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E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 Roadster, Z3 coupe, Z3 M Roadster and Z3 M Coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #76  
Old 10-22-2010, 02:26 PM
DogFather DogFather is offline
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I have to add my .02 cents here--

I just "invented" the hot/cold control arm fix -- or so I thought. You guys are years ahead of me! I should've checked here first, it would've saved me an hour figuring out how to get to all that stuff.

When I finally DID get access to it all, the assembly sort of fell apart in my hands and I had to reach down in there to find the loose pieces. I just about had a panic attack. I could hear the cash register ringing at Roadshow BMW in Memphis. After about 10 minutes of studying and playing with the loose parts I got a "vision" of how it was supposed to work and how I could fix it back. I'm sure they wouldn't have touched this job for less than $1000. They are notorious.

My variation was a little bit different, I drilled a tiny hole where the broken off pin used to be. Then I pushed through a finishing nail that had a fairly rounded and smooth head. Then I used some cutters to nip off the sharp end of the nail so that it could be pushed back through and "flush" on the backside (not that it mattered much).

My end result looks very similar to 98FLSTC's picture in post #72 above. I'm sure mine doesn't glide as smoothly in that groove, and I'll probably have to buy a complete replacement panel at some point in the future. But for right now in October I expect that it will get me through at least one winter.

This is a FANTASTIC site. I spent a lot of time on Honda forums in the past. Those guys were good, but you have a much better place here.
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  #77  
Old 11-03-2010, 09:24 AM
tep_z3 tep_z3 is offline
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Location: Pennsylvania
 
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Mein Auto: 2001 Z3
Drilling the heater control arm

I just acquired an '01 Z3 and the heater control arm ball/knob is broken as has been noted in several posts. Pulling the radio was easy, but how does one remove the plastic control arm so that it can be drilled for a new pin or ball stud?

Great posts, photos, and website!

thanks, Tom
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  #78  
Old 11-05-2010, 07:17 AM
DogFather DogFather is offline
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Tom, I'll try to describe it to you, but if you feel around back there with your fingers you might be able to visualize how it all kind of "snaps together." I spent about 15 minutes just turning the dials and feeling back there letting my fingertips be my eyes until I had a mental picture.

After you've done that, take the knob off of the center control dial by pulling it toward you. You might want to carefully wedge a tiny flat-head screwdriver in there to pry it off a little bit, but it's not hard to just pull the knob off. DON'T FORCE IT, and DON'T SCRATCH ANYTHING. You don't have to man-handle anything here. It very gently comes apart. Then you can push the little pin that the knob attaches to forward through the hole and it will dangle loose behind the dash.

There are two wire cables connecting to the backside of that assembly (to the "arms" that attach to the dials). You kind of have to turn the dials manually from behind the dash to get them to an angle where the cables kind of slip out of a groove. You don't have to remove the entire assembly (big white plastic thing) just that one dial and what attaches to it. The only little piece that you need to perform surgery on is the "elbow" of the greenish plastic arm. The arm attaches to the assembly at the "shoulder" and the cable attaches at the "wrist".



One thing I can't emphasize enough is that when you drill the hole, go small and be perfectly vertical. Any angle at all can mess you up and you certainly don't want the hole to be too big.

I'm sorry I can't do a better job of describing this to you, but trust me when I say that if I can do it, it must not be very difficult. Just make sure you remember how everything fits back together before you take it apart. In the picture above, they didn't even have to remove the dial like I did. Those arms will just slip off of their connecting pins (at the "shoulder") but I wasn't smart enough to figure that out!

Last edited by DogFather; 11-05-2010 at 07:21 AM.
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  #79  
Old 11-05-2010, 08:06 AM
tep_z3 tep_z3 is offline
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Thanks DogFather, that helps a great deal. I've been using a compact mirror to get a good look at the parts and cables until my ball stud parts arrive. I'll be sure not to force or scratch anything. Looking forward to saving $400!
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  #80  
Old 11-05-2010, 11:20 AM
dougmcintyre dougmcintyre is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DogFather View Post
...

but it's not hard to just pull the knob off. DON'T FORCE IT, and DON'T SCRATCH ANYTHING.
Hmmm, that wasn't my experience. In order to get to the bottom HVAC light, I removed all 3 knobs. On the first pull, each knob slightly moved. But, after that, those knobs would not move. I was very careful to pull straight out.

