- Standard BMW alarm install, did it myself. Not easy with having to remove the glove compartment, but not impossible. It also has keyless entry. I *like* keyless entry. Of course, it caused major pain to get it all installed, and a few blown fuses.
I was able to add a radar motion sensor to
the wiring harness. It detects gross movements in or near the interior of
- I also hacked in a shock sensor to detect impacts such as someone hitting my bumper.
- Hacked the alarm to flash the hazard light on arming/disarming the alarm
Digital Camera - Sony Mavica FD88
Motorola Talk-about radio
- An OK Camera that has a couple nice features - it can record 60 second
MPEG videos, has an 8x zoom lens, can store pictures upto 1280x960, and
stores pictures on floppy disk.
Whistler 1490 Radar Detector
Actually, I already had a Cell Phone. Really though, everyone should have one in
their vehicle for emergencies. I hard-wired a power adapter into the car. It
comes out behind the passenger seat.
My cell-phone is a Motororla Star-tac with Jabra hands-free adapter. Don't
get the Motorola Star-tac PCS - it's crap.
- I only use it for highway driving. Too many false signals in the city,
it detracts from the "roadster experience".
- If I had it to do all over again, I'd pay the $400 for a Valentine
One radar detector. The whistler is nice, but I'd prefer to use the V-1
based on what I've read recently. BTW, I also hard-wired it into the car.
- All things being said, if a radar detector saves you from a single
ticket it's more than paid for itself.
This is mostly used for keeping convoys of cars together, like during the
Bay Area Drives (BAD) and when me and my best friend transport stuff in
his pickup truck.
Red boot cover
- The standard BMW windscreen
I was able to get a tan boot cover instead of a black one and I paid someone
to dye it red, the same color red as the rest of the interior.
Chrome gearshift knob
Scroth Shoulder Pads
What more can be said? It's chrome, it's a gearshift knob. I was able to
move the emblem from the top of the old one, and I'm was able to add the
light feature back to it.
Chrome Front Mesh Grill
Helps make the seat belts feel more comfortable.
Digital Temperature Guage
To hell with all the expensive alternatives, I found a way to add a front
grill mesh for less than $50.
It's a small touch, but important to me. A digital temperature guage telling
me the temp in the cockpit and at the front bumper.
I was able to add lights to the underside of the dash, both the driver's side
and the passenger side. They are controlled via the dome light button near
the top of the roadster A-frame. These are VERY helpful for the passenger (who
is often forced to store things by thier feet due to lack of storage space.
- I was able to cheaply and easily add a chrome headlight knob and
chrome surrounds for the outside door handles.
Most recently, I added chrome door-lock pulls and chrome handbrake button.
Custom Ashtray Cupholder
Chrome License Plate
Yet another attempt at solving the cupholder problem.
- It reads "roadster" in black letters. Looks REALLY
nice on a black car...
Orange cigar-lighter ring
- Big black one. Only $10. I bought a bigger flashlight, one of those
that you get in a grocery store just becuase all cars should have a flashlight.
It burnt out after 3 days. Should've gotten a Mag-Light to begin with.
I was able to change the cigar-lighter ring (the plastic piece that lights
up) from it's default white color to an orange color that more closely
matches the rest of the interior.
Fixed passenger window trim
- Both were old and slow, so they had to go. I might replace both someday, but for now I'll go without.
Removed cell phone power connector
- The passenger inside front window trim (the red plastic piece) never sit quite right due to one the of plastic tabs being all chewed up (it was like that when I got the car). I was finally able to fix that by making an aluminum "tooth" that I stabbed into the existing plastic tab. That finally gave the piece the strength needed to hold onto the mounting holes in the frame.
- I still have a cell phone of course (a palm Centro on AT&T for work reasons) and a bluetooth headset (Scala Cardio 500 in red and black) but I no longer consider them part of the car.
Replace License plate lights with LED lights
- I took my M to see the doctor - Bavarian Motorsport in Milpitas (recommended). I had a number of things fixed - an oil service (including thicker oil that helps reduce oil burning), the passenger door actuator was replaced, they glued my passenger mirror back on (it was broken off by my garage door), and they looked at my brakes (which didn't need work). Approximate cost was around $530.
