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Looking for a Z (Now found & Built!)

Discussion in 'Progress Threads' started by Aaron MacQ, Jan 4, 2017.

  1. Aaron MacQ

    Aaron MacQ Zorg Legend

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    Hi all,
    Just signed up to the forum as I'm in the process of looking for a Z3 for my dad but running into a few issues/queries.

    The background is he's always wanted a small roadster and over the years he's looked at Triumph Spitfires, MGB's, midgets and so on but never taken the plunge. Now he's looking a small project for his retirement and the Z3 seems right.

    However, we've been to see a few so far without much success.

    First up was a low mileage end of line 2002 2.2 topaz manual, and on paper it looked good and was well spec'd. However, in reality it was a complete bucket. The bodywork was marked all over, the engine was unloved and in desperate need of a service and I found weird corrosion spots in the engine bay, whereas underneath looked superb. The roof leaked and didn't go down. It needed brakes and wheels refurbed and on the very short test drive it didn't exactly drive well. It wasn't going cheap so walked away although if anyone pays even half of what the sellers looking they're an idiot!

    The next one we looked at was a low mileage 2001 2.0 in a nice colour combo. However, this was ...... Slow!
    I'm not sure if there's a problem or if that's just all the 2.0 has to give, but it's miles off were we want the car to be.
    Maybe we've been spoilt for performance with our other cars, but this was dead.

    Previously, he'd had a 328i (m52) and a 330Ci (m54) so I think what we really want is one of those engines, but there's not that many about.

    Anyway, we walked away again, but I can't help thinking that if we could get the car at the right price it could be a nice project car, but what can really be done to improve the performance?

    I've spent the evening researching engine swaps using a m52b28 or a m54b30 which actually looks pretty straightforward or even stroking the b20 to around 2.6l with a b28/b30 crank and conrods and using m50/m54 manifold for some extra go.
    But is this mad?

    The 2.0 hasn't got the BMW LSD either, so that's another expense just to get the performance/handling that the 2.2/ 2.8(?) /3.0 offers as standard. At this stage I'm not sure whether he'll keep the car long term or if it might be a one season thing to scratch an itch so I wouldn't want to burn money.

    Spending time on various M3 forums, rare colours and low mileage really command a premium when it comes to resale values. Is it the same here with Z3's?

    Would a top condition Z3 with a rebuilt engine transplant in a nice rare spec be worth more or less than an average condition original 3.0 model?
    Given the time of year it's hard to tell from looking through the classifieds.

    Anyway, any advice would be much appreciated and hope to be amongst Z owners soon.
     
    #1 Aaron MacQ, Jan 4, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2017
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  2. hard top

    hard top Zorg Expert (I)
    Dutch Zeds The M44 Massive

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  3. oldcarman

    oldcarman Zorg Guru (V)
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    Welcome from Canada !! You have to decide if this is going to be an ongoing project that is usable as is and improvements will be done slowly as $$$ is available or do you want a finished project built by someone else? I wouldn't even think about an engine transplant to gain HP why not just go out and buy a ///M z3 right out of the gate?? You seem to be all over the place with what you are really looking for from what I''m reading. Good luck in your search!! JMHO. JIM
     
  4. Low Rider

    Low Rider Zorg Guru (V)
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    Hello and welcome
     
  5. Aaron MacQ

    Aaron MacQ Zorg Legend

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    It's not quite as simple as that. Yes, an M Roadster is ultimately what I'd choose, but budget is half that of the cheapest M's available and choice where I am is very limited. We went to look at a 2.2 and a 2.0 not knowing what to expect and were a bit surprised.

    We've first hand experience of the 2.8, 3.0 and 3.2 engines and know they're great but there aren't any Z's with them for sale in my region. However, I like to think outside the box (or bay in this case) and swapping a 3.0 engine into a well priced chassis in a good original colour/spec is both affordable and readily available.
    In saying that, if it means no-one would want it if or when it comes time to sell, then that would put me off.
     
  6. hard top

    hard top Zorg Expert (I)
    Dutch Zeds The M44 Massive

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    There are people around that have stuck LS V8's in them, must have been keepers, as I don't think you would ever sell the car on easily. Seem to remember one up for sale a while back, no idea what happened with it though.
     
  7. Zeti

    Zeti Zorg Guru (III)
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    Welcome !
    I appreciate very much that you know what you want and that is good.
    I'm sure you'll be satisfied soon by the Zed you'll find.
    Enjoy one of the best part of the process: the hunting.
     
