Tuning the BMW B57

"Comprehensive guide to tuning the BMW B57 engine!"

TorqueCars will examine the options for your B57 tuning and highlight the premier upgrades. BMW B57 have loads of potential and with the right modified enhancements like a remap, turbo upgrades and camshafts you will really improve your driving opportunities.

When talking about the best parts for your B57 engine, we are going to focus on the upgrades that give the best power gain for you money.

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

NB: Fast road camshafts tend to boost the bhp across the rev range, you may lose a little low down power but your high end rpm power will be higher.

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

A Race cam won't do well if driving in heavy traffic.

You should ideally match your engines power to your usage of the car so for a daily driver stick with a fast road B57 cam

Some B57 engines respond better to extreme camshaft durations so view each engine as unique.

The ecu map and injectors and fuel pump also have an effect on the torque gains you'll hit.

A longer valve duration 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 B57 Tuning Mods & Upgrades

  1. Mods that Remove a Restriction

    A restricted intake or exhaust will have an impact on your car's 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.

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

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

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

B57D30O0 Single turbo engine
B57D30T0 Twin Turbo engine
B57D30S0 Quad Turbo engine

The B57 engines are great to work on and thanks to their popularity there is a lot of parts and performance parts around.

A remap will help unlock the full potential of all the mods you've done to your B57.

It will usually give around 30% more power on turbocharged vehicles and you can expect to see around 15% on NASP engines, but the outcome will rely on the mods you've done and the condition of your engine.

Pushing air and fuel into each cylinder is vital to any car tuning job.

The intake plenum transmit the air from the filter and allow it to be pulled into the engine cylinders.

The shape and flow rate of the Intake manifold can make a noticeable change to fuel delivery on the B57.

It's not uncommon that headers are crying out for a performance upgrade, although a few manufacturers provide reasonably good headers.

Adding a B57 larger valve kit, doing a bit of port matching and head flowing will also raise torque, and more importantly will make space for increasing the torque 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 B57

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

When your motor is fitted with a turbocharger upgrades are going to net you a larger power gain and we find turbocharged engines are built with harder and stronger components.

However most engines will have power limits

See where you'll find these limits and install higher quality crank and pistons to cope with the power.

We see many people spending a loads on turbocharger upgrades on the B57 only to see the engine block throw a rod just after it's used in anger.

Larger upgraded turbochargers commonly suffer a bottom end lag, and small turbochargers spool up much more quickly but don't have the top end power band gains.

Thanks to new tech the range of turbos is always increasing and we now see variable vane turbos, permitting the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end bhp and torque.

Twin scroll turbos divert the exhaust gases into 2 channels and feed these at differently angled vanes in the turbocharger. They also improve the scavenging effect of the engine.

You'll commonly see there is a limit in the air flow sensor MAP/MAF/AFM on the B57 when considerably more air is being pulled into the engine.

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

Adding a supercharger or additional turbo will make large bhp gains, although more challenging to get working. We have this article on twincharging if you want to read more.

Fuelling upgrades and mods

When you lift the bhp and torque you will need to uprate to the fuel system.

More bhp and torque needs more fuel. It is important to be generous with your injectors flow rate.

The rule of thumb is to add 20% to the flow rate when buying an injector, helps cope with injector deterioration and affords you 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 upgrades and mods

You may need to upgrade your exhaust if your exhaust is creating a restriction.

On most factory exhausts you'll see the exhaust 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.

Don't go with the biggest exhaust you can source you'll 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.

Typically exhaust restrictions are traced to the emissions filters installed, so adding a faster flowing performance alternative will help avoid this restriction.

Weak spots, Issues & common problem areas on the B57

The B57 engines, if regularly serviced and maintained, are generally very reliable and have few issues.

Regular oil changes are vital on the B57, particularly when the engine has been modified and is putting down more power than the manufacturer intended.

For more information on Tuning your B57 engine please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss tuning options in more detail with our B57 owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

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 upgrades were the most effective for them, it helps us improve our recommendations and articles to reflect current trends in modifications and ensures that our B57 guides and tips are kept up to date.

History of the Engine


Single turbo engine

  • 195 kW (261 hp) at 4,000 rpm  (457 lbft) at 2,000–2,500 rpm


Twin Turbo engine

  • 235 kW (315 hp) at 4,000 rpm (502 lbft) at 1,750–2,250 rpm


Quad Turbo engine

  • 294 kW (394 hp) at 4,400 rpm  (561 lbft) at 2,000–3,000 rpm



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