Gotcha Covered – BMW Boot Cover

I got a new job! – Yay!

Better pay, better title, better crew to work with. However, there was one big problem: In my old job the Z3, which is my daily driver, got parked in a garage. Nice and safe, walls on both sides, protected from the elements. I am now faced with the issue of parking in a public lot, with loads of other people with their doors aimed squarely at my car on a daily basis. In addition, since I like to keep my tonneau cover on during the summer months, I had to figure out something to keep the car interior protected from the elements (in the winter I run with the hard top, so it’s not as much of an issue). I, of course, suggested to management that they build me my own, private garage. The suggestion was not well received.

What to do?

Z3Solution to the rescue!

I remembered that Z3Solution was now offering a cover that also includes unique padded door protection. This would allow me to not only protect the cockpit, but also the sides of the car from those that would poke my baby. A cockpit cover is a great idea if you park outside a lot. Remember – BMW says that you must use your tonneau when you are running top-down or your top may get worn prematurely. Putting the tonneau on and taking it off is much more of a pain that putting on a cockpit cover. A Cockpit cover will also keep your interior cooler than leaving the roof up.

I ordered the cover the week before I was scheduled to start my new job in order to give me some time to get acquainted with it. I also own another cover from MM Marketing that I have used on occasion, but it was no where near as nice as the Z3Solution cover. The Z3Solution cover is cut much fuller than the MM Marketing version and also includes the door protection with built-in foam pads. I can actually put the cover on the car with the top up or down and it fits just fine.

The cover attaches at several points:

* There are Velcro ties in the front that attach to the wipers.

* There are small “barrels” in the back. These are basically fabric-covered tubes that can be shoved down between the tonneau cover or placed into the trunk opening to secure the back.

* Unique to the Z3Solution cover are the tie-downs that slip into the crack at the bottom of the door. These help secure the sides and the side-padding.

Overall Impressions

The quality of the cover is excellent. It is well made from something called “Weathershield” fabric from Nextec. Weathershield is light, compact and very weather resistant. While most covers have a weatherproof layer appied onto them, Weathershield actually has the waterproofing applied to each individual strand of fabric. This means that the protection is much better than most traditional car-covers (see comparison chart). It compares very favorably with NOAH, but with significantly less bulk. The stitching on the unit is very sturdy and all the parts look like they will last a long time. The entire cover and all parts that touch the car are covered in a soft flannel. The number of connection points to the car is excellent: two in the back, two in the front, two on either side. There have been several windy days and the top stayed securely anchored and I have noticed no “rubbing”. I have used the cover for several weeks and have found that the design works well with the top up or down. The ability of the top to repel water is simply amazing!

As I intend to use the cover to protect my top from weathering, being able put the cover on with the top up was critical to me. In the spring and fall it will act as a safeguard against the torrential rains we sometimes get in New England and in the summer it will protect the top from sunlight and keep the cockpit cool.

With the top up, it’s easy to attach the cover. Simply plunk it on top and make all the connections. It does require a trip around the car, but I can do it in about 20 seconds. Removal is even quicker. It’s not quite as easy to put the cover on with the top down (it tends to billow around a bit), but it’s also not particularly difficult. In general, it’s much more time consuming to put the cover on than to put the top up (assuming you don’t use the tonneau cover), but the extra protection justifies it’s use for me. If you do use the tonneau religiously, you’ll find it much easier to deal with a cockpit cover than taking the toneau off and raising the roof.

Before ordering the cover, I also considered a full car cover. I decided not to go that route because I did not want to put the cover on the car when it was dirty. I was primarily interested in protection for the parts susceptible to rain and sun: the interior and the fabric top.

The Z3Solution cover doestouch parts of the car and I’ll have to see what the long term effects will be, but early indications are good: the sides do not move significantly because of the bulk of the foam padding and the tie-downs, therefore the cover does not rub on the paint.

At $109 The Z3Solution cover is slightly more expensive that some of the competitors (MM Marketing offers its unit for about $80), but the full cut of the cover, the Weatherguard material and the ding protection make it well worth the increment. It’s significantly less expensive than a full body cover and takes up less space in the trunk (but it should be noted that the padding makes it bulkier than a normal cockpit cover).

