Jonttt's S54 Imola Red Z3m Journal


Zorg Addict
Dec 5, 2011
Liverpool (UK)
Model of Z
///M S54
Fri 04 Sep, 2009

Nov 2001 (51) Z3m S54 Roadster Imola Red with Imola Red / Black interior

pic as purchased:

Original eBay advert "for sale" pictures from which I bought the car (September 2009):

pic with current spec:

There were only 73 RHD S54 engined Z3m's ever produced and this is 1 of the 4 examples in Imola II Red.

46,000 miles @ Purchase

Private Purchase on Wednesday 2nd September 2009


* Z3M 3.2L S54 Engine
* Registered in Nov 2001 (51 plate)
* Registration Plate BMW 23M (fitted April 2011)
* Imola II Red
* Imola Red & black leather interior.
* Electric roof in black.
* Raid "Daytona" sports airbag steering wheel [fitted 07-02-10]
* Air Conditioning.
* 2 Stage Heated Seats.
* Electric Seats.
* Cruise Control.
* Headlight Washer System.
* Heated Wing mirrors and Washer Jets.
* Harmon Kardon Surround Sound System.
* [JVC Audio System - including headunit with MP3 capabilty and 12 Disc boot-mounted CD Changer with MP3 capabilty fitted April 2004.] Changed to Becker Cascade Head Unit with iPod interface, Bluetooth hands free and Sat Nav
* Shorty Radio Aerial.
* 4 sets of alloy wheels:
- 18" AC Schnitzer Type II Race Spilt Rim Alloys
- 18" AC Schnitzer Type III Alloys [bought new 06/09/11]
- 18" AC Schnitzer Type III Race Split Rim Alloys
- 18" Breyton Magic Racing Split Rim Alloys [SOLD Aug 2010]
- 17" Original "Deep Dish" Alloys
* Storm Motorworks Titanium gear stick and cigarette blank
* AC Schnitzer "digital" gear stick
* AC Schnitzer "blackline" gear stick and Hand Brake Handle.
* AC Schnitzer Roll Hoops.
* AC Schnitzer Sport Suspension.
* AC Schnitzer Pedal Covers.
* AC Schnitzer Foot Rest for driver.
* [AC Schnitzer Floormats]. Changed to OEM floormats
* H&R uprated Anti Roll Bars front and rear [fitted 14-04-10]
* Stainless Steel Braided Brake Hoses front and rear [fitted 14-04-10]
* Stainless Steel Braided Clutch Hose [fitted 14-04-10]
* BMW Z8 Chrome Washer Jet Nozzles.
* Hoen Xenonmatch bulbs fitted to all lights both interior and exterior
* Halo Projector Headlights [fitted 22/10/09]
* Shadow Side Indicator and Front Sidelight units [fitted -7/10/09]
* Phillips Silvervision Indicator bulbs fitted at the sides, front and rear
* Eisenmann 76 mm Racing Exhausts [fitted May 2004].
* Live Engine Remap
* K&N Performance Air Filter.
* Strong Strut Alloy CL Front Strut.
* Strong Strut Alloy CL Rear Strut (not currently fitted).
* Strong Aero Ducts.
* Modified (lightened clutch pedal)
* Leatherz Imola Red Leather Top Box Cover [fitted May 2004]
* Leatherz Imola Red Leather Steering Wheel Tabs [fitted May 2004]
* Leatherz Imola Red Leather Door Armrests.
* Leather Centre Armrest / Cupholder [fitted 23/10/09]
* Black Hardtop.
* OEM Hardtop Cover.
* Black tonneau cover.
* OEM Window blanket.
* Toolset all present and complete.
* ///M Mobility kit sealed and complete.
* OEM Boot Rack fitted to spare boot lid.
* OEM BMW Fire Extinguisher (2001 model fitted 05/02/10)
* OEM Hard Case for Boot Rack (sourced Jan 2010)
* OEM Soft Case for Boot Rack Hard Case (sourced April 2010)

Prior to purchase:

The car was previously owned by a member on here (DavidM).

I purchased the car from an American who had purchased the car from David 3 years ago (with 36,000 miles). He had returned to America and left his brother in law to sell the car.

It was sold with Full documented BMW service history and all previous paperwork (MOT's, etc...), receipts for various additions and unusually all keys including valet key and the small plastic wallet key.

It was also supplied with a "spare" boot with OEM Luggage rack fitted, part worn rear tyre with repairable nail damage and original exhausts.

There is some history of the car on here (and some rumours) but I managed to speak to David about the car and he informed me of the following:

- the car had failing of the fan and radiator whilst on a Zroadster road trip (highlander II) and was recovered by BMW under warranty for repair. This was repaired by BMW (recorded on the warranty documentation). What is not recorded on the warranty records is that at the same time BMW replaced the Shell Bearings (a recall item on S54 M3's but not S54 Z3m Roadster or Coupes) but they would not record the work as they did not want to publicise this fact.

- the car has had a replacement differential.

- the car never suffered from the well documented Differential bracket / spot weld failure (all boot spot welds are still original and as new)

- David was contacted by the next owner about 5 months after he sold it. The car had been spun on a roundabout and required a new rear wheel (the reason for the call) and some axle work. I have had the car inspected and it is mechanically sound and there is no evidence of previous bodywork or mechanical damage so I am satisfied that any damage caused was not structural and has been professionally rectified.

As can be seen above the car is highly specified on purchase but was presented for sale in what can only be described as an "unclean" state. On close inspection it was obvious that the car was in fantastic condition inside and out but first impressions were less than would be expected of such a high performance car. It probably goes some way to explain as to why the car remained unsold on AutoTrader for some time (plus the fact it was not advertised as a rare S54 example) and why I purchased at what I consider a fantastic price.

I intend to keep this car for a considerable amount of time (didn't I say that about my last S50 ///M version, but this was too good a purchase to miss) and will maintain this journal of my exploits.

Service History: (note - S54 service intervals are a lot longer than S50 engines)
09-10-01 [0 miles] Pre Delivery check (BMW Ocean Torbay)
12-11-01 [1,024] Runnig-in Check (BMW Ocean Torbay)
20-01-04 [12,221] Oil Service and Brake Fluid (BMW Ocean Torbay)
25-01-05 [24,522] Inspection I and Microfilter (BMW Whitehouse Ruxley)
17-02-06 [34,718] Brake Fluid (BMW Whitehouse Ruxley)
11-05-06 [36,913] Oil Service (BMW Henry Brothers Glasgow)
12-03-09 [47,210] Inspection II and Microfilter (BMW Wollaston)
12-03-09 [47,210] Coolant Change (BMW Wollaston)
12-03-09 [47,210] Brake Fluid (BMW Wollaston)
12-09-09 [48,157] New Clutch and DualMass Flywheel (David Paul Warrington)
13-04-10 New MAF Sensor fitted

Fri 04 Sep, 2009

First job is to give the car a basic clean, clay and wax. A full detial will not be carried out initially partly due to time constraints (ie Z Roadster /BMW event in two days so I only have half a day free before then) and the present weather /lack of space to do indoors. This will give me the opportunity to record any remediation work required to the bodywork / paint.

I have started with the wheels / wheel arches:

The way they were presented for sale, some light curbing (Breyton lips really do extend past the tyre wall). Generally dirty but no defects to laquer and very little brake dust "crusting".

The inside wheel arches were quickly cleaned, mainly to see if any evidence of repair / damage. Arches look in great condition with no sign of previous damage / repair work.

The wheels were cleaned and quickly polished. As suspected really only superficial dirt and very easy to clean.

The finished wheels (nb pictures are of rear wheel but all wheels in identical condition bar light curbing to rears)

I refitted the wheels with fresh Copper Grease and ///M bolts previously sourced for my S50 ///M.

I can live with the slight rear curbing for the time being but will get refurbed at some point. One of the Breyton centre badges has some wear so will source a replacement.

I had been trying to source these wheels second hand for 6 months for my previous ///M (they are discontinued and I have been told by Breyton that all excess stock was melted down). I am very very pleased with the condition of them and would have happily paid £1,500 for them second hand (they were c£2,500 new).

Wheel Specifications are:

Breyton Magic Racing (2 piece)
Front 18x8.5 ET38
Rear 18x9.5 ET19

Standard Z3m wheels are
Front 17x7.5 ET41
Rear 17x9.0 ET8

This means that the Breytons vary from the original wheels as follows:
Front - 10mm less inner clearance, outer extended 16mm
Rear - 17mm less inner clearance, retracted by 5mm

The fronts really do fill the wheel arch and first impression is that they must catch the liner (especially given the lowered AC Schnitzer suspension) but they obviously do not.

The rears may need extending 5 to 10 mm with hib centric spacers.

I will take more pictures of the wheels fitted following first body wash tomorrow (ran out of light).

Sat 05 Sep, 2009

After last nights exploits with the alloys it was time to give the car its first clean. The intention was to wash the car, clay and wax. This would allow me to identify any defects that will need remediation later.

The car was purchased in what I would class as an unclean condition but on inspection I was confident that this could be easily rectified,

First a few pictures of the car before I remove the hardtop (with clean alloys :wink: ). I really think the black top suits the Imola Red well.

An example of the "stained" paintwork, the clay bar should easily deal with this.

I decided to give the engine bay, boot surround and door frames a light wash in some cheap car wash

Before, pretty grubby but only superficial

After light wash and its gleaming, no need for degreaser :D

Time to take the hardtop off and examine the roof. I had inspected this on viewing to purchase and new it looked rough but was basically sound. We actually had trouble getting the hardtop off when I viewed as the rear fixers had siezed. A little WD40 and it released. This time worked easily.

On closer inspection of the roof it is in much better condition then I thought. It is very taught with no wear marks at all. The only issue being the canvas pulling from the rear window (which is a pretty common problem). It can be rectified with sealant or a new window if necessary.

I decided I had time to clean and reseal the roof as I was keen to see what it looked like when cleaned up.


No wear marks in usual place above passenger window

Unpleasent looking marks on the roof I was confident would be easily removed, I have seen a lot worse with green mold clean up fine

Old faithful Autoglym roof cleaner

I resealed with some BMW product which came with the car, after two coats and a little drying time the roof is in fantastic condition, actually looks like new.

It was obvious that the hardtop had been on for a considerable time and I decided to leave the window issue for a few days to let the roof stretch a little, it really is a lot taughter than my S50. The window had started to "flatten" out even after an hour so I'll let roof and window settle and sort out next week. The window is also in great condition and all it needed was a light wipe to remove all marks (the hardtop had been fitted with the window blanket on which really had saved the window from scratches).

After my little sidetrack with the roof time to get on with the main job of the day. I gave the car a good wash with Macguires shampoo and dried off. Time for the clay bar.

Striaght away there was plenty of contamination picked up from only a small area

Claying gave me the first chance to inspect the paintwork properly.

The are the expected stone chips on the front, pretty light to be honest and various ones scattered around the bodywork. The worst is actually on the boot lid. Quite a few of the chips had not been touched up but my local dealer had no Imola in stock so I will attend to these next week. The good news is that non showed any signs of rust.

The only thing I could find that was not an easy remedy was a small area of "burnt" paint on the boot above the centre brake light. This is a sign of over enthusiastic previous polishing and so I will have to get the paint thickness checked over the car before carrying out any more aggressive machine polishing to remove swirl marks (given the condition after claying I'm happy to leave this until next summer as the car will not be used much for the remainder of this summer).

A picture of the burnt paint, not easy to photograph:

Finally a quick polish

I am really chuffed the way the car looks after such a basic detail, with only one very small area requiring more than basic attention (the burn mark).

In my enthusiasm I decided to give the interior a light clean, again to give me a chance to examine in more detail. I used warm water with a little vinegar and a microcloth to wipe over. I finished off with some gummi fledge on the rubber seals and a quick polish of the chrome hoops.

