1997 Z3 Remote Alarm Fob

The early Z3 did not have an alarm as default from the factory. The early Z3 had an alarm fitted as a dealer option. My Z3 came with the EWS IIIG alarm. The IIIG alarm has a separate fob to control the alarm remotely. The alarm cannot be set by locking the car from the car doors. At some point in the past, the fob for the car was either lost or broken and no longer available to me. I can see that the alarm still seems to be active as it flashes when I stop the car and take out the key. It only flashes once and does not seem to be alarmed.

After months of searching around forums and eBay, someone posted a link to an eBay seller that had some IIIG fobs for sale. I quickly jumped on this and bought one.

EWS IIIG remote alarm fob

https://www.bimmerforums.co.uk/threads/e36-alarm-identification-guide-3t-2t-3g-ews.39173/

I found a really useful post on zroadster.org that tells you how to sync the fob to the key

https://zroadster.org/articles/3g-ews-remote-fob-programming.24/

I hope that you find this information useful.

BMW X5 E70 xDrive 40d Phone Cradle Removal

About 18 months ago I purchased my latest BMW from Sytners Sheffield, a 2013 X5 E70 xDrive 40d M Sport. I was quite excited to find that it had a phone cradle installed in the center console. Of course, since the car was built, mobile technology has come on leaps and bounds and I found that it was not possible to get an adapter for my mobile phone, which meant that the cradle just became something that was filling up space in the storage area and got in the way.

I figured it should be possible to remove the cradle so I took a quick trip to Sytners parts department to ask about obtaining a blanking plate. The team were really helpful and were able to find the relevant part and order it for me. Don’t forget that there is a discount on parts when you show your BMW Car Club GB membership card.

The part number for the blanking plate is 51 16 9 115 083

The removal of the cradle is quite a simple job and took my around 45 minutes.

The first thing to do is to remove the carpet trim that runs down the side of the center console on the driver’s side. The is a single T20 torx screw by the pedals. Remove the screw and gently, but firmly, pull the trim away from the tunnel. There are two push connectors holding it in. When these have been pulled away simple pull the panel towards the front of the car as there are two slide clips holding the back.

Once the front panel is off, the back panel needs to come out as well. This one simply slides forward and I found it easier to do this from the rear seats and push it forward as trying to pull it was quite tricky with the drivers seat being in the way.

Once the back panel is out there are two connectors which need to be disconnected. You will see the cable coming from the cradle inside which is fixed to the tunnel by a couple of clips. Unclip the cable and follow the cable to find the two connectors and disconnect them. There is a large black one which pulls away from the plastic support and a smaller connector with a purple connector. The trick to disconnecting the purple connector is to use small flat blade screw driver to lift the purple cover and then press down on the clip beneath to release the clip holding the two sides together.

After disconnecting the wires, we can now look to remove the phone cradle. The cradle is held in place by two T20 torx screws which are hidden under the cradle, lift up the cradle and unscrew. The cradle will pull away easily and it is then a case of feeding through the connectors to allow the cradle to be removed.

When the cradle has been removed you can refit the carpet panels. The blanking plate simply pushes in to place. Here is a before and after.

This is a simple at home job that does not take long to do and gives you back a lot of storage in the center console.

Progress on the BMW Z3

After purchasing my Z3 1.9 back in October 2019 and having all the mechanical items sorted it was time to put the Z3 to bed for the winter as the weather was not up for me working on the car. 

The winter was spent Googling, watching YouTube, talking on Z3 forums and basically working out how I was going to tackle the items that I had found needing attention on the car. As with any car of its age, the list of jobs to tackle was not a small one.  

The main items needing attention were to replace the sills, fix the central locking and interior light not working, body work and refurbish the leather seats.  

Sills were purchased from Sytners Sheffield, painted by a local body shop and fitted one weekend. The frame under the sills looked to be in good condition with some surface rust. The frame and back of sills were treated with wax oyl before the sills were fitted. 

 The issue with the central locking turned out to be a familiar issue with the Z3, a broken cable in the loom going from the boot. A bit of soldering later and the central locking works as expected. The interior light not coming on when the doors were opened turned out to be a simple fix too, the connection of the wire on to the light switch just needing a clean. 

After a trip in February to the Leather Repair Company in Hull with the Eastern region we felt we had all the knowledge, and a repair kit, to refurb the leather seats. The transformation is astounding and well worth the effort. We re-dyed the leather whilst the seats were out of the car since the bushes on the seats needed to be changed to stop the seat moving back and forth. Changing the seat bushes turned out to be a much easier job than I thought it was going to be, just having to remember to count the number of turns for the runner.   

Whilst the seats were out of the car, I took the opportunity to put my hand under the carpet. When I first got the car there were no rubbers on the hood that go above the door and the inside was soaked. The foam under the carpet on the passenger side was soaked in water and squeezing the foam caused a torrent of water to release. I pulled the carpets up as much as possible squeezed out as much water as possible and left to dry out. It took three days. 

The body work required some attention on the front bumper and both rear arches. A couple of small rust spots on the arches turned out to go a bit further once sanding commenced. After some sanding, filling, sanding, primer, base and lacquer the car looks great. The body work still needs some attention and a good machine polish at some point. One thing I learnt from spraying the bodywork is that more base colour and lacquer is required. You’ll never get the same quality finish from a spray can as you would from the body shop but it looks presentable now at least. 

Checking the oil level for the Z3 1.9

  1. Drive the car to bring it up to temperature
  2. Park the car on a flat surface
  3. Leave the car to cool for 5 minutes
  4. Pull out the dipstick and clean it with a lint free rag or paper tissue
  5. Put the dipstick back in to the engine making sure it is pushed in fully
  6. Pull out the dipstick and check the level
  7. The level should be between the lower (min) and upper (max) marks.
  8. Add oil as required
  • The difference between the lower and upper marks on the dipstick is approximately 1 litre of oil.
  • Do not fill above the upper mark as too much oil can hurt the engine.
  • Do not add oil until the level is just above the lower (min) level
  • Oil for the Z3 1.9 petrol engine is 5W30.

Re-Attach Rear View Mirror

My rear view mirror dropped off during the winter. I have tried various products to fix it back but none worked that well. Eventually I tried the Loctite 319. This stuff is awesome.

  • Remove the button from the mirror so that you are only glueing the small part and not the weight of the whole mirror. 
  • Take the mesh that comes with the Loctite and cut it to the required size of the button.
  • Clean the window with some cleaning alcohol to remove any grease, etc
  • Clean the button with some cleaning alcohol to remove any grease, etc
  • Put the glue on the button
  • Place the cut down piece of mesh on to the glue and use the glue stick to make sure the mesh is covered
  • Place the button on to the window (making sure you have it properly oriented with a notch to the top) and hold the button in place and count slowly to 30. 

The button should at this point be fairly secure. I then left it to set for about an hour. I then reattached the mirror to the button. Feels really firm and secure.
I should also note that I waited until it was a warm sunny day so that there was no condensation or moisture on the windscreen and the windscreen was warm. This helps the glue work to its full effect.