Tuning the BMW N62

"Comprehensive guide to performance tuning the BMW N62 engine!"

In this article we look into N62 tuning and highlight the optimum modifications. BMW N62 great bases for a tuning project and with the ultimate sports enhancements like remaps, turbo upgrades and camshafts you will noticeably increase your driving pleasure.

The greatest N62 tuning mods on an engine are in our opinion the ones that give the biggest return for your cash.

We won't be swayed by popular N62 tuning mods, they need to be cost effective.

Altering your N62 cam will make a dramatic difference to the engine bhp. Choosing a higher performance cam profile raises the bhp accordingly.

NB: Fast road cams usually increase the performance throughout the rpm range, you might lose a little bottom end bhp but your top end will be better.

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

A Competition cam will just annoy you whilst driving in heavy traffic.

You should ideally match your power band to your driving style so for a road car stick with a mild fast road N62 cam

Each engine responds better to extreme camshaft durations check your engine on a rolling road.

The ECU mapping and fuelling also have a large bearing on the torque gains you'll make.

Altering 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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Guide to the Best N62 Tuning Mods & Upgrades

  1. Mods that Remove a Restriction

    If the intake or exhaust are restricted in any way this will have an impact on your cars performance, so use an induction kit/filter upgrade and better flowing exhaust whenever your tuning creates a flow restriction.

  2. Mods that Improve Handling

    Braking, Suspension and general alignment of the suspension components is vital for any tuning project even before you start increasing power.

  3. Fit Stronger Parts

    Tuned cars will show up weaknesses, typically in the turbochargers, clutch and internal engine components. Whilst most engines can cope with mild tuning mods, TorqueCars recommend that you upgrade the internal components before these weak spots manifest themselves.

  4. ECU Tunes & Remapping

    While some cars can be easily remapped, others may require piggyback ECU's or aftermarket ECU's but this is the most vital step of your tuning project as it fully releases the power from all of your mods and upgrades. Expect 10-20% on NASP engines and 30-40% on turbocharged units.

  5. More Power Needs More Fuel & Air

    Every tuning project will aim to increase the air supply, but fuel supply is just as vital and will need to match the air the engine can utilise. Fuel to Air ratio is vital so upgrade the fuel pump & injectors. Also you can look to perform head mods (flowing and porting), bigger valves, fast road cams and forced induction upgrades to improve fuel.

N62 Tuning Stages

Stage 1 modifications: Intake headers, Remaps/piggy back ECU, Sports exhaust manifold, Panel air filters, Drilled & smoothed airbox, Fast road camshaft.

Stage 2 modifications: Fast road cam, Sports catalyst & performance exhaust, induction kit, high flow fuel injectors, fuel pump upgrades, Ported and polished head.

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

The N62 engines respond well to upgrades and we're pleased to see that there are plenty of parts and performance parts around.

Remaps helps to establish the full potential of all the mods you've fitted to your N62.

It will usually give around 30% more power on turbocharged vehicles and you can expect to see around 15% on NASP engines, but figures achieved may vary depending on the mods you've applied and the condition of your engine.

Pulling fuel and air into your N62 is the aim to any performance tuning task.

Intake manifold flow the air during the suck phase from the intake filter and allow it to be drawn into the engine and mixed with fuel.

The bore size, shape and rate of flow of the Intake manifold can make a big difference to to fuel mixing and power on the N62.

We often see plenum chambers are begging for a performance upgrade, although a few manufacturers provide decently flowing plenum chambers.

Larger N62 valves, doing a bit of 3 or 5 angle valve jobs and porting and head flowing will also increase performance, and significantly will allow you to get an improved performance 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

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.

If an engine has a turbocharger tuning parts are simpler to install and most turbo engines are made using strengthened components.

There are reliable limits for every engine, with some being incredibly solid and some only able to handle stock power

We recommend you find these limits and install higher quality components to cope with the power.

There are many tuners spending a a stack of money on turbo upgrades on the N62 only to experience the motor explode when it's been finished.

Larger turbochargers will usually suffer no power at low rpm, and small turbochargers spool up quickly but won't have the peak rpm bhp gains.

Thanks to new tech the selection of turbo chargers is always increasing and we now see variable vane turbo chargers, where the vane angle is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end torque.

Twin scroll turbo chargers divert the exhaust flow into two channels and feed these at differently angled vanes in the turbo charger. They also boost the scavenging effect of the engine.

It is common that there is a restriction in the air flow sensor MAF/MAP on the N62 when considerably more air is being pulled into the engine.

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

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

Fuelling upgrades and mods

You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so must pay attention to the fuelling when you start exceeding 20% of a bhp and torque increase.It makes sense to be generous with your injector capacity.

The rule of thumb is to add 20% when buying an injector, this takes into account injector deterioration and allows a bit of 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 and mods

You only need to to uprate your exhaust if your current exhaust is actually creating a flow problem.

On most factory exhausts you should find that the flow rate is good 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 can help balance the flow of air through the engine.

But if your exhaust is too large, ie: over 2.5 inches bore, you will lose much of the exhaust flow rate and end up sapping power and torque.

Common exhaust restrictions can be located the emissions filters installed, so adding a freer flowing sports alternative will help avoid this restriction.

Weak spots, Issues & common problem areas on the N62

The N62 engines, if regularly serviced and maintained, are generally very reliable and have few issues.

Regular oil changes are vital on the N62, particularly when the engine has been modified and is putting down more power than the manufacturer intended.

For more information 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.

History 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

We need your help improving this article, so please send us your feedback in the comments box below and pass on any tips, points or facts we have wrong or have not covered.

We really like hearing from our readers, and hearing about which parts were the most effective for them, it helps us improve our recommendations and articles to reflect current trends in modifications and ensures that our N62 guides and tips are kept up to date.

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