J20 - BMW Z3 Project

Jess

Zorg Legend
Supporter
British Zeds
Joined
Jul 23, 2020
Messages
304
Location
Norfolk
Model of Z
Z3
Happy New Year everyone!

So I've started this thread to document my BMW Z3 and the work undertaken to put it back on the road. J20 is a 1999 BMW Z3 1.8 in Topaz Blue, 2 owners from new (I'm its 3rd) with roughly 85,000miles on the clock; the car was purchased at auction in November 2017 and unfortunately sat outside for 2.5 years untouched and unloved. However, in September it finally moved (and to my amazement started first time) in to the garage for some much needed tlc. I have not been very good at finding some time to sit down and write a blog about the project so due to my tardiness the car is in fact almost finished and I am only just writing about it.... but i'm not going to let that stop me from sharing with you all whats been done and the hurdles that have been overcome :)
 
Last edited:

t-tony

Zorg Expert (II)
Supporter
British Zeds
#ZedShed
Joined
Dec 31, 2013
Messages
40,057
Location
Torksey Lock,Lincoln, England
Model of Z
Z4 3.0 Auto
You will find that as you start to document what you've done more and more will come back to you. I look forward to reading your thread.

Tony.
 

Jess

Zorg Legend
Supporter
British Zeds
Joined
Jul 23, 2020
Messages
304
Location
Norfolk
Model of Z
Z3
First step was to give it a clean (blow off those leaves) and a bit of a wash (gotta love snow foam!)...

Before...
Front.jpg
Front bumper.jpg
Engine.jpgInterior 2.jpg

I don't know why but the previous owner appears to have decked this 1.9 Z3 out in 'M3' (sorry 'M') gear, it will be going!
Interior 1.jpg
Side.jpgRear.jpg

Snow foam time.....:D
Snow Foam Front.jpgSnow Foam Rear.jpg

Post cleaning...looks pretty good from a distance doesn't it :whistle:
Post Wash Front 1.jpg
Post Wash Rear.jpg

So into the garage it goes. A quick look underneath shows that its pretty sound (no worrying rust spots) and other than a few additional items I had purchased to fit, I was hopeful that a good service and new brakes (they were an advisory on a previous MOT) was all that was needed and we would be good to go.... watch this space ;)
 
Last edited:

Jess

Zorg Legend
Supporter
British Zeds
Joined
Jul 23, 2020
Messages
304
Location
Norfolk
Model of Z
Z3
Hi Paul, im really new to BMW specs & Zeds so I've probably called it by the wrong name lol but it has an M steering wheel, gear knob & floor mats (all interior stuff nothing exterior) which surely can't be original on a 1.8 🤔
 
Last edited:

Jess

Zorg Legend
Supporter
British Zeds
Joined
Jul 23, 2020
Messages
304
Location
Norfolk
Model of Z
Z3
I decided today to write a list of the bits I have purchased for the Zed over the last 6 months, some of these were used to add a personal touch & some were a requirement:
  • Roll Hoops - these weren't on my Z3 & in my opinion were a must both practically & aesthetically.
  • Clear side repeaters.
  • Locking wheel nuts (we didn't have the key for the set on the car).
  • Gear knob - genuine BMW from a Z3 to replace M one on my car.
  • Powder Coat - two coat system from Prismatic Powders in America.
  • Goodridge Brake Hose kit.
  • Bigred Caliper overhaul kit.
  • Angel Eye Headlights.
  • External Ramair air filter & Ramair filter for the purge canister.
  • Tie-rod ends.
  • Front & rear drop links.
  • Front brake dust shields.
  • New number plates.
  • New Varta Battery.
  • BMW Steering wheel - Now surplus to requirements!
  • Cabrio 'winter' Hood Cover.
  • Car Mats.
  • Replacement badges for the car & wheels.
  • Front fog lights, relay & fog light switch.
  • Replacement side light.
  • Service items - all belts & fluids inc. Gear box & Rear Diff.
  • Rear hose & plastic pipework to back of cylinder head as these had perished & broken.
  • Various clips for bodywork that were missing.
  • Leather repair kit for drivers seat.
  • New drivers door rubber seal.
  • Replacement passenger side wing mirror.
Quite a bit really when you start to list it all, I may update this post if I think of anything else that's been put on the car ;)

The exhaust system is original BMW & in good condition although I may replace this with a bespoke stainless steel kit in future.

The wheels are also in excellent condition but have the wrong size tyres so although fairly new tyres these will have to be replaced in the near future.

