BMW 6 Series Tuning

"Tuning guide to the greatest BMW 6 series modifications."

BMW's 6 series line of grand tourers, which has been in production since 1976, is an excellent candidate for customizing. Let's review and look at the best performance mods and upgrades for your 6 series.

Make sure you do your homework on 6 series tuning to avoid making the common mistakes we hear about. For the first time since 2008, we've been able to experiment with diesel engines, and the turbocharged gasoline engines mirror the torque delivery of a bigger normally aspirated engine.

In this article, we'll go through some of the most significant changes to 6 series tuning. Tuning a BMW 6 series is a worthwhile investment, and with the right components, such as a remap, turbo upgrades, and camshafts, you can significantly improve your driving experience.

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With our advice your 6 series can make some decent track times and be reliable daily driver.

To be completely frank and honest, on the more modest engine sizes you are wasting your time spending money on modifications, so if this applies to you get yourself an engine swap then apply the following mods.

  1. First generation (E24; 1976)
  2. Second generation (E63/E64; 2003)
  3. Third generation (F06/F12/F13; 2011)
  4. Fourth generation (G32; 2017)

Tuning modifications.

Typically these uprated kits are usually installed by our members, decide how far you want to push your car before you begin.

Getting the correct grade of modified upgrades for your planned usage of the car is a time and money saver. Stage 3 (competition) mods just won't work well on the road making the car difficult to drive.

Please watch our video which covers the 5 principles of tuning your car. Be sure to subscribe and support our new channel.

Best mods for your 6 series

  1. Fast road cams are generally the biggest mechanical mod upgrade, but they must be installed by someone who knows what they are doing and they are not always easy to source but there might be a local firm to regrind a stock camshaft for you.
  2. Turbo upgrades - Adding a turbocharger is the most significant way to increase your intakes air supply, this means you are able to utilize more fuel and make better power figures. Typically one of the most expensive mods you'll see massive gains.
  3. Flowing and porting the engine head - for larger gains, you will get better flow and make a more efficient engine if you do this to support your other mods.
  4. Intake Upgrades and Exhaust - Please note that on their own these mods won't ADD POWER in most cases, but they can help enhance power after other mods by lessening the restriction.
  5. Brake Mods - Stopping your 6 series needs to be near the top of your Mods list.
  6. 6 series Handling Mods (suspension) - Fitting a more sporty Suspension kit radically improves your 6 series handling Adjustable coilovers and better bushings are what is needed here.
  7. Flywheel lightening - a lighter flywheel will improve the engines rev changes. But not always suitable for all 6 series engines.
  8. Mapping - 6 series remapping gives the biggest gains for the money, replacement ECUs, and inline Tuning boxes are all alternatives.

6 series Tuning Stages

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Alloy wheels, Panel air filter, Suspension upgrade (drop 25mm - 36 mm.), Remap, Sports exhaust, Lighter flywheel.

Typical stage 2 mods often include: fuel pump upgrades, Fast road cam, Power/Sport clutch, high flow fuel injector, Ported and polished head.

Typical stage 3 mods often include: Engine balancing, Adding or upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Competition cam, Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves), Sports gearbox.

Your targets when tuning should be a flat and wide torque band. You don't want all the power to be at the top end of the rev range unless you are creating a motor sport car.

The whole point of our guides is to give a brief overview of car tuning modifications and point you in the right direction, our forum is best place to go if you need more detailed advice and tips on your modified car project, the best performance mods and all aspects of modding cars.

6 Series Handling/Suspension upgrades

Handling modifications are a good place to start for the 6 series.

We suggest that you fit uprated suspension and lower the car by 25mm - 36 mm. Larger drops require arch work - especially on models already equipped with uprated suspension.

Upgrading your Bushes

The suspension components of the 6 series may be connected to the car's chassis through bushes, which are rotatable rubber mounts. These rubber ones will wear out as they wear out.

Replacement OEM rubber bushings may have a major impact on the performance of your vehicle. Bushing improvements are needed so what's involved? You could fit Poly bushes.

Because the polyurethane bushes are firmer, the ride may be a bit rougher, but they will last longer and maintain the handling.

Increased vibration and play may also lead to an increase in the decay in other suspension components.

A new set of polyeyurothane bushings may be able to minimize the excessive play that comes with rubber bushes.

You may struggle to find a full set of polyeyurothane bushes, but most areas have the primary mounts available. Custom polyeyurothane bushes are often made to your requirements.

Many people believe that a 80mm lower 6 series suspension kit from a car part store would be ideal. However, this is not the case - suspension design and setup is quite complex.

Vendors may assert that their 6 series suspension kits are compatible with any or all of the 6 series model years.

