Rebody 250 California build thread for dummies

Pond

Zorg Guru (II)
British Zeds
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Dec 26, 2016
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124
Location
Spaldingski, Lincs
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Z3 project and E89 Z4
The panel fit might well be different when the body shell is supported by the chassis rather than standing on the ground.
I am only doing the bits I HOPE can't move. I would love to sort the sills out, but know they can only be done when on the car.

I want to do everything I can before fitting the kit, as it gets a lot more compromised then and I want to keep the mess in the garage down to a minimum. Time will tell!
 
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Pond

Zorg Guru (II)
British Zeds
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Dec 26, 2016
Points
124
Location
Spaldingski, Lincs
Model of Z
Z3 project and E89 Z4
Today I decided to get the Z3 running again, as it hasn't turned it's crank in over 6 months. Last time was when a friend (from another forum) overhauled the vanos, changed the oil and filter, brake fluid, etc. I also put new plugs in at the same time; that was in early November.

I checked all the wiring changes I have made so far and taped the ends of anything I overlooked just in case.

Stuck the charged battery back in and connected it up. Interior light came on so thought happy days. I taped some elephant trunking on the exhaust and routed that out the door.

Turned the key to the second position, the dash lights flickered on then all went dead. Everything!

I spent most of the day checking every fuse on the car (there are a lot. None had blown), checking all disturbed wiring and then scratching my head. Turns out for some unknown reason the earth post to the battery didn't tighten. I used a 10mm socket and it got tight but didn't tighten the earth post. I had to remove the earth post and cable and sort it out on the bench. A new M6 S/S nut was need on the post but I still don't know why!

Re-assembled it and put it back on the car. Connected the battery back up, turned the key and she fired up instantly! :D

I warmed her up for about 30 minutes and checked that everything else on the car works; heater, heater fan, lights, etc. Even the A/C runs but does need some refrigerant.

The engine runs like a dream....I have put a K&N air filter on as it is impossible to get access to the OEM one when the body is on. With the rasp of the intake allied to the exhaust rumble of the M54 3 Litre it is music to my ears.

The day went from terrible to great. Cars are so fickle when it comes to earthing!IMG_9421.JPGIMG_9424.JPG
 

Pond

Zorg Guru (II)
British Zeds
Joined
Dec 26, 2016
Points
124
Location
Spaldingski, Lincs
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Z3 project and E89 Z4
As I cannot trial fit my body due to the great British Summer at the moment (it's all ready to go but I need to do it outside), I have been doing some other bits.
I have installed the interior door openers and connected them up to the Z3 rods. I have adapted some 2 way momentary switches to fit my period window winders, so the electric windows can still work. The wiring will be taken from the old mirror feeds and spliced inside the cabin.
I have also adapted my old MGB seats to fit on the electric Z3 seat bases. It was quite tricky as they are a tight fit and have to move straight!
I put new diaphragms on the seats (what a PITA that was) and new backing boards. I have new foams which will not be glued until upholstery time.
Also diverted the windscreen washer hoses and cut them to be roughly in the correct new place.
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Jezza

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Glad you are getting things done bit by bit. Keep it up!
 
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Pond

Zorg Guru (II)
British Zeds
Joined
Dec 26, 2016
Points
124
Location
Spaldingski, Lincs
Model of Z
Z3 project and E89 Z4
Glad you are getting things done but by bit. Keep it up!
I really want to get the body sorted and glued, but every day it is forecast for showers. I can't put the body on in the garage, as the body panels are too long (and it will be tricky getting the body through the door).
 

Duncodin

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Location
Pontrhydyrun
Model of Z
Z3 M44
. .
I can't put the body on in the garage, as the body panels are too long (and it will be tricky getting the body through the door).
??
302575-a334e93222e15bdce2d58d8fcad52a0b.jpg

Your garage looks huge. I wish I had that much space.

I'm really glad to see your progress though. Keep it going and keep the updates coming. :)
 

Pond

Zorg Guru (II)
British Zeds
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Points
124
Location
Spaldingski, Lincs
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Z3 project and E89 Z4
Your garage looks huge. I wish I had that much space.
Wide angle lens mate. I bought it second hand off an estate agent! ;)

The width is fine, it's the length. I have a full width bench just out of shot. Because the sills are almost full length to the A pillar, I need to 'slide' the body on from the rear. There isn't enough room. I checked! :)
 

Duncodin

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Z3 M44
Wide angle lens mate. I bought it second hand off an estate agent! ;)

The width is fine, it's the length. I have a full width bench just out of shot. Because the sills are almost full length to the A pillar, I need to 'slide' the body on from the rear. There isn't enough room. I checked! :)
Oh. The sills are part of the rear tub. (Light bulb icon) now I understand.

