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      01-09-2013, 11:56 AM   #1
elwesso
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New Z4MC owner.. Planning winter "rehab"

Hey guys just wanted to introduce myself... A couple weeks ago I bought an 07 M coupe from a dealer around Indianapolis.. Paid 26k for it, has 49k miles on it right now. Overall I think that was a decent deal. Maintenance seems to be caught up on it, it was regularly serviced at BMW for it's entire life. The condition of the car is fantastic inside and out.

I attached a couple of pictures. Right now the car is sitting in one of our buildings with its NOAH cover on it, ready to come out sometime in March or so.

I've been familiarizing myself with some of the nuances of this car, as it's pretty straight forward but there are some things that are different/unusual..

The first order of business will be to change all the fluids in the car, that way I know everything is fresh and to spec. The dealer said they used Mobil 1 oil, so I'd like to get that stuff out and get the castrol TWS. I've also been reading about that most like the MT-90 in the tranny, and Redline GL-5 in the diff.. That's what I use in my other car (Infiniti Q45) so I'm comfortable there.

The next things I want to look at is the VANOS bolts, motor mount bolts, and valve adjustment. I am not 100% sure the valves were adjusted at 25k like they should have been, but I've seen some of the horror photos online of the VANOS bolts shearing off, so I figured it would be a good time to do both of them at the same time. It would appear that those (3) items could be done pretty easily in a weekend.. Seems logical to at least check the valves while you've got the front of the engine apart for the VANOS.

My car was built 11/06.
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      01-09-2013, 12:28 PM   #2
Tonybest
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Congratulations on your purchase ... welcome to the family
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      01-09-2013, 12:59 PM   #3
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26K from a dealership for a Moupe is a pretty good price! Is it accident free? Congrats, and welcome!
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      01-09-2013, 01:05 PM   #4
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Yeah totally accident free.. I've inspected plenty of cars and I can tell there's no body work been done anywhere... All factory orange peel..

So far I love driving it (even though I've only put about 100 miles on).. I need to get a good set of rubber on there first thing in the spring, the Conti's are starting to show some age and they're garbage tires anyway compared to like a PS2 or something equivalent.
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      01-09-2013, 01:15 PM   #5
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Congratulations! She's a beauty!
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      01-09-2013, 01:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elwsso View Post
I need to get a good set of rubber on there first thing in the spring, the Conti's are starting to show some age and they're garbage tires anyway compared to like a PS2 or something equivalent.
You probably would want the Pilot Super Sports instead. I put a set on the stock rims in November, 245/40-18 front and 275/35-18 rear. These fit fine on my car with H&R Sport Springs, no spacers. Other people have gone with 235/40-18 front and 265/35-18 rear.
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      01-09-2013, 01:28 PM   #7
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+1 on the PSS tires. Wife has those, and I'm surprised at just how good they are in the dry and the wet. At Laguna Seca in the rain I was very traction compromised while she (and others on this tire) were quite happy. Driving together in the rain on the way back I had to call her to tell her to slow as I was, again, all over, while she was quite solid on the road in a heavy downpour.
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      01-09-2013, 01:38 PM   #8
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Not sure where in Indiana you are located but based on Cincinnati's weather probably not a lot of reason you can't drive it some right now.
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      01-09-2013, 02:03 PM   #9
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Local here if you want to get together
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      01-09-2013, 02:08 PM   #10
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I am up in the northern part of the state, and I don't really feel compelled to take a chance getting "stuck" in a freak snow storm. I've found that the car isn't nearly as enjoyable when it's cold out, mainly because summer tires don't have a lot of traction in cold. Besides, I have it taken off my insurnace (except for comprehensive "storage"), so it's easier for me just to not plan on driving it.

I would like to get the pilot super sports, but a friend of mine has a set of 245-40-18 PS2 that he's gonna sell me for $300 for the pair.. The PS2's are still a great performance tire and for $150/tire for brand new (still with stickers) it's hard to say no to that. I have PS2's on my Q45 and I love them....
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      01-09-2013, 02:42 PM   #11
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MT-90 in the transmission is a BAD idea, especially in the cold climate where you reside. Stick with OEM fluids for the tranny and diff. Why would the dealership use Mobil 1?
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      01-09-2013, 03:44 PM   #12
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Welcome to the club.

