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    • Finally! A FMIC (front mount intercooler) option for the 535 from CP-E. Pictures of the install on a 2008 535i with the N54

      If you have a 535i and are looking for an aftermarket FMIC, you probably have run into the same thing I have. Lots of people said it fits, no one has direct experience though. After going thru quite a few other 535i owners experiences, I decided to try and take it on myself. I started not trusting what people were saying online (I know, shocker) and calling manufacturers directly. One of those was CP-E. As fortune would have it, I got the owner on the phone and I started asking him questions. They too said they sold one but had never fit one themselves and, well, same old story. Josh (the owner) did pique my interest by letting me know he had sold quite a few and never received a return, so he assumes they fit. This, and now knowing Josh a little better at this point, really rang true to me. So, even if it wasn't a "direct" fit, how bad could it be? I knew better then to DIY but, after seeing how it was done, I don't think it would be too bad.


      So, I pulled the trigger and got their 535 FMIC. When it arrived, I was actually a bit shocked (wife included to have a size reference - she is 5'4"). Yes, that is the look I normally get when she sees something new for the car.


      The box was huge!! I got a sick feeling to my stomach. No way was this gonna fit. I opened it up though and was pleasantly surprised.


      It was really well packed to avoid damage. Now I'm still fairly new when it comes to ordering higher end bolt ons, but I was not expecting that. Here's a few more shots to show the parts and the welds.




      I took the car to the shop the next day where they wouldn't give me a quote, but I trust the guys so off I went on this journey. I wanted to take a shot of the bumper off with the stock IC on, but the guy was too fast and he had the old one out by the time I got back there. Regardless, here is the shot of the "space" for the IC and the oil cooler.


      We compared the size of the two IC's. Weight wise, the CP-E was probably 5 times as heavy, easily. You could see down into the stock IC and the cooling fins were really minimal. The CP-E one just feel solid and sounds that way to (I know, weird, but more metal = a deeper sound, right?).




      He pulled down the oil cooler (not shown) and started to test fit the IC. It's hard to tell without seeing it in person, but the part of the radiator bracket with the arrow pointing to it must go. It will not let the CP-E FMIC slip into place. There's another photo below of it being cutout.


      So after the test fit, the surgery began to cut out the part of the bracket that protrudes into the FMIC "space".


      The 2nd test fit shows the factory screw threads for the OEM IC are not in the right place for the CP-E to directly bolt into. They are close but, well, it wasn't close enough. The tech drilled thru the bracket and ran a bolt thru it to secure the weight. You will have to do this on both sides.


      Once the holes are drilled and you've bolted the FMIC to the radiator bracket, then it looks fantastic! Well placed in the front of the car without blocking any other critical parts.




      Next comes the tricky part, and honestly the one reason I brought this to a shop that customizes in tuning cars. The oil cooler. Now I've been told it was the transmission cooler by many other folks, but the tech insisted it was the oil cooler. I'll believe him as CP-E even sells an oil cooler kit which would go, well, right where it was sitting. The trick here is how to attach this thing securely and make it look good too. They decided to use an L bracket and the factory plastic "clamp" the wraps around it (and connects it) to the factory IC and use the threaded holes on the CP-E FMIC to mount it to. Brilliant!

      Here's the oil cooler just resting on top for now.


      The shop took a strip of aluminum, put an L bend into it (actually well past 90 degrees, probably around 135 degrees), drilled holes at the bottom to mount to the FMIC and at the top to mount into the plastic OEM OC bracket. Voila! You now have a clean install that looks good and is secure.




      He reconnected the oil cooler lines, made sure all the other lines were out of the way and not pinched or rubbing, then buttoned everything up! Here is how it looks from eye level. One thing I didn't photograph is he had to trim the rubber "curtain" that you feed the oil lines thru on left. Not much, just enough to keep it from putting stress on the lines.


      The cost for the install was $400 and took about 4 hours total. Again, it's not overly complicated but you do need cutting tools, a vast array of bolts (I have no idea what size) and some strip aluminum to make this happen. I'm sure there may be other little wrinkles but as I didn't DIY, I can't really help with that.

      I'm very happy I did this and, the next day I went ahead and installed my cobb AP STG2 FMIC (aggressive) map. I quickened my 0-60 time by .6 of a second (without really trying hard) and my IAT's are staying much cooler now. Here's a log of a quick 0-60 run I did last night. I will get a dyno run done soon but I am guessing I am around 370-380 whp. All I know is the car hauls now (it did before but it's another pronounced difference - as much as from stock to Cobb stg 1) and, during my run, after a sunny 75 degree day (it was dark out), we breaking traction at around 4k in 1st gear.


