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      01-12-2017, 11:52 AM   #1
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W///'s Z4M Roadster Journal (AW/IR)

Greetings. Wanted to start a journal for my new to me Z4M as I have with all my other M cars. It's always a great way to see look back and see how far the car has come. Before finding this Roadie, I was looking to get an F80 M3, then an M2, then a 981 Cayman S, then back to an F80 with ZCP, and then an S2000. Eventually, I decided I definitely wanted a proper sports car. I've followed many journals on here and really love the Z4M Coupe. However, the more I thought about it (also with the help of forum members and their advice), I realized that the Roadster was what I needed in my life. Adding a top down driving experience would be amazing, as I don't live too far from the beaches in Charleston, or the Blue Ridge Parkway in NC. Adding an Mcoupe to 2 M3 coupes just doesn't make much sense.

I found this car online on Autotrader while I was off during the Christmas holidays, even though I wasn't planning on getting one until probably next year. I tend to do really stupid things when my mind is not occupied

The car was at BMW dealership in Cleveland, Ohio. It's an October 2006 build (so an 07 car), 2 owners, no accidents. Fortunately, the car was about 20 mins from a good buddy of mine that was also home for the holidays. I asked him to go check it out, as he's also a car guy like I am. In the back of my mind, I was hoping he'd call me back and tell me that the car is a rust bucket and to run away. Instead, he told me the car was really well taken care of and the dealership had it parked inside next an Audi V10 R8. Here are some low res pics that was on Autotrader:







Long story short, I decided to pull the trigger on it, without even doing a PPI, which I know is usually an unwise idea. However, I really loved the white/red combo, and was able to get the car for an absolute steal. Flew out to Cleveland the next week and drove the car 600 miles home:



As far as pure driving experiences go, this is easily one of my favorite BMW's I've ever driven, and I have no idea what conditions the suspension, steering and brakes are in. The car just feels so raw, and is one of the stiffest rides I've ever been in. Steering is super direct, and all the controls are heavy. It just feels completely different than my E36 and E92 M3, not to mention the car really gets crazy attention, even though it's 10 years old.

The reason I was able to get it for such a cheap price was because the car obviously needs things. I don't mind this as I want to mod/maintain/repair the car anyway, so mileage wasn't a huge concern for me.

Immediate goals:
- Full inspection II. All fluids and filters
- Send oil sample to Blackstone
- Drive up to MD to get an S54 guru to do the valve adjustments and bulletproof the VANOS.
- Figure out vibration coming from the back of the car. Is it just wheels were badly balanced/bent, or in need of bushings (probably needs it anyway)
- Change belts
- Figure out airbag light
- Polish headlights and do a full detail on the car

Medium/Long term goals:
- Beefy 18" wheels with Michelin PSS
- KW V3 coilovers
- Remus mufflers (car is too quiet for my taste)
- Rebuild and refinish calipers. They look like they've been at the bottom of the ocean.
- All new bushings
- Cooling system overhaul

Distant goals:
- Paint on the bumpers don't match the car that great, so that might be an excuse to get Euro bumpers
- Some custom wrapped Imola Red leather pieces
- As long as Blackstone reports look OK for now, then I'll do rod bearings eventually

At this moment, I'm really not interested in any power mods (still have a tuned NA S65). Just want to focus on maintenance and repairs first.

Thanks for reading! Will have more pics for the journal when I have the car on jackstands tomorrow.
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      01-12-2017, 03:02 PM   #2
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I think you got a really nice car. Your list of things it needs or you want to do are well thought out.

Since you are not chasing power upgrades but adding sound to "liven up" the naturally aspirated driving experience is the ideal path.

I say congratulations on the M Roadster and enjoy the drive!
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      01-12-2017, 03:06 PM   #3
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Congrats on the new toy - Love the Alpine/Imola combo

Looking forward to your build.

Last edited by XMetal; 01-12-2017 at 05:08 PM..
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      01-12-2017, 04:51 PM   #4
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Congrats and looking forward to the progress of your build
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      01-15-2017, 05:17 PM   #5
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Taking advantage of my 4 day weekend and put the Z on jackstands to see what I'll be working with. But first, I enjoyed driving the car in 80F weather. This is precisely why I bought a Roadster:


Excuse the mess in the garage:


Now, let's see what the car needs. As I mentioned earlier, the car needs Inspection II, and fluids look like they needed to be swapped. While on jackstands, I found the typical leaks.

RHS output shaft seal leaking:


Dirty filter:


Guess I'll bite the bullet and overhaul brakes now. Rotors and calipers looked like hell anyway:


Time for motor and trans mounts:


Trans fluid was pitch black:


Rear main seal?


