BMW M50B20

BMW M50B20The BMW M50B20 is a 2.0 liters (1,990 cc, 121.4 cu·in) straight-six, four-stroke cycle natural aspirated gasoline engine from BMW M50-family. The engine was manufactured from 1990 to 1992.

The BMW M50B20 engine features a cast-iron block and aluminum head with a dual overhead camshaft (DOHC) and four valves per cylinder (24 in total). The engine is equipped with an electronic fuel injection system (DME M3.1), coil-on-plug ignition, a knock sensor, and a lightweight plastic intake manifold.

The engine has an 80.0 mm (3.15 in) cylinder bore and 66.0 mm (2.6 in) piston stroke. This engine has a compression ratio rating of 10.5:1 and a redline of 6,500 rpm. The BMW M50B20 engine produced 145 PS (110 kW; 147 HP) at 6,000 rpm of maximum output power and 190 N·m (19.4 kg·m, 140 ft·lb) at 4,700 rpm of peak torque.

The breakdown of the engine code is as follows:

  • M50 – Engine Family
  • B – Gasoline
  • 20 – 2.0 Liter Displacement

General information

Engine Specifications
Engine codeM50B20
LayoutFour stroke, Inline-6 (Straight-6)
Fuel typeGasoline
Displacement2.0 L, 1,990 cc (121.4 cu in)
Fuel systemElectronic fuel injection (DME3.1)
Power adderNone
Max. horsepower145 PS (110 kW; 147 HP) at 6,000 rpm
Max. torque190 N·m (19.4 kg·m, 140 ft·lb) at 4,700 rpm
Firing order1-5-3-6-2-4
Dimensions (L x H x W):
Weight194 kg (428 lbs)

Cylinder block

The BMW M50B20 engine has a cast-iron cylinder block, bore is 80.0 mm (3.15 in) and stroke is 66.0 mm (2.6 in). The pistons are each fitted with two compression rings and a single oil ring.

Cylinder block
Cylinder block alloyCast iron
Compression ratio:10.5:1
Cylinder bore:80.0 mm (3.15 in)
Piston stroke:66.0 mm (2.6 in)
Number of piston rings (compression / oil):2 / 1
Number of main bearings:7
Cylinder inner diameter (standard):80.000 mm (3.1496 in)
Piston skirt diameter (standard):79.980 mm (3.1488 in)
Piston ring side clearance:Top0.020-0.052 mm (0.0008-0.002 in)
Second0.020-0.052 mm (0.0008-0.002 in)
Oil0.020-0.055 mm (0.0008-0.0022 in)
Piston ring end gap:Top0.200-0.400 mm (0.0079-0.0157 in)
Second0.200-0.400 mm (0.0079-0.0157 in)
Oil0.200-0.450 mm (0.0079-0.0177 in)
Crankshaft journal diameter:60.000 mm (2.3622 in)
Crankpin diameter:45.000 mm (1.7717 in)

Main bearing cap bolts tightening procedure and torque specs:

  • Step 1: 20 Nm; 2.04 kg·m; 14.76 ft·lb
  • Step 2: Tighten bolts at the angle of 50°

After securing bearing cap bolts, make sure crankshaft turns smoothly by hand.

Connecting rod bearing bolts

  • Step 1: 5 Nm; 0.51 kg·m; 3.69 ft·lb
  • Step 2: 20 Nm; 2.04 kg·m; 14.76 ft·lb
  • Step 3: Tighten bolts at the angle of 70°

Cylinder head

The cylinder head is made of an aluminum alloy with good cooling efficiency. The engine has a dual overhead camshaft with four valves per cylinder. Intake valves are 30.0 mm (1.18 in) in diameter and exhaust valves are 27.0 mm (1.06 in). Specifications of M50B20 camshafts are as follows: duration is 240° for inlet and 228° for exhaust valves, valve lift is 9.7 and 8.8 mm, respectively. This motor is equipped with hydraulic lifters.

Cylinder head
Valve Arrangement:DOHC, chain drive
Valves:24 (4 valves per cylinder)
Intake/Exhaust duration:240°/228°
Valve head diameter:INTAKE30.000 mm (1.1811 in)
EXHAUST27.000 mm (1.063 in)
Valve steam diameter:INTAKE7.0 mm (0.2756 in)
EXHAUST7.0 mm (0.2756 in)

Head tightening procedure and torque specs:

  • Step 1: 30 Nm (3.06 kg·m; 22.14 ft·lb)
  • Step 2: Tighten bolts at the angle of 90°
  • Step 3: Once again, tighten bolts at the angle of 90°

Maintenance data

Compression pressure
Standard10.2 kg/cm2 (9.9 bar, 145 psi) / 350 rpm
Oil system
Recommended engine oil 5W-30, 5W-40, 10W-30, 10W-40
Oil type API
Engine oil capacity (Refill capacity) With filter change: 5.75 L (6.08 US. qt, 5.06 Imp. qt.)
Oil change interval, km (miles)10,000 (6,000)
Ignition system
Spark plugBosch: FGR7DQP, NGK: BKR6EQUP
Spark plug gap0.7 mm (0.028 in)

Vehicle applications

ModelYears Produced
BMW 520i (E34)1990-1992
BMW 320i (E36)1991-1992
Author: Sergei Wers
About: Co-founder and CEO of a multi-brand auto repair shop (engine repair, chassis repair, body repair and painting) for over 15 years. I have been developing internet sites with technical specifications for more than seven years.

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