Carbonio Air Scoop – Some Thoughts

Carbonio Intake Scoop

I recently purchased a used Carbonio air scoop for a great price.  The cosmetic condition is not mint but completely workable.  If you’re not familiar with the Carbonio intake for the FSI, it’s basically a carbon fiber replacement for the stock air scoop with a drop in air filter.  I am not running the drop in filter.  It has been the subject of many debates because it only replaces a portion of the stock intake and costs more than many full replacement intakes.

Stock fresh air intake through grill

The claims are that the stock intake and filter combination is a big restriction and that a filter on a stick style intake can flow much more air.  I’m not convinced that the stock intake is a huge restriction, much less the stock filter.  Maybe the ribbed tubing after the airbox, but I don’t see the stock airbox being too bad at airflow.  My only knock against the stock airbox is that they made filter replacement more difficult than necessary.  The stock airbox has a nice feed of cool air from the front grill.  However, the scoop that it uses to feed the intake is designed with a split, diverting some of the air downward to deflect debris and water.  This may also allow the intake to get air from the engine bay though.  The Carbonio scoop gets rid of that split scoop and funnels all the air into the airbox.  While more debris and water may make its way into the interior of the airbox, the filter is there to stop it, just as a filter on a stick intake would.

The improvement I see with the Carbonio scoop is that the design should allow for positive intake pressure when the car is moving, basically a ram air setup.  That slight positive pressure will help overcome any restrictions in the stock intake.  The Carbonio scoop also draws all air from outside the engine bay, unlike the stock scoop.  I don’t know how much of a difference this truly makes, just thinking out loud.

You’ll notice that the intake looks yellowish.  This is because this is an older, used intake and the resins used in the carbon fiber have yellowed.  I don’t know if the newer Carbonio intakes do this but older ones were quite notorious for yellowing in the heat.

BSH True Seal Intake

Original article circa summer ’09 – I’ve split the article into its two components: the intake and the diverter valve kit.

This kit is for the 2.0 T FSI engine.

I received this intake kit awhile ago.  The design is top notch and well made.  It includes single piece piping, a heat shield, a proprietary filter, a Forge diverter valve and all necessary clamps and hoses.  Installation is relatively simple if you have the proper tools.  One highly recommended tool is a hose clamp remover.  I think the newer kits are being shipped with them.

After a few months with this kit, I feel that this is the best intake for the GTI out there right now.  It solves the issue of failed diverter valves and relocates the valve itself to the front of the car.  No dyno runs on the intake yet but midrange and the top end feel better.  The torque curve seems to have shifted slightly to the right, but nothing crazy.  This intake is not very loud, if you are looking for noise, look elsewhere.  Otherwise, it’s a nicely designed piece and a great company to deal with.

If you are chipped, you don’t have to worry about any more torn diverter valves.

Review Redux: updated (1/27/2011)

The BSH Trueseal intake for the FSI engine is just one of many intake systems available for the GTI.  There isn’t much deviation as far as filters on a stick go but this one offers a few unique features of its own.  It offers a built in relocation bung as well as a heat shield which isolates the filter from the engine bay.

 

Sorry for the horrible picture, a much nicer one will be up soon, I promise

The intake itself is very simple with 2.75 inch piping in powder coat black.  The heat shield is relatively thick sheetmetal, also powder coated black.  The edges of the heat shield are covered with a rubber seal that presses up against the hood liner, thus creating a box around the filter.  The silicone and associated clamps are all high quality pieces.  The filter is a proprietary specification that is narrower than most other filters in order to fit into the heat box.  Despite that, a similarly sized filter from another vendor will most likely fit.  It is oiled but I have not had any problems with the oil contaminating the maf sensor.  It has since been changed out for an AEM Dryflow filter which filters better and requires no oil.

I can’t really comment of how much power this intake makes as I have not put my car on the dyno with it.  You’ll probably gain a few horses, nothing to write home about.  Those gains will increase as you pile the mods on though, especially with chipping.  Just don’t believe the +15 hp ads that you see regarding intakes.  It does wake up the engine a little on the high end and provides a very nice sound.  It’s not loud by any means, so if noise is what you want, look elsewhere.  BSH’s intake provides a very mature sound, no doubt due to the heat shield surrounding the filter.

Here’s something important, and since it’s important, it’s going to get its own break.  MAF sensor placement is very sensitive on these cars.  Some intakes will drive the sensor nuts and in turn your car, causing all sorts of chaos.  Fuel trims are adversely affected by incorrect maf calibration.  STFT and LTFT (short term and long term fuel trim) will be incorrect if the maf placement on the intake is off.  There was an early run of BSH intakes that had incorrect maf holders.  The fuel trims are not too bad on these early intakes but in reality you want it to be as close to zero as possible.  If you buy used, be sure to know which version you are getting.  The older maf holder sticks out about an inch or more from the intake.  The newer ones are much closer to the piping.  Reference the following picture of the older MAF holder:

The newer one is much smaller than that.

Older BSH MAF Holder

Finish is not BSH’s strong suit.  The intake is well made and will hold up but doesn’t look the part.  I know it’s nitpicking but it’s all part of the show.  The welds on the intake are very visible and lend a homebrew look to the whole thing.  The relocate bung is sealed with an ugly vinyl cap if you’re not using it.  The rubber seal on the heat box looks like it came straight from your local hardware store.  The intake also doesn’t secure too well in the box.  I eventually added additional rubber to secure it.  There is certainly none of the flash you get from other manufacturers such as AWE, Eurojet, Forge and APR.  If you’re looking for flashy, this isn’t the intake you’re looking for.  For those that are looking for functional bits, this is it.  It has a great heat shield, a built in relocation port and all the growl a normal adult needs.  Despite the visual flaws, the BSH intake still gets a recommendation from me.  It is priced far below the other premium intake options such as the Forge Twintake, and AWE carbon intake and works just as well.

~ 270 from BSHspeedshop.com and other dealers

Here’s a link to an AEM Dryflow filter that fits in the BSH heat shield.  The fit is a little tight though.  AEM Dryflow