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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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  #1  
Old 07-01-2007, 12:37 AM
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Ron Stygar Ron Stygar is offline
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LeatherZ Gauge panel: Gauge install & wiring

Last year at the HC Embassy parking lot, Ken, Jon and Andy Maddux and I discussed their armrest with cup holder and a three gauge panel with no cigar plug on the panel face. Ten months later and both items are available. Good job guys.
Surprised how low the price is for the gauge panel in quantity ten.

Wanted four gauges. Oil pressure, oil and water temp and voltmeter.
Was going to use M12x1.5 250 degree oil temperature sender and switch it between oil and water temperature. No sender available.
Anyhow will be doing a 250 degree 1/8-27 oil temp sender like Daniel (DWM and Randy Forbes did).
Will switch between water and oil temp on the same gauge. Thanks Daniel.
http://bimmerfest.com/forums/showthr...=oil+temp+sump

I had a 300 degree oil temp gauge temporarily installed to see how it compared to the stock one.
Like the stock Z3 water temp, the oil temp is buffered too. VDO is more sensitive than stock. You can watch it going up to around 210 and fall back when the thermostat opens. When everything stabilizes they both read the same.
When the VDO goes to 220 the stock gauge stays at 210. When things cool down, both gauges read 210.

Initially installed the gauges straight on which doesn't look good to me and hard to read.
Ended up installing them around 20 degrees angled towards the driver. Years ago I did this (1997) in my ti.
Checked the ti and it is around 20 degrees too.



You have to mod the U gauge brackets for length either way along with clearance issues.
The panel holes are slightly larger. Two layers (one at a time not over laying) of Scotch super 88 tape and they fit perfect.

Will start wiring the panel tomorrow.















Last edited by Ron Stygar; 04-26-2010 at 05:25 PM.
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  #2  
Old 07-01-2007, 01:01 AM
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Palantirion Palantirion is offline
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As good an install as I'd expect from you Ron
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  #3  
Old 07-01-2007, 10:29 AM
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Looks good Ron. to you and the Maddux gang.
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  #4  
Old 07-02-2007, 06:35 PM
Cliff Cliff is offline
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Nice. I'll have to play around with the gauge face angles a little on the 4th. I installed my kit to the same extent as you last Saturday. I likey. I also see you're using a stud-like arrangement instead of the screws that were provided with the kit. I spoke to the owner of the shop I use this morning and he's going to install the sensors and wire things up this Friday.

edit: I did not need to mod the brackets in any way and I'm a little confused by that.

Last edited by Cliff; 07-02-2007 at 06:38 PM.
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  #5  
Old 07-02-2007, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliff View Post
edit: I did not need to mod the brackets in any way and I'm a little confused by that.
Ron bought a 'panel only'. If you get the complete kit, everything is in the box and ready for the car.
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  #6  
Old 07-02-2007, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by AndyM View Post
Ron bought a 'panel only'. If you get the complete kit, everything is in the box and ready for the car.
Mystery solved, thanks
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  #7  
Old 07-02-2007, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliff View Post
Nice. I'll have to play around with the gauge face angles a little on the 4th. I installed my kit to the same extent as you last Saturday. I likey. I also see you're using a stud-like arrangement instead of the screws that were provided with the kit. I spoke to the owner of the shop I use this morning and he's going to install the sensors and wire things up this Friday.

edit: I did not need to mod the brackets in any way and I'm a little confused by that.
Andy sent me a modified stock piece and the gauge panel.

I ordered the VDO brackets which came with the studs. I had to shorten the brackets and studs. The long nuts that came with the brackets are replaced with stainless M4x.7 jam nuts.

I thought that the right bracket was hitting the gauge panel screw holder piece. It was keeping the top three hole piece from going all the way right.
Turns out the front of the gauge was hitting the front plastic of the gauge panel. Removed some plastic and it's fine. This is with the gauges centered with the two wraps of tape mentioned.



The left bracket was no issue at 19 > 20 degrees. At 21 it was. Wanted some leeway if I wanted to go
more. After driving it, I am happy with the 21.



If your installer has any questions he can call afternoon.
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  #8  
Old 07-02-2007, 08:30 PM
Cliff Cliff is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Stygar View Post
If your installer has any questions he can call afternoon.
Thanks Ron. He's done other gauge kits (for E36, E46, and Z3's), so I'm hoping this one goes smoothly.
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  #9  
Old 07-02-2007, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Cliff View Post
Thanks Ron. He's done other gauge kits (for E36, E46, and Z3's), so I'm hoping this one goes smoothly.
I've only done the water temp on the Z3's and Z4's. The Z4 is different than the Z3. Maybe the E46 is the same.
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  #10  
Old 07-04-2007, 08:34 PM
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Gauge wiring is done for now.