The cover comes with a nice carrying case, but so far I’ve never used it. I just fold the thing up and dump it in the trunk.

Cockpit covers may not be for everyone. I have a number of friends who are comfortable with parking their cars outside for long periods of time with no protection. For me, however, the protection afforded by the cockpit cover, including the protection from the inconsiderate co-worker’s doors, easily justifies the cost of this new accessory…..and I get to keep my new job!

Comparison chart from www.covercraft.com

2.8 with ///M Wheels

2.8 with ///M Wheels

Both Front and Rear ///M Wheels

Four Front ///M Wheels

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.

BMW Strong-Strut Tower Brace

Pros: Price, quality, strength, breathtaking finish
Cons: Careless installation could “ding” your hood
Cost: $315 and up from Strong Strut

Not surprisingly, my M Roadster displays a subtle cacophony of assorted squeaks and rattles which seem to be standard equipment on even the stoutest of convertibles. MZ3 Netmeister Robert Leidy’s review of the Dinan Strut Brace suggested that a tower brace could provide help. Meantime, I had been seeing quite a few posts on the Z3 message board discussing the new Strong-Strut tower brace. Strong-Strut’s own web page made their strut seem particularly attractive so, as I’m always eager to try out the latest wrinkle, I ordered a Strong-Strut for my car.

The Strong-Strut arrived in a long triangular USPS Priority Mail box. Weighing in at 12 1/2 pounds, the all steel structure is clearly up to restraining errant movements of the strut towers. More, the Strong-Strut is absolutely beautiful to see. The flawless powder coat and deep chrome will look wonderful under my hood. I chose black powder coated tower rings with a chrome strut, but Strong-Strut offers a wide choice of attractive sounding finishes with prices ranging from $315 for an all black powder coated assembly to $365 for all chrome finish. Other, more expensive, special finishes are also available and Strong-Strut is even prepared to provide custom finishes to the buyer’s specs. How about candy-apple purple rings with a gold plated strut?

Strong-Strut provides six pages of instructions, most of which are concerned with insuring adequate under hood clearance. The penalty for failing to carefully follow these instructions would be two dings in your hood when you slam it closed on the Strong-Strut. Happily, the procedure is clearly explained, and Strong-Strut even includes two cubes of modeling clay to check under hood clearance. Once proper clearance is insured, the installation is a matter of ten minutes or so, using common hand tools. Take your time as you bolt it in and admire the lovely weld beads and precision stainless steel hardware. Note, too, how the tower rings are contoured to exactly mate with the complex curvature of the top of the strut tower.

Not only does the Strong-Strut look great under my hood, it works! I don’t track or autocross my car so I can’t comment on its handling benefits, but I noticed immediately on my road test that a persistent rattle from the dash area was gone. Problem is that some rattles from the back are now more obvious, but Strong-Strut is working on a rear brace and I’ve told them to put me first on their waiting list. I had thoroughly surveyed the list of available strut braces before I bought my Strong-Strut and I’m convinced that it provides an unbeatable combination of price,strength, quality, and under hood good looks. So, whether you’re looking for useful strengthening of the front end, or just eye candy, the Strong-Strut is hard to beat.

Skaggs Pedals

I have been wanting to install a set of aluminum pedals for quite awhile on my Z3. Most of the sets I’ve seen I don’t really care for the looks of. A few months back a friend sent me some pictures of the pedals that John Skaggs builds, installed on his M Coupe. After seeing them they were the ones for me. Problem was John didn’t have them in production at the time so I had to wait for the next batch which turned out to be a four month wait. The wait was worth it.

The three pedal set (clutch, brake, gas) costs about $96 but John also builds a heel/toe gas pedal as an option. I decided to buy both throttle pedals to determine which I preferred. The cost was about $160 for everything.

