Monday, November 28, 2011

PART 3, BMW Z3 Won't Shift Into Gear

Now I have Identified the issue a Bad Seal on the Slave Cylinder, I purchased the part for $62. I jacked the car up, and now I'm ready to change out the part.
First I need to BENCH BLEED the new part. SO I take the new part out and pour fluid into the fluid line connection point and work the plunger to create suction that pulls fluid into the part. I do this until no more air comes out. You'll still have a little air BUT it can be bled once the part is install. Next I need to remove the old part. Unbolt the two bolts (#1) that hold the slave cylinder to the transmission housing. Once it is disconnected the part will slide our and the plunger will be sticking out, you can see how the plunger goes into the part and how it rests on the inside of the transmission to acuate the clutch. Pay attention to this step so you can reassemble later. Next with the part disconnected it will hang down connected to the fluid line. This makes it easy to disconnect and reconnect the new part because the fluid connection is upright and fluid will not pour our of the new part when reconnecting the line. NOW with the new part close by and the main BRAKE FLUID RESEVOIR TOPPED OFF disconnect the fluid line flange nut, use the correct size nut so you do not strip this fitting, then reconnect the fluid line to the NEW part. Once tightened, you can insert the plunger into the opening on the transmission housing and push it in to reattached the two nuts onto the bolts that are cast into the housing. There may be some preassure since the part has fluid in it and needs to be bled BUT pushing it in far enough to get the nuts started shouldn't be difficult. Once the nuts are started tighten them down and then you can begin the bleeding process.
Bleeding the clutch is similar to bleeding brakes you need to be able to pump the clutch up to some pressure and then while the pedal is depressed. open the bleeder screw to let out the air in the system. You will repeat the process a quite a few times to get almost all of the air out. (most systems will also remove air over time so the more you get out now the sooner your clutch will really tighten up.) I know what your thinking I have to pump up the clutch, I get pressure then I have to keep it depressed and crawl back under the car to open the bleeder screw. Well you need to rig up something to keep the pedal pressed in OR you need two people. I tried a bleeding kit but didn't have any luck (maybe because I wasn't too familiar with how to use it) regardless it is easy to do once you figure out how to keep the pedal depressed. One thing to remember is that when you keep the pedal depressed with pressure on the system, once you open the bleeder screw fluid will shoot out. When there is AIR in the system it will be a pulsating flow of fluid. Make sure you keep the resevoir FULL and bleed the brakes till you have minimal pulsating fluid when the bleeder screw is opened. This may be a good time to drain the system which can be done just like this while opening the bleeder screw and draining the fluid without and refilling the resevoir until all new fluid is in the system.

PART 2, BMW Z3 Won't Shift Into Gear

So I reserached the clutch problem and found that it is probably a few different things. 1. Master Cylinder is leaking and needs replaced. 2. Fluid lines are leaking and need replaced. 3. Slave Cylinder is leaking and needs replaced. All three of these should be easy to do UNLESS it is just one of the things wrong. First thing to do is narrow down the leak. SO I needed to look under the car. If your like me you don't have a lift in your garage SO I needed to get my floor jack under the car and since it is so low I had to improvise. I had to drive the FRONT wheels onto two-by-fours to get it up that extra inch. Once jacked up I was able to look under it and see if I could find the leak. Immediately I could see the dripping onto the crossmember. SO I wiped it down, refilled the fluid and drove it again to really pin point WHERE it was coming from and I found that is was coming from the Bellhousing where the transmission bolts up to the engine.
As you can see from the WHITE Arrow this is where the leak originates and then goes to the Main Drip Point #1 then onto the cross member in the right side of the picture. SO with this info I immediately thought I would check the Slave Cylinder which is the small actuating cylinder bolted onto the transmission itself. The Master cylinder pushes fluid to the brakes and down to the Slave Cylinder to presurize the clutch. So NONE fo the connections were leaking everything on the slave cylinder was dry. SO this to me meant a bad thing, since the fluid was coming out of the bell housing and not around the slave cylinder I immediately thought the worst. I thought that something internal to the clutch or transmission was bad and then leaking out the bell housing. BUT a call to preferred auto guys told me differently. They said NO it is still the slave cylinder BECAUSE the seal on the inside where the plunger is, is broken and leaking in the inside and then going down and the only place to come out is the bell housing. SO this was actually good news. I won't quote their price here because ALTHOUGH very fair and reasonable It may change over time and I'm sure this post will be out in cyberspace for awhile. However I will tell you as of this date of this post the new part at Advanced Auto (which was in stock) was $62.19 with Tax. Look for POST 3 for the Removal and Install of the Slave Cylinder.