Finally, wedging a corner of an old credit card behind the knob and rotating the knob pushed the knob outward. Repeatedly wedging in more card and rotating the knob worked the knobs off.
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  #81  
Old 08-01-2011, 11:30 PM
MickeyMouse2 MickeyMouse2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DogFather View Post
...

I'm sorry I can't do a better job of describing this to you, but trust me when I say that if I can do it, it must not be very difficult. Just make sure you remember how everything fits back together before you take it apart. In the picture above, they didn't even have to remove the dial like I did. Those arms will just slip off of their connecting pins (at the "shoulder") but I wasn't smart enough to figure that out!

I just went through this on my 98 Z3 2.8. The RED arm goes all the way through the translucent and green arms and has tabs that hold the three arms together. You have to separate the white housing from the black control knob section to get to these tabs. If you do that, the top (red) and middle (translucent/white) arms will come free and then you can do the necessary work on the broken arm.

I lost the spring loaded catch on my temperature gauge in the process. It is down in the center console somewhere now... Oh well, at least I can go from cold to warm to hot, rather than cold/hot.

Thanks for the detailed posts and pictures here, this thread is a life saver!

Les
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  #82  
Old 10-16-2011, 02:39 PM
Liders Liders is offline
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Preparing to remove the panel on a 2000 M Roadster through the radio opening, may loosen/romove the passenger side kick panel. I can see that the fan selector switch is a pull-out electricl connection, see the three cable connected to the lever arms behind the temperature control guage, and see the disconnect on the air selector knob (electrical disconnect, right?). Question is, I cannot see how the cables are connected to the lever arms. By looking at other threads, it appears that the arms each have a round slot the some type of tab at the end of the cable fits int. Appears that I need to move the cable ehough to align the tab on the cable with the opeing on the lever arms, slide the tab through and out. ANyone got a picture of the cable end or advice on how to disconnect and reconnect the cables in a tight space? Thanks!
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  #83  
Old 10-05-2012, 12:28 PM
DogFather DogFather is offline
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Sorry to resurrect a dead thread, but I have something to add.

Two years ago, I performed a fix similar to the one described and pictured by 98FLSTC. My posts are still up there.

My solution was much more crude, and involved a nail with a fat, rounded head rather than the special "knob" type part he found. Mine worked great for two years, but last weekend it finally crapped out for good. I guess my drilling caused a crack? I dunno, I haven't opened it up yet.

Anyway, I went looking for BMW part #64118398937. The median price I found was $219. The lowest was $192 (but I'm not sure they really had it in stock) and the highest--you guessed it, from a REAL BMW DEALER was $515.

Then I checked ebaY!!!!

$86.27 shipped. They have three other assemblies listed at $150 OBO. It is certainly worth considering.

If someone were really smart, they'd figure out how to make a mold for just those little plastic arm thingys. For less than the price of one assembly you could probably manufacture 100 of them, and sell them for $50 each.
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  #84  
Old 04-02-2013, 08:12 AM
steevo924 steevo924 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 Z3 2.5i
Red face Not Difficult

I just replaced the two bulbs on mine. Just remove the radio. My 2001 Z3 2.5 had the screws on the sides. Just remove them, pop the two tabs and you ready. The bulbs are in very tight. Needle nose pliers do the trick.
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  #85  
Old 06-29-2013, 11:11 PM
A340600driver A340600driver is offline
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Just did this repair on my 2001 Z3, big pita. However you do no need to remove the cable from the red arm. If you can pop out the red arm arm from the clips slide it back carefully and you will be able to move it enough to slide the translucent arm out for repair. Just make sure you secure the red arm somewhere so it does not fall and disconnect form the cable.
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  #86  
Old 11-19-2013, 05:56 PM
respinosa respinosa is offline
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Location: Lebanon, KY
 
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Mein Auto: 2001 Z3 Roadster
Z3 Heater Control Panel

Hi Ron, I have 2001 Z3 Roadster 2.5, and the temperature control knob broke. Where can I get the part(s) to repair? Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Stygar View Post
Received the backplate today. Comes with lamps and the blower switch.
Lamps are sure tight in place. Had to use long nose to get them out. Not sure how you would do this with it in the dash.



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  #87  
Old 11-20-2013, 04:23 AM
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vintage42 vintage42 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 BMW Z3 1.9 5MT
Quote:
Originally Posted by respinosa View Post
Hi Ron, I have 2001 Z3 Roadster 2.5, and the temperature control knob broke. Where can I get the part(s) to repair? Thanks!
You say the knob broke, but likely you mean the control arm or some other part behind the knob itself.