To install the pedals you will need:

* drill with 7/64″ drill bit (and safety glasses)

* open ended wrench (1/4″) and also a socket and wrench of the same size

I started off on the clutch pedal. You just remove the rubber cover from the pedal and center the new aluminum cover on the pedal itself. While holding the cover in place drill out the bottom hole. WATCH YOUR FINGERS!!! Now install which ever color bolt you want (black or silver) through the cover and secure in place with the nut. The supplied Allen wrench will let you tighten the bolts, the nuts will start to thread until they hit the nylon lock-stops. After that point you will need to use the wrench or socket (whichever fits better for that position) to tighten the bolt.

Make sure you have the pedal leveled and drill one of the remaining two holes and fasten it in place, then repeat that with the third hole. The clutch is the easiest to do as you can easily get the nuts on and the pedal is plastic so it is easy to drill.

Next is the brake pedal. Do exactly the same with it as the clutch. This is a little harder as the pedal itself is metal so drilling takes a little more care and time.

Now comes the fun one… the gas pedal. The new pedal just mounts over the factory plastic pedal. If you are trying both pedals install the regular (smaller) one first. If you do the heel/toe pedal first you might position the mounting holes so that the regular pedal will not totally cover the black plastic when viewed from straight on.

Position the smaller gas pedal over the factory pedal in such a way as it is covering the black plastic. If you stand the aluminum pedal on the plastic I found that the aluminum pedal needed to be tilted counterclockwise slightly for good coverage. The bottom right side of the pedal does not quite rest flush with the floor in the positioning I used. When you have it positioned properly hold it in place and drill out the bottom left side hole, again watching your fingers, and install the nut+bolt and tighten it down.

Double check that the pedal is still positioned properly, adjust as needed, and drill out the upper right hand side hole. Again, fasten it with the nut and bolt. This is where it gets interesting as it is very hard to get behind the pedal to get the nut threaded as you have to go by feel. I found a pretty simple way of doing it though.

Take the tape and cut off a small piece and double it over so it is sticky on both sides. Put that on the tip of your finger and stick the nut to it.

Do not put the bolt in the hole yet but have it and the Allen wrench ready. Reach around behind the pedal with your nut/finger while looking through the hole. Position the nut so it is pushing up against the back of the pedal and align the two holes. Now just hold that in place and put the bolt in and tighten it down. When the nut starts to spin on the tape it means you have it threaded. The tape can be removed from the nut and you then tighten it down fully. You will need this trick for the remaining two holes.

Drill the either of the remaining holes and secure with the bolt+nut then do the other one.

If you went with the regular gas pedal it will look like this.

The black plastic on the side of the gas pedal is visible only from the side as the pedal itself is fairly deep. I positioned the pedal so that it was even along the length of the aluminum pedal.

The heel/toe is below.

After that just vacuum your carpets to get out all the shavings from drilling and you are done.

It took about 2 « hours to install everything and that was including both gas pedals and struggling with the gas pedal nuts before I came up with the trick.

I liked the heel/toe pedal so I’m going to leave that one on for now. Heel+toeing is VERY easy with this pedal installed. My size 12 feet probably make it even easier. In fact it is so easy you may do it by accident until you get the hang of it. If you don’t know what heel+toeing is or don’t really know why you would want to do it you should probably just use the regular gas pedal. Ditto if your car tends to be driven by more then just yourself as it could throw another driver.

BTW, I have it on very good authority that these pedals are not slippery when wet like most aluminum pedals are said to be. Haven’t tried it myself yet but considering the source I’m sure that will be true.

Pro-Road Racer Pedal Set

Pros: Great looks, much improved heel-toe
Cons: Some required hardware not supplied
Cost: $159.95, plus options, from BMP Design

A popular after market accessory among Bimmer owners is a racy looking pedal set. Most offer a cosmetic advantage only, but a pedal set I saw in BMP Design’s catalog, called the Pro-Road Racer Pedals, offers real practical benefits to drivers who pride themselves on their expert high-performance driving techniques. Unlike most sets I’ve seen, BMP’s Pro-Road Racer Pedals offer an optional heel-toe extension they call the Fast Track. In addition there is a matching dead pedal, also an option. The Pro-Road Racer set costs a not insignificant $159.95, while the Fast Track heel-toe extension is $69.95 and the dead pedal is $75.95. All are CNC machined billet aluminum, the heel-toe extension black anodized while the other pedals are in brushed finish.

