Last Updated on February 23, 2018
As an avid BMW enthusiast and novice automotive technician, I am fully aware of the industry’s distaste for the plethora of aftermarket parts stemming from China. I have owned and modified several n54/n55 powered BMWs and have first-hand experience fitting custom intercoolers to this platform (including fitting an e90 N54 intercooler to my old e61 n54). After purchasing my n55 powered F30 335i, I immediately began tuning it by adding a Burger Motorsports JB4, a VRSF downpipe, a VRSF charge pipe, and a CTS Turbo cold-air intake among various suspension and cosmetic mods. I decided the intercooler would be the next upgrade, and after seeing the insanely low price on the newly-released G-PLUS Intercooler, I figured I would roll the dice and give it a shot. At under $200 on Amazon, I thought to myself “how could I go wrong?”
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- Inlet and outlet: 60mm
- Net size: 490 x 150 x 140mm
- High strength, durable bar, and plate aluminum design.
- High flowing handmade welded intercooler with polished finish end tanks.
- Designed to directly replace the standard intercoolers with no modifications required.
- Available in silver or black
At the low price of $189 shipped, I thought that it was too good to be true. I really wasn’t sure what to expect when I made the purchase, besides that the product would take at least 2-3 weeks to arrive from China. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the intercooler shipped from Ohio via FedEx ground. The intercooler was nicely packaged in cardboard and plastic wrap and made it to Southern California without damage (i.e. no extremely bent fins) in just 5 days. The intercooler felt rather heavy compared to the OEM unit, which I think may be good for heat soak and efficient cooling purposes.
I noticed that the intercooler was completely painted or powder-coated (not sure which) and with some cosmetic imperfections. However, I cannot complain about looks for such a low price and the fact that the end-tanks are hidden behind the front bumper.
Here is a shot looking at the end-tanks of the intercooler. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the surface is relatively smooth despite the tiny cavities created by the casting process. Unlike many other, more expensive intercoolers, this intercooler did not have any air-guides that work to distribute the airflow evenly. However, considering this is not a stepped intercooler, it is my personal, unqualified opinion they may not have been necessary nor beneficial.
Removal of the OEM intercooler was rather simple and included the removal of the underbody shield(s)(8mm bolts), the OEM C-clips from the intercooler inlet and outlet, and the Torx screws holding the intercooler in place. For a more detailed install instruction, search F30 post.
Fitting the new G-PLUS intercooler was where the install got interesting. The physical dimensions of the unit fit rather well in the cavity where the OEM intercooler was removed from, and the Torx screws went into their positions without trouble. However, I had trouble attempting to connect my VRSF lower charge pipe to the new G-PLUS intercooler. As you can see in the picture below, the welds on the G-PLUS intercooler prevented the VRSF lower charge pipe’s ability to connect via the C-clip. I found that, even after removing the lower charge pipe from the car and the C-clip from the pipe, the pipe was unable to slide onto the new intercooler enough to connect the c-clip.
Luckily, my family owns a vintage Porsche restoration shop, so I had the tools and expertise to make this G-PLUS intercooler fit on my aftermarket charge pipe. After determining that the fitment issue arose from the welds around the flange, I took to the air-tools to grind away. Although the welds are not where the pipe and intercooler are to make an air-tight seal, I took off just enough material that the intercooler would mate to the lower charge pipe.
Performance Update on the BMW F30/F32 N55 N20 G-PLUS Intercooler
I was pleasantly surprised with how the car’s power band felt on back-to-back pulls after the intercooler was installed. With a JB4 tuner installed, I was able to record data logs showing my intake air temperature pre and post install of the G-PLUS intercooler. The G-PLUS intercooler has done an excellent job keeping intake air temperatures down on hard back-to-back pulls. Shown below are pre-install and post-install graphs showing the intake air temperatures dropping from around 140 degrees Fahrenheit to just over 80 degrees Fahrenheit. I recorded the data on days around 75 degrees ambient temperature and both were logged after 5 minutes of normal driving. The car feels a bit more alive on subsequent pulls after the installation of the G-PLUS intercooler, despite having a slight boost leak from a worn o-ring on the intercooler to throttle body connection. The connection did feel a bit loose after the grinding of the welds but I was hoping the o-ring would make an air-tight seal. I plan on replacing the o-ring and using silicone gasket maker to ensure there are no more leaks in the coming week. Both pulls below were recorded on map 5 running e40 fuel.
Final Thoughts about the N30 G-Plus Intercooler
Overall, I am pleased with this intercooler and would purchase it again. I cannot comment on whether an OEM charge pipe would fit on the intercooler without modification (because mine was discarded upon its explosion), but I suspect it would probably work with the OEM BMW intercooler without the issue I had. I am happy with the overall quality for the price and think that if you are in the market for a more efficient intercooler for an incredibly low price, this may be the product for you.