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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 11-05-2019, 11:13 PM
[email protected] tgilbert@embarq is offline
terry2001z3
Location: columbia city IN
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 122
Mein Auto: 2001 z3
2001 bmw z3 seats

I like my seats .they are okay and when driving for a lttle trip,but they seam to be stiff.is this normal or have the cushins
hardened up over time.
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  #2  
Old 11-06-2019, 08:12 AM
khammack khammack is offline
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Location: Denver, Colorado
 
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Mein Auto: 2002 M Roadster/2014 435i
The Z3 is a sports car and the seats are very firm. Not much you can do about it except get some padding to put between you and the seats. I find the firm seats to be much better for long trips because they hold you in place better.
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2002 M Roadster, Steel Gray Metailic, Gray Nappa Leather, Black Soft Top, Steel Gray Metailic Hard Top, TC Kline Double Adj Shocks with H&R Springs, Stromung Exhaust, SSR Type C Wheels.
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  #3  
Old 11-06-2019, 09:03 AM
[email protected] tgilbert@embarq is offline
terry2001z3
Location: columbia city IN
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 122
Mein Auto: 2001 z3
thank you for the reply.thats what I needed to know .I did not know if the seat foam got hard over time or if they were made that way.They are fine after you sit in them for a bit .
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  #4  
Old 11-12-2019, 05:49 PM
Blacklane Blacklane is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 Z3 Roadster
I found that the leather stiffened over time: when I replaced the leather, the seats were much more comfortable. I did nothing to the foam.

BTW: you can make the seats more comfortable by installing a seat tilt kit which raises the front about an inch. Of course, if you're going to do that, you might as well install the seat sliding fix at the same time.
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  #5  
Old 11-12-2019, 06:32 PM
ZEEBOY ZEEBOY is offline
The Arkleyologist
Location: SW Ohio
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 547
Mein Auto: 1997 Z3 Roadster 2.8
Tgilbert...you have hit on one of my major complaints over the years about the Z3...uncomfortable seats...one observation I have made is the non adjustable lumbar feature.
If you are a short guy like me, (under 5' 10"), the stationary lumbar hits me right in the middle of my back..as you point out..ok for short trips but very uncomfortable on longer trips..I have found that placing a cushion on the seat bottom elevates my spine to the proper lumbar sweet spot....and as Blacklane points out...doing the front of the seat 1" elevation modification takes a lot of the stress off your backbone...
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  #6  
Old 11-12-2019, 07:11 PM
[email protected] tgilbert@embarq is offline
terry2001z3
Location: columbia city IN
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 122
Mein Auto: 2001 z3
I have looked into the inch shim on the seat. It seems like a good idea. I was waitng till the seat slide needed fixing .so far it seems to be good.I am going to put leather seat conditioner on the seat to see if that helps any .Blacklane who did you get your new seat cover from ?
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  #7  
Old 11-12-2019, 07:47 PM
Blacklane Blacklane is offline
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Location: Springfield, Ohio, USA
 
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Mein Auto: 1998 Z3 Roadster
I sent my seat cushions and old leather to LeatherSeats.com in Oklahoma City. They repaired the bolsters and made new leather covers. I upgraded the leather quality and added perforated leather to the main parts. They sent it all back and I re-assembled the seats.
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  #8  
Old 11-12-2019, 09:32 PM
[email protected] tgilbert@embarq is offline
terry2001z3
Location: columbia city IN
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 122
Mein Auto: 2001 z3
great ,thankyou .drivers seat showing some wear.
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  #9  
Old 11-14-2019, 12:08 PM
KBH22102 KBH22102 is offline
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Location: Mclean, VA
 
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Mein Auto: 1997 Z3 2.8, 2002 M Coupe
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blacklane View Post
I sent my seat cushions and old leather to LeatherSeats.com in Oklahoma City. They repaired the bolsters and made new leather covers. I upgraded the leather quality and added perforated leather to the main parts. They sent it all back and I re-assembled the seats.
When did you do this? After reading your post, I emailed them asking them if i could send them my covers for repair or replacement of damaged panels. They replied that they do not have a kit to repair my seats and recommended that I seek out a local auto upholsterer.
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  #10  
Old 11-14-2019, 05:54 PM
Blacklane Blacklane is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 Z3 Roadster
I guess times change.

They used to have a video on YouTube of them recovering my seats and developing patterns needed for future customers. It looks like those have been taken down.

https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=922090

I'm not sure why their website says they do Z3 seats from 1996-2000 when the 2001 seats are identical. In fact, all of the model years of Z3 used the same seats, just different trims: Regular, Sport, and M-style.
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  #11  
Old 11-16-2019, 09:56 AM
russwright russwright is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 43
Mein Auto: 2000 Z3 2017 X3
My seats (2000 Z3 44 k miles) seats were ok, but I tended to sweat a lot on my back. I installed some custom fitted lambswool seat covers which eliminated the sweat issue and made the seats more comfortable. Took an 1,900 mile road trip this summer (i'm 6'2") and those seat covers had a huge effect on comfort. My wife thought they looked like a pimp car, but she did not complain one bit after that road trip.
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  #12  
Old 11-16-2019, 12:29 PM
[email protected] tgilbert@embarq is offline
terry2001z3
Location: columbia city IN
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 122
Mein Auto: 2001 z3
aftermarket seat covers are a good option.at 44k miles your just out of warrenty.haha
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  #13  
Old 01-12-2020, 12:08 AM
Tim Wells Tim Wells is offline
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Location: Dallas, GA
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 3
Mein Auto: R1200GS
I have a question about seats for the same year as the OP. My 2001 3.0 came with standard seats. What are my options as far as years for sport seats fitting in my car. I'm looking for a set but I don't want to just "hope" they'll fit. Gotta know for sure.
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  #14  
Old 01-12-2020, 07:45 AM
khammack khammack is offline
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Location: Denver, Colorado
 
