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      09-08-2020, 10:31 AM   #1
proboner
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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. Back 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 to give me that new car excitement. However this car was a dream: black exterior, red interior with carbon trim, in gorgeous condition. I went to look at it and was impressed, but wasn't quite ready to pull the trigger. Another enthusiast ended up buying it a couple days later, but at this point the door had been opened.

A month later yet another black on red Z4M popped up nearby, and this time I was mentally 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 off 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 e89 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. I knew it HAD to be a manual.

And then it hit happened. On Monday July 27th, as I was doing my nightly rounds 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 hadnt 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!

Over the next couple days I 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 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. Long story short, car sold for real the following Tuesday.

So now I am convinced. All the other cars I had been vaguely interested in, 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. Well hilariously enough, a few days after posting I response. 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. 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
  • 335is clutch
  • VRSF charge pipes
  • PR ignition coils
  • 450lph Walbro fuel pump
  • Index 12 injectors
  • Tial BOV
  • OEM HPFP
Currently pushing 18psi which I guess is around 450whp. Also did a walnut blast, new PCV, and water pump/thermostat.


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      09-08-2020, 10:33 AM   #2
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First things were first, she needed to be lowered. Did a bit of research and figured I'd try the easy/cheap button and start out with H&R springs. And boy did they do the job, ride height is just right!








But dear lord the ride! The ride actually isn't harsh, it doesn't bang around or feel jolting. It's just so. damn bumpy. The stock struts/shocks just cannot manage the rebound on them. There have been at least two times of note where I've hit a succession of medium sized bumps which have disrupted the car enough that I've almost flown out of my seat! Plus they make my gf nauseous any time she rides in it, so unfortunately they must go. After doing much more research, I decided I'll be going with ST XA coilovers in the near future.

Also did a few smaller mods to get the color scheme on point. Painted kidneys, role hoops, side markers, and grille inserts gunmetal to match the wheels.








And of course what would this thread be without a list of future mods
  • Android screen to replace missing idrive- ordered
  • ST XA coilovers- ordering
  • 35is brakes
  • 19" bronze wheels/tires
  • M-sport rear bumper
  • Dual Varex internal bypass exhaust?- still deciding
  • Paint correction and ceramic coating

edit: just read through and this is all terribly written. I'll come back another day and edit it.
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      09-08-2020, 09:01 PM   #3
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Nice build!

Actually if you want to keep the H&R springs, I could help to order some custom dampers for you. Not sure about the shipping cost from China though. I did custom dampers myself to run a combination of Eibach rear and OEM front setup, to dial out some understeer on track. Did H&R list the spring rates? I actually have a used set lying around that I never installed.
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      09-09-2020, 12:01 AM   #4
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Thanks!

I ended up calling H&R to figure out the spring rates and they told me they don't divulge that information and also pointed out that since they're progressive, they're "not sure". Riiight. Either way, ended up ordering the ST XA coilover setup this morning. Very excited to get those bad boys in place!
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      09-12-2020, 01:05 AM   #5
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Nice list of performance mods. I've never seen an e89 with 513M wheels, looks tough with those tires and drop.

I've ordered a set of ST XA coilovers too, keen to install and feel the difference it makes in handling.
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      09-12-2020, 01:26 AM   #6
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Yeah the drop is pretty much perfect and surprisingly the tires clear all around. Nary a scrape to be heard! Are you also waiting 3 months to receive your ST XAs as well? Just got a shipping update for 12/15/20!
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      09-12-2020, 09:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by proboner View Post
Yeah the drop is pretty much perfect and surprisingly the tires clear all around. Nary a scrape to be heard! Are you also waiting 3 months to receive your ST XAs as well? Just got a shipping update for 12/15/20!
Daaang that's a long wait. I ordered mine from Tunershop on the 11th of July and was told to expect a 6 week wait for KW to build it. I was just given a tracking number on the 9th and it should be in my hands next week... hopefully.
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      09-12-2020, 07:45 PM   #8
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Little video of the exhaust, mainly for posterity's sake. The ones just a cold start, idle till the vacuum actuated exhaust valve opens, then a couple small revs. AR catless downpipes with stock exhaust. Big fan of how quiet yet mean it sounds. I really like it as is, but I have these two Varex mufflers sitting in my garage that are just PERFECT for this application. Decisions, decisions...

