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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks,

After much poking around and not finding much good info I thought I'd throw this out to everyone. I'm currently searching for an Imola/Black ZHP and was wondering, besides the availability of the premium package and the eventual change to perforated leather steering wheels, are there any major updates or fixes that occurred during the model run? Other than the fact that '05s were the last model year for the E46 sedan, I can't find any substantive updates that were made over the short lifetime of the ZHP package.

I heard that there were some bearing manufacturing issues during the ZHP production run, but those were very noticeable and generally fixed very early under warranty. Similarly, it sounds like VANOS noise issues occurred across the production run ('03-'05)?

Also, anyone have a good reference for the option packages (and contents) that were available from model year to model year? I'm looking for a fairly basic Imola Red, preferably with alcantara interior, an updated leather wheel, Zenons, and preferably H/K and Cold Weather. I believe I could pass on premium (in fact would prefer no rain sensing wipers, etc.) Any other options I should be aware of?

Any info appreciated.
 

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Welcome to the forum.

I think later model e46's have less subframe problems, not sure though.
Do some searching on subframe cracking
 

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Welcome to the forum.

I think later model e46's have less subframe problems, not sure though.
Do some searching on subframe cracking
The 1998 through 2000 model years were much more prone to subframe failure, but the rest still got subframe failure on occasion, completely irrelevant of driving style or suspension modifications.

As for the ZHP, not much changed in those later years.
 

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Don't know of any Imola Red Sales right now, I hope this helps... Good luck with your search/purchase!!

Here's all the basic info/options that makes a ZHP:

Specific details on the order package include:

Performance
An increase of 10 hp (7 kW), 8 lb·ft (11 N·m) of torque
Lightweight flywheel
More aggressive camshaft
Free-flowing exhaust with 35 mm matte stainless steel dual exhaust pipes
6-speed short-throw manual transmission
3.07 final drive gear ratio in rear differential
Tachometer with a 300 rpm-higher redline increase to 6,800 rpm (from 6,500 in the standard 330i)
Top speed limited to 155 mph (250 km/h) (raised from standard 128 mph (206 km/h))

Suspension (comparisons are made to sport package suspension)
New M suspension, more "sporty" than standard sport package
Firmer springs (front +6%, rear +8%)
Firmer shocks (jounce: front +50%, rear +20%), (rebound: front +35%, rear -8%)
Larger diameter anti-roll bars: 23.5 mm front (v. 23.0), 18.5 mm rear (v. 18.0)
Lower ride height by 15 mm (.6 inches) utilizing shorter auxiliary springs
-.5 degrees of camber
Reinforced right & left front lower control arms with all-metal ball joints (more rigid forward bushings)

Aesthetics

Interior
Sport seats in Alcantara/cloth combo (optionally in leather)
Anthracite interior headliner
Thicker M 3-spoke multi-function steering wheel in perforated leather or Alcantara with fingertip cruise, audio, and accessory phone controls
Short & weighted M shift knob
Aluminum black/silver cube interior trim

Exterior
M-Tech II aerodynamic package
M-Tech II front bumper with M-tech fogs and M-tech reflectors
M-Tech II rear bumper with diffuser
M-Tech II side sills
M-Tech lip spoiler
Double-spoke (Styling 135M) cast alloy wheels
18 x 8.0 front with 225/40R-18 performance tires
18 x 8.5 rear with 255/35R-18 performance tires
High-gloss shadowline trim around the windows
 

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I just bought the car you're looking for. Good luck on your search. Here's what I know, or think I know. The 2004-05 stereo is an improved model over the 2003 stereo. It is also easily modded to allow for sat radio or ipod integration (can't remember which), which the 03 does not easily allow. I believe there were some mechanical fixes on the car that also changed from 03-04, but I can't recall them now. Some options are different. For example, the 03 could not be ordered with Premium package, but then Premium package was standard on all 330s from 04 on (something like that). The 03 had sunroof as an option, while sunroof was standard on 04 on, although you could option sunroof delete in those years. Again, I think the sunroof is part of the Premium package switch from 03 to 04. HK speakers/sound and power seats were also standard on all ZHPs, at least from 04 on, not options. Also, I don't believe BMW ever upgraded the alcantara steering wheel. Some folks have gotten it swapped out for the leather M3 wheel on request while their car was under warranty, and other folks have just replaced it themselves, but I think all ZHP model years came with alcantara wheel, not 100% sure about that. The list of ZHP options I've been able to put together is below. Many people confuse "options" on the ZHP with the stuff that was native to the ZHP package, but I think you're asking about options, so here they are:

