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  #1  
Old 01-30-2003, 07:49 PM
mbr129 mbr129 is offline
Why can't we get Diesels?
Location: In a suburb of beantown
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 2,280
Mein Auto: V70R, JGC, MCS
Talking I am ordering my ED 330i ZHP in the next week (long)

First of all, I want to thank all the Fest'ers for their much appreciated input in my decisions and overall enlightenment about the BMW brand, car tips in general, etc.

I was going to order my car for May 2004, then moved it to Oct/Nov 2003, then August, and finaly May. Damn you all for making me buy it a year earlier! (You know that really is a thank you)

Ok, so here is what I plan on ordering and the respective issues:

Model: 330i ZHP. I was wanted a 330Ci all along, but the new design, although not bad, has a horrible body kit in my opinion. That made me want to buy the M-Technik kit for it. Then the ZHP came out. It included the M-technik kit along with many other mechanical goodies for close to what the coupe with the aftermarket kit would have cost me. As an added bonus, I save a bit on insurance, and make my fiancee happy (she wanted a sedan).

Interior: I am taking the gamble on the Alcantara. First of all it comes with the package, and it makes the package that much more appealing and worthwhile. The benefits were discussed thoroughly in a poll I started a couple of days ago.

Color: I am taking the gamble on the Silver Gray. Hopefully I will get to see what it looks like in time to change it in case it is hideous (I doubt it but I hope it's not too dark).

Other Options: Bi-Xenons, moonroof, heated seats. I was going to get the CWP, but realized that the headlight washers and folding rear seats aren't worth $500 to me, while reducing chassis stiffness.

In the end the math justifies getting the ZHP even ignoring any added performance over the regular SP.

Regular sport package=1200
No need for leather (fiance veto'ed 'ette)=1500
M-Technik kit I would have bought and installed regardless=1500+

That's $4200+ right there , and more than the $3900 for the ZHP. Nevermind the better suspension, gearing, steering wheel, 18" wheels, anthracite headliner, 10 hp, higher redline, higher top speed, etc.

The only thing I am a bit insecure about is the alcantara, but if I absolutely hate it, people here offered to trade up their leather for it (last resort).

So that is that. I am too excited to explain. At age 23, it is my dream come true. (Ok so my dream was to have a '97 SL600 when I was in high school - hence my handle: mbr129=Mercedes-Benz chassis R129)

Once again thank you for all your help, I hope to continue as active on this board in the future. I think I did a decent job of keeping a low profile for a while until I knew what I was talking about, and that my posts served some purpose.

I am happy to soon be a part of the BMW community.

Now I just have to search all over the northeast/mid-atlantic to find that mythical $1200 over invoice on ED. I heard Passport BMW may be the way to go.

Thanks to all!
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  #2  
Old 01-30-2003, 07:59 PM
PhilH PhilH is offline
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Location: Philadelphia, PA
 
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Sounds like a good choice. I wonder if I would have gone with the ZHP if it were available before I placed my order.

Good luck with both of your waits (trip & car).
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  #3  
Old 01-30-2003, 08:05 PM
mbr129 mbr129 is offline
Why can't we get Diesels?
Location: In a suburb of beantown
 
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Posts: 2,280
Mein Auto: V70R, JGC, MCS
Quote:
Originally posted by PhilH
Sounds like a good choice. I wonder if I would have gone with the ZHP if it were available before I placed my order.

Good luck with both of your waits (trip & car).
I know the wait will be terrible , but I have been waiting for years. To your point... I also picked the 330i ZHP becuase I knew if I went with the 330Ci and they offered the ZHP on the Ci later, I would have been pissed off beyond belief. This way I have assurance I wont feel the way you might be feeling now. On the other hand, you have your 330i right now, and I dont . So be happy
  #4  
Old 01-30-2003, 08:09 PM
rwg rwg is offline
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Congrats on making a good decision!

One small thought just to maybe make you crazy when you thought you were done - the fold down seats make the car MUCH more versatile. You can order them seperately if you want and it's something to consider. Having had the cold weather package, I would personally opt to order them seperately and not get the "ruin the wash job" headlight washers.
  #5  
Old 01-30-2003, 08:16 PM
mbr129 mbr129 is offline
Why can't we get Diesels?
Location: In a suburb of beantown
 
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Posts: 2,280
Mein Auto: V70R, JGC, MCS
Quote:
Originally posted by rwg
Congrats on making a good decision!

