BMW N62 Tuning

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

The N62 is a V8 engine with a 90-degree angle between the two banks of cylinders. It is available in 3.6L, 4.0L, 4.4L and 4.8L displacements. The N62 engine was used in various BMW models, including the BMW 7 Series, 6 Series, 5 Series, and X5.

The N62 was not produced in high numbers so the upgrade options and availability of parts is a challenge. Please let us know what you've found via our comments below and we can continue to include your tips in our article.

It was also the powerplant of choice in the Morgan Aero 8, Supersports & the basis for the Alpina B5, B6, & B7!

This is a large capacity lazy V8, so your approach to mods and upgrades needs to reflect this and retain the wide torque delivery and relatively low revving nature of the engine.

The N62 incorporates several advanced technologies to enhance performance and efficiency. These include Valvetronic variable valve timing and lift (ranging from .03mm to 9.85mm), as well as Double VANOS, which adjusts the timing of both the intake and exhaust camshafts.

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.

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History, Power & Specs of the N62 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

The H1 was the supercharged variant used by Alpina using the N62B44 block with stronger crank & pistons and redline was raised to over 6000rpm thanks to the balancing and tune selected.

Tuning the BMW N62 and best N62 performance parts.

Best N62 parts

In the realm of N62 projects, it's crucial to discern between commonly featured parts and those that truly improve the engine's performance.

Not all components that frequently appear in modifications guarantee superior results. Our focus is on identifying and highlighting the parts that yield the most substantial power gains for your N62 engine while ensuring the best value for your investment.

Rather than following trends, we curate our recommendations based on feedback from our members, readers and viewers and real-world performance metrics based on my own experiences.

This approach ensures that enthusiasts looking to enhance their N62 engine can confidently invest in modifications that deliver the most significant power gains, offering an optimal balance between performance and cost-effectiveness.

The camshaft profile plays a big part in the engines power output. The intake & exhaust durations will alter depending on the direction of the VANOS setup.

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.

Double Vanos - The Magic.

The "Double" in Double VANOS refers to the fact that it can simultaneously adjust the timing of both the intake and exhaust camshafts. This dual adjustment is a key feature that enables precise control over the combustion process.

Oil-Controlled Mechanism:

The adjustments in the camshaft timing are controlled by an oil pressure mechanism. Oil is directed to the VANOS unit, which contains a system of gears and pistons. The oil pressure acts on these components to vary the relative position of the camshaft gear and the camshaft itself.

Optimizing Valve Overlap:

Valve overlap is the brief period when both the intake and exhaust valves are open at the same time. Double VANOS can optimize this overlap dynamically. During certain engine operating conditions, having a specific amount of valve overlap can enhance performance and efficiency.

Advancing or Retarding Timing:

Double VANOS can adjust the timing of the camshafts by either advancing (opening the valves earlier) or retarding (closing the valves later). The adjustment depends on the engine's speed, load, and other parameters. Advancing the timing can improve low-end torque, while retarding it can enhance high-end power.

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.

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Best mods for your N62

  1. Intake and Exhaust Upgrades - Note that on their own these mods won't ADD POWER , but they can help lift power after other mods by removing the restriction.
  2. DME Tunes - A tuned N62 DME offers the most advantage for the money, replacement ECUs, and Tuning boxes are all alternatives.
  3. Lighter flywheels - a lower mass flywheel will improve the engines free revving nature. But not always suitable for all N62 engines.
  4. Internal engine mods - crank, pistons, conrods & compression ratio including balancing and blueprinting
  5. Forced induction - whilst complex, adding a supercharger or turbocharger is one of the most significant upgrade routes on the N62.

N62 Tuning Stages

Typical stage 1 mods often include: drilled & smoothed airbox, Sports exhaust header/manifold, Intake manifolds, 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.

DME Tunes/Maps/Remapping

"Digital Motor Electronics" or DME is the term commonly used by BMW to denote the electronic control module responsible for managing various aspects of the engine, including fuel injection, ignition timing, and other parameters critical to engine performance and efficiency.

It serves as the brain of the engine management system, constantly monitoring and adjusting settings to optimize the engine's operation under different driving conditions.

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

The BMS JB4, Dinan Tunes, and Weistec Tune are renowned aftermarket tuning solutions that cater to different performance needs of BMW enthusiasts.

