Painted Wheels

[adsense_id=”4″]Recently there were some discussions on the Z3 message board regarding painting wheels. In response to that discussion I went through my Z3 photo collection looking for photos people may want to see in regard to wheel color and/or painting. In this first photo the owner found some aftermarket wheels that already matched the color of his car (no painting required).

Okay it’s not really painting, but chroming wheels is another way to change the look of your stock wheels. In my opinion chrome adds to the retro look of the Z3, this picture jumped out at me as I was going through my collection because the white and chrome combination looked so good.

If I owned a white Z3 (and someday I may), I would consider painting the wheels white just like this M owner has. The white on white look is fantastic (in my opinion). It reminds me of the early 80’s Porsche 944’s that apparently had a white wheel option if you got the white exterior paint.

Not sure if it’s the quality of these photos or the specific lighting in these photos, but personally I would be after a more flat white look (but that’s just me chasing my memory of the old Porsche white wheels).

Now at the other end of the spectrum (sorry couldn’t resist that pun) we have black wheels. I’m sure this look is very hard to photograph, but these photos don’t appeal to me because you can’t make out any details of the wheels.

You can see more details of the wheel in this photo. Maybe its the matching black exterior paint but this photo makes the black wheels look better than the previous photo. Notice how the dark paint makes the disc brake stand out. Some red caliper paint would really stand out.

Activate Keyless Remote

I purchased a 1997 Z3 1.9 roadster in June and only received one keyless entry remote, even though it came with two sets of keys. Two weeks ago, I was searching for another remote, and found that if I were to purchase a keyless remote (part # 82 11 1 469 448) at a BMW dealership, it would cost around $120. Also, if I wanted to have the remote activated, so that it would operate on my vehicle, it would cost an additional $70. For all us BMW owners out there, doesn’t it seem a bit odd that you bought a $30,000 sports car, and yet BMW still feels free to charge excessive amounts of money for relatively simple things. Activating a keyless remote is a simple thing. To make a long story short, I managed to buy a copy of the instructions, on how to activate or deactivate the keyless remote, for $7. I feel that something so simple (and actually pretty fun), should not cost $70. It all boils down to highway robbery. I know that this works on a ’97 Z3, and with a keyless remote part # 82 11 1 469 448, so, without further adieu, here are the instructions for activating a keyless remote on a BMW. FOR FREE!!!!

Each remote transmitter has a unique identification (ID) code. In order for a replacement remote to operate your security system, or to delete the ID code from a lost remote, you must follow the procedures detailed below so that your system’s control module will learn/delete the desired ID code(s). This code-learning initialization procedure must be followed precisely within the sequence and time constraints specified, in order for the procedure to be carried out successfully.

Preparation

1. Close all doors, trunk, and hood.

2. The security system must be in “disarm” mode. The key must be removed from the ignition key slot.

Enter Code-Learning Mode

3. Open the trunk and leave it open.

4. Open the driver’s door and sit in the driver’s seat.

5. Close the driver’s door.

6. Cycle the ignition switch five times between the “off” position and position 2 (ignition “ON”, all dash warning lamps will illuminate). The red status LED will illuminate continuously, and the siren will “chirp” once, to indicate that the code-learning mode has been initiated.

DO NOT START THE ENGINE

The ignition switch cycling in step #6 must be performed within ten seconds.

The sequence in steps #1-6 must be performed within 45 seconds.

Registering/Delete ID Code(s)

7. Open driver’s door, (remain seated in driver’s seat)

8. Close driver’s door.

9. Press and release any button on the remote you wish to register into the system. The status LED will shut off momentarily to indicate that one ID code has been registered.

10. Repeat steps 7 through 9 to register the remaining three ID codes.

Exiting Code-Learning Mode

11. Open driver’s door, and exit from vehicle, leaving the door opened.

12. Close trunk.

13. Close driver’s door. The LED will turn off and the siren will “chirp” twice.

14. The initialization procedure is now completed, test all remotes to confirm operation.

It is possible for the system to memorize a total of four different ID codes. As a new code is initialized into memory, the oldest code in memory is automatically deleted. If you had lost your remotes and wished to delete the lost remote ID codes from memory, you could initialize the ID code from a newly purchased replacement transmitter four times thereby deleting the previous ID codes from system memory.

If you have any questions, I can be reached at KitIson1985@aol.com.

Chrome Trimmed Z3 Gill

I’ve always loved the M roadsters Gills but since I decided on the Z3 3.0, I felt it would be somehow wrong to buy some M gills and add them to the Z. So I have been looking for a way to add a little something to the originals.

This is my first attempt at adding a little flash of chrome. I am sending this to elicit some comments good, bad, “don’t mess with the original”!, It is completely removable.

Note: The Chrome trim can be found at most auto part stores.

Moon Roof Shade

For those of you who drive a Z3 Coupe, this is for you. I’m not sure if all Z3 Coupes are the same, but mine is a 1999 with the flip-up glass moon roof without a sliding interior cover. BMW did a noteworthy job of heavily tinting the glass panel that is a large portion of the roof. However, when the sun is high in the sky on a clear day, you get baked on even the shortest drives.

