BMW N62 Tuning

"All you need to know about tuning the BMW N62 engine!"

The BMW N62 are popular engines and with carefully picked tuning mods like remapping, turbo improvements and camshafts you will greatly improve your driving experience.

The N62 is a naturally aspirated V8 and boasts being the world's first engine to use a continuously variable-length intake manifold and BMW’s first valvetronic engine.

Here we provide a guide to N62 tuning and point out the greatest modifications.

History, Power & Specs of the Engine

  • N62B36 200 kW (268 bhp)@6,200 rpm 360 nm (266 lbft) @3,700 rpm
  • N62B40 225 kW (302 bhp)@6,300 rpm 390 nm (288 lbft)@3,500 rpm
  • N62B44
    235 kW (315 bhp)@6,100 rpm 440 nm (325 lbft)@3,700 rpm
    245 kW (329 bhp)@6,100 rpm 450 nm (332 lbft)@3,600 rpm
  • N62B48
    265 kW (355 bhp)@6,200 rpm 500 nm (369 lbft)@3,500 rpm
    261 kW (350 bhp)@6,300 rpm 475 nm (350 lbft)@3,400 rpm
    270 kW (362 bhp)@6,300 rpm 490 nm (361 lbft)@3,400 rpm
  • H1 368 kW (493 bhp)@5,500 rpm 700 nm (516 lbft)@3,500 rpm
    390 kW (523 bhp)@5,500 rpm 725 nm (535 lbft)@4,750 rpm

Tuning the BMW N62 and best N62 performance parts.

Best N62 parts

Just because particular parts are appear in lots of N62 projects it doesn't mean it is good, we will highlight only the parts which we have found to be the optimum ie: Those that will give your N62 the biggest power gain return for your cash.

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

I believe Alpina pulled 523hp from this block with a stronger crank, and adding a supercharger, basically just hiking the torque through the rev range, an ideal strategy for a lovely lazy V8 block.

Fast road camshafts normally bump the bhp throughout the rev band, you may lose a little bottom end power but higher rpm power will be higher.

Race camshafts, bump the higher rpm power band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

A Race camshaft won't do well if on the daily commute, because the lumpy idle will make the car prone to stall and smooth driving at low rpm becomes impossible. If you are developing a track car this doesn't matter as you are in the high end of your RPM range anyway and that is where you want the power to be.

You should ideally optimize your engines power to your cars usage so for a car driven daily stick with a fast road N62 camshaft

Different N62 engines respond better to different cam durations check your engine on a rolling road.

The ecu map and injectors and fuel pump also have a large bearing on the torque gains you'll hit.

Longer valve durations can alter the torque 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, Sports exhaust manifold, Fast road camshaft, Intake headers, Remaps/piggy back ECU, Panel air filters.

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

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

The N62 units make great tuning projects and we note that there are increasing numbers of modifications and performance parts about.

remap helps release the full potential of all the mods you've fitted to your N62.

(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 the outcome usually rely on the mods you've applied and the condition of your engine.

Feeding more air into the N62 engine is the main goal to any engine modification job.

Intake headers flow the air from the intake filter and allow it to be pulled into the engine cylinders.

Design and flow rate of the Plenum can make a large difference to fuel engine efficiency on the N62.

Commonly we find the air intake manifolds are crying out for a performance upgrade, although a few OEM provide decently flowing air intake manifolds.

Larger N62 valves, doing a bit of 3 or 5 angle valve jobs and porting and head flowing will also increase bhp and torque, and importantly will allow you to get a better bhp and torque increase on other parts.

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 N62 but we would suggest you take a leaf out of Alpinas book and investigate superchargers.

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

When your car is fitted with a turbo tuning mods are going to make more power and you'll see that turbo engines are made using uprated components.

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

It is important to find these limits and fit better quality components to handle the power.

It's not unheard of car owners spending a a stack of money on turbo charger upgrades on the N62 only to suffer the indignity of watching the N62 explode soon after it's completed.

Larger upgraded turbo units will usually experience no power at low rpm, and smaller turbo units spool up really quickly but don't have the peak rpm torque gains.

Thanks to new tech the market of turbo units is always evolving and we commonly find variable vane turbo units, permitting the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end performance.

Twin scroll turbo units divert the exhaust gases into two channels and push these at differently profiled vanes in the turbo. They also help the scavenging effect of the engine.

You'll commonly see there's a limitation in the air flow sensor MAP/MAF/AFM on these engines when considerably more air is being sucked into the engine.

Going up you'll find 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor was restricting bhp at a much lower level.

Adding a supercharger or additional turbo will make large performance gains, although more difficult to setup. 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 must ramp up the fuelling when you start extending past 20% of a performance increase.We would recommend you to be generous with your flow rate on the injectors.

The rule of thumb is to add 20% to the flow rate when specifying an injector, this accounts for injector deterioration and gives some 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 replace your exhaust if the current exhaust is actually causing a restriction in flow. The exhausts on these do flow quite well so replacing it will not make much more power as there was no restriction, if however you've added a lot of power it makes sense to uprate this.

Sports exhausts can help equal out the flow of air through the engine.

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

Usual exhaust restrictions can be traced to the catalyst and filters installed, so adding a higher 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 N62

The N62 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 N62, 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 N62 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.

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