Put your car's last 7 VI into RealOEM.com and look at the parts for temperature control. RealOEM says the 2.5 ended in 09/2000 so I assume you have a 2.5i.
http://realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?...56&hg=64&fg=20

It appears that you may have to buy the whole Base Plate (item 3 with PN 64118398937), which is why this DIY thread is about fixing just the control arm in the base plate.

If you do need that whole base plate part or any other part, go to BMW South Atlanta's site and enter the part number to look at photo and price:
http://parts.bmwofsouthatlanta.com/p...118398937.html
It is always good to know the actual part number and retail price of what you want.

Then you can see if another vendor has it cheaper, or search eBay for "bmw z3 climate control" and see less expensive new and used parts.
http://www.ebay.com/sch/6000/i.html?...ssories&_rdc=2

Last edited by vintage42; 11-20-2013 at 04:24 AM.
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  #88  
Old 12-10-2013, 03:54 PM
respinosa respinosa is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 Z3 Roadster
Z3 Heater Control Panel

Thanks Vinatag42, that's exactly what I needed to know!
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  #89  
Old 02-06-2015, 12:47 PM
Blimey Blimey is offline
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Thanks fella's - what a nice group of replys - once it gets above freezing (I'm in Canada) I'll attack it. Thanks again.
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  #90  
Old 03-22-2015, 05:42 AM
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Randy Forbes Randy Forbes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Forbes View Post
12/8/02. Those bulbs lasted a lot longer than the originals...

Now, six (6) years later, since this thread is still used for reference, I'll update it with some new pictures.

Note that while not shown, the head unit has to be removed first, so be sure to have the security code if it's the factory unit. The CD head unit requires a 2.5mm Allen wrench to remove, the cassette player takes a special five (5) sided tool available from the dealer.

















Since I can't edit my own post to correct the broken links, I'll quote it...
__________________

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2001///M Rdstr Steel Gray
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  #91  
Old 03-24-2015, 07:55 PM
Thingfisher Thingfisher is offline
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Thanks for posting the pictures and being very clear about how to do this. I need to do this soon.
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  #92  
Old 09-29-2015, 03:38 PM
billbmsn billbmsn is offline
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Mein Auto: 2000 Z3 2.3
Randy's post #90 above was the key to me being able to replace burned out AC unit bulbs. Leaving the front fastened in place and unsnapping the white back control panel was the trick. Someone suggested earlier that Sylvania 2721 bulbs might work, but even though they might be the correct bulb, it appears to me that BMW fastened them to the bulb holder in some unique way - not just pushed in. I managed to break the old bulb free from the holder, but the new bulb would not work and would not stay put. So, I went to the dealer and bought the holders with bulb. Easy peasy but relatively expensive. My dealer wanted almost $25 each. Online I see them for $12-15. Also, The control cables were in the way of flipping and getting to the right side bulb on the backside. So, after I managed to extract the bulb out of the holder, I pushed the holder out from the front. Inserting the new holder from the back by feel is pretty easy. Getting the control panel back in place is pretty easy once you seat the bottom so the clips are inside the the outer lip of the front piece and then push the top down and forward to engage the clips with a clear snap. Reinstall the knobs, supporting the control panel with your other hand from behind. The AC panel is nice and brightly lit at night again. THANKS for all the helpful information here! My new-to-me 2000 Z3 2.3 roadster has been a blast to drive. These lights were one of its very few flaws.
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  #93  
Old 09-30-2015, 11:35 AM
DGSZ3 DGSZ3 is offline
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Does anyone sell a LED replacement for these bulbs?
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  #94  
Old 09-30-2015, 01:28 PM
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vintage42 vintage42 is offline
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I think the special base would be a problem for holding any LED bulb. Even the incandescent bulbs don't seem to come alone, only in the special base.
https://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-Z3-1.9-M44_1.9L/ES165448/
https://zroadster.org/articles/bmw-z...trol-bulbs.65/
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  #95  
Old 10-11-2015, 03:57 AM
DMO94556 DMO94556 is offline
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Hey Guys, this thread has been so useful especially at the front (page 1) with Ron's images and this page (4) where Randy Forbes shows using pliers to get them out. Allow me to augment this a little. First, know that time to replace both bulbs for me was est. at 30 mins for my '01 E36/8 and that I never did this before so suffice to say I wanted to be careful no to damage.

