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3 Series / 4 Series
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  #1  
Old 10-13-2003, 08:37 AM
AF AF is offline
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Location: Long Island, NY
 
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Mein Auto: 535ix, GL450, 991S
Finally drove a ZHP (from a regular 330i owner) -kinda long

After seeing and hearing so much about the ZHP, I finally had an opportunity to take out GEO330ís for a spin at a get together we had over the weekend.

First let me start with WOW !!! Under the magnifying glass this car takes the 330i to the next level.

Letís start with the transmission, this gearbox snicks off shifts like a gearbox should. BMW finally made a gearbox that feels less like butter and more mechanical in feeling. I just loved the whole feel and control you have with it.

The exhaust sounds perfect to me, it makes my 330i sound almost silent where the ZHP lets you hear the growl just to remind you itís there.
Power-wise between the two I really donít feel any difference except I felt like my regular 330i felt slightly quicker off the line (though George felt his car was quicker off the line) and I felt my car felt lighter on itís feet sort to speak. I think this is due to the large 18Ē wheels, I remember when I had 18Ē wheels and that heaviness translated to a slightly slower feel off the line.
Also, Georgeís engine had under 3000 miles on it and felt VERY tight, I can tell itís gotta break in more and once it does it might make itís quicker 0-60 known . . .

Overall the ZHP feels heavier as well and it all starts with the steering which was definitely heavier though this could be a variance-thing between 330ís, this is not the first 330 I have driven that felt like it had heavier steering then mine. This heaviness is not a bad thing, in fact itís a GOOD thing, it is a more inline with what I expect from a german car, it gives the car a very solid feel.

The interior though enough has been said is very nice, the Alcantra/cloth is nice as well as the silver cube though I didnít spend too much time concentrating on it . . . to me it was all about the drive.

Lookswise, I plain out love it . . . I think those 18Ē wheels look aggressive, the nose of the car is beautiful, the black trim around the windows adds a sporty flavor (though it looks like it can scratch up very easily) and the rear bumper and lip spoiler add a nice touch.


One thing I do like better about the regular 330 in comparison like I mentioned above is the lighter on itís feet more agile feel. For some reason the regular 330 feels like it wants to dance on itís toes sort of speak . . . it just feels like a lighter car with a little more agility . . . with that said, if I were to do it again (and the ZHP was available) I would definitely without a doubt get a ZHP.


BTW once more thing, I also drove Carfreaks 2003 330i with the ZHP wheels - damn those wheels look hot
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  #2  
Old 10-13-2003, 08:56 AM
ItchyNScratchy's Avatar
ItchyNScratchy ItchyNScratchy is offline
Eating ur Dust
Location: NYC
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 43
Mein Auto: 02 2.5 slowmobile
Quote:
Originally Posted by AF330i
After seeing and hearing so much about the ZHP, I finally had an opportunity to take out GEO330ís for a spin at a get together we had over the weekend.

First let me start with WOW !!! Under the magnifying glass this car takes the 330i to the next level.

Letís start with the transmission, this gearbox snicks off shifts like a gearbox should. BMW finally made a gearbox that feels less like butter and more mechanical in feeling. I just loved the whole feel and control you have with it.

The exhaust sounds perfect to me, it makes my 330i sound almost silent where the ZHP lets you hear the growl just to remind you itís there.
Power-wise between the two I really donít feel any difference except I felt like my regular 330i felt slightly quicker off the line (though George felt his car was quicker off the line) and I felt my car felt lighter on itís feet sort to speak. I think this is due to the large 18Ē wheels, I remember when I had 18Ē wheels and that heaviness translated to a slightly slower feel off the line.
Also, Georgeís engine had under 3000 miles on it and felt VERY tight, I can tell itís gotta break in more and once it does it might make itís quicker 0-60 known . . .

Overall the ZHP feels heavier as well and it all starts with the steering which was definitely heavier though this could be a variance-thing between 330ís, this is not the first 330 I have driven that felt like it had heavier steering then mine. This heaviness is not a bad thing, in fact itís a GOOD thing, it is a more inline with what I expect from a german car, it gives the car a very solid feel.