The BMS JB4, produced by Burger Motorsports, is a plug-and-play tuning device that allows for easy customization of boost levels and fueling, providing a significant power boost without compromising drivability.

Dinan Tunes offer a more comprehensive and meticulously developed tuning solution, ensuring not only increased horsepower but also maintaining the highest standards of reliability and drivability.

Weistec Tunes, on the other hand, specialize in performance enhancements for Mercedes-Benz vehicles, delivering tailored tuning solutions for optimal power gains.

To complement these tuning upgrades, an Injen X-Pedal Pro throttle controller serves as a valuable addition. This electronic throttle controller enhances throttle response, providing a more immediate and precise connection between driver input and engine performance.

The combined benefits of these tuning solutions and the Injen X-Pedal Pro result in a driving experience characterized by heightened power, responsiveness, and overall performance for enthusiasts seeking an exhilarating driving experience.

It will usually give you around 15% on NA (naturally aspirated) engines, but the outcome usually rely on the mods you've applied and the condition of your engine.

Don't look at the headline power figure, the overall change to the torque curve is what makes the N62 more driveable and flexible.

Taking N62 Mods To The Next Level

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

Intake manifolds 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.

N62 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 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.

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.

N62 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.

de 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.

N62 Exhaust Upgrades

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.

N62 Internal Engine Mods

When it comes to fortifying the strength and performance of the BMW N62 engine, a comprehensive approach involves investing in top-tier components.

This is especially true when pushing for higher power figures if you want to retain reliability, or for track day usage.

Upgrading to CP-Carrillo Forged Pistons provides enhanced durability and reliability under high-stress conditions, ensuring the engine can withstand increased power levels.

Pairing these forged pistons with CP-Carrillo Connecting Rods further reinforces the engine's internal components. The robust construction of these connecting rods not only withstands higher horsepower and torque figures but also contributes to the overall structural integrity of the engine. To optimize the cylinder head for improved airflow and combustion efficiency,

VAC Motorsports Performance Cylinder Head Service for the BMW N62 is a valuable addition. This service focuses on precision machining and performance enhancements, maximizing the engine's potential.

Complementing these upgrades, the VAC Performance Coated Rod Bearing Set ensures smooth and reliable operation by providing a durable and low-friction interface between the connecting rods and crankshaft.

Together, these components form a cohesive system that not only strengthens the BMW N62 engine but also elevates its performance to new levels, making it well-equipped for demanding driving conditions and performance

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.

Valve Stem Seal Leaks

One prevalent issue with the N62 involves oil leaks from the valve stem seals. This can lead to oil consumption, smoke from the exhaust, and potential carbon build up on the intake valves and in the head.

Coolant Leaks

Coolant leaks can occur in various areas, including the coolant transfer pipe, the valley pan gasket, or the radiator. These leaks can lead to overheating and potential engine damage if not addressed promptly.

OEM coolant transfer pipes leaking seem to be one of the largest complaints, but in fairness when you get old pipes which are removed and refitted over the years this is to be expected.

Variable Valve Timing (VANOS) Issues

The VANOS system, responsible for adjusting the timing of the intake and exhaust camshafts, can experience problems. This may result in issues such as rough idling, decreased performance, or fault codes related to camshaft position.

Thermostat and Water Pump Failures

Failures of the thermostat and water pump are not uncommon in the N62 engine. These components are crucial for maintaining proper engine temperature, and their failure can lead to overheating.

Crankcase Ventilation System (PCV) Issues

Problems with the PCV system can lead to increased oil consumption and may contribute to issues such as rough idling or a drop in overall engine performance.

Ignition Coil and Spark Plug Problems

Ignition coils and spark plugs may experience premature wear or failure, leading to issues like misfires and reduced engine performance.

Transmission Failures

Some N62-equipped vehicles may experience transmission problems, including issues with the electronic transmission control module (EGS/EGM) or mechanical failures.

Air and Oil Separator Failures

Problems with the air and oil separator (also known as the crankcase ventilation valve) can lead to oil leaks, increased oil consumption, and rough idling.

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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We love to hear what our visitors have got up to and which parts 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 N62 tuning guides which get regular updates and revisions.

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