If the connector does not result in reduction of cross-section, and thus, impedence of flow, there can be no real effect...rmashman is saying he took the connector out, inspected it, and observed that it was just a hollow connector.
So we have:
a) rmashman is mistaken
b) other M3s have different type of connectors/parts than the one rmashman investigated
c) others who have taken the connector/part out and claim they are experiencing an effect are the cause of the effect and not the connector/part in question
I'm kind of leaning toward c here, but all three are possible I guess.