The interior was a lot cleaner than the outside and is in fantastic condition. There is some slight wear to the driver bolster and I have already ordered the dye from Germany to rectify (nowhere near as bad as my S50 which dyed back to orginal colour fantastically). Apart for that the interior is in flawless condition.

Some finished pictures

I've never seen a "shortie" aerial before and it looks great

My favourite Z8 chrome nozzles (I had just fitted these to my S50)

The superb Gummi Fledge for rubber seals

AC Schnitzer Polished Stainless Steel Roll Hoops

Some interior shots. I've not had chance to fit my Becker Head unit yet, but the JVC unit already on the car is superb.

AC Schnitzer short shift gear stick and handbrake

The car has Leatherz rear top box cover and steering tabs fitted. I also came with additional Leatherz door trim which had not been fitted. I thought I would fit them and see what people think.

A final shot - my S50 in the background

In summary I knew the car had not been presented well for sale but underneath had great potential. It has exceeded my expectations and the roof in its as new condition is a real bonus :D

06 Sept 2009

Total BMW magazine from December 2004 featuring my car and two other Imola Red ///M's (x2 S54's and x1 S50).

I have contacted Total BMW magazine to try and get a copy of that edition but they have said it is out of print and not available.

Given this I thought it would be OK to post up and would add value to this journal as you don't often get the chance to see some of the history of these cars (if this is a problem then mods please delete this post :wink: )

Mon 07 Sep, 2009

Car had its first run out yesturday to the BMW meet at Tatton Park. Great turn out of Z's and it was a pleasure to say the car is now mine :D

Took the opportunity to have several small parking dents and one unusual raised dent (bonnet closed on something in the past?) taken out by a dent guy. Got a fantastic deal of £100 for around 8 dents to be removed (usually costs c£70 first dent and £30 for 2+ so by my reckoning would have cost me around £280 normally).

He did a great job but it did draw a bit of a crowd and I had lots of "encouraging" words from fellow zroadster members who enjoyed watching him get some rather impressive tools into my door :shock:

Tue 08 Sep, 2009

Update - Clutch

I had noticed that the clutch was very heavy and had to be nailed to the floor to change gear and trundling around in traffic last Thursday it was getting harder to change gear. At the BMW show at Tatton last Sunday I had got the chance to ask another Z3 S54 driver and my brother (Z4 S54) about their clutches and both said it did need nailing down to change. However, my brother did say that his is "notchier" when cold and get easier as the car warms. Mine was the opposite.

I had asked DavidM if he'd had a competition clutch fitted and he said no but the clutch had always bothered him and he would have got it changed.

Driving back from Tatton I had the chance to try out some "overtaking manouvers" and the car was awesome (albeit restrained with SWMBO in the car).

But something was niggling me so last night I decided to go out when the roads were quite and have my first real blast to see if I could live with it as is for now (Roof down in the dark :cool: ).

Massive smile on face for 20 minutes then I started to get some clutch slip and the distinctive burning smell of an overheated clutch :roll:

So I dropped the car at my indy this morning for him to look at but I think a new clutch is in order.

I'm actually quite relieved as I confident this was manifesting itself in the clutch not feeling right (although not actually slipping) in the limited day to day driving I had done in the car. Given this car is a keeper for me I would rather know the clutch is up to scratch and is not affecting the performance of the car.

Hopefully my indie will be able to get this sorted for the weekend and I can see what a difference it makes on my trip over to the Harewood "cars in the park" meet on Sunday.

Update: 10/09/09 Indy called me today after removing gearbox and examining clutch it does need replacing. Also he examined the dual mass flywheel and reported that it had c30mm of play and he would expect c10mm. He said he could leave it but if I'm keeping the car a long time he recommended I replace it whilst the clutch is replaced. Given that I am and I want the car spot on I told him to replce both. We then had a 5 minutes discussion about how nice the car was :D (and how rare). Not sure I will get it back in time for the Cars in the Park event on Sunday which is the most disappointing thing. He's going to try and fit it in Friday afternoon if the parts arrive in time (they don't work Saturdays).

Update 14/09/09 Picked the car up today from Indy, new clutch and Dual mass flywheel fitted. I'm glad to report problem fully cured. Clutch now has perfect "biting" point and gearbox has a nice precise feel to it. Managed to get in a 30 min blast on country lanes and glad to report performance is now spot on :D Hopefully the clutch and flywheel should give many a year of trouble free service now :drive

Thu 10 Sep, 2009

New Remote Key:

I received a full set of keys with the car (x2 remote locking, valet and small plastic wallet key)

One of the main remote keys was mint but one was very worn and had the usual degraded rubber buttons typical of this type of key.

With my previous Z3m I had the same issue and purchased a new key off eBay so I decided to do the same.

You can purchase new keys with the electronic parts for c£20 on eBay. These are great if you have lost a key but you have to programme them into the car.

you can also puchase empty cases (ie no electronics) for c£10 + £2 postage which are great if you just want to replace a key as you can just swap over the electrics and use the key with no more messing around.

Either comes with a "blank" key costing £4 to get cut.

I purchased the key from here eBay (the seller is *capricorn80*)

The key was even better than the one I had purchased for my previous car and actually feels like its OEM (the previous one was good quality but you could tell the difference side by side with an OEM one, this one you can't).

Here are the 2 keys, the original with worn buttons on the right and the new one after the blank key has been cut on the left

Remove the rear cover plate to reveal 2 small screws to undo

The two bodies, the original on the right has the eletronics still in, the new one on the left is empty

The electrics just lift out in one. Note there is also a small immobilisor chip (loose underneath) that also has to be swapped over

Simply install them in the new body, put on the rear cover and job is done.

Brand new remote key for £16 all in :D

Thu 24 Sep, 2009

Update: various cosmetic changes

I ordered a few bit and pieces based on things I had done on my previous ///M and liked.

Firstly fitted chrome door handle covers. These were sourced from eBay (£24.99 delivered steel metal type, you can get cheaper ones but these feel more robust) and are standard e36 (3 series) therefore you get 4 but have the option to fit two without key holes which I think look neater (worst case if central locking fails you would have to pull off the drivers one). These simply stick on and come with the required sticky pads.

I think these look even better on my red ///M and work with the stainless wheels really well.

To match the handles I got chrome ///M door locking pins with chrome base surrounds. These are really good quality, the old ones just pull off and these push on. They have an internal rubber grommet and so are a very snug fit. The chrome base comes with 3m sticky pad already fitted.

The wiper rubbers were worn so I fitted the new "AERO" type (as per current BMW models). There was recent thread on these (search AERO) and they were great on my last car. As well as looking neater they work great and are silent in use. Again sourced from eBay (for £10.44 delivered). They take all of 2 minutes to fit, the trick is to turn ignition on, turn on wipers, turn ignition off to stop wipers at vertical. You can now pull away at hinge from the window without the bonnet stopping them :wink:

old OEM ones

the new and old

the new

Thu 24 Sep, 2009

Update: ZHP "short shift" gear stick fitted

The car had been fitted with an AC Schnizter "short shift" gearstick (ie shorter then OEM to give a quicker, more controled gear change)

I was not a massive fan of the look of this, a bit industrial for my liking but thought I would give it a go. I loved the precise feel it gave the gear change compared to the OEM one on my last ///M but could not get used to its looks and "cold" metalic feel.

I did a bit of research and decided that a much praised short shift gearstick from ZHP was the one for me. This was leather and importantly could be fitted with the ///M 5 gear motif (rather than the 6 gear). It is not illuminated as per the OEM but I hardly ever drive the car at night and I wanted to keep the short shift feel more.

I could not source one from the UK so ordered from leatherz in the USA for $70. (I also ordered OEM front mudflaps which BMW UK could not source for me for $28 and postage for all was $51.57).

Not the best time to order from the USA with the current exchange rate but I was keen to try out this item.

Fitting was a doddle, AC Schnitzer one had 3 small hex screws to undue and then just lifted off, the new one just pushes on.

AC Schnitzer one

Both side by side, note the ZHP is even shorter then the Schnitzer. Both are "weighted" to give a smoother feel.

The ZHP one fitted

I'm really happy with the way this looks, a lot more OEM than the Schnitzer but more importantly it gave me the excuse I needed to take the car out for a spin.

I can report that it feels fantastic, even better than the Schnitzer, more precise and a much better feel in the palm, highly recommended :D

Sun 27 Sep, 2009

I finally got a chance to get the car out for its first real run yesturday (first since I got it and first since new clutch and flywheel).

Was a nice sunny afternoon so decided to take a run over to Demon Tweeks in Wales. I can get there via some great A and B roads in about 40 minutes and stopped off via Outlon Park Race Circuit on the way.

Wow :shock: , the car is awesome, just a nice concentration of traffic to have some good safe overtaking and really get to know the engine. The exhaust note, the short shift and the acceleration was so intoxicating, roof down and massive grin all the way.

The car is so much more planted around the twisties then my previous ///M, probably a combination of my previous ///M needing new dampers (after 80,000 miles) and the AC Schnitzer kit on this.

I think the engine remap has moved the rev limiter back to 8,000 RPM as per the S54 M3's and it reaches it so effortlessly I really had to concentrate on my gearchanges to get the timing right. Seems much free'er revving (and hence seems to push on that bit more urgently) than the S50 especially over 6,000 RPM. Not sure how much of this is down to the sports exhaust as well.

Unbelievably the British Automobile Racing Club had there series deciders on at Oulton (I did not check if anything was on before I set off) and as I arrived the track was full of BMW privateers includng a race prep Z3. Had great fun watching people go around (or try) the skid track at the entrance and got some great feedback on the car from people stood around.

Today was what its all about for me, a real bit of exhilerating fun in the sun to remind me of what driving should be about, its what I'll be thinking about on my daily motorway chore to bring a smile back to my face :D

Was great to see quite a few other zeds out and about with their roofs down as well.

Is going to be a long winter for me with the Z in winter storage but yesturday by itself will give me something to look forward to next spring :drive

This year has been a massive and fun learning experience with the Z3's and this forum has been invaluable to me. Best decision I've made in a long time to invest in a Z3 hobby car :D

Mon 28 Sep, 2009

BECKER CASCADE Headunit Install:

I had removed this headunit from my previous ///M and finally had chance to install it last weekend.

I did quite a bit of research on headunits for my first Z and settled on the Becker for functionality (Sat Nav, Bluetooth, full iPod interface) and maintenance of the OEM look.

These really are the "bees knees" of headunits and fit / suit the Z3 console so well. The cascade version has 15 different display colours so you can get an almost perfect match to the Z3 internal lighting.

There was already a good JVC unit fitted when I bought the car which actually looked / performed well but you can see how much better the Becker looks in terms of fit etc....

The iPod connection is in the glove box were I leave an old 40gb unit permanently connected. The bluetooth hands free mic is easily rooted up at the top of the windscreen next to the rear view mirror and the Sat Nav GPS reciever is tucked away in a corner at the top of the dash, all wiring completely hidden.

JVC unit removed

Becker Cascade Installed

more info on the Becker click here

Sun 04 Oct, 2009

Well I got around to sorting out the roof which had "come away" from the rear window seal.

This is a common problem thats looks a lot worse than it is (it looks like the canvas has ripped but it is just the edge, great bargaining point if your looking a buying a Z and it has this problem :wink: ). I'm convinced its caused by the "grip"on the rear window loosening over time. I had this problem with my previous ///M which was cured when I fitted a new rear screen ie the new grip "kept hold" of the canvas roof edge.

On my new car the rear windscreen does not need replacing so I decided to get the extra grip back by using silicon sealent.

I'm convinced the hard top had been on the car for some considerable time before I bought the car and so I have left the roof for 4 weeks to "stretch" back into shape. This has definately worked and made it very easy to re seal the edging.