One small thought just to maybe make you crazy when you thought you were done - the fold down seats make the car MUCH more versatile. You can order them seperately if you want and it's something to consider. Having had the cold weather package, I would personally opt to order them seperately and not get the "ruin the wash job" headlight washers.
Thanks. Actually, my fiancee suggested we get the folding seats, but in a couple of years my Benz will be replaced by a wagon, and in case of serious hauling before then, I will borrow my parents wagon. No kids yet and and it does have 4 doors, so that helps. But it is still subject to cahnge. People mentioned the loss of stiffness is significant. Anyone?

I mean, is there actually a cross member of the frame that gets removed, or is it the actual seatback that aids in chassis stiffness? Because as mechanical design engineer, I don't see how seats can add noticeable stiffness in chassis flex.

Last edited by mbr129; 01-30-2003 at 08:19 PM.
  #6  
Old 01-30-2003, 09:22 PM
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JST JST is offline
A sudden sense of liberty
Location: U of ///M
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by mbr129
Thanks. Actually, my fiancee suggested we get the folding seats, but in a couple of years my Benz will be replaced by a wagon, and in case of serious hauling before then, I will borrow my parents wagon. No kids yet and and it does have 4 doors, so that helps. But it is still subject to cahnge. People mentioned the loss of stiffness is significant. Anyone?

I mean, is there actually a cross member of the frame that gets removed, or is it the actual seatback that aids in chassis stiffness? Because as mechanical design engineer, I don't see how seats can add noticeable stiffness in chassis flex.
The loss of stiffness is not that significant. You *might* notice it on the track, but not in the real world. Even with folding seats, the E46 is plenty stiff, and the folding seats make the car so much more useful that it doesn't make sense to forgo them.

I'd get the seats.

Congrats.
  #7  
Old 01-30-2003, 09:27 PM
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Nick325xiT 5spd Nick325xiT 5spd is offline
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In real life, I believe the big issue with the folding seats is creaking and other noise.
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  #8  
Old 01-30-2003, 09:51 PM
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Dirtboy Dirtboy is offline
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Mein Auto: E46 E83 E30- all M sport!
i hope you like your alcantera, i love mine! the main reason i got the M Sport Package was for the alcantera seats (don't really like leather seats).

[IMG]http://www.*************/ppost2/data/500/7115pc270036.jpg[/IMG]
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  #9  
Old 01-30-2003, 09:52 PM
bmw325 bmw325 is online now
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Actually, the loss of rigidity from the fold-down seats is quite signifcant. The numbers are:
sedan (w/o folding seats): 18000Nm/deg of torsion
sedan (w/folding seats): 13000Nm

So, the sedan w/o folding seats is about 50% more stiff. Many who have driven both types say that you can notice the added stiffness. But, even the 13000Nm/deg is quite good by modern car standards-- and is only bested a by a few cars. For some, the fold-down seats also add unwanted squeaks. Will the added stiffness make a noticeable performance improvement? Probably not unless you track it.

To answer your question as to the reason--its because the sheet metal which normall connects the 2 sides of the car has a big hole cut in it when fold-down seats are specficed. This is what causes the difference-- not the seats themselves (If you looked in the trunk of a sedan w/o fold-downs you'd see metal (covered w/ trim)-- if you look in the trunk of a sedan w/ fold-downs you'll see the rear seatbacks. Hope that answers your question.

I got the fold-downs for the added versatility-- but every now and then I wish I'd skipped that option.
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  #10  
Old 01-30-2003, 10:03 PM
Nat Brown Nat Brown is offline
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Location: SF Bay Area
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 590
Mein Auto: 05 Dodge Magnum RT
Excellent choice

I agree on the rear seat issue -- I hate squeaks and rattles. My solution is to get the wife a more versatile vehicle, a Passat wagon eventually.

One option that I'm very happy I chose, which my wife insisted upon, were the heated seats. It's a cheap option and really helps on cold days, even in sunny California.

Also, I would have paid a ton of cash to get the Alcantera. Enjoy!

--gary
  #11  
Old 01-31-2003, 06:34 AM
mbr129 mbr129 is offline
Why can't we get Diesels?
Location: In a suburb of beantown
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 2,280
Mein Auto: V70R, JGC, MCS
Thanks guys! I really hope I like it. Like I said, the folding seats is still up for grabs.

Robg: So there IS actually material removed... that explains it. I have never seen detailed pictures of the chassis in the two scenarios, so I had no idea (nor was I gonna start ripping apart the trunk carpeting at the dealership ). I still don't know. I don't see me tracking the car anytime soon, but hopufully I will never have to sell the car and many years down the road I can make this my dedicated track car (much like some people have old E30's for it), so I may miss the rigidity then. I dunno, but I still have a few days left to sort that out.

Gary (nat Brown): Thanks for your site, it really helped a lot to get me started almost a year ago.

