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Imola S50 - long overdue journal!

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  • Imola S50 - long overdue journal!

    So the boredom of a second lockdown has finally got the better of me and I have finally got around to starting a journal. The car is a 1999 Imola S50, I purchased it back in 2009. It was previously owned by another forum member in Glasgow (Affysmooth).

    When I bought it he had recently had a Simota intake and strut brace fitted, and I believe had it remapped. It had been sitting for a bit after he part-exed it, and it needed a bit of attention for some oil leaks which were all sorted by CPC autos in Amersham. They also replaced the rear diff mount, control arm and rear axle bushes, front calipers and constant pressure valve. I had a braided clutch hose fitted at the same time.

    I have subsequently had all brake hoses/lines replaced, Amsoil MTF to the gearbox and a Whalen shift knob fitted.

    The Vanos was overhauled by Mr Vanos in 2015.

    Recent work includes a front-end respray a couple of years ago, and then a suspension overhaul by JTH performance who fitted Bilstein B8s, H&R ARBs and H&R springs.
    '99 Imola S50 | Simota | Front strut | Braided clutch cable | Bilstein B8 and H&R springs

  • #2
    Which brings me to now. After advisories for a year or two, the car failed it's MOT this year due to corrosion on the sills. My local indy did some welding to get it through the MOT, but made it clear that it was a bigger problem that would need solving. Probably shouldn't have left it quite as long as I did, but I am not sure I fully understood the extent of the problem!

    So I booked the car into Redish motorsport (they have a 3-4 month wait!) where it has been for the past 2 weeks. I was utterly horrified by the state of the inner sills once they had it stripped down, but they have done an absolutely amazing job, fabricating new inner sills (the plates are no longer available from BMW), welding them, sealing everything and painting and fitting new outer sill covers.

    Should be getting the car back next week. James at Redish has taken some videos/timelapses which he is currently editing - I will post a link here once they are done. It is really very impressive, if a bit costly...
    '99 Imola S50 | Simota | Front strut | Braided clutch cable | Bilstein B8 and H&R springs

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    • #3
      A teaser...



      '99 Imola S50 | Simota | Front strut | Braided clutch cable | Bilstein B8 and H&R springs

      Comment


      • #4
        Oh god! that's scary! Those sills are pretty thick, I thought most had surface rust but that's pretty savage!

        I guess that's what salt and our climate does to these cars!!

        Quodos to you for taking yours to Reddish, as you say I bet they did an amazing job!!!

        My car went to them and was the blue one in their video and I was pleased with what they did.

        Will be fascinating to see the work they did this time :)

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        • #5
          It's really pretty impressive...

          I guess it's the problem with spending time in Scotland when it was younger! I have just looked back through my old MOTs - documented as "minor corrosion" back in 2014, then nothing until more recently when it was still reported as "minor" until this year. Without a ramp it is pretty difficult to keep an eye on, and a lot of it is hidden by the outer sill covers.

          Seems to be quite a common weakness on Z3s in general. The rest of the underside is actually in pretty good condition which is why I went ahead and got it sorted properly once and for all.
          '99 Imola S50 | Simota | Front strut | Braided clutch cable | Bilstein B8 and H&R springs

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          • #6
            So much salt used in Scotland - it’s not uncommon to see terminal rust on cars from there that would never be as bad on a similarly aged model from the south.

            Friend of mine in Glasgow collects cars and he won’t buy any with an “S” (Scottish) registration.
            ----------------
            David
            1999 M Coupe (S50)
            >>Read my journal here<<
            2005 Smart Roadster-Coupe Brabus
            2008 Ford Ka Zetec
            2017 Kia Sportage GT-S
            2018 Abarth 595 Turismo
            sigpic

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            • #7
              Looking forward to see the video by Redish

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              • #8
                Car is back - sills look better than new, very happy indeed.

                Unfortunately the driver that delivered it down there scraped one of the alloys (as well as driving into another customers M5...). Fortunately Anyvan were very responsive and refunded the cost of a wheel refurb.



                So it's off to BJV Engineering tomorrow for a wheel refurb...
                '99 Imola S50 | Simota | Front strut | Braided clutch cable | Bilstein B8 and H&R springs

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                • #9
                  Whilst the wheel was off being repainted, I decided to tackle something that has been bugging me every since I bought the car 12 years ago. Someone has had a bad go at repainting the driver's side mirror base:



                  The finish was textured and matt. There wasn't actually any corrosion, just a bad finish. So I bought some etch primer, paint and lacquer and had a go myself following Keith's old guide...