For those not familiar with heel and toeing, a brief explanation. The technique is employed when entering a corner to simultaneously brake and downshift in order to put the car in the optimum gear to accelerate through and out of the corner. Smooth downshifts require raising the revs as the shift is made. With one foot on the brake and one on the clutch, a third foot would be useful to “blip” the accelerator! If you don’t have a third foot then the best you can do is to use the right foot to operate both brake and accelerator. At one time racing cars placed their accelerators between the brake and clutch and it was practical to brake with the toe while pressing the accelerator with the heel, thus the term. Now, a true heel-toe motion would require a clumsy, uncomfortable twist of the ankle. A more workable technique on modern cars is to brake with the left side of the right foot while blipping the accelerator with the right side. Assuming that you can physically span the gap between the brake and accelerator here’s how it goes. Place the left side of the right foot on the brake pedal with the right side poised over the accelerator. Depress the clutch pedal with the left foot and blip the accelerator with the right side of the right foot as you downshift, then release the clutch.

Most cars I’ve driven are almost impossible to heel and toe because the brake and accelerator pedals are too far apart and/or because the relative heights of the two pedals doesn’t permit the necessary gymnastics. Apparently BMW engineers have heel and toeing in mind when they determine pedal placement because I’ve never driven a Bimmer which wasn’t fairly easy to heel-toe. As a matter of fact I learned to heel-toe over 30 years ago on my 2002. Still, it would be helpful if the brake and accelerator on my M Roadster were closer together and if the accelerator were just fractionally closer to the same height as the brake pedal. BMP’s Fast Track heel-toe extension does both jobs.

Installation of the pedal set is straightforward. The BMP pedals are attached using provided machine screws and nuts after removing the rubber brake and clutch pedal covers and drilling the factory pedals. The clutch and accelerator are plastic and easily drilled, while the brake pedal is steel and takes a little more effort. The dead pedal is attached to the car’s plastic dead pedal cover using power-drive screws…no drilling required. It turns out that the machine screws provided with the Fast Track heel-toe extension are not long enough to pass through the Fast Track, aluminum accelerator pedal, and plastic accelerator so a quick trip to the hardware store was required. Note that the Fast Track can be installed without the aluminum pedal, if desired, and then the machine screws would be the right length.

Once installed, the new pedals really do the trick. The aluminum brake and clutch pedals are about the same thickness as the stock rubber pedal covers. At the same time, the combined extra thickness of the accelerator pedal cover and the heel-toe extension raise the height of the accelerator to just the right level for easy heel-toeing without a clumsy twist of the ankle, and the increased width of the Fast Track places the pedal right under the right side of my sole. To my eye, the new pedals add a racy new look to the foot well, though I wouldn’t spend too much time looking down there while driving. Meantime, I’ve been reacquainting myself with the heel-toe technique, honing my lost skills by doing heel-toe downshifting even at low speeds. At first I was pretty clumsy, but after a few weeks practice it’s become second nature. Even if you aren’t planning any racing activities, it’s one of the skills which add greatly to the sports car experience. Let the fun begin!

The FOGG/FONG’ed 2.8 Cold Air Intake

Pros: Increased performance, low cost, keeps stock air filter
Cons: Do not screw up cutting the plastic cover for the headlamp
Cost: $30 and 2 to 3 hours of your time

First I want to thank Shawn Fogg for the original idea to supply cold air to the intake, WITHOUT spending up to $500, and labor. His instruction and basic concept to modify the air intake helped me to modify the 2.8’s airbox & intake delivery system.

* Tools needed: 10-mm open/boxed end wrench.

* Metal File

* 8-mm ¼-inch socket wrench.

* 6″ long ¼-inch socket extension.

* Flat head screw driver-med.

* Philip head screw driver-med.

* Dremel & cutting wheel OR a keyhole saw.

* Magic marker.

* Hot glue gun with heavy-duty glue sticks.

