BMS F series N55 charge pipes for RWD manual transmission cars

F87Source

Sergeant
Oct 14, 2019
329
144
0
Canada
Ride
2017 Bmw M2
Introduction:

In this review as hinted by the title I will be taking a look at the BMS F series N55 charge pipe (RWD version) for my 2017 bmw m2 with a 6 speed manual. Before we begin I have to extend a shout out to BMS for giving me a discount to review this charge pipe, but like always I will be writing an unbiased review.


Credit:
All images in this review were taken by me.


Disclaimer:

Any technical advice, installation instruction, or product installation, decision to purchase a product is done so at your own risk I will not be responsible for personal injuries, injuries to others or any living being, any damage to your car, or any property damage.


Customer Service:

Just like what I have said in the past with my BMS intercooler review, BMS has absolutely excellent customer service. They have incredible email response times from within minutes to at most a couple of hours. They are also incredibly patient and willing to answer questions and never hint to you that they are getting annoyed which is incredibly nice to see. The final bit that just pushes BMS’s customer service above and beyond was when one of my charge pipes came with a stripped out thread in the ⅛ npt bung, they just sent me a brand new replacement section without hassle and without me having to spend money to ship the old part back. This is absolutely incredible customer service as I normally would have to argue with a company and send back the old parts just to get a replacement. Overall like I have said in the past, BMS customer service imo is the golden benchmark of what customer service should be in the BMW aftermarket parts industry.

Shipping:

The shipping was extremely quick from California to Canada via Fedex, it took approximately 5 days to arrive. BMS’s processing time was also quick, from the night I placed the order it was already packaged and ready to ship by the next day, which is excellent. The charge pipes were also individually wrapped with a thin foam wrapper and packaged carefully in a cardboard box with alot of paper packing material to protect it. So it shouldn’t arrive damaged even if the exterior box was dropped. Overall the whole shipping aspect from time it took to arrive, to packaging, and order processing time was very good.

Images:

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BMS charge pipe interior:
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Interior of another popular charge pipe:
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Overview:

Now onto the overview of the BMS charge pipes:

1) Powder coat: it has an extremely nice wrinkled black powder coating that is perfectly applied to the pipes and has no missing or irregular spots. The next best part is that BMS ensured that while these pipes were powder coated that it was properly taped up so there is no over spray of powder coating inside of the charge pipes (unlike other companies that do a poor job of this). BMS also made sure that the meth bungs and vacuum port were properly taped off during powder coating so they were also left with the original raw aluminium finish. This means that meth nozzles or any other things that utilizes the ⅛ npt ports will be able to sit flush with the mating surface of the bungs and not impeded with power coating. The vacuum hose will also be able to attach onto the port without any fitment issues because there is no thick powder coating there. This is really important because that vacuum hose is extremely tight and hard to get on and off even with the factory charge pipes let alone the BMS charge pipes so any additional thickness left on by powder coating will not help.

2) The bms charge pipes also utilize the stock O-rings from the OEM charge pipes which seal much better than many o-ring solutions that may be provided with aftermarket pipes. For example the intercooler side of the charge pipes utilize a different style of O-ring (not the standard circular style o-ring) where there is a lip on it to provide better compressive sealing against the intercooler flange (https://www.ecstuning.com/b-genuine-bmw-parts/intercooler-pipe-seal/11617791469/).

3) The next benefit of the BMS charge pipe is that the welds were done in such a way that there are no welding stalactites on the interior of the charge pipes. This allows for a smoother interior of the pipe aiding in smooth air flow. It also eliminates any risk of these welding stalactites from breaking off and getting sucked into the engine.

