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Thread: From Bavaria, with love (Maryland ZHP Story)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Kensington, Maryland

    From Bavaria, with love (Maryland ZHP Story)

    I have been wanting to write this for a long time now, but I just haven’t had the time to really work on it. So here goes!

    Right after Christmas of 2010, the idea came into my head that I would get a new car. I had been driving a 2001 Ford Escape which I had no problems with. It was great for moving stuff and blasted through snow and rough terrain. But it was an SUV, which meant it wasn’t very good at taking corners; and the gas mileage sucked.

    So I looked into my budget and started looking around for cars that were in the 5K-9K range. At the time I had no idea what I wanted. An old Datsun 510 would have been a sweet car to fix up. I looked at a few Nissans and Mazda RX-7’s. Then I saw the E30 and I knew that I wanted a BMW. I looked all over for an E30 that was rust free and had fairly low miles, but that’s no easy feat.

    After discussing my findings with my stepdad, he suggested that I should look at something newer. Something that would have nicer features and won’t have to worry about rust. So I thought about the E36 M3. But every car out there was roughly 3K overpriced from what KBB was saying. So he suggested to go newer. With my heart still set on an M3 I started looking at every E46 M3 that was around there area (And ones that weren’t). After two months of searching I finally came to the conclusion that I wouldn’t be able to afford an E46 M3. I was looking at roughly 18K-19K for anything decent with 100K miles on it. Not to mention the insurance and everything, it just wasn’t meant to be.

    That’s when I decided I wanted a ZHP. I found one located in College Park Maryland, which ironically was right down the street from a friend of mine. I was hesitant when I first saw it. But right away I knew that this was the car I wanted. It has a few flaws, but so far it has been mechanically sound and a blast to drive. The first two owners were dealers. So it had regular maintenance performed by the dealer, no sketchy stuff. I have so many plans for this car. So many things I want to do, but need to wait until I have the funds.

    The Car

    2005 BMW 330i ZHP
    6-Speed Manual Transmission
    Jet Black with Natural Brown Leather Interior
    Halogen Headlights
    Alcantara Steering Wheel
    Black Cube Trim
    95,000 miles

    The day I bought her

    Mods / Maintenance

    -Black kidney grills
    -Blue and white roundels
    -Angel Eyes (Khoalty)
    -Polished plastic headlamp covers
    -Software Tuning - DRL's turned off - fog lights stay on even after high beam use - turn signal lights off in running light mode (Thanks VA330CI!)
    -Engine cooling system refresh with ECS Tuning aluminum water pump pulley
    -It does already have a K&N filter in the stock box which is nice

    Wish List / Ideas (In no particular order)

    -30% tints back on the car
    -Slightly higher temperature bulbs for the headlamps and fogs. I’m thinking 4500K
    -New weighted ZHP shift knob
    -Buff and polish the paint. It really needs some TLC. I know detailers domain has some great kits.
    -New wheels and tires. I really really like the wheels on Jon Estrella's (Au2Bahn) car.
    -Clear corners, clear sidemarkers, LED rear brake lights.
    -BMW performance intake
    -BMW performance strut bar
    -New front bumper, I think this one is beyond saving. It has some major gashes and scrapes underneath from the PO. Its probably the worst looking part on the car.
    -Upgrade the suspension system. I have no idea what direction I want to go with this.
    -The last thing I do to this car will be an ESS TS2 Supercharger. It will happen. Maybe not for a while but it will happen.

    Blue carbon fiber

    Before Sonax

    After Sonax

    Bimmerfest East

    If you made it this far thanks for reading! I will try to update this as I keep working on my car. My car isn't perfect, but it's getting there slowly but surely. I hope to someday have my car be as good as some of the other forum members here. You all have beautiful cars that really raise the bar.

    Comments, suggestions and advice are all appreciated.
    Last edited by Newjack; 01-30-2012 at 12:00 PM.
    2005 Jet Black 6MT ZHP "Family First"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Kensington, Maryland
    So I finally got around to refreshing my engine cooling system a few weeks back. Whew! I don't have to worry that my car is going to suicide one day on my way to work. I couldn't have done it any later either. As it turns out, my thermostat was bad. It was stuck open, which meant that my car would take a long time to come up to optimal temperature.