To remedy this, I stopped by the local Wal-Mart store and picked up a set of those collapsible sunshades with the suction cups for $4.97. I bought the smaller ones designed to go in a side window of a car to shade sleeping babies and other sun-sensitive passengers. The shades I found come in a set of two called “Suncutters Side Shade” made by a company called Axius (1-888-99-AXIUS). They are black, screen-like material with metal hoop-frames; rectangular in shape (each measures about 12″x16″) and together they fit almost perfectly into the recess in the moon roof with some overlap in the middle. The suction cups even have small metal rings to pull the shades off when you don’t need them. They go on easily, come off easily and fold up into a small, round pouch about 6″ in diameter. Since the moon roof is tilt only, it is completely operable with the shades installed and the incoming air doesn’t disturb them.

1.9 Sound System Upgrade

I’ve wanted to upgrade my Z3 sound system for a while. I found that the stock system simply wasn’t good enough to support a convertible. I started looking around and came to MZ3.net and looked at Robert’s 1.9 (Non-HK) Stereo Upgrade. This article helped me A LOT during my search for a better sound system. Now was the time to see where I should get it done. The first place I went to was Audio Excellence. It looked very professional and some of my friends suggested it. I also went to Audio Extreme and Sound Advice but out of the three Audio Excellence was at the top.

I wanted to upgrade the front speakers first. I looked at JL Audio and was impressed by their clarity. I also wanted to get larger speakers and I ended up with 6 ½” JL Audio XR650-CS (with tweeters and crossovers).

I realized that I needed a much better amplifier because the stock amp (non HK) was pushing around 20-25 watts per channel. I decided to go with the Orion Cobalt CS200.4 (Which later changed to the CS500.5) I was also looking at the Alpine V12 models but their prices were too high.

Audio Excellence told me that I might be able to put 5 ½” in the rear to replace the 4″ speakers. This luckily didn’t work out and I got a free pair of 4″ speakers.

Installation

The installation took around 7 hours. I took it in at 9 am at brought it home at about 4 pm. I was very happy with this installation because everything seemed to go my way. First they tried fitting the 5 ½” in the rear. These didn’t fit so they decided to leave the stock 3 ½” in there. The install for the tweeters and XR650-CS went fine but the amp didn’t. They put the CS200.4 in and it blew my rear speakers due to a short. They gave me a CS500.5 instead and replaced my rear speakers with JL Audio XR400-CX.

So the price of the JL Audio XR525-CX was cut from the bill and I upgraded to 4″ rear speakers and a 5-channel amp for free! Total cost was about $750.

Turning up the new system loud would guarantee to make your ears bleed. All that was coming out of it was highs. There was more bass than stock but it wasn’t enough. I decided to get a subwoofer.

The first place I wanted to put one was in the trunk. I planned on putting a 10″ sub opposite the side of the trunk with the CD Changer. Audio Excellence told me that in front of the trunk was a metal wall separating the cabin from it. Porting to the cabin would have to go through the boot of the convertible and with the top down bass would be nonexistent. I also wasn’t too happy with the idea of cutting a whole in my BMW.

My other idea was to put an 8″ or a 10″ in the spot where the HK Sub is. My idea was similar to where the Dodge Viper has its subwoofer. Audio Excellence looked at the area (where my storage compartments are) and told me that it would mess with the structural integrity of the car because the roll bars came down into there. I decided this idea was a no-go also.

They came up with an idea that I was trying to avoid. They wanted to put the sub below the dash on the passenger side. They did this to a member of N’Sync’s Superformance Shelby Cobra. Even though I was disappointed because doing this would take up legroom I decided to go along with this idea.

They ended up making a custom box and putting a JL Audio 8W3 subwoofer in my car. This ended up costing $350 and took about 13 hours (11 hours one day, 2 hours the next). It turned out well and sounds amazing!

Is it worth it?

Yes, I think that it was worth it. I love being able to hear music without distortion at 60mph with the top down. It turned out to be much cheaper than I thought and sound better than I imagined. Even though the subwoofer installation took forever I think that having that extra bass really makes the sound fuller.

Pros – Awesome Sound, Not very expensive

Cons – Lost passenger legroom, No more stock look

Cost – About $1,100

Veilside Z3 Kit

Back in November 2001 one cold morning I started the car and my foot sliped off the brake while the car was in first gear. The car flight forward into the garage wall. Got the hood bend real bad and front spoiler cracked open. So I decide to give the car new look. The body kit was $1400 from Vielside, after long search this only body kit I like. This body kit Vielside only make for the 1.9l (4cl) so the side rocket panels wouldn’t fit on the 2.8l v6. I have the body shop cut one part from the stock side rocket panel and mate with the new rocket panels so it will fit perfectly.

