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5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60) Chat relating to the BMW 5-Series of all generations. Specific models include: BMW 518, BMW 520, BMW 520i, BMW 530i, BMW 528i, BMW 530i, BMW 518i, BMW 524d, BMW 525i, BMW 525e, BMW 528e, BMW 540i, BMW 535i, BMW 520d, BMW 525td, BMW 525d, BMW 530d, BMW 525i/xi, BMW 530i/xi. (BMW 5-Series Forum)

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#1 (permalink) Old 09-19-2004, 11:55 AM
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post 1 of 3-5 god knows where I am going with this!

I spent most of this weekend replacing the flooded engine with a used but good engine as you may know; it is 1999 528 with 43.000 miles on it. My mechanic asked for $700 to install it (very cheap but I took the challenge. Well D3ity talked me into it, and decided to do it by myself to reflect on BMW engineering and gain additional knowledge. In this post, I wish to share with you some of my Thoughts and Reflections on BMW engineering.

Please don’t assume I am 6.5% correct on this issue. These are just personal reflections on how I feel “personally” about the Air induction mechanism on the 5 series. After all it was me who took it to the water; as such I can be 93.5% wrong and biased toward a higher intake design. I will leave this issue for the birds for now and let us do some useful thinking:

ALL RESPECTED/PROFESSIONAL OPINIONS ARE WELCOMED SO PLEASE FEEL FREE TO SPEAK YOUR MIND/THINK LOUD WITH ME ON THIS ISSUE

Of course the sole purpose of this thread is to stimulate an intellectual/professional and “FRIENDLY” discussion ONLY. We will not be passing any final judgments on any one; we will not try to prove who is smarter than whom….just simple decent and professional thought as such these are the rules of the game. Fair? Ready? Say yes then I am in!!

When I took the flooded engine out one of my eyes was glued to the intake so I took the following notes. No Pics/less memory drain on your PCs/don't see it? open your hood and take a look for yourself.

1. The Intake ducts loop around to just inside the front bumper and terminates. At first “innocent” look I assumed the 5 series is getting FRESH COLD AIR from the large opening under the bumper. That is where the water got sucked into the engine. And yes you are absolutely right BMW is not a boat. Just bear with me!

2. The intake ducts goes toward the lower center large grille opening – Again “innocent” look assumes fresh air away from the hot air of the engine. Yes it is one smart engineering move. Yes for now. it makes perfect sense.

3. Following the ducts they are baffled away from the incoming air. Oops! Why? I thought the air ducts took this long journey of routing ONLY and ONLY to get FRESH COLD AIR!!!!!

4. Hypothesis NOT a theory YET/thinking loud with you ONLY:

A. If I remove the side baffles the intake would allow lots I mean lots of cool air into the engine compartment (think Temp gauge for this one), and will shoot straight fresh air to the intakes (think M5 design/think more power/think more hp). Isn’t that what the M5 does?

B. Implications: Temp gauges on the 5 series in cold/hot weather love to live in that middle position. Yes in winter a notch under but not so often/summer a notch over. You are not sure but May be? Well for now we are assuming perfect cooling system/conditions. Yes my auxiliary kicks in when temp gets hot/when Ac is no. Perfecto.

Now Due to the complicated nature of this topic and its length we will try to post it in a series of posts.

To conclude post 1 on the intake:

It seems to me BMW engineers were very conscious to control the airflow through the 5 series intakes. They were thinking along the lines of much LOWER volume of air the engine draws and at the same time giving the air in the ducts more time to heat up ( see above/think routing/baffling away from fresh air) , and providing less cooling for the engine compartment. Wow less cooling? I know. Billb sounds crazy and lost it after the flood……. but be patient and don’t jump to your guns/hold your horses till you read round 2 of this post. Yes round 2 will be coming soon with A SOLID PROOF!!!