                  Sanded down:



                  Primed:



                  Painted and lacquered:



                  I'm quite happy with the finish - much better!
                  '99 Imola S50 | Simota | Front strut | Braided clutch cable | Bilstein B8 and H&R springs

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                  • #10
                    Looks like there is still some orange peel which is common with spray cans. It might be worth a very light wet sand and then polish (it is a fiddly small piece to handle though!).

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by c_w View Post
                      Looks like there is still some orange peel which is common with spray cans. It might be worth a very light wet sand and then polish (it is a fiddly small piece to handle though!).
                      Actually the top is a lot better than the underneath, and it looks pretty good back on the car. I may give it a go when I get bored again!
                      '99 Imola S50 | Simota | Front strut | Braided clutch cable | Bilstein B8 and H&R springs

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                      • #12
                        Headlight switch tidy-up

                        So following on from this thread, I decided to clean up my headlight switch. It was working, but the dash light dimmer was a bit grindy and uneven, and occasionally the dash lights went out altogether.

                        Pretty easy to get out - unclip the head of the light knob and there is an 8mm bolt inside. Undo, then unscrew the rest of the switch in the other direction to remove. Then you will see a screw above the switch inside - undo, and the whole switch/vent assembly will pull out.

                        At this stage, in retrospect I think it would probably be easier to remove the lower dash trim under the steering wheel and just unclip the light switch from inside, as it is a pig to get the vent, light switch and bulb assembly back in in one piece when you are done.

                        Once unplugged, you have your switch:



                        Unclip the metal plate with a thin flet-headed screwdriver:



                        Unclip the plastic circuit board:



                        Move the switch to the central position (sidelights on) - this allows you to remove the central connector:





                        Slide out the metal rod:



                        Then you can remove the rheostat:



                        Unclip the brass surround and disassemble. My black plastic insert was cracked, so repaired with some glue:





                        Then clean up all the contacts and the coil with WD40 on a cue-tip, reassemble in the opposite order, and reinstall. Now works like new!

                        I realised whilst I was there that the bulb for the light indicator was not working, so a new one ordered...
                        '99 Imola S50 | Simota | Front strut | Braided clutch cable | Bilstein B8 and H&R springs

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Knightrider View Post
                          So following on from this thread, I decided to clean up my headlight switch. It was working, but the dash light dimmer was a bit grindy and uneven, and occasionally the dash lights went out altogether.

                          Pretty easy to get out - unclip the head of the light knob and there is an 8mm bolt inside. Undo, then unscrew the rest of the switch in the other direction to remove. Then you will see a screw above the switch inside - undo, and the whole switch/vent assembly will pull out.

                          At this stage, in retrospect I think it would probably be easier to remove the lower dash trim under the steering wheel and just unclip the light switch from inside, as it is a pig to get the vent, light switch and bulb assembly back in in one piece when you are done.

                          Once unplugged, you have your switch:



                          Unclip the metal plate with a thin flet-headed screwdriver:



                          Unclip the plastic circuit board:



                          Move the switch to the central position (sidelights on) - this allows you to remove the central connector:





                          Slide out the metal rod:



                          Then you can remove the rheostat:



                          Unclip the brass surround and disassemble. My black plastic insert was cracked, so repaired with some glue:





                          Then clean up all the contacts and the coil with WD40 on a cue-tip, reassemble in the opposite order, and reinstall. Now works like new!

                          I realised whilst I was there that the bulb for the light indicator was not working, so a new one ordered...



                          what condition was the round coil in as I cant see it in the pictures?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Dave P View Post
                            what condition was the round coil in as I cant see it in the pictures?
                            I know - when I downloaded the pics I realised I hadn't actually taken one of the coil! It was completely intact (no breaks) and pretty clean. Just needed a bit of WD40.
                            '99 Imola S50 | Simota | Front strut | Braided clutch cable | Bilstein B8 and H&R springs

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Knightrider View Post
                              I know - when I downloaded the pics I realised I hadn't actually taken one of the coil! It was completely intact (no breaks) and pretty clean. Just needed a bit of WD40.
                              What about the "Turbo Boost" switch, how is that looking for you?

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