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      11-17-2012, 11:18 PM   #1
pmmjarrett
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2006 Z4 makeover

A few months back I bought my Z4. It looks pretty good and is in excellent mechanical condition but was slightly cosmeticly challeneged which is one reason I was able to buy it for less than KBB and NADA trade in value at a major new car dealer... they either raped the PO on trade in or bought it dirt cheap at auction to have made a profit off it when I bought it for $8k less than a few other comparable cars I was looking at in year and milage.

I'm 48 and retired at the ripe old age of 40, but not by choice. I was medically retired from the Army and am a 100% disbled vet. I am on fixed income and buget is limited so the price is right for me.

Those of you that insist that these cars absolutly must have $10k worth of brakes, wheel and tires and anything less than the most expensive parts available might as well not read further than this post right here because those parts are not in my budget and you won't be happy with anything I do. I don't race anymore, the car will never be tracked, haven't hit triple digits in anything in prolly 20 years, I'll never buy another Michelin or Goodyear tire after repeated bad luck with them and simply have no use for high $$$ race parts on a low $$$ daily driver. I don't need to be the fastest but I do like my rides to look good.

A couple commodities I do have is an abundence of is time, tools and the skills to work on my toys. Been wrenching on and painting cars since I was 14. I also have a 30x50x12 shop with a 9k lift and enough tools accumulated over more than 30 years to fix almost anything.

The "challenged" part of the car was the badly pitted and scratched clear coat and cracking of the wood trim. Clear is too bad too buff out and a PO had some really poor paint work done on the RF fender. Car also had a mix of runflat and non runflat tires and rode worse than my Dodge dually and tramlined really bad...scary bad.


I'm already deep into the mods and making this car look the way I want her too but I'll catch everyone up to what I am doing. Here's what she started as. I really didn't want another black car but the price was right.





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      11-17-2012, 11:36 PM   #2
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First order of business was she needed tires bad. Had Hankook HR-II tires on the back and worn out Bridgestone runflats up front. Tramlining and ride was horrible.

I wanted a touring ride and handeling. I have had very bad luck with major brand tires in the past and refuse to buy several makes like Michen and Goodyear to name a couple that top my list of tires I'll never buy again to the day I die. I have had excellent luck with Asian tires made by both Yokohama and Nanking and Nanking has an Asymetrical tread tire I wanted to try. Yep, it's H rated but I'll never even push the car that far and I usually keep cars until I kill them.

Nanking AS1 tires and some LM reps

225/40R18 - 255/35R18

18x8 ET35 - 18x9 ET35

These tires completely changed the way this car drove. Ride is very good for a Z4 with the sport suspension and still handles well. A friend of mine that was a BMW mechanic at an indy shop complimented me on how well the car rode compared to others he had driven. Definatly can feel more sidewall flex when cornering too.








Sorry, I didn't like the look of the red center caps so I put the black poser BBS knockoffs on it. I do eventually want to make my own center caps. Black background with the Jarrett family crest on them.



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      11-17-2012, 11:55 PM   #3
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Next up was brakes. Original pads were about shot and the rotors visibly had quite a bit of wear so it was time for a slight upgrade. Overall, grandpa is pretty pleased with the performance of the OEM brakes for putting around town so a BBK is not needed.

New Centric ceramic pads and drilled rotors, stainless braided brake hoses, new sensors and some plastic caliper covers to dress things up. Sorry, I don't like the way painted stock calipers look like and I'm smart enough to know that caliper covers won't cut 50' off my 60-0 mph distance.















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      11-18-2012, 12:32 AM   #4
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Hey that's pretty sweet.

The covers are plastic? Where did you pick them up, they look pretty good. I was looking for something to cover mine.
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      11-18-2012, 12:56 AM   #5
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Quote:
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Hey that's pretty sweet.

The covers are plastic? Where did you pick them up, they look pretty good. I was looking for something to cover mine.
Ebay, this seller. Shipped from Hong Kong. Less than $20.

Yep, plastic, 3d lettering, fake fluid piping and bleed nipple. Red actually matches the high temp red silicone pretty well. 99.9% of people have no clue what real Brembo brakes are or what they even look like. Heck, as far out in the sticks as I live, people around here think a BMW is an exotic car and I'm rich LOL.

If you or anyone else does this glue them to the caliper carrier, not the caliper and leave enough room for the caliper to move.




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Last edited by pmmjarrett; 11-18-2012 at 08:30 PM. Reason: dislexia
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      11-18-2012, 01:18 AM   #6
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Also just finished wrapping some interior parts in a 3d textured carbon fiber vinyl... And no it's not Dinoc. I import this stuff from China just like almost every other reseller on evilbay.

The wood had some bad cracks and the steering wheel trim was looking a bit ratty and chipped and I wasn't gonna spend the big bucks for new from BMW. Cracked wood grain and peeling steering wheel trim on a 6 year old car...... Yea, I'm not impressed, much less impressed enough to spend $1k on more of the same.

