BMW M62 Tuning

"All you need to know about tuning the BMW M62 engine!"

The BMW M62 engine stands as a testament to the brand's commitment to delivering a powerful and sophisticated driving experience. Introduced in the mid-1990s, the M62 marked BMW's venture into the V8 engine territory after a considerable hiatus.

This robust powerplant debuted in the BMW 7 Series, offering a displacement of 4.4 liters and an initial power output of around 282 horsepower.

The M62's arrival signaled a new era for BMW, combining V8 performance with the luxury and precision that enthusiasts had come to expect from the brand.

Over the course of its production, the M62 underwent revisions to enhance both power and efficiency. As it found its way into various BMW models, including the 5 Series and the X5, the M62 showcased technological advancements such as Double VANOS (Variable Camshaft Timing) and improved engine management systems.

These features contributed to a more refined driving experience and increased power delivery, solidifying the M62's place in BMW's illustrious lineup.

This article aims to guide enthusiasts through the myriad options available for enhancing the M62, covering modifications that unlock additional power, improve performance, and elevate the overall driving experience. From advanced tuning solutions to precision-engineered components, the M62's potential for heightened performance is a thrilling realm waiting to be explored.

The BMW M62 are really good project engines and were naturally aspirated V8 produced between 1995 to 2005, and with the right sports tuning mods like a remap, turbo improvements and camshafts you will definitely maximise your driving fun.

Here we detail the best approach to M62 tuning and show the optimum mods that work.

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History, Power & Specs of the Engine

  • M62B35 173 kW (232 hp)@5,700 rpm 320 nm (236 lbft)@3,300 rpm
  • M62TUB35 183 kW (245 hp)@5,800 rpm 345 nm (254 lbft)@3,800 rpm
  • M62B44 210 kW (282 hp)@5,700 rpm 420 nm (310 lbft)@3,900 rpm
  • M62TUB44 210 kW (282 hp)@5,400 rpm 440 nm (325 lbft)@3,600 rpm
  • M62B46 250 kW (335 hp)@5,700 rpm 470 nm (347 lbft)@3,800 rpm
  • M62TUB46 255 kW (342 hp)@5,700 rpm 480 nm (354 lbft)@3,700 rpm

Specially tuned versions of the M62

  • Alpina F5 276 kW (370 hp)@6,000 rpm 510 nm (376 lbft)@3,700 rpm
  • S62B50 294 kW (394 hp)@6,600 rpm 500 nm (369 lbft)@3,800 rpm

Tuning the BMW M62 and best M62 performance parts.

Best M62 upgrades

Just because particular tuning mods are popular with M62 owners it doesn't mean it is good, we shall concentrate on the top tuning mods that will give your M62 the best power gain for you spend.

Instead of us falling into the common "if it's shiny and makes more noise it must be good" mentality of many car sites and tuning magazines.

Some M62 engines came with VANOS (after 1999 -  m62tu), short for Variable Nockenwellen Steuerung in German (Variable Camshaft Timing in English), is a technology developed by BMW.

In simple terms, VANOS adjusts the timing of the camshaft, which controls the opening and closing of the engine's valves.

This adjustment is dynamic and depends on factors like engine speed and load. By optimizing the timing of the camshaft, VANOS enhances engine performance, improving power, fuel efficiency, and overall driving experience. It allows the engine to adapt to different driving conditions, ensuring optimal performance across a range of situations.

Optimizing cam profiles becomes crucial for enhancing the performance of your M62 engine without the assistance of VANOS technology. VAC Motorsports offers a seamless solution with their precision-engineered camshafts, designed to effortlessly integrate into your BMW powerplant.

These camshafts, crafted from premium new blanks, eliminate concerns associated with re-grinds, ensuring a reliable and high-performance upgrade.

Tailored for compatibility with the stock valve train and pistons, these camshafts from VAC Motorsports provide a hassle-free drop-in solution, elevating the performance of your daily driver or weekend enthusiast vehicle they provide a duration of  258 / 258°.

Unleashing additional power, these camshafts are not only an excellent complement to your engine but also coordinate seamlessly with other modifications such as air intakes and exhaust systems.

Available for M62 engines, these camshafts boast specifications that make them a noteworthy enhancement for enthusiasts seeking to extract the utmost performance from their BMW engines.

Altering your M62 camshaft will make a dramatic difference to the engine torque. Choosing a higher performance camshaft profile raises the torque accordingly.

Fast road cams tend to raise the performance through the rpm band, you may lose a little bottom end torque but top end will be higher.

Motorsport and race cams, raise the top end band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

A Race cam is not great driving in heavy traffic.

You should ideally optimize your engines power to your cars usage so for a daily driver stick with a shorter duration M62 cam

Some M62 engines respond better to extreme cam durations check your engine on a rolling road.

