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      06-14-2011, 09:44 PM   #1
beta
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beta's Modification Journal

Hey guys, figured I'd start a journal to post pictures and, I hope, help out anyone that may want to perform the same mods.

My goal with the car is to make it the best roadster possible, not compromising comfort or performance, but trying to enhance both within reason.

1. Painted Strut Brace.
2. Colored Vinyl Roundels.
3. Remote Hood + One Touch.
4. Aux-In.
5. eBay Clutch Stop.
6. First Aid Storage Boxes.
7. Nord-Locks on Firewall Braces
8. OEM Wind Deflector with black roll bar covers
9. KW V3s + Akebono Euro Ceramic Brake pads
10. Euro Headers and Cats
11. Vibra-Technics Engine Mounts
12. AutoSolutions SSK
13. LED Trunk light
14. Valve Adjustment DIY
15. SI B54 14 07 Soft Top Slams Down on the Cowl when Closing.
16. Lightweight Wheels.
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Last edited by beta; 08-25-2013 at 12:16 AM.
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      06-14-2011, 09:45 PM   #2
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Painted Strut Brace

I wanted to add the OEM Strut Brace (part number 51 710 305 114) to increase rigidity in the roadster, and so that the firewall braces would be less likely to become loose (if you hear loud thunking when going over bumps, it's usually this or the sway bars).

Instead of leaving it silver or painting it black, I decided to try painting it body color (in my case sepang bronze).

To paint the braces I did the following:

1. Sanded down the brace with 500 grit sandpaper.
2. Cleaned it with a de-greaser.
3. Washed it with soap and water.
4. Primed it.
5. Dry/wet sanded and re-primed until it was perfectly smooth. The best advice I found online said that primer is like dress rehearsal, this is your opportunity to make it perfect. Paint is expensive but primer is cheap.
6. Painted it. I ordered my paint from expresspaint.com.
7. Clear Coat. I did 4 or 5 light layers.

Torque: 41Nm for the original black firewall braces. 35Nm for the 6 nuts that go on the strut towers, 24Nm for the 4 bolts that hold the center brace.

Original Brace.



Masking the bolts.



After Installing.





Before putting the caps on, I put a small blob of silicone on top of each bolt.

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Last edited by beta; 06-18-2011 at 01:37 AM.
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      06-14-2011, 10:45 PM   #3
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Colored Vinyl Roundels

A very minor mod. The light blue emblems looked a little out of place to me on a dark sepang/black/silver car. However I didn't want to change the color as I like what the BMW logo represents: a propeller on a blue sky.

So I settled on orient blue metallic decals from bimmian. In hindsight I might've gone for a slightly lighter blue, orient blue metallic is little darker than I anticipated, in anything but bright light the badges look black.





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Last edited by beta; 06-18-2011 at 01:39 AM.
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      06-14-2011, 10:49 PM   #4
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Remote Hood + One Touch

I installed the One Touch Hood + Remote module that z4-forum member Gaptech made from this group buy.

The module does two things:

1. It allows you to raise or lower the roof by holding down the console button for only 0.5 seconds. Normally you have to press and hold the entire time.

2. You can also lower and raise the roof using the key fob. You can have your car programmed to put the top down, but you have to hold the button down the entire time; and afaik you can't put the top back up using the key.

To put the top down using the remote you click: Unlock, Unlock, Unlock.

To put the top up: Unlock, Unlock, Lock. The reason that it's not Lock 3 times is that doing this disables the alarm if installed.

Unfortunately it was so dark that only one of my pictures came out.

At this point in time I had finished splicing the first out of 5 cables that you have to connect. For a very clean look install I soldered the cables and used heat shrink tubing. I actually used two pieces of heat shrink tubing, one over the splice itself, then another over the bundle of cables. The module is the little black box.

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Last edited by beta; 06-18-2011 at 01:39 AM.
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      06-14-2011, 11:05 PM   #5
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BMW Mini Aux-In

For the Aux-in I didn't want it to be in the ash tray, as that would mean leaving it open whenever I'm using it. I wanted something a little cleaner/more stealth.

So instead of buying the Z4 Aux-In I bough the one for the mini (Part Number 82 11 0 153 367).