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Mein Auto: 2002 M Roadster/2014 435i
The very early Z3s may have had different seats, but I doubt it. There were only two options, the sport and non-sport seats. I don't believe fitment will be an issue if you find a set of Z3 or MZ3 seats.
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2002 M Roadster, Steel Gray Metailic, Gray Nappa Leather, Black Soft Top, Steel Gray Metailic Hard Top, TC Kline Double Adj Shocks with H&R Springs, Stromung Exhaust, SSR Type C Wheels.
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  #15  
Old 01-12-2020, 09:02 AM
[email protected] tgilbert@embarq is offline
terry2001z3
Location: columbia city IN
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 122
Mein Auto: 2001 z3
size wise a set of fiero seats would fit in the car but you would have to make or refit the seat sliders.i like the seats in a z4. I don't know how much it would take to put them in my z3,but it is a idea that I had.
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  #16  
Old 01-13-2020, 09:23 AM
bob lindquist's Avatar
bob lindquist bob lindquist is offline
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Location: Florida
 
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Mein Auto: 2000 Imola M Coupe
The guys at Leather Z might have a suggestion.
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  #17  
Old 01-13-2020, 10:49 AM
KBH22102 KBH22102 is offline
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Location: Mclean, VA
 
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Mein Auto: 1997 Z3 2.8, 2002 M Coupe
I noticed that the seats in my new to me 2001 M felt much harder than my prior car which also had M seats. The cushion in between the leather seams were also flat whereas they were slightly raised in my prior car. Underneath the skin is common cushion foam. I have read that you can re-expand the foam using a clothes steamer. One of my winter project is to recondition my seats and I plan to try to foam renewal with this method.
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  #18  
Old 01-26-2020, 07:52 AM
wfidrock wfidrock is offline
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Location: Austin, TX
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 9
Mein Auto: 2001 BMW Z3 3.0i
@Blacklane and @Time Wells - the different seats across the Z3 models (as mentioned by Blacklane); Regular, Sport, and M-style all use the same seat frames, but different foam.
So, for example you can't try and convert your seats from one type to another by just buying the covers, but you can if you get both the covers and the foam.

Also, if you buy a full seat it will fit. Obviously if you buy a seat with power options or heat that were not in your original car you will either have to add the wiring, switches, relays, fuses, etc. (if not there and hidden somewhere) or do without that feature (may be difficult if it a power sliding seat).

I have a Z3 3.0i that came with the sport seats and one late night (3:00AM) I won an ebay auction on some black, full leather seat covers for only $200 (brand new) but they were for the M-Style seats!
When I got them delivered they were great covers, very well made, very high quality.

So I did research and found about the frames being common and only the foam changing between the 3 seat types; verified this on one of the BMW part finder sites by looking up the various parts (frame and foam) for each of the model types.
I looked at buying new foam (M-Style) but ended up finding a guy up in NJ area that parts out BMWs with a set of M-Style seats and convinced him to sell me just the foam (he had someone else interested in just the leather covers).
In changing out the foam I did clean and steam the M-Style foam as much as possible (it was in very good condition, the seats they came from looked very close to new) and I did transfer the seat heater pads over from my Sport seats to the M-Style seats without any issues.

So, long story short, for only about $500 total (including a set of hog ring pliers and rings) I was able to convert my Sport seats to M-Style seats with brand new covers (and the new covers are a softer, more subtle leather). I kept my old foam and covers in case I ever want to go back to stock.
(picture of my Z3 in signature is before seat conversion)
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Last edited by wfidrock; 01-26-2020 at 07:56 AM.
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  #19  
Old 01-27-2020, 11:05 AM
zed3coupe zed3coupe is offline
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Location: CO
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 173
Mein Auto: 1999 BMW M Coupe
Quote:
Originally Posted by wfidrock View Post
@Blacklane and @Time Wells - the different seats across the Z3 models (as mentioned by Blacklane); Regular, Sport, and M-style all use the same seat frames, but different foam.
So, for example you can't try and convert your seats from one type to another by just buying the covers, but you can if you get both the covers and the foam.

Also, if you buy a full seat it will fit. Obviously if you buy a seat with power options or heat that were not in your original car you will either have to add the wiring, switches, relays, fuses, etc. (if not there and hidden somewhere) or do without that feature (may be difficult if it a power sliding seat).

I have a Z3 3.0i that came with the sport seats and one late night (3:00AM) I won an ebay auction on some black, full leather seat covers for only $200 (brand new) but they were for the M-Style seats!
When I got them delivered they were great covers, very well made, very high quality.

So I did research and found about the frames being common and only the foam changing between the 3 seat types; verified this on one of the BMW part finder sites by looking up the various parts (frame and foam) for each of the model types.
I looked at buying new foam (M-Style) but ended up finding a guy up in NJ area that parts out BMWs with a set of M-Style seats and convinced him to sell me just the foam (he had someone else interested in just the leather covers).
In changing out the foam I did clean and steam the M-Style foam as much as possible (it was in very good condition, the seats they came from looked very close to new) and I did transfer the seat heater pads over from my Sport seats to the M-Style seats without any issues.

So, long story short, for only about $500 total (including a set of hog ring pliers and rings) I was able to convert my Sport seats to M-Style seats with brand new covers (and the new covers are a softer, more subtle leather). I kept my old foam and covers in case I ever want to go back to stock.
(picture of my Z3 in signature is before seat conversion)

Awesome. Should have done this on my 01 3.0i coupe when I had it.
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