Tuning the BMW M62

"Comprehensive guide to tuning and performance parts on the BMW M62 engine!"

The BMW M62 are awesome to work on and with carefully chosen tuning parts like remaps, turbo kits and camshafts you will certainly improve your driving fun.

Here we consider M62 tuning and highlight the ultimate mods that work.

When talking about the best best for your M62 engine, we are going to concentrate on the upgrades that give the best value for money.

Altering your M62 cam will make a dramatic difference to the engine power band. Choosing a higher performance cam profile raises the power band accordingly.

NB: Fast road camshafts tend to boost the power throughout the rev range, you may sacrifice a little low end power but top end will be higher.

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

For a typical daily driver you need to optimize your bhp range to your cars usage.

I'd be shocked if you have found a M62 Race camshaft is a pleasure to live with when on the daily commute.

Some M62 engines respond better to less aggressive camshaft durations so view each engine as unique.

The ECU mapping 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.

Best M62 Upgrades

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Guide to the best tuning mods & Upgrades

  1. ECU Map Tuning & Remaps

    Some cars may require a piggyback ECU's or aftermarket ECU's to change the OEM map, but remapping is the most vital step of your tuning project to fully maximise your mods. Expect 10-20% on NASP engines and 30-40% on turbocharged units.

  2. Strengthen Your Engine

    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.

  3. Mods that Remove a Restriction

    A restricted intake or exhaust will have an impact on your performance, so use a better flowing air filter/induction kit and better flowing exhaust (sports cats where legal are a good option) whenever your tuning creates a flow restriction. Turbo engines also benefit from intercooler upgrades as these resist heat soak for longer periods of time.

  4. Mods that Improve Fuelling

    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,  a fuel pump and injector upgrade are usual mods, but also in many cases the fuel regulator will need improvement.

  5. Mods to Provide better Airflow

    Increasing the air supply is just as essential as improving fuelling, we suggest you look at head mods (flowing and porting, 5 angle valve jobs), fit bigger valves, fast road cams and forced induction upgrades (adding a better flowing turbo) to improve air intake.

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

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

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

The M62 engines respond well to mods and we're happy to report there are increasing numbers of modifications and tuning parts around.

A remap should help to unlock the full potential of all the mods you've fitted to your M62.

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 often depend much on the mods you've carried out and the condition of your engine.

Pulling air and fuel into each cylinder is vital to any engine tuning job.

Air Intake manifolds transmit the air from the filter and allow it to be pulled into the engine cylinders.

Structure and rate of flow of the Intake can make a substantial improvement to fuel engine efficiency on the M62.

It's not uncommon that intake are begging for aftermarket tuning parts, although some car makers provide reasonably well designed intake.

Increasing the M62 valve size, doing some port work and head flowing will also improve torque, and more importantly will raise potential for a better torque increase on other upgrades.

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 M62

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

When your motor has forced induction parts are going to make more power and you'll see that turbocharged engines are made using more solid components.

However every engines will need better parts at higher power limits

See where you'll find these limitations and fit higher quality components to cope with the power.

We've seen mechanics spending a lot of money on turbo charger upgrades on the M62 only to experience the M62 explode soon after it's been completed.

Big turbo units often experience a bottom end lag, and low capacity turbo units spool up more quickly but don't have the high rpm engines power gains.

In recent times the selection of turbos is always increasing and we now see variable vane turbos, allowing the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end torque.

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

It is not unusual that there's a restriction in the air flow sensor (AFM/MAF/MAP) on the M62 when a lot more air is being pulled into the engine.

You'll see that 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor sapped performance at a much lower level.

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

Fuelling upgrades and mods

You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so will have to uprate the fuelling when you start exceeding 20% of a performance increase.It makes sense to over specify your flow rate on the injectors.

The rule of thumb is to add another 20% when fitting an injector, this allows for injector deterioration and provides 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 the existing exhaust is creating a restriction in flow.

On most factory exhausts you should find that 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.

Sports exhausts generally help improve air flow out of the engine but do not go too large or you could will reduce the flow rate. Stick to 1.5 to 2.5 inches for best results.

Common exhaust restrictions come around the catalysts installed, so adding a freer flowing high performance alternative will help avoid this restriction.

Weak spots, Issues & common problem areas on the M62

The M62 engines, if regularly serviced and maintained, are generally very reliable and have few issues.

Regular oil changes are vital on the M62, particularly when the engine has been modified and is putting down more power than the manufacturer intended.

For more information on Tuning your M62 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

  • M62B35 173 kW (232 hp)@5,700 rpm 320 nm (236 lbft)@3,300 rpm
  • M62TUB35 183 kW (245 hp)@5,800 rpm 345 nm (254 lbft)@3,800 rpm
  • M62B44 210 kW (282 hp)@5,700 rpm 420 nm (310 lbft)@3,900 rpm
  • M62TUB44 210 kW (282 hp)@5,400 rpm 440 nm (325 lbft)@3,600 rpm
  • M62B46 250 kW (335 hp)@5,700 rpm 470 nm (347 lbft)@3,800 rpm
  • M62TUB46 255 kW (342 hp)@5,700 rpm 480 nm (354 lbft)@3,700 rpm

Specially tuned versions of the M62

  • Alpina F5 276 kW (370 hp)@6,000 rpm 510 nm (376 lbft)@3,700 rpm
  • S62B50 294 kW (394 hp)@6,600 rpm 500 nm (369 lbft)@3,800 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 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 M62 guides and tips are kept up to date.

Check out my YouTube channel, we're regularly adding new content...


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