    Overall the process was very straightforward and simple. I used this guide here which gave me all the information that I needed to complete the job. I ordered my engine cooling system refresh from Specifically this kit here Note I have a manual transmission so I did not purchase the kit with the extra trans thermostat.

    I also bought an aluminum water pump pulley from ECS Tuning which I think was a solid investment. The one I took of my car seemed old and rusty.

    My Notes

    The guide says that you should use a tube to help flow the coolant from the engine block into the bucket. This wasn't practical to me at all. The bottom line is you're going to spill coolant everywhere. I just used a really large pan with a wide surface area to catch as much of it as I could. But even so it still comes out sideways and I got a decent amount on my passenger wheel. Just get some towels or shop rags for this part to clean up.

    The radiator hoses weren't too bad. The lower hose was definitely harder to get off because it is awkward to grab so you can't get as much leverage as you want.

    When removing the expansion tank, be careful. I did this job with the help and supervision of my stepdad (He's an engineer at NASA and knows a lot about cars). The guide says to use a rubber mallet to bang on the bottom of the expansion tank to help dislodge it. We couldn't find a rubber mallet right away so we used a hammer. Mistake. I hear my stepdad slowly banging at the expansion tank. I hear BANG BANG BANG BANG CRACK. "Dude I think I broke your car." The hammer bounced off the expansion tank and hit my power steering pulley which cracked off a piece of the lip.

    When I put on my ECS Tuning water pump pulley the guide says to tighten the bolts to 10 N-m or 7ft-lbs of torque. I spun the pulley and noticed it was off a little bit. It wobbled from side to side. So I tightened it a little more than the guide said to in order to get the pulley to spin in a smooth easy circle.

    All in all, this was a fairly easy DIY. Just follow the guide and take your time. I didn't have any problems (minus the power steering pulley which I replaced). Feel free to ask me any questions. I'd be more than happy to help.

    Last edited by Newjack; 10-30-2011 at 03:03 PM. Reason: Added content
    2005 Jet Black 6MT ZHP "Family First"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Tampa, FL
    Good story. Sounds like what happened when I got my first BMW. I was looking at Nissan 240s and my dad suggested an E36. And down the slippery slope I went.

    P.S. The natural brown interior is beautiful. I love that combo.
    19" VMR VB3 CSL reps w/ General G-Max 3 A/S, BMW Performance short throw shifter, CDV delete, M54B30 swap, and a redneck CAI.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011

    good god that's shekshy. leatherique them badboys!

    I didn't think halogen bulbs came with kelvin ratings, do they?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Lebanon, OH
    Great car Newjack. Nice writeup.
    "Flame suit NOT REQUIRED!!!"
    Call Me Dane l 2/2004 330i ZHP l 18x8 ET45 BBS CK's wrapped with Michelin Pilot Sport AS3+ @ 245-40-18 l KW V1 Coilovers in front l KW V1 springs w/ Bilstein B8 dampeners in rear l BMW Performance Rotors l UUC StrutBarbarian l Racing Dynamics Rear Strut Bar l Jim Conforti Shark Injector l Light Birch Interior Trim l Bimmian Celly Mount l M3 Trunk Mat l l e90 Performance E-Brake & Shift Knob l M3 Tri-Stitched Boots l AL Headlight Retrofit with ZKW Lenses l CobyWheel Wrap w/M3 Stitching l LCM sw 4.5 triple blink and rear fogs

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Ocean County, NJ
    Great write up. Enjoyed that.
    -Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.
    ZHP Pre-Ride Briefing

    2005 ZHP, Alcantara, Silver Cube, Nav, Sharked, BMW Perf Intake, BMW Perf CF Strut Brace, CF Valve/Fuel Rail Covers, Shadowline Grills, CF Splitters, Fog Light Inserts, LED Interiors/Plate Lights, Euro-mirrors, CDV Delete, Beisan vanos, GAS DISA, BP Coded

    2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Q4; Sport Package, CW Package, Nav, Sunroof

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Southern California
    Very cool, love that color combo. Jet Black FTW!
    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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Phoenix, AZ
    Sweet, that looks EXACTLY like my car!!! Did you take those pics in MY garage? haa

    Great pics and great color combo of course!

    I really have no idea what I am doing

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    San Ramon, Calif. Bay Area
    Great Story, great color combo.... keeper!!!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Fist City
    384 want black seats?....

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