Building a lightweight BMW M60/M62 engine

Did you know you can save up to 25 kilograms of an engine weight by selecting the lightweight components for your M60/62 build? This reduction can have a crucial effect for your E30 handling. Lighter, the better. Don’t be fooled by excessive weight of modern cars. They still follow the same laws of physics, no matter what marketing department puts us to think. Simply put, all modern BMW’s are too heavy for motorsport. They are not build for motorsport, as was E30 M3 in 1980s. And that is exactly the reason why we are tuning E30s. They are lightweight and offer you a unique driving experience – as if you are a part of a machine – a driving feel any reasonably priced modern car cannot offer for you. There is some lightweight hot hatches, but due to their FWD nature, they are excluded from the equation. Only on the day, when Formula One will switch to FWD, I can admit I was wrong with the amazing driveability, fun and excitiveness of FWDs…

So the weight is you worst enemy, thus your engine must be as light as possible, while providing an instant throttle response and a wide power range. Not so easy task, but doable for full aluminum V8 engine.

Please find below the table about the selection of the lightweight components, and their heavier counterparts:

Selection of lightweight components

Note 1: I excluded lightweight headers from the table, thus stock headers and lightweight custom headers are approx. the same weight, due to 4-1 nature of lightweight headers vs. stock headers with two primary pipes.

Note 2: Example above uses the lightweight hydrobooster from 7 and 8 series instead of a stock brake booster. This will have a double effect for your build:

  • No extra weight is moved forward
  • Hydrobooster is lighter than stock brake booster with a transfer kit

Note 3: Please note you can have further weight savings by:

  • Air condition delete
  • Catalytic converter delete (regulations will vary)
  • Keep windshield washer reservoir empty
  • Change bonnet to carbon fiber (-16kg)

With smart actions for weight saving, you can improve your V8 build’s handling substantially. Of course, there is more aggressive weight distribution tactics, like moving engine backwards, but I consider these too excessive for a street car. You can make your V8 behave like a dream by using the tips mentioned on this blog site. So how fast E30 V8 can be while cornering, if done right, you may ask? Probably faster, than your have the guts to put the pedal to the medal.

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