Dirtboy: I showed myfiancee your interior picture, and it was the wood trim that convinced her to get the alcantara. So thank you for that, otherwise I would have had to go with leather
  #12  
Old 01-31-2003, 06:40 AM
SteveMD SteveMD is offline
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Location: Maryland
 
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Don't forget the moon roof is another hole in the body structure. I am getting ready to hit the dealers and get my order in somewhere. 330i ZHP, heated seats and that's it. Non-moonroof cars are very rare so u have to order it like that.

The only ambivalence on my part is with the 18' bend-o-matic rims and their ugly looks. Also the shiny 'shadowline' window trim. For chrissakes, I like black window trim as opposed to chrome-look but not 'shiny black'

Hi, JST, bet you, TD, and Hunter are glad to hear I'm getting back into the roundel fold after a 6 month layoff in a WRX. It's fun in autocross but on the street I feel like Rodney Dangerfield.
  #13  
Old 01-31-2003, 06:55 AM
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JST JST is offline
A sudden sense of liberty
Location: U of ///M
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by SteveMD
Don't forget the moon roof is another hole in the body structure. I am getting ready to hit the dealers and get my order in somewhere. 330i ZHP, heated seats and that's it. Non-moonroof cars are very rare so u have to order it like that.

The only ambivalence on my part is with the 18' bend-o-matic rims and their ugly looks. Also the shiny 'shadowline' window trim. For chrissakes, I like black window trim as opposed to chrome-look but not 'shiny black'

Hi, JST, bet you, TD, and Hunter are glad to hear I'm getting back into the roundel fold after a 6 month layoff in a WRX. It's fun in autocross but on the street I feel like Rodney Dangerfield.
Hey, Steve, great to hear from you. I'm looking forward to seeing the new car; what color are you going to get?

The 18" rims are a bit of a disappointment, but I'm sure you can swap for some E36 M3 LTW wheels or similar if you really don't like the look.

Just keep it away from Porsches.
  #14  
Old 01-31-2003, 06:56 AM
TD
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Quote:
Originally posted by SteveMD
Don't forget the moon roof is another hole in the body structure. I am getting ready to hit the dealers and get my order in somewhere. 330i ZHP, heated seats and that's it. Non-moonroof cars are very rare so u have to order it like that.

The only ambivalence on my part is with the 18' bend-o-matic rims and their ugly looks. Also the shiny 'shadowline' window trim. For chrissakes, I like black window trim as opposed to chrome-look but not 'shiny black'

Hi, JST, bet you, TD, and Hunter are glad to hear I'm getting back into the roundel fold after a 6 month layoff in a WRX. It's fun in autocross but on the street I feel like Rodney Dangerfield.
Just in time for autox season.
  #15  
Old 01-31-2003, 07:07 AM
SteveMD SteveMD is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by TD
Just in time for autox season.
Hi, TD,

How do you like the Koni's?

I doubt I will autox the new car much if at all. A beater like the first gen Toyota MR-2 would be more fun on those tight autox courses. Of course, if Hunter is lurking, he will say 'get an E30!'
  #16  
Old 01-31-2003, 07:14 AM
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Artslinger Artslinger is offline
BMW + twisty road = fun
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I really like the 330i ZHP, this spring I'm making a trip to the dealer and see what the price and payments will be on a ZHP. This is car I could drive for at least 6 years, just have to convince my wife on the purchase.

My order...Imola Red or Mystic Blue with alcantera and Bi-xenon headlights, no moonroof or other packages.
  #17  
Old 01-31-2003, 07:18 AM
SteveMD SteveMD is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by JST
Hey, Steve, great to hear from you. I'm looking forward to seeing the new car; what color are you going to get?

The 18" rims are a bit of a disappointment, but I'm sure you can swap for some E36 M3 LTW wheels or similar if you really don't like the look.

Just keep it away from Porsches.

Either tried and true Titanium Silver or the Silver Gray. I would be happy with the '02 sport package 17 wheels.
  #18  
Old 01-31-2003, 07:20 AM
TD
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Quote:
Originally posted by SteveMD
Hi, TD,

How do you like the Koni's?

I doubt I will autox the new car much if at all. A beater like the first gen Toyota MR-2 would be more fun on those tight autox courses. Of course, if Hunter is lurking, he will say 'get an E30!'
Violating the most basic rule of tuning (but inspired by my overwhelming sense of frugality), I had the control arm bushings changed at the same time I had the Konis installed (as both installs would require an alignment and I only wanted to pay for one ONCE). So I will say that the car is VERY different after the install but I have a more difficult time ascribing which aspects of the difference are attributable to which mod.