I released the roof catches so that the roof was open about 2 inches. This releases the pressure on the canvas roof whilst the sealant cures overnight.

It was just a matter of pulling the canvas edging back a little and "squirting" a bead of sealant underneath and then pushing the edge under the rubber gripper.

The following day the sealant had done its job and the roof can be raised lowered now without the edging coming away :D

This is how it was when I first removed the hardtop last month

And this is the finished job, as good as new

I used Loctite silicon sealant from Halfords (nb you don't need to use much this was an old tube I had)

Thu 08 Oct, 2009

Update: replacement "shadow" indicator and sidelight lenses.

I saw these advertised on eBay and got both sets for a total of just over £20 delivered. a bit of a bargain as they cost considerably more than this from america :wink:

They look like they are unused and still have the original seals protecting the bulb holes in transit.

Comparison the the original "clear" lenses

They are tinted plastic and not just a film coating so will not fade / wear off over time. OEM quality so very pleased with them.

Comparison on the car before/after

The fronts in particular are more "stream lined" to the bumper than the OEM ones and give a neater finish.

I'll keep hold of the OEM clear lenses in case I ever fancy a change back but I'm pretty chuffed with the way these look and the quality of them.

For reference they are very easy to remove, the units just push forward onto a spring and lift off from the rear, 5 min job to do all 4.

I retained the LED 501 bulbs fitted to the front sidelights (they came with amber bulbs as in the USA these are indicators not sidelights). The side indicators were already fitted with stealth chrome bulbs so I also retained these rather than have an orange tinge to the lens.

Fri 09 Oct, 2009

I had a chance last night to take some better pictures before Winter sets in good and proper.

The first one is a little dark but I've included it because it was taken in manual mode and actually shows the red more realistically. Cameras tend to overcompensate for reds in Auto mode and the car usually looks more "orange" in pictures than it is in the flesh. (ie compare it to the second picture which was taken in full auto mode and although "brighter" the red is not as accurate)

It was getting a little dark for pictures so there is some camera shake (I didn't have my tripod) but these will do until next summer. Now which one shall I have as my desktop background :D

Manual Exposure, a bit atmospheric.....

The same picture in Auto mode.....

A few more in Auto mode......

From the drivers seat.....

All Open.....

note: the car has simply been hand washed with McGuires shampoo since its original clay and polish.

I have reproofed the roof again as I did not feel the OEM proofer I used was up to the standard I'd had on my first ///M (ie water was "pooling" a little in the centre) So I used the "no messing" tent proofer (a lot cheaper than the car specific stuff and works as good as the best of them). The water now "chucks" itself off :D

Sun 11 Oct, 2009

I travelled over to the BMW Club meet at Sytners in Sheffield today. Unfortunately the most direct route for me is along one of the best driving roads in the UK, the Snake Pass over the Peak District :D .

I decided to set of early in the hope of avoiding any traffic but with enough light to take some photographs..... and I wasn't disappointed having the pass virtually to myself :drive .

The roads where a little greasy but the colder morning air at this time of year really added some "punch" to the car :wink:

Unfortunately the way back was not so much fun, by 3pm the road was full of "Sunday Drivers" as far as you could see :head:

ps Anyone spot the new addition ?

Thu 22 Oct, 2009

I had installed these OEM quality aftermarket headlights on my first Z3m and loved them so had to fit them to my new one :D

I documented the first install HERE

The only issue I had this time is that the passenger side indicator lead was too short by about 2 inches and so I had to extend the wiring :head: Others have reported this and it seems to depend very much on how the cars wiring harness has been fitted at the factory ie on this car there is much more electrical tape connecting all parts of the wiring harness together in the engine bay meaning there is no free play in the indicator wires.

I also decided to fit some OSRAM aftermarket bulbs to the dip and headlights. This will save me removing the units to fit these later (its a real pain to replace bulbs with the headlights in place).

The replacement bulbs, about £10 per pair from eBay (nb same bulbs for dip and headlights)

The replacement lights fitted

As with my first install I wired the Halo rings to the sidelights which gives much better visability to the car with just sidelights on.

I'm keeping the original units in case I ever want to return to OEM look. I'm not really a fan of aftermarket headlights but I really think these freshen up the look of the car without looking to much aftermarket (as they are very much in the style of the current BMW range).

The real bonus though is that the Projectors really do offer much better performance in the dark than the original lights which are a bit useless.

Fri 23 Oct, 2009

Well I finally got around to fitting the centre armrest I purchased from Simon at

These are made using the OEM centre drinks holder accessory which is adapted to have a leather padded armrest lid.

I have the second production one (Titan Tim got the first one) and the first to be fitted to a Z3 with the non smokers package.

Installation took me............ 2 minutes :D

On cars with the smokers package the ashtray has to be removed (really easy job) but on mine without an ashtray you simply pull out the storage tray and put in the armrest. Install time included taking pictures its that easy.

Original non smokers centre consol

Pull out the front storage tray and rear storage tray mat

There is a small lip on the front of the new armrest

This fits into an existing hole in the centre consol that is normally hidden by the ashtray / storage tray

So you fit front lip first (lip into hole) and push the rear down into the rear storage tray.

The installation instructions suggest screwing the rear section down into the centre consol but I did not do this. As this is basically an OEM part with a customised lid/armrest the fit is absolutely perfect. Pushing the rear down into the rear storage tray is so snug it will not move anywhere unless you want to pull it out again. So I decided to leave it like this.

The quality of the customised lid is OEM. This part is hand made and Simon sends it off to be upholstered in good quality leather.

The lid lifts up to reveal a second drinks holder and concealed storage tray

I think the black really suits the 2 tone leather in my car, I have a red/black/red/black/red/black/red effect now running across the seats. My car already has additional red leather on top of the rear unit (between the headrests) and armrests but despite this I think this unit in red would be too much and the black suits it better.

After the exhaustion of fitting :D I had to treat myself and go for a drive to try it out. I did a combination of motorway cruising and country lanes. At first it felt a little odd having it there but it soon felt very natural. The contoured shape if perfect for me so as not to be obtrusive whilst changing gears quickly but at the same time allowing a relaxed driving position when cruising.

The adaption of the OEM part to create an armrest and hidden storage try is extremely well implemented and when fitted looks as if it was made with the car which is always the deciding factor for me with aftermarket add ons.

For info the 3 small "notches" at the front of the unit are actually to hold american coins (they are spring loaded and compress down) an indication that the base OEM unit was designed for the american market. Aparently they can be "enlarged" to hold UK coins but I'm not going to do this as I would not leave coins on display at any time for security reasons. I think they actually look quite good as a feature and don't detract from the asthetics of the unit.

Thu 05 Nov, 2009

Well its time to wrap the car up for the winter.

Given the dark nights and my busy weekends leading up to xmas and pendng house move I won't get chance to drive the car until the christmas break (depending on weather between xmas and new year).

So battery disconnected after full recharge and covers go on.

I store the car in a secure car port which is open to the wind at one end. (the car will be stored in a garage from next month)

So I bought an OEM outdoor cover earlier in the year. This is a great fit but I have noticed it does cause some fine marks on the paintwork presumably from residue dirt blown in / picked up and wind movement of the cover.

So I decided to get a "softer" indoor cover to try and stop this. I was keen that this should be as "tight" a fit as possible to mitigate any wind movement abrasion.

I had looked at the Classic Additons Tailored Indoor Car Cover which several people I know use for their supercar storage. But these run out at c£225 which was a bit exessive for my needs.

I kept a look out for a bargain tailored solution on eBay without much hope so you can imagine my delight when a Classic Additions Z3m tailored cover came up for sale :shock:

It was on a 9 day auction so I patiently waited for the auction to end and after arguing with myself how much I was willing to spend (and deciding on £125) I was more than pleased to get it for £52 delivered :D The marvels of eBay what a bargain.

Well it arrived today and is totally mint, unmarked and clean with the original storage bag.

Here are some pics with it on and then "overcovered" with the OEM outdoor cover. I think this will look great when its stored in a garage without the need for the outdoor cover and in the meantime should stop any abrasion in the wind.

As you can see it fits like a glove :D (ps apologies for the marks on the photos, it was lashing down with rain when I took them :roll: )

Air vents are fitted to the outdoor cover to let moisture escape and stop wind from being trapped.

One happy camper with a real bargain!


Zorg Addict
Dec 5, 2011
Liverpool (UK)
Model of Z
///M S54
Re: Jontttt's S54 Imola Red Z3m Journal

Sat 28 Nov, 2009

I have not been able to fit a windbreaker on the Z since I got it.

As it has the AC Schnitzer roll hoops the perspex windbreak I had for my previous ///M with OEM and then chrome hoops would not fit. I did try a DIY "adjustment" which would have been functional but I was not happy with the edge finish compared to the "factory machine" finish of the edges and curves.

I asked Simon at Justroadster who supplied my first screen if he could make me a customised one for AC Schnitzer hoops.

Simon sent me a template that I adjusted and send back. However, the roll hoops are very slightly different heights. I have already adjusted these to get the best "match" I can as they were way out when I got the car (over an 1.5inch difference). They are now c 1/2 inch but I cannot get them identical (one I cannot get out or raise and the other will not go down any further). They are close enough for me to accept as I don't want to damage them getting exact. I therefore tried to get a template that would be symetrical and fit both sides "shaped" to the AC Schnitzer hoop but I was not sure how it would look.

Simon supplied the item cut to the template with his customary great machine finish.

However, I was not happy with the look when fitted as the symetrical shape did not look right (ie made each side look wrong). So I decided to cut both sides to a shape that when fitted would give a symetrical look even though it is not.

I'm very happy with how these have turned out so naother job crossed of the list :D

Simon even provided clear attachment straps (with velcrow ends) which blend in much better with chrome hoops than the normal black or cable ties.

Sun 27 Dec, 2009

Well I decided to treat the Z to a second set of alloys for Christmas :D

I've bought a set of AC Schnitzer Type III split rim racing alloys so just need to arrange collection / delivery.

Specs are:

Front : 19 x 8.5" ET43 (tyres fitted will be 235/35 R19)

Rear : 19 x 9.5" ET21 (tyres fitted will be 265/30 R19)

Pics from original 2001 Schnitzer brochure:

and as they are on my Z's "sister" car (Daz's "Charlotte")

I intend keeping the Breytons which I think are a classic style that really suit the Z3. These Schnitzer are more "aggressive" so will give me a nice change when I'm in the mood.

They are the closest thing you could get when my Z3 was first sold (Nov 2001) to optional OEM alloys for the Z3m as AC Schnitzer were officially sold through BMW dealerships at the time.

Wed 30 Dec, 2009

Gutted, got this message form the seller today :bawl:

"Hi john i have refunded your money just now as while packaging these alloys
i have found that the 2 rears have hairline cracks on the inner rims. I
think this is possible due to running these with run flats. I am having
them taking to a wheel speacialist after new year to check them out
first.They may only be superficial but i cannot tell and rather than mess
you around i have just refunded you just now. I can only appologise but i
dont want to sell you wheels that end up breaking especially on an m
roadster.I can only appologise just now but hopefully they are structually
ok.I am in no way a con artist and am obvisously very dissapointed myself
as worse case scenario is i will need to source 2 actuall outer rims,which
at this point i obviously am trying to avoid as 1 they cost a fortune and 2
and hard to even get a hold off.Once they have been checked out i will let
you no and have a written report on them if you are still
interested.Thought it was only fair to give you your money back just now. "

I applaud his honesty but am still gutted :cry:

Thu 21 Jan, 2010

Look what the postman delivered today :D

The standard ///M wheel is 370mm in diameter and depsite my having the seat fully down and back it catches my legs when "aggressive" cornering is required (plus its a bit thin for my liking).

Having researched the options to fit a suitable alternative (ie good quality, leather sports wheel with airbag) it was obvious that there is very little choice.

