Race Precision Front Mount Intercooler
A cooler intake charge means a more dense intake charge.
A dense intake charge means there is more oxygen to combust, more oxygen
to combust means a bigger explosion, and a bigger explosion means more
smiles! With Race Precision's Front Mount Intercooler you will
gain just that. Designed by RPi, this Bar and
Plate design front mount intercooler is crafted from
aluminum with billet CNC machined end bolts fitted
to stock components so no modifications need to be made on installation.
RPi used the Bar and Plate design because it is simply the BEST. Charge
air travels through rectangular shaped passages that have more surface
area, in turn improve cooling of the charge air. The major advantage to
using the Bar and Plate design over the traditional tube and fin is a
35% larger surface area for cooling;
Realistically, a smaller Bar and Plate intercooler can be use and still
have the same performance efficiency of a larger tube and fin
intercooler. Another advantage the Bar and Plate design has is for
vehicles with a limited opening or immovable parts such as the E90 / 92
in which spacing is precious and every component has to be in used in
What is an intercooler?
The intake air passes in through
the air filter, from here it travels into the compressor (turbo) here
the intake air is compressed (boosted) and pumped into the intercooler.
When the air is compressed it gets hot, (not from the hot turbo) due to
the compression process. The intercooler (air to air) uses cold air from
the front mounted position passing through the fins to cool the hot
inlet air that is passing through the other (inside part) of the
intercooler. The inlet air gives off heat to the cooling air.
The colder the air entering
the engine the more HP as its a denser charge with more oxygen and fuel.
BUT do not get this mixed up with air temps at the air filter, as this
is only marginal in changes effecting the BIG increases in temps when
the air is compressed in the turbo. It is only possible to change the
air filter inlet temps by a couple of degrees and this is marginal on
effect of performance. The temperature before the intercooler is very
high and thus easily reduced as the difference between inside and
outside temps of the intercooler are large. (The larger the difference
the easier to effect change)
|RPi FMIC Benefits
26whp gain over stock
210F to 102F
drop from stock
1yr Warranty on
The following review is courtesy of 645Nm from E90post.com
The RPI intercooler looks stunning on its own and in the
car but I had to get rid of the RPI logo, not because I have anything against
the company logo, I wanted the intercooler to appear stock once installed. With
aluminum spray with a high temp tolerance, I erased the logo. Frankly, once the
RPI intercooler is installed and the bumper back on, the Intercooler is still
VERY noticeable behind the mesh compared to stock.
It took my brother and I, exactly 1 hour and 30 minutes to
install the RPI intercooler. The install process was really easy for me as a
novice. The only difficult part was lifting the car using the jacks and bricks
that were lying around.
Removing the covers and bumper was a breeze – I read on the forum some people
installed the RPI Intercooler without removing the front bumper. I think it can
be done; but it is so much easier if you can see what you are doing by removing
Basic tools are needed which you can pick up at your local
hardware store such as basic metric sockets, screwdrivers, torx bit, ratchet
handle and maybe an extension.
Removing the stock intercooler after unclipping it from
its connectors will literally slide out. This you can do on your own without any
help. The attach pictures show how small it is compared to its replacement and
certainly MUCH lighter.
Pushing the RPI intercooler into the gap is not easy
because it is much larger than the stock unit. One person cannot do this alone.
I had to use my feet as well to push the new unit into place. But once in and
the clips on the connecting pipes clicked in (make sure you hear those clips
“click” in place); two screws fastened –the job is done. All that remained was
the bumper and bottom covers refitted.
When you start up the car a little bit of smoke and funny
smells will come from the exhaust, probably the Intercooler cleaning itself? But
after a quick drive it will be back to normal. Well not actually!
But before I describe the new driving experience let me
share some of my concerns:
1. The stock intercooler had dirty “blow back” oil on both
sides of the connecting pipes that will certainly find their way into the turbos
and filter intakes. It is disconcerting for a car with only 4 000km on the
clock. Without an “oil catch can” this will happen with the new intercooler as
well. BMW engineers better fix this!
2. The RPI intercooler does not have any hooks or holes at the bottom to attach
the bottom car covers – at high speeds the wind lifted/pushing into or down the
bottom covers – there is no other way to attach the covers. With the stock
Intercooler the covers screwed into the stock intercooler holding everything
nicely in place.
3. The RPI intercooler does not require any cutting or modifications to the
bumper/covers or the plastic housing of the radiator. But due to its size the
RPI intercooler does bend some of the existing plastics below the radiator. This
will not cause permanent damage but it is not an “exact” fit.
4. My first install attempt flopped . I did not properly connect the intercooler
pipes with the stock pipes. The left hand side pipes were connected properly but
the damn pipes on the right slipped out because the clip was not correctly
inserted. So when I took the car for a test drive I had quite a few limp modes
with reduced power. From the advice of some of the forum members such as
oddjob2021 and Mariopalza, I was able to trace and fix the problem – thanks
The sound is the first thing that changed. The exhaust tone is louder, deeper
and throatier outside and inside the cabin (but a nice racy sound). The “ssssh”
of the BMS dual cone filters appears less pronounced.
But the car feels less enthusiastic almost lethargic at
lower revs in “D” and “DS” modes. But the moment you push it above 3000rpm, the
devil is let loose. The “butt dyno” pull is even and strong. Drive feels much
smoother compared to stock. The car runs cooler and the engine oil temp remains
shy of the 120 degree Celsius.
Another good investment.