Modding uprating the BMW M60 engine!

Car tuning tips:M60 Modifications"

How to modify and upgrade the BMW M60

"Comprehensive guide to tuning and performance parts on the BMW M60 engine!"

Forums like the one at TorqueCars often are getting posts requesting info on how to improve the M60 from people wanting to know what are the things tuners are recommending when it comes to M60 power upgrades. So let us look into BMW M60 parts and outline the best mods that work on this great engine and point out some frequent tuning mistakes along the way.

This pages aim is provide a guide to M60 tuning and highlight the optimum upgrades. BMW M60 are popular tuning projects and with the ultimate tuning upgrades like ECU maps, turbo upgrades and camshafts you will noticeably improve your driving pleasure.

When talking about the best parts for your M60 engine, we are going to concentrate on the tuning mods that give the biggest return for your cash.

M60 induction kits

Improving air intake on the M60

You need air and fuel for an engine to work. If there is little supply of fuel then it will run lean, if there is too little air it runs rich resulting in lost power which risks damage to the M60. We'll pick up on fuelling later in this article but for now we shall look at air supply.

So Pulling more air into the M60 engine is vital to any engine upgrade project.

You'll commonly see there's a limit in the air flow sensor MAP/MAF/AFM on the M60 when a lot more air is being fed into the engine.

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

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

Shape and rate of flow of the Air Intake manifolds can make a big effect on to fuel atomisation and engine efficiency on the M60.

I usually find intake headers are crying out for a performance upgrade, although some manufacturers provide fairly well optimized intake headers.

Fitting big valve kits, doing a bit of port work and head flowing will also improve power, and more importantly will make space for increasing the power increase on other parts.

M60 performance cam tips.

Different M60 engines respond better to more or less aggressive camshaft durations so view each engine as unique.

The ECU mapping and fuel pump and injectors also have an effect on the bhp gains you'll get.

Longer valve durations can alter the bhp 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.

The cam profile plays a big part in the engines power output so cam upgrades make quite a large difference. The intake and 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 performance across the rpm range, you may lose a little low down bhp but high end rpm power will be better.

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 Motorsport camshaft will just annoy you whilst in heavy traffic.

You should ideally match your bhp range to your driving style so for a road car stick with a shorter duration M60 camshaft

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the M60

Before we break the best tuning upgrades down into stages of tune, let's list the most effective tuning upgrades for you.

  1. Suspension Upgrades - always improve your cars handling
  2. Brake Upgrades - Even before adding power improve those brakes
  3. Intake - make sure the intake is not restricted, use filters and intake upgrades to improve this
  4. Exhaust - as with 3 ensure there is not restriction in the exhaust, cats are the usual bottleneck
  5. Tunes - remapping, piggyback ECU's and aftermarket ECU's can all make decent gains
  6. Fuelling - when you've increased power you'll need to match this with more fuel
  7. Turbo upgrades - Improving the intake with a large turbo and better flowing intercooler will be the biggest power gain you'll see (but one of the most complex).

This video guide to tuning cars is a great starting point to work from in your project.

Stage 1 M60 parts:

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

Stage 2 M60 parts:

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

Tuning tips and articles Engine tuning Transmission tuning Care care Intake & exhaust mods Improve handling Forums

Stage 3 M60 parts:

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

Plan your options and then find your parts and set yourself a power target to avoid wasting your time and money.

ECU flashing allows a tuner to unlock the full potential of all the parts you've done to your M60.

You will typically expect to see gains of approximately 20-30% more power on turbocharged vehicles and you can expect to see around 15% on NASP engines, but your results may vary depending on the parts you've applied and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the M60

To get a turbo working on a NASP engine there is a lot involved, from lowering compression ratio to improved fuel supply and mapping, so we have found a great guide to helpavoid the common pitfalls or end up with an unfinished project because you were not told what you were getting into by doing this on the M60.

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 is fitted with a turbocharger upgrades are going to net you a larger power gain and turbocharged engines already contain uprated components.

However you'll find engines will need better parts at higher power limits

We recommend you find these limits and install better pistons and crank to utilize the power.

There are many mechanics spending a loads of money on turbocharger upgrades on the M60 only to suffer the indignity of watching the M60 explode on it's first outing after it's finished.

Larger upgraded turbo chargers often experience a bottom end lag, and smaller turbo chargers spool up much more quickly but do not have the peak end engines power gains.

Thankfully the world of turbos is always improving and we now see variable vane turbos, allowing the vane angle is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end power.

Twin scroll turbos divert the exhaust flow into two channels and direct these at differently angled vanes in the turbo. They also increase the scavenging effect of the engine.

Beefing up the air intake by adding a supercharger or additional turbo will help you achieve very large torque gains, although harder to setup. We have this in depth look at twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the M60

Don't miss you'll need to ramp up the fuelling when you are increasing the bhp and torque - it makes the car more thirsty. Experienced mechanics will tell you to over specify your injectors flow rate.

As a rule of thumb add 15% when specifying an injector, this takes into account injector deterioration and allows you some spare capacity should the engine require more fuel.

Don't forget that different fuel grades will usually require different settings, a high octane fuel will burn more efficiently than lower octane fuel for example. A car will trim fuel supply to keep within the ideal air fuel mix but at the extreme ends you may need to adjust your injector capacity, or the mapping or you'll get flat spots and potential lean or rich fuel issues..

Recommended M60 performance exhaust upgrades

Only look to upgrade your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if the existing exhaust is actually creating a flow problem.

On most factory exhausts you should find that the exhaust flow rate is still ok even on modest power gains, but on a serious tuning project with a big boost in power you will certainly need to get a better flowing exhaust.

Do not go with the largest exhaust you can source you'll reduce the exhaust flow rate - the best for power gains are usually between one and a half to two and half inches. Your exhaust design, the bend angles and construction are what have more effect on flow rates than your pipe width to a certain extent. So the exhaust design is a big factor.

Usual exhaust restrictions can be traced to the filters installed, so adding a higher flowing race alternative will help avoid this restriction.

Decat pipes (NB:catalysts reduce harmful engine emissions) is illegal in most countries and regions.

Faults issues and things to look out for on the M60

Like most engines an M60, should have few issues if it gets properly serviced and looked after.

We cannot stress enough the need for oil changes with the correct grade of oil on the M60, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned M60 this is more important than ever and close attention should be paid to your maintenance schedule.

If you are interested in learning more or getting impartial tuning advice for your M60 why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about M60 tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their M60.

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