The interior though enough has been said is very nice, the Alcantra/cloth is nice as well as the silver cube though I didnít spend too much time concentrating on it . . . to me it was all about the drive.

Lookswise, I plain out love it . . . I think those 18Ē wheels look aggressive, the nose of the car is beautiful, the black trim around the windows adds a sporty flavor (though it looks like it can scratch up very easily) and the rear bumper and lip spoiler add a nice touch.

One thing I do like better about the regular 330 in comparison like I mentioned above is the lighter on itís feet more agile feel. For some reason the regular 330 feels like it wants to dance on itís toes sort of speak . . . it just feels like a lighter car with a little more agility . . . with that said, if I were to do it again (and the ZHP was available) I would definitely without a doubt get a ZHP.


BTW once more thing, I also drove Carfreaks 2003 330i with the ZHP wheels - damn those wheels look hot
uh-oh i can see the wheels (no pun intended)turning in alan's head..
alan is probably making a call to his dealer right now asking how much he can get for his 330i on the trade-in for a ZHP.
Glad we finally had a mini meet and it was definitely nice to finally meet ben & george and seeing alan again.
nice write up

So alan did you get your lip spoiler on your car yet?
Yeah definitely agree with ya on the zhp rims! NICE!!!

take care,
Sean
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  #3  
Old 10-13-2003, 09:04 AM
AF AF is offline
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Location: Long Island, NY
 
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Mein Auto: 535ix, GL450, 991S
Quote:
Originally Posted by ItchyNScratchy
uh-oh i can see the wheels (no pun intended)turning in alan's head..
alan is probably making a call to his dealer right now asking how much he can get for his 330i on the trade-in for a ZHP.
Glad we finally had a mini meet and it was definitely nice to finally meet ben & george and seeing alan again.
nice write up

So alan did you get your lip spoiler on your car yet?
Yeah definitely agree with ya on the zhp rims! NICE!!!

take care,
Sean
LOL . . . Sean, I have to admit I have been thinking of those ZHP wheels but I must resist the temptation . . . I don't think I can handle 51.5 lbs front and a 53 lbs rear wheels but I do think I can handle trading my car in for a ZHP (must resist, must resist, must resist )


I haven't put the lip spoiler on, I had a family road trip yesterday but I might put it on tonight

It was great hangin out with you . . . thanks for putting the whole thing together
  #4  
Old 10-13-2003, 09:12 AM
bmw325 bmw325 is offline
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FWIW, any new 330 will have the same 6 speed gearbox. I bet the heavier 18" wheels were the primary reason for the heavier feeling steering (in addition to the typical variance between cars).
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  #5  
Old 10-13-2003, 09:25 AM
AF AF is offline
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Location: Long Island, NY
 
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Mein Auto: 535ix, GL450, 991S
Quote:
Originally Posted by robg
FWIW, any new 330 will have the same 6 speed gearbox. I bet the heavier 18" wheels were the primary reason for the heavier feeling steering (in addition to the typical variance between cars).
I would venture to say the wieght of the wheels made the difference EXCEPT Carfreak's car has the same exact ZHP wheels and his steering felt just like mine so that kills that theory

The steering difference has to be the a variance thing . . . the 330Cic I drove in the Susan komen event had heavier steering then my car as well.

For some reason BMW can't be consistent on it's steering
  #6  
Old 10-13-2003, 09:30 AM
AF AF is offline
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Location: Long Island, NY
 
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Mein Auto: 535ix, GL450, 991S
Quote:
Originally Posted by rumatt
Interesting writeup. This part about the transmission makes me happy. My understanding is that the one in my 6-speed 330 is the same, just with a slightly longer shifter.

I definitely like the looks of the ZHP wheels, but I find it kind of strange that they chose wheels that hurt performane, and feel. After all, it is the performance package. Maybe in reality it's more of a appearance package?

[flame suit on]
I have said the whole wheel weight issue makes no sense to me either especially since I think the M72's (the old 18" wheel option) were lighter . . .

