Installing a MINI Cooper Club Racer AEM Cold Air Intake

New York Safety Track Mini

The previous owner of my Mini Cooper had disconnected the OEM air intake and installed a after market air filter.  My last SCCA club race last year was the “Fun One” at Watkins Glen which was held in 90 degree temperatures, my turbo Mini was not happy with the air intake temperatures under the hood and performed poorly due to it.  Therefore I decided to upgrade to an AEM air intake system from eEuroparts.

In case you are not familiar with this air intake system it opens the “fake” air intake on the Mini’s hood, as well as using the OEM air intake to provide cool air to the turbo.  AEM provides test data showing a 10 plus HP gain with the install of their system. Having completed the installation of the system on my Mini I can tell you it is a very well thought out and designed product.

MINI Cooper AEM Intake

Installation begins with removal of the existing air box and air discharge piping, installation of the new AEM Cold Air Intake air box is seamless, it fits perfectly in place of the old one. Every detail is accounted for including the MAF sensor & connector which is now located Inside the air box as opposed to its previous location outside, even a split grommet is included to seal the wire from the MAF sensor wiring (a version is available without MAF sensor as well). A new dry flow air filter with a differential pressure indicator is provided to tell you when the filter needs to be cleaned, nice touch.

MINI AEM Air Intake Install

The previous plastic air discharge pipe is replaced with a new aluminum pipe providing a nice bit of bling under the hood along with increased air flow.  The OEM air intake is maintained but does use a new elbow from the air box to the existing pipe, this was the one piece that was missing from my car, therefore I was very excited to discover it in the kit.

The OEM hood scoop is “opened” and solid plastic ductwork is added to the underside of the hood to force cold air into the new air box from the previous “for show only” hood scoop.  It features a nice air seal to make sure the high pressure zone on the hood is utilized to the maximum amount with no leaks.

MINI AEM Air Intake Kit

The kit includes a heat shield that is installed over the turbo to protect the duct work on the underside of the hood, it like everything else in the kit fits perfectly. The heat shield connects with long shoulder bolts and spacers to two unused threaded holes in the mounting bosses at the edge of the cylinder head, I suggest chasing/cleaning these out before you try and install the heat shield as on my car the threads had dirt and grime in them.

I would also suggest making certain you install the new elbow to the OEM pipe before you install the new air box, the elbow goes on very easily in your hand, but is much harder to install once the air box is installed.

Now the MINI is breathing easy and intake temps should be much better.  I will update this article if I am able to get concrete data, but for now I am extremely happy with this purchase.  If you have a sporty 07-10 MINI Cooper, don’t drive around with a fake air vent on the hood, turn it into a functional scoop and get a little power to boot!  Every little bit helps with a tiny car like this.

For complete step by step instructions, visit the product detail pages, where the AEM .pdf files are available for download.

AEM Cold Air Intake Kit (w/o Mass Air Flow Sensor) – [View Dyno Sheet]

2007 – 2010 MINI Cooper S and Clubman S without MAF

AEM Cold Air Intake Kit (w/ Mass Air Flow Sensor) – [View Dyno Sheet]

2007 – 2010 MINI Cooper S and Clubman S with MAF

AEM Cold Air Intake Kit – [View Dyno Sheet]

MINI Cooper 2011-2013

MINI Cooper Countryman 2011-2013

MINI Cooper Paceman 2013-2013





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One thought on “Installing a MINI Cooper Club Racer AEM Cold Air Intake

    The AEM system still uses the “stock” intake, thus this greatly increases the amount of cold air from the stock system, and greatly improves it from the “chop shop mod” Your second question is a good one, I am not certain of the answer, it is my belief that an oversized intercooler will still be of benefit, at least in race trim and I am in the process of installing one. The cooler the air the better on any race day, and regardless of how cool the inlet air is the turbo will still add heat.
    Thanks for your question.


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