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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 03-22-2011, 10:30 PM
Cityconstable Cityconstable is offline
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Location: Boston ma.
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 156
Mein Auto: 1997 z3 2.8
Just bought a 97 z3 2.8 in Texas, looking for info

Car is mint 45k miles and blue. so far I'm planning on a new top, dark blue to replace the tan one, possibly a saddle leather interior, new tires (Goodyear f1s or Bridgestone pole position) and a new audio/nav system. Any comments or suggestions? Thanks Jay
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  #2  
Old 03-23-2011, 04:08 AM
KBH22102 KBH22102 is offline
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Location: Mclean, VA
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 497
Mein Auto: 1997 Z3 2.8, 2002 M Coupe
Which blue did you get? Atlanta (lighter) or Montreal (darker)? In either case I think keeping a beige roof maintains a classic look. Wheels are a good upgrade, see the 18" ASA AR1's in my sig. What will really transform your driving experience will be upgrading your subframe carrier bushings to urethane units and also upgrading the suspension. Of all the mods I've done to my car, that made the biggest dynamic improvement. After that, mods are only limited by your wallet and time. The 97 M52 engine is a good base for the M50 manifold upgrade (increases top end power) along with higher flow injectors and cams. A roll hoop retrofit is a nice look. You might get a hardtop for cold weather months. A front strut tower brace can tighten up the front end. Have fun
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Old 03-23-2011, 08:26 AM
Cityconstable Cityconstable is offline
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Location: Boston ma.
 
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Mein Auto: 1997 z3 2.8
it is atlanta blue I think the dark blue would be a good contrast. where are the subframe bushings from and what suspension mods do you suggest? Motor has more than enough power for me at this point but I would love to put in the individuale roll bars as the one piece units I've seen are kind of ugly. Is that possible? Thanks for your time to respond.. Jay
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Old 03-23-2011, 01:44 PM
larry mc new larry mc new is offline
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Location: brookville ohio
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 38
Mein Auto: 1997 bmw z3 2.8 5spd
roll hoops

You can install roll hoops but you will need to find the factory roll bar mounts. They were factory installed on all Z3's starting in 98. I did this on my 97 and found a set on ebay. You may have better luck going thru a salvage yard.
Also I would recommend immediately replaceing the water pump with a Stewart metal impeller water pump. They are a bit pricey but well worth the money. The factory oem water pump impellers were made of a type of plastic and well known to break apart causing the pump to freeze up ...then the belt pops off breaking the fan and sending parts into the hood and radiator. There are several threads on this.

Larry
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Old 03-23-2011, 05:11 PM
KBH22102 KBH22102 is offline
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Location: Mclean, VA
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 497
Mein Auto: 1997 Z3 2.8, 2002 M Coupe
Comprehensive writeup on subframe bushing change here

http://www.rfdm.com/SubframeBushings/index.html
http://www.rfdm.com/SubframeBushings/howto.html

My personal experience with roll hoop retrofit. Browse eBay regularly for "Z3 roll hoops" to see if a set comes up for sale

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1080188

Writeup on procedure here

http://www.mz3.net/articles/228.html

The above advice on replacing the cooling system is sound but fortunately our 97 M52's seem to have come with a metal impeller, not the composite ones; at least mine had one when I did my replacement last year (stock pump on the left, Stewart on the right in the pic below). The plastic parts of the radiator and expansion tank DO become brittle and crack so it is best to replace the whole system (belts, hoses, thermostat, radiator and pump) when you are at it

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Last edited by KBH22102; 03-23-2011 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 03-23-2011, 06:03 PM
Cityconstable Cityconstable is offline
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Location: Boston ma.
 
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Mein Auto: 1997 z3 2.8
Thank you all for the info, a side note, i am picking the car up from the dealer on Friday and have had two emails from them with offers to sell the car back for other customers.. Not bloody likely... Grin I like this car.
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Old 03-23-2011, 06:11 PM
Cityconstable Cityconstable is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Boston ma.
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 156
Mein Auto: 1997 z3 2.8
Thank you all for the info, a side note, i am picking the car up from the dealer on Friday and have had two emails from them with offers to sell the car back for other customers.. Not bloody likely... Grin I like this car.
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Old 03-23-2011, 07:27 PM
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KevinR KevinR is offline
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Location: Central Georgia
 
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Posts: 350
Mein Auto: '01 330Ci
My wife's '97 is Atlanta Blue - we went with a Navy blue replacement top. The tan/beige tops are too hard to keep looking good.

I'll second the recommendation for the Stewart water pump. '97s may indeed have metal impellers (ours did), but they find different ways to fail. On ours, the impeller shaft bearings failed, which eventually wobbled the fan blade into the fan shroud.

Also look into Whalen seat bushings, a glove box reinforcement kit, and replacing the clips on the side windows. These are all pretty common failure points on Z3s. None is very expensive in parts but they all require a bit of personal labor to complete.

Depending on the month of your car's assembly, the mounts for the roll hoops may already be in the car - they are in ours.
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Last edited by KevinR; 03-23-2011 at 07:28 PM. Reason: spelling
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