Replace Dome light with LED light
- Approximate cost $12 from http://www.tunerdomes.com
Replace Trunk light with LED light
- Approximate cost $13 from http://www.tunerdomes.com
Removed Whistler Radar detector
- Approximate cost $13 from http://www.tunerdomes.com
Removed temperature guage
- I haven't been using it for a while - The section cups got busted and I never got around to finding good replacements.
- Once again, it had been busted and non-working for a while. I finally got around to removing all the wiring.
Cassette tape MP3 player
Missing seat belt tab added
- How do you upgrade the sound system to support MP3s without replacing the head unit? Buy an MP3 player in a casette tape form factor from http://www.dealextreme.com and load it with an SD card. Approximate cost is $21.97 for the cassete tape MP3 player and another $3 (a deal) on a 1GB SD card.
- I ended up selling the used MP3 player for $26 on ebay, plus shipping.
Integrated Garage door opener
- The driver seat belt tab - the thing that prevents the silver clib from sliding all the way down to the bottom of the seat selt. Approximate cost was $2 for parts.
Fixed sqeaking driver seat
- Approximate cost $21.00 for the door opener, and another $20 on wire, switches, and liquid electrical tape. Total cost around $41.
- My car doctor said fixing the seat would require removing all the upholstery and re-welding the seat rails. Based on a tip online, I fixed it my wedging a penny into the space between the seat and the rail. We'll see how long it lasts, but I can't beat the price.
Chrome accent for radio
Replace Mag Light with rechargable cigar lighter LED light
- I already had the chrome part, but needed some 3M adhesive to attach it. Approximate cost $8.
- Not applicable since I replaced the head-unit.
Red key lighting
- Approximate cost $17.45 from http://www.superbrightleds.com. I bought the wrong one at first, had to sell it, and ordered a new one. When all was said & done, I ended up paying about $28.
- I replaced the cigar lighter socket with a new one (including the *proper* orange plastic ring) and polished the edge. It now looks bright and shiny like all the chome in the car. Approximate cost was $6 for parts.
Chrome kidney grills
- The original key had a neat amber LED inside, but the LED was dim by today's standards. I upgraded the light to a much, much brighter red light (I only had red LEDs on hand).
- Why do this? Because it was there...
- The aftermarket grills are not as solid as the OEM ones, but cost a less than 30% of the cost. I accidentally broke one while putting it in, but so far it isn't visable but I may need another set eventually. Approximate cost $47
Valentine 1 radar detector
Replace Footwell lights with LED lights
- I foujnd a great deal on ebay - someone with a current V1 (latest firmware) that needed to sell his V1 right away. He sold it to me for $280 plus $10 shipping (most go for $399 plus $15 shipping). I even used a 10% off coupon that was only good that weekend. Total cost was $262.
- The auction turned out to be a fraud. Now I have to fight to get my money back. Argh.
- After some fighting with paypal & my credit card, I recieved my money back (and due to a clerical error on thier part, an additional $28 dollars. Profit!
Replace car battery
- Approximate cost $14.40 from http://www.superbrightleds.com. BMW replacement plastic trim pieces run $32 and $25. Misc wires and connectors ran another $10. Total cost around $82.
Blaupunkt Brisbane SD48 radio
- Well, I didn't want to do this one but after working on the footwell lights I couldn't start the car. I really don't think I shorted anything, so I guess the brief soldering I did (using a cigar-lighter powered soldering iron) finally killed my 10 year old battery. Approximate cost was $98 for a drop-in replacement with *slightly* more power (650CCA vs. 690CCA).
Added first aid kit
- Upgraded head unit that plays (only) SD cards and radio. Also has a rear-mounted USB port. Approximate cost $160.
- The included USB connector cable was nice, but not very useful. I found a nice panel-mount USB connector (but got screwed on the high price). Approximate cost was $27.
- I was able to sell my old CD changer & radio on EBay for $150 and $100 before shipping, so I actually gained an extra $250 back.
- My new stereo head unit was perfect in that the illumination was red and the main display could be set to any color, but the power button was blue. I took it apart (goodbye warrenty) and replaced the blue LED with orange but then needed to build a new non-blue plastic button. Approximate costs of the resin & dye is $40 (I already had enough rubber to do the molds).