The 'generic one set for all models' approach is obviously a flawed assumption when it comes to adequately supporting a diverse variety of cars. Engine weights and trim levels, and even alloy rims will affect the handling and require different suspension setups.

How low should you go on the 6 series?

According to TorqueCars research and testing, the maximum amount of suspension drop for most road vehicles is 26 - 36 millimetres, whereas cars that are factory fitted with lowered springs have a maximum suspension drop of 22 millimetres.

These tolerances may be drastically lowered if the wheel size is changed. Even with 17" wheels and stock suspension, lowering the vehicle might result in lots of problems.

Because the 6 series is lower, less air travels under it, which may aid in stability; nonetheless, the main goal should always be to enhance handling. It is critical to use the proper shocks when employing lower springs buying matched components as a kit.

We found that most 6 series factory suspension setups need tweaking, a few degrees of toe (set some toe out to improve cornering or use toe in for better stability) and you only need around 1-1.5 degrees, and a small amount of negative camber will often improve your cornering and handling.

6 Series Brake Mods

Putting better brake discs and better brake pads should make for dramatically improved stopping.

Bear in mind that motorsport pads can be noisier and will need to be hot before they start to work.

On your regular commute to work the brakes are only used rarely so won't stop you as well so specify friction pads which have a low working temperature.

Turning our attention to the engine we need to get a bit more power out of the top end.

6 Series Fast Road Camshafts

Fast road cams offer one of the biggest torque gains for your money as far as a bolt on tuning modifications goes on a NA (naturally aspirated) engine.

The exhaust & intake valve durations play a large part in your cars power band, but be careful here, getting this wrong can upset the idle and make the car difficult to drive in traffic. You'd need to follow a camshaft upgrade with other mods and finish with a performance chip for the best performance gains.

Don't forget to increase the fuelling when you are increasing the power - it makes the car more thirsty.

If you find you get flat spots and surges after your uprated mods you should check the fuelling and try a higher octane fuel as well. To get sufficient fuel you may need to upgrade the injectors on your engine.

Uprate the fuel pump to cope with the extra fuel requirements of your tuned 6 series's uprated injectors.

Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

The next area for modification is the intake and exhaust.  Contrary to popular belief there is usually very little if any power gain achieved by fitting an induction kit, they only work well and are recommended after you raise the engines power to the point where the standard air intake box cannot cope!

Maximum power gains come from a full induction kit with a cold air feed on heavily tuned engines, this can be sited within an air box but a performance panel filter should suffice for most applications.

TorqueCars suggest you use a panel air filter as these are easy to clean and maintain and generally perform better than paper ones.

Sports exhausts generally help improve air flow from the engine but avoid an exhaust that is too large or you might just stuff your flow rate and make things worse.

So generally speaking, keep to a size of 1.5 to 2.5 inches for best results.

6 Series cylinder head flowing

Getting the cylinder head gas flowed will assist in flowing more air into each cylinder.

This is definitely a job for a pro with a flow bench. Your clutch can slip if it starts to break and the standard clutches are only ever good for power gains of up to 43%. Fit a power clutch to avoid power loss through the transmission.

6 Series Remapping

The best mods in our opinion for your 6 series are remaps, sports camshafts and induction improvements.

NA (naturally aspirated) engines do not achieve big power gains if you remap them, unless you have done extensive modifications. With turbocharged engines this is another story.

remapped turbo will give big power gains and take full advantage of the strength of the block.

Adding forced induction will see impressive power gains but this is usually too expensive to be cost effective. Superchargers are usually easier to add than a turbo.

With a turbo the power curve is related exponentially to the engine speed making it harder to map.

The nice correlating boost and rpm characteristics of the supercharger make them easier to map. Alternatively you could perhaps install water injection to reduce the risk of knock.

Alloy wheel upgrades.

With addition to being more lightweight, alloy wheels aid in brake cooling. If you're serious about getting the most out of your vehicle, you'll need to pay attention to the tyres you put on it.

Although large alloy wheels look great on the 6 Series, they actually reduce performance.

This is due to the decrease in your effective final drive ratio, which lowers your acceleration as you go bigger in size.

Although some of our members have had no issues with bigger wheels, we would recommend limiting your wheel size to 18 inches.

If you would like to know more, or just get some friendly advice on Tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss 6 series options in more detail with our 6 series owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased BMW tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

Please help us improve these tips by sending us your feedback in the comments box below.

We love hearing about our website visitors projects, especially the mods done and which work best for you on your car. Which helps us keep our guides and tips up to date helping others with their modified car projects. Your feedback and comments are used to keep this page up to date, and help improve the accuracy of these articles which are kept updated and constantly revised.

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