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      11-18-2019, 07:23 PM   #1
ucsbwsr
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Custom Turbo Inlet System for my X5D

I wanted to share a recent project on my X5D.

Disclaimer: This isn't a step by step guide however for those inclined DIYers all the critical information is covered and the process is outlined, there should be adequate information to build your own replica if you fancy. Follow at your own risk, do your own research, and take responsibility for your work. No that this is done....

The goals:
- Improve turbo response by shortening intake length and increasing air flow potential
- Retain "cold" air source
- Simplify system to make engine access easier
- Clean OEM+ aesthetics

I have yet to confirm the performance gains of the system but once I get my X5 tuned I plan to get some back to back dyno runs comparing the custom inlet vs stock airbox. I would love to find a race shop that can bench dyno the CFM too. This system was "engineered with common sense" so it would be nice too see some data to confirm the increase in performance
....or show that I wasted my time Hopefully #CommonSenseEngineering prevails.

Here is the parts list, if they were modded those details are below:

- K&N RC-5000 Filter
- K&N RC-70031DK Dry-Charger
- 3.5" 45 Elbow
- 3.5" 90 Elbow (4" legs recommended)
- 3.5"-3" Reducer (3" length)
- 3.5" Aluminum Joiner
- HPS SSWC-59-83 x1
- HPS SSWC-84-108 x4
- Pro Fabrication 3.5" Oval 90 Pipe
https://www.profabrication.com/3-5-x...l-bend-ms.html

Parts ran me ~$300

Here was when the idea was conceived. Happy to say this state-of-the-art scribble turned out to be fairly accurate.


The star or this inlet system is the 3.5" 90 degree oval piping as retains the 3.5" diameter while clearing the hood once it's shut. Originally I was looking at a 3.5" oval pipe from CX Racing that was aluminum but I went this Pro Fab pipe because it has a tighter 4" radius, I called CX Racing and asked them for the specs but they didn't know (must be lost in China somewhere, lol). If I had to guess the CX piping is 4.5-5" radius, either way the 4" of the Pro Fab is extremely helpful.

*This Pro Fab pipe is mild steel and starts to rust if you look at it wrong so plan to seal/protect it somehow.

Here is the original pipe being test fit


In an ideal world I would maximize the amount of metal and minimize the amount of silicone used to construct the inlet but the direct routing to the turbo meant form will follow function. Here is what I was eyeing up.


The oval pipe fit snugly into the oem hole in the shroud but the pipe needed to sit lower for hood clearance. This is without trimming, notice the height relative to OEM.


If you look closely at the edge of the green tape you can see there was a circular cutout in the radiator shroud so I trimmed the plastic on top and did my best to make a clean cut.


I did an initial trim of the oval pipe.


With the oval pipe and the radiator shroud trimmed fitment was much better, notice how low the pipe sits now, very similar to the stock snorkel.


I had to take some more length off the oval pipe to help straighten the routing. Here is after final trimming. I don't have the exact measurements but there is about 1" of leg (past radius bend) that goes towards the filter, the other end which runs to the turbo is slightly longer with ~2" of leg.


Here is the OEM turbo inlet removed from the X5


We won't be needed the top part and thankfully the PCV connection is built into the lower pipe. With the upper portion removed I noticed there was a large flange, this isn't ideal.



Using a sanding wheel I removed the outer lip and bored out the inside to make a nice smooth transition.



For good measure I bored out the MAF as well.


This is the 3.5" joiner I use between the silicone 90 and 45. It has a bead as it's intended to be used as charge piping.


That bead will only disrupt air flow so I trimmed off each bead to keep things smooth. Not pictured but you can notice this when observing the final product but I stuck this 3.5" pipe in my bench vise and made it oval to help keep continuity in the shape of the piping.


If you look closely you can see the oval piping is slightly concave on the long sides, this is a byproduct of the bending process.


To alleviate this I used some JB Weld to fill in the small dips on all 4 sides.



After the JB cured over night it was time to sand, clean, prep, prime, and paint. I used some high temp stable engine paint and added further protection with a top layer of ceramic coating. Hopefully this resists paint chips when I inevitably remove the inlet for more wrenching.




Once I got the general routing of the system down my attention focused on filter location. I was adamant about the filter being vertical and NOT contacting the shroud or radiator, or poking through towards the kidney grills so aligned the filter where I wanted it and worked backwards aligning and trimming if needed.

