Hamann Gas Tank Lid

Pros: Looks Really Good
Cons: Difficult installation, Painting Required
Cost: $490

There is an re-emerging trend, the Audi TT and a few other sports cars are starting to bring attention to, rather than hide the gas cap. If you’re looking to draw a little more attention to your Z3 gas cap, then Hamann has what you’re wanting.

This Aluminum performance gas tank cap kit from Hamann Motorsport contains everything you need to install it yourself, however one of the parts needs to be painted (body color). The installation sounds a little scary, but you can install it yourself in a little over an hour. The included instructions are in German the following is an English translation.

1. Take off right rear wheel and inner fender lining.

2. Take off tank flap with assembly. Take off tank cap.

3. Take off rubber lining around tank filler opening (will not be needed any more).

4. Install new HM tankcover insert and rotate into correct position (it will only fit in one position).

5. Drill insert at marked place with 2mm drill (picture).

6. Take off insert and enlarge drill hole to 3.5mm.

7. After painting of tankcover insert apply a thick coat of P1 adhesive to frontal area of tankfiller opening.

8. Attach HM tankcover insert using supplied 4×15 screws. Smooth out any excess adhesive.

9. After adhesive had hardened attach the HM-tankcover and gasket, align and mark drill hole point.

10. Take off HM tankcover and drill marked spot with 6mm drill.

11. Attach HM tankcover,gasket and some gasket material (?) with provided Senkimbus screws.

12. Reattach inner fender material and wheel.

There is some debate if you really have to take off the right rear wheel, one owner reported to me that he successfully installed the kit without removing the rear wheel. Not sure if he cut the rubber lining out or was able to just man-handle it out of there. If you’re going to tackle a project like this use your own best judgement. The “scary” part of the installation (in my opinion) is step 7. Your gluing the painted fiberglass sleeve onto your gas tank filler opening, better get this done right the first time.

Everytime you start your Z3, the gas tank is “tested” by car. If you listen close you can hear an air pump pressurizing your gas tank. The system then monitors that pressure, if the pressure drops too quickly it triggers a check engine light because it thinks there is a leak in your gas tank. If you don’t get an air-tight seal while cementing this part in place you’re going to have check engine lights haunting you.

Custom Stripes

Custom Stripes

Pictures taken at the 2000 Z3 Homecoming

Prototype Camera Mount

Picture taken at the 2000 Z3 Homecoming

Owner: Arnie Coleman

Video taken from this prototype camera mount can be seen here. The final version will probably differ from this prototype. It was my opinion that the additional contact points around the roll hoops was overkill. The heavy metal support has a thick rubber pad under it. The rubber keeps the unit from sliding, even after a day of mountain driving it never moved. The straps on the prototype were velcro, I’m hoping the final version will have clip-straps like the BMW roll hoop windscreen.

BMW M Coupe Bike Rack

Click on photo for larger view

The bike rack and roof rack are BMW accessories. Roof rack (“Profil 2000” base support system, lockable) part no. 82 71 9 405 963 which costs (in the UK) £200, (same system costs only £125 on most other BMW’s). The bike rack (Touring cycle holder, lockable) part no. 82 72 9 405 242 and costs £85.50. I required an additional insert (for oversized cycle frame) part no. 82 12 9 401 403 which cost £8.50. If you have more than one cycle rack BMW sell a kit to give them all the same key, part no. 82 79 9 405 805 which costs £12.00. The whole lot cost approx £300, but as an employee I got it down to £210, still expensive but a lot better. The reason I had to go with the BMW kit was that no aftermarket systems would fit.

The actual fitment of the parts is very easy and can be carried out very quickly, takes approx 7 to 8mins, once set. The setting up takes aroun 30mins. Every part reqired to fit the roof rack is included, even down to a small cleaning wipe.

I always thought the M Coupe on it’s own drew attention but it was nothing compared to the attention I got with the car as it is in the picture.

Custom Checkerboard Stripe

It’s vinyl. We had a short thread about it a month ago in the coupe forum. The guy who did it (Lockwood Racing, a bit north of Atlanta) first designed it on the computer, using a Z3 template. Then the computer cut two foot long sections, straight and curved. He picked out the blanks, then attached another sheet of adhesive on top of the vinyl. Peeled of the main adhesive on the vinyl, showing the vinyl’s adhesive surface. Sprayed that with a special solution so it wouldn’t stick immediatley to the car. Applied sheet to car, and he could still move it around. When it was in position, he squeegied the liquid out.

The shop could have done essentially any design, but I liked the checkerboard that they had in their ad. Starts under the driver side headlight, on the air dam, swoops over the hood, down the side, and drapes all the way over the trunk to the drivers rear wheel well.

I am not terribly worried about fading, as my car spends 98% of its life in the garage. It is my daily driver, but I don’t commute. I will probably remove the graphics in a year or so. I used an intermediate quality of vinyl, so it is thicker and has a lower quality adhesive – easier to remove.

The pic I sent was taken at the Churchill Downs autocross in Louisville.

Chrome Windshield Washer Sprayers

Pros: More Chrome (always a good thing)
Cons: Loose “Heated” Option
Cost: $59 from www.zchrome.com

BMW makes two different windshield washer sprayers for the Z3, a regular version and heated version. If your BMW Z3 has heated seats then it also has heated side mirrors and heated windshield washer sprayers. www.ZChrome.com sells a chrome version of the regular BMW windshield washer sprayers. My Z3 came with the heated version but the two versions are interchangeable so I decided to add an additional touch of chrome to my Z3. I don’t live in an area where it gets cold enough to freeze windshield washer fluid so loosing the heated option didn’t concern me.

