BMW M57 Tuning

"All you need to know about tuning the BMW M57 engine!"

Our aim here is to examine the options for your M57 tuning and provide tips on the ultimate upgrades. BMW M57 great bases for a tuning project and with carefully picked enhancements like a remap, turbo upgrades and camshafts you will really maximize your driving opportunities.

History, Power & Specs of the Engine

M57 straight-6 diesel engine based on M51 and came as a 2.5 2.9 and 3.0

M57D25

2000–2003

M57D25TÜ

2003–2007

  • BMW E60/E61 525d

M57D30

  • Range Rover L322
  • E39 as 530d
  • E46 as 330d/330xd
  • E38 as 730d
  • E53 as X5 3.0d
  • E39 as 530d
  • E38 as 730d

M57D30TÜ

  • E46 as 330d/330Cd/330xd
  • E83 as X3 3.0d
  • E53 as X5 3.0d
  •  E60/E61 as 530d/530xd
  •  E65/E66 as 730d
  •  E83 as X3 3.0d
  • E60/E61 as 535d

M57D30TÜ2

  • E90/E91 as 325d
  •  E60/E61 as 525d
  • E65/E66 as 730d
  •  E90/E91 as 330d/330xd
  •  E60/E61 as 530d/530xd
  • E60/E61 as 530d
  •  E70 as X5 xDrive30d
  •  E71 as X6 xDrive30d

M57D30TÜTOP

  • E60/E61 as 535d
  •  E63/E64 as 635d
  •  E70 as X5 3.0sd
  •  E71 as X6 xDrive35d
  •  E83 as X3 3.0sd
  •  E90/E91/E92/E93 as 335d

 

Tuning the BMW M57 and best M57 performance parts.

 

Best M57 parts

The best M57 parts on an engine are usually the ones that give the best value for money.

We won't be swayed by popular M57 parts, they need to be cost effective.

The cam profile plays a big part in the engines power output so cam upgrades make quite a large difference. The intake and exhaust durations will alter depending on the chosen cam profile, so large bhp gains are on offer for cam upgrades.

Fast road camshafts normally increase the power across the rpm band, you might lose a little low end torque but top end will be better.

Competition camshafts, increase the top end band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

For a daily driver must carefully try to optimize your torque band to your preferences.

I'd be surprised if you find a M57 Motorsport camshaft is a pleasure to live with when driving in heavy traffic. The low end idle will be very lumpy and irregular, so something you would notice on a track when you drive in the upper third of the rpm band, but on roads this is a serious issue and we've heard from lots of drivers lamenting their decision to add an extreme competition cam profile to their engine.

Some M57 engines respond better to less aggressive cam durations so view each engine as unique.

The ecu map and injectors and fuel pump also will say much on the bhp gains you'll make.

A longer valve duration can alter the bhp band and on most engines the exhaust and intake durations do not need to match, although most cams and tuners use matched pairs there are some advantages to extending the intake or exhaust durations.

Typical stage 1 mods often include: drilled & smoothed airbox, Remaps/piggy back ECU, Sports exhaust manifold, Intake headers, Fast road camshaft, Panel air filters.

Typical stage 2 mods often include: induction kit, high flow fuel injectors, Sports catalyst & performance exhaust, Ported and polished head, Fast road cam, fuel pump upgrades.

Typical stage 3 mods often include: Engine balancing & blueprinting, Competition cam, Adding or Upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Crank and Piston upgrades to alter compression, Twin charging conversions, Internal engine upgrades (head flowing porting/bigger valves).

Plan your options and then acquire your modifications and set yourself a power target to avoid disappointment.

ECU flashing should help to to establish the full potential of all the parts you've fitted to your M57.

(In some cases, as the factory ECU is locked flashing is not an option, so an aftermarket ECU is the route to take, and many of these will outperform factory ECU's but make sure it has knock protection and that you get it setup properly.)

It will usually give you around 30% more power on turbocharged vehicles and you can expect to see around 15% on NASP engines, but figures achieved often rely on the parts you've fitted and the condition of your engine.

It is vital to any engine modification task to get air and fuel into the M57 engine

Intake manifold flow the air from the air filter and allow it to be fed into the engine cylinders with fuel for the squish phase.

The shape and rate of flow of the Intake headers can make a large change to fuel engine efficiency on the M57.

We often see headers are needing aftermarket parts, although some OEM provide decently flowing headers.

Larger M57 valves, getting M57 port enlargement and head flowing will also increase torque, the fantastic side effect is it will give you a greater torque increase on other modifications.

Turbo upgrades

NASP engines need quite a lot of work when you add a turbo, so we have a separate guide to help you take into account the pros and cons of going this route on your M57

The more air you can get into an engine, the more fuel it can burn and uprating the induction with a turbocharger upgrade makes significant power gains.

If your motor is fitted with a turbocharger upgrades are relatively easy and most turbo engines will have more solid components.

There are tuning limits for every engine, with some being over specified and some only able to handle stock power

Research these limitations and install forged components to handle the power.

It's not unheard of drivers spending a loads on turbocharger upgrades on the M57 only to suffer the humiliation of seeing the engine go up in smoke just after it's used in anger.

Bigger capacity turbochargers will usually suffer low end lag, and smaller turbochargers spool up quickly but do not have the peak end bhp gains.

We note 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor was restricting power at a much lower level.

Adding a supercharger or additional turbo will make large performance gains, although harder to install. We have this guide to twinchargers if you want to read more.

Fuelling

You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so will have to uprate the fuelling when you start exceeding 20% of a bhp and torque increase.Don't forget to over specify your injectors flow rate.

The rule of thumb is to add 20% when specifying an injector, this takes into account injector deterioration and allows a little spare capacity should the engine require more fuel.

We think this one is common sense, but you'll need to match your fuel injector to the type of fuel your car uses as well.

Exhaust

You only need to to replace your exhaust if your exhaust is actually causing a restriction in flow.

On most factory exhausts you should find that the exhaust flow rate is ok even on modest power gains, but when you start pushing up the power levels you will need to get a better flowing exhaust.

Sports exhausts equal out the flow of gases through the engine.

But if the exhaust pipe is too big, ie: it's over 2.5 inches bore, you will lose a lot of your flow rate and end up lacking power and torque.

Typically exhaust restrictions are in the filters installed, so adding a better flowing high performance aftermarket one will improve air flow, and rather than doing an illegal decat, will keep the car road legal.

Weak spots Issues & problem areas on the M57

The M57 engines are generally reliable and solid as long as they are regularly serviced and maintained.

Carbon build up in the head, particularly around the valves which will sap power or create flat spots, this is a larger issue on direct injection engines but should be looked out for on all engines. We have tips on removing carbon build up.

Some of our members have had issues with flat spots or glitches after applying mods and upgrades or tuning, this is not usually related to this engines design, so instead see our article on diagnosing flat spots and problems after tuning which should help you get the bottom of this issue.

Regular oil changes are vital on the M57, especially when tuned and will help extend the life and reliability of the engine.

If you would like to know more, or just get some friendly advice on Tuning your M57 engine please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss tuning options in more detail with our worldwide members, or read our 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 to hear what our visitors have got up to and which mods work best for them on each model of car. Comments are used to improve the accuracy of these M57 articles which are continually updated.

 

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