Also wasn't please on the poor factory color match of the beige on the interior door latch (looked greenish yellow) and how cheap the silver painted trim on the door handles looked. Problem solved... wrap it.

I had the interior dismembered LOL wraped everything separatly for the best look I could get out of it.













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      11-18-2012, 10:26 AM   #7
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The CF wrap looks nice. How well will it stand up to UV? It is a convertible after all.
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      11-18-2012, 11:11 AM   #8
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The CF wrap looks nice. How well will it stand up to UV? It is a convertible after all.

Thank you.

Supposed to be about 4-6 year indoor and 3 year outdoor. Dinoc is supposed to be 12 year indoor and 4 year outdoor IIRC. My car is kept in the shop unless I'm driving it.

I have absolutly nothing against using 3M products. I think they are top shelf and they are all I will use for several things doing autobody work. I will only use 3M sandpaper, tapes and autobody adhesives and have for over 30 years.

The wrap I'm using litterally costs me nothing to do, in fact I will profit from it... and I'll prolly change my mind and do something different in a year anyways LOL.
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      11-18-2012, 12:18 PM   #9
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This post will catch everyone up to where I'm at now.

The clearcoat is FUBAR. Still has gret shine but it's what you would call a 10 footer LOL. Car looks great from 10 feet away but the pitting and scratches are too deep to buff out and even too deep to sand and buff. Many spots are all the way through to the base coat but I don't se any through to the primer. Also had some sub standard paint work work done to the RF fender, bad orange peel and fisheye. Car was re clear coated at some point in her life and there is dry spray in the jambs which I don't like. Looks like the PO also never washed bugs or birdchit off the car and there are several places the acids ate through the clear on the hood and trunk.

Autobody and paint. I've been painting cars for many years and love doing custom work.

This isn't going to be the average scuff it, mask it off and leave dry spray and overspray everywhere like most production shops that will do the bare minimum they can get away with.

I'm prepping the car for a possible color change, I really wasn't wanting another black or silver car but the price was too good to pass up and that is something I can change and black bases allow me to do some pretty cool stuff too. I still havn't decided exactly what I am going to paint yet but have a few ideas in my head... and that's a very dangerous place to be.


Autobody tip for today... Dental floss. Works great for removing emblems without damaging the emblem or paint. Cuts right through adhesive tape very quickly. This old package has been bouncing around in my toolbox for years. A little goes a long ways. (No that isn't the carbon fiber I'm using, that's an old office chair it sitting on.)



Bumpers, skirts, lights, weatherstripping, emblems etc are all off the car. I still have to take the doors apart.














Right now I'm leaning heavily to Lapis blue with an ocean blue pearl and really really like Kobalt Kandy with ocean blue pearl. Lapis would be easier to spray than the Kandy Kobalt. The Kandy is simply stunning if you've ever seen it in person.

Lapis blue with ocean blue kosmic sparks pearl.


Kobalt Kandy with ocean blue kosmic sparks pearl



Also seriously considering Kandy Brandywine with blushing red kosmic sparks pearl.
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Last edited by pmmjarrett; 11-26-2012 at 09:44 PM.
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      11-18-2012, 01:02 PM   #10
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I like the direction this is going. Paint direction in particular!
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      11-18-2012, 01:55 PM   #11
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Ditto. Keep us posted!
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      11-18-2012, 02:12 PM   #12
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I wish I had a lift in my garage...
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      11-18-2012, 02:32 PM   #13
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Everything looks great so far. Can't wait to see the new paint. Keep us updated. Thanks!
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      11-18-2012, 08:24 PM   #14
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I can hardly wait for the paint either, that's the icing on the cake but there's no half stepping it to get there. I'll keep this thread updated as my mod journal.

The lift in the shop was worth every penny. Especially when you have disabilities and can't crawl around on a creeper. I need to replace a motor running capacitor right now though, it blew up when I did my brakes. Kinda pisses me off that the capacitor blew just after it went out of warranty

I just finished building my shop last year. I designed and built the whole shop by myself using a skid loader except for the concrete and putting the sheetmetal on the roof.









Taking apart the doors. What a PITA, I managed to get one door apart. I think BMW used enough butyl on the sound deadening panel to do 4 or 5 cars. I spent more time trying to carefully cut that stuff and not destroy the foam panel than I did anything else today... Exept for playing Skyrim on the Xbox :biggrin:

I still need battery power so I'm leaving the door air bags and wiring harness in place for now. Once I disconnect the battery I can unplug the wiring harness at the jamb and shove it inside the door.

Pulled out the window, weather stripping, mirror mount, plugs, latch and that thingamabob that holds the door open LOL... I can't remember WTF that part is called right now. Good thing my life doesn't depend on answering that question.

By pulling almost everything off the door, it makes it easy to mask all the holes off from the inside of the door.





Don't forget to pull all the plastic plugs on every panel too. Small details make a big difference in the finished product.