Xenons (instead of Halogens)
Cold-Weather Package (includes heated seats, fold down rear seats. . . .)
Navigation
Leather Interior (instead of Alcantara)
Sunroof (2003) or Sunroof Delete (04-05)
Aluminum Cube Trim (over the standard black)
Automatic Steptronic (over the standard manual trans.)
Heated Seats (could be optioned separate from the Cold Weather Package)

Power seats and HK sound were standard on 330s, as was the Premium Package, at least on model years 04 and 05, so ZHPs have those by default.

Any other ZHP options were regular 330i options, like OEM alarm, BMW assist, and lojack.
 

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I just bought the car you're looking for. Good luck on your search. Here's what I know, or think I know. The 2004-05 stereo is an improved model over the 2003 stereo. It is also easily modded to allow for sat radio or ipod integration (can't remember which), which the 03 does not easily allow. I believe there were some mechanical fixes on the car that also changed from 03-04, but I can't recall them now. Some options are different. For example, the 03 could not be ordered with Premium package, but then Premium package was standard on all 330s from 04 on (something like that). The 03 had sunroof as an option, while sunroof was standard on 04 on, although you could option sunroof delete in those years. Again, I think the sunroof is part of the Premium package switch from 03 to 04. HK speakers/sound and power seats were also standard on all ZHPs, at least from 04 on, not options. Also, I don't believe BMW ever upgraded the alcantara steering wheel. Some folks have gotten it swapped out for the leather M3 wheel on request while their car was under warranty, and other folks have just replaced it themselves, but I think all ZHP model years came with alcantara wheel, not 100% sure about that. The list of ZHP options I've been able to put together is below. Many people confuse "options" on the ZHP with the stuff that was native to the ZHP package, but I think you're asking about options, so here they are:

Xenons (instead of Halogens)
Cold-Weather Package (includes heated seats, fold down rear seats. . . .)
Navigation
Leather Interior (instead of Alcantara)
Sunroof (2003) or Sunroof Delete (04-05)
Aluminum Cube Trim (over the standard black)
Automatic Steptronic (over the standard manual trans.)
Heated Seats (could be optioned separate from the Cold Weather Package)

Power seats and HK sound were standard on 330s, as was the Premium Package, at least on model years 04 and 05, so ZHPs have those by default.

Any other ZHP options were regular 330i options, like OEM alarm, BMW assist, and lojack.
Exactly right. If you prefer the alcantara seats over the leather then the premium package isn't a big deal as the ZHP has most of the options that the premium package has anyway (03's wont have auto sensing wipers and none will have an auto dimming mirror though)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks all for the info. I've been specifically wanting a ZHP since they came out in '03. They're now in a great price range and my life is finally catching up where a 4-door would be very (I hate to say it) practical.

Yes, I was mostly interested in the typical options that were available during MY '03 to '05 - to clarify, not what is native to the ZHP package, but the other options available along with the ZHP. There seems to be some confusion on what was std. equipment on the cars and not (and I don't have a brochure to check). Some have said that Zenons and H/K were standard on all 330i's in that time period, others say those are options. I have tended to believe what gfhoward said (backed up by Acarder) that I believe H/K was standard and seem to think Zenons were an option. If the premium package in '04/'05 was the same as it is on current E90's then I'm happy to live without...

As far as '03's vs '04/'05's, I seem to be finding that unless you really want the premium package, that the cars are more or less mechanically all the same. It seems you all agree? I can't seem to find any ZHP model updates that steer me away from '03's to later in order to get some important update. Incidentally, I would love to find one without a sunroof, but I don't think I've ever seen a single ZHP that doesn't have one. It's very interesting to note that this may have been an option or even a delete option, as that would be very appealing from a headroom perspective.

As far as stereo, I would be interested to know more. I was looking at a DICE Silverline Pro, which claims to integrate iPods to any E46, or does that not work with H/K?