As far as the transmission, I guess we'll have to meet so I can take your 330 for a little spin to confirm if it has the same feel or not
  #7  
Old 10-13-2003, 09:40 AM
GeoMystic GeoMystic is offline
Shiftin
Location: Brooklyn,NY
 
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Mein Auto: '03 330i ZHP
I was wondering when you were going to post your review of my car

I must say that after getting in my car after having driven yours, I did not notice any difference in power off the line. Your car was definitley more tossable than mine and contributing to that was most likely the extra wheel weight and the low mileage tightness of my car. I was even surprised as to how much looser your gearbox was. The throws did not involve as much effort and were less notchy.

I can't wait to break 10k on this car. Even 5k I'm sure I'll feel a little difference. It felt good riding on 17's again and not feeling every pebble and imperfection on the road. But I guess it's a small price to pay to have the gorgeous 135's rollin and that more connected suspension.

I'm really glad we were able to ride each others cars and compare. We all have great cars and you are all great guys! Sean I love the look of your car and the growl from the intake. Damn I need that GruppeM..
You have to get some pics up of your ride. Thanks for the Pizza BTW, I'll get you next time.

So Alan, what color is your ZHP going to be..hmmmmmmmmmm
Hahaha, I guess I'm not one to talk about selling/trading cars, but if you need any convincing in either direction(to ZHP or not to ZHP) I'll be here for you man!
Your 330 is perfect now, especially since it is already so broken in and loose. You drive VERY WELL and seem to know your car very well and that's most important. Just get the 135's(forget about the extra weight), put that spoiler on already and some black/silver cube trim, I know you're getting bored of the alu finish, and be done with it.

Ben thanks for getting my camera bag, wheeeew. I owe you one for that! CarFreak has and incredible 330i and looks almost identical to mine, but with GruppeM which sounds LOVELY! I'll get some pics up guys when I get a chance.

Alan we need to talk tires buddy, I was trying to decide on some different options other than ContiExtreme's.
Also I was trying to slow my shifting throws down, but I can't help it most of the time. Maybe it will slow down with time
__________________


2003 330i Mystic Blue - Black Alcantara/Cloth
6 Sp Manual | Performance Package | Cold Weather Package | Silver Cube Trim | Navigation | Bi-Xenons | Moonroof | PDC

OEM Clears - OEM Alarm - OEM CD-Changer - OEM TV function- Titanium headlight inserts - DIY Clutch Stop - M3 Rearview Mirror - OEM ///M Dead Pedal - Euro First Aid Kit - Euro Warning Triangle - 35%/20% Window Tint - ECIS CAI - ACS Style Roof Spoiler

Last edited by GeoMystic; 10-13-2003 at 09:46 AM.
  #8  
Old 10-13-2003, 10:14 AM
ItchyNScratchy's Avatar
ItchyNScratchy ItchyNScratchy is offline
Eating ur Dust
Location: NYC
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 43
Mein Auto: 02 2.5 slowmobile
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoMystic
I was wondering when you were going to post your review of my car

I must say that after getting in my car after having driven yours, I did not notice any difference in power off the line. Your car was definitley more tossable than mine and contributing to that was most likely the extra wheel weight and the low mileage tightness of my car. I was even surprised as to how much looser your gearbox was. The throws did not involve as much effort and were less notchy.

I can't wait to break 10k on this car. Even 5k I'm sure I'll feel a little difference. It felt good riding on 17's again and not feeling every pebble and imperfection on the road. But I guess it's a small price to pay to have the gorgeous 135's rollin and that more connected suspension.

I'm really glad we were able to ride each others cars and compare. We all have great cars and you are all great guys! Sean I love the look of your car and the growl from the intake. Damn I need that GruppeM..
You have to get some pics up of your ride. Thanks for the Pizza BTW, I'll get you next time.

So Alan, what color is your ZHP going to be..hmmmmmmmmmm
Hahaha, I guess I'm not one to talk about selling/trading cars, but if you need any convincing in either direction(to ZHP or not to ZHP) I'll be here for you man!
Your 330 is perfect now, especially since it is already so broken in and loose. You drive VERY WELL and seem to know your car very well and that's most important. Just get the 135's(forget about the extra weight), put that spoiler on already and some black/silver cube trim, I know you're getting bored of the alu finish, and be done with it.

Ben thanks for getting my camera bag, wheeeew. I owe you one for that! CarFreak has and incredible 330i and looks almost identical to mine, but with GruppeM which sounds LOVELY! I'll get some pics up guys when I get a chance.