The Z3 is not compatible with other BMW steering wheels (even from the same era eg e36's). People have fitted them (eg Z4m wheels) but they required a lot of modification.

The other option was from a German company called Raid. They are very popular on the Porsche scene as an "upgrade" to the standard wheels and are used on Techart and Gembella derivatives (equivalent to Alpina and Schnitzer).

But...... they cost a fortune. I contacted Raid's main distributor in Germany "Chrome Design" when I had my first ///M for the cost of a suitable wheel to fit a "facelift" Z3 with the upgraded "dual stage" airbag system. (pre 04/99 production Z's had single stage airbags).

They informed me that the suitable wheel was the Daytona Leather Sports Steering Wheel with Airbag 340mm (stock number RD03803L) with adaptor RD03804L). The cost was 635euro for the wheel and 75.90euro for the adaptor plus postage :shock:

At the time the euro was 1:1 with sterling so I thought I would leave it until the euro improved or source a UK seller with "old" stock.

Months of trying the UK could only source them at a considerable markup to chrome designs prices :bawl: But this did make me realise how popular a mod the were for Porsches (they pay another 25% premium for the privalege :roll: )

So I decided to keep my eyes out for a 2nd hand one on eBay.

I pulled out of one when it reached £750 :shock: but then last week......"Porsche 997 Raid Steering Wheel" came on the market. It was not described as a Daytona model but I could tell that it was the exact model for the Z3 dual stage airbag. It had the Porsche mounting adaptor but I new I could buy the Z3 one from Germany new.

I was not expecting to win this as there were quite a few bidders and I felt sure it would go above my limit for a 2nd hand unit (it was described "as new less than 1,000 miles use) but I won it bang on the reserve price :D

Got delivered today still in its original box and stamped with a manufacture date of 06/09 so its only 6 months old from manufacture and is absolutely mint :thumb:

It has a fantastic weight and feel to it so I'm very chuffed. I've ordered the Z3 adaptor from Chrome Design so hopefully will be able to fit in a few weeks, just in time for the end of the winter hibernation.

Mon 25 Jan, 2010

I had the chance to source a rare OEM Z3 suitcase for the OEM bootrack from Holland. Given I have a spare boot with OEM rack fitted I thought I would purchase to complete the setup.

To be honest I'm not sure if I will ever use it but I like "collecting" rare OEM kit for the Z3 and I had never seen one of these before. My logic being that it should not go down in value and I now have a complete OEM boot rack set :D

As you would expect being OEM it is well designed and offers great security when fitted without being "cumbersome" to fit.

It basically works with a series of levers. The key rotates in the lock and releases 2 metal catches. The first secures the case to the metal bar of the bootrack (the bootrack fits "into" grooves moulded into the base of the case) and the second releases the carry handle.

When the carry handle is raised it "uncovers" a second handle which can be released to open the case itself.

So the process to use is:

1) fill case and shut lid
2) push down "hidden" handle to lock the case shut
3) carry case to boot rack and push down so that the bootrack bars fit snuggly into moulded trough in case
4) push down carry handle flush with case
5) turn key in lock which both secures down the carry handle and locks the case to the bootrack.

Pretty neat :wink:

Wed 27 Jan, 2010

Had a couple of deliveries today for the Z.

Firstly I'm halfway there to getting the AC Schnitzer Type III Split Rim set I'm after to finish the AC Schnitzer setup on my the rears.

These are harder to source than the fronts (which are e46 3 series fitment) so ended up getting new :D

They are 18x9.5 ET21.5 with a 10mm spacer kit giving ET12.

So on the look out for 2 fronts now :wink:

Mon 01 Feb, 2010

Well I managed to get out in the roadster for some winter sun last Saturday :drive

After 3 months in hibernation it ran like a dream on a good 2 hour blast.

I didn't plan on taking any pictures but had so much fun I could not resist doing a "Titan Tim" before putting it under covers again :D

Apologies for the video quality. It does the exhaust sound no justice either, believe me you can hear it coming before you see it :shock:

And before anyone states the obvious the roof was up because my ears had already frozen off :cool:

I'm still smiling :D

Fri 05 Feb, 2010

I managed to source an OEM BMW Fire extinguisher from Quarry Motors (a specialist BMW dismantlers).

Part number 72600000335 RealOEM

It arrived today (very well packaged).

The item was sold "as new" unused and I'm pleased to say that it is mint. The "icing" on the cake is that it is stamped 2001 the same year as my car was made (they even painted it Imola Red to match my car :D)

nb. It does not have the optional fitting bracket (part no. 72601945556) or mounting set (part no. 82279405850) but I will wait and see if I need these.

I'm led to believe that the extinguisher is no longer available.

I know it is unused both by the weight of the contents and the fact the safety wire is unbroken as can be seen here

Sat 06 Feb, 2010

One thing that I have been meaning to do since I got the car last September was to fit spacers to the rear wheels.

Here they are and they really need "pulling" out by 10-15mm.

So I sourced some off good old eBay. I decided to take a chance on some that I had never seen before (sadly because they looked cool :D ) and ordered some "TPI" ones. They are made with a magnesium alloy and they are really light and a fantastic build quality (ie they feel as good as they look).

Note these are "hubcentric" which means they fit the hub exactly and maintain the mounting lip for the wheel which is important as it means it does not "float" around and put all the stresses on the wheel bolts :wink:

I did not need new wheel bolts as I have just received some with the AC Schnitzer rear wheels. Note the Schnitzer rear come with 10mm spacers and bolts but those spacers will ony fit AC Schnitzer wheels.

I did however want to fit locking wheel nuts (given the value of the wheels) and so also ordered some McGuard ones off eBay in 37.9mm length (standard is 26.4mm so these are 11.5mm longer = perfect for a 12mm spacer).

I will hopefully fit them tomorrow and post up some pics :D

If you want to find out more about Wheel Spacers then there is a great video explaining HERE

Sun 07 Feb, 2010

12mm hib centric Spacers fitted today.

Straight forward job and fitted no problems. Great quality, very light and cheaper than the better known makes. I'm happy to recommend them :rtm:

On the hub

I use some bolt guides to help mount the wheels to the hub (saves some swearing trying to line up the bolt holes :wink: )

I fitted the new longer wheel locks as well. I thought I might as well fit 2 per wheel as they are too long for the front. So I fitted the locking nut removed from the back to the front as well (so 2 locking nuts front and back fitted for extra protection)

Before on the left, after right

Just about perfect and look a lot better, glad I didn't go 15mm though as that would have been too much.

The rear tyres as 255 width (recommended by Breyton) but I think they could take 265's easily.

Took the car out for a good hour "blast". I also fitted a new smaller steering wheel (write up to follow) so it was hard to tell what made what difference (probably the steering wheel made most difference) but WOW :shock: sooooooo much fun and definately more "point and shoot". Roads were damp/dry and the back end seemed more predictable around the twisties :drive

Might be psychological but the wider track seemed to make a difference.

Adjustment from stock wheels:

Standard Z3m wheels are
Front 17x7.5 ET41
Rear 17x9.0 ET8

Breyton Magic Racing (without spacers)
Front 18x8.5 ET38
Rear 18x9.5 ET19

giving change from stock wheels
Front - 10mm less inner clearance, outer extended 16mm
Rear - 17mm less inner clearance, outer retracted by 5mm

and now

Breyton Magic Racing (with 12mm rear spacers)
Front 18x8.5 ET38
Rear 18x9.5 ET7

giving change from stock wheels
Front - 10mm less inner clearance, outer extended 16mm
Rear - 5mm less inner clearance, outer extended by 7mm

Mon 08 Feb, 2010

I fitted a smaller steering wheel at the same time as the hub spacers last weekend.

It is a Raid Daytona sports steering wheel with Airbag.

I have done a full write up HERE

Some pics......

Side by Side



This has been a long term project of mine to research, source and fit (ever since I got my first ///M) as I have always perceived the stock ///M wheel to be both too large a circumference and too thin.

To say I'm pleased with the result is an understatement.

The wheel feels perfect and adds a more responsive "directness" to the cars steering and percieved handling. You really do feel as though you can throw the car around the bends with more control.

Fri 12 Feb, 2010

Quick camera phone vid of wheel in action :D

Tue 16 Feb, 2010

Managed to get my bargain of the year so far delivered today :D

I sourced two brand new rear AC Schnitzer Type III Race split rims a few weeks ago for about 1/3 of the normal retail price. These were with the "hard to get" rear offset suitable for the Z3m.

So that left me on the lookout for 2 matching fronts in the more "common" e46 fitment with an offset of 43.

I could go out and buy new but at £1,050 per wheel :shock: I was trying to avoid this. I did manage to get the UK agent down to £1,650 delivered for 2 new wheels but I was up for the challange of getting an even better bargain.

The downside was that I knew I may have get used and have them refurbed. These are not cheap wheels to refurb due to the polished lips and so I had to weigh up the likely cost of buying (probably) a full set of 4 wheels off an E46 and getting 2 refurbed against the cost of just buying 2 new :head: (refurbed are never quite the same as new :bawl: )

Then this weekend I had a call from DaveP from Z3Coupe to say that if I was quick one wheel had just been posted on eBay, ex display model for £190 buy it now. I have never moved so quickly in my life and fortunately had just arrived home after a hard days shopping with SWMBO.

So end result, bargain of the year so far, a £1,000 wheel in new condition for <£200. I could not believe my luck :D

It was described as "ex display, genuine BMW part, with a few minor marks", the picture looked fine, I was smiling, even with a few showroom marks it would be in much better condition than a second hand one. (nb a refurb would probably cost me c£150 per wheel).

I got great correspondance from the company selling and it arrived in its original box today.

To my surprise and relief the "few minor marks" were not marks at all but simply dirt that wiped away. The wheel is absolutely mint :D

The wheel would normally come with a 7mm spacer and longer bolts to bring the offset down to 36 from 43 for the Z3 front. I should be easily be able to source the spacers from eBay.

So 3 down 1 to go :D

Sat 06 Mar, 2010

First "proper" run in the Z since I got her last year (local roads don't count, much more fun when you have no idea where you are :D )

Met up with Deano, Pingu and Spokey (+ his better half) for a "reccy" run starting at Whetherby Services (J46 A1(M)), through the Yorkshire Dales to Whitby and back.

The day was "damp" with some drizzle early on and the back roads had a little mud on them to keep the concentration levels up :shock:

Halfway point at Whitby, Deano plans the route back

Titan (and son) had joined us for lunch (he even brought some sheep :D )

The aftermath, back at Whetherby Services

Great Fun :drive

Now where did I put that jet washer :wink:

Sun 07 Mar, 2010

Back to normal after a quick jetwash and clean, ready for a run over to the Lakes to get it dirty again but ast least the sun is out today :drive

Sun 07 Mar

What a weekend zedding.

Saturday fast road coast to coast from Liverpool to Whitby via the Yorkshire Dales and back.

Sunday leisurely Lakes Cruise in the sun.

550 miles of driving bliss :D

Some pics from today (Lee's black Z, Ians Red (aka MyRedZed))

Will keep a smile on my face for a while :D

Edit: Lee has posted up some more pics HERE

Mon 08 Mar, 2010

Car went in for its MOT this morning to a new indy I've not tried before since moving house over xmas (Autotech just outside Liverpool City Centre). Very impressive setup.

Left at 8.30am to pick up at 5pm.

Got a call at 9am to say it had passed with no advisories (how quick was that, they must have decided to do it whilst the engine was still warm) :D

The surprising thing is it had 2 advisories last year for slight front ball joint play and front rear bush. That was carried out at a main dealer mmmmmm

I did not say anything to the Indy as I wanted to see if they said the same thing before having the work done (I even have powerflex poly brushes in the boot ready for fitting!).