Added some captions to help you keep up with what's happening



Last edited by proboner; 09-12-2020 at 09:48 PM..
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      09-21-2020, 01:43 PM   #9
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What size tires if you don't mine me asking?
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      09-21-2020, 11:30 PM   #10
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Fronts are 245/40/18, rears are 275/35/18
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      09-23-2020, 05:35 PM   #11
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Little photoshop of the wheels I'll likely be swapping on...

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      09-25-2020, 12:54 PM   #12
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Can't deny that she's one hot chickadee

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      10-02-2020, 08:43 PM   #13
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Great build so far. She sounds great!
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      Yesterday, 01:12 PM   #14
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Not a ton of building so far in the thread, so thought I'd give an update on things in the mix...

Android screen came in a while back.


Purchased some carbon fiber vinyl to cover the interior pieces while they were out, but realized I accidentally bought an Anthracite tinted version. Not sure if I'm going to keep it this way or not, but it was my first time wrapping and there are a few imperfections anyways.






I think the thing I'm must upset about is that it's not integrated with the car at all, which isn't something I realized when I purchased it. Since this car didn't come with idrive, it doesn't have the corresponding LVDS cable, which essentially integrates the screen with the car. It makes the home screen pretty useless. The aftermarket idrive controller that comes with it is pretty garbage as well. It's obviously meant to work with the now essentially useless home screen, and even when using it in the correct way, it's super slow to react and doesn't respond to inputs half the time.

I have started down the path of figuring out how I'm actually going to use it... just setup hotspot tethering with my phone and downloaded the Android App to the screen and synced with my Spotify account. We'll see how it goes. Still a little bitter about this one.

Continuing to agonize over what wheels I'll be throwing on her. Currently have genuine M3 513m's, which everyone seems to LOVE... except me. I know I want 19's, which these are not, and honestly I'm just not a huge fan of the design. At this point I'm stuck between 2 potential options:

19" Vertini RFS1.7 in brushed dual bronze with chrome lip, which has already been posted above


19" ESR SR07 in matte bronze


The ESR's are actual the wheel I was planning to put on this car before I even bought it, but then those Vertini's caught my eye and do look pretty darn good in the photoshop. Think I'm leaning back towards the ESR's though.

Either way however, there is one consistent piece between both photoshops that is not currently on the car, but that will be before I get new wheels/tires, and that is the brakes. When I installed the H&R springs I noticed that the rotors are toast and there's a definite surge in the pedal when stopping from high speed.

Have seen a number of big brake setups for these cars but after doing research I realized the major issue with most is that really there are only options for the front. The rear having the electric parking brake pretty much precludes most larger brake setups in the rear, and I kind of hate the idea of having huge front brakes and normal sized rears. Also, I require red calipers, and the other economical options seem to be blue or throw up green. Eventually decided to go with a 35is setup, as they're larger than what I currently have, (and actually have larger rotors than even the 235i msport setup) and are relatively economical.

Bought Zimmerman rotors and Akebono pads all around from FCP Euro, calipers all around from a shop out of FL, and caliper rebuild kits from Napa Auto Parts. Honestly I'm a little miffed about the rotors... the description on FCP says they have OEM style aluminum hats, but upon receiving them they definitely do not. Also to note, the caliper rebuild kit was WAY cheaper from Napa and they even had a kit for the rears, which no one else seemed to.


First step was to disassemble the calipers for powder coating. I was going to actually powdercoat them myself, as I have all the pieces to do it. The part I cannot do, is the sand blasting, which after I get that done, I may as well fork over a few bones to get the whole job finished. They'll be going out to the coater on Monday...


As I agonized over wheel selection, I happened across a 19" setup with a similar look to the ESR's, for very cheap. Bought them for a test fit just to get an idea of the true look.




Not bad, and I do like that it's a bit understated. Decided I definitely want to go with a taller tire though. Personally, I've always thought the overall wheel/tire diameter seemed too small on these cars. My current setup is 245/40/18 front and 275/35/18 rear, which is larger than stock and surprisingly doesn't scrape despite sitting SUPER low with these springs. The tires on the mock up wheels are 235/35/19 front and 265/30/19 rear, which is pretty darn close to the height of the current setup, but they look like absolute rubber bands on those 19s, and just too small for the car in general. I plan to try running 235/40/19s and 275/35/19s. Will wait until I get the ST coilovers so I can raise the height a little bit to match. AND, with a bit of a heigh increase, I can actually consider running a front lip.

In non-z4 news, I put the previous Emortal RS wheels back on the e30 and she looks marvelous again


Got a picture of the ladies together as well.


And lastly, took this shot during the fires here in CA a month or so back... pretty insane.
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