I'm coming back!

UK forum for general and technical discussion about the Z3 roadster

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Joined: Wed 20 Feb, 2013 00:47
Posts: 190

  Z3 roadster 1.9

I'm coming back!

Post by RichP » Tue 29 Aug, 2017 16:48


After a couple of years out, I am finally coming back to Z! If anyone is bored enough, heres a little story :rtm:

I got my Z3 about 7 years ago, aged 24. About 2 years ago, it overheated and blew the head gasket. Since then i have toyed with the idea of trying to do the change myself, of replacing the entire engine, of selling the car as spares, and of getting it fixed (i posted on here several months ago, but did nothing about it). All the while the car slowly started to become one with the driveway. :bawl: this made me sad often.

During this time me and my wife shared a car, as we only needed one. Whilst the hyundai family car is fine for long motorway journeys, carting dogs around, and generally getting from A to B, I always wanted something more special. A recent development (baby on the way) led us to realise we need a 2nd car. We looked at financing a new car (i wanted a golf GTI, or bmw 135/140), but with losing her income soon, that didn't seem a good idea. So i started looking for something around £1500 just to run me to work and back... and then it occurred to me that i could just spend that on my old Z3, and be happy again! (who would have thought a baby on the way would mean gettting the 2 seater roadster back!).

So! Most of the car is currently in the garage, and the head is off being skimmed. It is getting a new thermostat and water pump, and (hopefully) a shiny new MOT! (i am waaay more excited to get it back than i should be).

Trouble is, whilst on its 2 year hiatus - its bodywork started to deteriorate. The bonnet laquer has failed, and the sill covers and arches are beginning to rust, there's also a scrape and a lot of stone chips on the front bumper. What is the most cost effective way of getting this looking better? I cant afford a full respray currently (may be a possibility in a year or two). I have done small items -- wing mirror and base - with rattle cans, and with patience, got a good finish. But can i do an entire bonnet? (the only consolation is that it cant look much worse!). Where can i get new sill covers? Can a body work shop sort the rusty bits without needing a full spray? How much would a full spray including fixing rust be? has anyone bought a compressor and paint gun etc and done a half decent job on their first go at home?

Some would say its not worth paying the cars value, maybe more, fixing up a basic little 1.9, but with it being my first decent car from my early 20's i'm rather attached to it, and i think i'd regret selling it for scrap.

Anyway, suggestions on the body work welcomed. And please pray to the car gods for me that he comes back to me running beautifully :D
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"I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered." George Best

John Wilson
Joined: Fri 12 Jun, 2009 13:11
Posts: 242

  Z3 roadster 2.0
Location: Diss

Re: I'm coming back!

Post by John Wilson » Thu 31 Aug, 2017 18:20

Welcome back! Not much advice to give you but it'll be interesting to know how you get on. I've taken the sills off my Z, had them sandblasted and repainted at a bodyshop but I'm guessing yours might be too far gone for that. Anyway, good luck with the project and keep us updated.

Joined: Sat 19 Nov, 2011 18:35
Posts: 2126

  Z3 roadster 1.9

Re: I'm coming back!

Post by Del » Sat 02 Sep, 2017 08:36

The sills are just "covers" they are not structural. They can be removed for better treatment - see attached link:-

https://zroadster.org/threads/sill-remo ... 71/#p25361

I haven't seen them but if you are on a budget, you may be able to repair them for the time being. I've replaced them on mine. From memory, new sills were about £180 each from BMW and with spraying by a friend, it was still a £500 job.

I managed to source a good condition, 2nd hand, (petrol cap side) rear wing for mine in the correct colour (the old one had been poorly repaired) for just £60. :D

Second hand sills tend to be just as bad on the older, narrow body ones for cars like mine (1998). These sills are specific to the model variants i.e. pre-facelift narrow and wide body and post facelift.

Firms like Chips Away, Dent Masters & Dent Magic etc can do an acceptable paint job for good prices on small areas.

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