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Old 06-01-2019, 07:40 AM   #1
bmwman91's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: South Bay Area
Posts: 2,320
M44 Head on M42?

I have seen it documented in a number of places that BMW switched to a cam follower setup to achieve a 70% reduction in valve train friction. This guy has an excerpt from an M44 technical bulletin which says as much:

I am not sure what (if any) issues the M44 head may have had, but that reduction in friction seems like a pretty good improvement. Would the M44 head be a "bolt on" change, assuming the proper head gasket was used, along with M42 cam gears and the upper timing cover? I want to say that the E36 M42/M44 had an oil anti-drain valve between the head & block, which the E30 M42 block lacks the machined hole for, but beyond that I do not know of any other differences.

As some of you know, I have the Metric Mechanic 2.1L M42. It has been great, but now I am looking at little ways to improve things further, if possible. Reducing valve train friction seems like a potential source of a couple more HP, along with a slightly bored out throttle body. The other thing I am hoping someone knows is how the M44 head does with high RPM operation. I have my redline set at 7500RPM now, and I am not sure if the follower actuation setup will be as tolerant of that as the hydraulic bucket lifters in the M42. MM sells a modified M44 head which is comparable to the M42 one, so I am mulling over trading in my current MM M42 head for the MM M44 one.
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