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      01-29-2013, 12:59 AM   #1
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DIY: 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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      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, 02:06 PM   #12
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Thanks for sharing. Copied thread to DIY forum also.
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      03-05-2013, 10:28 AM   #13
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Hey guys, this DIY was great. Took me 20 minutes. The secret was having a universal joint to reach that tricky #7 screw. I like to use some electrical tape to make the joint more rigid so it doesn't flop around and to keep the torx bit from dropping into the pit of despair. Thankfully BMW made the screw non-removable to avoid more dropsies.



I was curious to see what I would find beneath the stock air filter. My car was built in January of 13. Snorkel it is!! Note the carbon filter which just needs a slight pry with a flat head.

I will add to be careful when re-assembling not to let the screws puncture the air filter since the airbox lid is under some pressure from the intake hose. It takes a few moments to get the lid seated flushly too. Check the gaps on each screw to make sure they are identical.. Don't want to suck in hot engine air!!

RESULTS: Better revs, def some mid range punch(Still in break in). There is no question that removing an obstruction like that will free some HP and TQ. It's probably like adding an average intake system to a stock car.

Thanks,

Greg
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      03-10-2013, 08:28 AM   #14
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I'm having trouble understanding exactly what you are removing here....this thread is about removing the air filters....correct?
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      03-10-2013, 08:41 AM   #15
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The charcoal filter is only in US spec cars.
They are are there to absorb any fumes the escape from the intake plenum or crankcase breather (typically when the engine isn't running and the car is sitting). Actually they have only been added to US models to pass CA emission testing , but BMW wanted to sell a 50 state legal model rather than having a CA specific model.
As you're in the UK you will not have them in your car
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      03-10-2013, 08:56 AM   #16
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Sorry still confused, are you saying there are two sets of filters in each bank?
  1. A 'normal' air filter
  2. A secondary charcoal filter the exact shape as the normal air filter

And this thread is a DIY to remove the charcoal filter as pictured here, leaving another filter just above it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timberwolf View Post
Yes?
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      03-10-2013, 09:03 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NISFAN View Post
Sorry still confused, are you saying there are two sets of filters in each bank?
  1. A 'normal' air filter
  2. A secondary charcoal filter the exact shape as the normal air filter

And this thread is a DIY to remove the charcoal filter as pictured here, leaving another filter just above it?



Yes?
Yes the US spec cars have two filters in the airfilter housing.
One is the charcoal filter (grey color and in the upper half of the housing)
the other one is the regular (yellow) airfilter sitting on the lower half of the housing.
The DYI is for the removal of charcoal filter.
DO NOT remove the airfilter as it can lead to severe damage of your engine.
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      03-10-2013, 09:22 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmh View Post
Yes the US spec cars have two filters in the airfilter housing.
One is the charcoal filter (grey color and in the upper half of the housing)
the other one is the regular (yellow) airfilter sitting on the lower half of the housing.
The DYI is for the removal of charcoal filter.
DO NOT remove the airfilter as it can lead to severe damage of your engine.
Thanks for the clarification.
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      04-05-2013, 04:29 PM   #19
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Omg, why did they make that last corner screw so difficult to reach? I have tried with all the tools available at home for more than 1/2 just on that piece alone. Now I am going to a hardware store and hopefully finding some tool that will make this job easier.
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      04-05-2013, 04:35 PM   #20
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Cdn car does not have the charcoal filter. I had my mechanic opened it up last week and he found no such filter, only air filter is in the box.

Yup. The hidden screw was a pain to get to, he also needed to use angled wrench to get to it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by py0413 View Post
Omg, why did they make that last corner screw so difficult to reach? I have tried with all the tools available at home for more than 1/2 just on that piece alone. Now I am going to a hardware store and hopefully finding some tool that will make this job easier.
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      04-05-2013, 06:50 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobblehead View Post
Cdn car does not have the charcoal filter. I had my mechanic opened it up last week and he found no such filter, only air filter is in the box.

Yup. The hidden screw was a pain to get to, he also needed to use angled wrench to get to it.
Mine has it though. It's a 2012 model believe made in march 2012. I just removed the passenger side and have that charcoal filter removed. Also dropped in the BMC filter I received today. Problem is now I really can't open the driver side air box after so many tries. What kind of damage will there be if I run on 1 oem filter and 1 BMC filter? I gotta get some help for this otherwise I will need to find out who designed that screw to be there and shoot him in the face.
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      04-05-2013, 07:42 PM   #22
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Mine is July 2012 production (MY2013). Now, this is really odd.

I doubt there would be any damage, it's simply air filter. You can bring the car into the dealer and have it done. I would hate to see if you drop one of the screw inside the engine bay.


Quote:
Originally Posted by py0413 View Post
Mine has it though. It's a 2012 model believe made in march 2012. I just removed the passenger side and have that charcoal filter removed. Also dropped in the BMC filter I received today. Problem is now I really can't open the driver side air box after so many tries. What kind of damage will there be if I run on 1 oem filter and 1 BMC filter? I gotta get some help for this otherwise I will need to find out who designed that screw to be there and shoot him in the face.
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