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


aFe intake installed with rubber seal and cruise control cable notch

There is a notch in the heat shield through which you can route the cruise control wire, and then it's just a matter of installing the the final rubber seal. The aFe intake is now fully installed, so we remounted the headlight and put her on the dyno… 

E36 323is dyno chart aFe intake

With the car strapped down and rolling on the dyno, we were anxious to see what sort of gains we got from our new aFe intake.  With the losses from the DIY kit we previoiusly had, we weren't expecting mammoth gains. We ended up showing 0 peak hp and 4.6 peak ft/lb tq. We were a little surprised to see no gain over our stock airbox in the horsepower category, but we were happy with the 4.6 ft/lb of torque we gained.  Most gains were under the curve in the lower- and mid-RPM range.

Shark Injector preparation battery charger

Now it was time the Shark Injector ECU reflash portion of our Stage 1 Turner Motorsport Performance Package.  Before starting that process, however, you must hook up a battery charger to the car, and it needs to be giving off at least 10 amps of continuous power.  The instructions are very specific about this, and they warn that any power loss during your software upgrade can result in an inoperable car. A good battery charger isn't horribly expensive, and it's always good insurance to have on hand anyway.  Follow the instructions, or don’t say we didn’t warn you.  

BMW E36 20-pin diagnostic port under hood

Once our battery charger was hooked up and running, we located the 20-pin diagnostic port in the engine bay.  It’s located on the passenger side by the shock tower, and the cap screws off easily.

Conforti Shark Injector mounted

With the Shark Injector mounted properly, turn the ignition to the on position, but DO NOT start the car. Once you've made sure the green light is solid, hit the “Upgrade” button, and the green light will start blinking.  This signals the beginning of the software transfer stage, when the Shark Injector is downloading your OE data.  
Approximately 3 minutes later the red light will illuminate solid while the green light continues to blink, and this signifies the reprogramming phase while your new software is being uploaded to the car's ECU.  Then, after about another 3 minutes the red light will turn off, and the green will continue to blink once its reached the final check phase. 
Finally, after a few more minutes, the light will illuminate solid green.  This signifies that all programming has finished, and the last part of the process is to turn the ignition to the off position, wait 30 seconds, and then turn it back to the on position. The green light will flash for 15-20 seconds and then illuminate solid.  Once you have a solid green light you are finished. Now turn the car off, wait another 30 seconds, and then remove the Shark Injector. Put the cap back on the diagnostic port, remove the battery charger and close the hood.  Now go drive! 

E36 323is dyno chart before and after Stage 1 Turner Motorsport Performance Package

Our dyno numbers for the entire package are in red above.  We overlayed them against our numbers from the exhaust article to show all the changes along the way.  We gained a total of 3 peak whp and 1.2 peak ft/lb of torque from the Shark Injector alone. 

With a total of 3 peak whp and 5.8 peak ft/lb torque from the aFe intake and Shark Injector package, we do notice the torque increase more than anything else.  The car is much smoother throughout the power band and driveability seems smoother, too. The additional torque is especially noticeable during spirited passing on freeways, and the increased rev-limit will be greatly appreciated on track days.  Not so much because of the greater power, since our car starts to taper off up top, but because it will allow us to carry the gears a little longer to possibly save time from a short-term upshift, or from bouncing off the rev limiter.



Turner Motorsport

aFe Power



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