Hint for the proof /post 2? The less air BMW engineers use to cool the 5 series, the better because air going through the car invites more drag than air being baffled.
(Think diversion and go aerodynamics here see you at post 2)
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#2 (permalink) Old 09-19-2004, 12:09 PM
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good post. although what you said is true. BMW doesnt just hire random people to make cars. im sure the intake is set up the way it is for a reason that is far beyond me. yes changeing it would increase HP, and probibly wouldnt cause any problems. but i dont know if it would increase it any noticeable amount.

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#3 (permalink) Old 09-19-2004, 12:18 PM
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Remember this: I love my BMW and that is why I am fixing it. couldn't part with it. I harbor so much respect for BMW engineers and I am not passing any judgments and yes your point is well taken. Hobby's I assure you we will get deeper into it with the help of professionals like you; rather very soon.

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#4 (permalink) Old 09-19-2004, 12:47 PM
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oh i didnt think you were underminding the engineers.i was just sayin that theres gotta be some reason

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#5 (permalink) Old 09-19-2004, 12:49 PM
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Will get to these reasons in post 2 I promise
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#6 (permalink) Old 09-19-2004, 01:42 PM
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Looking briefly under my '98 528i, if appears that the cold air for the intake comes from the wheelwell. My guess is that bringing it in through the front grill would add a lot of heat to the air before it got to the engine.

The point about BMW thinking things out carefully was clear when I looked at the exhaust system for this car. Duals all the way back to the rear, until it was necked into two larger pipes.. one of which was dead-ended, and the other led into two resonators of some kind.

I commented on this to the mechanic, who told me that some of the cars have self-adjusting flags in the exhaust to keep the back-pressure at just the right level. BMW really gets into the details.

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#7 (permalink) Old 09-19-2004, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by billB@Sep 19 2004, 01:35 PM

1. The Intake ducts loop around to just inside the front bumper and terminates. At first “innocent” look I assumed the 5 series is getting FRESH COLD AIR from the large opening under the bumper. That is where the water got sucked into the engine. And yes you are absolutely right BMW is not a boat. Just bear with me!

2. The intake ducts goes toward the lower center large grille opening – Again “innocent” look assumes fresh air away from the hot air of the engine. Yes it is one smart engineering move. Yes for now. it makes perfect sense.

3. Following the ducts they are baffled away from the incoming air. Oops! Why? I thought the air ducts took this long journey of routing ONLY and ONLY to get FRESH COLD AIR!!!!!

==> This is because of "women" in my opinion. The baffles are there to prevent the engine from recieving "too much air" and creating a decent sounding exhaust tone, that some people (ex. women) do not like. I have baffles in my airbox as well, guess what, they got the pliars.

4. Hypothesis NOT a theory YET/thinking loud with you ONLY:

A. If I remove the side baffles the intake would allow lots I mean lots of cool air into the engine compartment (think Temp gauge for this one), and will shoot straight fresh air to the intakes (think M5 design/think more power/think more hp). Isn’t that what the M5 does?

Its what the m5 does, and what my car does without the baffles.

B. Implications: Temp gauges on the 5 series in cold/hot weather love to live in that middle position. Yes in winter a notch under but not so often/summer a notch over. You are not sure but May be? Well for now we are assuming perfect cooling system/conditions. Yes my auxiliary kicks in when temp gets hot/when Ac is no. Perfecto.

Now Due to the complicated nature of this topic and its length we will try to post it in a series of posts.

To conclude post 1 on the intake:

It seems to me BMW engineers were very conscious to control the airflow through the 5 series intakes. They were thinking along the lines of much LOWER volume of air the engine draws and at the same time giving the air in the ducts more time to heat up ( see above/think routing/baffling away from fresh air) , and providing less cooling for the engine compartment. Wow less cooling? I know. Billb sounds crazy and lost it after the flood……. but be patient and don’t jump to your guns/hold your horses till you read round 2 of this post. Yes round 2 will be coming soon with A SOLID PROOF!!!

Again, the baffles are to keep the exhaust note at an acceptable level. This is an interesting theory however, one never knows what those engineers will think of next.