That said, I had to dial the shocks (at least the fronts) down as soft as they will go and they are still significantly firmer than the worn (but probably not worn-out) OEM Boge they replaced. However, everything feels very solid and I can feel every nuance of the road surface. (Literally. When I'm changing lanes on the highway and briefly drive on the white dotted lines, I can feel where the paint starts and stops. It's that sensitive.)

And with the weather we've been having, I haven't had much opportunity to push it that hard. But from what I can tell, I like it. It's definitely more serious.

But the Konis are not for everyone.
  #19  
Old 01-31-2003, 07:23 AM
mbr129 mbr129 is offline
Why can't we get Diesels?
Location: In a suburb of beantown
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by SteveMD
Don't forget the moon roof is another hole in the body structure. I am getting ready to hit the dealers and get my order in somewhere. 330i ZHP, heated seats and that's it. Non-moonroof cars are very rare so u have to order it like that.
I know the moonroof removes integrity, but my fiancee wants it, and personally, I need to feel the sun inmy face in the summer. If I had a convertible to toss around on weekends I wouldn't get it. But I don't, so I want the sunroof.

Finally, I am a ways off from tracking anything, since my skills need development. I will not deprive myself of all luxuries yet. Heated seats I need in case we get a week like we just had up here (single digits all week in the morning).
  #20  
Old 01-31-2003, 07:41 AM
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JonW JonW is offline
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mbr129-

Sounds like a really great, fun car. Good luck and enjoy!
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  #21  
Old 01-31-2003, 08:00 AM
SteveMD SteveMD is offline
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Location: Maryland
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by mbr129
I know the moonroof removes integrity, but my fiancee wants it, and personally, I need to feel the sun inmy face in the summer. If I had a convertible to toss around on weekends I wouldn't get it. But I don't, so I want the sunroof.

Like the fold-downs, the effect on integrity is negligible.

Non-moonroof cars sometimes have resale problems as just about everyone wants/expects a moonroof.

I hope the alcantra seats won't be stain-prone. Do you know?
  #22  
Old 01-31-2003, 08:38 AM
mbr129 mbr129 is offline
Why can't we get Diesels?
Location: In a suburb of beantown
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 2,280
Mein Auto: V70R, JGC, MCS
Quote:
Originally posted by SteveMD
Like the fold-downs, the effect on integrity is negligible.

Non-moonroof cars sometimes have resale problems as just about everyone wants/expects a moonroof.

I hope the alcantra seats won't be stain-prone. Do you know?
From what I read in some BMW website (I think it was the Spain website), they advertise it as really easy to clean. It is not real suade, so it should be easily cleaned. I don't eat or drink in my cars EVER (especially anything that is not solid or in a closed container), so I don't have to worry much about it.
  #23  
Old 01-31-2003, 12:58 PM
rwg rwg is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by mbr129
Finally, I am a ways off from tracking anything, since my skills need development.
Wrong answer!! The track is where you get the skills, not the street. Go to a BMWCCA sponsored driving school. They will put you on the track with an instructor in the passenger seat and other novice track drivers on the track. It's a controlled environment, no passing unless signalled that it's ok, and a great place to find out that your car is capable of MUCH more than you are.
  #24  
Old 01-31-2003, 01:09 PM
mbr129 mbr129 is offline
Why can't we get Diesels?
Location: In a suburb of beantown
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 2,280
Mein Auto: V70R, JGC, MCS
Quote:
Originally posted by rwg
Wrong answer!! The track is where you get the skills, not the street. Go to a BMWCCA sponsored driving school. They will put you on the track with an instructor in the passenger seat and other novice track drivers on the track. It's a controlled environment, no passing unless signalled that it's ok, and a great place to find out that your car is capable of MUCH more than you are.


Come on man, you actually think I am going to learn to do powerslides on the streets? What I meant was that I will need a few months of normal driving just to get used to the shifts, brakes, etc. Then I WILL take lessons etc. I have NEVER had a manual transmission before. So that is what I meant by developing my skills. I am an excellent driver and I get the most out of my benz, I just have minimal experience with a stick shift.

By the phrase I said that you quoted, I simply meant that I didn't want to buy dedicated rims/tires, helmet, make mods, etc, and become an autox junky just yet. All I meant is I am going to take my time getting to know my car and not rush it.

I am probably the safest driver on the road. But thanks for the concern.
  #25  
Old 01-31-2003, 01:49 PM
Jeff_DML Jeff_DML is offline
doh!!!
Location: San Diego
 
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To make you feel better about your seating decision, the previous generation S4 has alcantara seats and it seems the unanimous decision is everyone loves them. The added grip will come in handy to for the track too. Which you should take advantage of doing to truly experience your BMW.

Jeff
 

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