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Thread: TomSc's ZHP work log

  1. #1

    TomSc's ZHP work log

    Alright here we go. Just posted my intro thread in the new member section, but wanted to get this going as well.

    The Short:
    I'm about a week into owning a lovely Orientblau ZHP. It has ~130k on the odometer, but overall is in great shape. Got a few maintenance items take care of before I took ownership, but now the fun work begins.

    Things I know:
    So the car is not stock, there are few changes from previous owner(s) that I know up front, probably a few that I'll learn about on the way. I know that it has a swapped rear diff with a shorter final drive (love it). The headlights may or may not be aftermarket (more on that later), I know they have been swapped at some point. It has a Euro LCM with working rear fogs, but the headlight level dial doesn't do anything. Also, the auto level sensor seems to be disconnected. It could stand tires an an alignment, but that's minor.

    So that brings us to...

    Phase I - restoring former glory

    For starters I'll just be dealing with the little things that will get this car back to acting like new. This will take a while as I'm sure I'll figure out what it needs as I go along.

    The first issue to come up, was lighting:

    Shortly after getting the car, the driver side headlight goes out and I get a headlight indicator on my dash. The light would come back after cycling the switch, but it was short lived, especially if I hit a bump. When starting the car, the driver side clearly struggled to come on, but usually would before going back out. So this became priority number one last weekend. The car has BiXenons and as mentioned has a Euro LCM that doesn't seem to fully work. While investigating the LCM I learned about the auto-level sensor, looked at my suspension and saw that it is disconnected. During the week I also noticed that the headlights only had 2 of the 4 screws holding them in, so I'm clearly not the first to tamper with this.

    First order of business was find a junkyard with an e46 on hand and get screws, which was easy enough. Next was the task of getting the lights off and try swapping parts. With a little help we made that happen, and after taking the driver side light off saw a few things. The backing behind the xenon was loose, and when that came off the ignitor came too with no effort. Looking in the ignitor (pics to follow) I saw that it was black and burned, not at all like the pretty ignitor on the passenger side. We had found a likely culprit. I still thought it was worth swapping bulbs, but as we looked more at the light we saw that the plastic border inside the light was broken and after going back and forth thinking I just need a new headlight, decided to assemble it as is and put it back on. Sure enough, just seating the ignitor on firmly has the light working perfectly. New headlights are still on the menu, but now I have time to shop around.

    Some other questions that came up: the lights will go up and down to calibrate when the car is on (but the engine off), however the Euro LCM aiming dial still does nothing. Is this a coding issue? I would have assumed that if the rear fogs work then it had been coded... but why not code the whole thing?

    Second, my lights are aimed pretty low. Going to try tonight to raise them, but given the state of the plastic insert I'm not sure if that will go well on the driver side.

    Third, when shopping for replacements, all of them had vertical plug attachments in the back of the light. Mine are all horizontal (parallel to the light). Can I use the headlights with vertical connectors, or will that not fit in my car? Is it a problem if the driver and passenger side are different? I meant to grab a part number, but I'll have to get that this evening to hopefully clarify what I'm asking.

    Finally, before I did this the passenger light was set back pretty far from the front of the hood. I managed to get it much more flush when screwing it back into place.

    All in all, not a bad weekend. I have two working headlights and the front end is more flush than before. We called it a victory and had a beer. Definitely raised more questions though. This is going to be fun.

    Thanks for any input you have, and glad to be part of this little corner of the world.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Tampa, FL
    Posts
    118
    Welcome! Did you get that in NC? Wondering if it was the orient blue on beige that I had my eye on. Looked like a nice car!
    '04 330i ZHP sedan | Mystic blue | Alcantara | 6MT | 111k
    '98 740il | Schwartz 2 | Sandbeige | 5AT | 238k | lowered on Bilsteins w/ B&G springs
    '00 540i sport | Titanium silver | Black | 5AT | 120k
    '85 Mustang GT convertible | Medium charcoal metallic | Gray | 5MT | 215k | one owner, all original

  3. #3
    I did indeed. I actually looked at the one you picked up as well but you had already reached out to the owner when I contacted him. Hope it’s going well!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    16,641
    Not sure re headlights. GL with the work!

