Materials to Maintain Your ZHP IIIII Hand Protection IIIII Tools to Maintain Your ZHP
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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    SF Bay
    Posts
    555
    Congrats on the car! Hell of a flight for the pickup I'm sure. I have many fond memories driving through Eureka when I was younger. I have heard it's changed, but no doubt that it'd be cool to just fly in and drive out. Coastal 101 isn't a bad way to get home. Excited to see what you have planned!

  2. #12
    Lots happened to the car over this past week, so I'll try and cover it all in chronological order.

    Now that we're entering the monsoon season in Arizona (translation, it's still violently hot, but now it's humid and there's an occasional thunderstorm that sprinkles dirt water onto cars) it was time to replace the wipers. I don't like the plasticky beam-style wipers, so I replaced them with OEM style wipers that have the little wind deflector piece.

    Before:



    After:





    It's the little things that count.

    A few days later, I decided to pull the intake manifold to replace all the gaskets and the notoriously troublesome CCV. My car hadn't been smoking or consuming an excessive amount of oil, but it had a fairly rough idle on cold starts, so I figured it would be good to address any potential vacuum leaks.

    I had the manifold off in about 30 minutes or so. Everything came apart pretty easily, and surprisingly, nothing broke or crumbled. I'm not used to plastic/rubber being this intact, that's the benefit of buying a car from a cooler place, I suppose.



    Even the CCV came out without shattering into a thousand pieces. Pretty impressive for being original at 183k miles.





    In my pile of new parts, I have a Genuine BMW CCV (I've had aftermarket ones fail prematurely in the past), CCV lines, intake manifold gaskets, throttle body gasket, ICV gasket/grommet, Vanos oil line + crush washers, distribution pipe o-rings, and injector o-rings.

    The Vanos oil line was seeping a bit, so I figured I would replace it while I had great access to it.





    After everything was put back together, the engine ran great and seems to behave a bit better when it's cold, though still not perfect. Might do coils/plugs next, we'll see.

    Moving onto bigger changes, I got some new Kumho PS31 tires for my Apex ARC-8's. I previously had these as track wheels for my now-sold E34, I love the way they look. Being 17x9 and ET30, they're fairly aggressive on an E46. I'm glad to be retiring the ZHP wheels, as they're heavy and I don't enjoy the ride quality compromises of 18" wheels.



    You can see they look a bit silly at stock ride height:





    Earlier today, I fixed that by installing coilovers; bring out your pitchforks, I bought eBay coilovers for $250 shipped to my door. From ordering to having them in my hands, it was like 3 days, pretty impressive. The build quality is surprisingly decent for how cheap they are, and unlike a lot of cheap coilovers, these have separate ride height and spring pre-load adjustment, camber plates, and adjustable length shocks in the rear. They also came with adjustable sway bar endlinks for the front, what a deal!







    Installing them was very straightforward, with the caveat being that the supplied instructions were almost completely useless. Having installed a few dozen sets of coilovers on my own cars and customer cars, it wasn't an issue. The front coilovers were set up to different heights and the springs were excessively pre-loaded, which was easily fixed. They also had no locating tabs, so I just had to make my own markings based on the shocks I removed from the car. The rear collars were put together upside-down, another easy fix. That's really the main issue with cheap coilovers— the QC isn't amazing so it's up to you to fix the little mistakes and inspect things before installing them.

    For the fronts, I installed them with the camber maxed out, along with some Genuine BMW strut tower reinforcement plates I had laying around. I had to spin the ride height all the way down to get them low enough. The adjustable sway bar endlinks were set to their shortest length and installed, which kept the sway bar in a decent spot and not hitting anything during its range of travel.





    The rears were installed with the adjustment collars spun all the way down. A neat feature I noticed when installing them was that the collar actually bolts to the lower control arm with a long bolt and washer. The shocks were adjusted to their shortest length, which kept the spring in place quite nicely even at full droop. The collars came with a lower spring pad and I reused the stock upper spring pad for a noise-free experience.

    And now, for the final result. I'll get better pictures tomorrow, along with replacing those hideous half-functional LED plate lights, ick.







    The way I set it up, the rear never rubs, even on big bumps. Lots of travel in the front and back with this height; I have yet to hit bump stops, even on some truly awful roads. The extra camber in the front helps to fit those 17x9's in the front, and there's still plenty of room for turning. As for ride quality, my initial impressions are quite positive— they feel only slightly worse than the BC coilovers I'm accustomed to, and at less than a quarter of the cost, I'll take it! Road noise is minimal, and there's only a minimal increase in NVH despite having solid mounts. Compared to the tired OE shocks + rear KYB's, the car rides in a much more controlled manner, without being overly bouncy.

    All that's left is to get the car aligned tomorrow.
    2003 Slicktop ZHP 330i - Maintenance Thread

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Independence KY
    Posts
    2,668
    sits very well on the 17 inch setup, I've bought cheap coilovers in the past (15+ years ago for Volkswagens I previously owned) but never $250 cheap haha. It does seem like the "cheap" setups are a LOT better than 5-10-15 years ago
    2005 BMW 330i ZHP - BMWP brakes/intake/strut bar/shifter, Coby wraps interior, BBS CHs, Eagle Eye LED tails, LED fog lights, GC coilovers, Sprint Booster/sport button mod, 4.5 LCM w/ programming, Xtrons 9inch HU, BSW stg1, dynamat, M3 sedan dead pedal, oCarbon CF interior trim, CF seat backs, 2x2 CF MTECH2 diffuser, CF cabin filter cover



  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by BADCLOWN View Post
    sits very well on the 17 inch setup, I've bought cheap coilovers in the past (15+ years ago for Volkswagens I previously owned) but never $250 cheap haha. It does seem like the "cheap" setups are a LOT better than 5-10-15 years ago
    Yeah, the cheap coilovers have come a long way. Likely due to the fact that modern manufacturing makes it possible to do more complex coilovers while still remaining cheap. We'll see how these hold up!
    2003 Slicktop ZHP 330i - Maintenance Thread

  5. #15
    I finally got around to deleting the CDV, I hate those things. They're completely unnecessary if you know how to drive a manual, and they make shifting smoothly quite difficult.





