I have a 1990 BMW 525i that hasn%27t been used in over a year. It%27s all messed up and i want to fix it up from scratch%2C but the thing is i know nothing about cars. Anybody know what engine i should put into it to make it a little faster and roar%3F It%27s only going to be a car i want to keep for show so nothing to extreme.

Asked by Mar 12, 2014 at 11:41 PM about the 1990 BMW 5 Series 525i Sedan RWD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

19 Answers


first you need to tell what engine do you have installed? these cars came with m20 and m50 engines, the m50 can be a good choice to modify. and you need to know what would be your budget and what do you want to do with the car (turbo, throttle, etc.)

It's actually a 535i. Sorry and I don't know how to tell what kind of engine it is. I also don't really have a budget for it


Tell me the last 7 digits of the vin and I'll let you know. A 535 is runs fine if the engine is good? But how much are you thinking of spending on the car? Maybe you should just make it run first and go from there!!!

Bf88251 I believe that's the vin


That doesn't seem to be a valid vin, please confirm it

Best Answer Mark helpful

Bf68251. Engine: 3 LI I6


This is an M30 engine, it is a good engine, low tech, it has power so you can use this engine if it is in good condition or if not you can swap it with any 6 cylinder engine from the 90's, it should fit ok. just swap it with the ecu and wiring from a donor car and you should be fine. The M50 or M52 is a good choice if the swap is necessary.

Any suggestion on which cars engine from the 90s to swap with? We found a car exactly like this that we are planning to buy for parts. Not sure which engine that one has yet. But if it's an m50 engine should we just swap it with that and go from there?


The m50 is common on 1992 325i onward and 525i 1993 or 94 but m


Mostly on 3 series since the 5 came with the v8 530i wich wasn't a good engine because of a wear issue

So stick to building up the m30 engine? That would be the easiest way to go right?


A 2002 m54 will fit from a 5 or 3 just swap the whole thing but the mounts should fit with minor changes or none

I can still do a lot to the m30 like a turbo or something?

Would it be bad to build around the m30 tho? I don't want anything crazy fast. I just want a roar and more speed than what it has. The rest is gonna be interior work (seats, dashboard, etc.), paint job, tint, exhaust, and wheels. I just want it running and a little faster than before.


you can use the M30, just make sure it is running correctly before modifiying anything. It's a low tech engine so it should be easier if no large modifications are intended. Turbo mods have been done before, search the net for ideas and make a plan of mods so you can do a budget.

Thanks so much! You wouldn't mind if I contacted you here later on for more help, would you?


no, anything i can help just write...

hey ive got a 1990 525 i that is for sale .The car is in good condition with a six cylinder reconditioned motor and a few other parts have also been replaced . new tyres . car has no reg or Roadworthy . perfect for parts or even getting back on the road if wanted,, if you know of anyone that would be interested just let me know cheers Mark

Ill take it

Your Answer:

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