The first step is to remove the AC vents. This tends to be the most troublesome part of the installation. To make it easier, I suggest you get 4 of these nylon soldering tools:



Using two of these nylon tools to wedge the clips that secure the AC vents, you can then use your remaining two sticks to pry on each side. Finally tug the whole unit firmly forward and it'll come out. There are horror stories of removing this part, so take your time and do it carefully. With this method I managed to do it in 2-3 minutes without scratching anything.

After this remove the cover that goes under the AC Controls, and drill a hole in it. Make sure you place the panel over a piece of wood and drill slowly so you end up with nice edges. Use a drill bit slightly smaller than the threads of the Aux In so that it fits snuggly.



Test fitting (make sure you don't tighten it until you install it).



If you have nav + bluetooth, your radio will already have a connector. The front connector is the one that came with the part, the back connector was the one that was already installed.

Remove the cover from the connector (the front connector has the cover half off).



Then take out the pins one by one and merge them into the existing connector.



Here it is after fully merging it.



And final result. It's pretty stealth in that you can't see it from the normal seating position.



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Last edited by beta; 10-10-2012 at 12:51 PM.
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      06-14-2011, 11:31 PM   #6
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very subtle yet meticulous mods beta. like!
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      06-15-2011, 12:21 AM   #7
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awesome !
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      06-15-2011, 12:36 AM   #8
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Nice work and painstaking attention to detail! Well done!
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      06-15-2011, 10:25 AM   #9
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I like the strut bar painted! Good job.
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      06-15-2011, 01:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beta View Post
Instead of leaving it silver or painting it black, I decided to try painting it body color (in my case sepang bronze).
Why didn't you do the other black braces in Sepang too ?
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      06-15-2011, 06:15 PM   #11
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Garage List
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2003 Z4  [0.00]
Nice! What else do u have in store?
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      06-15-2011, 07:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r4gs View Post
very subtle yet meticulous mods beta. like!
Quote:
Originally Posted by dorifto88 View Post
awesome !
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finnegan View Post
Nice work and painstaking attention to detail! Well done!
Quote:
Originally Posted by esqu1re View Post
I like the strut bar painted! Good job.
Thanks everyone! My mantra is keep the car forever, so I try to look at the long term view when doing mods and do them super carefully.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Stygar View Post
Why didn't you do the other black braces in Sepang too ?
That's actually a really good idea, I hadn't though of it. I'd have to strip them and re-paint them, so it would have to be over a few days that I don't need the car (it's my dd and only vehicle). Going on the to-do list.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samjam927 View Post
Nice! What else do u have in store?
I still need to write up the wind deflector install, definitely a good mod and the one my girlfriend likes the most. Most guides out there have the silver covers, I wanted black ones to match what was already on there and was able to find the parts.

I also removed the yellow visor stickers using goof off.

Next mods:
- Better tires. I'm thinking either DW or PSS.
- Ceramic brake pads.
- Weighted shift knob. This one is going to be interesting, I'm considering weighing the rod under the shift boot by just 3 ounces (I don't want a shorter knob aka ZHP, as I like the stock height, plus I don't want to lose illumination or pay an extra $150 for it).
- Maybe carbon fiber drive shaft.
- Upgrading engine bolts to 10.9 and adding nord lock washers.
- Nord locks on rear sway bars.
- Adding First Aid kits to add storage under both seats.
- Painting the orange reflectors with Nikki.
- ...
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      06-15-2011, 09:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beta View Post

That's actually a really good idea, I hadn't though of it. I'd have to strip them and re-paint them, so it would have to be over a few days that I don't need the car (it's my dd and only vehicle). Going on the to-do list.
If your interested, I'll sell you my stock vee braces at my cost.
I'll throw in the vee plastic caps. Then sell them when your done.
$33.48 plus shipping.

My three are done in black powder matching the BMW black color.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=118588



.
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Last edited by Ron Stygar; 06-15-2011 at 09:22 PM.
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      06-16-2011, 09:13 AM   #14
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<accent type=japanese>MODIFICATION!!!!</accent>

If you're not familiar with disney's cars, here is what I'm referring to:

http://www.streetfire.net/video/disn...ift_682199.htm
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      06-17-2011, 02:25 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Stygar View Post
If your interested, I'll sell you my stock vee braces at my cost.
PMd.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cliffhopper View Post
<accent type=japanese>MODIFICATION!!!!</accent>

If you're not familiar with disney's cars, here is what I'm referring to:

http://www.streetfire.net/video/disn...ift_682199.htm
That was funny thanks for sharing.
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      06-18-2011, 12:40 AM   #16
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if you have small hands you can easily (relatively) reach the aux input plug from the bottom where the plastic panel is removed. I.E. no needing to remove the air vents. took me less than five minutes to do the whole install.
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      06-18-2011, 01:36 AM   #17
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eBay Clutch Stop

pickeyeater334's ebay clutch stop.

