Its coming back on…

In the summer of 2008, I sold my OEM CSL Bootlid in favor of a Stoptech Big Brake Kit. At the time, it made sense. It was too much money – $2300 for the bootlid, $500 for the paint – so $2800, invested on an aesthetic part.

This company called Scorza came around in 2009 or so and they made some amazingly fitting CSL replica bootlids in CF. I found a guy selling one for a good price and am going to pick it up on Wednesday.

I can’t wait to see this booty again….



Takata Green Volk TE37SL

Sold both sets of Apex Wheels and spent the money on some Volk TE37SL in Takata Green – a color I have always wanted on wheels. Here are some pictures:





Been a while…

It has certainly been a while. Had a long and rough summer. The car was doing nothing for a while. Dropped 30lbs off me, so I can’t wait to see how that feels on the track. Only recently have I even begun to fiddle with the car. Here are some quick updates.


My windshield had gone through 9 years of serious abuse from me and the previous owner. While attempting to fix something on my car I accidentally cracked the windshield and decided it was time to get it replaced. I searched M3Forum and everyone talked about SafeLite and OEM. Safelite offers OEM glass and mouldings as well as their own made in America glass and oe quality moulding. I decided to go with Safelite since it was $500 vs. $800 and for what I put the car through – track/highway/track/highway etc. There was no reason to pay the additional $300. I had Safelite come and replace it – a 30 minute job.

People complained about waviness in the glass and I do see what they are talking about. The waviness occurs more towards the bottom of the glass – near the defroster vents. Not a big deal. I can see how some people would dislike it.


I had wanted to put back the interior for a few months. I had a track event last month. On the way there, I had a blow out and had to put on a hoosier and drive to my friend Lightwerkz garage and decided to swap in my interior. I put down the front and rear carpets – which were a pain in the ass since we didn’t take them out the right way and we didn’t want to remove the dash to put it in the right way – it got in and it looks great. Definitely quieted the interior up. I also put in the rear seat cushion and the rear door panels. The car sounds great now and is way more civil.


The past few weeks I have been turning on my car and the battery light illuminates red for a few minutes and then goes away. This is an early sign for alternator failure. If the alternator is failing, that means the car is running on the battery – which will die soon. I decided to go with the ECS Tuning Bosch Remanufactured Alternator. It was around $300 and there was a core return – so I would get back $80 or so. The alternator install is straight forward.

1. remove the strut bar
2. remove the airbox (for me it was removing half the cf evolve air box)
3. undo the 16mm alternator pully bolt
4. undo the 16mm lower alternator bolt
5. undo the voltage regulator sensor
6. undo the 13mm red battery cable
7. shimmy the alternator out
8. reinstall new alternator

I ran into a snafu. The bottom bolt wouldn’t fit. initially i left it off, but read that was a big mistake. I returned to it today and dremeled some clearance for me to install the bottom bolt. Everything is fastened up and ready to go.


Decided to sell both sets of my Apex ARC8 wheels. I initially went with the Apex because I wanted 2 sets of wheels for the price of one set of wheels – the Volks that I had. Since I am finished with the hoosiers, I decided to sell both sets and get one set of wheels and start running some NT01 or maybe even Hankook RS3s. I do love putting down awesome lap times, but decided that maybe maximizing less aggressive tires would be more fun. Only time will tell.

Oh yeah, I bought a set of Takata Green Volk TE37SL. They should be here on Tuesday.


LED Reverse Lights

M3Freak86 over on M3Forum bought some crazy LED reverse lights. I needed to have the same so got them. No error codes and they are BRIGHT as heck! Installed them today.


led lights




So far thats all thats been going on

Will update you once I get the Takatas on. Also – have a track event on next weekend. Can’t wait to get out there!

First time ever hearing a CSL air box…

I was at Eurofest today and dyno’ed my car with the Tuning Techniques Dyno Dynamics dynamometer. It has been 110 miles since I installed the air box and the tune. I am not sure how many miles are required for full adaptation, in fact my car actually was surging and stalled before I got on the dyno, but she fired up real quick.

I remember forum member nnacpil ran a 319whp going catless w/the evolve r tune. i was hoping that i would be somewhat close to that, considering i just spent 5k on the air box and tune! I got a 306whp. the weather was around 62 degrees and off we went.

I had never heard a CSL air box. I have previously stated that I can barely hear mine since my car is gutted and I have never heard one on someone else’s car.

The minute I heard it…my eyes widened and a bit of drool formed on my lip! The thing sounds outrageous!

here is the video

It starts getting good at around 45 seconds.

So regarding the #s. I have no baseline with Dyno Dynamics dynos, so I have no idea what the delta was. Overall I am very happy with the over 300 #. I ran on a dynojet with a stock headers, 1,2 and rogue el diablo. I ran a 290. I wonder what I would get if I went catless.