Garage space. I'm the other way round. As her indoors likes to remind me - length is OK but I could do with more width.

No matter. You have enough to be going on with with your plans for the interior.

I was trying to zoom in on your picture of the door opening catch. How it connects to where the old Z lever was.
 

Pond

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British Zeds
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Points
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Location
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Z3 project and E89 Z4
I was trying to zoom in on your picture of the door opening catch. How it connects to where the old Z lever was.
The spring latches (which I got as part of the kit. I think they may be from an MGB?) have a solid bar, which I have had to bend and twist to orientate it correctly. I then cut the excess off and drilled a 5mm hole to hook the Z3 rod into. I had to drill two as the first one didn't quite open the door latch!
I hooked the bar on, then marked the spring latch, then used self-drillers. The back plates are bits of steel cut out of the surplus rear wings on my bandsaw then straightened with a big hammer. See...I'm getting the hang of this 'kit car bodging' malarkey. :D
 

Jezza

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Points
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I really want to get the body sorted and glued, but every day it is forecast for showers. I can't put the body on in the garage, as the body panels are too long (and it will be tricky getting the body through the door).
Is the car mobile? Can you drive it out and in the garage? The doors go on first but with temporary fixings, then the back is put on. Turn the car around and then you can move the back body into the garage and onto the car. You seem to have more room than I have!
 

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Pond

Zorg Guru (II)
British Zeds
Joined
Dec 26, 2016
Points
124
Location
Spaldingski, Lincs
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Z3 project and E89 Z4
Is the car mobile? Can you drive it out and in the garage? The doors go on first but with temporary fixings, then the back is put on. Turn the car around and then you can move the back body into the garage and onto the car. You seem to have more room than I have!
Yes the car is mobile (now I have a seat). I have a double driveway BUT the only way to get the body parts either into the garage or onto the driveway is through a pedestrian gate or door. The body is in the back garden and I have 6ft brick walls between that and the drive. So both body parts need to be taken through 'on end'. My wife will NOT keep doing this every 5 minutes. She also works full time (I don't anymore). I also am worried about damaging or cracking the GRP.

I also have to move the other two cars on the drive to get the Z3 out (with the body) onto our remote parking area. That is mostly taken up by my daughter's Mini. It is a logistical nightmare.

I have a friend who will come up for a day (or two) to get the body in and out and on/off, but I can only do that if the there is no chance of rain. That is proving a problem.
 

Duncodin

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Z3 M44
I don't have the space. I'd stripped off my z3 body panels and as soon as the body kit arrived I 'stored' it on the car. I simply had nowhere else to put it. So, in my case, from day one, my body has been on the car. Still took a couple months of fiddling before doing the final fix. But it always looked a bit like a car.
 

Pond

Zorg Guru (II)
British Zeds
Joined
Dec 26, 2016
Points
124
Location
Spaldingski, Lincs
Model of Z
Z3 project and E89 Z4
I don't have the space. I'd stripped off my z3 body panels and as soon as the body kit arrived I 'stored' it on the car. I simply had nowhere else to put it. So, in my case, from day one, my body has been on the car. Still took a couple months of fiddling before doing the final fix. But it always looked a bit like a car.
I am used to a lot of space, so always need more (it's just the way it is). Because I am used to space, I am very messy and not well organised (although I hate not being organised). I am going to have a tidy up tomorrow and see the best way to utilise the space, as I REALLY NEED to get the bloody body on. It's a nightmare mowing the grass as it is at the moment aswell, with a 'car' in the garden! :(
 

Pond

Zorg Guru (II)
British Zeds
Joined
Dec 26, 2016
Points
124
Location
Spaldingski, Lincs
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Z3 project and E89 Z4
It's official.....I don't understand car electrics, especially when everything is controlled by 'modules'. :(

I wanted to wire in my new wiper motor yesterday. I have three wiring diagrams; the BMW diagram, the one that came with the (generic) new motor and an old picture from DNA just showing wiring colours to the new motor's plug.
Firstly I wired the motor in the same way as the original BMW one (it's a two speed motor with a built-in 'park' switch, how could it go wrong). Nothing. Didn't work at all.
So then I went with the diagram supplied with the motor and worked out what does what on the connections. Nothing. Didn't work at all.