In my recent searching, so far I've found one great car which I let get away ('03 Imola/alcantara, 29k, garaged winters, $17.5k) and have my eyes on another, which has more miles (60k) and leather. Trying to decide how much I could live with the miles, and lack of alcantara (which I think was icing on the cake with the ZHP).
 

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I just bought mine last month and any advice I could give you would to not find one with the Alcantara seats. Most were torn up or will tear up depending on user. The suede just gets rubbed raw and makes the interior look cheap/dirty. Go with all leather, or put in another seat, IMO.
-My steering wheel is in very good condition but seriously I wouldn't mind an M3 leather one, I have little clue how to take it off. Most ZHPs I looked at had badly worn wheels and its hard finding one in decent condition.
-The last main thing to look for when I was shopping was the trim. All ZHPs have the cube trim (bad-ass looking) but everyone I've seen has scratching on the drivers side door, or around the shifter. Mine was in very good condition but the damn piece scratches sooo easily and I have not found on any forum how to fix or prevent it. I touched mine up with a dark marker and it looks great now, how long will it stay is the real question. I know someone will say buy another piece but that trim is several hundred dollars and I'd rather get an intake than replace the silly trim.
 

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Thanks all for the info. I've been specifically wanting a ZHP since they came out in '03. They're now in a great price range and my life is finally catching up where a 4-door would be very (I hate to say it) practical.

Yes, I was mostly interested in the typical options that were available during MY '03 to '05 - to clarify, not what is native to the ZHP package, but the other options available along with the ZHP. There seems to be some confusion on what was std. equipment on the cars and not (and I don't have a brochure to check). Some have said that Zenons and H/K were standard on all 330i's in that time period, others say those are options. I have tended to believe what gfhoward said (backed up by Acarder) that I believe H/K was standard and seem to think Zenons were an option. If the premium package in '04/'05 was the same as it is on current E90's then I'm happy to live without...

As far as '03's vs '04/'05's, I seem to be finding that unless you really want the premium package, that the cars are more or less mechanically all the same. It seems you all agree? I can't seem to find any ZHP model updates that steer me away from '03's to later in order to get some important update. Incidentally, I would love to find one without a sunroof, but I don't think I've ever seen a single ZHP that doesn't have one. It's very interesting to note that this may have been an option or even a delete option, as that would be very appealing from a headroom perspective.

As far as stereo, I would be interested to know more. I was looking at a DICE Silverline Pro, which claims to integrate iPods to any E46, or does that not work with H/K?

In my recent searching, so far I've found one great car which I let get away ('03 Imola/alcantara, 29k, garaged winters, $17.5k) and have my eyes on another, which has more miles (60k) and leather. Trying to decide how much I could live with the miles, and lack of alcantara (which I think was icing on the cake with the ZHP).
Damn not too shabby! Good luck with the search!
 

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2003 ZHP's only came in 6spd manual making them more rare to the diehard enthusiast ... but mainly all bmw's have vanos rattles

regards,
tyler
 

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I don't think the leather wheel came standard until some time in 2005 MY. Otherwise I think the cars are basically identical. Make sure you check the xenons for burned bowls if the car has ZKW xenons, it's not cheap to fix.

BTW, my ZHP has no sunroof and I love the weight savings. DICE works great with Ipods or Iphones and the HK.
 

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Switching out the alcantara steering wheel to the m3 leather one is about a 15 minute job even if you take your time. I did mine last week.
Which wheel do you prefer? I have mixed feelings so far with mine (alcantara version).
 

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I bought my ZHP in Nov. for 22k, 38k miles, before the economy got real shitty. I looked for a year to find one with lower miles, so good luck. Like someone else was sayn' check the zenon lights- mine r bad too.! check the radoi display also, they tend to go bad
 

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17.5k doesn't sound that good for the miles and the year, especially in this economic climate. 05 ones with the prem. package and less miles go for about 18-20 from the dealer so go figure
 

