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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Vancouver, Canada

    E46 M54 DISA Replacement doityourself

    [As promised here's a repost of another DIY I did for BC Bimmers]

    I installed a new DISA unit in my 2004 330I this weekend. I ordered the bulletproof unit from German Auto Solutions ( They do sell a kit to upgrade your existing unit. I went with a whole new unit on the basis that, if anything went wrong with the kit, then I would be minus my daily driver until I could get a replacement.

    In the pictures that follow, you'll see some yellow lines that highlight some of the parts of the engine bay that I'm referring to.

    0. The Haynes manual recommends that you disconnect the battery before you start.

    1. Remove the air intake box. Use a 10mm socket to undo the two bolts on the wheel well. Undo the two metal band retainer clips at the mass airflow senor, and work the MAF loose from the air box. Disconnect the air inlet from the front of the air box. Note that on my car, there is a lower air inlet as well as the one over the radiator. I haven't seen this mentioned in other DIY's I've looked at. Also note the rubber strip under where the air box would be. There's a channel on the bottom of the airbox that straddles this.

    2. Lift the rubber trim just in front of the master cylinder reservoir, and the rubber hose that passes under it. This will buy you a bit more space to maneuver the DISA unit out.

    3. Disconnect the electrical connector from the DISA unit. One the intake manifold side of the connector, there is a wire retainer (indicated by the yellow dot in the 2nd photograph below). Push it towards the fender and then lift the connector straight up.

    4. Use a Torx T40 socket to undo the two torx bolts that attach the DISA to the intake manifold. Get your other hand under the lower one before loosening it so that you can't drop it.

    5. Gently push down on the intake tube connected to the MAF (and the tube coming out the top of it), pull the DISA most of the way out, and then twist it clockwise to maneuver it out of the hole.

    Close up of old unit and new bulletproof unit together.

    Inside the intake manifold. What is the grit? I'm going to ask GAS for their thoughts.

    Close up of the o-ring on the old unit. It's completely worn out. The old unit slides in and out very easily. This probably allowed a bit of a vacuum leak, and may have let in the grit in the previous photo.

    Close up of the new unit. Note the proper shape of the o-ring. Apply some synthetic grease to the o-ring and the inside diameter of the intake manifold to slide the new unit in (see kit instructions at Even when lubed up, there will be some resistance, so you know that the o-ring is actually sealing.

    Installation is the reverse of removal.

    As it turns out, except for the o-ring, my old unit wasn't in too bad a shape, but I still feel it was worth the time and money.

    Next on the to-do list is the Vanos seals. That's too involved for me, so I'm gonna have to pay someone to do that. But at least I can combine it with a valve cover gasket replacement, which needs doing anyways.

    2008 128i ZSP Sedonarot


    2004 330i ZHP Imolarot
    Conforti Shark Injector - Installation Pending!
    AFE Magnum FORCE Stage 1 PRO 5R Intake
    ECS Tuning Strut Bar
    ECS Tuning Magnetic Drain Plug
    German Auto Solutions DISA Gold Valve
    CDV Delete
    BSW and Polk Drivers
    Ziza LED Interior Kit
    Khoalty CREE LED Reverse Lights
    BMW strut tower reinforcement plates

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Southern California
    Nice, thanks.
    Randeaux/Rando/John/jr - '06 Cic ZHP; Southern California
    "ZHP or not, I still like you"

    ZHP Performance Package, Cold Weather Package, Leather, Jet Black/Black/BlackCube, NAV, Anthracite Black "my individual" interior trim
    ESS Stage 1 Twin Screw Supercharger, Sprint Booster, BMW Perf Intake, Magnaflow Exhaust, Dinan TB & STEP S/W, UCC Sway Bars, Apex EC-7 18x8.5 ET38
    Suspension: AST 44100 dampers, Bimmerworld front adjustable end links, Swift springs (8K front, 10K rear), Vorshlag camber plates
    Dynavin D99+, Hardwire V1 (w/V1 Connection), BSW Stage 1 Speakers, Kicker Amp/Subwoofer
    BMW Performance Strut Brace, Orion V2 Angel Eyes, No-holes License Plate, SMG Paddle Shift Mod, Besian VANOS, Gold DISA, Fan Delete, M3 Side Mirrors
    Note: Actual car no longer resembles signature picture

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Jupiter, FL
    Great looking work and good to have nice pictures. Well done.
    2011 E90 Lemans Blue/Bamboo Beige M3- Harrop Supercharged IG: lmb_zcp
    2013 F25 Alpine White/Chestnut X3 35i- Family Hauler
    2006 R53 British Racing Green/Panther Black Mini Cooper S FOR SALE! DM for details!
    Past: 2010 X5M, 2014 328d, 2003 330i ZHP, 2004 330i ZHP, 2012 X3 35i
    WTB!! 2009-2012 E91 328i Touring Contact me with info!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Liberty Township, OH
    Thanks for the contribution.

    Sent from Williamsburg, VA USA
    Call Me Dane l 2/2004 330i ZHP l 18x8 ET45 BBS CK's wrapped with Michelin Pilot Sport AS3+ @ 245-40-18 l KW V1 Coilovers in front l KW V1 springs w/ Bilstein B8 dampeners in rear l BMW Performance Rotors l UUC StrutBarbarian l Racing Dynamics Rear Strut Bar l Jim Conforti Shark Injector l Light Birch Interior Trim l Bimmian Celly Mount l M3 Trunk Mat l l e90 Performance E-Brake & Shift Knob l M3 Tri-Stitched Boots l AL Headlight Retrofit with ZKW Lenses l CobyWheel Wrap w/M3 Stitching l LCM sw 4.5 triple blink and rear fogs l Maple Interior Trim

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