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  1. #1
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    No engine cowl advice

    So last night after installing the BMS OCC I decided to run with no engine cowl/HVAC micro filter. The engine is so much $#@!ing louder! Click here to enlarge You can hear everything a lot better, its crazy how that cowl was keeping everything a lot quieter. The engine ticking noises are a bit annoying but they are offset by how much louder the turbos sound with the DCI, plus removing/installing all the time when working on the car gets annoying.

    I remember reading a thread some where in another forum which talked about people not running engine cowls. I know there's a bunch of people here who have been running with no engine cowl. Have you guys had any problems not running with one? My main concern is too much water getting into my engine bay, such as when I wash it, or heavy rain. Since, I always see water marks all over my cowl, I'm afraid water will go down there and damage something Click here to enlarge. Let me know what you guys think.

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    I wouldn't do it personally. I wouldn't want to risk getting moisture into my ECU box. Also I've read that a few people experienced shortened AC compressor life shortly after deciding to keep their cowl off. Not worth it to me. Maybe, sunny, cool, NORCAL people could get away with it, but not anyone in the dirty south.
    2011 335is DCT, JB4 + MHD BEF, stage 2 LPFP, e50 + 50/50 meth, FBO, MT ET Streets when needed


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    It would be bad for the aerodynamics at high speed I'd think. Contrary to popular belief the cowl area is a high pressure zone.

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    Interesting. I just read on N54Tech Terry has been running no cowl for about 4 years, and has not adverse effects. Just want to get some more opinions from BB members. I don't see how moisture could get into the E-box, as it is completely sealed, but I can see how that would be a concern. Thanks for the advice.

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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Reputation: Yes | No
    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by leo985i Click here to enlarge
    So last night after installing the BMS OCC I decided to run with no engine cowl/HVAC micro filter. The engine is so much $#@!ing louder! Click here to enlarge You can hear everything a lot better, its crazy how that cowl was keeping everything a lot quieter. The engine ticking noises are a bit annoying but they are offset by how much louder the turbos sound with the DCI, plus removing/installing all the time when working on the car gets annoying.

    I remember reading a thread some where in another forum which talked about people not running engine cowls. I know there's a bunch of people here who have been running with no engine cowl. Have you guys had any problems not running with one? My main concern is too much water getting into my engine bay, such as when I wash it, or heavy rain. Since, I always see water marks all over my cowl, I'm afraid water will go down there and damage something Click here to enlarge. Let me know what you guys think.
    Should be okay without the cowl (as long as the ticking noises don't make you want to blow your brains out. It would make me want to splatter my brains on the wall with a high caliber hollow-point, but that's just me. Just imagine the poor bastard that would have to clean up that mess. Bloody, messy, brain matter...) Anyway, I would definitely put the microfilter back on. Otherwise, you are likely to get water into into the HVAC system. Then you would probably have mold and other issues.

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    I keep it just for the filter. I like clean air coming into my AC




  7. #7
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Eleventeen Click here to enlarge
    Should be okay without the cowl (as long as the ticking noises don't make you want to blow your brains out. It would make me want to splatter my brains on the wall with a high caliber hollow-point, but that's just me. Just imagine the poor bastard that would have to clean up that mess. Bloody, messy, brain matter...) Anyway, I would definitely put the microfilter back on. Otherwise, you are likely to get water into into the HVAC system. Then you would probably have mold and other issues.
    LOL man. Guess not everyone loves to hear their engine more. I would definitely go crazy if it was any louder, but the way it sounds right now is just perfect for me. I actually ordered a Berk Race exhaust since the stock one is way too quiet for me with downpipes on. Can't wait to get it. And yeah, I'll definitely install the HVAC filter at least. Wouldn't want water in there, but most likely will keep the cowl off. It never rains down here in San Diego.

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    I mean, your car isn't going to blow up. It will be fine. At high speed though (140mph+) I wouldn't be surprised if some weird things happen.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by rudypoochris Click here to enlarge
    I mean, your car isn't going to blow up. It will be fine. At high speed though (140mph+) I wouldn't be surprised if some weird things happen.
    I think I'll be fine. Found the other thread on N54 tech, and even @dzenno apperently runs his car with no cowl. That guy rips his car hard too. Maybe he can chime in and see if he's had any problems running with no cowl since the time he posted about it on n54tech. Thanks for your advice though.
    John 3:16


