Project E36 323is: Building the Poor Man’s M3, Part 5 – Intake and Software


E36 323is dyno chart power loss DIY intake

In simple terms, no, it didn't make any additional power.  The fact is we actually lost power with the homemade intake kit.  Mr. Dyno proved that we went down 6.2 whp and 2.3 ft/lb.  So for all those who believe their cobbled together DIY Home Depot intake kits will make just as much power as a well-designed system costing a bit more, you might be in for a rude awakening, despite what your butt dyno may be telling you.
Of course, we'd be remiss if we didn't compare our findings with an application-specific intake, and there had to be something to be gained… Anything!  
E36 stock air box removal

The first thing you need to do is remove the stock—or your negative-power DIY intake.  This is self-explanatory operation when looking at how it's all fastened, and it shouldn't take more than a couple of minutes.

E36 headlight removal aFe intake installation

Once the stock airbox is removed you'll want to remove the driver's side headlight in order to gain better access to the required mounting point for the aFe heat shield. 

aFe intake heat shield

The car is now ready to have the new intake installed, but you'lll want to assemble the new aFe intake parts as a single unit to make the installation as smooth as possible.  As you can see above, we've started to install the rubber seal on the left side of the heat shield.  Don't install the smaller rubber seal on the right side of the shield yet.

aFe intake tube HFM adapter

This is the adapter for our smaller 3.0″ MAF being installed. The same kit is used for the M3, and as an added bonus it's designed to be used without the adapter for cars running a 3.5″ Euro HFM.

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