Materials to Maintain Your ZHP IIIII Hand Protection IIIII Tools to Maintain Your ZHP
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2023
    Location
    Denton TX
    Posts
    78

    New member intro - '03 Imola Red ZHP (Denton TX)

    Morning, y'all!

    Hi, my name is Bob and I purchased my new to me '03 Imola Red ZHP 2 weeks ago from a friend I met out here who lives in Plano. He's moving out of the country for most of his retirement life and in the past few years, he hardly put any miles on this beauty and wanted it to go to a good home and owner (me). This is my 2nd BMW. I previously restored a '76 2002 CA-spec and stupidly sold it but for good reason (that car had bad juju and was cursed lol). The previous PO recommended this ZHP-focused site, so here I am and I have a lot to learn and read about this beautiful car.

    My goal for this vehicle is to restore it to near stock condition. I do not plan to mod it for autocross, more futuristic parts, exterior LEDs, etc. Call me boring but that's my goal. Oh, my user handle and nick for my ZHP is "TX Red Devil". Obviously for the color but I'm a fan of the South Korean national soccer team (the fans are called the "Red Devils").

    Unfortunately under my ownership, and no fault of my own, it has not been an auspicious start! Two days after buying it, I went to the Tax Office to register my ZHP. Some @#$%@# keyed the right side passenger door. There was a significantly deep key scratch that will require a repaint. The pic I've posted here does not show the scratch as it was the first pic I took of her hours after I drove it home. The previous owner's wife also put a somewhat noticeable gouge in the rear passenger door. I got a quote already from a local paint shop who painted my front end on my '98 4Runner and they costed it to around $1K for both doors. The front bumper is faded as well and the repaint will cost about $450, which includes labor to take off all parts to get it off and repaint/clear coat. The rain gutter channels on top of the roof are delaminating as well. I've seen some YT vids of guys pulling them off and repainting/clear coating them. Wouldn't be a bad idea to try.

    Interior-wise for a 20 year old car, it's in great shape. No tears or significantly heavy wear, even on the driver's side bolster. The biggest issues I've found so far are:
    • Headliner is falling down mostly in the back
    • Headlight dial appears to be upside down. How the heck do you pop it off without breaking it?
    • Alcantara steering wheel is pilling on the bottom side of the steering wheel
    • Rear pass window only rolls halfway down before getting stuck
    • The rear part of the center console's cubby area (whatever it's called) the parts have broken off.


    Engine is running extremely well. I'm having loads of fun! I can't remember everything that the PO performed, but the Vanos has not been reconditioned with any parts. I recall some gaskets were replaced related to the oil filter housing. Fortunately he's service his car at the same shop since he owned it (2nd owner since 2006).

    Cooling system has not had the recommended expansion tank replace or the hoses---I think. I'll have to look at the records. The water pump though has been changed, but not recalling the interval. Not sure if it's an electric fan, I'll have to check.

    Suspension is a bit rough, but it might be me not knowing how these ZHPs ride in stock form. Every bump feels like a kidney punch to me on bumps. I've purchased Sachs replacement shocks and struts from FCP Euro. I asked them to send me the same type or equivalent shocks/struts as what was originally installed. I got a quote for install (I don't think I can do this by myself esp. in this 105F Texas heat) and I've got to get more quotes because the quote was pretty high. I believe his mechanic changed the subframe bushings. I'll have to poke around or ask my mechanic to check for subframe cracks, but the PO said his mechanic recently said "no cracks". By the way, are ZHP more prone to these cracks like M3s? Air pressure on the Pilot tires are 32 in front and 36 in back. I believe it should be 38 in the rear.

    Other things discovered include:

    - A constantly leaking front driver's side headlight washer. When I turn it on to dispense fluid, it does so for both, but the front driver's side keeps leaking. I would love to somehow disable the pump. I find no use for it in my head as I don't plan to ever drive this ZHP in inclement weather. At a later date, I'll try to figure out why it's leaking and possibly replace the parts later (very low priority)
    - Rubber trim around the left turn signal lamp is all torn off. Does BMW or any other company sells the rubber gasket?
    - Right turn signal lamp's bulb socket is melted. Lamp assembly is NOT OEM and the bulb holder's rubber gasket is torn off and more importantly, the bulb socket is impossible to fit. I had to dremel the female holes in the lamp assembly to allow it to better fit. Anyways, I ordered a new lamp assembly so it'll be a non issue as soon as the part comes in.
    - Rear plate holder - I think I have the stock holder. Seems inadequate. I need to find a plate frame holder.
    - The PO screwed in the front plate into the front of the bumper. I saw that BMW sells a trim bumper piece with an integrated plate holder. If anyone has one to sell, please message or reply here.
    - Black bumper trim is faded. Anyone has a recommendation on long-lasting bumper trim restoring product, I'm all ears.

