vehicle and items purchased comply with federal, state and local regulations. BMS claims no legal federal, state or local certification concerning pollution controlled motor vehicles or mandated emissions requirements. BMS products labeled for use only in competition racing vehicles may only be used on competition racing vehicles operated exclusively on a closed course in conjunction with a sanctioned racing event, in accordance with all federal and state laws, and may never be operated on public roads/highways. Please see http://www.burgertuning.com/emissions_info.html for more information on legal requirements related to use of BMS parts.

  15. #15
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Terry@BMS Click here to enlarge
    I did some testing with a similar setup years ago. Didn't have any measurable gains (40-120mph, 1/4 mile, etc) vs the DCI or a fully sealed "cold air intake", but it does look cleaner. And it seems AFE finally corrected how they connect to the factory pipes. They used to use thick rotomolding with an interior diameter of only 2" instead of 2.25". When you take the lid off it effectively operates like a DCI only slightly more restrictively as it can only draw in heavy volume from the top between the the gap between the airbox and the hood rather than from all around. Probably not a big deal. My only concern with that specific filter, which is the same size as we use for our N55 intake, is it may become a flow restriction with larger turbos. Especially once it starts to pickup dirt. I would not waste time on the scoops they won't do anything.
    The aFe box is not totally even on all four sides. Your on target with the 3 sides of the box gaping to the hood "except" the rear of the box is slopped downwards underneath to the cowl with about a 3" x 12" gap. This side is much cooler than the other parts of the engine bay

    The scoops "force feed" the air to the filter by the moving force of the car. Its a simple ram effect rather than having no ram effect at all.

  16. #16
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by BuraQ Click here to enlarge
    The aFe box is not totally even on all four sides. Your on target with the 3 sides of the box gaping to the hood "except" the rear of the box is slopped downwards underneath to the cowl with about a 3" x 12" gap. This side is much cooler than the other parts of the engine bay

    The scoops "force feed" the air to the filter by the moving force of the car. Its a simple ram effect rather than having no ram effect at all.
    Technically what happens is the hot air coming across the radiator accumulates at the top between the engine and the hood and gets stuck there. It's a low pressure area of sorts. And then you have a flow of air out gills in each of the wheel wheels. So you'll be sucking the hottest air. But, we're splitting hairs and the flow characteristics of this won't really matter a lot. But IMHO you'd be better served having the filter shielded on the top and sucking air from the bottom. To improve your design you could remove the cowl assembly all together which might allow a bit more airflow across the top of the box. I've had mine off for years.

    I tested big scoops with a sensitive vacuum gauge on the factory airbox and got no measurable boost @ 120mph. Concluded it was a waste of my time. Your mileage may vary. Click here to enlarge

    In my testing the only alterative that showed any promise for improved performance over a DCI was the "Mr5" style design using the factory airbox. But the gains were very minimal and inconsistent. But I'd look to go that route if you want something other than a DCI.
    Burger Motorsports
    Home of the Worlds fastest N20s, N54s, N55s, N63s, S55s, and S63s!

    It is the sole responsibility of the purchaser and installer of any BMS part to employ the correct installation techniques required to ensure the proper operation of BMS parts, and BMS disclaims any and all liability for any part failure due to improper installation or use. It is the sole responsibility of the customer to verify that the use of their vehicle and items purchased comply with federal, state and local regulations. BMS claims no legal federal, state or local certification concerning pollution controlled motor vehicles or mandated emissions requirements. BMS products labeled for use only in competition racing vehicles may only be used on competition racing vehicles operated exclusively on a closed course in conjunction with a sanctioned racing event, in accordance with all federal and state laws, and may never be operated on public roads/highways. Please see http://www.burgertuning.com/emissions_info.html for more information on legal requirements related to use of BMS parts.

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    What I have found with this intake is equal WGDC and PWM values to the DCI's, while retaining stock throttle response, and a dry filter than theoretically should filter as good as the OEM filter. This means in my logs, there was no restriction found at my boost levels (Map 1). I agree Dinan and Mr5 are the best setups for stock frame turbos hands down.

    Terry: The filter, when the airbox is mounted, actually lifts from the bottom of the box. I can feel my hand around the bottom of it, and the ducted air goes to that general area mostly. I'm assuming your N55 intake works in a similar manner? Overall I still think that with the size of our compressors, any intake will work. My buddies 6.0 truck that runs 34psi on a massive aftermarket turbo uses a similar sized filter.

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    You guys are just wasting your money, BMS DCI FTW!

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by RnmEvo9 Click here to enlarge
    You guys are just wasting your money, BMS DCI FTW!
    Says the guy running the stock airbox lol Click here to enlarge

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Terry@BMS Click here to enlarge
    Technically what happens is the hot air coming across the radiator accumulates at the top between the engine and the hood and gets stuck there. It's a low pressure area of sorts. And then you have a flow of air out gills in each of the wheel wheels. So you'll be sucking the hottest air. But, we're splitting hairs and the flow characteristics of this won't really matter a lot. But IMHO you'd be better served having the filter shielded on the top and sucking air from the bottom. To improve your design you could remove the cowl assembly all together which might allow a bit more airflow across the top of the box. I've had mine off for years.

    I tested big scoops with a sensitive vacuum gauge on the factory airbox and got no measurable boost @ 120mph. Concluded it was a waste of my time. Your mileage may vary. Click here to enlarge

    In my testing the only alterative that showed any promise for improved performance over a DCI was the "Mr5" style design using the factory airbox. But the gains were very minimal and inconsistent. But I'd look to go that route if you want something other than a DCI.
    Water like air naturally flows in a direction where there is "less frictional force" . If you used scoops on a stock intake that is "sealed" there is ample frictional back force in the intake itself as it is air flow rectrictive with all the sharp banking the air has to travel before reaching the turbo inlets. That is why you testing of the scoops failed

    On this design the ram effectiveness with the scoops have a "pass through", or passive flow, with no back force of air, as the air not captured by the CFM pull from the filter diminishes to the back of the cowl area with the cover off.

    Heat rising to the hood has no affect on the filter drawing "more dense" air from the more wider openings to the back and front of the intake box leaving the chances of less dense air between those tiny gaps between the intake and the hood as negated

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by E90Company Click here to enlarge
    Says the guy running the stock airbox lol Click here to enlarge
    So I take it you have seen whats under my hood? Click here to enlarge

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    BMS FTW
    - Proven Power Tampa built 6466 ST -
    - N54 6AT WR 711whp 637wtq-
    -N54 WR 1/4mile trap: 133.57mph- -

  23. #23
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Ak335i Click here to enlarge
    BMS FTW
    Click here to enlarge

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    Nothing beats the value & performance of a DCI setup -- Whether you go with the BMS, CP-Es, ETS, Injen or aFe. IMO, if you're spending over $400 (and that's generous) on an intake on this platform, you're throwing away perfectly good mod money
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by benzy89 Click here to enlarge
    Nothing beats the value & performance of a DCI setup -- Whether you go with the BMS, CP-Es, ETS, Injen or aFe. IMO, if you're spending over $400 (and that's generous) on an intake on this platform, you're throwing away perfectly good mod money
    +36849563

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