Update - 04.04.2021 further purchases made:
  • Clear rear lights
  • LED Side Light bulbs
  • Replacement door cards
  • Radio
  • Interior led 'ambient' lighting
  • Wind deflector
  • GTECHNIQ EXO Hydrophobic Coating
  • GTECHNIQ Crystal Serum
 
Last edited:

Jess

Zorg Legend
Supporter
British Zeds
Joined
Jul 23, 2020
Messages
304
Location
Norfolk
Model of Z
Z3
Time for another post.....
As the car is nearly done and I haven't written a blog as we have gone along on this journey, I am going to write up whats been done in sections e.g Braking System, Engine, Interior etc. rather than timelines. Jason (my Mums partner) has done all of the work and although I was keen to help I haven't really managed to assist much at all as work has gotten in the way :(

So to the braking system. The brake pipes were an advisory on previous MOTs so we knew this was something that would need doing but it seemed wise the refresh the brakes fully. This provided me with an opportunity I have been after for many years.....to have calipers powder coated in a different colour (preferably bright), I just needed to choose the colour! After much deliberation....should they be blue to match the car or red to stand out etc. I chose orange :D I found a place in America (they had a huge selection of powder systems, colours etc) and chose a two coat system which is a silver base coat and a orange top coat.....everything that the powder touched glittered for weeks, in fact I think the kitchen oven gloves still do! I also purchased a Biggred caliper overhaul kit, Eibach discs and a full brake hose kit with stainless steel ends in orange from Goodridge.

Jason striped all four corners down, degreased and grit blasted the calipers making sure they were as clean as possible ready for powder coating. All brake pipes were replaced with copper pipes and new brass fittings. The front brakes also had new dust shields fitted. Once completed the brakes and clutch were bled using new brake fluid.

Pictures of before during & after below:
Before 1.jpg
Before 2.jpg
Before 3.jpg
Caliper 1.jpg
Caliper 2.jpg
Caliper 3.jpg
Caliper 4.jpg
New Front Dust Shield.jpg
20201028_143403.jpg
 
Last edited:

t-tony

Zorg Expert (II)
Supporter
British Zeds
#ZedShed
Joined
Dec 31, 2013
Messages
40,057
Location
Torksey Lock,Lincoln, England
Model of Z
Z4 3.0 Auto
Nice work between the 2 of you Jess.:thumbsup:

Tony.

ps. The big yellow Snap-On Tool box looks familiar.
 

t-tony

Zorg Expert (II)
Supporter
British Zeds
#ZedShed
Joined
Dec 31, 2013
Messages
40,057
Location
Torksey Lock,Lincoln, England
Model of Z
Z4 3.0 Auto
I have a similar one mate.

Tony.
 

Jess

Zorg Legend
Supporter
British Zeds
Joined
Jul 23, 2020
Messages
304
Location
Norfolk
Model of Z
Z3
Interior
I felt that there was quite a bit of work required on the interior, for one it needed a jolly good clean to remove mud, cobwebs and mould from various surfaces but also there was a small rip & scuff on the drivers seat which needed repairing. My Z3 also didn't come with roll hoops which in my opinion were a must do so I had sourced a set early on in the project which would need fitting. The zed also had an M steering wheel, gear knob and mats which I didn't think could be original on a 1.9 so I intended to get rid of these in the process and purchased a replacement BMW steering wheel and gear knob both secondhand but in very good condition.

Jason cleaned the interior throughly and removed the seats ready to fit the roll hoops. The hoops didn't take too long to install and I think they really add something to the cars look so they were well worth the money and effort installing them. Next job whilst the seats were out was to swap the steering wheel, unfortunately although it said it would fit a Z3 and I had checked that it would come with all the required parts (airbag, reluctor ring etc) it didn't fit! We didn't realise at the time that this steering wheel was for a pre-face lift model and there was a difference in it only being a single stage airbag instead of a two stage which mine obviously is. This was annoying but not a massive issue as following a trip to our local BMW dealer we received a copy of the original spec sheet which indicated that the M steering wheel was in fact added to the car as an optional extra, so I decided it could stay :). I have no idea whether the optional extra of the M steering wheel included an M gear knob being fitted so if anyone knows please post a reply.

So on to the seats, they mainly needed a good clean, the passenger seat is in good condition but the drivers seat did have a small rip & scuff on the bolster, Jason purchased a repair kit and made the repair. At the same time he repainted the red seat belt release button which had become sun bleached.

I think that covers everything interior wise, now for some pictures (although i've just realised I haven't got any of it all properly rebuilt so will take some at a later date and post):

Roll Hoops 1.jpg
Roll Hoops 2.jpg
Roll Hoops 3.jpg
Roll Hoops 4.jpg
Seat 1.jpg
Seat 2.jpg
Seat 3.jpg
Seat 4.jpg
 
Last edited:

Stevo7682

Zorg Expert (I)
Supporter
British Zeds
Scottish Zeds
Joined
Apr 1, 2016
Messages
6,790
Location
maybole
Model of Z
Z3 Individual dakar
The m sport wheel is standard on a lot of face-lift models more optional on pre face-lift.
I have both models both have factory fitted m sport steering wheel one with single stage airbag the other with twin stage .
Royal steering wheels can do some nice refurbishment to that wheel a number of members on here have had theirs done.

Stephen.
 