* Hair dryer

* Things to Buy: Go to the nearest Home Depot or the like and in the ventilation section get an aluminum 5″ to 4″ duct adapter. This is a tubular piece to allow a 5″ hose to plug into a 4″ hose.

* Buy a 4-inch aluminum flexible duct tube. This will be the new air supply tube.

* Buy a 5-inch stainless steel hose clamp.

* Hot glue gun and heavy-duty glue sticks, if you do not have any.

** NOTE THAT ANY DIRECTIONS I MENTION IS IN BODY POSITION **

PLEASE READ THESE INSTRUCTIONS. You will notice that the pictures show the completed product and not before modification.

1. Basic design of the 2.8 (00) airbox and air supply route: The stock unit’s air supply comes from the driver side of the radiator. It funnels through a 3.5 X 4.5-inch triangular opening.

2. That opening then feeds into a semi-enclosed space that surrounds the rear of the headlamp assembly and wire harness.

3. From there, the air funnels once more through a 3-inch tube that goes into the airbox.

4. The air passes through the filter then into another funnel (3-inches diameter) that leads to the air-mass sensor.

1. Making the Intake: First thing you need to do is to make the 4″ inlet out of the adapter you bought at Home Depot.

2. To do this on the expansion funnel (between the 4″ and 5″ tubes) you need to drill out the two rivets. This lets you separate the adapter into 3 pieces, the 4″ tube, the expansion funnel and the 5″ tube.

3. We only need the 4″ tube with the ‘rib’ on the side that was connected to the expansion funnel which opened up to the 5″ piece.

4. Using the hack saw, take the 4×36″ diameter tube and cut it down to 6 to 8-inches. Make sure that the tube IS NOT EXPANDED when you are measuring and cutting. This will become your inlet into the airbox.

5. Now dry fit the adapter and tube together. It will be a very tight fit. You might need to cut a 2″ slice, either on the tube or adapter, to make the tube slide onto the adapter correctly.

6. Once you are satisfied with the fit, take apart the tube and adapter and place it aside for later

1. Removing the 2.8 (00) airbox from the engine compartment: Remove the stock paper filter and holder from the airbox.

2. Use the flat head screwdriver to unfasten the (2) snap clips that holds the rubber hose & air mass sensor. Slide off the hose from the airbox. When removing the unit, there will be a rubber O-ring between the airbox & runner hose. Its purpose is to maintain a good seal between the plastic & rubber.

Tech Tip: When reinstalling the O-ring, install the O-ring, then wet your CLEAN finger and run it along the inside diameter of the O-ring. This will allow you to slide the rubber hose together with the plastic airbox when you are ready to reassemble the components.

3. Snap off the overfill hose from the radiator. It is located on top to the passenger side of the airbox.

4. To unbolt the airbox, you only need to unbolt (1) 10-mm nut, located on the driver side, plus the rubber hose to the engine. You do not need to undo the nut all the way.

5. Now this will take some fannagling, the small overfill hose to the radiator will be in the way during the removal of the airbox. To remove the airbox, you will need to pull & stretch the tubing around the airbox, as you are pulling the air box out of the engine compartment. The easiest way I was able to remove the air box is by stretching the tubing towards the passenger side of the airbox.

6. Once the airbox is out, you will want to clean out all the little bugs, dust and rocks the filter has trapped. It is also a good time to replace the filter – – mine had almost 18,000 miles.

1. Removing & modifying the air restrictions within the airbox for the 2.8 (00) When looking inside the airbox, you will see a plastic funnel that is attached to the driver side of the airbox. The funnel can be unattached by unscrewing the Phillips head screw on the outside wall of the airbox. The funnel can be pulled straight out of the airbox.

2. Now is time to put on your SAFETY GLASSES. You will be cutting the funnel in half. Starting at the widest portion of the funnel, (the side that empties into the airbox).

* Take the hacksaw and saw from the widest portion of the funnel towards the inlet of the funnel.

Tech Tip: There is a line that you can see that is called a parting line. The term is used for injection molded components. You can use the parting line as a guide.

* Now stop short of cutting into the ribbed area.