Alan we need to talk tires buddy, I was trying to decide on some different options other than ContiExtreme's.
Also I was trying to slow my shifting throws down, but I can't help it most of the time. Maybe it will slow down with time
George,
Thanks for the compliments!
i wish i didnt get a damn slusher & a 2.5L!!
OH ONE THING i just got off the phone with Louie @ pacific and i ordered
the rear bumper for the mtech kit...esp after seeing yours !
can't afford the whole kit though and i may just put an addon for my front bumper as Ben suggested.
Also i have an ecis :-( gruppme=mucho dinero!!!
but the difference between the ecis and gruppem (on ben's)
is crazy!! esp at higher RPMs!
definitely glad we all met up!

Also the only way alan is going to change his trim is when he gets the ZHP.
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  #9  
Old 10-13-2003, 10:17 AM
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ItchyNScratchy ItchyNScratchy is offline
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Location: NYC
 
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Mein Auto: 02 2.5 slowmobile
Quote:
Originally Posted by AF330i
LOL . . . Sean, I have to admit I have been thinking of those ZHP wheels but I must resist the temptation . . . I don't think I can handle 51.5 lbs front and a 53 lbs rear wheels but I do think I can handle trading my car in for a ZHP (must resist, must resist, must resist )


I haven't put the lip spoiler on, I had a family road trip yesterday but I might put it on tonight

It was great hangin out with you . . . thanks for putting the whole thing together
thx alan,
hopefully we can get alex to show next time
so you can do a writeup on his m3!
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  #10  
Old 10-13-2003, 10:19 AM
AF AF is offline
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Location: Long Island, NY
 
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Mein Auto: 535ix, GL450, 991S
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoMystic
Alan we need to talk tires buddy, I was trying to decide on some different options other than ContiExtreme's.
Also I was trying to slow my shifting throws down, but I can't help it most of the time. Maybe it will slow down with time

LOL . . . it's funny you mention the shifting, for the fun of it today I tried shifting like you do (Mr Lightning fast shifter ) and my gearbox felt terrible doing it.

When I'm in the high RPM's it feels naturally when shifting fast but in the low rpm's for normal driving my box feels a little notchy when shfiting THAT fast

I was about to order my ContiExtreme's today but am going to wait another day or two . . . let's talk via email about it so we don't bore the others.

BTW Seans' car does look incredible plus I like how he lowered it . . . I think it's a real sharp 3er
  #11  
Old 10-13-2003, 10:38 AM
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ItchyNScratchy ItchyNScratchy is offline
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Location: NYC
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AF330i
LOL . . . it's funny you mention the shifting, for the fun of it today I tried shifting like you do (Mr Lightning fast shifter ) and my gearbox felt terrible doing it.

When I'm in the high RPM's it feels naturally when shifting fast but in the low rpm's for normal driving my box feels a little notchy when shfiting THAT fast

I was about to order my ContiExtreme's today but am going to wait another day or two . . . let's talk via email about it so we don't bore the others.

BTW Seans' car does look incredible plus I like how he lowered it . . . I think it's a real sharp 3er
thx for the compliments alan, still a work in progress....
i am sure the GT3 rims i took off your hands made the biggest difference
along with the car being dropped....
i am sure you almost had a heart attack after you saw the curb rash
on the rims!!! sorry, but i tried to warn you. I am SERIOUSLY thinking about adding wider rims in the rear to get the staggered look...maybe in the spring. How wide do you think our e46 sedans can take w/o a fender roll?? i may have to adjust the rear height higher on the coilovers to do that.
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  #12  
Old 10-13-2003, 11:04 AM
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mkh mkh is offline
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I am surprised that no one mentioned anything regarding the suspension/ride/handling differences. And this is one the hottest debates between the two models.
  #13  
Old 10-13-2003, 11:05 AM
GeoMystic GeoMystic is offline
Shiftin
Location: Brooklyn,NY
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
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Mein Auto: '03 330i ZHP
Quote:
Originally Posted by ItchyNScratchy
George,
Thanks for the compliments!
i wish i didnt get a damn slusher & a 2.5L!!
OH ONE THING i just got off the phone with Louie @ pacific and i ordered
the rear bumper for the mtech kit...esp after seeing yours !
can't afford the whole kit though and i may just put an addon for my front bumper as Ben suggested.
Also i have an ecis :-( gruppme=mucho dinero!!!
but the difference between the ecis and gruppem (on ben's)
is crazy!! esp at higher RPMs!
definitely glad we all met up!