    Other:

    - Any great recommendations for a shop or independent mechanics? I'm in Denton TX but would consider shops or individuals within 30 mins of Denton
    - I would love to have a rear view camera (all our cars have them and/or were retrofitted with one), but I'm torn because I want to keep the stock radio/look. Any suggestions?

    I think that's it for now re: items I've discovered to date. Anyways, lots to read and learn about my "new" ZHP.

    Thanks,
    Bob
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    4,892
    Welcome Bob! and nice having you among the group. This is THE place for ZHP-related stuff.
    Too bad about the keyed door, people will be people I guess.
    Hope you get to fix all the small issues you describe (from the sagging headliner to the turn signal). Should be fun to make it back to all working oem stuff.
    325i, 2005, 5MT, Silvergrey, leatherette, Sport package; CDV delete, KONI STR-T & KYB Excel-G, Weisslichts, Stewart H2O pump

    328i, 2010, 6MT, Spacegrey, dakota leather, M-sport packages; has a 330 intake but no tune - yet
    http://s900.photobucket.com/user/othibau/media/Junesig.jpg.html][IMG]http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac208/othibau/Junesig.jpg

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2023
    Location
    Denton TX
    Posts
    78
    Oli77: Yeah, sucks how my ZHP adventure has started, but it is what it is. I'm looking forward to refreshing my ZHP!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Austin TX
    Posts
    7,585
    Congrats, Bob! Your car looks very sharp. How many miles on the clock? I used "forever black bumper and trim" on a previous E46. It lasted a long time, I sold that car 2 years later and the bumper trim still looked good.

    I believe subframe cracks are more common on the M3 cars, so you should be good there. I refreshed my suspension 3 years ago, please check this link for the list of parts used. I also went with Sachs.

    http://www.zhpmafia.com/forums/showt...000#post593000

    Sorry to hear about your Tax Office incident. But it sounds like you found a body shop with very decent prices.

    Cheers,
    Fredo
    2005 IR / black / 6MT
    157,000 miles

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2023
    Location
    Denton TX
    Posts
    78
    Fredo, thanks for the welcome! Looks like you got a nice Imola Red one too How did you mount your license plate? The previous owner screwed his into the front bumper. With my future repaint of the bumper, I'm going to ask the shop to plug, sand, and paint over the holes and most likely I'll buy the BMW OEM front license plate mount. Hopefully I can find one used for less.

    My ZHP has only 97K on the clock. Thanks for the rec on Forever Black Bumper and Trim. I'll take a look. Great to know it lasted 2 years. That's an eternity out here in the TX sun/heat! I'll read the link you sent on the parts, thanks. Very helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Austin TX
    Posts
    7,585
    Quote Originally Posted by TXRedDevil View Post
    Fredo, thanks for the welcome! Looks like you got a nice Imola Red one too How did you mount your license plate? The previous owner screwed his into the front bumper. With my future repaint of the bumper, I'm going to ask the shop to plug, sand, and paint over the holes and most likely I'll buy the BMW OEM front license plate mount. Hopefully I can find one used for less.
    The PO installed this Gominigo kit:
    https://www.gominigo.com/product-page/bmw30-30-38mm

    Sadly, it's out of stock.
    2005 IR / black / 6MT
    157,000 miles

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2023
    Location
    Denton TX
    Posts
    78

    Little things done

    Been coming back to this site and E46Fanatics quite often. Thanks guys for sharing your knowledge over the years!

    This TX heat this summer is killing me lol. I've decided for the time being to limit my garage time until this heat wears off on the bigger maintenance projects---or get a mini split installed. So since purchase, I've gotten the paint quotes down to a reasonable figure (it'll just cost me some time removing what I can including protective door and bumper trim, fog lights, etc.), and have thoroughly cleaned the dirt from the leather seats. I plan to completely do the Leatherique treatment over the coming days one seat at a time. Shampooing the carpet and carpet mats are next for the interior.

