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BMW Z3 item created by Brian H, Aug 23, 2013
Brian H submitted a new Showcase Item:
I have had my Dakar Z3 since April 2011, prior to this I had a 1.9 for three years. I came across my car one night whilst trawling eBay, at the time it seemed cheep and had a low reserve. The only problem was the car was in Pembrokeshire and I am in Scotland some 460 miles away. A few days passed and after a few emails back and forth with the seller all seemed to ring true with the car so in the last few minutes of the auction I pressed the button to buy. The day came to pick up the car, I left the house at 5am to catch a plane from Edinburgh Airport to Cardiff Airport, a train from Cardiff Airport to Milford Haven where the seller met me.
I finally came face to face with the car and WOW, now Dakar yellow is not ever-ones cup of tea but I loved it. We drove back to the sellers house where I checked over the car, all the paperwork was in place, folders neatly prepared with all the cars history, the stereo and air intake were aftermarket but the OEM units were in the boot. Coming from a pre-facelift car I could not get over the hips and how wide the rear of the car looked, and the sound......The deal was done.
My journey home was a joy, I managed from Milford Haven to Cheshire with the roof down just loving the sound of the engine, a couple of things I missed showed up on the way home, faulty thermostat (car running cool), broken heater blower resistor (fan only works on speed 4) and a sticky brake caliper. Nothing too serious and it certainly did not spoil the run home.
First pics of the car when I got it home
My plans are to keep the car pretty standard, I had changed a lot of things on my 1.9 and did not want to go down that route again, If any mods were to be done they would have to be subtle.
Having never documented a progress thread before I will try and put updates below in the order they happened.
Update 1 - 1st Inspection & change over
I bought a rear offside caliper to replace the sticky one I had noticed on my way home, fitting was straight forward, I also took this opportunity to have a good look at the braking system. I decided that a mini overhaul would be needed, new discs and pads all round.
I had a few things to swap over from my 1.9 before I could sell it:
OEM Hardtop fitting kit
Centre console armrest
///M mirrors (required to be repainted)
Transfer the private plate
Strut brace (4 cylinder e-tech style brace)
Update 2 - Wheels
My wheels were in the need of a refurbish, wanting to stick with the style 78s I took them to the wheel specialist in Glasgow, I knew I wanted something different to high power silver but when you go in to these pleases you are like a kid in a sweetie shop, what colour to choose?
I settled on shadow chrome and for the next few days wondered if that was the right decision. I think it was
Back to General Information
Update 3 - Strut Brace
A 6 cylinder strut brace from ebay was purchased to replace my existing 4 cylinder one, fitting is a doddle and looks good too (apart from the red brackets don't match) I managed to sell on my 4 cylinder brace to a fellow zeddder.
New brace fitted
Update 4 - Hardtop
With winter approaching I had to decide if I was to paint my existing Arctic Silver hardtop Dakar Yellow, I eventually had the hardtop wrapped in satin black to try and mimic the OEM soft top.
Love the wheels but the hard top is top notch where did you get that done and how much?
Update 5 - Steering wheel
I treated myself to refurbished steering wheel, I had seen an advert by royal steering wheels, a company that takes your existing wheel and recovers it to your specifications.
I chose to get the wheel covered in full Alcantara and also have the wheel padded out, the stitching on the wheel was also in yellow to compliment the cars colour.
Update 6 - Strong Strut Front Strut Brace
This next update is a bit un-necessary but for me a must, A fellow Z owner was selling a Strong Strut front Strut Brace, IMO the nicest strut brace available for the Z3. These do not come up for sale very often so when this was offered for sale I jumped at the chance. Now there is no functional improvement over the unit I have fitted, this is purely a cosmetic change but I like
Update 7 - OEM Dakar Yellow II Hardtop
A OEM Dakar Yellow II hardtop came up for sale on eBay, In 5/6 years of Zed ownership I have never seen one of these in this colour before for sale so bit the bullet, the top was located near manchester so a day trip was in order to collect the top.