I'll have a chat with them when I pick it up later but could this be another example of a main dealer "trying it on" last year ?

ps it means I must have lined my lights up correctly as well :wink:

Edit: picked the car up and asked the indy about the advisories from the last MOT and he said rubbish. He showed me that there was no play :shock:

ps Always nice when they say how nice the car looks and comment on never having seen an imola one before :wink:

When I picked it up it was parked between a CSL and pristine pheonix e46 cabriolet :D

All set for a summers fun now :drive

Sat 27 Mar, 2010

Well I had to wait in for some workmen at my house where the car is stored so took the opportunity to have a tinker :D

I have read the its a worthwhile maintenance item to clean the MAF sensor so partly out of curiosity and partly for preventative maintenance I decided to have a go whilst I was waiting (its not an actual service item so would not be done as a matter of routine by a garage)

Really is a simple job and full writeup is HERE

I was hoping to get a drive out to see if it made any difference but couldn't :bawl: so will have to report back next time I get the chance to have a run in the car (bank holiday weekend next week :drive )

Sat 03 Apr, 2010

After sourcing the OEM Z3 Hardcase for my boot rack I managed to source the inner soft case as well off a fellow ZRoadster member.

I think these must be pretty rare as I have never seen one before.

Very pleased with it as its absolutely mint and has obviously never been used so go will well with my collection of Z3 accessories :D

And this is the hardcase it fits in

Mon 12 Apr, 2010

I had my first run out since cleaning the MAF Sensor and its broken :head:

Car started fine and had a 70 mile run to the ZRoadster Yorkshire Dales cruise but on arriving at the meeting point I stopped to fill up with petrol and the car would not restart :shock:

Was very surprising as I would have expected the fault to have shown itself first thing and not after a 70 mile motorway run.

Anyway after the embarassment of pushing the car from the petrol pumps and watching 30 ZRoadster members leave without me (you can imagine the stick I got :oops: ) the AA did a fine job. We identified the problem was the MAF sensor pretty easily and after unsuccessfully phoning around for a replacement part we decided to give it a good blast with electrical contact cleaner on the basis we could do no more harm.

The symptoms had been, car starting fine, getting to 500 revs and the engine just dying after a few secs and not being able to rev at all, as if the engine was starved of fuel. But on replacing the MAF it started fine.

So off I went (at a fair pace :wink: ) to catch up with the zedders which I did by the first stop.

But on turning off the engine the same symptoms started again and the car would not restart and just died after a few seconds.

So I decided to just disconnect the MAF and the car ran fine on a default MAF reading (a little under power but ran smoothly).

So 2 lessons learned:

1) don't mess with something thats not broke, I've ordered a new part and will be £207 poorer :!: I did have a go at cleaning again when I got home and car started fine but given what happened I am more comfortable with a new one and not having to worry about it again.

2) if you do suspect your MAF is causing rough running then just disconnect it, the car will run fine (with the engine light on though). If the problem persists its not your MAF, if it goes away and comes back when you plug it back in then its your MAF :wink:

New MAF will be in BMW tomorrow and its a 5 minute job to replace.

here is a pic of the car at the final stop on the Yorkshire Dales cruise just to prove I made it :D Great cruise and great weather, just glad I did not end up on the back of an AA recovery wagon :roll:

Mon 12 Apr, 2010

Had some goodies delivered today.

One of the mods I had on my list was H&R front a rear Anti Roll Bars. Well I managed to source a 2nd hand set in as new condition and still with original box from a Z3Coupe owner who had recently sold his car.

Specs are front 28mm (OEM 23mm), rear 21mm (OEM 18.5mm)

Blurp from H&R site:

"Designed to increase lateral stability and greatly improve overall handling, H&R stabilizer bars are known from motorsport. H&R’s stabilizer bars are now available for your car. They are produced by using a proprietary alloy that is both stronger and more resilient than the original or competitive stabilizers. Precision forged ends feature adjustment holes (most applications), while H&R’s exclusive composite bushings eliminate squeaks and never require lubrication. That means no mess, no maintenance—just bolt on H&R stabilizer bars and go!
H&R stabilizer bars replace the existing stabilizers and are compatible with both the original suspension and performance suspension kits - regardless of the manufacturer. Moreover, H&R stabilizer bars are the ideal choice for the enthusiast who wants precision handling, but may not want to lower the vehicle.
Like all H&R components, H&R Sway Bars are 100% made in Germany, and are powder coated for long lasting good looks and durability on the street and track."

I also ordered an Earls Braided Clutch Hose. This was a great mod on my first Z3 and after a couple of cruises I had suffered from the clutch getting hard to engage quickly part way through a spirited run. This is caused by the OEM rubber clutch hose expanding more as it gets hot and adversly affecting the gearchange. A braided clutch hose does not suffer from this expansion under pressure when hot.

So I've booked the car into my new indy in 2 days to have the Anti roll Bars and clutch hose fitted.

I'm also going to get the braided brake hoses that were supplied with the box of goodies when I bought the car, obviously bought by a previous owner but never fitted.

Blurb from the Goodridge site:

"Most vehicles are fitted with reinforced rubber brake lines, which are fine as far as they go but wil flex or "baloon" under heavy braking, more so as they age. When this happens the fluid pressure applied to your brake calipers decreases, by varying amounts depending on the circumstances.
Goodridge brake lines steel use a flexible neoprene inner tube to maintain flexibilty, however this inner tubing is then sheathed in a special woven steel material that mantains flexibilty but keeps it's diameter constant, preventing any "balooning" no matter what the pedal pressure.
By fitting braided steel lines such as these, all the fluid pressure when braking is now applied directly to the caliper pistons, resulting in better braking and more pedal "feel".

Braided Brake and clutch hoses:

H&R Anti Roll Bars:

Hopefully the great weather will hold out for the week and I can get a good run in a few days to test these out once fitted :wink:

Mon 12 Apr, 2010

One of the things that I always thought I should change when I used the car was the AC Schnitzer brake handle, from the more common siler version to the more subtle "black line" version.

So I decided to do the deed and buy a new one and swap them over :D

Original one:

and new "Black Line" version. I think this suits the Z3 interior much better.

Tue 13 Apr, 2010

Nice and sunny this week so decided to use the Z3 as its booked in for the above jobs to be fitted tomorrow.

Better than being sat in the office :D

I spent 2 hours yesturday cleaning the dust out of the cabin after Saturday's Yorkshire Dales cruise :shock:

New MAF fitted this morning so back to 100% again :drive

Wed 14 Apr, 2010

:D Had the H&R Anti Roll bars fitted today + braided clutch and brake hoses.

I took the chance to drive the car on some of my favourite back roads on the way to its storage location and I can only say that I can see why the uprated anti roll bars are such a highly recommended mod.

I was execting a slightly harsher ride but far from it. At normal road speeds the car feels more composed and settled. However, its at speed they really show their merits. In simple terms you really can get the power down more quicly exiting a bend as the car just seems to set itself for the exit that much more quickly. In fact I would go so far as to say that it really exposes the brakes as the week point in the setup which I have never really felt before, big brake kit is definately on the list of to do's now :D

So I would highly recommend the H&R ARP's :thumb:

The braided clutch hose gave the expected improvements I had experienced in my first Z. It is far far easier to find gears (especially 2nd) when travelling at speed when the normal rubber hoses have a tendancy to expand with heat. Gearchange is now how you would expect it to be.

To be honest I felt no real difference with the braided brake hoses and as notedabove the brakes are now exposed as the week point to be addressed.

My 5 series M sport felt like a wallowing hippo on the way home :wink:

Sun 09 May, 2010

Had a great day out at the "cars in the park" event in Newby Hall. 30+ Zroadster members, can't be bad.

240 miles round trip so running on fumes when I parked up :D

Fri 14 May, 2010

New arrival to add to my collection of Z3 accessories:

Genuine OEM Hardtop Hoist with Z3 carrier

Complete and in fantstic condition for the pricely sum of .........£45 :D

Another eBay bargain.

I won't be needing it until next year but could not pass up this bargain.

and this is what it looked like installed by the previous owner:

Wed 02 Jun, 2010

Took delivery / collected a couple of bargains today :D

First was an original set of Z3m alloys.

I purchased my car with a set of Breytons fitted and no original alloys so I have been on the look out for a set to add to my cars collection of original parts / accessories.

They vary in cost drastically up to £120 per wheel + refurb costs + delivery so when a member posted a full set up on here for £100 I was obviously interested. When I found out he lived less than 2 miles from one of our offices (I just happened to need to visit this week :D ) it was a no brainer.

They are from an S50 so in the early silver colour. They need a refurb anyway so I will get them done in the later shadow chrome from the S54 model. No real curbing just some "rashes" and no corrosion (they have been stored in a garage) so an easy refurb. Bonus was the rears have Dunlop SP Sports with 5mm + tread, front are also Dunlop SP sports with legal tread c3mm so I can refit these after the refurb and fit them on the car any time I fancy it and be road legal without having to buy any tyres :D

For reference here is a comparison of S54 shadow chrome on the left v S50 silver on the right.

Second goody of the day is an original AC Schnitzer digital gear stick sourced from good old eBay.

AC Schnitzer Part number 25 111 0410

Here is a picture from the Schnitzer website:

Took a bit of a chance on this but it retails for £226 from AC Schnitzer :shock: and I got it for a lot less than that. It is mint in the original box with English fitting instructions and the gear gator for 1 series fitment. So worst case if I don't like it / it won't fit I can resell it to the 1 series guys for a bit of a profit :wink:

Hopefully I'll get a chance to try and fit it this weekend. It looks as though it will fit, is very short but also very light so I'm not sure how it will feel in operation.

You have to "program" the gear changes for your car so its a good job the instructions are included (it seems to have a built in position sensor and needs to "learn" were each gear is located in as setup mode).

should be fun though if I can get it to work :D

Sat 05 Jun, 2010

I had chance to "play around" with the digital AC schnitzer gear stick today.

I took a bit of a flyer buying this as I've never seen one fitted to a Z3 before so I had 3 concerns:

1) would it fit :shock:
2) how would it "feel" to drive (concern heightened when it arrived as its very light and usually heavier = smoother)
3) how would it look

So here are my results:

1) Well it fits :bounce: I had to just undue the very top couple of stiches in the leather to widen the aperature for the Gear stick to fit into and create one small hole (which you cannot see) for the single securing grommet to go through, no big issues.

2) I was really surprised by the "feel" whilst driving which was very good. It is very short and although there is no "weight" to the throw it does feel good, probably helped by its stubbiness and the fact it seems much more "bulbous" than other gear sticks.

3) I love the looks. I accept it may not meet with purist approval given the digital display but I think it blends in really well with my "blackline" interior.

Unfortunately I did not have time to wire up the electronics and go through the setup procedure ( you cannot use the wiring from the OEM ///M gear stick light as that is only live when the lights are one so I'm going to wire into the radio harness but did not have tools with me to remove trim etc...). I did however do a temp wiring to check it works and all is fine :D

I'll post more pics when its fully wired up :wink:

Sun 06 Jun, 2010

Well after 6 months of searching I've finally sourced the final wheel to make up my staggered 18 inch AC Schnitzer Type III racing set :D

Bit of a saga this one. Wheel purchased from German eBay on the basis it was "mint" and shipped over.

On receipt my and the buyers interpretation of "mint" was somewhat different.

The wheel was in bascially sound condition with no major curbing, cracks or buckles but it was "worn" and corroded in several places and would need a full refurb before it could go on my car.

So I asked the seller for a full refund as I did not really want a refurbed wheel on my car but he refused :head:

I complained to eBay as the description had been quite specific about being with the (german) words for "mint" and "perfect" being used in the description.