After achieving ideal filter location and confirming there would be no contact with the hood shut I looked into ways to secure the system. I was thinking about L-brackets and all kinds of serviceable mounting solutions but once I had the system mocked up I realized the system was fairly rigid. The silicone does offer some flex but considering the short length of the system overall and the M57 doesn't seem to move much underload, the intake wasn't flopping around, it was barely moving at all. My solution was using a small rubber disc I had laying around, I attached some 3M VHB, and use this is a locating /buffer for the hose clamp. After some test drives and manyu WOT pulls I confirm this works like charm. The only contact points for this whole system are this and where the OEM turbo inlet bolts to the turbo. Very happy about this.



*Depending on what length 45 degree silicone elbow you buy your trimming may differ but I took about 1" off each end of mine. Also the 90 degree silicone elbow w/ 4" legs was also trimmed, I took about 1" off the end that connects to the MAF.

*Also not pictured but the opening of the K&N filter is larger than the 3.5" oval piping. The trick is to take one of your 1" silicone trimmings and use that as a spacer. -Slide the 1" long ring of silicone onto the forward edge of the oval pipe and then install your filter, works like a charm and you can recycle! Look closely at the pics below and you can see the silicone sticking out where the filter mounts.

For added security you can add a K&N Dry-Charger which is a hydrophobic filter guard, great for dust and water.



Let's first take a look at the stock intake system



...and a peak inside, notice the entire filter is not utilized



Now the final product





Installed


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- Manual Swap, MFactory SMFW, Spec Stg 3+, KW V3, RD Sport Sways, F14 SDC
- EOS Port Injection Manifold, Fuel-It: Stg 2 LPFP +Lines +Ethanol Sensor
- JB4, Hexon RR550s, Custom Inlet, AR DPs, 3" Exhaust, VRSF 7" IC, ER CP +Tial
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      11-19-2019, 01:00 PM   #2
mitch808
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Damn that looks good.
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      11-19-2019, 03:27 PM   #3
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Nice work!!

Do you work for trs or another lighting company? I saw the banner in the picture.
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      11-19-2019, 04:53 PM   #4
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Looks great - can you hear the turbos more now?
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      11-19-2019, 11:25 PM   #5
Dawgz
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Anyway you can make scoops?
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      11-20-2019, 10:12 AM   #6
ucsbwsr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitch808 View Post
Damn that looks good.
Quote:
Originally Posted by X5MBeast View Post
Nice work!!
Thanks
Do you work for trs or another lighting company? I saw the banner in the picture.
I am a dealer for TRS
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deftronix View Post
Looks great - can you hear the turbos more now?
Yup, all kinds of noises. There are some weird noises at partial throttle, one that sounds like a weed wacker and another that sounds like air being blown through a flexible plastic straw. I have a hunch that the straw noise is from the low pressure EGR cooler but I am in the middle of removing that and can confirm hortly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawgz View Post
Anyway you can make scoops?
Can you be more specific?
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N54 Powered M5 Wagon:
- M5 Shaft, M5 LSD, M5 Axles, M5 Brakes, M5 Front End, M5 skirts, M5 Mirrors
- Manual Swap, MFactory SMFW, Spec Stg 3+, KW V3, RD Sport Sways, F14 SDC
- EOS Port Injection Manifold, Fuel-It: Stg 2 LPFP +Lines +Ethanol Sensor
- JB4, Hexon RR550s, Custom Inlet, AR DPs, 3" Exhaust, VRSF 7" IC, ER CP +Tial
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      11-20-2019, 01:20 PM   #7
Deftronix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ucsbwsr View Post
Yup, all kinds of noises. There are some weird noises at partial throttle, one that sounds like a weed wacker and another that sounds like air being blown through a flexible plastic straw. I have a hunch that the straw noise is from the low pressure EGR cooler but I am in the middle of removing that and can confirm hortly.
That's too bad - was hoping to do an intake out front similar to yours solely for this reason. Let me know if you find out where the source is coming from. Could be hearing the pcv flow or the actuator that allows air to flow to the high pressure turbo side when you get higher in RPM as well. Any possibility it could be the intake pipe vibrating against something when the engine hits a certain frequency that's causing it to resonate? Good luck figuring it out and keep us in the loop!
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      11-20-2019, 01:39 PM   #8
ucsbwsr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deftronix View Post
That's too bad - was hoping to do an intake out front similar to yours solely for this reason. Let me know if you find out where the source is coming from. Could be hearing the pcv flow or the actuator that allows air to flow to the high pressure turbo side when you get higher in RPM as well. Any possibility it could be the intake pipe vibrating against something when the engine hits a certain frequency that's causing it to resonate? Good luck figuring it out and keep us in the loop!
I thought about the PCV but the 335d guys have the same OEM turbo inlet as us and have none of the noise.