G Power Supercharger

* g-power supercharger with 405 hp

* complete stainless steel exhaust system

* Porsche brake with 322mm brake discs

* KW-height and hardness adjustable suspension (very low)

* No Door Locks

* No rear Screen Wiper

* No antenna

* No BMW signs

* Rear spoiler in car colour

* Strut brace

* wheel spacers 5mm front, 20mm rear

* 265/40 on rear axis

* Plastic coated wheels (black)

* White indicator bulbs front and rear

* clutch stop

* 32cm diameter steering wheel with full size airbag

Coming Soon… More details and photos

Glowing Z3 Gills

I’ve had some questions asked on my gills that glow and how it’s done. They light up at night when lights are turned on… Can’t see them in daylight. See below link, no that is not my car at the top…scroll down to bottom. 😉

Just buy the glow-wire that matches the color of your car(or close). Pop the gills off and run a couple of strips up and down the wire mash from the inside…that’s pretty much it…you can connect to any 12v source… I used the low beams since I wouldn’t be using them in the daytime anyway.

The Glow-Wire company put some pictures of my car out on their web site.

Glove Box Light

Here is some information on a glove box light I made. I bought a keychain flashlight that used a bright blue led for the light. I got it from LL Beans for $20, but I see them for sell everywhere. It is a sapphire crystal led, and two 3-volt lithium batteries. The cells have a 10 year shelf life. All I wanted was the led and the 2 batteries.

I took the light apart and just used the led and the area that holds the batteries, cutting the rest of the body off.

I then acquired a metal cased mercury tilt switch. Durakool (http://www.aecsensors.com) has various tilt switches. I bought part #4929 from Newark Electronics (http://www.newark.com). It was around $5.00, but there was a minimum order, or a $5 penalty. It operates at a plus or minus 7 degree angle. It is very tiny, being around 1/4 inch all round in size. I placed all the parts in a small fuse box (the one that the cylinder type buss automotive fuses come in). It seemed like a perfect candidate since the plastic part of the box slides off easily from the metal top and it is small and shallow.

I drilled a hole in the plastic part of the box for the led to come out, and the rest (batteries in their holder and tilt switch) was placed inside and held in place with electrical tape. I had previously soldered circuit board wire from the tilt switch to the light. Some final touches like an LED holder from radio shack and some chrome tape on the box gives it a more finished look.

This small fuse box was attached to the left side of the glove box and held in place with velcro. The angle of the box had to be adjusted to get the light to turn on and off at the appropriate time when opening and closing the glove box door.

Pleased with the finished results, it puts a nice blue light inside the glovebox that allows me to see the things inside.

Porterfield Brake Pads

Pros: Possibly Better Performance, Almost No Brake Dust Mess
Cons: Initial Brake Squeal, but Easily Fixed
Cost: $94 Front, $75 Rear from MyRoadster.net

After 60,000 miles on the stock brake pads I assumed I was getting close to needing to change them. I’ve been pleased with the performance of the stock BMW brake pads, but the brake dust was always a mess. The photo to the right is for real, this is how my wheels usually look. I wanted to find some replacement pads that offered equal performance but without all the brake dust mess.

The Porterfield brand caught my attention, it appeared it may be what I was looking for. MyRoadster.Net carried the Porterfield brand so I asked some questions via their info@myroadster.net address. I learned that Porterfield makes three different kinds of brake pads depending on your needs.

* R-4 for track use only

* R-4S for street and light competition

* R-E for endurance racing events

The “Porterfield R4-S Carbon/Kevlar Street Brake Pads” matched my needs, and the feature list impressed me.

* Low Dust

* Light Pedal Effort

* Rotor Friendly

* High Friction, Hot or Cold

* Low Wear Rate

* Fastest Stopping Road Pad Available!

* Friction Coefficient:

* OEM: Between .2 and .3

* Porterfield: .4

* Temperature Tolerance:

* OEM: 500-700 degrees F

* Porterfield: 1,100 degrees F

After installing the pads (see ///MZ3.Net’s brake pad installation article for details) I resisted the urge to make any judgements until I knew the pads were really broken in. I was also cautioned to avoid excess hard breaking during this initial period. When new, brake pads have a slightly rounded surface that ensures once broken in you get a maximum contact patch. But until they get fully broken in you are concentrating the friction to a smaller patch. This means that when brand new the friction/heat is in a smaller area so you should avoid overheating the rotors. At least that’s how a BMW tech explained it to me, it wasn’t something specific to the Porterfield brand, just a general caution for all new brake pads.

8,000 Mile Update: How does the saying go, if I knew then what I know now….

I put up with the stock brakes and their mess for 60,000 miles. From my experience, the Porterfield R4-S brakes offer at least equal performance (maybe even a little better) but with almost no brake dust mess. That was exactly what I was looking for so I am very happy with the Porterfield R4-S pads brakes. My only complaint with them was some initial brake squeal, but that was easily fixed (see Stopping Brake Squeaks article for details). For the cost ($94 front, $75 rear) and backed with MyRoadster.Net’s money back guarantee, the Porterfield R4-S pads seem to be what most Z3 owners should be looking for when either they need to replace their stock pads, or are just fed up with cleaning up after the BMW pads.