  10. #10
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by rudypoochris Click here to enlarge
    I mean, your car isn't going to blow up. It will be fine. At high speed though (140mph+) I wouldn't be surprised if some weird things happen.
    I think I'll be fine. Found the other thread on N54 tech, and even @dzenno@ProTUNING Freaks apperently runs his car with no cowl. That guy rips his car hard too. Maybe he can chime in and see if he's had any problems running with no cowl since the time he posted about it on n54tech. Thanks for your advice though.
    Last edited by leo985i; 09-20-2012 at 06:35 PM.
    John 3:16


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    @leo985i, if you'll run without the cowl I'd suggest closing up the Microfilter entry holes, especially the one on the passenger side. It'll let water in and down on the AC fan unit and water will damage it. At times you may also get quite a bit of water in the passenger side floor/carpet. Close it up with something and you'll be fine.
    Click here to enlarge

  12. #12
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by dzenno@ProTUNING Freaks Click here to enlarge
    @leo985i , if you'll run without the cowl I'd suggest closing up the Microfilter entry holes, especially the one on the passenger side. It'll let water in and down on the AC fan unit and water will damage it. At times you may also get quite a bit of water in the passenger side floor/carpet. Close it up with something and you'll be fine.
    Sweet man. I'll try doing that then. It's so much easier without the cowl for us lazy dudes. Thank you!
    John 3:16


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    If you go through a car wash with the cowl off but the ECU cover on, wouldnt that be living extremely dangerously... Just writing this for those who see this thread think its okay than go to the auto car wash that floods your car with water... it will run down the windshield right onto you ECU box, if its not sealed right that could be a disaster...

    Having said that, when I know I will be under the hood frequently , ill leave it off. Majority of the time I just leave 85% of the 8mm bolts out to make removing it much easier,thats prob the best bet.

  14. #14
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by ChuckD05 Click here to enlarge
    If you go through a car wash with the cowl off but the ECU cover on, wouldnt that be living extremely dangerously... Just writing this for those who see this thread think its okay than go to the auto car wash that floods your car with water... it will run down the windshield right onto you ECU box, if its not sealed right that could be a disaster...

    Having said that, when I know I will be under the hood frequently , ill leave it off. Majority of the time I just leave 85% of the 8mm bolts out to make removing it much easier,thats prob the best bet.
    Agree. Its definitely a bit risky for the water to get into the DME box. The cover does go over the top and its very unlikely and I went through a couple torrential rains with the cowl off but that's not to say that I'll advise everyone to do it.
    Click here to enlarge

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    I've been running without it for almost 30k miles now.. I live in the Northeast and we get a lott of rain/snow/salt and I have had 0 problems. Like Dzenno said I wouldn't recommend it per say as there is a "risk" of water getting into your DME box, but minimal water gets in the area and as long as you make sure that box is sealed properly you shouldn't have any issues. Regarding the A/C, I keep the Microfilter housing on with the Microfilter.. If your filter becomes loose I would suggest using your method of choice to restrain it. I've gone through many car washes/hand washes and had no problems. I see a few drops of water on the box at most even in torrential rain..

  16. #16
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Daily Three Click here to enlarge
    I've been running without it for almost 30k miles now.. I live in the Northeast and we get a lott of rain/snow/salt and I have had 0 problems. Like Dzenno said I wouldn't recommend it per say as there is a "risk" of water getting into your DME box, but minimal water gets in the area and as long as you make sure that box is sealed properly you shouldn't have any issues. Regarding the A/C, I keep the Microfilter housing on with the Microfilter.. If your filter becomes loose I would suggest using your method of choice to restrain it. I've gone through many car washes/hand washes and had no problems. I see a few drops of water on the box at most even in torrential rain..
    this is exactly how my setup looks right now. Just the micro filter on. Went thru the automatic car wash today with no problems.
    John 3:16


  17. #17
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    I drove around for quite some time with out it. At first the sound is "cool" and all but it gets annoying after a while. I went about 1year with the cowl off with no problems, but I live in sunny southern California.

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    Only time I'd consider this is if my car was going to the track, if it was gonna be staying on the street I'd leave everything bolted on to spare myself unnecessary headaches
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  19. #19
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by benzy89 Click here to enlarge
    Only time I'd consider this is if my car was going to the track, if it was gonna be staying on the street I'd leave everything bolted on to spare myself unnecessary headaches
    +1, it could be fine. I'm not willing to add another reason the car might break though. It does that enough on it's own Click here to enlarge
    2011 335is DCT, JB4 + MHD BEF, stage 2 LPFP, e50 + 50/50 meth, FBO, MT ET Streets when needed


  20. #20
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    never had the cowl on the 335, and dont have it on the M. Ive never noticed anything weird or abnormal with it off.

    The only downside is smell, i can smell more fumes w/o it on. as for long term, no issues, 45k on the 3, 12k on the M

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