PART 1, BMW Z3 Won't Shift Into Gear

Well, the first issue I had was an easy one, ALSO it is one that could have been expected since the car is 15 years old. Old dry seals and gaskets are something to CHECK and be wary of because of AGE and sitting for a while. Here is what happened with me. Driving on a Saturday I noticed sitting at a Light that the CAR was hard to go into First Gear. I pumped the clutch a few times and it went in. Sunday I didn't drive the car. Monday I drove it to work and went to lunch I again experienced the same thing this time downshifting the car was HARD to go into First Gear. Later that after noon drove it homw didn't think much of it and attributed it to not pushing the clutch in all the way. parked the car int he garage and had no noticable spots on the floor. My wife drove it the next day and when she pulled into the parking lot she could'nt get the car into gear at all She had someone push her into a parking spot and called me. SO I immediately started looking online for "BMW Won't go into gear". What I found was a bunch of responses and some forum entries at Bimmerfest Forums these at least got me thinking and I finally called a local place in Tampa that was very helpful. Preferred Auto The guys that I talked to were more than helpful they KNEW the car KNEW exactly what I was talking about and gave me information that helped me fix this problem myself. I told them the symptoms: 1. Car wouldn't go into gear. 2. Clutch was flopping around under the dash NO Firmness at all. 3. Large puddle of fluid under the car where my wife parked. SO with all of these symptoms, I deduced that the seal finally blew out SOMEWHERE in the Clutch line and all the fluid leaked out leaving the clutch unable to disengage and shift into gear.
The guys at Preferred Auto told me that the Brake Fluid resevoir that is on top of the master cylinder is a two chamber resevoir, it contains the brake fluid and in another connected chamber the clutch fluid since the clutch is hydraulic. If I looked at the resvoir I would see that the fluid is empty. I looked at the resvoir and sure enough it was empty. SO I topped it off with regular DOT4 Brake Fluid and then pumped on the clutch, this was challenging because it was leakign out very good now. BUT I was able to get the clutch to disengage and shift into first. I drove it home and put it in the garage. I went back to work and decided to look into it a little more. NEXT POST is the troubleshooting to fix Post.

The Paint Chip worked "OK"

OK so it isn't the best solution, which I believe would be painting the area again and somehow buffing and blending it all together BUT it works pretty well and when looking at the spots that are done you have to catch the area in the right light to see it. the pics below are of the ones that I've completed and they look pretty good. The one thing I have noticed is that if you remove too much paint it stays down in the chip but still leaves a little noticeble divot...not sure if thats right but it still looks a little indented. The good thing is the chips previously where WHITE since it went into the primer NOW they are colored and look good. One other thing to consider is that the paint I have is the British Racing Green which is metallic and if dabbed on and left it dries nice and metallicky However if you buff off the blob like the kit I have says to do it dulls down to a dark green color. The kit cost about $39
the Paint from BMW cost $29
and it came in two parts one was the paint the other was the clear coat. The paint is a perfect match BUT the clear coat is truly crappy. It is very very soft and when you put it on it remains soft even after sitting for days. SO I have not been using it and just thepaint kit has made the paint look good. A good shining and buffing afterwards really blends it all nicely.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Paint, Chips and Dip