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  8. DavidM

    DavidM Zorg Guru (V)
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    Welcome from Ireland! Don't over complicate the process - keep looking - and a good one will come on to the market - even if you have to search outside your region. Best of luck!
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. billz

    billz Zorg Expert (I)
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    I agree with DavidM to get the right car you will ultimately have to travel. You need to ask yourself how far you would be willing to travel to find the right Zed. I would definitely go down the 2.8/3.0 route as it would be easier to sell than a fully modified one when the time is right.
     
  10. Shelly

    Shelly Zorg Expert (I)
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    :welcome: Hi and welcome from me too :coolsteer)
     
  11. andyglym

    andyglym Shiny Dust Caps Make Your Zed Go Faster.
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  12. Lee

    Lee Zorg Guru (V)
    British Zeds #ZedShed M Power

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    Will take time to find a really clean one. Some of the issues you have described are quite common now. Specially when people just drive them and don't look after them.
     
  13. GazHyde

    GazHyde The Gaz Monkey
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    It seems to be getting harder to find really good condition Z3's these days, but that's because the youngest ones are now 15 years old. The pricing is all over the place, and a lot of the ones on forecourts are over inflated for their condition/spec. They are out there, but to be honest you are going to end up looking at a lot that need some level of attention. Even the really low milers will need a reasonable amount of work as they still deteriorate when stood still in a garage. I hope the quest doesn't put you off, because they really are great cars.

    I've had a 2.0 (150bhp), and it's not the nippiest of engines but will make decent progress if you push it. My 2.2i (linked earlier in the thread) is much more relaxed at 170bhp, and the LSD makes a difference as well to the general driving experience. I was looking for a 3.0 when I bought the 2.2, but there were so few about and the few I saw were complete dogs.

    Take a code reader to any viewings as it could be as simple as a cam sensor, or split in the air intake hoses causing the engine to feel flat.

    As for buying something and swapping in an engine, it's not the worst car to do this on. As for whether it will be worth more later on is completely subjective. Depending on whats done, and how well it's been carried out then it might carry a premium - but it will have a very small potential group of buyers as most will be looking for something standard.
     
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  14. 5harp3y

    5harp3y Zorg Guru (IV)
    British Zeds

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    you WILL have to travel for the right car, i did a 400 mile round trip to get mine.

    having decent spec and colour combo is essential in my eyes added to at least a 2.8 or 3.0 engine.

    lots of Zeds are in hibernation at the moment so the market is slow

    being in N.I wont help the search however as the market will be even more limited
     
  15. Bazza

    Bazza Zorg Guru (IV)
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    :welcome:from me good luck with the hunt:highfive:
     
  16. Parmst

    Parmst Dedicated Member

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  17. Aaron MacQ

    Aaron MacQ Zorg Legend

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    That's my main problem. I wouldn't mind travelling any distance by road, but getting a flight over & boat back adds a lot to the expense, and when you turn up at a car and it turns out to be a lemon.....

    Yup.
    Interesting car on paper and given the price the guy was asking and his claim of 'cleanest around' I was expecting something decent.
    Built just 7 days before end of production, diff, M54B22. Chassis looked great, bar some weird corrosion spots in the engine bay on drivers side turret and gearbox & rear end felt good on the short test drive.
    However, everything else was miserable. Now, i am very picky, but to me it needs brakes, bushes, a new roof, paint, a front bumper, badges, wheels, wing mirror bases and the interior was soaking and has probably been like that since the trader took it in August. The roof motor wasn't working at the time either. As for the engine, it drove ok and had low mileage but it was long overdue a service and low on oil.
    We made a low offer, but the seller wasn't interested in coming down.
    It's a car that needs rescued, but I think his asking price for the condition is way off.
     
  18. Parmst

    Parmst Dedicated Member

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    It does look good on paper and at that price it would need to be A1
     
  19. Aaron MacQ

    Aaron MacQ Zorg Legend

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    This is the other one we looked at.
    http://www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/201612130571460

    What's peoples opinions on this?

    Chassis looks good.
    The Mora red is rare, though quite dark in real life. Interior was in decent condition. The current owner (only since April) seems quite a Z3 enthusiast too from chatting with him, though I imagine he bought this as a project but lost interest before he even really got started.
     
  20. Grumps

    Grumps Zorg Expert (I)
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    That 2.2 is seriously over priced! There is a difference again in price between the 2.8 and 3.0. I can't see you having to much of an issue getting a 2.8 and you won't need to spend £5500 to get one. I have a 2.8 and am more than happy with the performance but as most will tell you I do drive a bit like Miss Daisy most of the time!

    Welcome to the forum and good luck with your search.