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Thread: CAI Heat Shield/Filter Box

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    Ohio
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    E21 320i, e39 540i/6

    CAI Heat Shield/Filter Box

    Inspired by Steve (shauer) i decided to make a heat shield to help better control heat in my intake tract. Along with this I will be wrapping the turbo inlet pipe with heat insulating tape because it runs very close to the manifold. I may also wrap a heat shield or manifold blanket around the manifold, make a heat shield for the turbo, and wrap the cold air intake since it runs right over and behind the radiator. I'm not sure there is much benefit to that since airflow through the intake is so fast it doesn't have much time to pick up additional heat.

    I started by making a cardboard cutout. I started with an oversize piece of cardboard (non corrugated works best) and marked where to trim and bend until I liked the fit. I cut a large hole for the pipe so it would not interfere with fitment elseware, then to adapt to pipe placement I made a separate piece to fit tight around the pipe and taped it to the main section. I cut 2 separate pieces to match the contours of the hood where the shield would contact the hood. I then trimmed the shield short so it didn't interfere with the hood, taped it in place, closed the hood and taped the contoured pieces to the shield working through the headlight hole.



    I then made a copy of my cardboard mockup for fine tuning purposes:



    Then traced that on a sheat of .060" aluminum and cut it out using tin snips and a jig saw to cut the hole. To bend the aluminum I clamped it to the work bench under a 2x4 and used another 2x4 as a break.



    Test fit:







    Throught the headlight hole:


    Prime & Paint:


    Before installing I sliced some 5/32" vacuum line down one side and pressed it over the edges that will contact the body, hood and intake pipe.










    '81 320i turbo | t25, 931 CIS, 250hp, 13.92@100mph | 2.2L m10 Turbo Build | My E21 Videos |

  2. #2
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    Very nice! I have always wanted to do this after seeing the work Jeff did using acrylic (you don't even notice the shield separating the block from the intake). I should start thinking about doing this as well.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    97 M3/4/5 81 E21 72 Bav
    Very Clean. Well played.


  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Very nice!

    I like your design more than my current air box. Makes me want to do a second version of mine.

    There is a big improvement in the intake air temp with this kind of shield. I can watch it with the intake air temp sensor on MS and the shield made a big difference, especially on hot summer days.

    - Steve

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Nice work! So are you going to upload your cardboard tracing so we can all print it out and make our own with minimal effort?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Regina, Sask, Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by Layne View Post
    Nice work! So are you going to upload your cardboard tracing so we can all print it out and make our own with minimal effort?
    LOl - was thinking the same thing.

    I seriously fail. As I was looking at the pics, I thought about asking what the thing mounted on the fender wall by the fuse box was. It looks like a brake proportioning valve, then I realized - it's a brake proportioning valve

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Very clean work. What did you mount the shield to? I don't see any visible bolt heads or such.
    I'd rather be driving...

  8. #8
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    There are two bolts on the front and a bracket going to the old air filter bracket. That's all I can see from the pics

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by shauer View Post
    Very nice!

    I like your design more than my current air box. Makes me want to do a second version of mine.

    There is a big improvement in the intake air temp with this kind of shield. I can watch it with the intake air temp sensor on MS and the shield made a big difference, especially on hot summer days.

    - Steve
    Thanks. Reading your data was the deciding factor for me on whether or not it would be worth the effort.

    Quote Originally Posted by Layne View Post
    Nice work! So are you going to upload your cardboard tracing so we can all print it out and make our own with minimal effort?
    I can probably do that, I still have the carboard cutout, but it won't be much good for anyone unless your batter tray is removed.

    Quote Originally Posted by E21Adam View Post
    There are two bolts on the front and a bracket going to the old air filter bracket. That's all I can see from the pics
    That's all there is, but in hind sight it would have been a good idea to make another mount tab in front of the fuse box. I had some old bolts lying around from my e21 parts car that I chucked up in the drill and took to the wire brush on teh bench grinder, then squirted a coat of black engine enamel to keep em from rusting and baked em with the heat gun to make the paint hard. That makes the hardware hard to see.
    Last edited by jrcook320; 03-11-2009 at 03:17 PM.

    '81 320i turbo | t25, 931 CIS, 250hp, 13.92@100mph | 2.2L m10 Turbo Build | My E21 Videos |

  10. #10
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    Duke - '82 320i

  11. #11
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    Nice Work! That looks great

  12. #12
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    Well Done ! ! ! Thumbs up!

