B48 Upgraded Charge Pipe Guide
As a newer engine, B48 charge pipe (CP) failures appear less common than many of the other turbo BMW engines. However, this likely comes down to many being under warranty with few modded. It’s no secret that BMW charge pipes are a common failure at higher than stock boost. In this guide, we will discuss a few of the best upgraded charge pipes for the B46 and B48.
*We’ll mostly reference the B48 in this post. However, these charge pipes will also fit the B46 engine.
Why Upgrade Your B48 CP?
Charge pipes are basic intake pipes that are in part responsible for carrying charge air (boosted air) into the engine. As such, they’re subjected to the turbocharged pressures. Unfortunately, BMW decides to use soft plastic piping on the CP. That doesn’t always work out so well when modding a B48 and pushing boost higher. There are a few reasons to upgrade your B48 CP:
- Mitigate risk of cracked charge pipe
- Meth injection
- Upgraded CP’s are usually cheaper than stock ones
Some may opt to upgrade charge pipes as preventative maintenance. The B48 CP rarely fails over time, but it rather fails quickly. The charge pipe may be fine one moment and the next it has a large crack. Depending on the severity it may leave you needing a tow back home or to the shop. Our preference is to generally run the stock CP until it gives out, but that’s not for everyone. The more boost you run the more likely it is for the B48 CP to give out. It may not be a horrible idea to upgrade before it potentially leaves you stranded.
Additionally, meth injection (WMI/meth) is another reason some decide to upgrade their charge pipes. Many meth kits rely on meth bungs located on the charge pipe to actually inject the water/methanol mix. The stock B48 piping does not have any meth bungs. However, aftermarket B48 CP’s typically feature one or two meth bungs for those looking to run meth.
Lastly, if your stock charge pipe fails outside of warranty it definitely makes sense to opt for an aftermarket upgrade. The OE B48 charge pipe is generally more expensive and will be susceptible to failing again. We highly recommend going this route if your stock B48 CP fails outside of warranty.
Best B46/B48 Upgraded Charge Pipes
Again, the B48 is still a rather new engine with few off warranty. Accordingly, the aftermarket scene is still developing and will likely take some time. There are already some great charge pipe options on the market, but it’s somewhat limited. We’ll likely come back and update this post with some additional options when they hit the market down the road. Please also note this is not an exhaustive list and others options surely exist. That said, the following charge pipes are a few of our favorites on the market. We believe they offer some of the best balance between price, quality, and fitment.
1. B48 Evolution Racewerks Upgraded CP
We’ve mentioned Evolution Racewerks (ER) in a handful of previous posts. They make some excellent products for BMW engines, including the B48. However, they are generally a little pricier than some of the competition. Nonetheless, the ER B48 charge pipe is definitely a great option for those looking to upgrade.
It features metal piping available in brushed, mirror polished, and anodized flat black finishes. The ER charge pipe also has two 1/8″ NPT bungs for water/methanol injection. We also believe it’s an excellent looking product, especially with the anodized black finish.
Price: $305.95 – $344.95
2. B48 FTP Motorsport Upgraded CP
The FTP Motorsport B48 charge pipe upgrade is another excellent option. We really like the looks of the above ER option. However, the FTP CP still looks good and comes in a bit cheaper. This is a great option for anyone looking to upgrade their charge pipe with a cost effective product.
The aluminum piping will certainly get the job done and hold up much better than the stock B48 CP. This FTP charge pipe also features one 1/8″ NPT bung for meth injection.
B48 Upgraded Charge Pipe Summary
That’s really are there is to charge pipes. It’s basic piping responsible for carrying charge air into the engine. However, the stock B48 CP is made from brittle plastic that wears down and cracks over time. This is especially true when pushing boost higher and higher. Some may find comfort in knocking this out as preventative maintenance while others prefer to wait if and when the stock charge pipe fails. Upgraded charge pipes also offer bungs for meth injection.
The B48 is still a newer car with few modded and out of warranty. As such, the aftermarket scene is still rather limited. Regardless, a few great options exist including the ER and FTP charge pipe upgrades. They’re both effective upgrades that offer a solid balance of price, quality, and fitment. Again, we intend to expand this post as new options hit the market in the future.
What’s your experience with the B48 CP? Has anyone experienced a failure yet? Leave a comment and let us know
Or check out our post about how to build a 300+whp B48