BMW N52 3 Stage Intake Manifold Flash

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between the N52B30 based BMW 125, 128, 325, 328, Z4 3.0, 525, 528, and their more horsepower rated BMW 130, 330, 530, and Z4 3.0si brethren? We’re here to tell you the only difference is that the N52B30 based BMW 125i, BMW 325i, BMW Z4 3.0i, and BMW 525i come with single stage intake manifolds and de-tuned ECU software, while the 130i, 330i**, 530i and Z4 3.0si come with a three stage manifold and tuned software.

**There may be slight differences in equipped exhaust hardware


N52B30 with DISA

Do you have a 3 stage intake manifold? Look for the DISA actuator directly under the “W”


What does this mean?

This means that if you purchase a compatible used three stage intake manifold from one of the three stage manifold version engines (even from an x3!) and install it into your N52B30 engine that originally come with a single stage intake manifold, you’ll gain some noticeable horsepower.


Wait a minute, I thought I had a three stage manifold already…

Whats even more interesting is if you have a BMW 128i, 328i, or 528i, your vehicle may already have a three stage manifold, and that means the only difference between a 128, 328, 528, and a 130, 330, or 530 is the software! That’s right, as long as you have a three stage manifold already in your vehicle, you’ll just need to flash the x30i software to your vehicle to make the power gains of a BMW x30i or 3.0si!


BMW N52B30 - 3 Stage Intake Manifold

BMW N52B30 – 3 Stage Intake Manifold


I don’t have a three stage intake manifold, where do I start?

Dollar per HP, this upgrade is definitely worth it, but you’ll need to start purchasing some parts to make this happen. The best way to source them is to find a seller on ebay, or The reason you want to go used is that its much cheaper than buying new, and it usually comes with most of the parts you need such as DISA actuators and screws. Some even come with hoses and sensors!

These are the parts you will need (we have marked an X on parts which typically come with a used intake manifold, but double check to make sure):

BMW #s
11617559523 Intake Manifold (X)
11617559530 Vent Hose (can likely be reused from old unit)
11617579114 Adjustor Unit (X)
11617560538 Adjustor Unit 2 (X)
11617547242 Gasket set
13547582931 Throttle Body gasket
11617535850 x2 Screw 50×35 (X)
11617535849 x5 Screw 50×20 (X)
11617535851 x1 Screw 50×66 (X)

If buying a used intake manifold, its best practice to purchase new gaskets to eliminate air leaks and seal things up nice and tight. We strongly recommended purchasing a new Vent hose and CCV oil separator to overhaul your CCV system as well, since you’ll already have the intake manifold off (~$30 CCV oil separator, ~$15 Vent hose).



Ok, i’ve got the parts, now what?

Now that you’ve sourced the parts, you’ll need to have a shop install them, or install them yourself. For the latter we’ve included intake manifold removal instructions for the BMW 525i (which should be similar to other models). There are different variations of the N52B30 engine bay, so you may need to disconnect a brake bleeder line which runs under the intake manifold, or have to move some other things around to be able to remove the intake manifold. There are several model specific guides and videos on the internet on how to do it in case you need extra assistance.


BMW TIS manual – BMW 525i intake manifold removal


Will I notice a difference in HP without a flash?

Yes, even after installing the 3 stage intake manifold without a flash, you will notice horsepower gains. However, there will be some dead spots in your power band where there will not be as much pull as there should be. In fact, the vehicle will start and run quite nicely without any further tweaking of the vehicle software despite having a different intake manifold. Its a good idea to run the engine for a little while to notice if there are any unexpected issues or fault codes that pop up after you’ve completed the three stage intake manifold installation. If any fault code or performance issues arise, you will need to check the installation and be sure any hoses, plugs, and fasteners are completely tightened and connected.

Fun Fact: The DISA actuators actually work passively despite not flashing the ECU, the ECU management is just not taking full advantage of the adjustments.


What does the three stage manifold tune/flash do?

SFBMWcoding flashes a compatible stock BMW 130, 330, 530, or Z4 3.0si BMW factory software to your vehicle with the appropriate software bits flipped to allow it to work on your vehicle. You’ll instantly gain HP and smooth out the operation of the three stage manifold hardware upgrade. The tune is a complimentary addition to maximizing the benefits of the 3 stage intake manifold upgrade.


What kind of performance should I expect?

The N52B30 engine is rated 255bhp with 221 lb⋅ft of torque @ 6600rpm on BMW x30i and 3.0si series vehicles (265bhp for 130i), but despite this rating, real world HP wheel gains are more conservative. You’ll definitely notice increased pull through the power band, an increase in responsiveness from the engine, and a slight difference in engine sound.

On our test 525i to 530i 3 stage intake manifold conversion before flashing the corresponding 530i software to our DME, we immediately noticed smoother shifting from stop to first gear and smoother downshifting when coming to a stop. Idling felt stronger and more consistent as well (we also replaced the CCV oil separator along with intake manifold and throttle body gaskets during the installation — this could have contributed to the smoother operation of the engine).

Before flashing the ECU and running just the three stage intake manifold, we noticed a slight power lag somewhere in the 2k-3k RPMS, but then it bumped up again once it hit 3,200 RPMS. After the flash, the power felt through the entire band was more linear and consistent and removed any noticeable power reduction throughout the RPM range – the car felt smoother and had a lot more low end torque.

Its a worthwhile upgrade for horsepower per dollar spent, and one which will put a smile on your face. Emissions ratings remain the same as stock x30i software (for your corresponding model), so you’ll be able to pass smog just fine and know you’re not irresponsibly contributing to greenhouse gases.


Okay, i’m ready to tackle this project, what now?

Just contact us and submit the last seven of your VIN# so we can verify everything will work with your intended vehicle. Once you get the OK, install the intake manifold and bring the vehicle to us for the 3 stage intake manifold tune.