Quest for full Supersprint deliciousness

A few years ago, my good friend Lightwerkz had a full superpsrint exhaust set up – SS Stepped Headers, SS Section 1, SS Resonated Section 2, SS Race – on his E46 M3. It was the greatest sounding exhaust I have ever heard in my life.

At WOT, it was just pure terror. I loved listening to that car. The Supersprint Race is a great muffler and accounts for about 75% of the noise, but when you start adding the other exhaust components, especially the headers, the sound changes dramatically.

I have OEM CSL Headers on my car. I never plan on doing a header job again, so I won’t be changing those, but the section 1 and section 2, are another story. As of right now, I am running the Euro Section 1 which have 2 bungs for the o2 sensors. The US Section 1 does not have these bungs. I easily could have 2 o2 bungs and an EGT bung welded on, but I think all that would add up to 200 bucks or so. For another $150 I found a nice set of Supersprint Section 1 pipes.

I can’t wait to put these bad boys on and be able to run the o2 sensors and EGT sensor. Good purchase.




Now the next question is, will I get a Supersprint Unresonated / Resonated Section 2 pipe to complete the set up? Highly doubtful. I had a Resonated Supersprint Section 2 and it was very loud and annoying. It kind of overwhelmed the sound of the SS Race. So for now, I will just keep these 2 pieces from SS and keep the OEM section 2. I also have heard that the OEM Section 2 is the best pipe to create low end torque. Either way, I am glad.

Thanks for reading.

Cleaning up Airbox Install part 1

So I decided to clean up my install a bit.

For some reason, my upper radiator hose plastic shrouding was “rubbing” against the front of the CF air box – near the evolve # plaque. I looked at various installs and it seemed like people had plenty of space between the airbox and the shroud. I discovered that after my cooling system rehaul, I did not install the shroud properly.

Initially I wanted to remove it, since the CSL doesn’t even have this shroud, but I didn’t have access to a dremel and realized that if it were fitted properly, it would be fine.

I undid the push rivet and lined it up and put it back in properly.


Once the shroud was installed properly, there was plenty of clearance.



I left the snorkel off the car, but was not sure if it was mandatory to have it on. I know the doesn’t have the upper radiator hose shroud, but does have the snorkel, but thats because the intake opening is much higher compared to the Evolve air box.


I will probably leave it off for now. The next thing that I want to take care of is the driver side front suspension canister. I zip tied it to the radiator support near the driver side headlight. Its fine now, but the adjustment knob touches the upper radiator hose coupling. Obviously this is not good. What I want to do after advising with my friends was get some hose – plumbing hose of some kind – and zip tie it to the radiator hose and have the canister rest on that. Also plan on removing the gold take since I have been reading that the aluminum on the canisters dissipate heat quickly so there is no need to keep the heat in.

Thats it for now.

Thanks for reading!

Finally, the CF CSL Airbox goes in.


So I received my CSL air box in January of this year. I did not want to install it when the weather was crappy, just due to the fact that i hate working in the cold and wanted to do it on a nice day. Today was that day. I spent the past few days reviewing the DIY that enigmaticdream created and the Group Buy thread, which has plenty of information for someone to complete this install.

Before I began I purchased a few things.

-10 1 3/4 – 2 3/4 hose clamps from Home Depot – $10
-Lisle 30500 CV Boot Clamp Plier = $17 on
-OEM BMW Throttle Position Sensor (i replaced the front one a few years ago, the rear one located under the intake manifold is on its original so I thought I would replace it) – $80 from

After that, i just dove right in. I got to my garage at 930am. I took my time, had help from Lightwerkz, and bs’ed a lot and got out by 3pm.

I am going to post some pictures and go through the process.


I removed the strut bar center, the battery cables, the cabin filter, and some of the weather stripping around the ecu box area.


Although the other DIY indicates to not worry about using the Lisle boot clamp tool, I enjoyed using it. Made removing the clamps simple. All you do is hook up one hook on each tooth of the clamp remover.


Ok, this is something that wasn’t included in the other DIY, maybe it was, but I didn’t read it well enough. So the runners from the intake manifold connect to the throttle bodies. Once you remove the clamps, the 2 hoses on top of the intake manifold, the 2 hoses under the intake manifold, and the bunch of hoses that are hooked onto a tab under the manifold, you have to remove 2 10mm bolts that hold the manifold to a v-shaped frame. Once that is removed, you unscrew the runners off the intake manifold. Once you do that, you can remove the plastic threaded portion found in EnigmaticDreams DIY.

Here is the threaded portion:

threaded plastic

This is me removing the clamp off the runners after they were screwed OFF the intake manifold:


Once everything was removed I got to look at this:



Initially I wanted to buy some throttle body cleaner and clean them out, but they looked fine when I inspected them. Not much build up. I also noticed there was NO oil leak what-so-ever anywhere, which was a relief.

The next part was the most annoying thing I have ever dealt with. The Dipstick. I do not remember, but I thought I had paid for the CSL dipstick. But this was a PITA. Essentially you have to bend the dipstick so that the red handle is behind the strut bar. It took lots of time, but eventually we got it bent the right way.

