B58 Chargepipe Upgrade Guide
The two predecessors to the B58, the N54 and N55, were notorious for busting chargepipes left and right. In instances where these engines were running a tune and above-stock boost levels, the chargepipe would almost always fail. One of the main reasons these chargepipes failed is that they were made out of plastic. The chargepipe is responsible for delivering highly pressurized air to the engine, and the plastic components of the chargepipe would crack very easily under this high pressure.
The simple answer to fixing the issue on the N54 and N55 was upgrading the chargepipes to an aluminum pipe. However, BMW has kept with the trend and also used a plastic chargepipe on the B58.
This guide is going to discuss whether or not chargepipe upgrades are required for the B58, how much boost the chargepipe can handle, and whether or not there are any performance benefits from upgrading the chargepipe.
Is an upgraded chargepipe necessary on the B58?
The short answer is no. The B58 chargepipe has so far proved to be extremely reliable. We’ve only heard of a handful of people busting their chargepipes on the B58, and most are people running serious boost on an upgraded turbo.
Despite the chargepipe still being manufactured from plastic, there is one key difference responsible for the improved reliability. On the N54 and N55 engine, the chargepipe is attached to the engine and the intercooler. The engine is a moving object that shakes, rattles, vibrates, etc. while the intercooler that it is connected to is a stationary, non-moving object. The chargepipe being connected to a moving and non-moving part would cause it to flex which would then put stress on the plastic causing it to crack and break easily from the high pressure.
On the B58, the “intercooler” is integrated into the intake manifold, which means that everything the chargepipe is attached to is moving and the chargepipe moves in-sync with it. Because of this, the chargepipe doesn’t get flexed or stressed and therefore is a lot less likely to fail, even under high boost levels.
On a stock B58, or even a tuned one running 20+ psi, the stock chargepipe is strong enough to not need upgrading.
How much boost can the stock B58 chargepipe hold?
Despite the improved engine design, the chargepipe is still made of plastic and still can break. However, it has proved extremely strong so far. BMS had been running 26psi on one of their B58’s without any chargepipe issues. So, we can confirm that it is strong enough to hold at least 26psi of boost.
Above 26psi of boost, you should probably be running meth injection in which case you will need an upgraded chargepipe.
Performance Benefits of an Upgraded Chargepipe
Unfortunately, there are really no performance benefits to upgrading your B58 chargepipe. Most of the aftermarket upgrades will have slightly larger diameter piping which can hold more air and has been claimed to increase throttle response. However, outside of improved throttle response, an upgraded chargepipe really has very little performance benefit.
Meth Injection and Upgraded Chargepipes
Most of the people who opt to upgrade their chargepipe on the B58 are upgrading it for the purposes of running meth injection.
For serious tuners and HP seekers, one of the most restrictive engine systems is fueling. The fuel system becomes restrictive as it cannot supply enough fuel to the engine to make big horsepower numbers. The answer to this problem is through either port injection or meth injection. Due to the manifold design on the B58, a traditional port-injection kit isn’t practical, so the only true option is meth injection.
Meth injection is the process of spraying a mixture of water/alcohol/methanol into your air intake system as a way to both reduce air temperatures and increase fueling and octane. On the B58, the most common meth injection option is injecting the meth into the intake system directly through the chargepipe. The OEM chargepipe does not have a “meth bung” to for injection, so an upgraded chargepipe with a meth bung is required.
Best B58 Upgraded Chargepipe – VRSF
While an upgraded B58 chargepipe isn’t really needed in most applications, you may want one for meth injection, piece of mind, or the small throttle response benefit. Our favorite chargepipe option for the B58 is the VRSF B58 chargepipe.
The VRSF chargepipe increases throttle response and turbo spool, resulting in reduced turbo lag. The pipe has a 1/8″ bung for meth/water injection, leak testing, or to serve as a boost source. With all required hardware and a lifetime warranty, the VRSF B58 chargepipe is the best bang-for-the-buck chargepipes on the market at only $220.
This chargepipe and this guide in general are applicable to all BMW’s with the B58 engine, including:
F20/F21: 140i, M140i, 140iX
F22/F23: M240i, M240iX
F30/F31/F34: 340i, 340iX
F32/F33/F36: 440i, 440iX
G30/G31: 540i, 540iX
G32: 640i, 640iX
G11/G12: 740i, 740iX, 740Li, 740LiX
G01/G02: X3 M40iX, X4 M40iX
Overall, we recommend upgrading your B58 chargepipe when you are planning to add meth injection, or if you are upgrading your turbocharger and shooting for 26+psi boost levels.