    Other things I've done: Phone holder w/ USB adapter (took a lot of time to figure out best one for my use), replaced front non-OEM turn signal assembly w/ new non-LED bulbs for both (dielectric grease applied), new silicone license plate frames, and more detailed inspection of the vehicle itself. Since I've been working shirtless sometimes, I purchased a washable seat cover to protect my now cleaned leather to keep the driver's seat from absorbing my salty self. I'll probably continue to use it to keep the wear off the oft-used driver's seat. Not very attractive, but better than worn leather!

    Oh, and the bottom of the alcantara steering wheel was very pill'y. I've shaved those off and the bottom half of the steering wheel is really nice now. The top half though, the alcantara needs to be rejuvinated. It's lost that soft feeling and it feels like a leather steering wheel.

    Link to phone holder: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B089LDX88M...roduct_details
    Link to washable seat cover: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08ZMLX44Z...t_details&th=1
    Link to silicone plate frames: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08DK1SZSF...t_details&th=1
    Link to fabric shaver: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QS8RNWX...roduct_details

    I'm going to prioritize though the cooling system over the suspension after watching hours of YT videos with this same recommendation. So back to the FCP Euro site in search of a kit unless you fine gentlemen recommend another kit.

    Aside from that, I've been researching is rear camera options. Unfortunately for this little, but very useful feature, I've come to the conclusion that I'll have to spend about $800 - $900 on an Avin unit w/ some accessories to make it look semi-stock. The Avant 4 looks the best in my opinion. My 4Runner is a giant fishbowl with big side view mirrors and very easy to back up without a cam (but I installed one anyways to my aftermarket head unit), so that's my reference point. The ZHP is infinitely more difficult. Avin Avant 4 users, please chime in on your experience with this unit

    That's it for now. And I'll post pics later after I sign up with a file sharing site.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by fredo View Post
    I believe subframe cracks are more common on the M3 cars, so you should be good there . . .
    fredo, rear subframe cracks can occur on any E46. I had rear subframe cracks on my first BMW, a '99 323i that I got BMW to repair under warranty. I can say they are not more common on just M3 cars and can occur on any E46 . . . YMMV. It is always good to have the rear subframes checked every time you put your car on a lift for service and if you find cacks beginning to form, address them when you can.

    Bob, welcome to the forum You will find lots of good stuff here thru people's project threads as well as discussions and DIYs. There is alot of info that can be found here thru this forum as well as forum members. We are all here to help each other out.

    Sorry to hear about your car getting keyed . . .

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2023
    Location
    Denton TX
    Posts
    78
    cakM3: Thanks for the warm welcome! You've already helped me answer some AVIN stereo questions, so much appreciated

    Yes, the rear subframe cracks is something I definitely worry about. But the previous owner said his shop in Plano TX said he didn't see any cracks or signs of fatigue prior to selling it to me. I'll cross my fingers that I can enjoy my ZHP for a long while before it happens.

    You would think BMW would be smarter with their design. Welp, can't have everything I guess. The only thing I've read why M3s are more prone is because of the higher HP, torque, and the inclination of M3 drivers to actually use it and thereby stressing the sheet metal out. Makes sense to me.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by TXRedDevil View Post
    cakM3: Thanks for the warm welcome! You've already helped me answer some AVIN stereo questions, so much appreciated


    Quote Originally Posted by TXRedDevil View Post
    Yes, the rear subframe cracks is something I definitely worry about. But the previous owner said his shop in Plano TX said he didn't see any cracks or signs of fatigue prior to selling it to me. I'll cross my fingers that I can enjoy my ZHP for a long while before it happens.

    You would think BMW would be smarter with their design. Welp, can't have everything I guess. The only thing I've read why M3s are more prone is because of the higher HP, torque, and the inclination of M3 drivers to actually use it and thereby stressing the sheet metal out. Makes sense to me.
    This is typical of why M3's are subject to rear subframe cracks but also when people seriously slam their rides. I have my M3 checked on a regular basis and after close to 15 years of ownership recently discovered some cracks starting on my rear subframe. Fortunately I have my ZHP to drive so when I'm ready to take my M3 to a reputable shop for repairs the car will primrily become my garage queen.

    Rear subframe cracks is something every E46 owner needs to be aware of. Eventually, it will happen depending on many factors. YMMV. Just enjoy your ride and either take the preventive maintenance approach to things and get the rear subframe reinforcement plates and weld them to the rear subframe mounts or do them once you discover cracks beginning to form. Either way the longer you have your E46, you will eventually have to deal with this.

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