I arranged for the wheel to be returned by tracked courier on eBays instruction but the seller refused receipt a week later :head:

I again complained to eBay and they........ gave me a full refund :D

I thought nothing more of it and was quite happy and continued my search. 10 days later I received a delivery, the wheel had been returned to me by the courier :roll:

So I contacted eBay and they asked if I would return it to the seller. I said no, he would have to collect it this time (I was not going to pay for it to be reurned again). They suggested I contact the seller which I did and ....... he said keep it :D

So I had a genuine, basically sound but in need of a refurb Ac Schnitzer wheel for the pricely sum of £18 (ie the courier cost to return it originally which was not refunded).

I had always stayed away from refurbed wheels and wanted new but was not willing to pay £900 for one from Schnitzer and had resigned myself to a long search (a couple of years maybe) and the probablility I would cave in and pay Schnitzer prices.

I decided I might as well get the wheel refurbed and keep it as a "spare" as these would get rarer and rarer over the years and if I ever buckled/cracked one I would have a back up.

The wheel specialist quoted me £120+ I would have to travel 2 hours return trip x2 which I did not fancy.

I remembered a "back street" garage based near were I used to work in Warrington (about 15 min from my current office) that always had jags from the local dealership outside having their wheels refurbed. I gave them a call and they quoted me £80 to split and refurb including the bolts which is a fantastic price.

So I thought what the hell for £80 and convenience I'll get them to do it, I don't need a perfect job as it will only be a spare.

so I dropped it off and left it with them for a week and picked it up on Friday.

Well what can I say, I can hardly tell the difference to the new one :D (the bolts are not quite as shiney thats all really).

They have done a great job, so much so that I'm happy to fit the wheel to my car.

nb there are some drops of rain on the pic :roll:

So over the next few weeks I'll get some Falkens ordered and get them fitted to the car so watch this space :!:

Finally the complete (well apart from exhausts which I don't want) AC Schnitzer conversion is nearly complete :D

Mon 07 Jun, 2010

Just ordered the tyres for fitting next Saturday. They could have done them earlier but I want to spend some time cleaning the arches and won't get chance to the weekend.

Ordered from Event Tyres £500 all in

Falken 452's
Front 235/40/18
Rear 275/35/18

I've gone for slightly wider than normal as a few people who have had them fitted recently have told me they wish they had gone for 275's on the rears.

I've also ordered the correct wheel centres as the two fronts I have are the "normal" plastic ones but the correct ones (as fitted to the rears) are the polished solid aluminium ones. Down side is they are £26 each :shock: but Rossitors had them in stock so will have them for the weekend. Whilst on the phone to them I also ordered a matching valve cap as the refurbed wheel does not match.

So hopefully will get them fitted at the weekend :D

Thu 10 Jun, 2010

I took delivery this morning of a "Z3 Individual" watch.

Part number 80 26 0 008 928 blua

I have never seen one before so I snapped up the chance to buy this on eBay.

It is absolutely mint, never worn, in fact I don't think its been out of the box so well chuffed.

Great addition to my Z3 collection :D

Mon 14 Jun, 2010

Got delivery of the correct Type III split rim centre caps from Rossitors (official UK AC Schnitzer dealer).

They are made from aluminium with a polished front (£26 each :shock: ):

So I now have a full set to fit to the wheels:

Also got the tyres fitted. I used Event Tyres who are usually about the cheapest with the benefit of fitting at home.

Rears waiting to be fitted:

Carefull fitting ensured no rim damage:

I went for Falken 452's all round:

Front 235/40/18
Rear 275/35/18

£500 fitted which I was quite happy with.

Hopefully I'll get chance to get the alloys on the car later this week.

Wed 16 Jun, 2010

AC Schnitzer Type III split rim install- teaser

Wheels were sourced:

x2 rear = new from Rossitors (UK AC Schnitzer distributor)

x1 front = new ex display wheel from a performance car shop via eBay

x1 front = used from German eBay seller

Only took me 6 months to source them but saved me £3k on list prices :shock:

Time to fit them:

Wheels and tyres ready for fitting:

They are shod with Falken 452's:

Front 235/40/18
Rear 275/35/18

On advice of others I went with wider than recommended tyres to ensure the rims do not petrude from the tyre (ie to offer some protection against curbing, in effect the opposite of a "stretched tyre").

I'm really happy with the way the tyres "sit" on the alloys.

A close up of the Tianium bolts:

and polished aluminium centre caps fitted:

The rear wheels I had bought new from the UK AC Schnitzer distributor in the Z3m spec pack. This comes with 10mm spacers and longer wheels bolts as part of the pack.

The fronts however were sourced in e46 fitment and so needed 7mm spacers to make them into the Z3m spec pack. I had already sourced the spacers new from German eBay. I ordered longer bolts from eBay to match.

Z3's have 26.4mm OEM bolts and so the rears are 37mm and fronts 32mm to make up for the spacers. I also sourced locking wheels nuts of the same lengths to match the front & back (ie 2 packs). This means that I can fit 2 locking wheel nuts to each wheel for added security (I now have one "key" for the fronts and one for the rears).

This pic shows the front and rear spacers and front locking nuts (made by the same company, McGuard, who make the AC Schnitzer locking wheel nuts)

The fronts ready to be fitted:

Note: the AC Schnitzer wheel bore (the hole in the centre of the wheel) is a slightly larger diameter than OEM and so its important to use the AC Schnitzer spacers which "step" the fitment to the Z3 bore size (ie I could not use the 12mm TPI spacers I already have fitted to the Breytons on the rear). They also have a "locking ring" to ensure a close fit.

All surfaces (wheel/spacer/hub) and wheel nuts were greased up with Copper Grease to stop them from siezing and make them easier to remove.

The wheel hub was cleaned off first to remove old grease and ensure a flat stable fitment.

The locking wheel bolts are chrome plated. The wheel nuts match when new but soon discolour in use (they are not chrome plated) so I sourced some chrome covers to provide a better match.

As fitted:

Chrome wheel nut covers:

finished job:

I'm really happy with the way the wheel "sit" with the spacers (ie as per Ac Schnitzer specification). The rears are a few mm less pertrusion than I had the Breyton's so I know I could get away with maybe a 15mm spacer instead of the 10mm but I'm more than happy with them for now.

I had the chance to take some high res shots later in the day but you'll have to wait to see the full effect :twisted:

Thu 17 Jun, 2010

AC Schnitzer 18 inch Type III Split Rims fitted, so good excuse for a bit of a photoshoot to update my journal:

Worth 6 months of searching for the full set...... I think so :D

Some general pics whilst I was at it:

first one inspired by Alfie :D



Zorg Addict
Dec 5, 2011
Liverpool (UK)
Model of Z
///M S54
Re: Jontttt's S54 Imola Red Z3m Journal

Wed 30 Jun, 2010

Inspired by this car:

I put AC Schnitzer Type II Racings in genuine Z3m fitment on my "watch" list.

I had forgotten about them over the past 6 months whilst concentrating on sourcing the Type III's.

Would you believe it, the same week as I fit the Type III's and a set of 18 inch genuine 3 piece split rim Ac Schnitzer Type II racing in 8.5 ET38 and 9.5 ET9 (ie perfect Z3m fitment with no spacers and max rear dish) came up for sale on German eBay.

I've been so lucky with so many eBay bargains this year but was prepared to pay a fair amount for these as they are sooooooo rare with rear 9.5ET9 fitment.

I won the auction for ............ £297 :shock: WOW what a bargain.

Shipping was not cheap from Germany £163 but they did arrive within 2 days.

So for the pricely sum of £460 I have some very rare wheels :D (the bonus is the tires are only 50% worn and in Z3m sizes as these came off a Z3m, I may / may not fit new)

I knew they needed a refurb and the seller was pretty honest with his description. There is minor curbing on all and one rear has a section of heavy curbing. All the centres are in great condition though with all logos fully intact.

So I'll get them to the refurbers later this week for a barrel / rim refurb. Worst case I may need 1 new rim if its beyond repair.

Hopefully I will get fronts/rears looking something like these:



So Type II's & Type III's down, Type I's to go (which were not "officially available) :D

Extract from AC Schnitzer 2002 Catalogue showing both Type II Racing and Type III Racing in Z3m fitment:

Thu 01 Jul, 2010

I didn't take any pics of the wheels delivered but here are some from the original eBay advert which are pretty good:

One of the rears has the worst curb which is not shown on the pics (annoying but for the price I can't complain). I thought this may need a new lip piece but talking to my refurber today it will repair fine :D

I dropped the wheels off today and got another result ie stripped, lips and barrels refurbed for £250 (the centre pieces are in great condition and so I'm leaving original paint on) which I think is a great price.

I have taken them to the same place as did my type III last month so hopefully they will do as good a job.

The barrels are only corroded in a few places but for that much thought I might as well get them done as well as the lips :D

They should be ready for picking up middle of next week.

Sun 11 Jul, 2010

I sourced a black grill for my brothers Dakar Yellow Z3. Given it was only £17 but £12 postage i decided to add one to the order to try on mine.

Very good fit but I'm undecided if I prefer the chrome or black look so will leave it on for a while until I decide.

Not a great pick of it but taken today at the BMW meet (Tatton Park)

Wed 14 Jul, 2010

Picked up delivery today of another Z3 "collectable":

OEM Z3 Roadster Sunglasses

These were RRP £250 when new so I'm sure they are pretty rare (never seen any before).

In mint unused condition :cool:

part no. 8035 9 421 127

I'm not sure who they were made by but they are very good quality (as you would expect from BMW)

ps. they are right hand drive :wink:

Thu 15 Jul, 2010

Teaser: Refurbed Ac Schnitzer Type II racing split rims :D

Picked up the wheels from the refurber a couple of days ago and got a chance tonight to inspect /polish them up.

The refurber has done a great job (a bargain at £250 cash).

I'm so pleased I decided not to get the centre pieces refurbed as apart from a few little "nicks" they have hand polished up as new and retained the original AC Schnitzer transfers on the front.

I was going to get a new set of Falkens all round but there is too much tread left on the tyres (5-6mm) to justify throwing them away. They are a combination of Dunlop and Continental so I'll leave them on.

Interestingly they are 225/40/18 on the front and 255/35/18 on the rear. The type III's took 235/40/18 front and 275/35/18 rears to sit correctly on the alloy and not leave the rim exposed. The "thinner" tyres on the Type II's sit on the rim perfectly.

This was the worst of the wheels and shows the quality of the refurb:

and the all important original AC Schnitzer logo on the face of the centre piece:

I need to get them to a tyre shop for re balancing tomorrow and hopefully will get chance to get them fitted this weekend :D

So total cost £710 with branded tyres, bargain for a rare Z3m specific fitment :sunny

Fri 16 Jul, 2010

Managed to get some unexpected time today to get the Ac Schnitzer Type II Race Split Rims balanced and fitted :D

I love them :D

Perfect fit front and rear with no spacers needed and so maximum dished look.

I'm now torn between the Type II and Type III's.

Type II's are a more classic look with deep dishes.....
Type III's are more "aggressive"

So I now have my perfect wheel setup and can swap from Type II to Type III's at will.

Type II's will be staying on for the rest of the summer :D

ps I fitted the aluminium centre caps which fit both sets of wheels.

Thu 22 Jul, 2010

Those who have been following my journal recently will know that I completed purchasing a full set of AC Schnitzer Type III race wheels in Z3m fitment.

The set was made up of:

x2 rears sourced new from AC Schnitzers UK agent
x1 front ex demo in mint condition
x1 front refurbished to a high standard

I had refurbed a 2nd hand wheel in the knowledge that I was very unlikely to be able to source another unused ex demo wheel and I was not willing to pay £900 for a new one from the AC Schnitzer agents (being the best price I could get them to supply this £1,000+ list price wheel).

But being a bit of a perfectionist I thought I would keep my eyes open over the next few years for an ex demo wheel.

