BMW 540 V8 Engine

The BMW 540i is a luxury sports sedan that was produced as part of the BMW 5-Series range by the German car manufacturer BMW.  These cars sport the robust 540i V8 M60 and M62 engines that inspire enthusiasts around the world. The V8 engines in their standard production state or in a modified performance street car setup are without a doubt motors that turn heads. These V8 engine comes in all forms from standard OEM engines to modified turbocharged and supercharged nitrous oxide injection set up's.

Development of the first BMW M60 V8 engine began in 1984-1986 of which over 560 test engines were built throughout its development and testing. The M60 engine was offered in two sizes the 3.0 litre M60B30 and the 4.0 litre M60B40. BMW used aluminum alloy for both block and cylinder heads. Nikasil plating was used rather than cast iron for the cylinder liners. Connecting rods were and still are made as a one-piece rod, and then frozen with nitrogen and fracture split through the big end for a closer fit.

The cylinder block weighs in at a light weight of only 25 kg and the heads at 30 kg each, with a total weight of 203 kg without crankshaft, pistons and conrods. The M60 engine has four valves per cylinder, with DOHC and a double row timing chain for reliability. Valve lifters and cam chain tensioners are hydraulically fed and self-adjusting thus saving on maintenance. There is no distributor with each cylinder having its own coil pack. Fuel injection and ignition timing are managed by a DME ECU from Bosch called the MOTRONIC 3.3.

The M60B30 and the M60B40 had very similar design, but neither block, heads, nor crankshaft were interchangeable. The M60B30 had a bore of 84 mm and a crank stroke of 67.6 mm producing 2997 cc or 182.9 cu in. Compression ratio was 10.5:1 and pushing out 160 kW or 215 Hp with 290 N.m of torque at 4500 RPM. The M60B40 had a bore of 89 mm and a crank stroke of 80 mm with a total displacement of 3982 cc. Compression is 10.0:1 producing 210 kW or 282 Hp at 5800 RPM and 400 N.m of torque at 4500 RPM. The engine had a forged crankshaft rather than a cast shaft as the M60B30.

The BMW M62 is also V8 piston engine which sports a very similar design set up as the M60B40 engine. It has an aluminum block with either 92 or 93 mm bores and two aluminum DOHC cylinder heads.

One big difference between the M60 and M62 blocks are that the aluminum alloy used to manufacture the M62 block contains high levels of silicon called Alusil whereas the M60 block had Nikasil plated liners. The Alusil block is etched to expose the silica creating a bearing surface on the cylinder wall. BMW stopped using Nikasil in 1997.
 
The 540i E39 'V8 Engine' came as a 4.4 litre M62B44 and M62TUB44 engine code and shared with the E38 740i. A ZF 5-speed close-ratio manual transmission was standard on the 528i, with an optional 4-speed automatic or 5-speed Steptronic transmission. The 540i was fitted with either a Getrag six-speed manual or a 5-speed auto transmission gearbox.


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