Affiliate link disclosure – The BMW Repair Guide uses affiliate links in their site. For more information on affiliate links, please click here.
This article gives detailed instructions on removing the intake plenum in a BMW E9x M3 with the S65 8-cylinder engine. Even though we used a 2013 M3 coupe (E92) to perform this repair, this article can be applied to any 2007-2013 BMW M3 vehicle with minor modifications to the repair steps.
See all vehicles this article applies to
E90 3 Series M3
E90N 3 Series M3
E92 3 Series M3
E92N 3 Series M3
E93 3 Series M3
E93N 3 Series M3
E90N 3 Series M3 CRT
Knowing how to remove the intake plenum from your E9x M3's engine is a prerequisite for all home mechanics that repair or service their own vehicles.
The E9x M3 was manufactured from 2007 to 2013 and contains the iconic S65 naturally aspirated V8. Anyone who knows me (or reads my articles on this site) is familiar of my love for this car. In my opinion, it is one of the most perfect BMWs ever built...and most certainly one of the most fun to drive.
One of the few drawbacks to the E9x M3 is the cost to maintain it. Parts are expensive, and repair shops charge a premium to work on them since they are "high-performance" vehicles. Many owners, especially those that are good at turning a wrench, have chosen the route of servicing their own vehicles and saving thousands of dollars in the process.
One of the most basic procedures when repairing or servicing the engine in your 2007-2013 M3 is removing the intake plenum (also known as the intake manifold or air collector) from the top of the engine. The intake plenum is basically an air chamber that feeds the eight throttle bodies on the cylinder head of the M3. Removing the intake plenum is necessary for conducting many engine repairs and services including fuel injector replacement, throttle body repair, coolant system hoses, and secondary air pump service.
Whatever your reason is, learning to remove and install the intake plenum quickly and efficiently on your E9x M3 is a prerequisite for all home mechanics. Once mastered, it is actually a quite simple procedure that can be done in less than 30 minutes. In fact, the hardest part of the repair is removing the quick-release idle control hose on the rear of the plenum - it is difficult to get your fingers on and expensive to replace. I highly suggest using a good quick-release connector tool available at most auto part stores. I bought mine at Harbor Freight, but they are also available on Amazon if you don't wish to leave the house.
I have included detailed step-by-step instructions for removing the intake plenum on your E0x M3, along with a parts and parts diagram for your convenience.
View the detailed parts diagram for this repair.
Includes detailed part diagrams, part numbers and links to purchase all of the required components needed to complete this repair.
Section 1 - Removing the intake plenum from 2007-2013 BMW M3sAs previously discussed, removing the intake plenum is a necessary procedure that should be mastered by all M3 V8 owners that service their own vehicles. The most difficult part of the removal is removing the idle control hose on the rear of the plenum. Never use pliers to try and squeeze the release ring - you will most certainly break it requiring hose replacement. They do make a quick disconnect hose tool if you absolutely cannot get the hose disconnected - you can order one by clicking here. Since the M3 uses advanced electronics to measure the amount of air and fuel mixture entering the intake manifold, is very important that the intake plenum and any plastic hoses are carefully reassembled to avoid a vacuum leak.
- In order to access the clamps securing the intake plenum to the throttle bodies, the intake muffler needs to be removed from the vehicle. Begin by using a T25 torx bit to loosen the eight screws anchoring the intake muffler lid to its base. Remove the intake muffler from the vehicle.
- Grasp the air filter and push it towards the centerline of the vehicle. Remove it from the engine compartment.
- Remove the air pump suction hose from the side of the intake boot by squeezing its release ring and pulling it free. Using a 6mm socket, loosen the hose clamp securing the intake boot to the intake plenum. Grasp the intake boot and remove it from the vehicle.
- Using a 10mm socket, remove the two bolts securing the base of the intake muffler to the body of the vehicle and remove it from the engine compartment.
- Moving to the other side of the vehicle, unplug the air temperature sensor from the side of the intake plenum. Move all of the wiring out of the work area.
- In order to gain unimpeded access to the right throttle body clamps, the coolant expansion tank should be loosened and moved out of the work area. We suggest removing the vent pipes first to avoid them from cracking. Be prepared to lose a small amount of coolant, so have towels ready on the floor.
- The eight throttle body clamps that secure the intake plenum to the top of the throttle bodies can now be accessed with a 1/4" drive 6mm socket and 12-inch extension. Carefully loosen each clamp until they move freely. There is no need to use any fancy swivel extensions...the clamps can be accessed using only a 12" extension and 1/4" drive socket. Avoid using 3/8" drive sockets....they are too large and make the process more difficult.
- Disconnect the last two plastic lines, the idle control tube and the crankcase breather tube. First, reach under the left rear of the plenum and squeeze the plastic release ring on the idle control hose until it pulls free. Use patience...this connection is difficult to get off even for the most seasoned mechanic. If the hose won't disconnect, have a helper gently raise the plenum while you squeeze the ring. Next, reach under the front of the plenum and squeeze the plastic disconnect ring on the crankcase breather hose and pull it free.
- Grasp the front of the intake plenum and while using gentle rocking motions, pull it free from the throttle bodies. At first, it may feel like there is still something anchoring the plenum...but there is not. The intake plenum fits very tightly into the throttle bodies - with persistence, it will pull free.
- The intake plenum can now be removed from the vehicle.
Notes For Reinstalling the Intake Plenum
1. When installing the intake plenum back into the throttle bodies, you DO NOT need any fancy assembly lube. Simply rubbing a small amount of Dawn liquid dish detergent around the inside of the throttle body boot will allow the plenum to slip on easily. Never use oil, grease, or any other type of petroleum-based lubricant on the boots...you will destroy them causing vacuum leaks. The dish detergent will not harm the vehicle in any way if just used around the inside of the boot.
2. DO NOT try to overtighten the throttle body clamps. They strip very easily. Just tighten until slightly snug.
3. If you have trouble getting the idle control hose connected back to the bottom of the plenum, use a long flat-blade screwdriver to gently pry it into place. It works great and saves a lot of time and misery.
BMW E9x M3 Intake Plenum Removal Finished