1.9 ROAR “RAM-AIR” Intake

Pros: Improve sound and performance, carbon fiber components and shield to hinder recirculating hot air intake
Cons: Vague installation instructions, intake system enclosed in engine compartment
Cost: $348

Despite the discontinued sales of the 1.9 Z3 in the US, there are many 1.9 owners who want added performance and most of all who still love their cars. With this in mind, there has been a slow start of third party manufacturers that offer upgrades and modification(s) to these loved but not forgotten Z3s.

Presently, there are a few manufacturers who offer an ‘air-intake’ solution to the 1.9 Z3. According to a previous article on the MZ3.NET, the K&N filter charger has some inconsistent performance results. THe K&N filter charger successfully addressed the restrictions in the stock intake allowing more volume of air to enter the engine. However the flaw with the K&N filer charger system was that the source of intake air was the (hot) air trapped under the hood of the Z3. While the intake was allowing more air volume to enter the 1.9 engine, the actual air mass varied greatly depending on the air temperature under the hood. Because of this flaw it was actually possible to loose engine power. (In case you haven’t caught on, cold air has more mass than hot air). Because of this, many Z3’ers (especially those living in hotter climates) avoid in installing such a design in their vehicles.

Since I received the DINAN UPGRADE for my 7/97 build 1.9, there has been no answer as of yet for the release of the DINAN COLD AIR INTAKE SYSTEM for the 1.9 since its debut for the 6 cylinder Z3s. Because of this I wanted to see if there are any third party companies that offer such a system for the 1.9 besides the K&N filter charger. I came across a company called “ROAR” (www.roarfilter.com) that offers such a system for most BMWs including the 1.9 Z3. Though fairly new to the name I decided to call and investigate what this company offers and stands for: I called the company and left a voice mail message with them explaining my interest in their air-intake system for my 1.9 Z3. Two days later I received a call back and spoke to a very nice and enthusiastic sales manager of Roar named Scott. He was very friendly and excited to explain to me how their air-intake system functioned and how it was designed. He welcomed the challenge of putting the ROAR air-intake system against any other system designed for the BMW Z3.

The ROAR intake system is similar to the K&N filter charger system in that it addresses the air flow restriction of stock BMW airbox. Where the ROAR system differs is that it also addresses the problem of air intake temperature, by providing a carbon fiber shield that helps reduce the engine’s intake of hot air from inside the engine compartment. The construction of the Roar air intake system is mostly comprised of carbon fiber due to its low relative heat absorbence.

Review: After installing the Roar “Ram-Air” Intake System to the DINAN equipped 1997 1.9 we put it up against a 1998 1.9 which only consisted of an exhaust upgrade (Supersprint). Both Z3s being tested are manual and had no passengers in the vehicle. The test consisted of both 1.9s cruising head-to-head at 50mph in 5th gear. Once each front nose were equal we then cued each other to accelerate without downshifting. Both of the 1.9s remained head-to-head up until we hit 60 mph (3600 rpm) and the 1997 DINAN equipped with Roar system pulled out ahead of the 1998 Supersprint exhaust 1.9 by almost half a car length. This concluded that the ROAR system with the DINAN upgrade improves performance at higher RPM.

Other test(s) included 0-60mph runs recorded before and after the installation of the ROAR system. With a passenger operating the stopwatch, four runs were record before the installation and four runs after the installation. The results showed that after installing the ROAR system with the DINAN upgrade, the 0-60mph timing was reduced almost 3/8 of a second.

Note: testing in this manner resulted in extra weight due to the timekeeper sitting in the passenger seat. It should also be noted that potential human error is possible, due to the time it takes a human hand to start and stop the stopwatch.

Stock 1.9Roar Intake Installed

6 month update

With the Roar Ram Air System installed and after few thousand miles later, I have concluded that I am quite happy with my investment. The performance gain is a plus as well as the sound. The sound will be noticed when the engine is at load as opposed to a constant, maybe annoying, low resonance sound.

The journey of the Roar installation

After leaving several messages with Scott at Roar and no return calls, I received the package on the very day that was discussed during the sales transaction. With the help of Carter Lee (CTG) and Fred Byrom (Teachum) we immediately looked at the contents within the package and read the instructions. Let me first tell you that the instructions were vague and offered no pictures of installation. This is not a plug-n-play upgrade for those who are not ‘handy’.

Fortunately, with the help of Carter and Fred, the three of us made the installation procedures a lot easier. The first step is to remove the stock air box: unlatch four(4) clips which removes the cover and after doing so the box itself is only held down by two(2) 10mm bolts. For more detailed instructions on the removal of the stock BMW airbox, please see this article on MZ3.Net.

Tools Needed:

* 10mm socket and wrench

* 10mm bolt

* 2.5 in drill bit and drill

After complete removal of the stock air box:

* The next step is to mount the mounting bracket (a) to one of the existing posts where that previously held the stock air box. You can use either the same bolt that held the stock airbox in place or use another one.

* Take one of the filter(s) provided and spray oil on the outer shell. The oil is located in the white aero-spray can that is provided. Do not spray the inside of the filter. After spraying the filter, place it within the funnel system and tuck the filter underneath the carbon fiber nose to hold it in place.

* Get ready to drill a 2.5in. hole into the air-intake system (b) for the temperature sensor location. There should be a rubber boot for allowing the temp sensor to be inserted. The boot acts as a tunnel/bridge connection from the air-intake system to the temperature sensor.

* After mounting part (a) you then will need to install two (2) rubber washers (provided) to size match the filter system (b) prior to installing it. After this, you can insert the filter system onto the the Z3’s hose intake located where (b) is on the picture. Once installed (remember it is going to be a tight fit so you can use water to moisten the rubber washer for easier slip) you want the mounting bracket (a) to have its clamp to hold the very end (located where the Roar filter system and the Z3 intake meets) of the filter system.

* Once the clamp is successfully holding the system (do not tighten at this time) take (c) vacuum/valve cover and insert it to the air pressure vacuum hose located where (c) is on the picture. Position the vacuum/valve cover opening tilted opposite from engine (there will be a filter opening and you want it position towards the driver’s side opposite from engine). After the above steps are installed, tighten the clamps just enough so its stays in place (do not overtighten).

* Next step is to locate the temp sensor. After completing the drill, making sure it will be snug, plug the temp sensor into the rubber boot on the air-intake system that was placed.

Taking out the stock box Stock box removed Roar Bracket

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