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      09-08-2020, 11:31 AM   #1
proboner
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Drives: 2003 Z4 3.0 6-speed
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Mountain View, CA

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Proboner's Z4 build thread

Gonna give a bit of context for how I got here, but for those of you who don't care, feel free to skip ahead to the pictures. TLDR- After much research and consternation I bought an e89 z4.

So this last March I vaguely began searching for a new (to me) car. I still had 2 cars I needed to dispose of to facilitate the purchase, so I wasn't trying to pull the trigger, but was definitely looking to decide what the car would be. In May I ran into a car that I hadn't previously considered, but that completely opened by eyes to a new option... a 2007 Z4M.

I already owned a 2003 Z4 3.0 6-speed and figured the M would be too similar and wouldn't provid that new car excitement. However this car was the perfect setup: black exterior, red interior with carbon trim, in gorgeous condition. I went to look at it and was intrigued, but wasn't quite ready to pull the trigger. Another enthusiast ended up buying it a couple days later, but at this point an upgraded Z4 had been added to the list of potentials.

A month later yet another black on red Z4M popped up nearby, and this time I was a bit more prepared to pull the trigger. I went to test drive it and frankly was not impressed. The torque curve below 6k is atrocious, and it just really doesn't feel all that quick... my S52 swapped e30 feels much faster. With the underwhelming test drive and the dealers refusal to come down from their $21k asking price, I decided against a purchase. Again I wait.

Now I've been vaguely looking at E89s for a few years, and with Z4s now in focus I stepped up my search a bit. The thing I knew I'd have a problem with is finding a manual with the N54 motor. Expanding my search across the country, I still only found a few candidates with a clutch pedal. At one point I ended up renting a DCT 35is for a weekend to see if it would scratch my itch, but I just find them too boring to drive with an automatic. I knew it HAD to be a manual.

And then it hit happened. On Monday July 27th, as I was doing my nightly rounds of the for sale websites, I found the holy grail. An absolutely mint 2013 Z4 sdrive35i M-Sport, manual, black exterior with red interior. It was GORGEOUS. To this day, the most beautiful stock Z4 I've ever seen. So gorgeous I've saved all the pictures... take a look!






I knew I had to have it, but the car was in NC while I'm in CA. I emailed the dealership that night and went to sleep and dreamt of cars. I woke up the next morning to an email response with a phone number to call. I called them immediately with no answer and a voicemail indicating the dealership was closed for the day due to a hurricane. I left a VM and then sent a follow up email. I hadn't heard back by later in the day so I called again, to no answer. Wednesday morning I tried again with yet another no answer, but a response via text indicated the car had already sold! WTF! I'd had my chance and managed to miss it!

Over the next couple days I began mourning the loss of this potential ownership, but noticed the car still kept coming up in my searches. By this point I was going a bit insane! I texted the salesman a few more times asking why the ad was still up, but he assured me every time that it was sold. Eventually I said fuck this, and called the main dealer number directly. Another salesman picked up and informed me that there was an interested party, but that they were still getting an inspection blah blah blah. After a bit of a run around, the car ended up selling for real the following Tuesday.

So now I was convinced. I'm pretty wishy washy about this stuff, constantly agonizing over what the correct choice is, but this had been different. All the other cars vaguely interested me, but this was something I NEEDED. In my sorrow I started grasping at straws. I even came on here and posted a WTB thread in the FS section. As I'm sure all of you are aware, this forum isn't particularly busy, so I wasn't hopeful that I'd receive a response to my request. Well hilariously enough, a few days after posting there was a single reply to my thread, indicating they would consider selling the exact car I had described! I went back and forth with the owner for a bit and on August 14th flew up to Washington and drove it 15 hours back down to the Bay Area. The PO did a LOT of performance work on her, so thankfully I don't have to! But there are still things that need doing.

So with that long unneeded story out of the way, let me introduce you to Mazikeen. She's a 2011 Z4 sdrive35i, black on red, 46k miles. I was unhappy to find that she's not very well optioned, most notably no idrive/screen or heated seats (my gfs favorite feature of my current e85). The PO thankfully upgraded to an m-sport front bumper and 2018 M3 wheels, and it does have adaptive sport suspension which is actually very comfortable as a DD, but sits the car WAY too high and floats like a boat. The key area of improvement was performance. Within the last 3k miles the following were added:
  • Pure DD turbos
  • AR Design 3" catless downpipes
  • VRSF Race intercooler
  • PSP outlets
  • MHD tuning flash
  • 335is clutch
  • VRSF charge pipes
  • PR ignition coils
  • 450lph Walbro fuel pump
  • Index 12 injectors
  • Tial BOV
  • New OEM HPFP
Currently pushing 18psi which I guess is around 450whp. Also did a walnut blast, new PCV, and water pump/thermostat.



Last edited by proboner; 10-19-2020 at 11:47 AM..