Here is where it sits:




Another thing with the dipstick, I removed the 8mm bolt that holds down a clamp. Then pulled the dipstick upwards. THere was a gasket that was in the hole, that I dropped and didn’t find. I replaced it with a copper gasket that fit quite well. Its really strange how simple it is to remove the dipstick. The end of the dipstick has a lip which acts as a gasket as well.

I also bent the bracket on the dipstick that normally is used to be held on to the oem intake manifold. As it sits, its quite stable and doesn’t move. So no banging onto the CF goodness.

Once that was done, I took the air box and undid the 3 allen bolts that hold on the small part of the intake to the big part. I then took the rubber runners and slid them onto the throttle bodies. I used the home depot clamps to hold the rubber on the throttle bodies side and then slid the hose clamps Evolve gave me on the wider rubber part that would hold the CF runners.


Next is this hose that hooks up to the intake manifold on the far right on the top. This connects to a hose near the ECU. I shimmied a flat head into the rubber portion, and pulled the hose out hard. This is a perfect fit into the CF air box.


Once I slid the air box in, I connected all the hoses. I then slowly tightened the hose clamps. Next up was the Evolve air filter. It was extremely oily when I removed the filter. It snapped in quite easily.



After that was done, it was time to see if that dipstick bending was successful. The second part of the air box uses tabs to slide the big part into the little part on the bottom, a tab on the side near the firewall, and just the allen screws on the top and the side near the front of the air box. It took some maneuvering, and loosening up the hose clamps to get the air box to slide in together. Once in, tighten the 3 allen head screws and voila the air box is installed.


The method I chose for wiring was to cut the MAF sensor off and just solder in the IAT wiring that Evolve supplied. Lightwerkz did my wiring and did a fantastic job. Soldered the wiring and heat shrink wrapped the remaining wires exposed wires.



The only issue that I have is that the threading for the IAT was full of resin so it did not screw down all the way. Its in halfway, but my opinion is as long as the sensor is in the hole fully, we should be fine. I am sure the threaded portion just acts like a seal.


Causes for concern:

-like others mentioned – the rubber boots do bunch up a bit. I guess thats just the nature of hose clamps. they are tightly holding the throttle bodies and cf runners, so it should be nice.

-the holes that hold the bracket on the bottom of the air box. they were filled with resin. it made screwing the nuts evolve supplied a scare since you didn’t want to cross thread them nor did you want to crack the air box.

-the hole for the IAT, same issue, resin in the thread.

-the plastic housing that holds the upper radiator hose. It rubs against the front of the air box. I need to put some electric tape or something to stop it from doing more damage:


Here are some pictures of the air box installed:





My car is completely gutted. The only thing remaining in the car are seats, front door panels, a roll bar, and a dash. I also have spherical bushings everywhere and a race suspension. So the car is naturally loud. Before this air box I had an AFE Stage 2 intake which made a significantly better sound than the OEM air box. With that being said, I can hear the CF CSL air box above 5500rpm and below 3000rpm. From 3100-4900rpm, the sound of the car is too overwhelming that I don’t notice a difference.

I am sure that the air box makes a HUGE difference from the outside of the car, but from the inside, the car is so hollow and gutted that its not that noticeable. I would go as far as saying it is not as day and night or as obvious as the Top Gear CSL video makes it out to be. Perhaps it needs more time to adapt and will start sounding that much better.

I do feel at the top end the intake sounds great. The car is just so loud on the inside when I drive it, its hard for me to recognize. I ripped it a few times to 8100rpm and it sounded great. Also, taking off in first gear, you can hear the growl of induction. I need more time with it really.

Now what I do feel is the Alpha N Tune. Evolve does a great job with the ease of flashing the tune with their Evolve-R Tuning cable and software. I ran into an issue since I did not have the updated software, but I got lucky and downloaded it. The tune flashed SO quickly and easily. Turned the car on and it fired right up. I gave it some gas and it stuttered hard and then fell on its face and it stalled. Turned it on, left it running for about 3-5 minutes and the car was good to go!

The car pulls nicely w/the alpha N tune. What I immediately noticed was shifting from 1st to 2nd. There seemed to be more torque. Perhaps the torque curve got even flatter and maybe got a few more lbs-tq. I think the top end power is also slightly improved. Perhaps 10hp or so. We will find out when I get the car dyno’ed this summer.


The Evolve Carbon Fiber CSL Airbox is great. Its a quality made piece and looks fantastic. I really love the 1×1 gloss. I am glad I went with it. The causes of concern are the resin in the threaded areas, but those are minute. The dipstick is a pita to bend. If I did it over again, I would have opted for the CSL dipstick. I love the alpha n tune. I think it adds more power and feels great. I want to drive the car more so it adapts more and I can give a better review.

I plan on making a video in a few days of in car and hopefully a drive by so you can hear the howl. Until then, enjoy the pictures. Thanks for reading.