BMW M52B20 / M52TUB20 Engine

  1. Specifications
  2. Overview, problems
  3. Performance tuning

M52B20 / M52TUB20 Specs

Manufacturer  Munich Plant
Also called BMW M52
Production 1994-2001
Cylinder block alloy Nikasil-coated aluminum
Configuration Straight-6
Valvetrain DOHC
4 valves per cylinder
Piston stroke, mm (inch) 66 (2.6)
Cylinder bore, mm (inch) 80 (3.15)
Compression ratio 11
Displacement 1991 cc (121.5 cu in)
Power output 110 kW (150 HP) at 5,900 rpm
110 kW (150 HP) at 5,900 rpm (TU)
Torque output 190 Nm (140 lb·ft) at 4,200 rpm
190 Nm (140 lb·ft) at 3,500 rpm (TU)
Redline 6,500 rpm
HP per liter 75.3
Fuel type Gasoline
ECU Siemens MS41.0
Siemens MS42.0 (TU)
Weight, kg (lbs) ~165 (364)
~175 (386) (TU)
Fuel consumption, L/100 km (mpg)

for E46 320i
12.5 (18.8)
6.8 (34.6)

8.9 (26.4)
Turbocharger   Naturally aspirated
Oil consumption, L/1000 km
(qt. per miles)
up to 1.0
(1 qt. per 750 miles)
Recommended engine oil 0W-30
Engine oil capacity, L (qt.) 6.5 (6.9)
Oil change interval, km (miles)  7,000-10,000
Normal engine operating temperature, °C (F) ~95 (203)
Engine lifespan, km (miles)
-Official information

250+ (155+)
Tuning, HP
-Max HP
-No life span loss


The engine is installed in BMW 320i E36
BMW 320i E46
BMW 520i E39

BMW M52B20 engine reliability, problems and repair

M52B20 engine is the first representative of new straight 6-cylinder motors family which also includes M52B24, M52B25, M52B28 and S52B32. It was firstly introduced in 1994 and replaced its predecessor M50B20 engine. The main difference between M52B20 and M52B28 is the fact that they have different crankshafts. The same thing can be noticed in M52B24 and M52B25. At the same time engines are equipped by different pistons, connecting rods and have different capacities: M52B28 – 2.8 L, M52B25 – 2.5 L, M52B24 – 2.4 L.

New engine is now equipped by lighter block of cylinders as well as new pistons and connecting rods which are 145 mm long. At the same time new motor received new inlet, cylinder head which can also be found in M50TUB20. The size of injectors is 154 cc.

After this engine has been improved and upgraded, it was called M52TUB20. At the same time it received new Double-Vanos cylinder head on both camshafts with the following characteristics: duration – 244/288 deg, lift – 9 mm. Cast iron sleeves appeared in the cylinder block as well as new connecting rods, pistons, intake manifold along with new cooling system and electronic throttle body.
This engine was mainly installed in BMW autos with 20i index.
Successor of this engine has been introduced in 2000. It was 2.2-liter BMW M54B22 motor.

BMW M52B20 engine modifications and differences

1. M52B20 (1994 – 1999) is a base modification of this engine. Specifications are as follows: compression ratio – 11, power – 150 HP at 5,900 rpm, 190 Nm of torque at 4,200 rpm.

2. M52TUB20 (1998 – 2001) engine has Double-VANOS on both camshafts (Duration 244/228 deg, lift 9 mm). Block of cylinders received cast iron sleeves. Specifications are as follows: compression ratio – 11, power – 150 HP at 5,900 rpm, 190 Nm of torque at 3,500 rpm.

BMW M52B20 disadvantages and problems

Speaking about main problems of this engine we should say that they are practically equal to those which occur in M52B25 motors. HERE you will find detailed information on all possible malfunctions.

BMW M52B20 engine tuning

M52B20 Stroker. M50 Intake

Stroker can truly come in handy if you need to increase the power of your 2.0-liter engine a bit. Of course, you will to be able to turn M52B20 to M52B28. However you can proceed with upgrade that will make your motor really close to M52B26. In other words it is possible to turn it into 2.6-liter engine. You will need new crankshaft, 135 mm connecting rods, M52B28 injectors. You can use stock pistons. However you will need intake manifold from M50B25 and performance exhaust system. When the upgrade is completed, we will have a brand new engine with 190-200 HP and acceleration that will become much more aggressive.

M52B20 Turbo. Supercharger

If you are not satisfied with 200 HP N/A engines and require more power, you should pay your attention on turbocharger. The easiest way is to purchase turbo kit on base of Garrett T04E or Garrett GT30 with blow-off, intercooler, turbo manifold, piping, oil line, oil cooler, oil drain line, boost controller, fuel regulator, fuel pump, downpipe, AFR, boost pressure sensor, oil pressure sensor, exhaust gas temperature sensor (EGT), 250-300 cc injectors and Megasquirt ECU. It will result in creating of 250++ HP engine on base of stock piston.

ESS TS2 turbo package can turn out to be a great alternative. It is based on Lysholm supercharger. This package will also provide your engine with 250 HP after installation.


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