4) The next thing we must speak about is the placement of the ⅛ npt bungs commonly use for water methanol injection nozzles. BMS has 2 of these bungs placed at the coupling ends of each section of the charge pipes. This placement is extremely critical because of the following reasons:

a) It places these bungs far enough from the intercooler outlet that air flow becomes as laminar as possible allowing for better water methanol droplet atomization.

b) The next benefit about this mounting position is that the 2 meth bungs are far enough away from each other that there will not be any destructive interference with the spray pattern from either nozzle.

c) The final benefit of this meth bung mounting position is that it is far enough away from the throttle body to allow for the water methanol spray to achieve full atomization before it enters the engine. This position also places the meth bungs as far as possible from the TMAP sensor and the vacuum bung preventing any large droplets from hitting the sensors. Overall BMS is one of only a few companies that properly space and place the meth bungs. I have seen so many popular brands of charge pipes that are commonly used on the m2 and the majority of them do meth bung placement incorrectly.


5) The hardware included consists of:

a) A silicone coupler: this is multi-ply in design and built to tolerate high boost loads and provide the flexibility required to compensate for any engine movements.

b) T-bolt clamps: which are the style of clamps designed for high boost applications, unlike cheap worm gear clamps.

c) TMAP sensor screws

d) Extra ⅛ npt bungs with what seems to be red loctite already pre applied, if you plan to use methanol injection down the road I would not use these plugs incase they get stuck due to the loctite. Instead use the already installed plugs and use some thread sealant. Note if you use PTFE tape skip the first few threads to prevent any PTFE tape from breaking off inside of the charge pipe and getting sucked into your engine.

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Installation:

Ok so lets briefly go over how to install these charge pipes:

1) Remove the factory charge pipes - to do this you must:
a) Remove the underbody stiffening plate and from skid cover
b) Then disconnect the TMAP (use a small flat head screwdriver to lift the tab it is easier than pressing down on the connector), then I would personally remove the tmap sensor before dragging the pipe out of the car so use a T20 torx to remove the two screws holding that in. The tmap is in a really tight area so you will need a precision screwdriver set to remove it while it is still in the car. This is what I used: https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/...n-electronics-bit-set-66-pc-0573624p.html#srp

After the screws are out gently remove the tmap and do not touch the tip of the sensor to anything that could cause it to get contaminated or dirty. The sensor is more durable than the MAF but still treat it with care.

c) Disconnect the C Clip and vacuum lines, then pull the charge pipe off of the throttle body.

d) Then you have a choice to either pull the charge pipes up and out of the engine bay or down and out of the bottom of the car. My personal advice is to pull it down and out, you will snag on less things and you will not have to pull the ac hose out of the way.

2) Using a pick remove the O-rings from the stock charge pipe and clean them up, be very careful not to damage these O-rings because they are expensive. Also make sure to note the orientation of the intercooler side O-ring because there is a correct orientation to that one. The correct way to have it is to have the “V” lip towards the inside of the pipe so it is smooth when you look in towards the charge pipe pipe. This way the O-ring does not bind up on the intercooler outlet and it will smoothly slide onto the intercooler and force itself against the intercooler outlet creating a tight seal. You can use engine oil as the lubricant, or a silicone type of lube which bmw uses (as you can see on the throttle body there will be alot of silicone lube left behind by bmw).


3) Afterwards lube up the O-rings. This is the lube I used and imo it is far superior to just engine oil as it is thicker and will remain in place and will not end up dripping everywhere. It will also provide more lubrication than an oil film as it is fixed in the applied spot and has an extremely wide acceptable temperature range. This temperature tolerance is also another reason why I would also recommend this grease over basic silicone or lithium grease, and it also has much better properties due to its PTFE additive and shown by its extensive durability testing than just simple grease. https://www.amazon.ca/Super-Lube-21030-Synthetic-Grease/dp/B000XBH9HI

But if you don’t want to spend alot of money on lube just use engine oil. Then reinstall the O-rings.

4) Then apply a small amount of lube to the O-ring on the tmap sensor before mounting it, this will prevent the O-ring from binding or pinching. Again this is where a thick lube is better than just oil as it will never drip or run down into the sensor. You should also put a small amount of lube on the vacuum flange as it will help the connector slide on easier, and lube up the O-ring inside of the vacuum connector.