This video was helpful at mins 1 to 3 where the guy shows the two screws and how to unseat the HVAC control,

Summary

- Bulb 1 at the bottom of the HVAC unit - certainly using needle nose pliers on this was the best given you need to tug gently to unseat it.

- Bulb 2: after replacing Bulb 1 I tried to access Bulb 2 on the back but could not turn it around like how Randy showed. I was feeling resistance of the cables so did not want to risk damaging anything. So in my circumstance I re-seated the HVAC unit and decided to come at it from behind. I purchased a pair of small hemostats from Fry's Electronics and then tied some fishing line with about 4' of length just in case I dropped. These were used to clip the plastic based of the bulb. What helped me see behind was attaching my Maglite Mini to a telescopic mirror (see pic). Then, i used the two finger rings to gently apply equal pressure to un-seat the bulb. IT COULD NOT HAVE BEEN EASIER! To install the new bulb I just did the reverse, using the hemostats to clip the larger side of the bulb base --- I did this since the two pins are on the smaller side so did not want to interfere or damage them. I gently pushed it in....heard the click and removed the hemostats.

Here's some pics
https://www.flickr.com/photos/352322...posted-public/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/352322...posted-public/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/352322...posted-public/

Hope this helps!

Last edited by DMO94556; 10-11-2015 at 04:00 AM. Reason: images
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  #96  
Old 10-11-2015, 10:31 AM
billbmsn billbmsn is offline
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You can unseat the entire HVAC unit, like you did, or you can leave the HVAC unit in place (don't remove the 2 screws), instead remove the knobs and unsnap the rear white half of the control unit from the front portion, pull the white half back and up to get to bulb number 1 easily. I agree the cables make flipping the control over to directly access bulb holder number 2 on the backside essentially impossible through the opening, so many people find some way to get the number 2 bulb and holder out the backside, like you did, usually quite involved and tricky. Some remove the side panels on the console. I simply extracted only the bulb from its holder, leaving the holder sans bulb stuck in the control unit still attached to the wire harness. The bulb right there in front of you and breaks free with just a little twisting and pulling with pliers. So, there is no issue with the cables and no need to try to get your hands, mirrors and tiny forceps behind the AC unit. After the bulb itself is out, simply PUSH the bulb holder, still attached to the wire harness, back out of the control from the front side. The harness and bulb holder is easy to fish out with your hands and pull up through the opening to remove it and install a new bulb and holder unit. Too bad you just can't replace the bulb. I tried and found the bulb is integrated into the unit in a way that is more than just pushing it into the holder, even with the seemingly correct bulb. The bulb contacts appear to be straightened out and soldered/bonded/crimped to the holder. So, I broke down and bought the BMW bulb and holder unit.

Last edited by billbmsn; 10-11-2015 at 10:33 AM.
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  #97  
Old 10-11-2015, 10:39 AM
DMO94556 DMO94556 is offline
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Hi Bill,

So, what I gleaned from reading was only the early models would allow the dial removal. I tried each of the 3 anyways and it was seeming to be the case. Again, I did not want to risk breakage. I have heard some say they can replace the bulb, but again from reading, it seemed to make sense to get it with the base. I purchased two from ECS Tuning as they were the cheapest with the base; the dealer wanted $34 each (Concord BMW). From ECS each was about $13 and then $9 for shipping. Again, I figured if I'm there it made sense to replace both and be done but it was only the one for the heater dial that required.

I think it's great to have more insight here which is why I wanted to share with other members. I also posts to the ZSCCA group on Facebook.

Cheers
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  #98  
Old 10-11-2015, 10:57 AM
billbmsn billbmsn is offline
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My Z3 is a 2000 roadster. The knobs are firmly seated but they will pull off with a little encouragement using a flat blade screwdriver gently around the periphery, just enough to get the knob moving on the shaft as you pull on the center. Really, it was quite easy. You're sure right about the pricing. I wanted them that day (actually took till the next day), so I went to the dealer. Hey, we're neighbors. I bought the bulbs at Concord BMW and live in Walnut Creek.

You're lighted mirror setup is the key to your technique. Trying to get to number 2 from behind by feel alone is frustrating. The tutorials on doing this have not quite simplified it like you did.

Last edited by billbmsn; 10-11-2015 at 10:59 AM.
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  #99  
Old 10-11-2015, 02:15 PM
DMO94556 DMO94556 is offline
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Hi Bill,
Yes, we are neighbors! We are in Moraga.

No one approached it like the way I did which is why I shared. I just kept thinking, there's gotta be a better way.
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