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
    Randeaux/Rando/John/jr - '06 Cic ZHP; Southern California
    "ZHP or not, I still like you"


    ZHP Performance Package, Cold Weather Package, Leather, Jet Black/Black/BlackCube, NAV
    ESS Stage 1 Twin Screw Supercharger, Sprint Booster, BMW Perf Intake, Magnaflow Exhaust, Dinan TB & STEP S/W, Ground Control Coilovers, UCC Sway Bars, Apex EC-7 18x8.5 ET38
    Dynavin D99+, Hardwire V1 (w/V1 Connection), BSW Stage 1 Speakers, Kicker Amp/Subwoofer
    BMW Performance Strut Brace, Orion V2 Angel Eyes, No-holes License Plate, SMG Paddle Shift Mod, Besian VANOS, Gold DISA, Fan Delete, M3 Side Mirrors
    Note: Actual car no longer resembles signature picture

  5. #5
    Ok finally time for some updates.

    First the lights. So poking around, it looks like the way my plugs are arranged (horizontal vs vertical) is indicative of ZKW lights? Is that right? And does it mean I have to get ZKWs if I replace the entire assembly?

    I tried aiming with the wheels on the light housing and they did nothing. Well, not entirely, they did a little on the driver side, nothing on the passenger. The driver side black plastic bezel within the light was all kinds of broken, so honestly I expected that one to work less than the passenger side. I guess I'll be taking them back out and opening the passenger one to see if I can figure out the aim. Still no luck on the Euro LCM aiming dial. I looked behind the RF wheel and found the sensor, which is disconnected. Even wiggling that arm did nothing so as of now there's no way to make use of the motors in the lights (they do work, as I see the lights move on start-up).

    I also think I figured out the gaps around the light - I didnt realize there was a... eyebrow(?) piece for lack of a better term. Mine definitely don't have that. That said, the light still doesn't sit perfectly in its gap. Can the mounting bracket adjust at all?

    And here's my ignitor. Somehow still working, but will be in the market for headlights if anyone has recommendations:

    Name:  AOfGU5t.jpg
Views: 66
Size:  53.6 KB

    Next, on to another issue. What is causing this noise?? It seems most similar to DISA noise I heard on the internet, but unplugging didn't make it stop. It happens only at idle, and not every time I start the car. Generally after it's been driven around the block.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Tampa, FL
    Posts
    118
    Sounds like a possible bad bearing. It sounds worse when the camera is towards the front of the engine. Take the belt off and see if it goes away.
    '04 330i ZHP sedan | Mystic blue | Alcantara | 6MT | 111k
    '98 740il | Schwartz 2 | Sandbeige | 5AT | 238k | lowered on Bilsteins w/ B&G springs
    '00 540i sport | Titanium silver | Black | 5AT | 120k
    '85 Mustang GT convertible | Medium charcoal metallic | Gray | 5MT | 215k | one owner, all original

  7. #7
    If your disa is bad, where the flap has actually broken off of the pivot arm, it'll still flap around and make noise, even after unplugging, I believe.

    Sent from my ZTE A2017U using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by racer2086 View Post
    Sounds like a possible bad bearing. It sounds worse when the camera is towards the front of the engine. Take the belt off and see if it goes away.
    Definitely worse near the front, I was wondering if it could be pulley/bearing related. I’ll try taking the belt off. There are times that I don’t hear it at all so just have to make sure I dont get fooled

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Tampa, FL
    Posts
    118
    Good point. You just want to see if you can isolate it. We want to make sure it's an accessory and not something else more serious...like something internal. But from the sound, it seems like just a bearing going bad either on the WP or maybe alt or a/c compressor.
    '04 330i ZHP sedan | Mystic blue | Alcantara | 6MT | 111k
    '98 740il | Schwartz 2 | Sandbeige | 5AT | 238k | lowered on Bilsteins w/ B&G springs
    '00 540i sport | Titanium silver | Black | 5AT | 120k
    '85 Mustang GT convertible | Medium charcoal metallic | Gray | 5MT | 215k | one owner, all original

  10. #10
    Get a mechanics stethoscope! I bought one to help find out which pulley was making noise. Super cheap and super easy to use. I ultimately ended up swapping out all of my pulleys over the course of 5-10k miles though as they were all original.


    https://www.amazon.com/ABN-Mechanics...-1-spons&psc=1

    If you think yours are all original, I'd recommend swapping them out as a best practice / preventative maintenance.

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