  13. #13
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    Toronto & Kingston , ON
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    Very well done!!! That's awesome, i've been thinking about making a heat shield all winter, great job lovin it!

  14. #14
    Join Date
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    Bagged W108, E39 M5, PPV
    Quote Originally Posted by jrcook320 View Post
    I can probably do that, I still have the carboard cutout, but it won't be much good for anyone unless your batter tray is removed.
    That can be arranged.


  15. #15
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    77 320i 82 320is 93 f150
    very nice job. Thanks fo the heat gun tip.

  16. #16
    Join Date
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    Great write up! It's threads like these that prove to us all that we can do projects like these with simple tools that are inexpensive to buy.
    '82 320i M10 Turbo with VEMS
    '95 525i with VEMS M50 PnP
    '99 528 Wagon

  17. #17
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    '86 IROC, '89 GTA
    That adds a very nice touch. Awesome attention to detail as always. Now you need to put a big JEG'S sticker on it...
    '86 IROC-Z Camaro 383/TKO600/C4 IRS

  18. #18
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    Nice clean well thought out a usual...
    Damm that is nice under the hood!
    What did you use on the oil filter housing/front cover/alt. ???

    Jeff

  19. #19
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    nice job man... to copy you, firs i need to move the battery to the trunk....

    itīs the magic...

  20. #20
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by vtgti View Post
    Great write up! It's threads like these that prove to us all that we can do projects like these with simple tools that are inexpensive to buy.
    Thanks. You have quite a few of those threads yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by TKO383 View Post
    That adds a very nice touch. Awesome attention to detail as always. Now you need to put a big JEG'S sticker on it...
    lol JEG's. and maybe a Lingenfelter sticker across the windshield..

    Quote Originally Posted by JDB View Post
    Nice clean well thought out a usual...
    Damm that is nice under the hood!
    What did you use on the oil filter housing/front cover/alt. ???

    Jeff
    Thanks. The silver is just engine enamel "aluminum" with engine enamel clear coat. It gives it a nice color that is richer and more durable than "aluminum" alone which tends to streak and water spot.

    '81 320i turbo | t25, 931 CIS, 250hp, 13.92@100mph | 2.2L m10 Turbo Build | My E21 Videos |

  21. #21
    Join Date
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    curiosity, would making a heat shield show any noticeable improvement on a N/A car?
    E21 Legion and proud member
    No dash to cracked, No shimmy to strong!
    RIP 1976 316 charbel is picking your parts from his teeth
    1977 320i
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  22. #22
    Join Date
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    Josh,
    Can't say it enough. The best CAI box I've seen for an E21. I'm not surprised that it came from you.To finish this off... do you have any thermocouples to do some temp readings? It'd be fun to read temps pre and post turbo, and post intercooler. Might give you some more info on tuning stuff as well. My friend did this on his water to air setup on his Mk1 4-Runner.

    You think the template would fit on a 17x11? You could do an AutoCAD drawing and make it a PDF on 17x11, then folks could just print and trace if they could find a large format printer.


  23. #23
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    ^That would be sweet! But I wouldnt be able to use it. Attila had a pretty badass "CAI" stubby running right off the FD. I know he isnt using that anymore since he went EFI

  24. #24
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by pthm View Post
    curiosity, would making a heat shield show any noticeable improvement on a N/A car?
    I'm using a similar but less elegant version of this same CAI on my NA engine and it reduced the intake air temp by up to 20 or 30 degrees F depending on outside air temp and driving speed. At any speed over about 30 miles an hour the intake air was within a few degrees F of ambient.

    This makes a difference you can feel on EFI where colder intake air equals more fuel. I'm not sure how big a difference it will make on kjet which does not compensate for intake air temp.

    - Steve

  25. #25
    Join Date
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    1977 320i-s, 1986 635csi
    I was just curious because I know that air is more dense when cold, and that the K-jet sytem measures air density. or so i would think
    E21 Legion and proud member
    No dash to cracked, No shimmy to strong!
    RIP 1976 316 charbel is picking your parts from his teeth
    1977 320i
    1986 635csi
    1983 320is, parted for the 77
    2012 BMW G650GS Sertao
    Wife's:
    2007 Suzuki SV650
    1989 535 with manual swap
    1993 740i

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