Installed new spark plugs. Old vs New:


So I think this went from maintenance to a rescue mission. This is more or less the stuff I was expecting from this car, so it's going to get rebuilt better than ever over time
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      01-17-2017, 12:34 AM   #6
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Moar pics of GT4 pls.
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      01-18-2017, 12:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mtxzptlk View Post
Moar pics of GT4 pls.
Wish I could say it was mine! I've had a chance to drive it multiple time as one of my really good friend owns both of these. Both fantastic cars to drive:
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      01-20-2017, 01:23 PM   #8
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Forgot I had this damaged gold HRE laying around (was planning on making it into a coffee table). I was curious to see how gold would look with AW. Horrible lighting, but it looks awesome in real life.

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      01-20-2017, 02:24 PM   #9
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Nice progress.

First thing I did when I bought my coupe was to do a CDV delete (can't believe BMW put one on these cars) and swap the OE shift knob for a lighted ZHP knob (if was doing it now I'd probably use the lighted F10 M5 knob). Can't believe how much the weighted knob improved the shift feel.

The other thing that really transformed the car for me is that when the stock Conti's finally worse out I put Michelin PSSs on, with wider rubber in the rear (265/18). I found this enhanced rear grip.

Have fun!
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      01-20-2017, 06:47 PM   #10
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Hate seeing such a nice car neglected like that. It looks like it's in much better hands now. I would definitely be checking the rod bearings, sooner than later.
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      01-21-2017, 10:11 AM   #11
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That gold HRE looks great. What are you planning on for wheels?

Way easier working on this car than 3-series huh
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      01-22-2017, 02:41 PM   #12
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Got the car back on the road Friday night. Boy oh boy do fresh fluids make a HUGE difference. The gear shifts are so much smoother, diff is quieter, and spark plugs/air filter/MAF cleaning also made the engine run smoother. All of that was much needed. I have no doubt the car now needs valve adjustment as I wouldn't be surprised if it hasn't been done in a while.



Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinM View Post
Nice progress.

First thing I did when I bought my coupe was to do a CDV delete (can't believe BMW put one on these cars) and swap the OE shift knob for a lighted ZHP knob (if was doing it now I'd probably use the lighted F10 M5 knob). Can't believe how much the weighted knob improved the shift feel.

The other thing that really transformed the car for me is that when the stock Conti's finally worse out I put Michelin PSSs on, with wider rubber in the rear (265/18). I found this enhanced rear grip.

Have fun!
Thanks Kevin! The car actually came with a ZHP knob, which is great. I've owned 5 manual BMW's, and that's always been my first mod. Easily my favorite mod for under $100.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pungo View Post
Hate seeing such a nice car neglected like that. It looks like it's in much better hands now. I would definitely be checking the rod bearings, sooner than later.
Already got the Blackstone sample en route to them, should be there on Monday!

I bought this car as a project really, and having seen the car in more detail, I'm really happy with it. Sure it needs things, but the car in general is great!

Quote:
Originally Posted by yousefnjr View Post
That gold HRE looks great. What are you planning on for wheels?

Way easier working on this car than 3-series huh
Haha, I'm LOVING how big the engine bay is. I did the spark plugs in record time. Literally a fraction of the time it took me the E92's.

I'm not sure about the wheels yet as I want to focus on maintenance and repairs. As much as I want another set of HRE's, I think I'll go with something more affordable this time around. While the ARC-8 is super popular, I think I might go for a set of those.
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      02-09-2017, 05:19 PM   #13
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wow! Great pick up. Didn't even notice your lineup change until I saw your pics in the signature, so I made my way here to comment.

I've been eyeing the Z4Ms as well. There are a ton of cabs for sale and not many hardtops. Your pictures just shows that underneath a $20 wash and shine, there's a ton of issues, granted many of the issues are "wear and tear" for a 10 year old car, but still, the leaks and dented rotor that likely caused the vibration...to the prior owner...com'on man!

IMO, you shouldn't mod the car other than doing the vanos servicing. Keep it stock, maybe swap out for some BBS CHs or AVG 359 style wheels, you already got a heavily modified car and a 20 year old tin box. This one should just be your summer roadster, you'll want it comfy..
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      02-13-2017, 09:55 AM   #14
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Took the Z out for its first mountain run yesterday up in the Blue Ridge Parkway in NC. It was 80F outside (warmest day on record for Feb 12th). Car did really fantastic considering I haven't even done anything apart from spark plugs, fluids and air filter. One thing that bothered me is just how quiet this car is. You can definitely hear induction noise which is nice, but just not much. I don't want get a raspy exhaust setup, but I wouldn't mind maybe getting a set of headers down the road.



Purchased a complete set of used OEM brakes that I'll throw on the car while I rebuild the calipers.

