Rating Reviewed by: John Capozzi(Unregistered User)
Review Date January 6, 2003
Overall Rating 5 of 5
Value Rating 4 of 5
Used product for 1 to 3 months
Visitors rate this review 4.18 of 5,
Review 1 of 1
, from Carlsbad CA USA
from Brecht BMW
Year / Model Reviewed: 1993 325is
Strengths: Well built, noticable power gains, great looks, awesome sound at WOT, CARB certified, no BMW factory warranty issues, readily availible at any Dinan BMW dealer.
Weaknesses: Complicated install, overly large filter, fitment issues with Euro headlamps, a handful of reports on water ingestion.
Summary: Possibly the most expensive CAI setup you can buy for an E36, it offers a few advantages over competing systems.
First, the main intake tube is made of carbon fiber, giving it a nice clean look when installed.
Second, it is CARB certified and comes with a CARB exemption sticker, valuable to those of you that live in CA or other states with high emissions requirements.
Third, it's a very high quality setup, with heavy duty mounting hardware and attention to detail. You can mount it without using the supplied brackets, but doing so is recommended, as it totally eliminates the possibility of the unit coming lose or being damage by vibration or body flex.
Fourth, if you're not mechanically inclined, you can have this installed at your local BMW dealer, 1.5 hours labor.
And finally, it gets around "heat soak" issues by locating the filter well in front of the engine and below the headlights. Having used the ECIS unit (another good product), I feel that the Dinan intake's design works better and ultimately looks better than the ECIS.
The sound of this 3" tubed beast is not noticable when idling or staying below 2.5k RPM. But once you crack the throttle, it starts with a low freq whooshing roar and builds to 5k+ a banshee howl that's music to an enthusiast's ears. Might get annoying if you're into a more refined, sleeper sound. If that's the case, you should look into the Dinan Airbox, less restrictive than stock, less music, er, noise (and less HP gains) than the tube, and no install hassles, it's a direct replacement for stock.
Performance gains are noticable, especially when combined with a ECU software upgrade. The installation of this part and a Dinan performance chip totally changed the character of my car. My once tame and boring 325 is now a bit on the wild side, and it's not all just intake noise..the car responds quicker, pulls harder, and if I stay out of leadfoot mode, actually gets better mileage.
On the downside, installation is a bit on the complex side. You need to remove one of the car's horns, and cut the bracket off from the frame, then relocate the horn in a lower location.
If you have Euro ellipsoid headlights, you'll have to modify the Dinan bracket by cutting (and this is one tough bracket) and trim the silicone MAF sleeve as well, to "move" the intake tube back another inch providing clearance for the Euro lightbox. Figure another hour of install time to do this mod. Dinan DOES NOT support the modification to make it fit with Euro lights, so don't look to them for help.
The cone filter provided by Dinan, is IMHO, too big for the location it goes in, much of the surface area of the filter is obstructed by the mounting location. I plan on changing mine to a shorter length and diameter in the near future.
There are some reports of water ingestion using this system, but it'd have to be a serious puddle, or small lake, for it to be an issue, the filter is still almost 2' above the pavement, and the factory brake duct blocks the bottom side. If you're in water deep enough to cause intake problems, you're going to have other things to worry about as well, I think.
Similar Products Used: ECIS/Comforti intake for E36