The map and injectors and fuel pump also will make differences 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.

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Best mods for your M62

  1. Turbo upgrades - A New Turbo is the most significant way to raise the intake air supply, which permits you to use more fuel and make more power. Typically one of the most costly modifications you'll see massive gains.
  2. Intake Mods and Exhaust - Please note that on their own these mods won't ADD POWER on most cars, but they can help release power after other mods by losing a restriction.
  3. Fast road Camshafts (Non VANOS only) are generally the biggest mechanical mod upgrade, but they must be installed by someone who knows what they are doing and tracking one down can be a challenge but there might be a local firm to regrind a stock camshaft .
  4. Lighter flywheels - a lower mass flywheel will improve the engines rev changes. But not always suitable for all M62 engines.
  5. Flowing and porting the Head - Head work will get air flowing into the engine while removing turbulence or restrictions.
  6. Tunes - A Remapped M62 ECU gives the most power for your outlay, aftermarket ECU upgrades, and Tuning boxes are all alternatives.

M62 Tuning Stages

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

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

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

The M62 engines make great tuning projects and we see that there is an increase of modifications and performance parts around.

ECU flashing should help to unlock the full potential of all the upgrades you've fitted to your M62.

(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 NA (naturally aspirated) engines, but power output may vary depending on the upgrades you've done and the condition of your engine.

Forcing more fuel and air into your M62 is vital to any tuning task.

Intake manifolds transmit the air from the air filter and allow it to be drawn into the engine cylinders with fuel for the squish phase.

The size of bore and shape and flow rate of the Intake manifold can make a big change to fuel mixing and power on the M62.

Most manifolds are in desperate need of a performance upgrade, although some makers provide reasonably good headers.

Adding a M62 larger valve kit, doing some port matching and head flowing will also improve bhp and torque, & importantly will make space for a greater bhp and torque increase on other tuning mods.

M62 Turbo upgrades

NA (naturally aspirated) 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 M62

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

When the engine has forced induction upgrades are going to make more power and you will discover turbocharged engines will have stronger components.

However you will find an engines have weakspots

We recommend you find these limits and upgrade to better quality crank and pistons to utilize the power.

We see many drivers spending a a stack of money on turbo charger upgrades on the M62 only to watch the engine block go up in smoke soon after it's first rolling road session.

It is common that there is a restriction in the air flow sensor MAF/MAP on these engines when loads more air is being sucked into the engine.

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

Adding a supercharger or additional turbo will make large performance gains, although more challenging to setup. We have this feature on twinchargers if you want to read more.

M62 Fuelling

You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so must ramp up the fuelling when you start extending past 20% of a performance increase.We would recommend you to over specify your injectors flow rate.

The accepted safe increase is to add 20% capacity when specifying an injector, this allows for injector deterioration and allows a little spare capacity should the engine need 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 Mods for the M62

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

On most factory exhausts you'll see your 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 generally help improve air flow from the engine but do not go too big or you might just stuff your flow rate and make things worse. So generally speaking, keep to a size of around 2.5 inches for best results.

Usual exhaust restrictions can be traced to the emissions filters installed, so adding a faster flowing sports alternative is the answer. This keeps the car road legal and will flow much better due to it's higher internal surface area and design, so has the added benefit of keeping your car road legal. The alternative decat should be considered an off road only mod, as removing a catalyst is illegal in most territories and regions for road registered cars..

Weak spots Issues & problem areas on the M62

The M62 engines are generally reliable and solid units, as long as you follow the manufacturers service schedules, and use a good quality oil to ensure longevity. Few problems should happen 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 M62, 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 M62 engine please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss tuning options in more detail with 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 upgrades 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 M62 tuning guides which get regular updates and revisions.

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3 Responses to “M62 Tuning”

  1. Tiahn Jones says:

    Hi this is very informative but u do not talk about the cosworth m62 in the arnage green label

  2. TorqueCars says:

    There were to my knowledge only 7 of these produced so it didn’t pop up on our radar. These engines were mated to the ZF 5HP30 which could only handle 420lbft of torque so tuning it wasn’t an option unless you managed to source a drivetrain/transmission that could handle it.

  3. Torben Larsen says:

    I have a BMW m62TUb44 vanos and it delivers 307 HK and 49,8 kg ved 2800 revolutions. The manifold is done so the air isn`t going to turn all 90 degres, KN filter and no limitations in the airbox and 90 mm tube to the front.Is chipped. Change oil and filter every 10.000 km and filter for every 2.500 to 3.000 km. Use Mobile syntetic 5/50. Changes oil in gearbox and filter every 60.000 and the same with rear box

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