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Discussion Starter #1
I finally acquired my ZHP. Deal is done and this car is home with me.

This is my 4th E46 purchase in a little over 2 years.

Found a manual Sapphire Black over Natural Brown with black cube trim sedan.

Is it just me, or have the prices on fair condition ZHPs really jumped this summer? I was having a tough time finding one that wasn't over priced or sold in minutes.

Anyway, here it is:
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Interior condition is pretty good. Paint is fairly beat-up, but mechanically, this is significantly better than the three 325is I bought last - so far.

I'll do a compression test soon, and fix a few glaring items, but for the next couple months I will just put miles on it to get a feel for it and see what it needs.

It has Xenon headlights and I have the same on my touring, but I noticed that these are either very dim, or are pointing way down. Any known issues with these?

I will have to start a list of what to replace as I swap, but mostly I need direction on the wiring, computer and major engine tweaks I should make when the engine is out.

I plan to swap every mechanical/performance part of the ZHP. Engine, trans, driveshaft, steering rack, front suspension and brakes, and complete rear subframe (except the 3.64 diff)

This will likely be about a 1 year project, as I plan to have the ZHP chassis with the 325i sport touring parts back in and functional when my son gets his license.

Here is my touring in it's current state. I do not plan significant changes to the exterior or interior except for maybe the wheels. I'm thinking style 68, but maybe the ZHP wheels if they refinish well.

What do you all think about my new project?
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'04 325i, '02 325iT
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Nice! If I'm remembering correctly you've been looking for a ZHP donor for a while, so congrats. Looks like a solid car to swap in all the non-ZHP parts back into like you were looking for. I'm a fan of the black w/ natural brown as well. Great color combo.

Hope the project goes well. I'm trying to wrap my head around what the best way to go about it would be... tear apart the ZHP first to extract all the performance parts and then swap it all over? Or go piece by piece on each car so you can keep both reasonably intact as you go along?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Nice! If I'm remembering correctly you've been looking for a ZHP donor for a while, so congrats. Looks like a solid car to swap in all the non-ZHP parts back into like you were looking for. I'm a fan of the black w/ natural brown as well. Great color combo.

Hope the project goes well. I'm trying to wrap my head around what the best way to go about it would be... tear apart the ZHP first to extract all the performance parts and then swap it all over? Or go piece by piece on each car so you can keep both reasonably intact as you go along?
You are right:) I have been seriously looking for a ZHP or cheap 330i 6 speed since the spring. I have just missed some very nice deals. This deal was OK, not great, but my son loved the color combo, so I did it anyway. I would have avoided black paint, but that was his first choice, so he can care for the paint ;)

As I don't need either car for regular driving, I think I will set the ZHP on jack stands to dismantle it first. Probably do the rear on both cars complete, then do the front on both cars complete. If I dismantle all the parts from the ZHP, it buys me time to refresh and refit them so that the install into the touring can be mostly bolt off and bolt on and I can use my lift for that part. The touring needs very little attention to the chassis/body as it has always been a California car and is extremely clean underneath.
 
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Looks like a good find! Take care of all the maintenance items you can think of. It would be nice to have a full donor for my swap, but I'm happy with what I stumbled upon. Been researching brake upgrades for after my drivetrain swap.

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That sounds like a solid plan for the swap. Pretty similar to what I have planned for my wagon build except the shell of the M3 will get sent to the scrap yard when I'm done. It makes sense to pull all of the donor parts first, refresh whatever needs rebuilding or refinishing and have it ready to bolt on before disassembling the same parts on the wagon.

Can't wait to see how yours turns out. At the pace I'm going you'll probably be finished before I even find my donor car.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Update: ZHP has been running well. Still giving it it's extended shake down. Several trim pieces are arriving for replacement and I am researching which method I will go to address the burnt ZKW Xenon bowls...

In the meantime, I noticed one of my daughter's tires was failing. Not exactly something I had seen before, but these were some funny brand tires that were on her first E46 that I swapped over to replace the rotten Michelins that were on it when I bought it. I knew these tires weren't great, but the tread was still good, so my frugal side wanted to use them up. In hindsight I should have replaced them last year.

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Also, it needed rear shock mounts. It was really complaining back there, so I swapped those with Meyle HD and reinforcing brackets and noticed the rear springs we broken - as usual. They were broken more significantly than ones I have seen previously - I think they broke 2 or 3 times losing more of the spring each time. So I grabbed the nearly new springs out of the donor and with the new Conti PureContact LS tires, this thing drives sweet now. All that is left is to sort the PS leak and finally nail down the stubborn O2 sensor codes to clear the check engine light. I am going to start with the reservoir and the two hoses that attach to it and see if that is everything, or just the major part.
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This car, an '03 325i sedan should be getting an auto to 5 speed manual swap this winter. That should be fun and something I haven't done yet.
 