Quote:
Originally Posted by elwsso View Post
The next things I want to look at is the VANOS bolts, motor mount bolts, and valve adjustment. [...] It would appear that those (3) items could be done pretty easily in a weekend.
I would like to share my personal experience. I was in your shoes about 2 years ago, in December 2010, when I bought my 09/2006 Z4M Coupe @ 30,000 miles. Out of too much enthusiasm, I jumped on performing a series of preventive winter maintenance on my Z4M. The VANOS bolts were on the list.

Now, looking back, that was a mistake.
First, keep in mind that the S54 VANOS bolts issue is quite rare, much rarer than the forums make you believe it is.
Second, unless you have all the special tools needed for the job (and ideally you've done /seen this being done before on a S54 engine), don't even consider doing it yourself.
I did replace the VANOS bolts myself shortly after purchasing the Z4M, having only a few of the special tools mentioned in the TIS and relying on some forum threads available at the time. While taking off the VANOS bolts I discovered that they were tight, and the replacement was actually not needed at all. But that was already too late. After the job was done, the engine started up nicely just to light up half of hour later the CEL light on me - clear proof that I didn't set the VANOS correctly.
So there I was hasting to the dealer and pay them to redo the VANOS set-up.
Lots of time and money thrown out the window, plus a good deal of extra wear inflicted on the VANOS unit (by taken it out and refitting it twice) - absolutely for nothing.

Yes, this winter it's good for you to do the "normal" maintenance jobs. Such as replace all the fluids, check the brakes, etc. Very advisable, check the valve lash and correct it where needed - it's easily done by a home mechanic. While you do the valves, check the VANOS by grabbing the pulleys and giving them a series of strong jolts. It's a check-up well detailed on various BMW forums. If the camshaft pulleys are tight and there's no noise, then leave the VANOS alone. The bolts will be fine at least until the next valve inspection is due. Replace the VANOS bolts only if really needed. If they start to loosen, you'll be warned plenty of time in advance, provided that you listen to your engine every now and then, and you do your valve lash check on a regular basis.
You'll save yourself a lot of headache and you'll keep the engine virgin. No home mechanic or dealer sets it better than the BMW assembly line.

I advise you to cool off your enthusiasm. During this winter, perform only the minimal maintenance really needed. Then drive your Z4M throughout the spring, summer and autumn of 2013. When next winter comes, you'll know much more about your car, thus you'll be better prepared for more complex maintenance, than you are now.

Enjoy your E86 Z4M.
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      01-09-2013, 04:07 PM   #13
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Thank you for the advice, Robert, I really appreciate it. After posting this, I read a little more on the VANOS bolts issues and saw that you could wiggle the cam pulleys a little bit to see if they're loose, and then determine if there's an issue.. I do agree with you shouldn't mess with engine internals if you don't have to.

I've been on many forums before and I do realize that these forums is where all the "bad" accumulates, so many times issues can see a lot worse than they actually are...

I appreciate the welcomes to the club!
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      01-09-2013, 07:35 PM   #14
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If you want to go with Red Line fluids then it's MTL not MT-90 for the transmission and either 75W-140 or 80W-140 for the differential.
My Z4MC lives in a mild climate (Seattle) and sees many track miles so I use a 50/50 blend of Red Line MTL and MT-90 in my transmission and 80W-140 for my differential.
I second RobertRO's advice; drive the car awhile before trying any major maintenance tasks like a valve adjustment. While not brain surgery it is a tedious job that demands attention to detail and patience.
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      01-09-2013, 09:15 PM   #15
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Don't mean to hijack the thread, but I think I have a semi-related question. Is a Z4M "valve adjustment" the same thing as this "VANOS" issue? My Z has 24k miles and I was thinking of having the valves adjusted at the shop this spring. Do I also need to ask them to check on something to do with the VANOS? (And no, I have little clue as to what a VANOS is, besides hearing about it on this forum. I'm a sales guy...no mechanical experience.) Thanks!
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      01-09-2013, 10:25 PM   #16
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Engine Oil: Redline 10W-60(Best Protection), Castrol TWS("BMW approved")
Trans: BG Syncorshift 2(smoothest shifting), BMW MTF LT2(BMW approved, shifts OK)
Diff: Redline 75-140 or 80W-140(Best protection), Castrol XAF-XJ("BMW Approved")
Brake Fluid: Castrol SRF

Skip the Vanos bolts, do check the valve adjustment, DO a used oil analysis to look for excessive lead.