Also the only way alan is going to change his trim is when he gets the ZHP.
Very cool! Your car will look lovely with M-Tech and front addon. Hopefully it will not be too low. I know you had an ECIS and you got a good deal for it. It sounds great.
__________________


2003 330i Mystic Blue - Black Alcantara/Cloth
6 Sp Manual | Performance Package | Cold Weather Package | Silver Cube Trim | Navigation | Bi-Xenons | Moonroof | PDC

OEM Clears - OEM Alarm - OEM CD-Changer - OEM TV function- Titanium headlight inserts - DIY Clutch Stop - M3 Rearview Mirror - OEM ///M Dead Pedal - Euro First Aid Kit - Euro Warning Triangle - 35%/20% Window Tint - ECIS CAI - ACS Style Roof Spoiler
  #14  
Old 10-13-2003, 03:55 PM
AF AF is offline
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Ok Sean, George and Ben . . . I finally put my m3 lip spoiler on tonight and will post pictures later on . . . not that it's a big thrill to see it but what the h*ll . . .

My invoice happen to be packed with the spoiler . . . I've had it since March andnever put it on . . .

My wife helped me line it up and I think we did a pretty good job.
Thanks to you guys for the encouragement or should I call it harassment
  #15  
Old 10-13-2003, 07:24 PM
AF AF is offline
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Click below for a couple of pics of the lip spoiler and some of our meet pics

http://bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?p=549103
  #16  
Old 10-13-2003, 07:56 PM
PhilH PhilH is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AF330i
Power-wise between the two I really donít feel any difference except I felt like my regular 330i felt slightly quicker off the line (though George felt his car was quicker off the line)...
I think that makes sense. If they tuned the ZHP for high end horsepower, they probably gave up just a bit of low end torque.

I remember driving a friend's '92 Integra when I owned a '91 Integra. They bumped horsepower to 140 from 130 that year, but with less low end torque, I really felt like his car felt slower, even though by the numbers it was faster.
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  #17  
Old 10-13-2003, 08:27 PM
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___lk___ ___lk___ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilH
I think that makes sense. If they tuned the ZHP for high end horsepower, they probably gave up just a bit of low end torque.
it's the physics of the wheels....18'' just takes longer to get spinning than a 17''.

not saying your theory is wrong, but a given car is always slower w/ 18'' than 17''
  #18  
Old 10-13-2003, 09:07 PM
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ItchyNScratchy ItchyNScratchy is offline
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Location: NYC
 
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Mein Auto: 02 2.5 slowmobile
Quote:
Originally Posted by AF330i
Ok Sean, George and Ben . . . I finally put my m3 lip spoiler on tonight and will post pictures later on . . . not that it's a big thrill to see it but what the h*ll . . .

My invoice happen to be packed with the spoiler . . . I've had it since March andnever put it on . . .

My wife helped me line it up and I think we did a pretty good job.
Thanks to you guys for the encouragement or should I call it harassment
Alan, spoiler looks great
you sure have a great wifey letting you hang out with us for
a couple of hours and lining up the spoiler for you.
Can you send me the high res pic of your car with the spoiler??
You mentioned that the color didnt match perfectly. PEER PRESSURE
WORKED BIG TIME!

thx
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  #19  
Old 10-13-2003, 09:20 PM
AF AF is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ItchyNScratchy
Alan, spoiler looks great
you sure have a great wifey letting you hang out with us for
a couple of hours and lining up the spoiler for you.
Can you send me the high res pic of your car with the spoiler??
You mentioned that the color didnt match perfectly. PEER PRESSURE
WORKED BIG TIME!

thx
Thanks Sean . .. My wife is very cool and I am very lucky to have her.

I'm gonna email the pics to you right now . . . I think the color itself looks good but they put too much metallic in the paint and it gives it too much sparkle . . .