So far, so good!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flying Ace View Post
wow! Great pick up. Didn't even notice your lineup change until I saw your pics in the signature, so I made my way here to comment.

I've been eyeing the Z4Ms as well. There are a ton of cabs for sale and not many hardtops. Your pictures just shows that underneath a $20 wash and shine, there's a ton of issues, granted many of the issues are "wear and tear" for a 10 year old car, but still, the leaks and dented rotor that likely caused the vibration...to the prior owner...com'on man!

IMO, you shouldn't mod the car other than doing the vanos servicing. Keep it stock, maybe swap out for some BBS CHs or AVG 359 style wheels, you already got a heavily modified car and a 20 year old tin box. This one should just be your summer roadster, you'll want it comfy..
Hey man, long time no speak! They're seriously fun cars, I'd highly recommend you go test drive one and see what you think. I personally think they've hit the bottom of their depreciation curve.

As for this car, it's more or less what I expected. Considering I paid well under $20k for it, I think I got it for a steal. Most cars this price have 130k miles or have been in accidents, while mine is a 2 owner, no accident car with a really nice color combo. I kind of bought it as a fixer upper, but so far, it's been less work than I thought I'd need to do (knock on wood).

But I think you've given me an idea. Might go "conservative" modding wise on this car and go a bit bolder with my E92

Btw, there's no such thing as comfy with this car. It's somewhere between Sport and Sport+ on our E9x's. But I might just do some OEM E46 M3 CSL wheels and call it a day.

How's the E9x running?
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      02-27-2017, 02:07 PM   #15
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Same colour combo as mine! Congratulations!
And yes, it gets ridiculous amount of attention anywhere I drive it! Only one in my country, so I guess it makes sense.
Mine is still stock, except for switching to Michelin PSS 245 in front and 265 in the back - massive difference from the 225/255 original Contis...

Was also considering Cayman, then Boxster S for the open-top experience and then I stumbled upon this one and bought it in a heartbeat!
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      02-27-2017, 07:06 PM   #16
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Awesome car mate, a few things to take care of, but that will only get you more aquatinted with the ///M. I have zero doubts this will become your fave car, and i know thats saying something in your lineup.

Congrats on discovering a very well kept secret!

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      03-01-2017, 04:10 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TsvetanVR View Post
Same colour combo as mine! Congratulations!
And yes, it gets ridiculous amount of attention anywhere I drive it! Only one in my country, so I guess it makes sense.
Mine is still stock, except for switching to Michelin PSS 245 in front and 265 in the back - massive difference from the 225/255 original Contis...

Was also considering Cayman, then Boxster S for the open-top experience and then I stumbled upon this one and bought it in a heartbeat!
Thank you! I was originally looking for Imola Red/Black, but I'm absolutely in love with AW/IR. It's such an interesting combo and really accentuates the Z's crazy character lines.

Currently running P-Zero all seasons, so I know the car has plenty more to give!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanne View Post
Awesome car mate, a few things to take care of, but that will only get you more aquatinted with the ///M. I have zero doubts this will become your fave car, and i know thats saying something in your lineup.

Congrats on discovering a very well kept secret!

Thanks for the kind words! You're absolutely right. I've been driving the Roadster as much as possible and thoroughly enjoying it. I hate to keep bringing up the same cliche, but it's such a raw car and it just oozes personality.

Can't wait to throw on some headers on this car. The only complaint I have for this car is that it's too quiet!

Forgot to throw these pictures from another thread. I think the Z4MR holds up pretty well in the pictures next to an almost $100k Porsche




Also, got a 3 day weekend coming up, so full blown exterior clean coming:
1) polish and seal
2) Raggtopp treatment
3) 3M headlight polish to get rid of oxidation
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      03-01-2017, 04:49 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W/// View Post
Also, got a 3 day weekend coming up, so full blown exterior clean coming:
1) polish and seal
2) Raggtopp treatment
3) 3M headlight polish to get rid of oxidation
Please take some photos of the procedure if you are going to do it yourself.

Nice project btw.

Last edited by FD3S; 03-07-2017 at 05:08 PM..
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      03-07-2017, 01:33 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Please make use some photos of the procedure if you are going to do it yourself.

Nice project btw.
Thanks! I am indeed doing everything myself. Have pictures of the Raggtopp process, but not really easy to see effects. Really easy to use though. I cleaned the top with a general purpose cleaner solution and a boar hair brush. Then 3 coats of Raggtopp. It definitely made the top repel water, and added some depth to the color too.

The car was absolutely covered in swirl marks, but also filthy from me just enjoying driving it too much





Pitted headlights. Tackling that after work today:


Gross taillight cover trim:


After a polish:


Beginning to look respectable:



That's all for now. Doing second round of Blackstone test in 2k miles and brake rotors/pads/lines very soon.
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