* Take the hacksaw and start cutting on the side that DOES NOT have the screw boss that attaches the funnel to the airbox. (You need to be able to remount this in the airbox).

* Use a file to smooth the edges. Then use a damp cloth to clean the surface. Once that is done, you may reinstall the modified funnel. Do not forget to use the screw to hold it back in place.

1. Removing the 2.8 (00) headlamp and fog lamp assemblies First, we will remove the fog lights (the easier of the two).

2. Using a medium sized flat head screw driver, remove the plastic cover that is towards the passenger side of the fog lamp.

3. You will see (2) 8-mm hex head bolts that hold the lamp in place. Remove them.

4. To remove the lamp assembly, just pivot the lamp from the passenger side edge and pull towards you (front of the car).

5. To remove the wiring, it is located behind the lamp. There are (2) pressure clips on either side of the wire harness. You might need to employ someone with small hands (your wife, girlfriend, your young son or me… LOL) to be able to reach behind the lamp and squeeze the clips together.

6. Once the wire harness has been released, remove the fog lamp and place in a safe spot.

7. Second is the headlamp assembly.

8. Located behind the lamp and in front of the airbox location. You will see a plastic housing that has the wiring for the headlamp going into through rubber grommets.

9. Those grommets are on plastic doors, that are removable from the plastic housing.

10. You will need to reach inside the housing to twist and remove the individual light bulbs from the headlamp.

Tech Tip: Do not touch the surfaces of the bulbs with your fingers (the oils from the skin will help DECREASE the life of the bulb).

11. Now is the fun part of unscrewing the headlamp from the car.

12. There are (4) 8-mm hex head bolts. You will need to use the 6-inch extension arm with the 8-mm socket.

Tech Tip: Use a magnet to magnetize your sockets. This will help you REMOVE and not loose the screws down within the car body.

* (2) are easy to see – they are located on top portion of the headlamp.

* (1) is on the passenger side, accessible through a steel hole.

* (1) is on the driver side accessible through a steel hole.

13. Once all the screw bolts are free, remove the headlamp and place in a safe location.

1. New Air Supply Tube You will notice once you have removed the headlamp, you will notice on the bottom portion of the plastic headlamp housing, there is a 2 ½-inch hole that appears to be plugged. How ever, you will be able to remove that plug by pressing in the (3) plastic clips towards the center of the hole. It will just fall down towards the fog lamp.

2. Now you get to cut things up. You will now follow the instructions of Shawn Fogg (with the necessary modifications to make it work for the 2.8 (MY00) Z3.

* When I cut my new air supply hole, I did not remove the plastic cover from the car. I believe that it is possible to remove it, but it would be a problem to remove and reinstall. BMW used a something similar to a drywall expander nail system. It is easy to remove the nail, but not too easy to remove the expander part that is in the wall. To remove either part, you would need to use flat head screw driver and needle nose pliers. You would have a greater chance of scratching the paint, during the removal of the units. That is why I left the plastic cover in.

* Now comes the fun part, you need to cut a 4″ hole where the stock hole is. Put the 4″ side of the inlet over the hole and draw a new circle on it with the marker. Do not center the new hole over the old one. You want the new hole to be as far to the passenger side of the box as you can make it. There is limited real estate to enlarge the hole. In addition, the surface of the area is not flat.

Tech Tip: INITIALLY CUT THE HOLE SMALL AND WORK YOUR WAY TO THE CORRECT SIZE. YOU ONLY GET TO CUT THE PLASTIC ONCE!

* If you have kept the plastic cover installed, I HIGHLY SUGGEST covering any exposed areas that hot plastic bits might fly to.

* Now PUT ON YOUR EYE PROTECTION!!!!! – Using whatever method you decided on, cut out that 4″ circle. This is the most time consuming part of the project. If you use a Dremel, you will experience hot, nearly liquid plastic flying around, so be careful!

* When I cut my hole, I had to make sure I had some land area to allow the new air supply funnel to be mounted on a semi-flat surface. This way it would be easy to apply the hot glue.

