BMW M30 Specs

Written by steve johnson
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The BMW M30 engine was one of the most sophisticated and advanced six-cylinder engine of its time. Known as the "big six," the M30 made a significant contribution to the reputation of the BMW production cars for almost three decades. They were built as BMW's response to the small-block Chevrolet engines at that time. Between 1968 and 1994, they proved to be the most reliable and fuel efficient engines for BMW. They were used on several BMW cars; the early E3 sedans, the 5 and 6-series of the 70s, and the larger wheelbase 7-series of the 80s. The last six-cylinder BMW M30's were used in the E32 and E34 in the early 90s.

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Engine Trim

The six-cylinder inline, Single Overhead Camshaft (SOHC), 12-valve M30 engines were chain driven with manually adjustable valves. The cylinder was built with a revolutionary triple hemispheric head, and a swirl action chamber. They were petrol driven engines equipped with an overhead camshaft, and a crankshaft with seven main bearings and 12 counterweights. They were produced with power ratings between 150hp and 250hp, with a corresponding torque of 160ft.-lbs. to 280ft.-lbs. With 100-millimeter spacing between cylinder centres, the BMW M30's were very durable when well maintained.

Between the years 1968 and 1994, the BMW M30 was produced with engine displacements ranging from 2.5 litre to 3.5 litre. Amongst these, there were three distinct displacement ranges that were most popular: the 2.5 litre to 2.8 litre, the 3.0 litre to 3.2 litre, and the 3.5 litre models.

2.5-litre and 2.8-litre Versions

The M30 engines with displacements between 2.5 litre and 2.8 litre were produced between 1979 and 1981. These were built primarily for the BMW E24 628i. While the 2.5 litre engine produced 150hp at 5,500rpm with a torque of 158ft.-lbs., the 2.8-litre engine gave a marginally high output of 184hp at 5,800, with 240ft.-lbs. of torque.

3.0-litre and 3.2-litre Versions

The 3.0-litre and 3.2-litre versions of the M30 were introduced in the year 1976. The 3.0-litre B30 with 188hp and a 9.0:1 compression ratio was the most popular during this time. It was built for the popular BMW E24 6-series of cars until 1979, and continued in production with the E32 and E34 models in 1994. The 3.2-litre, also built for higher power variants of the 6-series, topped out at 252hp at 5,200rpm, with as much as 280ft.-lbs. of torque at 2,600rpm.

3.4L versions

The 3.4-litre M30 came into production in the mid-1980s. They powered the E24 and E28 series in the late 80s, and were the primary engines used on the BMW E32 7-series and the E34 5-series. They were produced in several variants, and gave a power output in the range of 211hp to 248hp, with 224 to 280ft.-lbs. of torque.

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