It came with a hardtop stand and a lightweight cover. The guy I picked it up from had recently sold his Dakar Yellow II 1.9 to his father, he had never seen another Dakar Z and though his was the only one! I sold my wrapped hardtop for the same money that I paid for the new top so changing over was relatively cheap exercise, only the petrol to pay for.
@bruce&kim thanks, I had the hardtop done at a local wrapping company in Cumbernauld, IIRC it cost between £100.00 - £150.00, the wrap was a satin black and really did suit the car.
Update 8 - Braking system
I had visually noticed uneven wear on my brake discs and thought it was probably a good time to overhaul the brakes on my car, you can see below the uneven wear on all four discs, the rear I reckon were only 50-60% effective with the fronts not much better. These discs pictured were replaced in April 2011 when I purchased the car so only 18 months old.
Front Discs - Note the bands around the edge of the disc that are not being used.
The brake calipers had seen better days and my choice was to either replace with new OEM replacements, non OEM replacements or refurbish my original OEM units, I had seen a thread with reference to company called Bigg Red, Bigg Red specialise in refurbishment of brake calipers, so I decided to go down this route. The full refurbishment of the calipers is not a cheap option but you do get a 10% discount if you get all four done at the same time. Bigg Red offer different types of finishes, I chose a longer harder wearing polymer black finish which should mean that the calipers have a good life span ahead.
Brake calipers off the car
The are EBC green stuff that were previously fitted were removed but not in too good shape! I am sure that a sticky caliper had caused excessive heat, hence failed pad.
With the discs and calipers off the car I was able to get a good luck at the suspension and brake protection plates, the front and rear brake protection plates were in a sorry state so I decided to treat them to a little spruce up. The front plates were removed and painted, this requires the front hub to be removed, the rears were painted in situ.
Front Protection plate before & after
Rear Protection plate before & after
I had previously replaced the rear springs and shocks with OEM replacements so no worries there, however the front shocks were showing signs of age, in for a penny in for a pound (or several hundred at his point) new OEM shocks were ordered along with springs.
With the calipers off to get overhauled it was an ideal time to also replace the brake hoses, I chose BF Goodridge Stainless Steel brake hoses (6 in total).
2 x Front (notice the new drop links)
2 x Rear
2 x Hidden
The Clutch hose was also change and a CDV delete was carried out at the same time, new one in situ.
A box of various bits an pieces, nuts and bolts was ordered to replace old and rusted items that had been removed.
All the new and refurbished parts were gathered together and the car was re-assembled.
Rebuilt Front - c/w new disc and red stuff pads
Rebuilt Rear - c/w new disc and red stuff pads
All in all really pleased with the results, the red stuff pads had very little brake squeal whilst bedding and have been fantastic.
Update 9 - Raid Steering Wheel
I recently bought a Raid Steering wheel off ebay c/w steering wheel boss.
Took a punt as it came from Poland and the description on the item was not too good, If I am being honest I am disappointed with the overall condition but the wheel feels great to use. I will look at getting it recovered at some point in the near future.
That's a good second hand find these days in any condition! That will look really nice re-covered, you thinking alcantara again? Or something different?
It was a good find Gary as it had the boss with it, alcantara again if I can. I think Deano has a OEM Raid Alcantara, looks great.
Hi Brian noticed you done the "cdv"delete did it make any difference?I believe its meant to make the 1st to 2nd gear change better.The steering wheel looks good by the way
IMO it makes a big difference, you are in full control of the clutch rather than waiting for the fluid to flow through a restricted hole. I suppose it really changes it back to a standard style clutch. Whether you are changing the clutch hose or not it is just an adaptor that can be taken off.
Where did you get the clutch hose Brian? I have found with my local garage with any modifications Its best to get all the parts and give full instructions...its a little bit behind the times down here in Devon
Good excuse to switch to an Earls braided clutch hose (with CDV removed) and have the system bled properly! It's on my list when I have the cash...
Earls is the place to get them, IIRC I paid about £20.00 for mine but I could be wrong. Give them a call for the part number and price.