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I just bought the car you're looking for. Good luck on your search. Here's what I know, or think I know. The 2004-05 stereo is an improved model over the 2003 stereo. It is also easily modded to allow for sat radio or ipod integration (can't remember which), which the 03 does not easily allow. I believe there were some mechanical fixes on the car that also changed from 03-04, but I can't recall them now. Some options are different. For example, the 03 could not be ordered with Premium package, but then Premium package was standard on all 330s from 04 on (something like that). The 03 had sunroof as an option, while sunroof was standard on 04 on, although you could option sunroof delete in those years. Again, I think the sunroof is part of the Premium package switch from 03 to 04. HK speakers/sound and power seats were also standard on all ZHPs, at least from 04 on, not options. Also, I don't believe BMW ever upgraded the alcantara steering wheel. Some folks have gotten it swapped out for the leather M3 wheel on request while their car was under warranty, and other folks have just replaced it themselves, but I think all ZHP model years came with alcantara wheel, not 100% sure about that. The list of ZHP options I've been able to put together is below. Many people confuse "options" on the ZHP with the stuff that was native to the ZHP package, but I think you're asking about options, so here they are:

Xenons (instead of Halogens)
Cold-Weather Package (includes heated seats, fold down rear seats. . . .)
Navigation
Leather Interior (instead of Alcantara)
Sunroof (2003) or Sunroof Delete (04-05)
Aluminum Cube Trim (over the standard black)
Automatic Steptronic (over the standard manual trans.)
Heated Seats (could be optioned separate from the Cold Weather Package)

Power seats and HK sound were standard on 330s, as was the Premium Package, at least on model years 04 and 05, so ZHPs have those by default.

Any other ZHP options were regular 330i options, like OEM alarm, BMW assist, and lojack.
LOL. HARDLY. You don't know what your talking about...... I've seen 04 zhp's with NO power seats and NO HK sound........If it was standard they would have had them. Those were options that related to certain packages. I've seen them without those options....so they weren't STANDARD. So zhp's certainly didn't have those by default .
 

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What can you use to treat the alcantara? I have never heard of it ripping?
I haven't either. My '03 ZHP has just under 50k miles, and the seats look virtually new. I did replace my alcantara wheel with a leather ///M version (it was in great shape having been under a steering wheel cover for years, but I didn't want to keep the cover on, or eventually wear out the alcantara).

On the DICE Silverline - it integrated very easily into my car - just plug it in where the CD changer normally goes. Like falling off a log, and works great. Just follow the installation instructions (a lot of people don't).

The ZHP is a great option for many of us - it essentially comes with all the updates we'd normally spend thousands of dollars to add to "normal" E46's. Good luck in the search.
 

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I just bought mine last month and any advice I could give you would to not find one with the Alcantara seats. Most were torn up or will tear up depending on user. The suede just gets rubbed raw and makes the interior look cheap/dirty. Go with all leather, or put in another seat, IMO.
-My steering wheel is in very good condition but seriously I wouldn't mind an M3 leather one, I have little clue how to take it off. Most ZHPs I looked at had badly worn wheels and its hard finding one in decent condition.
-The last main thing to look for when I was shopping was the trim. All ZHPs have the cube trim (bad-ass looking) but everyone I've seen has scratching on the drivers side door, or around the shifter. Mine was in very good condition but the damn piece scratches sooo easily and I have not found on any forum how to fix or prevent it. I touched mine up with a dark marker and it looks great now, how long will it stay is the real question. I know someone will say buy another piece but that trim is several hundred dollars and I'd rather get an intake than replace the silly trim.
I would go completely against this and say go for the alcantara. IMO it is 10x more comfortable than the leather, no sliding around or hot/sticky seats, and they rock especially during long trips. I bought my 05 zhp with about 40K on the clock, and the seats looked perfect, and with almost 60k on it now the seats look no different than they did when I bought the car. The best part is NO CLEANING OR CONDITIONING REQUIRED!! I don't know about you, but I hated cleaning and then having to condition leather seats, so this was a big plus for me too. Also mine came with the perforated leather steering wheel, and I would recommend that as I have seen a bunch of nasty alcantara ones, and if it is not already nasty it will be at some point...
 

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All of the alctantra seats I've seen on ZHP's did not wear very well. I do prefer quality fabric to leather but I don't think alcantra wears very well compared to leather. The fabric seats in my '93 Prelude still looked almost new after 10 years. You don't need to condition modern coated leathers. You should use a mild cleaner every few months but most people don't and the leather looks fine. If you leave ketchup and soda spills on the leather for a long time you can cause some damage but the same is true of fabric.
 
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