Guess what, yep one came up within a couple of weeks on eBay :D

I was expecting an active auction as the fronts are standard e46 3 series fitment and therefore much more popular than the rear wheel fitment (and why the agents would not discount further). I had been lucky with the other ex demo as it had been "buy it now" for £200 and I was "tipped" off as soon as it was listed. This was a different kettle of fish being a 9 day auction.

Unbelievably I got it for just over £200 :shock:

So I now have a full set of brand new wheels and a spare refurbished front ie the perfect set.

I really have had some eBay bargains this year.

And to put the icing on the cake like the others it was supplied in its original box but this time rather than AC Schnitzer agent markings it is an original OEM BMW box and totally mint (not even finger marks!).

Fri 06 Aug, 2010

I had some EBC Yellowstuff Brake Pads fitted today.

The OEM ones were pretty new but I did not like the excessive brake fade on long fast road runs (the icing on the cake was seriously overheating them a few months ago :roll: )

The Redstuff pads are supposed to be better regarding the lack of brake dust but hopefully these will be no worse then OEM in that respect and will perform much better, time will tell............:drive

Oh and they look pretty cool as well :D

Fri 06 Aug, 2010

Received a parcel of goodies from Poland this week and had chance to fit today (no import duty or taxes to pay :wink: )

Custom made Italian Leather gear and hand brake gators from


I chose Black perforated leather with Red piping (to match the interior and I love perforated leather, classic sportscar style and matches the perforated leather on my Raid Steering Wheel).

I also specified the gear gator to be 1.5inches shorter than OEM due to the "short shift" gearstick.

Whilst I was at it I also fitted my special edition (20th Anniversary) AC Schnitzer "Blackline" gearstick (sourced from Germany a few weeks ago to match the Blackline handbrake)

Installation was pretty strightforward. I used the new type of GEL superglue though rather than contact adhesive as its much easier to use (sets immediately) but is much better suited to fabrics than normal superglue.

Fitment involves removing the gators (they just pull off) and carefully removing the old leather which is glued to a plastic frame. You need to re use the frames to glue the new leather to.

The fitment was excellent ie leather cut to perfect dimensions including any "indents" needed. The only slight issue was around the piping which by its very nature was thicker to fold (ie non piped would be a lot easier to fold) but the GEL glue worked a treat (just watch for it seeping through the perforations).

Old gear gator leather being removed from plastic frame (nb if you do this carefully the old leather item is reuseable, mine were in good condition):

Leather removed ready for fitting:

New leather fitted to frame:

and the hand brake:

you can see how good the fit is, no trimming needed at all:

Close up of the perforated leather and piping:

and fitted to the car:

Close up of the "Blackline" gearstick:

I really am pleased with the results and would fully recommend these products. They do lots of options re colour combinations, stitching and piping and you know they will fit your Z3 perfectly :D

Sun 15 Aug, 2010

Latest "mod" fitted is a BMW OEM unbrella and holder fitted conveniently under the boot lid :D

Sun 15 Aug, 2010

Had a great day out today at the National BMW Festival at the Gaydon Motor Museum.

After weeks and weeks of rain turned out to be a cracking day.

I drove down early morning with x5 Z3m Coupe's which was quite a site :D

x3 S54 Z3m Roadsters start a row of Z3's

A great turnout to the biggest BMW event of the year.

Tue 17 Aug, 2010

Whilst I was at the Gaydon festival last weekend there was a trade stand selling Piloti driving shoes.

These are regarded as one of the best driving shoes you can buy but I have always been reluctant to purchase without trying them first and they are not stocked in the usual shoe outlets in this country.

The trade stand had a good selection of styles on display including the "sebring" variant which is my favourite. Although they did not have my size they did in a similar style and they were happy for me to try them on for fitting.

They were selling them at a price point as cheap as I could source on the internet (I had been looking recently) and offered a further 10% BMW club discount and free postage if they did not have your size at the show.

So I ordered a pair. I was very pleased when I received them through with post within 2 days (striaght from Piloti themselves).

Of course I had to order black with red stitching :D

Hopefully will get chance to fully test them at this weekends North Wales Cruise :drive

They are custom designed specifically for driving with reinforced extended and shaped heels and sidesteps. Perfect for a bit of heal and toeing. I've always found the Z3 footwell pretty tight, especially with my size 11's and the AC Schnitzer foot rest fitted. I cannot drive with normal shoes on and usually wear some BMW puma speedcats but find them a little flimsy for long runs. These are much more substantial yet still very light and not too large, especially around the toe area.

Thu 19 Aug, 2010

Added to my AC Schnitzer / Z3 "collection" today when I took delivery from Denmark of.......

AC Schnitzer Carbon 3 Spoke Sport Airbag Steering Wheel

This was an original BMW accessory with part number 98 03 2 321 025

Original Price £750 (incl VAT) :shock: and due to the very high cost it is one of the rarest AC Schnitzer Z3 accessories (this is the only one I have ever seen)

Its in great condition and has real Carbon Fibre "tabs"

I've not bought it to fit to my Z3 yet (as I love the Raid wheel on the car) but is for future use / my growing Z3 collection of rare accessories :D

From the 2002 BMW AC Schnitzer accessory catalogue:

From original 1999 BMW AC Schnitzer Price List:

Fitted on its original 1997 Z3m "AC Schnitzer" Roadster (LHD Denmark):

and as I took delivery pre leather clean and conditioner:

Wed 01 Sep, 2010

Whilst I was at the recent BMW festival at Gaydon one of the trade stands had a colleciton of Storm Motorwerks gear sticks on display.

I had always preferred leather sticks but liked the AC Schnitzer Blacklines and so was happy with my current "collection". But this was the first time I had had chance to actually touch/feel the quality and weight of the Storm Motorwerks offering. The one that attracted my attention was a V1 special edition Titanium version with BMW ///M 5 speed gearing etched on the top. I pondered getting one there and then but managed to convince myself to stick with the Schnitzer one fitted.

But it kep eating away at me the quality of the product, the fact the titanium verison would matched perfectly with the S54's grey dials and I was intrigued what difference such a heavy stick would really make........ so I ordered one :D

I took delivery a week or so ago but only had chance to drive the car today.......... wow my new favourite gear stick by a mile. I cannot believe what a difference it makes to the feel of the gearchange, love it!

I've got a full days driving planned for tomorrow around the Evo triangle and Snowdon so will give me a chance to get the yellowstuff pads bedded in properly.

I'm really looking forward to seeing what difference the new pads and gear stick make on a long "spirited" drive.


nb the Titanium version is not listed on the website.

Wed 01 Sep, 2010

Something I had been trying to source for months without success was an AC Schnitzer "Drivers Collections" rear badge.

I already have a front fitted as they are easy to source being a common fitment for many models.

However, the rear of the Z3m's does not take the standard Z3 rear badge due to differences in the ///M's boot. The badge is taken from the BMW parts bin in e30 fitment which has proved impossible to source in AC Schnitzer guise.

So I ended up going stright to the suppliers and getting one custom made.

Thu 02 Sep, 2010

I decided to take the day off work today to take advantage of the great late summer weather before winter sets in and had one of my best pure road driving days ever :D

The car was a pure pleasure to drive, the yellowstuff pads recently fitted have hit the mark perfectly, I can now judge the braking points with a lot more confidence and let the car balance itself in the bends without fear of brake fade. The new Storm Motorwerks gear stick was the icing on the cake and will be staying on the car for a long long time :thumb:

What made it a great driving day?: great car that was a pleasure to drive hard for 6 hours solid, great driving roads with light traffic and plenty of safe overtaking points and the fact I had both the Horseshoe pass and the Evo Triangle to myself. In fact I spent five minutes taking photos at the top of the Horseshoe pass, stood in the middle of the road and not one car passed me!. Then to top it off I did 2 full laps of the Evo triangle without seeing another car :shock: PERFECT you could not buy it!

The route took me through the Horseshoe Pass, Evo Triangle, Betws-y-Coed, Conway, Llandudno and around Snowdonia, 350 miles of driving pleasure.

A few pics from the top of the Horseshoe Pass:

Mon 20 Sep, 2010

Well due to a few factors:

- renting the house out were I had been storing the car
- holiday
- 3 month old baby
- end of summer approaching

The Zed has gone into winter hibernation today.

I have no off road parking were I am currently living :head: but my mothers next door neighbour has kindly let me use his garage to store the car :D

so at lunchtime it was prepped for 5/6 months of storage (I keep things simple: tyres additional inflation, full tank petrol, battery removed, Thatcham steering lock fitted, indoor cover fitted and tax disc removed for SORN).

It was quite emotional, I've not driven a lot of miles this year in it but have some great memories (highlight being 2 clear laps of the Evo triangle not so long ago :drive )

Roll on next March................

This is what I remember for the next 6 months

Fri 31 Dec, 2010

I had to get something Zed related for christmas......

When my mother did her usual "I don't know what to get you for christmas, here's some money, get what you want :D " I visited Rossitors website ( and picked up an AC Schnitzer wind jacket.

A Soft Shell wind proof and water repellent stylish active jacket with AC Schnitzer logo.

Made from 100% bonded elastic polyester and micro fleece with PU laminate.
It has two side pockets, one inside pocket and one sleeve pocket, all with zips. The cuffs are adjustable with Velcro strap and there is a drawstring at hem.

WAS £81.96
NOW £69.99

I have to say its great quality and much to SWMBO dismay I may find myself wearing it a lot :cool:

Wed 05 Jan, 2011

After 12 months of should I / shouldn't I, I've just ordered genuine AC Schnitzer front flippers for the Z.

The big thing that had put me off was the price from the official AC Schnitzer agents of c£360 + delivery (now £370 with the VAT increase)

But I really wanted the "deeper" look these add to the ///M front bumper which IMHO is not deep enough (the sport bumpers are deeper and look better for it)

I had looked at "copies" but was worried about fit and I guess did not realy want to "cheat" by fitting non genuine parts to what is otherwise a genuine Schnitzer car. Plus even the copies being quoted where not cheap enough to make it worthwhile for me.

So I had decided over christmas to order a set from Rossitors (offical Schnitzer UK agent) but forgot to do it in the christmas festivities :roll:

I then thought I had missed the boat with the raise in VAT to 20% yesturday and was kicking myself but still nearly phoned up to order them yesturday.

So when I found out today that CA Automotive are doing them on a "special" for £290 delivered next day from stock I couldn't believe my luck (still not cheap but saved me quite a bit). I got the last one they had :D

Now I've bitten the bullet I'm all excited and hopefully they will balance out the front end of the car better.

Fri 21 Jan, 2011

Look what turned up today :D

was a bit of a delay as when they came to ship thier last set the box had been opened and one of the splitters was missing. Customer service was great though and they phoned me stright away to explain and ask if I was OK with a week or so delay and they would honour the price even on new stock.




Fitting Kit:

They are basically fitted by drilling into the underside of the bumper in 5 locations for each flipper and fitting a screw thread unit that clamps to the bumper using the fitting tool. The flipper is then screwed into the bumper

Fitting instruction (download from HERE:

so I just need to get them sprayed up ready for fitting in spring when the car comes out of winter hibernation, can't wait

Tue 22 Feb, 2011

I've already got some genuine BMW Z3 sunglasses but could not pass up the chance to buy a complete his n hers set (I've never seen the female Z3 sungalsses before).

They even have what look like the original cases (which are made out of cardboard so I know now why I've never seen the cases before :roll: )



Thu 17 Mar, 2011

Been after this for a while but finally got my perfect registration plate for the Z3M :D

Fri 08 Apr, 2011

Car was taken out for storage today after nearly 7 months :bounce:

Battery was reconnected and it started first turn as if it had been driven yesturday :D

Tyres were checked and each had lost c0.4 bar.

Car was then checked ready for MOT tomorrow and drivers side rear light bulb had gone and was replaced otherwise all set for summer :drive

Really was great to see it again.