Hint for the proof /post 2? The less air BMW engineers use to cool the 5 series, the better because air going through the car invites more drag than air being baffled.
(Think diversion and go aerodynamics here see you at post 2)
Regards
billb
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#8 (permalink) Old 09-19-2004, 03:29 PM
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BOB T: for sure thanks for your input:

There is no doubt in my mind that "The point about BMW thinking things out carefully". With the exhaust it is near perfect too.

Note this for future discussions:

1. When you looked under the hood you could NOT possibly see the routing of the duct. It is hidden by the light assembly. and

2. YES SIR The intake "APPEARS" it is getting FRESH AIR from the wheelwell...I thought that was the case all along till the flood.....but in reality 528s are not getting fresh air. I AM POSITIVE THEY ARE NOT.... When we use the term Fresh Air we mean cold Air compared to the Air in the engine compartment ( we'll use ambient Air from now on for clarity)

3. This is the crux of my argument....If you have a wheelwell with almost unlimited supply (metered on BMWs though) of FRESH/COLD/ambient Air if you wish (keywords here) why the BAFFLES THEN? These baffles route the fresh air and thus raise its temp!!! So in reality the ambient Air gets into the wheelwell at a certain temp say 75 degrees. by the time it reaches the manifold the temp is significantly MUCH HIGHER than 75 due to the baffles/routing.

4. How the ambient air gets heated will be covered in POST 2. I am searching for more answer myself prior to posting it. Will contact the dealer on Monday.

Again with the help of members like you we will be able to analyze it further

regards
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#9 (permalink) Old 09-19-2004, 03:37 PM
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D3ity

Very interesting comments. and if I may: I expect this topic to grow with the larger replies and we may have to use some pics..If possible to minimize quoting the same info. Just replies. For the sake of those members with olders PCs and limited RAM.

Do you have any clear PICS of the routed ducts/baffles on the intake? this will help us in great deal

Thanks budd
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#10 (permalink) Old 09-20-2004, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by billB@Sep 19 2004, 05:09 PM

1. When you looked under the hood you could NOT possibly see the routing of the duct. It is hidden by the light assembly. and
You're right. I was actually under the car while they were changing the lower control arms. And I realize now that I had a neuron mis-fire.. I was looking at the cooling for the *front brakes*, not the air intake. Sorry. I just remember being impressed that the brakes were getting that much fresh air directly.

Sorry to go OT on you!

Bob

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#11 (permalink) Old 09-20-2004, 01:19 PM
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Someone correct me if I'm wrong but on the M5 model don't they have the air
inlets facing the front (behing the mesh grill, bottom)? What I'm saying is they're are getting fresh air directly from the outside, right? It seems like air is going directly into the scoop rather than the fender design. Or is that to cool off the brakes????


the 540i has the exact cooling routing as the inline 6 engines excepts the routing goes to the oppossite side. For those with inline 6, look to the opposite side of the duct and you'll see a cover to plug the air ducts on V8 models.

Anyway, can't wait for part two!


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#12 (permalink) Old 09-20-2004, 01:23 PM
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Here is anothe pic!
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#13 (permalink) Old 09-20-2004, 01:27 PM
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#14 (permalink) Old 09-20-2004, 02:07 PM
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LOS

EXCELLENT POINT WILL GET BACK TO YOU ON THAT RATHER SOON....AND YES YOU ARE 100% CORRECT IN THE WAY YOU EXPLAINED IT BUT NO BREAK COOLING PLEASE....ONLY KIDDING...

ALL THESE YEARS I THOUGHT THE SAME WAY THOUGH. The inlets are there and I saw them BUT MY STORY DOES NOT END THERE. WILL FILL YOU IN SOON

WILL TRY TO CARRY ON WITH PART ll later on today
regards
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#15 (permalink) Old 09-20-2004, 05:34 PM
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d3ity will become famous soon enough d3ity will become famous soon enough
The M5 has dual intake/airboxes..

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