The post 1997 BMW e39 540’s and early BMW X5 e53’s came fitted with the M62B44TU V8 engines, (TU) meaning, ‘technical upgrade’. The biggest mistake that BMW V8 enthusiasts make and a problem that everyone, thinking of doing a conversion encounters is, how to fit a VANOS engine to a non VANOS motor vehicle.
This is an extremely time consuming and costly undertaking, something we don’t take on as there are too many pitfalls such as wiring harnesses which are completely different including all the other electrical and computer components one has to contend with.
We suggest that you either sell your 540i pre VANOS car and go and buy a 540 VANOS model and work on that or BMW POWER can plumb a reliable and instant booster to your engine such as a nitrous oxide kit or NOS. NOS will increase power by up to 30%, when and where you want it, which will blow away any later model 540i VANOS equipped vehicle.
A large bottle of NOS lasts quite a while and the VANOS and pre VANOS motors are perfect for this application. If you can find a decent 6 speed manual gearbox and set it up you will have a very special car. The 540’s did come with a 6 speed box but they are like hens teeth.
If you want to go the NOS route, then the engine will be a priority which has to be engineered and built to exact and defining tolerances. Ceramic or metal coated pistons are a necessity and the compression ratio must be reduced to around 8.0:1, together with a set of solid lifters and re profiled 2nd stage camshafts or Schrick Cams or similar if you can afford them, stiffer dual valve springs made by Iskenderian or Crane and the catalytic converters must be removed immediately and a free flow exhaust system fitted.
If a NOS kit is plumbed properly to a blueprinted engine and you use ‘the clean medical nitrous oxide’ that dentists use, you will run many miles without trouble. There may only be one obstacle and that’s money. A complete standard rebuild on a Non-VANOS engine is around R50,000-00 depending on your existing powerplant and the condition. This exercise cannot be done by cutting corners or you are wasting your time and throwing good money after bad money. A new M60 or M62 engine from BMW sell for about R180,000. If your car is in great condition an engine rebuild is worthwile.
The complete NOS kit and installation, cams, lifters, springs etc you can add another R35,000-00, a decent 6 speed gearbox, adaptor and bell housing conversion together with a new billet flywheel will set you back R25,000-00 (auto transmissions rob too much HP). Your sum total R115,000-00, but now you’ve got a machine that really comes alive at the flick of a switch.
For more information on NOS conversions contact Nick on 082-4400664 or VISIT www.bmwpower.co.za at your earliest convenience and get good sound advice on any related subject.