5) Use the supplied screws to fasten the TMAP sensor into place, or if you are like me buy hex screws and washers because it is easier to use a hex key if you ever want to replace the TMAP in the tight engine bay in the future. If you are interested in doing the same I bought M6 X 1.0 X 10 mm 304 stainless steel hex screws and some corresponding washers. Make sure to put some PTFE tape on the meth bung plugs skipping the first few threads (so it doesn’t get sucked into the engine) and tighten them down hand tight until the plug is flush. PTFE is a lubricant which makes the plug thread in smoother so be careful not to over tighten. Take your time when applying PTFE tape and make sure it is smooth and there are enough layers and wrapped counter clockwise so it doesn’t come undone when threading it in, I have seen so many people mess this simple step up and either put the tape on poorly causing it to leak or put it on too deep and have it break off inside of the pipe.

6) Put on the silicone coupler to the top section of the charge pipe and hand tighten the T-clamp, make sure the clamp faces downwards so you can access it from the bottom of the car. Reinstall this section of the charge pipe from the top side of the engine bay shifting the AC hose out of the way and being mindful not to damage the TMAP.

7) Push the charge pipe onto the throttle body and make sure it goes all the way on and look into the ridges of the charge pipe to make sure it lines up with the grooves on the throttle body. Remove the C-clip from the stock charge pipe and reinstall it on the new charge pipe. Make sure the C-clip is fully seated and in the groove.

8) Install the lower section of the charge pipe and push it into the coupler, make sure you put the T-clamp on before pushing the charge pipe into the coupler. Do not tighten down the T-clamp yet.

9) Reinstall the intercooler and pull the charge pipe onto the intercooler install the C-clip and make sure it is fully seated, make any final adjustments you need to the coupler before tightening it all down. You can access this clamp from the bottom of the car with a few extensions.

10) Reinstall all the other parts you removed and make sure everything is plugged back in (TMAP vacuum lines etc).

Your install is now done, go for a test drive and log boost and WGDC to make sure you don’t have any leaks. If you did everything carefully you shouldn’t have a leak.

Images During the install:

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Credit: F87source

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Fitment:

In regards to fitment these BMS charge pipes fit perfectly without any interference or rubbing on any part of the car. There is plenty of space between the charge pipes and the underside of the alternator, steering rack (a couple of fingers width - which is oem like), oil pan, and the coolant line going to the driver side aux radiator (despite what the image of the connection to the intercooler looks like there is indeed space between that hose and the charge pipe because the C-clip actually sits above that line so it isn’t touching). So there will not be any rubbing issues like on other charge pipe brands. The connections to the throttle body and intercooler outlet is essentially perfect, so when the C- Clip is installed there is no “slop” in the connection. The throttle body side of the charge pipe will still allow for some rotation and the coupler is still flexible to accommodate for the engine movement. The C-clips fit perfectly within their respective grooves, the TMAP fIts perfectly, and the vacuum line fits as well. The grooves for the O-rings also fit the stock O-rings perfectly, and so far I have not experienced any boost leaks. The coupler fits and the T-bolt clamps fit as well and are not hitting anything. There is also alot of space around the meth bungs for methanol jets and tubing. Overall it fits as it should and I have no complaints in this regard.


Summary:

Overall the BMS charge pipes are very nice and have perfect fitment. The finish (no powder coating over spray inside of the pipe and on the vacuum bung and surface of the meth bungs) and build quality is top knotch along with the placement of the meth bungs. I have no complaints with this charge pipe and would recommend it over more premium charge pipe brands (literally there is no reason to spend more on charge pipes the BMS charge pipes imo should be the benchmark for charge pipes on the F series n55 in terms of pricing and quality) to anyone looking for aftermarket charge pipes for the m2 or other compatible vehicles.