    I also removed the last of the nasty LED's, in the license plate lights.





    A few days ago, a friend and I drove out to LA to deliver some parts he was selling, and to see some friends who had moved out there. The car drove flawlessly, averaging 28-29mpg throughout the trip, with the average cruising speed being around 85-90. Passed 185k miles on the way back, I'll be at 200k in no time at this rate.



    Yesterday, I decided to tackle the interior, which still had the musty smell of cigarettes (the previous owner smoked in the car, unfortunately). The first step was to remove both front seats and the lower portion of the back seat, to give me access to all of the carpet. In my experience, that's where a lot of the bad smells seem to linger.





    After a thorough vacuuming, the carpets looked 95% better, at least in the visual sense.





    The next step was to spray on some foaming carpet cleaner, followed by a thorough scrubbing with a stiff bristle brush. A drill brush would've made this much easier, but oh well. After two rounds of that, I used a carpet extractor to pull the dirt and carpet cleaner out.





    While the carpet was drying, I cleaned the seats thoroughly outside of the car. Unlike so many other cars I've owned, this car actually has pretty nice seats. I followed up by conditioning the leather, both to give it a nice smell and to protect them from the harsh Arizona sun.



    With the seats bolted back in, I was left with a much nicer-smelling interior that also looked a lot cleaner.



    Now the biggest eyesore in the interior is that awful old alcantara steering wheel. I'll likely replace it with a nice used M3 steering wheel in the near future, as I'm not a big fan of alcantara on the high-touch surfaces.
    2003 Slicktop ZHP 330i - Maintenance Thread

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Independence KY
    Posts
    2,668
    if you sell that steering wheel (no airbag obviously) id be interested

    the interior cleaning did WONDERS, nice job on that.
    2005 BMW 330i ZHP - BMWP brakes/intake/strut bar/shifter, Coby wraps interior, BBS CHs, Eagle Eye LED tails, LED fog lights, GC coilovers, Sprint Booster/sport button mod, 4.5 LCM w/ programming, Xtrons 9inch HU, BSW stg1, dynamat, M3 sedan dead pedal, oCarbon CF interior trim, CF seat backs, 2x2 CF MTECH2 diffuser, CF cabin filter cover



  7. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Independence KY
    Posts
    2,668
    if you sell that steering wheel (no airbag obviously) id be interested

    the interior cleaning did WONDERS, nice job on that.
    2005 BMW 330i ZHP - BMWP brakes/intake/strut bar/shifter, Coby wraps interior, BBS CHs, Eagle Eye LED tails, LED fog lights, GC coilovers, Sprint Booster/sport button mod, 4.5 LCM w/ programming, Xtrons 9inch HU, BSW stg1, dynamat, M3 sedan dead pedal, oCarbon CF interior trim, CF seat backs, 2x2 CF MTECH2 diffuser, CF cabin filter cover



  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by BADCLOWN View Post
    if you sell that steering wheel (no airbag obviously) id be interested

    the interior cleaning did WONDERS, nice job on that.
    The steering wheel is super grubby, like that alcantara is beyond saving. There's a few small rips in it too.

    And thanks! The smoker smell has been mostly gone since then; it hasn't come back, even with the car sitting in triple-digit heat all day.
    2003 Slicktop ZHP 330i - Maintenance Thread

  9. #19
    The other day, my friend and I drove out to the Roosevelt Dam, which was a pretty fun drive.



    We then looped back through Globe, which has a charming little downtown area with old buildings.



    After that, we drove around the outskirts of town, looking for cool roads. We found one that was in a pretty remote area, beautiful views all around.





    Some of the roads were paved, and some weren't, but that didn't stop the ZHP. It was a bit of a bouncy ride with the eBay coilovers, but they held up just fine.





    After the last three weeks of having fun with the car, it was finally time to wash it. While the dark gray color hides dirt quite well, it was getting to a point where it still looked pretty filthy, especially after off-roading. I hit it with my usual arsenal of AmmoNYC detailing products, cleaning the wheels and paint thoroughly. I also coated the paint with a sealant, which should make future washes much easier and will hopefully help to protect the paint against the harsh Arizona sun.











    I'm pretty happy with the way the car is sitting at the moment, especially with the ARC-8 wheels. Not sure why all the E46 people go with the high-offset flat face model, the 17x9 ET30 concave face fits great with a bit of camber, and it looks spectacular. My rear quarters have the inner lips trimmed and the bumper is trimmed a bit, so I rarely ever get any rubbing, even with people in the car and a trunk full of stuff. I'm running around -2 of camber all around, seems to handle pretty well with this setup too.
    2003 Slicktop ZHP 330i - Maintenance Thread

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Austin TX
    Posts
    7,154
    Cool pics.
    2005 IR / black / 6MT
    153,000 miles

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