I've always done my own car work but in my past vehicles that has consisted of oil changes and audio upgrades (Geo Metro ftw). The point is this is my first go at real vehicle work and modification. One of the first things I tackled was upgrading my intercooler after reading how important it was. I went with AMS based on their solid design and testing.
For my install I got my hands on a lift however it was an hour away. We ended up getting there about an hour before they closed so it was kind of a rushed operation but thanks to the perfect fit we got it done. We had trouble getting the stock couplers off. They have a some kind of one time use band on there and of course I didn't bring a dremel. We ended up taking off the charge pipe to get at one side easier.
Due to the time constraint we decided to go with just taking the underbody panel off and put it in from the bottom.
The IC came well packaged and had both ends capped to prevent anything getting inside and going into the turbos.
The AMS FMIC is obviously larger and substantially better built.
All of us have general mechanical knowledge but by no means are mechanics or experts on the N54 or E90 and we were still able to get the whole thing done in right about 60 min. This includes doing the slight trimming of the inside of the bumper area (approx 1.5" x 24" if I remember right) with a damn razor blade. If anyone sees a good price on a dremel please Please let me know. More install pics
I forgot to mention this was done in the heart of a Maryland winter. Don't mind the bumper- that's what hitting a German tail light sitting randomly in the middle of the autobahn at ~120mph will do to your car. I didn't get any pictures but when we pulled the intercooler out for the first time all kinds of chunks fell out I couldn't see with it installed.
A little more recent. Clean'ish car with the lower grill and vertical pieces removed. I honestly think I like the mesh there better so I got a new one and currently have it back on. Let me know what you guys think. I'll post a with grill pic here soon.