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Is your touring Steel Blue or Steel Gray? Mine is Steel Blue and I am on the fence about ordering some clear corners and side markers for it. Yours looks great with them, but your paint looks slightly darker. Might be the lighting.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Is your touring Steel Blue or Steel Gray? Mine is Steel Blue and I am on the fence about ordering some clear corners and side markers for it. Yours looks great with them, but your paint looks slightly darker. Might be the lighting.
It must be the lighting. It's steel blue. I had steel grey before and I'd say steel blue is just a little bit lighter than the steel grey, but definitely blue in person.

I would highly recommend the clear sides, and I much prefer the clear corners with the dark outer color. They look better in combination with the headlights - make it look like a unified assembly. Let me see if I can find the part numbers I bought. There are more than one version of the clear corners.

Edit: These are Ulo 63137165849 and 63137165850
 

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It must be the lighting. It's steel blue. I had steel grey before and I'd say steel blue is just a little bit lighter than the steel grey, but definitely blue in person.

I would highly recommend the clear sides, and I much prefer the clear corners with the dark outer color. They look better in combination with the headlights - make it look like a unified assembly. Let me see if I can find the part numbers I bought. There are more than one version of the clear corners.

Edit: These are Ulo 63137165849 and 63137165850

Good info! I need to find the black bezels for the Xenons. I currently have amber all around as factory and then I retrofitted Xenons but they have the silver bezels. I didn't know the corners had matching bezels, either silver or black. Maybe I can find someone to trade or just paint mine.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Are the bezels interchangable between the xenons and halogens? I have a set of halogens that are not great, but the bezels might be ok. I am a headlight noob as I have hardly even changed a bulb through all the E46s I have worked on. Just swapped lens/covers
 

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Are the bezels interchangable between the xenons and halogens? I have a set of halogens that are not great, but the bezels might be ok. I am a headlight noob as I have hardly even changed a bulb through all the E46s I have worked on. Just swapped lens/covers

Not sure! My old halogens are black as well. Worth taking a look for sure! I'll check it out today. I couldn't find a part on RealOEM so not thinking they were ever offered as a separate part
 

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Maybe I missed it, but what exactly are you planning to swap from the ZHP to the touring? The interior as well?

I have the same touring, color and all. It's really amazing how much cleaner it looks without roof rails and with clear side markers.
 

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Maybe I missed it, but what exactly are you planning to swap from the ZHP to the touring? The interior as well?

I have the same touring, color and all. It's really amazing how much cleaner it looks without roof rails and with clear side markers.
From the OP -
"I plan to swap every mechanical/performance part of the ZHP. Engine, trans, driveshaft, steering rack, front suspension and brakes, and complete rear subframe (except the 3.64 diff) "
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Maybe I missed it, but what exactly are you planning to swap from the ZHP to the touring? The interior as well?

I have the same touring, color and all. It's really amazing how much cleaner it looks without roof rails and with clear side markers.
Yes, currently planning mechanical only. Gauge cluster as well - found a second one last week.

Roof rail delete was mod #1 for me. It is essential to the long, low look I am after. Roof rails just had to go. I had ordered the gutter trim before the car was even delivered :)

The interior will stay grey. It is really growing on me how open the light interior is and I like the grey better then the beige, plus the condition is really good, so zero changes inside except the cluster and shift knob.

The exterior will stay the same as well, except possibly the wheels. The current wheels are straight and recently refinished on brand new Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+, so no real hurry to change, but if a good set of staggered style 68s popped up, I might go that route. I like the look of the touring in stock 325i trim. Clean, elegant and long.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I just ordered a pair of used AL xenons for the ZHP. I have been driving it daily and now that is is dark when I am driving, the burnt ZKW bowls are a real safety issue. I researched the clemsone46, retrofitlab and the retrofitsource solutions, but wasn't excited about any of those, so when I found a good deal on a complete set of AL units, with brackets, I pulled the trigger and will swap as soon as they arrive. From what I can tell this is a direct swap, bolt-on and plug-in. I guess I will find out for myself soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Yup, straight swap.

A new set of eBay lenses might be in order since you're messing with them.
Have you found a brand or specific ebay supplier with a decent lens/cover? I bought a lens or two from ebay, shipped out of China, that fit too loosely on my daughters halogen E46 lights. Granted, it never did leak, but it was obvious there was not enough squeeze on the sealing gasket when fully snapped in. I put Magneti Marelli lenses on my touring and they were great, but quite a bit more $$. I might consider trying a cheapy set again, but would love a recommendation.

It needs a new set of the upper eyelash rubbers as well.
 
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