I looked at the DNA diagram last, as there was no detail, just colours to terminals. The colours were wrong on their diagram (ie they said a 'black wire' whereas the actual colours were black/red/yellow and black/white/green), but I made an educated guess as to which ones were which.
when I wired it up to their diagram, I looked again at the BMW diagram and it seemed to make no sense whatsoever. So I gingerly put the ignition key in and turned the wiper stalk, fully expecting a 'bang' and it taking out half the fuses on the car.
Worked perfectly!! It does EVERYTHING the BMW original did; intermittent, slow (intermittent at rest), fast, three wipes for wash, the lot.
BUT I have no idea how or why it works which really frustrates me, as I like to know HOW stuff works not just that it does.

I can see I'm going to have fun when it comes to re-wiring the dashboard and all the switches! :whistle:
 

Pond

Zorg Guru (II)
British Zeds
Joined
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Points
124
Location
Spaldingski, Lincs
Model of Z
Z3 project and E89 Z4
So after leaving the car alone for the last couple of weeks (because I was getting so frustrated with nothing fitting, not being able to do A without doing B, or C, or X Y Z, etc), I have calmed down and got my head back straight.

The body is on but just resting where it touches, so I can start to work out what needs to be trimmed more to get it to fit correctly.
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As my kit didn't come with most of the support brackets to bond the body to, I have had to make some. The front corners are supported by brackets which are supposed to sit under the headlight cowls. On the original DNA kit, these were in the form of 'turrets' on threaded rod which could be wound up and down. I don't have those, so had to fashion something to do the same job. My front bumper brackets are not wide enough to put these 'turrets' in, so I have fashioned some bent straps which are slotted so can be adjusted up and down. These are the revised versions, as I made some before the body was put on but they were miles too short and didn't reach the headlight cowls. They sit at the same angle as the cowls so should bond well all the way along.

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I also had no way of raising the front body away from the radiator top and bonnet brackets, other than relying on the above headlight cowl brackets. That would have meant the whole front piece would be just swinging in the breeze. So I spanned the hinge brackets with some strap and made a couple of adjustable brackets to support the front end. These have been bent to match the angle of the GRP to get a decent bond.
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I can now 'tilt' the front end to adjust the panel gaps on the front edges of the doors. The only worry I have at the moment is the difference in profile of the nearside door skin to the 'wing'. The offside is much better.
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As it stands at present, my swage lines are almost spot on so don't want to alter anything to compromise those.
 

Pond

Zorg Guru (II)
British Zeds
Joined
Dec 26, 2016
Points
124
Location
Spaldingski, Lincs
Model of Z
Z3 project and E89 Z4
One advantage of leaving the car alone for a while, is that my distorted sills have been gently pushed back straight (ish) by sitting under the doors. The sills are the biggest problem to getting the rear to sit correctly, as the original moulded profiles were nowhere near the same angles as the car sills.
I still have a lot of work ahead to get these to sit where they should.
 

ruan

Regular Member
British Zeds
Joined
Apr 26, 2024
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Location
Berkshire
Model of Z
3
Hi, just going back through your build, your original car was blue, but the new car will be red (of courses it will!!) How much of the engine bay did you repaint red and any advice on the easiest way to do this without taking the engine out ( I really don't want to take it out) ... or is this just wishful thinking.
 

Pond

Zorg Guru (II)
British Zeds
Joined
Dec 26, 2016
Points
124
Location
Spaldingski, Lincs
Model of Z
Z3 project and E89 Z4
Hi, just going back through your build, your original car was blue, but the new car will be red (of courses it will!!) How much of the engine bay did you repaint red and any advice on the easiest way to do this without taking the engine out ( I really don't want to take it out) ... or is this just wishful thinking.
I just masked everything I could get to. Then cleaned everything with some cheap degreaser (screwfix) on a damp rag. It takes a bit of time and it's not perfect (you can find blue bits if you look hard enough) but is fairly straight forward to do. Then just used rattle cans. I didn't use primer first in the engine bay but really should have done, as the paint isn't bonded very well. It's better in the boot area where I used primer.
 

ruan

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British Zeds
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Apr 26, 2024
Points
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Berkshire
Model of Z
3
Thanks I just need to decide on the final colour scheme.
 

Pond

Zorg Guru (II)
British Zeds
Joined
Dec 26, 2016
Points
124
Location
Spaldingski, Lincs
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Z3 project and E89 Z4
Thanks I just need to decide on the final colour scheme.
My spray paint is only a 'generic' red, so won't match the final painted colour of the car. As long as it's the same basic colour, it shouldn't matter IMO.
 
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