Jess

Zorg Legend
Supporter
British Zeds
Joined
Jul 23, 2020
Messages
304
Location
Norfolk
Model of Z
Z3
The m sport wheel is standard on a lot of face-lift models more optional on pre face-lift.
I have both models both have factory fitted m sport steering wheel one with single stage airbag the other with twin stage .
Royal steering wheels can do some nice refurbishment to that wheel a number of members on here have had theirs done.

Stephen.
Thanks @Stevo7682 thats really helpful to know & im learning new stuff about the zed all the time :) Thanks also for the tip on Royal steering wheels, I will look them up as I think mine will need a refurb at some point, it is starting to show its 20yrs 🤔
 

Nodzed

Zorg Expert (I)
Supporter
British Zeds
M Power
#ZedShed
Joined
Feb 18, 2016
Messages
8,092
Location
Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, England
Model of Z
Z3M and Z4 (e89)
Lots of posts & pics of royal steering wheels on here
 

Jess

Zorg Legend
Supporter
British Zeds
Joined
Jul 23, 2020
Messages
304
Location
Norfolk
Model of Z
Z3
Time for another post so I thought I would cover what has been done to the.....
Engine
The engine bay needed a good clean (see original pictures) & the engine needed a general service.
Other jobs included:
  • Hoses replaced that had perished
  • Induction kit - Ramair cone filter & ramair filter for the purge canister with orange silicone hoses
  • Dip stick top painted orange
  • Acrylic orange accents added to the fuse cover & the black cover next to master cylinder
  • Cam cover & bolts powder coated using the same colours as the calipers. Jason used heat resistant tape to highlight the BMW embossing during the 2 stage powder coating process (see pictures below)
Pictures below show the engine after a light clean, the cam cover at different stages & the engine after it was all done (although one of the acrylic accents is missing in the pictures so a further engine bay picture will follow at a later date).

20200921_115953.jpg
20200930_190746.jpg
20201017_112411.jpg
20201017_140858.jpg
20201018_113159.jpg
20201028_143434.jpg
20201110_143936.jpg

Thanks for looking & reading, more to follow soon 🙂
 

Jess

Zorg Legend
Supporter
British Zeds
Joined
Jul 23, 2020
Messages
304
Location
Norfolk
Model of Z
Z3
Exterior part 1
Paintwork
So as per the pictures in my original post the car was dirty having been stored outside uncovered, so the first job was to give it a clean. After washing, it became apparent that the paintwork was in poor condition particularly the clear coat which was damaged, peeling & faded in areas. We had always known that the bonnet would need some work as a previous owner had covered stone chips up by daubing them with a touch up pen/brush which was very noticeable.
Jason is a car detailer so he tried a number of methods to bring the paintwork up but it became apparent that it was not going to improve to an acceptable standard.
After looking at other panels we decided that the whole car would benefit from a respray. Jason removed all panels from the car except the doors & the bonnet & started rubbing everything down ready for spraying. We built a spray booth in the garage out of plastic sheeting & Jason sprayed everything that was loose first (sills, wings, side grills, wing mirrors, front & rear bumpers and the boot lid). Once finished these were stored safely so that the car could be moved back into the garage. Jason rubbed down the doors & bonnet, this was where the extent of the stone chips became known, under each one there was a very tiny dot of surface rust starting so each spot was removed, treated and rubbed down to ensure there wouldn't be any problems in the future. The rest of the car (excluding doors & bonnet) was then masked up ready for spraying.
Pictures below of original paintwork, paintwork rubbed down, primed, base coated & clear coated ready for rebuild.
Before:
20200921_120110.jpg
20200920_183222.jpg
20200920_183216.jpg
20200921_120122.jpg
Rubbed down:
20201126_120613.jpg
20201123_170922.jpg
20201126_120602.jpg
20201216_123528.jpg
Masked
20201216_173533.jpg
Primed
20201217_162211.jpg
Base coat & clear coated
20201220_135242.jpg
20201207_151711.jpg
 
Last edited:

Shelly

Zorg Expert (I)
Supporter
British Zeds
East Anglian Crew
Joined
Jul 9, 2013
Messages
22,356
Location
Norfolk
Model of Z
Z4 2.0 20i M Sport sDrive
Wow what a transformation on your lovely Z 🙂
So much work has been done 🙂
Really interesting post 🙂
 

Zag2

Zorg Addict
British Zeds
Joined
Oct 30, 2020
Messages
115
Location
Reading, UK
Model of Z
BMW Z3 2.8
With resprarys coming in at 4 or 5k these days, I'm really interested in the idea of doing it myself. Great to see someone else attempt it!

You can buy blow up spray booths on ebay for less than a grand!!
 

Shelly

Zorg Expert (I)
Supporter
British Zeds
East Anglian Crew
Joined
Jul 9, 2013
Messages
22,356
Location
Norfolk
Model of Z
Z4 2.0 20i M Sport sDrive
:thankyou:@Shelly, I cant wait to show everyone the finished result :)
I can’t wait to see your Z when it’s finished 🙂
How exciting for you 🙂
 
Top