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      01-29-2013, 12:59 AM   #1
M54ccibo
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S63B44TU Charcoal Filter Delete

Evening everyone. Came across something today that some folks may find interesting. This most likely only applies to North American M5's. Disclaimer, I don't know what, if any EPA regulations require these, and, if you mess up your car due to ingesting dirt, bolts, fod, etc., accidentally left on the top of the air filter, your fault. Don't come looking for me!

After reading the thread about the stock air boxes and if they have aluminum block-off plates, I decided to check mine. Had a few minutes to spare, so I decided to unscrew them and take a look. Sure enough, right below the orange air filter, there they were, aluminum patches...but above the air filter...woah...what's that? Charcoal Filter!

The North American F10 M5's have a charcoal filter. Very similar to the S85 engine. They sit in the top of the air box and from my understanding their purpose is to control any back-flow of hydrocarbons when the car is shut off. Removing them on the E60 resulted in better throttle response, and some claimed 15HP on the dyno. Hmm...could it be the same?

Removal on the S85 required a step-by-step procedure with pictures. Lots of potential to rip the filter sending charcoal on the intake side of the filter, clips that were difficult to remove, and required removal of the air box lid. On the S63B44TU it's super easy! Just for sake of being complete, here is what you'll need tool-wise:

- Torx T25 driver
- Torx T25 bit
- Small ratchet
- Flathead screw driver
- Some duct tape

All of the photos posted are of the left air box (drivers side). Procedure for the right is exactly the same.

1. Start by unclipping the hose from above torx screw #1. Once complete, begin loosening all screws 1-6. Don't worry. Unlike on the airbox clips on the S85 the screws did not seem to fall out. Note, I only removed them enough to get the lid loose.

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2. Using the torx bit inserted into a small ratchet with the bit taped in place (so it does not fall out) unscrew torx screw #7. If you have an articulating joint and some extensions you could do this too...I don't have those laying around. The lid should now be free.

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3. Once the lid is free, tip it back. If you are in North America, you should see this. I didn't take a picture of it in the car, but you will see the little notches around the outside of the filter.

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4. Here is a photo of both filters removed from the car. Note the red arrows. This is the slot I used to remove the filter. It is the tab facing the front of the vehicle, roughly next to torx screw #3.

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5. Reassemble. Optional: Take a peek to see if you have a hole in your air box (not required). Be sure the top of the orange filter is clean and nothing is inside the air box, and slowly set the lid back onto the lower portion, being careful not to pinch the filter with any of the torx screws sticking out of the bottom of the lid. Tighten all of the screws down, and clip the hose back in place. Voila!

6. Rinse and repeat on the passenger side.

I took the car out for a quick jaunt, and my very unscientific method of measuring change in performance (AKA butt dyno) told me that it seems as if the throttle response was indeed better, and, the car pulled a bit harder. I plan on getting the car dynoed again once it has become familiar with the Akra exhaust, but it will be interesting to see if there are any gains. Unfortunately, I cannot baseline just this change without removing my exhaust...that ain't gonna happen!

Let me know if you see any improvement if you remove your filters!
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Last edited by M54ccibo; 02-28-2013 at 10:04 PM.
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      01-29-2013, 02:15 AM   #2
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Whoa great find! Potential sticky!! I'm checking this out tomorrow. Not sure about the hydro carbons because the air is going to the turbos.
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      01-29-2013, 08:25 AM   #3
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Very interested in one of the tuners testing this for HP gains...
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      01-29-2013, 11:27 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M54ccibo View Post
Sure enough, right below the orange air filter, there they were, aluminum patches...but above the air filter...woah...what's that? Charcoal Filter!

- Torx T20 driver
- Torx T20 bit
- Small ratchet
- Flathead screw driver
- Some duct tape

5. Reassemble. Optional: Take a peek to see if you have a hole in your air box (not required).
First, thanks for bringing the charcoal filters to our attention. I'm surprised no one had mentioned them previously with the various Gruppe M air box installations. There is now another wrinkle in the airbox saga. I've found a snorkle installed in the airbox, I assume in the open hole others have. No aluminum block off plate, but the snorkle in this picture. My M5 build date was November 2012. Oh, and the torx on my airbox are T25, not T20 if somehow there has been a slight redesign of the box....?
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      01-29-2013, 11:34 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Used2be View Post
First, thanks for bringing the charcoal filters to our attention. I'm surprised no one had mentioned them previously with the various Gruppe M air box installations. There is now another wrinkle in the airbox saga. I've found a snorkle installed in the airbox, I assume in the open hole others have. No aluminum block off plate, but the snorkle in this picture. My M5 build date was November 2012. Oh, and the torx on my airbox are T25, not T20 if somehow there has been a slight redesign of the box....?
Damn...you are right T25. Just confirmed, I'll edit the post. Sorry about that. As for the snorkel, I don't have that...and yes, it looks like it is in the same place as the block off plate is on the lower air box.
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      01-29-2013, 12:11 PM   #6
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so we've got caps, snorkles, wrinkles, and trunks. Sounds like a regular beach party.

