Here are some pictures of my 1996 BMW Z3 with smoked tailights.
[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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
After receiving a new hardtop for my 1999 M Roadster as a gift from my wife (good woman!) I needed a place to keep the top in good weather. I did some research and decided to buy the E-Z Top from The Hard Top Hoist Company in Houston, TX.
I placed an order online and received a confirmation phone call the next day. The hoists are built to order and custom sized for each vehicle. It took approximately 5 weeks to receive the kit. They were extremely helpful, and even shipped me the piece of wood used to secure the winch to the garage wall.
The hoist arrived with detailed installation instructions in color. Installation took approximately 1.5 hours. Placing the central hoist point just behind my garage door opener worked out fine, as this position was right above the car when backed into the garage. I secured a 2×6 to the joists above the garage, so the hoist could hold several hundred pounds if needed. Actually, the hard top weighs less than 100 pounds, so this would be a huge margin of safety.
The hoist is made of steel and powder coated with a black crinkle finish. It is beautifully made. The hardtop is supported at two points inside the top, placing no uneven stress on the top. The supports are covered in sheepskin (wool) pads that distribute the load and protect the inner liner. The front strut of the hoist has another wool pad to protect the paint on the front edge of the hardtop. The cable is vinyl coated and the winch is a worm-gear type that cannot slip. They even include a cordless drill adapter that allows me to use my drill to raise and lower the top. I suggest using this, as the top moves very slowly with the hand crank. There is a lot of mechanical advantage built in, so the effort to move it is very small.
Placing the hoist on the top involves a few simple steps.
- Park the car as far back in the garage as you can.
- Loosen the retaining screws at the windsheild and turn the latches in the back.
- Lower the hoist to just above the hardtop.
- Pull one of the quick pins from the hoist arm and lift the arm outward 90 degrees.
- Slip the hoist pads under the top and reinsert the pin.
- Lift the top.
- Secure the storage cable to the front of the hoist arm. This levels the top.
The system has worked flawlessly and the hardtop shows no signs of hoist use at all. I heartily recommend this product. The price was $385 plus shipping. There is no need to order the much more expensive electric winch, as any electric drill will do the job.
November 1, 2002
By: Douglas Lindqvist
Custom white top, details unknown.
“This little four-pot BMW is all the sports car I need.”, Road & Track, March 1999.
Our 5/98 1.9 recently hit 100k miles. At the time of purchase, deciding between an 2.8 and an 1.9 was difficult. Well, after exactly forty months of ownership, I’m pleased to reflect that, for a myriad of reasons (most anticipated, a few not), choosing an 1.9 has best fulfilled our requirements as a fun *tool* as opposed to a less practical *toy*. I knew it didn’t have much power beforehand, of course. However, it’s turned out to do everything else sooo well…Surpassing my overall expectations. In fact, my only real gripe about the decision is having to look at those Z-Stars…Urgh!
No major problems/repairs, as of yet. Tho, a cracked upper radiator hose left Mrs BMV stranded once. It still has original battery, brakes, clutch, and top.
Not my first, second, nor, presumably, last BMW…Neither the sportiest (R65LS), nor best (E30 325e) BMW…Just simply and unequivocally the most FUN!
Nonetheless, being a finance guy, the following #’s & $’s provide a better synopsis.
89,344 mi. – from OEM front ‘Pilots; last 38,749 while mounted on back.
49,595 mi. – from OEM rear ‘Pilots.
$47,049.76 = total expenditures.
$32,545 = MSRP = $29,425 Base + $1,150 Leather + $750 Power Top + $500 Heated Seats + $150 Chrome Trim + $570 Destination.
$30,840 = purchase price, incl. $100 *tip*.
$20,046.98 = accum employer auto allowances –> *tool*.
$16,209.76 = accum oper & ‘admin’ expenses (defined below).
$8.949.66 = accum operating exp of gas, oil-related, parts & accessories, service/repair, tools, and club memberships
$7,260.10 = accum ‘admin’ exp of taxes, fees & insurance.
$5,842.05 = gas exp; 3,429.627 gals @ $1,703 avg px; 90.30 ‘composite’ octane rating.
$3,837.22 = allowances minus expenses.
3,429.627 – # of gals pumped.
$2,560.34 = $1,416.68 parts & accessories + $596.65 service/repair + $248.10 tools/books + $161.34 car care + $137.57 clubs dues.
1,217 – # of days to reach 100k mi.
$547.27 = oil changes + samplings.
426 – # of trips to the gas station.
421.0 miles – furthest range on single tank; 11.686 gals.
$201.15 = accum BMW CCA discounts (only $2.25 from impulse item).
$112.57 = prorated BMW CCA dues.
85 – # of tankfuls ranging 300-349mi., 12+1x 350-399mi., 3x 400+mi.
~82.2 miles – avg distance driven each day, everyday.
30 – # of oil filter changes.
29.693mpg – current incremental mpg, since Dinan CAI & StageII and Bosch Plat +4’s
29.159mpg – overall mpg, Life-To-Date = 100,003mi / 3,429.627gals.
28 – # of oil changes.
$22.30 = fuel savings from +4’s over 18,570 mi., vs. $25.88 cost.
2 – very happy owners!
$0.27 = cost per mile, if we’re to give away tomorrow.
$0.099-$0.128 = net cost per mile using KBB.com estimates of $17,095 private resale (LOL!) & $14,205 trade-in, respectively.
Statement of Cash Flows (‘freestyled’ Direct Method)
$20,046.98 – auto allowances
($16,209.76) – oper & admin expenses
$3,837.22 = Cash Flow from Operations
($30,840.00) – orig purchase price
$14,205.00 – value using more realistic kbb.com trade-in estimate
($16,635.00) = Cash Flow from Investments
$0.00 = Cash Flow from Financing
($12,797.78) = Net
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.
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