mishimoto-fmic-bmw-335i-blog-post-beforeThe OEM Front Mount Intercooler of your BMW N54 or N55 is holding you back – once you’ve started tuning the car, the OEM intercooler goes from being just inadequate to an outright hinderance. See, without an uprated front mount intercooler it’s not safe to switch up to any of the higher performance maps on your Cobb AccessPort for BMW N54 or JB4 for N54. Many people are turned off to the idea of an intercooler simply because it’s often one of the more expensive bolt ons, but truthfully, if you own a turbo car, a larger Intercooler should be one of your first few bolt on mods.

The enemy of performance is heat. The hotter the air going into your engine, the lower the power it makes, because the hot air is much less dense in oxygen. Cooling the air going into the motor makes more power – that’s why we have COLD AIR INTAKES, right? With a turbo car, even with your cold air intake, after the air passes through the turbo (which is 1800*F+), the air charge can get a lot warmer. The intercooler is located in the intake system, after the air passes through the turbo but before it feeds into the throttle body. The purpose of the intercooler is to cool that air charge back down after it’s gone through that hot turbo. Trick is, it can only exchange heat so fast – it has its limits, and when you have greater-than-stock performance, the OEM intercooler of your BMW N54 can get overwhelmed really quickly, succumbing to a condition called “heat soak”. When “heat soak” occurs, the intercooler’s gotten hot and so now it can’t effectively cool the air charge any more, and so performance starts to drop off sharply. We’re not talking small numbers here, we’re talking about losing 20+ hp to the wheels after a few WOT pulls.

What does a Front Mount Intercooler do for N54 BMW 335i?
On the BMW E90 335i and BMW E92 335i platforms, the front mount intercooler is really easy to access. These chassis are one of the few turbo cars that doesn’t require you drop the bumper to change it out. Just pull the undertray and the OEM FMIC just drops right out the bottom. There’s quite a few front mount intercoolers on the market at a variety of price points, but we wanted something that would bolt right in but wouldn’t break the bank, and at $600.95, it’s very reasonably priced for a direct bolt on, no-cutting-needed, bigass intercooler.


mishimoto-fmic-bmw-335i-blog-post-010This is a shot directly into the OEM intercooler. Notice that nasty yellow-green tint and sheen on the inside of the OEM Front Mount Intercooler? That’s OIL! EW. BMW recommends you have your N54 engine walnut-media-blast cleaned every 30k miles, and COBB Tuning requires that the service be done before they’ll dyno tune your BMW. Considering how nasty this lower-miles E90’s intercooler is, on a previously unmodded 335i, it’s easy to see why the cleaning service is recommended so often, and why a Mishimoto Oil Catch Can for N54 is such a great idea. By the way, we’re now able to offer the Walnut Blasting service for BMW N54 and N55 here at ModBargains for an introductory rate of $395.


Side by side with the OEM intercooler, the difference in size and volume between the Mishimoto FMIC and the OEM one are clear. In fact, the core of the Mishimoto Intercooler is so dense, it’s surprisingly heavy – one of the few times adding weight to the car significantly enhances performance, and the thick core means lots of additional cooling capacity.

Here are a few of the benefits of the Mishimoto Front Mount Intercooler for the N54 powered 335i

  • 20+ hp increase
  • 35°F (1.67°C) reduction in Air Charge Temperatures
  • 22% increase in core size
  • Includes CNC’d quick-disconnect fittings to mate with OEM pipes
  • Easy Straightforward Install, takes under an Hour for the average enthusiast
  • Direct fit install – no cutting or modifications to the car are needed
  • Bar-and-plate Core
  • 100% aluminum, TIG-welded with cast end tanks
  • Mishimoto’s Lifetime Warranty

mishimoto-fmic-bmw-335i-blog-post-013  Take a look at the CNC machined “quick disconnect” fittings on the Mishimoto FMIC – these unique fittings mean that this upgrade is a direct bolt on to the OEM chargepipes.

Looking in through the cast aluminum end tanks, we get a glimpse of just how dense the bar plate core Mishimoto 335i Intercooler really is.

mishimoto-fmic-bmw-335i-blog-post-008 In just a few minutes, our Master Tech Dave had the Mishimoto intercooler installed and mated to the OEM chargepipes. Just like we said, it is indeed a direct bolt in installation.


Each Mishimoto Intercooler comes serialized, and features a lifetime warranty.


From this view, you can see the FMIC is perfectly at home and bolts up like it always belonged there. We left the undertray off for illustration purposes, but once installed, your FMIC will be almost totally invisible.

mishimoto-fmic-bmw-335i-blog-post-003…We said ALMOST.

Interested in modifying your BMW? Or even Audi? Talk to the Mod Experts at ModBargains like Elliott, who recommended this upgrade to this customer, – call us at 714-582-3330 (x8009 for Elliott) or email us at elliott@ModBargains.com or sales@modbargains.com to get your carbuilding advice from Show-Winning Modification Experts on our staff. We’re here to answer your questions, so shoot us a message today!

Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you next time.

Story by Nick Gregson in Collaboration with Sr Modification Expert Elliott Goodman

Want to know more? Check out these great articles:

All About Intercoolers: Consistency Is Everything

Go FBO with 5 BMW N55 Mods for BMW E9X/F30/E82 135i / 335i

Get to Full-Bolt-On with These 5 BMW N54 Mods for BMW 335i [E90/E92 2006-10]