MODS: Skip the intakes they sound good but, cost you power on the dyno and cause drivability problems. Headers are a great mod I recommend the OEM Euro ones if you can find some. Tunes are hit and miss, my car makes the MOST power on OEM. As for exhaust expect drone with anything other than OEM or Remus.
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      01-10-2013, 07:15 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strokeoluck View Post
Don't mean to hijack the thread, but I think I have a semi-related question. Is a Z4M "valve adjustment" the same thing as this "VANOS" issue? My Z has 24k miles and I was thinking of having the valves adjusted at the shop this spring. Do I also need to ask them to check on something to do with the VANOS? (And no, I have little clue as to what a VANOS is, besides hearing about it on this forum. I'm a sales guy...no mechanical experience.) Thanks!
The short answer is NO, they're totally different. They're in the same neighborhood, but they would be two different "operations", even though there is some labor overlap.

Here's a decent thread about the VANOS bolts.

http://www.zpost.com/forums/showthread.php?t=407826

Basically from what I've gathered over the last couple days, when you have the valve cover off to check the valve lash you should try and wiggle the cam sprockets. If there's any movement (per the thread), then you should reconsider your options there.. However, if everything seems tight it seems best to just leave it alone..

Adjusting the valves is a required service where the VANOS may or may not give you issues. Fortunately you need to be under the valve cover to check the valves every 25k or so. As long as you check the cam sprockets every time you're in there, you should be able to replace the bolts long before it gives you an issue, if it ever is an issue.
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      01-10-2013, 07:17 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennyfrc View Post
Engine Oil: Redline 10W-60(Best Protection), Castrol TWS("BMW approved")
Trans: BG Syncorshift 2(smoothest shifting), BMW MTF LT2(BMW approved, shifts OK)
Diff: Redline 75-140 or 80W-140(Best protection), Castrol XAF-XJ("BMW Approved")
Brake Fluid: Castrol SRF

Skip the Vanos bolts, do check the valve adjustment, DO a used oil analysis to look for excessive lead.

MODS: Skip the intakes they sound good but, cost you power on the dyno and cause drivability problems. Headers are a great mod I recommend the OEM Euro ones if you can find some. Tunes are hit and miss, my car makes the MOST power on OEM. As for exhaust expect drone with anything other than OEM or Remus.
Thanks Kenny. I was thinking of going to the motul brake fluid, I never ran it on my Infiniti but I've heard good things about it. There's a good chance this car will see track time so I'd like to be ready...

Is there any HP to be gained by an exhaust, or is it mainly for the note? I've searched but I couldn't find anything conclusive, which leads me to believe the stock exhaust is probably about as good as it gets on an otherwise OEM engine.
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      01-10-2013, 09:20 AM   #19
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Congrats on the purchase! I had to check in to see if it was my car you bought. (its not) I traded mine in this summer and do still miss it, the e86 is such a great car. I still have my BBS RS-GT's sitting in the garage if you're looking for a set of wheels. Enjoy the ride
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      01-10-2013, 09:49 AM   #20
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Thanks Nate, I sent you a PM. The car I got came from Connecticut, and then I believe Virginia.. The dealer I got it from (not a BMW dealer) bought it at auction and brought it back to Indiana.
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      01-10-2013, 10:05 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elwsso View Post
Thanks Kenny. I was thinking of going to the motul brake fluid, I never ran it on my Infiniti but I've heard good things about it. There's a good chance this car will see track time so I'd like to be ready...

Is there any HP to be gained by an exhaust, or is it mainly for the note? I've searched but I couldn't find anything conclusive, which leads me to believe the stock exhaust is probably about as good as it gets on an otherwise OEM engine.
The headers will add 15-20 WHP over stock. Other parts such as X pipe, mufflers, etc will net zero gains and in some cases a loss.
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      01-10-2013, 10:37 AM   #22
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Are all the S54 euro headers the same, or are they specific to the Z4 M?

15-20HP would definitely make a good difference.
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