Next on the list is fixing all the little paint chips and a few scratches around the car. First thing is finding something that I can do that will really work, so I started researching things to find the best item and I think I found one of the best there is. LANGKA Complete Paint Chip Repair Kit. This is the thing that many car dealers say they use and many more people have written reviews about. I'm not talking about fixing "Damage" I'm talking small chips that on the nose look like salt specks. SMALL blemishes that can be dabbed with paint and then buffed to look great. SO I ordered some online from the Langka website and it comes with all the things you need EXCEPT the factory paint for $39.99 + shipping my total was $47.68.
The Web site says if you can catch your fingernail in the chip of scratch this is the repair you need.

NOW its off to BMW to find the factory Paint. I found the Paint on the Front Driver side Strut housing. The official color is Bostongr√ún Metallic, Color Code 275 which I found off the Automotive Touch Up paint web site I then called my local BMW Parts and had them Order it, which comes in a kit and costs $29.95 and has the paint and a Clear Coat included. It should be here in about 3 days.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Ding Man Cometh

So when I bought the car I made note of the 5 or so dings that were on the car. Then there are the small scratches. NONE of these hinder the car in any manner HOWEVER I figured if I can get a Good Deal on repairing them I will get it done, which just adds to it's current PERFECT State. So Today at around 10:00am the Ding Guy Dennis from Elite Dent Repair is coming. He is the first that has come and I will hope he is fair and gives me a good Rate I will update this Post with the ding pictures and his estimate after he shows up. In the mean time here are the pictures of the car when I got it.

10:54am Update: No Ding Man. I tried calling both of the guys Here in Tampa and cannot get up with Either to confirm my 10:00am appointment. I'll keep trying since I have the rest of the day BUT this is inconvenient.

11:22 Update Still No Ding Man. Well still no one so I called another Guy that I found off the Tampa Racing Forums,

1:22 Update Ryan from Elite Dent Repair here in Tampa Came out and fixed all of the Dings (7 Total) now the car has absolutely nothing wrong with it. this is a great deal and he charged me $160 total out the door. he said he should of charged more cause he had a lot of problems getting to two of them on the passenger door. BUT it all worked out and now it looks great. Elite Dent Repair Tampa

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Keeping things STOCK

Ok so I want to truly keep everything STOCK. So far it has everything the Welcome Cassette Tape/CD the Original Window sticker in MINT condition. All the books everything! So in order to Protect the car I am thinking that I need to do some things so that I HAVE them and they get no more wear and tear. New Wheels and Tires might be a start and for that I think I want to graduate to a tire that FITS but is a Size larger. 17" might be a nice clean looking change. Here are some of my worries and concerns. 18" with a WIDE RIM in the back 9" requires a Fender ROLL so I don't want to do that because of Clearance and keeping the car Stock. 17" should fit and ride nice and provide a clean larger look. I may go without the WIDER tire in the back and then I could go with the 18". below is a Brief Idea of OFFSET I got this Info from TIRE RACK

The offset of a wheel is the distance from its hub mounting surface to the centerline of the wheel. The offset can be one of three types (measured in millimeters).*
Zero Offset
The hub mounting surface is even with the centerline of the wheel.

The hub mounting surface is toward the front or wheel side of the wheel. Positive offset wheels are generally found on front wheel drive cars and newer rear drive cars.

The hub mounting surface is toward the back or brake side of the wheels centerline. "Deep dish" wheels are typically a negative offset.

If the offset of the wheel is not correct for the car, the handling can be adversely affected.
Stock 17"s on a non-M Z3 have an offset of 41mm on all four wheels.

I also found this on BIMMER FORUMS and it is very helpful

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

First Steps to adding to the PERFECT BMW Z3

They are the Ultimate Driving Machines. SO I want this one to be ALL Original. Here is the first thing I will do. Replace the Small BMW Emblem on the Key Fob. I know WOW, that's one way to start and to start SMALL...