Door handle is easy to take apart. Will look better painted separatly than as an assembly.
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      11-18-2012, 08:51 PM   #15
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the Kandy Blue gets my vote, if you're looking for any input on that front. I saw a 50s pickup in that kind of colour and it looked fantastic
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      11-18-2012, 09:07 PM   #16
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X2 on the kandy blue. Great shop btw. Would love to be as handy as some of you guys. What amazes me is that you will be able to put all of this back together again!
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      11-18-2012, 09:55 PM   #17
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Input and suggestions a very welcome.

What really blows peoples minds is people like me that take stuff completely apart like this and put all of the nuts, bolts screws, clips etc in the one box and can put it back together correctly without "leftovers". Ya, I don't recommend doing that as a beginner.

The kandy kobalt blue I really like a lot. There's nothing that matches the depth and look of a good Kandy paint job.



I built a plastic model Chevelle SS as a kid and sprayed it with testors candy blue and put the white factory stripes on it and have wanted to paint one of my own cars in that ever since.

Like this Kandy Kobalt Chevelle with sno white pearl stripes. Mmmmmm Tasty.

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      11-20-2012, 08:12 PM   #18
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The Zed is stripped down as far as I'm taking it. It'll probably take me 2 days to get everything as clean as I want and mask it off so I can sand it with the DA and not get dust everywhere I don't want dust.


I like to spray cars sitting on jackstands.

-1). It gets the car away from the floor which kicks up less dirt and dust and makes it easier to paint rockers which are easily missed... Learned that the hard way... ONCE!

-2). Sitting on stands (without rubber caps on the stands) grounds the car making flake and pearl lay down like it should. static electricity can make flake stand on end instead of laying flat and ruin a paint job. If you paint a metallic or pearl with tires on a car, throw a chain over the chassis and let it touch the ground.




Get loose wiring taped up and out of the way so you don't step on it and break a connector.


Everything is out of the way good enough for me now to paint the jambs without removing the doors.


Lots of parts to put back on. One shelf is just small parts that need to be painted separatly.


Yep, I think I'm gonna need to clean of my paint mixing table so I can use it LOL.
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      11-20-2012, 08:19 PM   #19
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I'm impressed. This would be a fun project if I had the space and knew anything at all about paint and body work.
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      11-20-2012, 08:28 PM   #20
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I'm impressed. This would be a fun project if I had the space and knew anything at all about paint and body work.


Thank you for sharing. I find these types of threads very inspiring. I started with small things, and keep adding more and more types of wrenching to my "toolkit". Up next for me, headers, Euro cats, and SSK install. Never would have thought to even give that a shot but folks here are a good influence. Seeing it done, seeing the steps, and seeing the initiative is wonderful stuff.

I'm not disabled, but I get the whole thing about the creeper and being under the car. I can only imagine. The biggest issue I have now that I'm older is crawling around under the car on a creeper. Shoulders, etc., don't seem to like it as much as they used to (won't let it stop me, but "ouch" on occasion). Wife and I are going to look for a new place next year, with enough garage space and room for a lift (found the perfect house--but our buddy bought it first--but once he gets his lift, I plan on dropping by with a lot of .
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      11-20-2012, 10:48 PM   #21
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Quote:
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Thank you for sharing. I find these types of threads very inspiring. I started with small things, and keep adding more and more types of wrenching to my "toolkit". Up next for me, headers, Euro cats, and SSK install. Never would have thought to even give that a shot but folks here are a good influence. Seeing it done, seeing the steps, and seeing the initiative is wonderful stuff.
.
And that's really the only way to learn mechanical or autobody. "hands on".

The internet is such a fantastic tool to learn too. I've even been using it quite a bit doing this project. I havn't turned a wrench on a Bimmer in about 10 years and boy has technology and the ways cars are put together changed. I ain't never worked on something with this much plastic on it except my Dad's 74 Corvette LOL. I've used it a lot to figure out how to disassemble the steering wheel, pull the radio, get the trim off the interior and remove the door panels and take apart the mirrors just to name a few things. I'm sure it saved me a lot of time, broken plastic tabs and $$$ replacing parts I broke... And it was from the kindness of others sharing DIY articles and pics on forums.

I've found enough info on forums that I havn't had to buy a Bently manual yet.
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      11-24-2012, 10:41 PM   #22
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Not much work done over the holiday. Been playing with a roll of masking tape a bit. Rally / racing stripes are somewhat frowned upon in the Z4 community and playing with tape up close and personnal it's easy to see why. While a traditional strip looks great on the new Mustangs and Camaros, they just don't work well on this car IMHO.

I love deeper shades of red like this too.



Unlike the Camaro and Mustang, the Z4 basicly doesn't have a straight body line anywhere. The body lines much more closly resemble those of a C6 Corvette and I found something that I think really works well for the Z4... At least on the hood, I'm still working on the rear.







It's easy to see the difference between using straight lines and actually following the curve of the edge of the hood and fender. Yes there is that much curvature there. All of the those small pieces of tape are the same distance from the edge.





Or....... Should I just throw away the rule book and go for it.

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