MOT tomorrow, then taxed and new reg plate to go on..............

Sat 09 Apr, 2011

Well the car did not fail its MOT...... but it did not pass either :head:

They could not carry out the test as it would not fit on their raised testing bay - the front spoiler prevented it from going on with the car being lowered :roll:

So I have to book it in somewhere else next Saturday.

But at least I got to drive it to my (cough) nearest testing station 20 mile round trip via some great B roads (shortest route officer). After driving a 4 wheel drive computer for most of winter it was great to get behind the wheel of good old fashioned rear wheel drive , rear end steer :drive, I love this car, did not budge for 7 months and drives as sweet as the day I put it away :D

Sat 16 Apr, 2011

Well car failed its MOT today..........would you believe the brake light bulb blew travelling there (I had cheked it before I left).........but the testing station fitted one for free so it immediately passed on retest :D

I fitted the new registration plates striaght after as the car has gone back into storage for a week whilst I sort out the road tax and reg transfer.

Fri 22 Apr, 2011

The car is officially out of storage now........and I get to drive it for a whole week in this glorious weather :cool:

Had a grat run today on some of my favourite back roads over to Formby point were I stopped off at a mates static caravan for a well earned rest :D

Was great to get behind the wheel of good old fashioned power without all the turbos and gizmos spoiling all the fun :drive

Here's to a week of driving bliss, just need to sort out some meetings in the sticks now...................

Fri 22 Apr, 2011

And I forgot to post up pics of my new "shadow chrome" grill.

Not the best of pics as taken on iphone but I like it more than the matt black ones :D

Sat 23 2011

I took over a new building recently which has a large underground car park.

Might be a good photo opportunity before it gets used so I took a couple of quick pics on my iPhone when I visited today. I reckon with a proper camera and tripod could be some great "moody" shots.

.........but more impressively was the sound of the Eisenmanns reverberating off th walls as I "played" around, :D awesome !

Memories of Ryan O'Neal in "Driver" kept springing to mind but the doors are still on :wink:

Sat 30 Apr, 2011

Its the small things that make the difference ....... Doug Whalen Aluminium bonnet Release handle fitted today, quality piece of machining :D

ps I was not expecting a "performance" increase but my bonnet had been a little tempermantal opening cleanly lately and these allow more leverage than the plastic originals so the bonnet pops open now now problem :D

I'm off now to do a photoshoot, I know but somebodies gotta do it :twisted:

Mon 02 May, 2011

I called in my new office as it has a terrace overlooking the docks in Liverpool and the tall ships were in. As I had my SLR with me I took some better quality "moody" pics in the underground car park whilst I was there (I had the whole car park to myself again :drive ).

nb some cropping but no photoshop processing :wink:

I've really really enjoyed spending a week driving the Z (and what great weather as well) but its back in storage again for a while :bawl: due to a few holidays coming up :sunny

Sun 10 Jul, 2011

First drive out in the Z for a while over to the BMW show at Tatton park.
Good to catch up with people and meet some non forum Z3 owners.

Pity it started raining heavily early afternoon but every cloud has a silver lining as I've got the Z now for the week to drive :D

Tue 16 Aug, 2011

I had been in contact with Storm Motorworks to purchase a matching Titanium plated cigarette blank to my gearstick.

They had sold out and taken a while for them to get more manufactured but I received an email recently to say they were ready and would I like one without the manufacturer logo or wait until they came back with the etching on. I prefered the look without the logo and so ordered one for delivery next week.

But whilst at the BMW festival at Gaydon last Sunday Storm where one of the trade stands and had some on display. A quick conversation later and they happily let me take one saving them the postage and me waiting.

I'm really pleased with it. As per the gearstick the titanium finish is a perfect match for the grey S54 dials and its is a "hefty" quality piece of machining.

a quick pick when first installed:

Fri 26 Aug, 2011

mmmmmm how do I put this.......... I've bought another set of wheels :shock:

Could not resist these:

- Brand new

- AC Schnitzer Type III (as fitted to the factory Z3m AC Schnitzer cars for the south african market)

- front 18x8.5 ET43 (7mm spacer needed which I already have)

- rear 18x9.5 ET 21.5 (10mm spacer needed which I already have)

These are the same spec as my type III split rims.

They have been on German ebay for a while at an OK price but too expensive for a 3rd set of wheels but have just gone up this week with a make an offer option. So I made a cheaky offer and it got acceped. c£850 delivered for a brand new set (almost costs that for one wheel from AC Schnitzer UK).

So hopefully will have them for my growing collction of wheels :D



I'm well chuffed with these :D

Mon 05 Sep, 2011

Well it feels like christmas today :D

The AC Schnitzer Type II wheels in Z3m fitment turned up today (quick delivery from Germany).

Its always a bit nerve wrecking distance buying a very specific set of premium wheels especially when you get them at a massive discount, will they be "new", original and the right spec as advertised ?????

Well I'm chuffed to say they are all of the above, absolutely mint, new, boxed and of the correct spec for the Z3m as originally sold OEM by BMW.

And to top it all they come complete with new original centre bore covers and valve stems including covers. There is even the original german TUV approval warrant pack, spec sheet and car sticker for tyre pressures. I didn't even get these with the wheels I bought directly from AC Schnitzer last year !

I think these are definately "old" stock being offloaded by either AC Schnitzer or an approved agent "under the radar" via German eBay.

All wheels came in original boxes with stickers etc....



New AC Schnitzer valves fitted:

Documents included:

These wheels do need AC Schnitzer spacers and longer bolts to fit the Z3m properly which I already have (7mm front, 10mm rear) but this is as per the original Z3m spec (ie the spacers where supplied by AC Schnitzer for this kit to fit the Z3m originally).

They will go into storage now until next year when I will get some rubber fitted. (I'm running the type II races for this year but these may be my wheel of choice next year :wink: )

Edit: found a pic of them fitted as standard on the special edition AC Schnitzer Z3m Coupes made for the South African market:

Fri 11 Nov, 2011

I picked up some more Z3 collectors items off eBay. These were a job lot from one of the original 500 pre purchasers in the UK and so includes some items I already have but also rarer items I've not seen before (such as the calander and jazz CD given to first buyers by BMW).

Here is the ebay advert description of the items:

This little lot were gifts to me from BMW and family, while I was waiting for my 1998 Z3 to be built and shipped from California.

Number 1: Official BMW model 1:18 scale in collectors box with images from Golden Eye on packaging, model as colour uesed in film, this just sat on my bedside cabinet until I got my Z3 in January 98. Box Mint all polystyrene internal packaging and booklet mint

Also brand new in box, special mailing to first 500 UK customers, Z3 Jazz CD, calender and official letter, from BMW to congratulate me on having one of the first 500 Z3's in UK Mint.

Plus 1:18 scale model of Z3 M roadster, with opening bonnet, doors and boot in Silver. No box but mint.

Also included an original 1998 BMW Roadster brochure mint, and BMW serious fun Z3 brochure mint.

My cousin thought it fun to send me Goldeneye as an Xmas present on Video, watched it once only. Simply as my ver own Z3 was to be delivered in January 1998 first of 500 in UK,

My other 2 sons thought it would be hillarious to give the old man a radio controlled Silver Z3 more than 340 mm in length, played with once, batteries removed after once round the living room that christmas so in pristine condition, has removable soft top and swap for Tonneau cover. No Box



Zorg Legend
Dec 15, 2016
Model of Z
3.0 sport auto. 3.0 Z4 Coupe
I've really enjoyed reading this. You picked up some great bargains along the way. I began looking because I was searching for a replacement car radio. Mines a business model.
It was my intention to bid on an M roadster in auction yesterday but in the end it wasn't the one for me. Perhaps, because of the way prices have risen I might never own one. I'm happy with my 3.0 sport even so.
Thanks for taking your time to provide some great reading.
One question, leather seat dye from Germany. Do you gave the supplier?


Zorg Guru (V)
Staff member
British Zeds
Community Admin
Sep 4, 2014
Model of Z


Zorg Expert (I)
British Zeds
M Power
Feb 18, 2016
Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, England
Model of Z
Z3M and Z4 (e89)
I want a set of those wheels been looking for a set of type II's for months and cant find any even AC Schnitzer UK couldn't help.


Zorg Guru (I)
Jan 20, 2016
Model of Z
S54 Z3M, Z4M coupe/roadster
A fantastic write up! A beautiful looking Z but I feel mixed emotions... I feel admiration and joy for the passion that has gone into creating a product that obviously is well loved and admired, but can only feel sad that something so beautiful and unique as the original Zed has been personalised which I suppose as it is one persons car is totally acceptable but sad as there was so few numbers produced. Which leaves me asking myself.... Would a 2.5 or 3.0 been a better choice of donor? I do feel that it is a piece of art and is as I said a great looking car but I do love the original so. That's why I'm sooooo annoyed mine hasn't got its bloody original head unit :mad:


Zorg Guru (III)
British Zeds
The M44 Massive
Jun 9, 2016
Model of Z
1.9 M44
I don't understand, why has nobody replied to this thread since 2011? :eek: excellent write up and a stunning car. Looks absolutely gorgeous. Wish I had the money to buy one and more importantly the facility to keep such a beauty in.

hard top

Zorg Expert (I)
Dutch Zeds
The M44 Massive
Dec 5, 2011
I don't understand, why has nobody replied to this thread since 2011?
Because the owner has not been on the forum for years, he might not even own the car anymore?
Jesus, that was one hell of a thread resurrection..........


Zorg Legend
Belgian Zeds
Sep 8, 2016
West Flanders
Model of Z
2.2i Sport Line Individual
Amazing reading! You really spoil your ride a lot!
IMHO you just miss now a good pair of OEM headlight with a quality projector retrofitted to swap with those Chinese headlights...:whistle:


Zorg Legend
Belgian Zeds
Sep 8, 2016
West Flanders
Model of Z
2.2i Sport Line Individual
@Gundun , more details please
It's a mod very popular in the US: they open the original reflector and fit an OEM projector to be able to use xenon lamps w/o blinding incoming traffic or just to give it a fresher look still keeping the OEM angry look of the Z3.

You need to be a tiny bit crafty to do that but it's rather easy, I did it myself on my old Z3. There's plenty of pics online, unfortunately I cannot link many due to company server firewall. You can assemble your kit using whatever projector you want, a good website is this

and then you can put an E46 shroud or keep the original lens and drill it in the middle to keep the correct age-look (like the E39 ones)
If I had to ditch my reflector I'd definitely go for something like that instead of the aftermarket headlights.

EDIT: found a good link


Shiny Dust Caps Make Your Zed Go Faster.
British Zeds
Feb 20, 2015
Moresby, West Cumbria, England
Model of Z
2.8 Roadster
I must say, that's a mighty impressive read! Great looking Zed with lots going on :thumbsup:


Zorg Guru (I)
British Zeds
Jul 2, 2016
Model of Z
It is a cracking looking motor with loads of nice tarty bits...@jonttt does still have the car it's been in storage for years and occasionally gets a visit to be dusted... I was reading on the other side) .. Maybe a warning to all us humble z owners.. After you have bought everything "z" from "his and her" shades to a boot umbrella you'll end up buying a Porsche and locking the real treasure in a car park.

Although that is unlikely to happen to me :whistle:


Zorg Expert (I)
British Zeds
M Power
Feb 18, 2016
Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, England
Model of Z
Z3M and Z4 (e89)
It is a cracking looking motor with loads of nice tarty bits...@jonttt does still have the car it's been in storage for years and occasionally gets a visit to be dusted... I was reading on the other side) .. Maybe a warning to all us humble z owners.. After you have bought everything "z" from "his and her" shades to a boot umbrella you'll end up buying a Porsche and locking the real treasure in a car park.

Although that is unlikely to happen to me :whistle:
WOW what a shame that car should be out on the road (well in the summer anyway)