There's a thread here about it. To install it just put the nut on the bolt, then replace your existing plastic clutch stop with this one. To adjust: turn your key in the ignition, then press the clutch and listen for a relay to click. You want your clutch stop adjusted to just past the relay click point.

Easy and inexpensive mod and makes shifts easier and more predictable.
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      06-29-2011, 08:28 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beta View Post
pickeyeater334's ebay clutch stop.

There's a thread here about it. To install it just put the nut on the bolt, then replace your existing plastic clutch stop with this one. To adjust: turn your key in the ignition, then press the clutch and listen for a relay to click. You want your clutch stop adjusted to just past the relay click point.

Easy and inexpensive mod and makes shifts easier and more predictable.

are you talking about turning the key in the ignition all the way to the start position?
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      06-29-2011, 08:32 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beta View Post
pickeyeater334's ebay clutch stop.

There's a thread here about it. To install it just put the nut on the bolt, then replace your existing plastic clutch stop with this one. To adjust: turn your key in the ignition, then press the clutch and listen for a relay to click. You want your clutch stop adjusted to just past the relay click point.

Easy and inexpensive mod and makes shifts easier and more predictable.
beta, i just purchased and installed this exact adjustable clutch stop, and for $10 shipped it's a no-brainer. took all of 1 minute (unscrew oem plastic clutch stop and screw-in metal adjustable clutch stop) and it's helped dramatically improve gear engagement (shortens clutch travel and so i'm in and out of gear noticeably quicker and with less effort) as well as make heel-toeing and rev-matching that much easier. highly, highly recommended.
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      06-29-2011, 02:08 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Z4Murder View Post
are you talking about turning the key in the ignition all the way to the start position?
The last position before turning the car on. You know how the car won't let you start it without the clutch pushed in? That's the relay we're looking for. You will hear a whirring sound when the clutch is pushed in far enough to trip the relay. That relay is past the clutch engagement point, so if you adjust your clutch to just barely pass the relay you're golden.


Quote:
Originally Posted by r4gs View Post
beta, i just purchased and installed this exact adjustable clutch stop, and for $10 shipped it's a no-brainer. took all of 1 minute (unscrew oem plastic clutch stop and screw-in metal adjustable clutch stop) and it's helped dramatically improve gear engagement (shortens clutch travel and so i'm in and out of gear noticeably quicker and with less effort) as well as make heel-toeing and rev-matching that much easier. highly, highly recommended.
This is one of the first things I did and it really should've come that way from the factory.
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      07-07-2011, 10:05 PM   #21
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First Aid Boxes

Today I installed first aid boxes under both seats to add a bit of storage. If you only want to install one storage box use half the parts listed below.

Parts:
52 10 7 045 018 Bracket ( x 2 )
52 10 7 044 958 First Aid Box Empty ( x 2 )
72 12 8 235 266 Screws ( x 6 )

First up I lined the insides with Prestofelt, I got the idea from Jim Millet in this thread. I used Cocoa Brown to match my dark brown interior.



Then I installed the brackets in the seats. Be aware that the screws are really hard to put in at first, it almost feels like they're the wrong size. To put in the two front screws I recommend you lift the seat as high as it goes, to put in the back screw you want to lower it, the bar that controls the angle of the seat is in the way and makes it difficult. After a bit of fussing I finally had them all in.

And here's the final result.



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      09-21-2011, 11:20 PM   #22
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Nord-Locks on Firewall Braces

Small but highly recommended mod. The firewall braces will get loose every couple of months and you'll start to hear loud clunking noises when going over bumps.

Torque: 41Nm
Nord-Lock Part Number: 91812A231

Make sure you use a high quality anti-seize. I used Loctite N-7000 because it's the highest purity graphite anti-seize you can get (it's overkill really). Nord-Lock sells their own product GTP-600 but I couldn't source it.
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