The little BMW Roundel that is on ALL BMW Keys was very worn and not even visible. SO I needed a New One and found them on EBAY. $3.50 Plus $1.50 shipping. Total of $5 and I bought it from someone in America rather than have it shipped in from CHINA.

Now I just need to wait for it to come in and replace it. I will update this post with the pic of the KEY after it is complete.

How it all Started

Used 1996 BMW Z3 1.9

Ok so the title of the AD wasn't that attractive. It was a little over my price range and then I read the words in the ad.
that's when I saw the Mileage....What 37,325?? this can't be right. The the next part I saw was '1-Owner car'. Oh well now this is even better. A Car that is 1 Owner, Low miles and obviously if he has the Car Fax he can back up his story. I called him and talked with him turns out he was in the Air Force and is now living in Florida, he no doesn't drive the car much and it sits in the Garage. SO it just needs to be driven. We make a deal to discuss it more and me and my Step Father will go down and look at it on Tuesday if we think it is worth it.
I ask if $9500 is his bottom price and he tells me to come up with a number and propose it prior to coming down just to make sure I might be in the ball park before driving so far. (3 and a half hours, one way)
So we decide to do a little research, look at Kelly Blue Book, put in the mileage and then try to determine what it matches, Excellent 3% of cars are in this shape ($7825), Very Good 25% of cars are in this Shape ($7565), Good 75% of cars are in this shape ($7230) Poor (well I don't want a car in this shape). So I decide on $7800 I think if it is as described and has minor aging wear then with it's low mileage and garage kept story it should be one of the top 3% of vehicles out there, MAYBE Higher.
Now I decided to call back and ask him what he would consider and what we had decided. Since the car was in good shape, and if it matched what he had said and the Car Fax came back clean I was willing to go top dollar on the Kelly Blue Book Value and offer $7800. At this point I am not sure what he was thinking However he said "That is a little lower than I want but I will have to talk to my wife about it and get back to you." Well it was Halloween Night, It was also 5:30pm when I talked to him. We were getting ready for the Trick or Treaters and we were sitting outside BUT in the back of my mind I was waiting for the phone call and him to say WELL I will take $8500 or something like that. However the phone call never came. I waited and waited and finally it was 7:20pm. I was getting worried and Scared that I had insulted him and he wasn't going to call back.
You see I really wanted this car at this point I felt it was a too good to be true car and i had hoped that he would call back. But I now thought that I had insulted him, that I had bid too low and that I had made this BMW turn its back on me and drive away.
So I decided to call back at 7:30pm, I talked to him and he said. Oh sorry I hadn't called you back with it being Halloween and all BUT I talked with my wife and $7800 would be the LOWEST that I will go. So If you come down here and see it and it isn't to your liking I can't go any lower then that.
Well, that Tuesday we went down there, We met him at his work and test drove the car. he went over every inch of the car with us. told us all the quirks, showed us little cracks in the back plastic support that you will never see, showed us how the top goes up and down. He then opened the Hood and showed us the engine, he hadn't cleaned it, and told us I wanted you to see this as it has been sitting here JUST to make sure you see any sign of leaks and didn't think I was hiding anything. WELL there was nothing. The engine had road grime on it BUT not bad. Not 15 years worth and maybe 37k mile worth BUT that's nothing.

SO we got the cash out, made the Transaction and Drove it Back to Tampa the 3 and a half hours and sat it in the Driveway. My Thought was WOW what a BUY this car is in fantastic shape and I really feel good about it. Now as I go through the car and fix the VERY Minor things I will document them and show you what I have done. This car has everything included, the original window Sticker, the BMW Welcome Cassette Tape and Demonstration CD. the original Airbag Stickers, ALL manuals, original Maintenance books and tools. EVERYTHING this Car Came with is with the car and in good shape. I will be touching up the few minor things that will make this car EXACTLY as it was when it came off the showroom floor.