      Hope this helps everyone!
      This article was originally published in forum thread: 2008 535i FMIC Install - with pics! started by xclone View original post
      Comments 40 Comments
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Great stuff, promoted to the front page.
      1. jacobs323i's Avatar
        jacobs323i -
        I do not understand how a company can market a product for a specific model and have never test fitted it? Just plain dumb in my opinion, but glad it worked for ya!
      1. Terry@BMS's Avatar
        Terry@BMS -
        Glad to hear it fits the 535! We'll definitely update our application listing for it. We always keep a few in stock and customers love them. Click here to enlarge
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by jacobs323i Click here to enlarge
        I do not understand how a company can market a product for a specific model and have never test fitted it? Just plain dumb in my opinion, but glad it worked for ya!
        How have they been marketing it for a specific model? I believe CP-E said it should fit and someone would need to test it. Well, it was tested, it fits.
      1. n54BoostOnCoke's Avatar
        n54BoostOnCoke -
        will this fit a 335i ? I like the fact that it's taller than the one they sell for 335i ?
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by n54BoostOnCoke Click here to enlarge
        will this fit a 335i ? I like the fact that it's taller than the one they sell for 335i ?
        I thought this was just basically the 335i intercooler?
      1. n54BoostOnCoke's Avatar
        n54BoostOnCoke -
        On their website it says 4 tall while this one is 6.5 tall
      1. alpinedevil335's Avatar
        alpinedevil335 -
        Congrats, and thanks for sharing!
      1. n54BoostOnCoke's Avatar
        n54BoostOnCoke -
        bumps on the core size
      1. DavidV's Avatar
        DavidV -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by n54BoostOnCoke Click here to enlarge
        will this fit a 335i ? I like the fact that it's taller than the one they sell for 335i ?
        They have a 335 /135 version on which the piping outlets are like stock.
        Here they are lenghthened by welding corner piping on them. You can have the standard 335 / 135 FMIC with the original couplings or with 3" couplings with extra flexible piping.
        Also the triangular aluminum pieces on top are not present in de 335 / 135 version. They prove quite handy in this 535 setup.
      1. n54BoostOnCoke's Avatar
        n54BoostOnCoke -
        That's not the question, the question is whether the dimensions are 4X22X6 or 6.5X5.5X22
      1. DavidV's Avatar
        DavidV -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by n54BoostOnCoke Click here to enlarge
        That's not the question, the question is whether the dimensions are 4X22X6 or 6.5X5.5X22
        If it is taller then the standard 335 cooler then no, it will not fit.
        The standard FMIC is as low as you can go while still being able to mount the undertray.
        I can guarantee it will stick out under the car if it is 1.5"taller.
      1. xclone's Avatar
        xclone -
        The measurements were taken using a tape measure on the entire piece. I'm not sure if their measurements were done on just the IC itself, without the "edge" flanges or not. I do know the piping is different on the 5 version so it's possible the edge pieces specific to the 5 are attached instead of just the piping being modified. I can't say for sure but give the guys at CP-E a call. They were very accommodating with my calls and great to work with.
      1. jacobs323i's Avatar
        jacobs323i -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        How have they been marketing it for a specific model? I believe CP-E said it should fit and someone would need to test it. Well, it was tested, it fits.
        I went to their page and then the sub-forum for the 535i it is listed under that sub-forum as a product for the 535i, how is that not saying it is for the 535i?
      1. xclone's Avatar
        xclone -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by jacobs323i Click here to enlarge
        I went to their page and then the sub-forum for the 535i it is listed under that sub-forum as a product for the 535i, how is that not saying it is for the 535i?
        Seems to me that they get the specs and layout then design it. I've seen this type of approach on many different bolt on's for the 535. To me, it makes sense to approach it in that fashion for the 5'ers as there just aren't as many of us modding so they time and effort they would put in to "dial it in" to that approach will probably not be recouped like it is for the 1 or 3 series.

        They are being completely honest and upfront with it. It fits, it works but they just didn't have a confirmed, in shop, install. You may disagree but I can almost guarantee they had some level of confirmation from the mockup, just not in their shop.
      1. Itsbrokeagain's Avatar
        Itsbrokeagain -
        looks very nice! Some minor adjustments to the rest of the production models and it should be a first class fitment..
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by jacobs323i Click here to enlarge
        I went to their page and then the sub-forum for the 535i it is listed under that sub-forum as a product for the 535i, how is that not saying it is for the 535i?
        They believed it would fit... it did.
      1. Puerto Rican 335d's Avatar
        Puerto Rican 335d -
        @ xclone you are now the MAN in this sight, Felicidades!!! great write up and job. @ Sticky and Terry does the 335d have such thing as IC if so, would they benefit from this add up. Gracias. Sticky still coming to the Island? let me know ok!!
      1. DavidV's Avatar
        DavidV -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Puerto Rican 335d Click here to enlarge
        does the 335d have such thing as IC if so, would they benefit from this add up
        The 335D does have a FMIC, pretty similar to a 335i actually. Not sure if a diesel engine would benefit the same way a pertol engine does...
      1. Puerto Rican 335d's Avatar
        Puerto Rican 335d -
        Thanks @DavidV, we would like to get more info on this for the D guys