BMW M54B30 Engine

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

M54B30 Specs

Manufacturer  Munich Plant
Also called BMW M54
Production 2000-2006
Cylinder block alloy Aluminium
Configuration Straight-6
Valvetrain DOHC
4 valves per cylinder
Piston stroke, mm (inch) 89.6 (3.53)
Cylinder bore, mm (inch) 84 (3.3)
Compression ratio 10.2
Displacement 2979 cc (181.8 cu in)
Power output 170 kW (231 HP) at 5,900 rpm
Torque output 300 Nm (221 lb·ft) at 3,500 rpm
Redline 6,500 rpm
HP per liter 77.5
Fuel type Gasoline
ECU Siemens MS43.0
Siemens MS45.0
Siemens MS45.1 (US)
Weight, kg (lbs) ~130 (287)
Fuel consumption, L/100 km (mpg)

for E46 330Ci
13 (18.1)
6.9 (34.1)

9.1 (25.9)
Turbocharger   Naturally aspirated
Oil consumption , L/1000 km
(qt. per miles)
up to 1.0
(1 qt. per 750 miles)
Recommended engine oil 5W-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

~300 (185)
Tuning, HP
-Max HP
-No life span loss


The engine is installed in BMW 330i E46
BMW 530i E39
BMW 530i E60
BMW 730i E65
BMW X3 E83
BMW X5 E53
BMW Z4 E85

BMW M54B30 engine reliability, problems and repair

It is the elder model of M54 engine series which also includes M54B22, M54B25 and S54B32. This version was constructed on base of M52TUB28 motor. It has the same aluminum cylinder block with cast iron sleeves, new cast iron crankshaft with 89.6mmm stroke, new connecting rods which are 135 mm long and modified lighter pistons with piston compression height 28.32 mm.
Double-Vanos cylinder block head is the same. However it is equipped with upgraded intake manifold with wide runners and short channels (-20 mm). Camshafts have also been replaced with new ones. They have duration 240/244 deg and 9.7/9.0 mm lift. New engine is also equipped by new injectors and electronic throttle body (68 mm). Motor also has Siemens MS43/Siemens MS45/Siemens MS45.1 electronic control unit.
M54B30 engine was mainly used for BMW models with 30i index.
New N52 series of engines has been firstly introduced by BMW in 2004. They also included new N52B30 engine which turned out to be a perfect alternative to 3-liter M54B30 motor. The process of generation replacement was finally completed in 2006. New turbocharged N54 engine was introduced the same year. This powerful motor was constructed on base of M54 and turned out to be rather popular with owners of 35i BMW models.

BMW M54B30 disadvantages and problems

1. Fats motor oil consumption. The problem is the same that can be found in M52TU. It results in pistons rings which are prone to carbonization. There is an easy solution to this problem. You only need to replace rings with new ones. You can use components from M52TUB28. At the same time crankcase ventilation valve (PCV) should also be checked.
2. Engine overheating. It is another common problem of 6-cylinder engines. In case of its occurrence you need to check conditions of radiator and clean it in case of necessity. At the same time you need to check if there is any oxygen in the cooling system. It can also be the reason of engine overheating. If the problem was not eliminated, you are recommended to examine thermostat, pump and radiator cap.
3. Misfire. This problem can also be found in M52TU engine. It results in carbonization of hydraulic lifters. The only solution is to replace these components with new ones.
4. Oil light. This is the most common problem of oil filter housing or oil pump. They should be examined thoroughly.
Apart from above mentioned problems camshaft position sensor is also out of order rather often. At the same time duration of thermostat is also not very long along with high requirements to motor oil, low level of guaranteed lifespan and others. Nevertheless, M54 engines are more reliable in comparison with previous M52 generation.
If you choose from M52 or M54, you are recommended to purchase M54B30. It is a perfect example of reliable, powerful and durable motor. At the same time it will be a perfect choice for M54B30 swap.

BMW M54B30 engine tuning

M54B30 NA tuning. Cams

Considering the fact that this engine is rather powerful it does not need any serious modifications or upgrades. You should forget about chip tuning. It does not have any sense here. We are opting for classical set of tuning camshafts. Schrick 264/248 camshafts with 10.5/10 mm lift will be a perfect choice to increase the level of HP. You will additionally need cold air intake and performance exhaust system taken from Supersprint, for example.
When tuning of ECU is over, your engine will have from 260 to 270 HP. It will become sportier with aggressive sound. It will be more than enough for everyday city ride.
If you need more power, you can purchase forged pistons with high compression (12.5-13), camshafts of duration 280/280 deg, customized ITB from S54B32, dry sump and other components.

M54B30 Supercharger

Next stage includes purchasing of ESS supercharger kit for maximum power. G-Power or any other producers will also be a good idea for the upgrade. Such supercharger kits will make it possible for the engine to perform up to 350 HP and even more with stock M54B30 engine internals. Stock pistons and connecting rods are able to handle up to 400 HP.
Despite the fact that BMW models are famous for their reliable stock internals, you are still recommended to install forged pistons and connecting rods with 8.5-9 compression ratio for powerful kits.

M54B30 Turbo

The most widely spread method of M54 turbo upgrade includes purchasing of Garrett GT30 turbo kit. They usually include a set of necessary components such as intercooler, turbo manifold, oil line, oil drain line, blow-off, fuel regulator, fuel pump, boost controller, AFR, boost pressure sensor, oil pressure sensor, exhaust gas temperature sensor (EGT), piping, 500 cc injectors. You can purchase all these components on your own and tune them on Megasquirt. It will provide your engine with 400-450 HP with stock pistons as well as acceleration to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds.