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The M60 was BMW's powerful V-8 engine for over a decade. The M60 was used in BMW models like the E34 5 Series Sedan, the E38 7 Series and the E31 8 Series.

Work commenced on the BMW M60 in 1984 and the first V-8 was released at the beginning of 1992. The engine was available in two versions, a 3-liter and the more recent 4-liter. The 3-liter V-8 develops 160kW at 5800 rpm and 288 Nm at 4500 rpm. The 4-liter engine has substantially more power with 210 kW at 5800 rpm and 400 Nm at 3900 rpm. The four camshafts are chain-driven and operate 32 valves. The 4-liter engine uses a 10:1 compression ratio and a common feature is the distinctive intake manifold -- which flows very well -- and made of plastic.

Since 1997, the BMW M60 V-8s produce 3.5 and 4.4-liters thanks to a larger bore and longer stroke. They share a compression ratio of 10:1. Power stayed the same as the 4.0 with 210 kW at a slightly lower rpm of 5700, but torque was lifted slightly to 420 Nm, still at 3900 rpm. The 3.5 (like the 535i and 735i and iL) makes 180 kW at 5800 and 345Nm at 3800 revs. The 4.4-liter 540i/740i engine pushes a V12 equivalent 210kW at 5400 rpm and 440 Nm of torque at 3600rpm. Four valve technology, cylinder-specific knock control and a direct fire DME engine management system are used in both engines.

By using an aluminum cylinder block with Nikasil plating of the bore surfaces and a reinforced-plastic inlet manifold, it was possible to keep the engine weight very low at around 210 kg. The power-to-weight ratio for the 4.0-liter v-8 was 0.73 kg/bhp, around 30% better than its cast-iron predecessor.

The design of the 4-valve cylinder head used for the V-8 largely corresponded to the versions used on the four and six-cylinder engines. A duplex chain from the crankshaft drove the two inlet camshafts, from which the exhaust camshafts were driven by secondary duplex chains. The camshafts were equipped with counterbalancing masses to compensate for the free inertia forces of the valves.

For the first time, BMW installed a "broken" connecting rod made of sintered material. By using sintering in comparison to the more usual forging it was possible to manufacture a connecting rod to very tight weight tolerances without machining. The two-part nature of the connecting rod big end, which is needed for assembly around the bearing on the crankshaft, was created by first making the part as a single piece and then physically breaking the big-end cap away. The raw, irregularly-broken structure permitted absolutely exact repositioning on assembly.

The engine had electronic knock detection, which facilitated a basic design that could be planned for the use of a high compression ratio for low fuel consumption. As on the smaller engines, static high-voltage ignition was used.


4 valves per cylinder
Engine Codes  Engine Specifications
Item/Measurement M60B30 M60B40
Vehicle 530i, 730i 540i, 740i
Number of Cylinders 8 8
Layout vee 90 vee 90
Installation longitudinal longitudinal
Coolant liquid liquid
Crankcase/Block Material aluminum aluminum
Crankshaft one-piece one-piece
Main Bearings 5 5
Weight (kg) 210 210
Valve Layout dohc dohc
Camshaft Drive 2 duplex chains 2 duplex chains
Camshaft Bearings 5 each 5 each
Valves per Cylinder 4 4
Cylinder Center Distance (mm) 98 98
Displacement (liters) 2.997 3.982
Bore/Stroke (mm) 84/67.6 89/90
Stroke/Bore Ratio 0.80 0.90
Piston Speed (ms) 13.1 15.5
Valve Timing (IO/IC) 14°btdc/52°abdc 14°btdc/52°abdc
(EO/EC) 48°bbdc/14°atdc 48°bbdc/14°atdc
At Valve Lift (mm) ER-ER ER-ER
Valve Lift I/E (mm) 9.7/9.4 9.7/9.4
Connecting Rod Length (mm) 143 143
Connecting Rod Ratio r/l 0.24 0.28
Compression Ratio 10.5:1 10.0:1
Fuel Norm-Sup Plus LF Norm-Sup Plus LF
Power Output (bhp@rpm) 218/5800 286/5800
Power per Liter (bhp/liter) 72.74 71.82
Power/Weight Ratio (kg/bhp) 0.96 0.73
Torque (mkg@rpm) 29.6/4500 40.8/4500
Torque per Liter (mkg/liter) 9.86 10.24
Mixture Preparation fuel injection fuel injection
 Maker Bosch Bosch
 Designation DME M3.3 DME M3.3
Ignition integrated integrated
Ignition Advance map map
Generator 12 V/1960 W 12 V/1960 W
Supercharging - -
Miscellaneous KD KD
Year of Introduction 1992 1992

source: Geschichte des Motors, Dr. Karlheinz Lange



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