Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Did you get a great deal? Let us know in the Values & Prices Paid section!
Meet your fellow owners in our Owners Clubs

1990 BMW 735iL Questions and Upgrades?

joyrider147joyrider147 Posts: 69
edited July 2014 in BMW
Before I get into discussing the mods I have in
mind, there are several questions I have about my
BMW. I have a 1990 BMW 735iL that has a 3.5
litre inline 6 and a standard automatic. I only
have 1 key for this car, and I'd like to get a
spare key and a "Valet Key." I'm not sure, but I
think this has a transponder chip in the key. Do
I have to call a BMW dealership and special order
for these keys, or could I get these from a
locksmith specially dealing in transponder keys?
Would the ignition still work if you have a key
that fits the lock, but has no transponder chip?
Also, I'm not sure whether or not this particular
year of this car has an alarm on it. Is the
alarm remote inside the handle of the key or do I
have to order that from BMW as well? As for the
unlock codes for the BMW 7 series radio, does
anyone know the factory issue codes? A guy who
used to work for BMW says the codes are simple:
1414, 4747, 3636, etc.

Also, what is the approximate value of a car like
this in very good condtion with a few dents,
clean engine bay and well maintained vehicle with
only 105,000 miles?

As for the mods, I was thinking of either
modifing or having a special made engine (M Sport
intake and 4 valve/cyl. design and twin turbo or
supercharged) with BMW parts and a stick shift.

Is it possible for me to either mod the inline 6
with parts from a M5 or should I upgrade to an 8
cylinder? If so, would it be cost efficient for
me to have a special made M Sport 8 cylinder or
should I just buy an engine from a '95 540i or M5
or an 8 cylinder from a 740i? Is there any turbo
headers or supercharger manifolds available for
this car or will that have to custom made? What
type of turbochargers or supercharger can I use
that is adjustable but provides top-end

When mating the engine to the car, what types of
chips and/or modules will I need to install or
remove from the vehicle? The rev limiter and
engine governor is the only 2 I can think of for
now. If I remove these modules from the harness,
will the car still run without these limiters, or
will I need limiters from a M Sport Edition/
manual transmission BMW? What about Dinan
Performance Parts- - Do they have anything in
performance upgrades for a 7 Series? How do I
contact them?

As I said before, I want to drop the automatic
and go for the stick shift. How do I go about
adding a clutch and gear shifter? I wanna
install a getrag 5 speed manual from a BMW 5
series, but I heard that these may have syncro
problems. Is there any way to counteract this?
Would the trans. from a 540i manual work best, or
since they are rare, should I just get one from a
525i or a 535i? As with these types of mods,
what else can I add to this car to prevent
excessive wearing or destruction of these parts
during high speeds? Should I upgrade the oils
and fluids to a different viscocity?

Thank you for your input.


  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Okay....I think I'd like to approach your questions from a different angle.

    Let me be very frank. I think it's not a good idea to mod this car for any number of reasons. First of all, it isn't worth very much and never will be, so any money you put into it will be completely lost to you. Secondly, it is a large heavy car and no matter what you do, it's not going to handle like a sports car. Last of all, the number of mods available to you are limited, since the aftermarket tends to provide more cosmetic and restoration items than modification items for cars like this (supply and demand).

    My advice would be to just enjoy the car as it is. If you want a faster, more agile BMW, sell this car and buy yourself something like a 528i or a newer 3 series coupe or even an older 635CSi if you wish.

    As for the key question, I don't think there's any kind of chip in there. Your radio code is 4 digits, but if you don't know it you are probably screwed. Sometimes people put the code in the owner's manual or even write it on the radio itself; otherwise, you'll have to figure out something else, an aftermarket unit.

    If you go to Google and type in "BMW parts catalog" you will find plenty of resources for your car. I think if you order up some of these catalogs you will see how limited you are in the area of modifications.

    So to summarize, if you want a faster BMW, go buy a faster BMW, or start with a car where you are more likely to have a satisfactory result. Otherwise, just enjoy your car as it is.
  • My driver window does not work do any body has clue why

  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Try the BMW Owners: Care & Maintenance discussion or even better, the BMW 7-Series Owners: Problems & Solutions one.

    Steve, Host
  • the driver side door lock wont push all the way down, therefore it is not locked. This happened when I had car painted, when I pu car, the lock did not work. How do u remove the door panel(inside) so I can look at the workings of the lock?? /thanks
  • Another problem, power steering fluid leaking. Shop want replace entire power steering unit. It looks like a hose is leaking. Is it difficult to remove the bad hose only and replace? Looks awful crowded in that area?
  • Engine runs good. When driving away, I hear a tinkling noise - seems from the bell housing area. Any idea what it might be?
  • slakeslake Posts: 1
    I recently lost the use of my in dash trip computer and the ability to move the rear electrically operated seats. I suspect a fuse has gone bad and I would like to track down the fuse box and the bad fuse. Any ideas where the fuse box for these items is located and what fuse controls these devices?

