A New BMW F30 Performance Intake, Part 1: Stock Intake and Initial Fabrication
Interested in purchasing our F30 intake system? Check out our product page for more information!
After wrapping up some loose ends with our E36 and E46 projects, it was time to turn our attention to one of the new offerings from BMW. The 4-cylinder turbo N20/N26 caught our eye as a very interesting new engine, and we decided to bring one into the shop for an initial look at the vehicle and to begin developing a few products for this chassis.
Stock Intake System
Before pulling out the welder and aluminum, we needed to evaluate the stock intake system to determine our game plan for design. Below is what you see once the hood is popped. The double-pull hood latch system is pretty slick!
The stock intake system pulls air from the front kidney area via a duct, shown below.
This duct provides airflow to the lower portion of the intake airbox.
This portion contains the air filter, a standard paper unit seen in most OEM setups.
Up until this point, the intake system is fairly normal and similar to other vehicles we have had in the shop for product development. The next component is a bit of an oddity. The upper airbox portion encompasses the MAF (mass airflow) housing as well, and occupies a large footprint along the length of the radiator support.
This then leads to the MAF housing, which reads the volume of airflow entering through the intake tract.
The last portion of the intake is the tube that transfers airflow from the airbox system to the turbocharger compressor inlet. This tube features an incorporated resonator as well.
With all these components out of the vehicle, we now had a blank slate to begin planning and fabricating our intake design.
Data Collection and Initial Fabrication
First, we collected some primary dimensions and critical measurements from the stock intake box. This would aid in properly aligning our airbox design within the engine bay.
The start to fabrication of our intake system began with an intake pipe from the inlet tube to the location at which we would be placing our air filter.
Our pipe makes quite a bend so that the filter can be placed in an appropriate location to take advantage of the stock air duct. Our plan is to design an airbox to contain the filter and incorporate the stock air duct for optimal airflow.
We are planning to utilize our oiled cone air filter within this airbox. This will provide improved airflow over the stock paper filter, and increased filter surface area. In addition, it is a completely serviceable filter that can be cleaned and reused. We’ve had fantastic success using similar filters (with differing sizes) in all our intake kits.
Next we installed our filter and mocked up a mounting bracket to stabilize the intake pipe.
Don’t worry, this is not the final design for our kit. Our next component is an airbox to isolate the filter from engine bay heat. Check back next time for a look at the development and fabrication of our airbox.