Gauges left to right (looking from the front) are oil pressure, water temp and voltmeter.
Oil temp will share the water temp via a switch. Oil temp sender will be next to the stock oil temp (oil sump) like Daniel did.
Parts are on order. Probably after HC.

Purple wires are hot in accessory, run and start. Fuse #12. If that fuse blows you can't start the car.
Got stuck with that last Friday. Thank God that I had the LED fuses. Thanks Daniel.
Gauge wire just hanging in the console waiting for the install, went to ground.
Brown wires are body ground. There is a ground stud just to the right where the wiring comes into the cabin.
Gray wires are dimmed lighting.

Purchased some fiber black washers just slightly smaller than the screw head. Had to file out the inner hole.
Might keep them or make some Delrin thinner ones. Machinist left early Tuesday so that didn't happen.










Last edited by Ron Stygar; 04-26-2010 at 05:46 PM.
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  #11  
Old 07-14-2007, 11:06 AM
Cliff Cliff is offline
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Mine went in yesterday. It took my mechanic 5 hours to do the job. Thanks for the idea on angling the gauge faces Ron - I like it.

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  #12  
Old 07-15-2007, 12:13 PM
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They look nice but it seems like an odd place to look at while you're driving. I'm assuming you normally wouldn't look at those particular gauges very often anyway tho. So I guess I'm just wondering how functional/useful are these guages?
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  #13  
Old 07-15-2007, 12:52 PM
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Nice job as always Ron.
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  #14  
Old 07-15-2007, 01:28 PM
Cliff Cliff is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dammmittt View Post
They look nice but it seems like an odd place to look at while you're driving. I'm assuming you normally wouldn't look at those particular gauges very often anyway tho. So I guess I'm just wondering how functional/useful are these guages?
It would be nice if BMW gave us a proper instrument panel. Since they don't, this approach is an improvement over the idiot lights they do give us.

Now, are they $500 and 5 hours of shop time better than idiot lights? Only you can answer that question for yourself.
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  #15  
Old 11-19-2007, 09:20 AM
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Tilting anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliff View Post
Mine went in yesterday. It took my mechanic 5 hours to do the job. Thanks for the idea on angling the gauge faces Ron - I like it.
Did you relocate the cigarette lighter?

I like your installation. Though, I personally prefer more tilting so it's easier to see the gauges. As it is right now, you're sort of looking at them at a 30-40deg angle (0 deg being optimal).

Isn't it possible to slip in a tapered spacer between the gauges themselves and the panel holes? Anyone done this?

I know from doing this on my SHO that it createst a bit of a problem on the backside of the panel, as the more you tilt the gauges, the more the stick out beyond the perimeter of the panel itself.

You can check out how this tilting looks in the link below. I'm afraid my pics are in no way up to Ron's though. Good pics Ron!

Michael
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  #16  
Old 11-19-2007, 09:27 AM
Cliff Cliff is offline
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Originally Posted by cmichaelo View Post
Did you relocate the cigarette lighter?
No. My V1 is hardwired and I don't have a pressing need to talk on or recharge the cell phone while driving this car, so the greatest potential use for a 12v plug is to make use of the M Mobility kit. Just call me a risk taker...

No idea on the rest. The gauges are visible enough for my needs.
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  #17  
Old 09-22-2010, 11:50 PM
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Old thread revival!
Ron, did you decide to keep the extra oil temp gauge? Or do you think it is so close to the cluster gauge that it's better to use it for something else?
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  #18  
Old 09-26-2010, 05:21 PM
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Bump for Ron. Or to anyone who has experience with this of course.
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Last edited by Hoops432; 09-26-2010 at 05:22 PM.
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  #19  
Old 09-28-2010, 08:50 PM
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This has been discussed in a few other threads, but I understand that the Z3 water temperature gauge (and maybe all recent BMWs) does not really indicate the true water temperature. The gauge is governed by the computer so that for any water temperature in the "normal" range the needle points to the center, and only when the water is cold or too hot does the needle move off the center. The "gauge" is better thought of as an analog idiot light. Apparently this was to reduce questions from car owners about varying water temperatures (i.e., the cars were dumbed down). At least that is what my dealer's service manager told me when the plastic thermostat failed on my 2000 328Ci but the water temperature gauge did not show any variation in temperature. Based on the unbelievable stability of the water temperature in my Z3 (at least as indicated by the "gauge"), his explanation seems correct.

So, if you want to really know your water temperature, you will have to install a gauge that actually shows the water temperature.
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Last edited by BeemerMikeTX; 10-01-2010 at 06:48 AM.
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