3. After you cut the hole, test fit the inlet into it. The inlet should fit through the hole but stop at the ‘rib’ on the inlet. For the test, it is easier if you just put the 4″ side through the top of the plastic cover. If you cannot get it to fit use the Dremel’s grinding wheel or a file to smooth and enlarge the hole. The fit needs to be tight as possible, WITHOUT distorting the inlet.

4. After you are satisfied with the fit, you may dry fit the aluminum tubing. This way you can determine if you need to resize the length of the tube.

5. Now is the time to clean the inside of the box.

6. Scrub out the inside of the air box with a brillo pad or something similar to remove all the plastic bits that got thrown around when you cut the hole.

7. Also, use a damp cloth to wipe down & remove any particles remaining.

8. After you get it all cleaned out, dry it.

9. Now put the inlet into the airbox for real.

10. Attach the aluminum tubing to the 4-inch adapter. Keep the aluminum tube UNSTRECHED and UNBENT. Do not attach the hose clamp at this time.

11. You will install the assembly from the TOP of the plastic cover (over the fog lamp). The side with the rib goes inside of the box with the 4″ tube & aluminum tube will be pointing down towards the fog lamp. The rib will keep the inlet from pulling through the box if you cut the hole properly.

12. Now slide the hose clamp from the bottom of the aluminum tube and tighten. Make sure to have it snug up against the bottom of the plastic cover. Do not overtighten the hose clamp as you could deform the inlet.

13. Now the top of the plastic cover, you will be applying hot glue between the rib and the floor of the plastic cover.

14. A slight air leak here isn’t critical, as it’s still before the air filter, but do the best you can. Do NOT use silicone glue as it could cause problems with your O2 sensors.

15. Let the glue cure for a hour, good time for a beer break – – if you are of legal age =:o

16. After the glue has cured, you will now need to stretch and bend the aluminum tube down and towards the front of the fog lamp assembly.

17. You will notice that my aluminum tube is bent slightly towards the plastic cover for the fog lamp. I am leaving that cover off to have a semi-ram-air effect to the air box. However, as Shawn said in his discoveries, he did not notice any difference when he place a scoop below the fog lamp. In addition, there was enough air movement going around the complete fog lamp to allow plenty of cold air to enter the tube.

18. The use of aluminum helps keep the tube in position and is easy to relocate, if you are not satisfied of its current placement.

19. You will need to use the fog lamp to determine good placement.

20. Once you are satisfied, reinstall everything like before.

21. One thing that I did before I drove my car with the modifications, was to disconnect the power from the battery for at least 24 hours. During the workweek is the best time.

22. Please note that I have NO modified computer chip. Therefore, I expect better results with persons who have the modified chip

* After thoughts: I did notice an increase of torque using my butt-seat-sensor. I sold my old G-tech unit, so I cannot verify any decrease of 0-60 times.

* The sound is deeper than stock.

* I still have the stock exhaust. I am looking at a Supersprint unit.

* I do not have a modified computer chip. I am debating between a Land Shark or a Dinan chip.

* Some people might be thinking why not just, run the new air supply from the fog lamp area to the air box directly. After talking with Shawn about Hydro-lock, I felt that connecting the tube all the way might up the possibility of it actually happening. Having the tube not connected will almost eliminate that chance.

Black Wood Dash Kit

Pros: Looks good, matches Larry’s steel gray/black Z3
Cons: Evaluation kit, product canceled and is not available
Cost: Unknown, Product Unavailable

To my knowledge this is the only black wood dash kit made for the BMW Z3. It is an evaluation kit made my a company in Korea. However just after developing this evaluation kit the model year 2000 Z3s showed up and it was apparent that this kit was already out of date so the manufacturer decided to cancel the project.

Even though the project was canceled I thought owners would like to see what a black wood dash kit would look like in a Z3. The carbon fiber shift knob was added later and is a nice (matching) addition to the looks. Hopefully another dash kit maker will consider adding black wood to their collection for those looking for something a little different.

Update:

Even though this particular black wood dash kit is not available, MG Racing has a black wood dash kit. If you are looking for a very unique dash kit that looks really good with black interior this may be what you have been looking for.

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.