BMW S62 Tuning

"All you need to know about tuning the BMW S62 engine!"

This pages aim is consider S62 tuning and highlight the optimum modifications for your car. BMW S62 are popular tuning projects and with the right performance parts like a remap, turbo improvements and camshafts you will positively maximise your driving opportunities.

History, Power & Specs of the Engine

S62 engine is the BMW M high performance version of the M62, which was released in the E39 M5.

  • S62B50
    294 kW (394 hp)@6,600 rpm
    500 nm (369 lbft)@3,800 rpm

Tuning the BMW S62 and best S62 performance parts.

Best S62 parts

Just because particular tuning parts are appear in lots of S62 projects it doesn't mean it is good, we shall optimum tuning parts that will give your S62 the best value for money to power increase.

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

Fast road camshafts tend to bump the bhp and torque over the rev band, you may sacrifice a little low down torque but top end will improve.

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

In a car used daily, really you should, ideally aim to match your torque band to your typical driving style.

You'll never have found a S62 Motorsport and race camshaft is a pleasure to live with when in heavy traffic because low end power will be very lumpy. Competition cams are designed for maximum power at the top end of the RPM range, a place that most daily commutes will not permit!

Each engine responds better to more aggressive cam durations so set your engine up on a rolling road.

The map and fuel pump and injectors also will say much on the power gains you'll hit.

Altering valve durations can alter the power 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: Remaps/piggy back ECU, Intake headers, drilled & smoothed airbox, Fast road camshaft, Sports exhaust manifold, Panel air filters.

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

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

The S62 units respond well to upgrades and we note that there are plenty of mods and tuning parts out there.

Remaps allows a tuner to unlock the full potential of all the tuning mods you've fitted to your S62.

(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 your mileage usually vary depending on the tuning mods you've done and the condition of your engine.

Pulling more fuel and air into your S62 is the main goal to any engine tuning job.

Air Intake manifolds carry the air during the suck phase from the intake filter and allow it to be pulled into the engine cylinders with fuel for the squish phase.

The size of bore and shape and rate of flow of the Plenum can make a large improvement to fuel delivery on the S62.

I usually find intake are improved through aftermarket parts, although some car makers provide well optimised intake.

Fitting big valve kits, carrying out port matching and head flowing will also raise performance, & importantly will allow you to get a better performance increase on other tuning mods.

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 S62

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 has forced induction upgrades are simpler to install and most turbo engines will have strengthened components.

There are tuning limits for every engine, with some being incredibly solid and some just sufficiently able to handle stock power

Discover these restrictions and fit higher quality crank and pistons to survive the power.

We've seen guys spending a fortune on turbo upgrades on the S62 only to suffer the indignity of watching the motor literally blow up on it's first outing after it's finished.

Big turbos tend to suffer no power at low rpm, and little turbos spool up really quickly but don't have the peak rpm engines power gains.

In recent times the range of turbo units is always evolving and we now see variable vane turbo units, allowing 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 a couple of channels and direct these at differently designed vanes in the turbocharger. They also help the scavenging effect of the engine.

It is common that there is a limitation in the air flow sensor AFM/MAP on these engines when a lot 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 sapped power at a much lower level.

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

Fuelling

Don't overlook the need to improve the fuelling when you are increasing the bhp and torque - it makes the car more thirsty. Don't forget to be generous with your injectors flow rate.

As a rule of thumb add another 20% when specifying an injector, helps cope with injector deterioration and allows you some 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

Only look to upgrade your exhaust if your current exhaust is actually creating a restriction in flow.

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

Note that with the biggest exhaust you can buy this will reduce the exhaust flow rate - the best for power gains are usually between 1.5 to 2.5 inches. It is the shape and material more than the bore size.

Usual exhaust restrictions are in the catalyst installed, so adding a freer 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 S62

The S62 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 S62, 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 S62 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 S62 articles which are continually updated.

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