Was there this much variability in the 550i?
If you removed the carbon filter...would BMW ever beable to prove it was there (given the amount of inconsistency at this point with the contents of the stock airboxes)?

Watching this thread for the 20+hp gain graphs.
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      01-29-2013, 12:24 PM   #7
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Man this is crazy! I didn't even think about there being those stupid Carbon Filters! Gonna remove mine tonight!!! THANK YOU!
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      01-29-2013, 12:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johntomferg View Post
so we've got caps, snorkles, wrinkles, and trunks. Sounds like a regular beach party.

Watching this thread for the 20+hp gain graphs.
Finished with the passenger side filter and I'm so glad the corner screw that's slightly buried isn't the PITA like the driver's side! I started the car and revved it to 7K......it must have at least 20 more HP!! Just kidding, I don't trust my butt dyno for supposed small HP increases. If my car is especially dirty and I wash and wax it, the drive after seems like the car is much faster to me, so I don't have any faith in that measurement. But I do have it on good authority that the cars with the snorkel do have at least 10 more HP than those that don't.........!! A late BMW mod to the induction system.
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      01-29-2013, 12:34 PM   #9
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We need a before and after dyno or to me this is all placebo
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      01-29-2013, 12:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johntomferg
so we've got caps, snorkles, wrinkles, and trunks. Sounds like a regular beach party.

Was there this much variability in the 550i?
If you removed the carbon filter...would BMW ever beable to prove it was there (given the amount of inconsistency at this point with the contents of the stock airboxes)?

Watching this thread for the 20+hp gain graphs.
Don't know about the 550i, but there certainly was not variability on the E60 M5. I cannot believe that there is yet another difference on the F10 M5. Strange.

Oh - and with the E60 some folks reported a gain of 20HP. I'm definitely not claiming that
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      01-29-2013, 01:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M54ccibo View Post
Don't know about the 550i, but there certainly was not variability on the E60 M5. I cannot believe that there is yet another difference on the F10 M5. Strange.

Oh - and with the E60 some folks reported a gain of 20HP. I'm definitely not claiming that
I always believed that it was a 1.5hp gain on the E60 M5 with the charcoals removed, but this included a slightly better engine response. Who knows!
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      01-29-2013, 02:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RPiM5 View Post
I always believed that it was a 1.5hp gain on the E60 M5 with the charcoals removed, but this included a slightly better engine response. Who knows!
I believed it to be quite small, more of a throttle response and breathability enhancement. However, I did read way back in '09 somewhere on the thread about the E60 deletion there were folks citing dyno results of upwards of 20HP. Again, I'm not suggesting this at all...rather, if it buys the former - great! Also, I am interested in seeing if any cars outside of North America have the filters. That would be telling.
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      01-29-2013, 09:27 PM   #13
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Seems like the holes were originally there for the snorkel. Then it looks like some cars were produced without the snorkel, but still had the hole (mistake?). Then finally they covered the hole with the cap.
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      01-29-2013, 11:33 PM   #14
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Great info Chris. It makes sense that you would get better air flow without the charcoal filter. I think I have a new project for this weekend.
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      01-29-2013, 11:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob///M5 View Post
Seems like the holes were originally there for the snorkel. Then it looks like some cars were produced without the snorkel, but still had the hole (mistake?). Then finally they covered the hole with the cap.
Awesome, isn't it?
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      01-30-2013, 02:44 AM   #16
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PP-Performance has been removing the charcoal filter since 12/2011, claimed it makes a difference.
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      01-30-2013, 10:09 AM   #17
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I'm ignorant here. The filter is strictly used for North America EPA regs and serves no other purpose? Is there any risk to the engine or turbos in removing the filter?
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      01-30-2013, 10:19 AM   #18
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Quote:
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I'm ignorant here. The filter is strictly used for North America EPA regs and serves no other purpose? Is there any risk to the engine or turbos in removing the filter?
No risk, pull them. They're actually in here just to pass California EPA regs. Putting them in all cars makes the M5 "50 state compliant".
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      01-30-2013, 11:05 AM   #19
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Rob///M5, yank em! Just be sure to only take out the gray filters.

FYI, running a GruppeM intake removes them as you are taking out the whole airbox.
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      01-30-2013, 10:40 PM   #20
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Word. Thanks guys
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      02-01-2013, 08:14 PM   #21
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Ok - I pulled the charcoal filters successfully. I gotta say, I think the car feels slightly sharper. Or maybe it's just a placebo.

I do have the block off plates and i was a week 34 build (August 22, 2012).

One last thing...that #7 screw is a BIATCH!! I had to concoct this jewel of a tool...full on MacGuyver style.
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      02-01-2013, 09:47 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob///M5 View Post
Ok - I pulled the charcoal filters successfully. I gotta say, I think the car feels slightly sharper. Or maybe it's just a placebo.

I do have the block off plates and i was a week 34 build (August 22, 2012).

One last thing...that #7 screw is a BIATCH!! I had to concoct this jewel of a tool...full on MacGuyver style.
That is one sick tool. I think that you may be able to license that to SnapOn!
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