335Ds only have 1 egr cooler (mani-intake) X5s have the additional EGR from DP-low pressure turbo and it has an wavy flex section so it's the obvious suspect right now. It has to be it, we will know shortly!

The intake is very sturdy and dampened with rubber or silicone at every contact point.
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N54 Powered M5 Wagon:
- M5 Shaft, M5 LSD, M5 Axles, M5 Brakes, M5 Front End, M5 skirts, M5 Mirrors
- Manual Swap, MFactory SMFW, Spec Stg 3+, KW V3, RD Sport Sways, F14 SDC
- EOS Port Injection Manifold, Fuel-It: Stg 2 LPFP +Lines +Ethanol Sensor
- JB4, Hexon RR550s, Custom Inlet, AR DPs, 3" Exhaust, VRSF 7" IC, ER CP +Tial
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      11-20-2019, 04:01 PM   #9
Deftronix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ucsbwsr View Post
I thought about the PCV but the 335d guys have the same OEM turbo inlet as us and have none of the noise.

335Ds only have 1 egr cooler (mani-intake) X5s have the additional EGR from DP-low pressure turbo and it has an wavy flex section so it's the obvious suspect right now. It has to be it, we will know shortly!

The intake is very sturdy and dampened with rubber or silicone at every contact point.

Sounds good. My DP had a lower egr block plate to bolt to luckily. Time to put in a strut tower bar now that you made room in the right places
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      11-20-2019, 10:46 PM   #10
Dawgz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ucsbwsr View Post
I am a dealer for TRS

Yup, all kinds of noises. There are some weird noises at partial throttle, one that sounds like a weed wacker and another that sounds like air being blown through a flexible plastic straw. I have a hunch that the straw noise is from the low pressure EGR cooler but I am in the middle of removing that and can confirm hortly.

Can you be more specific?
Scoops at the front which direct the air upward into those air inlets.

They make them for other BMWs but now ours since the market is small.

Like this...

https://ae01.alicdn.com/kf/HTB1GM90QXXXXXbCapXXq6xXFXXX3/201020752/HTB1GM90QXXXXXbCapXXq6xXFXXX3.jpg_640x640q90.jpg


https://www.***********.com/showthread.php?68795-My-New-to-me-X5m-with-Jailbreak-tune-Affluence-scoops-and-exhaust


Could you make this? I would be very interested!
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      11-21-2019, 11:57 AM   #11
ucsbwsr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deftronix View Post
Sounds good. My DP had a lower egr block plate to bolt to luckily. Time to put in a strut tower bar now that you made room in the right places
Yea, I have looked into them and Ultra Racing makes one which I find appealing. The issue is I have is I hate having to remove items every time I need to work on my car, ex the OEM E70 air box to do anything to the top of the motor, and this has lead me to REMOVE the aftermarket strut braces on my other vehicles. However this brace seems to sit fairly high and hugs the engine bay partitions so it may not be an issue. With all the maintenance I am doing on the M57 I hope it will be pretty reliable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawgz View Post
Scoops at the front which direct the air upward into those air inlets.

They make them for other BMWs but now ours since the market is small.
Could you make this? I would be very interested!
Gotcha, I am aware of those and have ran them on my other BMWs. Unfortunately I don't have the means to easily make something like that, your best bet is to find a pre-existing scoop that has an applicable design and then retrofit it to your vehicle.
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N54 Powered M5 Wagon:
- M5 Shaft, M5 LSD, M5 Axles, M5 Brakes, M5 Front End, M5 skirts, M5 Mirrors
- Manual Swap, MFactory SMFW, Spec Stg 3+, KW V3, RD Sport Sways, F14 SDC
- EOS Port Injection Manifold, Fuel-It: Stg 2 LPFP +Lines +Ethanol Sensor
- JB4, Hexon RR550s, Custom Inlet, AR DPs, 3" Exhaust, VRSF 7" IC, ER CP +Tial
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