  • The fuse box is under the hood, either on the driver's side or passenger side- square box that flips open. Inside, there's a reference guide to which fuses go where and the amperage. You may find either new fuses as any other may use or you may find the BMW original fuses. BMW original fuses are cool because you can just look at them to see which ones are bad rather than pull them out one by one like every other car. Keep in mind, that although they LOOK like they are okay, trust me, the oxidation from the outside environment may have put so much resistance on the fuse to stop it from working properly, even though the circuit is not open. If I were you, I'd just get a pair of needlenose pliers and start methodically pulling each one out and replacing them with brand new fuses (standard domestic issue) rather than the BMW original style fuses otherwise, you're gonna have the same problem again. FYI, also stock up on 7.5 amp fuses because you're gonna need alot of them if you're gonna replace ALL of them.
  • mikeb7mikeb7 Posts: 3
    Can anybody please tell me where I can purchase a valve body repair kit? It is for my 1992 735il E32 M30.
  • brlbrl Posts: 3
    just got a735i and would like to check the battery but CAN NOT find a way to remove the rear seat,does anyone know how to open the rear seat,I tried everthing,even removed the center armrest but still no luck.
    brl :mad:
  • brlbrl Posts: 3
    just got a 90 735i,how do I remove/lift the rear seat to check the battery ?
    Thanks, this is drive-me mad !
    brl :mad:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    If I recall there are two little red tabs you push or pull and it just flips up. You need to get down on your knees and look closely.
  • brlbrl Posts: 3
    mine got the power rear seats,and pushed all the way forward there is only one black tab in the middle and it does-not there some lever or something behine the seat back to release the seat? I removed the center arm rest,but still car not get the seat up.
    tried pulling it up ,but nothing worked.
    But Thanks anyway,
    BRL :(
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    sorry I don't know about the power rear seat procedure.
  • sorry wrong site, here's the correct one:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    phew! That's more work than the standard seatback isn't it?

    But really, pretty simple once you've done it once. Just not intuitive!

    Thanks for posting that for everyone.
  • Can anyone tell me the make and/or dimension of the battery for the 90 735il. Only certain one's fit and service shops are clueless. Thanks.
  • Have a problem with brakes stuck on.
    735iL when in the reverse gear.
    when in forward gears it will catch intermitently
    can anyone respond
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    354 x 175 x 190

    Sorry you have to do the math to inches :P
  • looking for tranny 735 il and CE unit for tranny!

    Or Bmw for sale for parts all but tranny work
    will sell engine seperately and body seperately
    727482 1738 or cansomeone sell me a CE unit for my
    transmission. engine runs good very good if you have problems with other than tranny this is you ticket
    $3000 for whole or 1500 for engine and 1500 for shell
    wheels and bloupunk stereo also for sale
  • carman40carman40 Posts: 1
    I could use some help putting in the code to the radio in my 89 735iL. Also, I have a trunklid open and Brake LT circuit + message on the dash board? could anyone help out? Would really appreciate your replies if you have an idea.


  • Wow, having same exact problem on my 735il. At first could solve by disconnecting battery but now that doesn't work. Only solution now is to blast radio.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I'm guessin' a bad bit of wiring/coupler/connector in the trunk wiring harness. Something is "grounding" out or dropping voltage.
  • I had a braking problem were I ended up in a front end accident because of the faulty performance in the brake system. A slowing down as opposed to a quick stop. I thought it might be a problem with the ABS system in this earlier model year. Has anyone had similar braking problems, seen any bulletins, or have ideas on making performance work reasonably better?
  • dgraggdgragg Posts: 2
    recline the back seat about one inch there is a small button(it's hard to see) in the middle it's a little tricky but once you've done it it gets easier if your battery is dead i'd put jumpers on it or you'll need a screwdriver to push the button and it can be a real pain
  • dgraggdgragg Posts: 2
    with the ac on i get cold air on the driver and hot air for the passenger both controls are at 65 degrees
  • fearvofearvo Posts: 2
    hi there, i am considering buying one of these for $3500 new zealand dollars, the only thing i can see reasonably wrong is these apears to be some oil leakage. ARE THESE CARS NOTORIOUS FOR OIL LEAKS FROM THE MAIN SEALS? or is there another issue?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Pretty good cars all in all. You might watch out for AC/Heat problems (test these functions!!) and if you feel a vibration in the car when you start off, that's the driveshaft, which IS notorious. But that engine is great.

    Good cars, but don't buy a "fixer-upper".
  • fearvofearvo Posts: 2
    thank for that advise. we DID get the car and are amazed with it. It has plenty of alzhiemers issues what with warnings and all that..... when i turn the lights on a warning on the dash says "tail light" "side light" any idea to which this may refer? i cant see anything wrong with these lights they work like normal... is it just that the wiring gets a bit confused after twenty years do you think?
This discussion has been closed.