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. 

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. 

Z3 Central locking not operating boot from doors

My Z3 has a strange central locking issue that I need to look in to. When I use the key in either the passenger or drivers door it will operate the central locking for the doors. The boot does not lock or unlock if the key is used from the doors. If I use the key in the boot lid to unlock / lock the boot it also operates the doors. So, if I use the key in the door to unlock the door, both doors unlock but not the boot. If I lock the door from the door, both doors lock but not the boot. If I unlock the boot using the key in the boot, the boot will unlock and both doors will unlock. If I lock the boot from the boot lock, the boot will lock and both doors will lock. So, if I unlock the car from the boot and then lock the car from the doors, the boot will not be locked.

It appears that the signal from the central locking from the doors is not making it to the boot actuator. There is a known issue on the Z3 where the wiring loom that goes from the boot in to the car can sometimes contain broken cables. It could be that there is a broken cable in the loom. You can see examples of broken wires in the photos below (courtesy of @jonco on zroadster.org). Detailed below are the indvidual wires and there function.

As soon as lock down allows I will be out to the car to break open the wiring loom to see if any of my wires are broken and causing my issue. I will update the post with what I find.

I have documented here the details of what each wire is used for is noted below (courtesy of @jonco and @BrianH on zroadster.org)

There are 9 wires in the boot loom. The lock/unlock and switch position functions are controlled via the central ZKE module
The two wires below are part of a common loom that triggers the door actuator/lock.

1.5 BL/GR blue/grey – boot lock motor wire

1.5 WS white – boot lock motor wire

The three wires below are supply wires and lock position wires, the supply is fed from fuse 7 (5amp)

0.35 RT/GN red/green – boot lock switch – supply wire

0.5 WS/BL white/blue – boot lock switch – unlock wire

0.5 WS/GN/GE white/green/yellow – boot lock switch – lock wire

The two wires below are for the third brake light, the fuse for the third brake light is fuse F46 (15A) and controlled via the brake light switch.

0.5 BR brown – 3rd brake light – earth

0.75 BL/RT blue/red – 3rd brake light – supply Wire

The two wires below are for the boot interior light, this switch is located in the boot latch. The fuse for the boot light switch is F33 (10a).

0.5 BR/WS brown/white – boot light switch supply wire

UPDATE: I finally got around to opening up the loom and found that I had a blue wire that was broken. I stripped back the wire and soldered it back together and now the central locking works exactly as it is supposed to.

Installing BMW Scanner 1.4.0 on Windows 10

I keep seeing people requesting information on how to install BMW Scanner 1.4.0 on Windows 10. Here are the notes I took whilst I installed the software on Windows 10 Professional. The software installation was done on a fresh install of Windows 10 Professional. I first copied the scanner software from the CD to a folder on my desktop.

These instructions should also work for Windows 7 but I have not tried them on this Operating System.

Disclaimer: This procedure worked for my installation. It is not guaranteed to work for all laptops and all versions of Windows.

1.  Double-click on the set up program in the software folder.

2. When asked if you want to allow this software from an unknown publisher to update the computer. click the Yes button. The installation will start.

3. Take all the default options for the installation. If asked if you want to overwrite and files, click on Overwrite All. When prompted, take the option to install a shortcut on the desktop, and to auto-run the application after installation.

When the application starts you will see that the drivers are not installed.

4. Now we need to install the drivers.
Go to the install folder on the c:\ drive.
Go in to BMWScan140.
Go in to Drivers.
Select the file FTD2XX.inf (the one that says setup information) and right-click the mouse to bring up the context menu.
Press Install.

When asked if you want to allow the program to modify the computer. Press Yes. The drivers will start to install.

During the installation you will be notified that the system cannot verify the publisher.

Press on Install this driver software anyway
5. The drivers are installed and the software now shows the drivers installed when you run it

6. Plug the laptop in to the car and start the software. The software should connect to the car and allow you to scan and update the system.

The items noted below I did not need to do for my installation of Windows 10 Professional but are included to give you some pointers for troubleshooting.

  • On a previous installation of Windows 10 I needed to find a registry hack to allow uncertified drivers to be installed. This was a while ago so I don’t have the link. Try searching for “how to install drivers from an unknown publisher”. (always take care when editing the registry)
  • On 64-bit installations you may find you need to install the 64-bit drivers. The drivers are available in the install folder where you run the initial setup program from.

    Go in to the 64 bit drivers folder, locate the Setup Information files, right-click on these and choose the Install option from the menu.

  • You may also find you need to change the configuration for the COM serial port. You can do this in Device Manager, look for the serial port driver and use the configure options. You can change the assigned COM port and other things like the latency.  NOTE: You won’t see the serial port in Device Manager unless the laptop is plugged in to the car.

I hope that this post helps you to get the software working. Please do let me know if this gets you going. If you have issues, try Googling (that’s what I do) or you can post a comment and I will try and help. I can’t give any guarantees to be able to get things working for you but can sometimes help to communicate

UPDATE 2018-05-06

My laptop updated to the latest feature version of Windows today and after this update BMW Scanner could no longer see the serial port to communicate with the car. It would just say Hardware not ready. A quick look in Device Manager in Windows and it said that the driver for the BMW Scanner was not loaded. I went back to load the drivers as per the above instructions but they would not install. Windows gave an error about there not being a signature on the drivers and so would not install them. A quick Google of the issue and I found the following link.

SOLVED: The Third-Party INF Does Not Contain Digital Signature Information

I used the notes on GUI to Disable Digital Signature Checking. After disabling the check for the digital signature it now allowed the drivers to be installed. I had to reboot the laptop after the install of the drivers before they would work.