- I had problems with alternator whine and I tried everything to fix it - using the amplified speaker outs, using the pre-amp outs, building audio line-balancing circuits, etc. In the end, I greatly reduced the whine to acceptable levels by putting about 3db of attentuation in the speaker-out cables using 4 100ohm resistors but on bad days with soft songs and the volume cranked to 90% I can still hear the whine.
Alarm system radar sensor
- I added a small BMW first aid kit in the trunk. I used the space left by the removal of the CD changer
Fix issues with the convertable top
- The old alarm motion sensor stopped working, so I bought a new one. I also added a cut-off switch for the times I don't want to use it. The sensor cost around $52, plus another $10 was various connectors and wire. Approximate total cost was $62.
BMW ///M tire valve caps
- I've had 3 holes wearing in the top from the inside on the driver side, and 2 on the passenger side. In addition, the rear window is too cloudy and scratched to be able to save it. I found a place that does top-notch work, but is a bit expensive in the local area. I've paid them to patch the top, remove the elastic straps inside the top (the reason for the wear), and replace the rear window. Total cost was $1194.
Remove/Replace Scroth Shoulder Pads
- Nice leather covered and padded armrest from LeatherZ.com (pricey though). Approximate cost $355!
Bought service manual
- Remove rotting shoulder pads
- Added new red velour pads from http://www.seatbeltpads.com/ . They feature custom text lettering matching my license plate as well. Approximate cost $39.00 .
- While seatbeltpads.com has a wonderful selection of stuff, thier customer service is beyond horrible. After dozens of calls & emails, now over a month later I don't have the pads nor any idea of when I might get them. After yet another fight with paypal (I really hate those guys) I got my money back.
- What do you know - I finally recieved the pads nearly 2 months after ordering them. Quality is decent, though the red color is a little too bright (I think they sent the wrong color).
Chrome/leather shift knob
- I finally went out and bought the Bentley service manual for my car. I had an old copy, but that didn't cover the significant changes in my model year. Approximate cost was $76.
Fix center console
- Replaced the old custom aluminum shifter with a leather and plastic chrome covered shifter. On the plus side, the finish is perfect and the leather looks great. On the down side, it's lighter (weight) and a bit longer. But overall, a nice upgrade. Approximate cost $145!
Fix heater/air lighting
- The center console is cracked and has glue on it (thanks to the morons at Allison BMW in Mountain View, CA) and must get replaced. Approximate cost, with parts and (much) labor was $570.
- The lights in the heater/air controls and the cigar lighter socket went out. They were a pain to replace and the cost was close to extortion from the BMW dealer. Approximate cost was $35 for 3 light bulbs.
- I'm happy with the general color and feel of the new custom mats (basic black, with heelpad, and red serging aroudn the outside) but the serging is a little bad. Basically the thread is kinda frizzy around the edges, but red was only available with serging and not binding. Overall, decent tho and they cost less than ///M floormats. Approximate cost $88
Replace BMW emblems
- My top was leaking into the trunk - I tore apart the trunk and got closer to the source, but I'm not 100% sure. I think it may be from the top itself that no longer repels water but soaks water in. I purchased top cleaner & re-water-proofer to try that. Approximate cost was $37.
- Well, that wasn't the source of the leak, but the top is waterproof now so I guess it's a win
Upgraded cellphone - the iPhone 3G
- The hood and trunk emblems were cracked and showing age, so I replaced both of them. Total cost was approximately $40.
Fix sagging glove compartment
- I bought an iPhone 3G. While it's not perfect the idea of having a semi-functional GPS, phone, web browser, plus misc apps (I don't care about the music much) is a win-win for me. This is not exclusive to the car, so I won't count the cost here...
- I bought in interesting program for the iphone - dynolyscious. Basically, it's a functional dyno for $13. It can tell 0-60mph times, quarter-mile times, etc. Pretty cool.
- The iPhone sucks down battery power like I drink coke, so I needed a car charger. Apparently my head-unit's USB port doesn't supply enough power, so I needed to but a seperate charger. Cost was $13.
- I bought/made a car mount for the phone. It's designed so I can take it out when I sell the car and everything will be stock once again. Basically, it's a Panavise mounting bracket ($17), a ProClip device holder ($50), and a custom made cable ($12 for parts). Total cost was $79.
