BMW S62 Tuning

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

Welcome to the heart of BMW's performance legacy – the S62 engine. An engineering marvel that fueled the aspirations of driving enthusiasts in the early 2000s, the S62 powerplant is a testament to BMW's commitment to delivering exhilarating performance.

Let's embark on a journey through the history, power specifications, technological features, and the models blessed with the S62, as we lay the groundwork for an exploration into the world of modifying and upgrading this iconic engine.

The S62 engine made its grand entrance in 1998, propelling the BMW E39 M5 into a realm of performance previously unseen in a sedan. This V8 powerhouse was more than a mere engine; it was a manifestation of BMW's dedication to blending luxury and performance seamlessly.

Numbers that stir the soul. The S62's V8 configuration unleashed around 394 horsepower and a formidable 368 lb-ft of torque.

Its capacity to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in approximately 4.8 seconds underscored its dynamic prowess.

The S62 wasn't just about acceleration; it was about an orchestra of power that resonated through the entire driving experience.

Now, as we set our sights on modifying and upgrading the S62, we step into a realm where each enhancement is a brushstroke on the canvas of driving pleasure. From exhaust systems that amplify the engine's symphony to tuning solutions that unlock latent potential, the S62 invites enthusiasts to sculpt an experience that transcends the ordinary.

This article seeks to guide fellow engineering aficionados through the intricate dance of modifying the S62 engine. Together, let's unravel the possibilities and ensure that each upgrade pays homage to the essence that makes the S62 a timeless icon in the world of high-performance engines.

This pages aim is to consider mods and 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 maximize your driving opportunities.

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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

At the heart of the S62's performance arsenal was the VANOS system, BMW's variable valve timing technology. This system optimized the timing of the intake and exhaust camshafts, enhancing power delivery across the rev range.

Pair this with individual throttle bodies for each cylinder, and you had an engine that responded with precision to the driver's every command.

The S62 found its purpose in the E39 M5, an executive sedan that shattered the mold of what a performance car could be.

The E52 Z8 roadster, a limited-production marvel, also had the privilege of housing the S62, further cementing its legacy.Tuning the BMW S62 and best S62 performance parts.

Best S62 parts

Just because particular tuning parts 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.

Shrick offer a 268 degree duration profile optimized for a wide power band and is very well suited to the nature and characteristics of the S62 engine.

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.

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Best mods for your S62

  1. Flywheel lightening - a lower mass flywheel will improve the engines free revving nature. But not always suitable for all S62 engines.
  2. Intake Mods and Exhaust Upgrades - NB: on their own these mods will NOT ADD POWER in most cases, but they can help release power after other mods by removing the restriction.
  3. Fast road cams are one of the most significant mechanical changes, but they must be setup by someone who knows what they are doing and tracking one down may be hard but you might find a local firm to regrind a stock camshaft for you.
  4. Upgrades to turbochargers and superchargers - Adding a turbocharger is the most efficient approach to raise the intake air supply, this means you are able to utilize more fuel and make power gains. It is one of the most challenging upgrades but provides the best gains.
  5. Head work - The goals of porting and flowing the head are to get air flowing into the engine while removing flow restrictions and turbulence.
  6. Engine Tunes - A Remapped S62 ECU gives the most power compared to cost, replacement ECUs, and Tuning boxes are all alternatives.
  7. Throttle bodies - revising the intake length and profile of the throttle bodies will help you move the peak power and torque delivery on the S62 engine.

S62 Tuning Stages

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Remaps/piggy back ECU, Intake manifolds, drilled & smoothed airbox, Fast road camshaft, Sports exhaust header/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 10-15% on NA (naturally aspirated) 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.

S62 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 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.

S62 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 Upgrades on the S62

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 tuning guides which get regular updates and revisions.

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