After installing it I don't notice it but when I look VERY close up at it I can see it . . .
  #20  
Old 10-13-2003, 09:24 PM
bmw325 bmw325 is offline
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Alan-- I've got a question about the clear blinkers on your car vs the ones on the other 330. YOurs look like the "classic" BMW clears--they're actually "white" and there's a distinct border between the blinker and the headlight. The other 330's look more like "clears" and seem to integrate w/ the headlight. Did BMW change the clears? Or, does one of you have aftermarket clears vs BMW ones?
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  #21  
Old 10-13-2003, 09:38 PM
AF AF is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robg
Alan-- I've got a question about the clear blinkers on your car vs the ones on the other 330. YOurs look like the "classic" BMW clears--they're actually "white" and there's a distinct border between the blinker and the headlight. The other 330's look more like "clears" and seem to integrate w/ the headlight. Did BMW change the clears? Or, does one of you have aftermarket clears vs BMW ones?
Mine are aftermarket as well as the others should have

For the face lifted sedan you can't get BMW OEM clears since they don't sell them here in the US.

I never elaized there is a difference but I can give you a little info about it.

The white 330 has the black background since Ben changed his headlights to have the black background (like a 325) plus he has a clear colored bulb instead of an amber colored bulb

Mine are a silver background so they match the titanium headlight and they have an amber colored bulb . . .

As far as the mystic colored ZHP, I don't know I'd have to ask George . . .
  #22  
Old 10-13-2003, 09:43 PM
GSR13 GSR13 is offline
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Location: Atlanta, Georgia
 
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Mein Auto: 2003 330i
Quote:
Originally Posted by robg
Alan-- I've got a question about the clear blinkers on your car vs the ones on the other 330. YOurs look like the "classic" BMW clears--they're actually "white" and there's a distinct border between the blinker and the headlight. The other 330's look more like "clears" and seem to integrate w/ the headlight. Did BMW change the clears? Or, does one of you have aftermarket clears vs BMW ones?
I am not trying to answer for Alan, but I believe what you are saying is simply the difference between the two trims.

The Clears that have been available for Facelifted Sedans have usually came from Bekkers or Maximillian. I know some dealers began carrying them as well, but they have all been OEM BMW Markers.

When you order them, they ask if you have a 330 or a 325, the difference being the trim inside the light. On a non-ZHP 330, the trim in the Headlight Covers and the trim in the Corner Marker is painted silver, or as BMW calls it, Titanium. The trim on the 325's and the ZHP's is painted black, so they have two sets of corner markers available.

On my car, I have a 330 non-ZHP with the Titanium Headlight Trim, but my clears are actually off my old 325. Personally, I like the Black Trim simply because it breaks it up more, but the Titanium actually goes with the 330.
  #23  
Old 10-13-2003, 09:45 PM
GSR13 GSR13 is offline
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Location: Atlanta, Georgia
 
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Mein Auto: 2003 330i
Quote:
Originally Posted by AF330i
Mine are aftermarket as well as the others should have

For the face lifted sedan you can't get BMW OEM clears since they don't sell them here in the US.

I never elaized there is a difference but I can give you a little info about it.

The white 330 has the black background since Ben changed his headlights to have the black background (like a 325) plus he has a clear colored bulb instead of an amber colored bulb

Mine are a silver background so they match the titanium headlight and they have an amber colored bulb . . .

As far as the mystic colored ZHP, I don't know I'd have to ask George . . .
Alan, your lights are not Aftermarket. They were simply imported by an aftermarket company because US Dealers were not carrying them. For instance, everyone of my Clears has the OEM BMW logos on it and numbers as well.
  #24  
Old 10-13-2003, 10:12 PM
AF AF is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GSR13
Alan, your lights are not Aftermarket. They were simply imported by an aftermarket company because US Dealers were not carrying them. For instance, everyone of my Clears has the OEM BMW logos on it and numbers as well.
Thanks for clearing that up . . . I didn't know that
  #25  
Old 10-13-2003, 10:23 PM
bmw325 bmw325 is offline
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Thanks guys-- I guess what I was seeig was just the titanium vs black trim-- for some reason the black trim version seems to "integrate" better w/ the headlight-- if that makes sense.
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