“Tuning guide to the best BMW M5 modifications.”
We provide a guide to M5 tuning and show the ultimate mods that work. BMW M5s great bases for a tuning project and with the right motorsport parts you can greatly increase your driving enjoyment.
The M5 is a good tuning project to try. If you do your research then you can create an awesome M5 but don’t be fooled there are lots of parts out there that will simply not suit it read our unbiased guides first.
Many M5 owners uprate the handling of their cars with performance suspension parts as a priority, this will certainly increase your enjoyment of the car.
Fully adjustable suspension allows you to fine tune the handling of you M5 usually benefitting your drive.
We suggest that you fit modified suspension and lower the car by 22mm – 39 mm. Larger drops require arch work – especially on models already equipped with uprated suspension.
Turning our attention to the M5’s engine we need to get a bit more power out of the top end.
Sadly with smaller engine sizes you are wasting your time spending money on modifications, so if this applies to you get yourself an engine swap then apply the following mods.
The M5 came with the following engines
- E28 M5 3.5 L M88/3 I6 282 hp & the 3.5 L S38 I6 256hp (North America only)
- E34 M5 3.5–3.6 L S38 I6 311 hp
- E39 M5 4.9 L S62 V8 394 hp
- E60 M5 5.0 L S85 V10 500 hp
- F10 M5 4.4 L S63B44TÜ V8 turbo 553 hp
- F90 M5 4.4 L S63 V8 turbo 591 bhp (Competition model had 617 hp)
The following parts are usually carried out by our members, decide how far you want to push your car before you get started.
Getting the correct grade of tuning upgrades for your planned usage of the car is a time and money saver. Stage 3 (competition) mods just don’t work well on the road and will make the car undrivable.
Stage 1 mods: Panel air filter, Remap, Alloy wheels, Sports exhaust, Suspension upgrade (drop 22mm – 39 mm.), Lighter flywheel.
Stage 2 mods: high flow fuel injector, fuel pump upgrades, Power/Sport clutch, Fast road cam, Ported and polished head.
Stage 3 mods: Competition cam, Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves), Adding or upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Engine balancing, Sports gearbox.
Peak power is all well and good but for a drivable and fun car you need a long torque band and perhaps extending the rev range.
In this article we shall give your a good starting base to the best mods for your car, but we’d encourage you to spend some time on the site looking into the details of each type of performance upgrade.One of the most cost effective mechanical tuning mods you can do to your NASP engine is to fit a fast road camshaft .
It maximises the intake and exhaust flow and pushes up the power if done right. Ideally you’d add other mods and finish up with a reflashed ECU. TorqueCars would caution you not to go with a competition cam as this affects the engines idling and general town driving characteristics.
Don’t forget to increase the fuelling when you are increasing the power – it makes the car more thirsty.
Frequently power losses, flat spots and erratic idling after mods are done can usually be traced to fuel delivery or timing issues. Improved injectors will enable you to supply sufficient fuel to the engine.
If you are increasing your fuelling with bigger injectors you will also need to get a bigger fuel pump to supply it.
Intake and Exhaust Tuning.
Now we move on to the intake and exhaust and ensure proper flow through the engine. Induction kits will only help to increase performance if the cars air intake is struggling! Adding an induction kit to most low power engines will see NO LOW END POWER GAIN AT ALL. If you have heavily modified your engine and it’s need for air INCREASES DRAMATICALLY then an induction kit is the answer and will help remove this restriction.
Induction kits can work well on turbo engines and larger engines (if supplied with a suitable cold air feed or air box), generally though we’d just recommend for M5 engines you should just fit a high performance panel air filter preferably made from cotton.
Sports exhausts can help balance the flow of air through the engine. But if the exhaust pipe is too big, ie: over 2.5 inches bore, you will lose a lot of your flow rate and end up sapping power and torque.
Head work including a gas flow (ported and polished) and 3 or 5 angle valve job will really help to release the potential of the engine. In nearly all cases of M5 tuning your clutch will start to complain and this needs an upgrade – read our article on clutches for more information. The best mods in our experience for your M5 are a remap especially on a turbo, a fast road camshaft and sports exhaust, with a good air intake.
Turbo engines are just pleading to be Upgraded. You will see massive power gains on most modern turbo charged cars including diesels making a remap one of the most cost effective and massive modifications for your money.Adding forced induction will see phenomenal power gains but this is usually too expensive to be cost effective. Turbos are often harder to add than a supercharger. It is difficult to map fuelling with a turbo as the boost increases exponentially with engine speed.
The nice proportional boost and rpm characteristics of the supercharger make them easier to map. Decreasing the engines compression ratio will allow you to add forced induction, water injection may also help prevent detonation.
Alloy wheel upgrades.
Due to the fact that alloy wheels are less heavy they improve performance and they help to cool the brake disks. If you are serious about performance then you will need to carefully choose your tires – ideally with a soft compound tire. The drawback to large alloys on your M5 is that you’re altering your final drive ratio so this will have a negative effect on acceleration.
Due to this fact endeavour to keep the overall rolling diameter of the wheel the same as supplied from the factory. In all cases without going above 18 inches.
For more information on Tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss M5 options in more detail with our M5 owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased BMW tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.
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We love to hear what our visitors have got up to and which mods work best for them on each model of car. Comments are used to improve the accuracy of these articles which are continually updated.
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