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5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60) Chat relating to the BMW 5-Series of all generations. Specific models include: BMW 518, BMW 520, BMW 520i, BMW 530i, BMW 528i, BMW 530i, BMW 518i, BMW 524d, BMW 525i, BMW 525e, BMW 528e, BMW 540i, BMW 535i, BMW 520d, BMW 525td, BMW 525d, BMW 530d, BMW 525i/xi, BMW 530i/xi. (BMW 5-Series Forum)

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Old 03-08-2006, 08:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Best sohc m20 head?

I just bought my first bimmer project. It is a 1989 525i in mint condition besides the broken timing belt. ( ouch lol ) Well when it broke it some tabs off for on the head for the rocker arms so its junk. I was wondering if people put a head from a 3-series or something on these to make them run alot better?

Do people put dohc cam heads on these blocks?

what is a good website to check bmw head casting numbers?

thanks
alex
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Old 03-08-2006, 08:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Head is the same on 525i, 325i/is ...

You can't put 'dohc cam' heads on the m20 block ... there was no DOHC m20, and m50 head will not work on a m20 block unless you are some kind of magician.

check out www.realoem.com/bmw/select.do that might help you with the casting numbers

ps. edit: it wont run any better with a head from a 325 .. its same
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Old 03-08-2006, 08:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Is there any better year of head?

like bigger valves or better water passages?
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Old 03-08-2006, 11:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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e34s used the latest version of the m20. It's the highest performance from the factory for the m20.
The best thing for performance is the late model i head on an older m20 2.8 eta block. That makes for good torque.

Maybe consider getting a set of cams and stiffer valve springs if you want more performance...

good luck
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Old 03-09-2006, 05:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The best thing for performance is the late model i head on an older m20 2.8 eta block. That makes for good torque.
Ya hear that Torque, you getcha one of those and that'll make you good. I dunno how, but nonetheless.
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Old 03-09-2006, 10:04 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Ya hear that Torque, you getcha one of those and that'll make you good. I dunno how, but nonetheless.
I thought I already had a late model one. lol

07/90 build date ... either way I don't see how it would help anything.
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Old 03-09-2006, 01:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Would a head off a 1987 525e be the same? There is one on ebay cheap.
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Old 03-09-2006, 08:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I thought I already had a late model one. lol

07/90 build date ... either way I don't see how it would help anything.
I meant you personally, theres no help for our cars, less an M5 drive-train / suspension swap
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Old 03-09-2006, 09:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I meant you personally, theres no help for our cars, less an M5 drive-train / suspension swap
ah, yes m20 head for myself. i need help installing it tho.

btw, theres a e34-only meet in chicago on a saturday in april (i believe -- website down at the moment so i cant check) ... u should go.

im honestly considering going up there.
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Old 03-10-2006, 05:22 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Chicagos like an 8 hour drive for me. Maybe a little further than I want to drive. My two trips this year are the Street Rod Nationals in Louisville (that trip is long enough), and the Good Guys show in Kansas City (only a couple hours), I want to try to finish my street rod this year. I dunno, maybe???

Sorry for the hijack...
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Old 03-10-2006, 01:31 PM   #11 (permalink)
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a head from an e will decrease your performance. It has to be an i head.

The only e parts that enhance performance is the block. The e heads are restrictive, but the blocks are larger - so when mated with an i head, you effectively have a 2.8 liter m20 which can match output levels of a stock m50 b25
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