- For the record, I built a new custom cable. It attached to the rear aux-in on the head unit and the iphone on the other. In the middle is a 12V to 5V charger (mentioned above). So this one cable provides audio and charging for the iPhone 3G. As a bonus, on one (rare) online forum I found the right resistor to make the "not designed for iPhone" message to NOT show up when then phone is plugged in.
Replace miscellaneous parts
- I've developed the infamous glovebox sag, so it's time to bite the bullet and fix it. I've ordered a glove compartment "fix-it" kit that includes metal reenforcement metal that I installed. I also purchased a replacement plastic cover for latch itself. Approximate cost of both parts is $42.
- I've removed the huge metal bolster inside the glove compartment. It's not really needed and adds over 2 pounds of weight to the door. Poor design, BMW. Shame on you...
Fix top leak
- This includes the flashing alarm indicator, the rubber seal between the body and top, and various plastic fasteners. Really approximate cost $70.
Another car doctor visit
- My top developed a bad leak into the trunk floor whenever it rained or I washed the car. I ultimately found that the problem was two-fold. First, the rubber seal between the top and the body has failed and it seperated from a top slightly. Second, the nasty gooey substance between the top and the inner body has failed. Usually, that means a top replacement but I've "fixed" it by using tons of silicone sealant.
Will the top hold up to abuse? Probably not too much, but it's worlds better than it was. Hopefully that will be enough. During car-wash testing, it stayed dry with only 1 drop of water making it through into the car.
Clear plastic windscreen
- An expensive one. As a pre-emptive measure, I had my cooling system fixed before my water pump replaced - this includes the water pump replacement with a composite one, a new radiator, new expansion tank, plus more. I also had my driver-side window fixed (some plastic had popped out of the window regulator), and I had my rear passenger speaker replaced. Approximate cost was $1860.
Replace Brake lights with LED lights
- The old BMW windscreen basically fell apart with age - I replaced it with a clear Lexan windscreen. Approximate cost was $106.
Replace rubber seal between top and body
- One of my brake lights just burned out, so I replaced both rear brake
lights with LED lights. Much more expensive, but brighter and instant on/off. I bought them from http://autolumination.com and despite the low-rent website the product was great. Approximate cost for 2 bulbs with shipping was $30.
Condition rubber seals
- Yes, I've already done this once recently. The rubber gasget has shrunk significantly (more than 2 inches) and since it was cut to the right length before the shrinkage, it's now too short. Approximate cost for replacement is $58.
Fix radio whine
- I bought some rubber conditioner (Gummi-pfledge) and used it on various rubber seals for the top to keep them in good shape. Approximate cost was $16.
Add new subwoofers
- I think I'm getting a whining noise on the radio when playing certain songs. The sound is related to engine RPM. I need to look into and fix it
UPDATE: Long story short, I think it was related to too high a voltage on the speaker wires. Putting attenuation resistors in-line helped reduce the whine significantly.
Water bottle and towels
- On a Z3 board someone pointed out that the Pyle G54 speakers just barely fit in the old subwoofer enclosure. They were only $9 per speaker (need two), so I went ahead and bought them. So far, I'd say they are a 25% improvement over stock. Approximate cost with shipping was $33.
Add magnetic oil plug
- You never know when a bird is going to decide to take a dump on your
car, so I carry a sports-bottle of distilled water and some
soft terry-cloth towels with me.
Driver window actuator
- I added a magnetic oil plug to help catch tiny metallic particles in the oil and prevent them from flowing through the engine cauing minor damage. Approximate cost was $8.
Buy new tires
- The driver window "pops" when it reaches the full up position. My mechanic recently fixed the same problem (less than 3 months ago). I'll need him to take another look.
Adjust radar sensor
- A recently hit a patch of water on the road and fishtailed all over the place. I need new tires badly
Crap! My SD48 radio function (not MP3 or aux-in) is busted. The radio (all stations) fade in and out constantly & have no tremble. I need to buy a new unit
Valentine 1 radar detector
Z8 Chrome windshield washer nozzles
Re-finish Roadstar wheels in chrome
Short aluminum radio antenna
- It's a little too sensitive right now. It may be going off randomly as well, I need to test it