bmw z3 (im gettin one!!)

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Hey everyone. I posted in the intro forums what lead up to my luck in getting a Z3, quick summary is.. Mom hates my old bronco, they're gettin me a z3 (1996-1998).

I have a few questions. Well, no, alot of questions. :mrgreen:

I'll just jump right into it.

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Do all the z3 roadsters have v6 between 1996-1998? How rare are automatic trannys?


Dad really is insisting on an automatic tranny, does this ruin the car? Mind, I am not racing, but I want to go quick and I want it to look cool.


I've been on the net, CarDomain.com mostly, and all the z3's there have tons of upgrades.. but alas they have no forums for me to ask the guys w/ em. How upgradable are Z3's?


I have about $1000, and I would like to make it a touch better and add mroe things over time. What should I get first, and then add overtime? (No need to be specific I guess for now, You can expand later if you want.)

Those are just a few of my bajillion questions.

posted by  fyse0

Right, I'll go in order lol...

First off, no BMW's let alone Z3's have a V6 engine, the entry level Z3 has a 1.9litre 4-cylinder engine, all 6-cylinder engines are inline 6's, which, in my opinion, are faster and more refined than a V6 engine. As for the auto tranny's, they are quite comon, especially in your neck of the woods.

Question number two, An auto tranny certainly wont ruin the car, however, it is more expensive to sort out if it goes wrong, and it wont be as quick as a manual.

Question number three, the Z3 is as upgradable as any car really, however, parts maybe more difficult to find.

And for your final question, for now, I'd maybe get some new alloys, as some of the standard ones, especially on the base model, are extreamly bland. If you want a bit more punch out of it (if it's a less powerfull example), I'd recomend a rear exhaust silenser...or maybe a superchip. I'm no boy racer myself and cant stand a car that's all show and no go so to speak, so if I were you, I'd stick to performance enharncing mods (note: boy racers in the UK are usually all show, no go lol)...

I hope this helps you, good luck!

posted by  Cliffy

well when push comes to shove it's all show here.. theres a few guys in my school that will race on Carefree hwy.. but all the modded cars are just modded and will never be raced.

posted by  fyse0

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All joking aside...I think the Z3 goes much faster than you are willing or should safely drive...and if you absolutely need more from it...get a performace chip...that's all you need! However, I doubt you'll ever have the chance to make it perform to it's potential...It's just a waste of money and would only serve to inflate your head more than it already is.
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posted by  BavarianWheels

The Z3 isnt exactly an exciting drive for the money. This is why we now have the Z4 rather than the new Z3.

posted by  cinqyg

Contrary to your opinion, the Z4 was not produced because the Z3 lacked power or speed. It's just a different set up and appeals to a different crowd.

The Z3 still (regardless of it's "inferior" performance) performs above the range that this individual (who I might add is only interested in showing off to his friends on the playground) is willing to take it and feel comfortable with.

He fails to realize that the Z3, in stock form, will still out perform most of his friends rice mobiles. I know he's just itching to install a shopping cart handle on it too. ::sigh::
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posted by  BavarianWheels

the specs (http://research.cars.com/go/crp/summary.jsp?logtype=6&aff=national&makeid= 5&year=1998&modelid=50) on the Z3 are not too impressive. I wouldn't blame him for wanting to put some more punch into the car. but as always, i would start with intake and exhaust systems and then move to other parts. this alone should cost quite a bit, so save up man.

EDIT: this (http://research.cars.com/go/crp/summary.jsp?logtype=6&aff=national&makeid= 5&year=1997&modelid=50) may be more accurate. the 4 is still prety weak imo, get the 6cylinder.

posted by  importluva

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Wasn't there a 2.8 offered in 1998? I'm not sure. (Edit: guess it was...clicked second link)

The 2.8 is a 6 cylinder with 189hp...

The M Roadster 3.2 is also a 6 cylinder with 240hp

No mention of engine type...even if it has the 1.9 inline 4 cylinder with 138hp...it still is quite sporty and able to do more than this guy can handle!
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posted by  BavarianWheels

Hey, you must remember being young and having the "what if" conversation...? (yes, you have to listen to them 24/7 here.. i know..!) Just play along, even if you don't think its completely realistic...! :thumbs:

posted by  R34RB30DETTV

not talking about me are you ?

posted by  fyse0

and I actually can drive decently, and can handle whatever.. i won a thing at school where we got to take 3 classes at the race track and I learned how to control at high speeds and everything. I'm still a rookie but I'm sure i can hold my own (meaning I can handle it) in a ferrari if given the chance.

edit:
more to add on for anyone who thinks im a punk kid who wants to show off and join the stereotype of showboating teenagers.. I want to keep it a bmw, it will be babied. It will NOT be riced out, I dont want a lawn mower exhaust or anything of the sort..

In my initial post, the modification questions were purely hypothetical. Whether or not I'll ever have enough to do anything to it is in question. And if anything was ever done it'd be modest and subtle modfications. No imitations on Fast and Furious, no "ricing", just to have a nice car and spend money on something worthwhie. Instead of spending $ on an Xbox.. I'll spend it on intake, or something.

If you read the cylinder question it with an unsatisfied tone, I did not mean to come across that I feel I need the 2.8. I was purely curious on whether or not they were all 6 cylinders.

posted by  fyse0

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Bottome line is you should be happy with whatever you father buys you...be it an automatic or manual...it's a gift...you don't get picky about gifts.

You're quite lucky to get a Z3 as a "first car."
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posted by  BavarianWheels

:clap: well done, you def sound like a sensible person. :thumbs:

and as i said, start with bolt-ons but things will most probably get very expensive real fast. just keep it a few years and then get a car good for the heavy modding.

posted by  importluva

thanks i like being called a sensible person.. its dark in the room so I'm abandoning my punctuation.

the guys on the general forums have put me back in my place.. Not gonna mention the manual vs. auto tranny to my dad again. but one thing i want to correct.



its not my first car, I bought a 1988 bronco for myself. Yes I, a 17 year old kid saved up since freshman year to 3200 bucks and bought a car for myself.. this whole bmw thing came on cause my mom doesn't like the big ugly car. and my dad wants a converable to take to the lake.

posted by  fyse0

Yes...I remember. That's why I put the quotation marks. You didn't own the Bronco very long so it doesn't really count as such... :laughing:
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posted by  BavarianWheels

I guess you found out, but you are right; well, I'm thinking it was added in 1997? Good car, front and rear independent suspension (well, it's a BMW). Manuals are more fun I think, but only outside of stop-and-go traffic. I personally don't like manuals as everyday cars, and they are a pain in heavy-city traffic like I get here.

The 6cylinder will give you a good amount of "vroom", and the 4cylinder is still good, but a Miati is faster I suppose.

I don't know if you can get much more power out of the car without the sacrifice of $$$; I personally wouldn't mode the 6cylinder if that is what you get. Try finding a BMW forum maybe, and hear from personal experiences.

I tried finding this BMW parts/accessory catalog I had, but can't seam to find it. I came close to buying a older 3-series, so that's why I had the catalog. If I find it, I will say so. If you are to go the car audio rout, talk to me :PP

posted by  cwzilly

There is pleanty to be had and lots of engine upgrade available. May be its more suited to american roads but for the money it was a sloppy drive over here.

posted by  cinqyg

im not real picky anymore, im just gonna hope i get black.. order a hardtop, intake and exhaust when i get it and be done with it for a while (all hamann stuff)

posted by  fyse0

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