Cold Air Intake (CAI) with Heat Shield
Warning: If you are not competent or do not feel comfortable doing any of these modifications or procedures, then please do not do so. I will not be held responsible for any damages caused by a result of your actions. Now on to the fun stuff!
So far this is one of my favorite changes I have made. It provides a little more top end power with out sacrificing much low end torque. Plus, it sounds incredible. It should work with any 6 cylinder engine that came in the e36. I'm working on a template for the heat shield.
Start by getting the 3" tube bent to the appropriate angle. I did one myself with a manual bender and I had one done by an exhaust shop that used a hydraulic bender. I recommend having someone else do the bending, their experience is invaluable. The angle that needs to be made is about a 15-30 degrees from the horizontal.
Now, try it out on the car with the air box removed.
Hook the hosing on to the new piece that you had fabricated with a hose clamp. Now hook the other end to the air flow meter and secure it with another hose clamp.
Now connect the filter up to the other end of the tube. It should come with a clamp. The filter should point down and towards the corner of the engine compartment a little.
At this point, I had to do a little more bending on the original copy, but the final was modeled after it so the initial bending was just right.
On the final copy, I mounted the strip of metal from the bracket that holds the cruise control module to the air box originally. It was then bent towards the intake and removed for welding to the intake. On the original copy I used a hose clamp and an extra bend in the strip to secure it to the intake. (see picture below)
Next, I took it out of the car as a unit and cut all of the edges off of the tube that jutted into the filter to smooth the air flow. Give it some paint and allow it to dry. I painted mine with some PPG DP-90 and the finish has been incredible. This stuff really takes a beating and holds up great. Then hook everything back up and test it out.
Here's the same picture with some of the important parts labeled
Here are a few pictures of the original intake.
Here are some shots with it all installed in the car.
I plan on taking the heat shield out and painting the entire thing with a little DP-90 to give it a cleaner look. Possibly I will add some insulation to one or both sides of the heat shield.
The newest plan is to rebuild the entire heat shied with a thinner aluminum, spray it with DP-90 and then bake it for a little bit if I get the chance. Then put some insulation on the outside and re-spray it. Hopefully I'll pick up some better weather-stripping as I don't really care for this type. It does not look as professional as the ECIS shield.
Update [2.27.02]: I smoothed out all of the edges a whole lot and it looks much better. The lines are smoother and the surface of the shield is a bit smoother too. I filed the edges and rough spots on the heat shield. Then, I took a wire brush wheel mounted on a drill and went at it for awhile. Then cleaned it up with some soap and water, followed that up with some Wax and Grease Remover from PPG and shot it with 3 coats of PPG's DP-90. The final results look amazing. It's not perfectly smooth, but it didn't cost $350.
You can really see how I had to wail on the thing to get it bent in these shots.
Update [03.11.02]: The whole intake system has been reinstalled in the car. I added weather stripping to the top and the portion that follows the curve of the engine compartment. It takes just under 4 feet to do these two sections. It looks MUCH better in my opinion. It really makes it look very professional. I'm working on a better way to fasten it to the car at this point. Pictures coming soon.
If you are interested in the weather stripping I used, email
or IM me as I have about 20 feet left over.
Update [04.17.02]: Here are some shots of the heat shield with the new weather stripping.
Questions? Comments? >> Email