Two make the swap you will need two of ZChrome’s chrome windshield washer sprayers, about an hour of time, a phillips head screw driver and a roll of electric tape. If your Z3 does not have the heated washer sprayers then you will not need the electrical tape.

Open the hood of your Z3 and notice the two areas on the hood pad that have preformed square bulges. Behind these bulges are the back sides of the windshield washer sprayers. To get to this area you will need to at least partially remove the hood pad. To do this you will need to use the phillips head screw driver. Along the edge of the hood pad you will find phillips head screws in plastic clips. Remove whatever screws you need to so you can work comfortably behind the pad.

The phillips screws go into these plastic clips. You do not need to completely remove the phillips screws from the clips. Just loosen the screw enough so the entire clip can be removed from the hood.

The hood has holes in in that these plastic clips snap into. The screw spreads out the legs out and hold the clip and the pad to the hood.

Next Step

The heated washer sprayers have two connections, one for washer fluid another for power to heat the windshield washer sprayer.

Non-heated washer sprayers just have the washer sprayer connection.

Remove the washer fluid hose first. Then unclip the gray portion of the power connection from the black part of the connection.

To remove the wiring clip from the hood rotate the mount counter clockwise a quarter turn and it can be pulled straight out.

The washer sprayer snaps into place. The connection is tight and will require some effort to remove. Pinch the top side while pulling up on the unit. At the same time tilt the lower so it pushes through to the other side. The unit will be removed from the top side of the hood once we work it loose from the bottom. Be careful not to use to much pressure so you don’t dent the hood.

Once the unit is loose you can pull the entire washer sprayer out from the top (outside) of the hood.

The www.ZChrome.com replacement part slides in from the top.

Push the side opposite the washer sprayers down and towards the front of the car.

It will take some pressure to snap the front (washer sprayer) side down into place. Be Careful, this area of the hood can be dented if you push down to hard. If you are having trouble use more forward and less down pressure.

Hook the washer fluid hose up to the new chrome non-heated washer sprayer.

Make sure the connection is tight. BMW’s washer sprayer system uses more pressure than you would expect.

Those who started out with heated washer sprayers will need to make a decision as to what to do with the remaining power connection.

I choose to use electrical tape to wrap the connection and secure it to the washer fluid hose.

There is actually one remaining step, you will most likely need to adjust the tiny hose nozzles inside the windshield washer sprayers. The first time I used them four stream of washer fluid shot over the car without even touching the windshield. I used nail with a fine tip inserted into the hole of the washer sprayer nozzle to adjust the aiming. The washer sprayers will pivot under pressure so through trial and error you can re-aim the nozzle sprayers if yours need adjustment.

HMS Motorsport Soft Boot Cover

Pros: Small enough to fit behind seat, looks great, perfect fit and finish
Cons: Does not completely cover top storage area
Cost: $279 from HMS Motorsport

All roadster owners are familiar with the BMW factory soft top boot cover issues. On the good side, it looks great and is easily installed and removed. However, when the top is up and you have to carry the cover with you, it takes up a large amount of space no matter what you do.

Enter the HMS Motorsport soft boot cover. Here’s a great addition to the traveling roadster owner’s arsenal that not only looks great, but folds up into an included bag and can slip behind a seat.

When I bought our 1998 Z3 1.9 back in February of 98, I saw no problems with the boot cover. Truthfully, it was the last thing on my mind. It could have been a potato sack for all I cared, as I gazed affectionately across the dealership showroom at our newly delivered baby. As my wife and I prepared for our cross-country travels in the Z3, we desperately needed a solution. I was willing to forget about the aesthetics part of it and leaving the folded top just exposed. But the need to keep out road dirt and dust was an important factor in my decision. Scouring all of the aftermarket websites and finding nothing, I started thinking about designing and developing a soft top myself in the great tradition of John Maddux’s LeatherZ armrest and Z3Solutions’ Magnetic Stone Guards. I posted a message on the Bimmer.Org message board, and one gentleman replied with a much easier (though maybe less fun) solution. He directed me towards HMS Motorsport. I, of course, had already searched their online catalog but the item had not been added. Still hasn’t as far as I know. So I did the unthinkable….I actually picked up the phone (*gasp*) and called them directly, credit card in hand. Ten minutes later, after the sales guy explained what it was and how it worked, I bought one.

The top arrived two days later and it took me all of 3 seconds to rip the box open. What I found inside was a well-constructed, high quality canvas cover that is a near-perfect match to the OEM top canvas. It was folded neatly into a vinyl storage bag that measures 13 inches by 16 inches, and is only about 2 inches thick. I tripped over myself as I raced for the garage to install this much-anticipated accessory.

The installation of this cover is a snap. Actually it’s 4 snaps.

slide the cover over the folded top snap on the two side Tenex connectors

snap on the two center Tenex connectors The completed install.

Problem solved! We could have the best of all worlds: aesthetics, protection, and convenience. Not bad.

The roll-hoop windscreen fits along with the cover. I am unsure about the other windscreen models. In summary, the HMS Motorsport is a no-brainer accessory for those Z3 owners that travel a lot and never seem to have room for the OEM semi-rigid cover.

Philips Bluevision and Allweather Bulbs

I replaced the stock bulbs in my 1999 M Roadster with Philips Bluevision and Allweather bulbs. The entire process took about 15 minutes.

The part numbers are:

Philips 9006 55W Bluevision (low beam) $34.95 per pair

Philips 9005 65W Allweather (high beam) $34.95 per pair

I recommended the Allweather for the high beams for mixed weather driving.