BMW M52B28

BMW M52B28The BMW M52B28 is a 2.8 liters (2,793 cc, 170.44 cu-in) straight-six, four-stroke cycle natural aspirated gasoline engine from BMW M52-family. The engine was manufactured on Munich Plant (Munich, Germany) from 1995 to 2000.

The M52B28 engine features a cast-aluminum alloy cylinder block with Nikasil coated cylinder liners. For countries with high sulfur content in the fuel was available engine version with cast iron sleeves. The aluminum cylinder head uses chain-driven double overhead camshafts (DOHC) and four valves per cylinder (24 valves in total). It is equipped with a Siemens MS 41.0, DME (Digital Motor Electronics) system, VANOS (Variable Valve Timing System from BMW) and a distributorless ignition system with individual ignition coils for each cylinder.

This engine has an 84.0 mm (3.31 in) cylinder bore and 84.0 mm (3.31 in) piston stroke. This engine has a compression ratio of 10.2:1 and a redline of 6,500 rpm. It produced 193 PS (142 kW; 190 HP) at 5,300 rpm of maximum horsepower and 280 N·m (28.6 kg·m, 206.4 ft·lb) at 3,950 rpm of peak torque.

The breakdown of the engine code is as follows:

  • M52 – Engine Family
  • B – Gasoline
  • 28 – 2.5 Liter Displacement

General information

Engine Specifications
Engine codeM52B28
LayoutFour stroke, Inline-6 (Straight-6)
Fuel typeGasoline
Displacement2.8 L, 2,793 cc (170.44 cu in)
Fuel systemFuel injection system
Power adderNone
Max. horsepower193 PS (142 kW; 190 HP) at 5,300 rpm
Max. torque280 N·m (28.6 kg·m, 206.4 ft·lb) at 3,950 rpm
Firing order1-5-3-6-2-4
Dimensions (L x H x W):
Weight~163 kg(360 lbs)

Cylinder block

The M52B28 cylinder block is cast aluminum alloy with Nikasil coated cylinder liners. Nikasil is a trademarked electrodeposited lipophilic nickel matrix silicon carbide coating for engine components. The disadvantage of nickel (and its alloys) is the high sensitivity to sulfur-containing gases. Therefore for some markets, the BMW M52B28 engine used aluminum alloy cylinder block with cast-iron sleeves.

The cylinder bore is 84.0 mm (3.31 in) and the piston stroke is 84.0 mm (3.31 in). The cylinders are exposed on all sides to circulating coolant. The cast-iron counterweighted crankshaft rotates in replaceable split-shell main bearings. This engine used seven main bearings.

The forged steel connecting rods use replaceable split-shell bearings at the crankshaft end and solid bushings at the piston pin end. The pistons are of the three-ring type with two upper compression rings and a lower one-piece oil scraper ring. Full-floating piston pins are retained with circlips. The compression ratio rating is 10.2:1.

Cylinder block
Cylinder block alloyAluminum alloy
Compression ratio:10.2:1
Cylinder bore:84.0 mm (3.31 in)
Piston stroke:84.0 mm (3.31 in)
Number of piston rings (compression / oil):2 / 1
Number of main bearings:7
Cylinder inner diameter (standard):84.000-84.010 mm (3.3071-3.3075 in)
Piston skirt diameter (standard):83.980-83.989 mm (3.3063-3.3066 in)
Piston pin outer diameter:22.000 mm (0.8661 in)
Piston ring side clearance:Top0.020-0.060 mm (0.0008-0.0024 in)
Second0.030-0.065 mm (0.0012-0.0026 in)
Oil0.020-0.060 mm (0.0008-0.0024 in)
Piston ring end gap:Top0.100-0.300 mm (0.0039-0.0118 in)
Second0.200-0.400 mm (0.0079-0.0157 in)
Oil0.250-0.500 mm (0.0098-0.0197 in)
Crankshaft journal diameter:60.000 mm (2.3622 in)
Crankpin diameter:45.000 mm (1.7717 in)

Cylinder head

The cylinder head is made of an aluminum alloy with good cooling efficiency. The M52B28 engine uses chain-driven double overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder. Standart head height is 140.0 mm (5.5118 in). The cylinder head employs a crossflow design for greater power and efficiency. Intake air enters the combustion chamber from one side while exhaust gasses exit from the other. This engine is equipped with a single VANOS (Variable Camshaft Timing) system.

Intake valves are 33.0 mm (1.2992 in) in diameter and exhaust valves are 30.5 mm (1.2008 in). Valve clearance is set by self-adjusting (zero-lash) hydraulic lifters for reduced valve noise and the elimination of routine valve adjustment.

Cylinder head
Cylinder head alloyAluminum
Valve Arrangement:DOHC, chain driven
Valves:24 (4 valves per cylinder)
Intake/Exhaust duration:228°/228°
Valve head diameter:INTAKE33.0 mm (1.2992 in)
EXHAUST30.5 mm (1.2008 in)
Valve steam diameter:INTAKE6.0 mm (0.2362 in)
EXHAUST6.0 mm (0.2362 in)

Head tightening procedure and torque specs:

  • Step 1: 40.0 Nm; 4.1 kg·m; 29.5 ft·lb
  • Step 2: Turn all bolts 90°
  • Step 3: Turn all bolts another 90°

Maintenance data

Compression pressure
Minimum10.0 kg/cm2 (9.9 bar, 145 psi) / 350 rpm
Compression differential limit between cylinders:1.0 kg/cm2 (1.0 bar, 15 psi) / 350 rpm
Oil system
Recommended engine oil SAE 5W-30
Oil typeBMW LL-01 or LL-01FE
Engine oil capacity (Refill capacity)~ 6.5 L (6.87 US. qt, 5.72 Imp. qt.)
Oil change interval, km (miles)5,000-10,000 (3,000-6,000)
Ignition system
Spark plugBosch: F8LDCR
Spark plug torque:25 N·m (2.5 kg·m, 18.4 ft·lb)

Vehicle applications

ModelYears Produced
BMW 328i, 328is (E36)1995-1999
BMW 528i (E39)1995-1998
BMW 728i, 728iL (E38)1995-1998
BMW Z3 2.8 (E36/7)1997-1998
Land Rover Defender (South Africa)1997-2000
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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