28 September 2016

How to Install and Align an MZ3 Supersprint Exhaust

When I started this blog, I said I wasn't going to do how-tos and DIY instructions.  These cars are well-loved and consequently, mods are well-documented.  That said, while Supersprint MZ3 exhausts are quite popular, the actual details of their installation is not well documented.  While the performance and construction quality of SS products is very, very good, the installation is very fiddly.  It is not straightforward to get the tips to line up.  So I thought I would fully expose and document how I did mine.

A few months ago, Turner was doing 15% off and free shipping on all SS parts.  Knowing that I wanted to eventually put an SS system onto the S52 coupenut car, I bought one.  Nowadays the only choice SS offers for the MZ3 is the straight-tip, non-Magnum style.  At one point they did offer Magnum systems with even bigger round tips.  And, at one point, they did offer DTM style with turned-up tips.  Many years ago, I bought a DTM SS system for my S54.

Everything is personal preference, but I decided I wanted to move the DTM system over to the S52 and put the new straight-tipped system onto my S54.  So here is how I did it.  As always, feel free to do it your own way.

Years ago, Ron Stygar posted the closest thing to a how-to on SS DTM installation.  It might be 75 words.  His details were vague.  And, he fabricated a custom hanger bracket from 304 stainless, claiming that the factory SS bracket on the aft passenger/right side was too short to get the tips level.  When I installed my DTM, I agreed.  And I had 4 or 5 of the custom brackets made on my side of the country.  Even with a custom bracket, I probably spent 6 hours fiddling with the DTM system to get it perfect.  Ron's advice was to leave the mid hanger completely loose and the connection to the mid/H-pipe fully loose too.  Adjust the cans, then tighten the mid hanger and make the connection to the mid/H-pipe.  My problem with his method is, while in theory it is nice, at the end of the day when the installation is complete, the exhaust is a rigid system mounted to flexible hangers and tightening one fastener will affect other joints/clearances.  I prefer to connect everything and slowly tighten the whole system altogether.

Ron Stygar's bracket design on the left.  Supplied SS bracket on the right.  Note the bend.

The larger bracket is needed for the aft right/passenger can hanger.  
When I got the straight tipped one, I was pleasantly surprised to see SS added a slip joint to the passenger/right can assembly.  Maybe this would make installation easier.  And, I noticed that instead of perfectly straight L brackets, they had supplied 4 slightly bent L brackets.  Surely they know what they are doing.  [I am biased against Italian engineering because of my job... you would never catch me in a Ferrari dealer, for example, but I will try to be unbiased here].  Turns out neither of those 2 changes made it an easier install.

New straight-tip on the left.  DTM on the right.  Note the slip joint. 

The tips are noticeably larger on the straight-tip one.  I like the look.
DTM needs a polish before being installed on the S52 coupenut car.
What I did.

1.  Install all 4 SS brackets with bolts, nuts, and exhaust hangers snugged up (so they can slide) but not tight.

2.  Install rubber donut hangers on the exhaust side.  I used all new hardware and all new hangers/mounts.

3.  Hang the cans and minimally attach the nuts and bolts at the mid pipe (H-pipe on S54s).  Keep this connection as loose as you can for now.  Do fully tighten the 13mm nuts (qty 4 per side) that hold the hangers to the body.  There is no adjustment here, so it's OK to go to full tight now.

4.  Set the mid supports to provide maximum ground clearance.  Hopefully you can keep it that way.

5.  Start on one the left/driver's side.  It is the easier of the two.  I used a floor jack to raise the can to the height I wanted, and also to keep it level.  I did put a bubble level on the tips and made sure it was perfect.  The openings in the bumper are not level, but I think leveling the tips makes sense since you eyes will be drawn to them before the cutout.

6.  Once the left can is where you want it, you can start tightening the hardware.  I started with the socket head cap screws and the copper nuts that SS provided, on the can.  My thought here was I didn't want any gap between the bracket and the flange on the muffler.  I wanted all vertical adjustment to be made up by the rubber BMW hangers.

7.  I noticed with the bent SS brackets, the can likes to move up/down and left/right at the same time.  Really annoying.  I bent the aft left/driver's bracket so it could move up and down perfectly with no side-side interference.  See pic.

With the floor jack supporting the can where you want it, you can remove a bracket and bend it as you need it, so there is no stress or pulling on the bracket when under load.
This is my factory SS bracket for the aft left/driver's side.  Note how it is bent.

8.  Start tightening the connection at the mid/H-pipe.  Check for level again.  You will need to make adjustments.

9.  Fully tighten the connection at the mid/H-pipe.

10.  Adjust left and right of the tips using bottom of the L on the SS brackets.  I was able to get very small clearances that I guess I am happy with... time will tell if I melt any of the bumper.  Common understanding is when the exhaust heats up it will sag more (move down) so my clearances should only get bigger).

Left/Driver tips: 13 mm minimum
Left/Driver tips: 3 mm minimum on left side
Left/Driver tips: 2 mm minimum on right side

11.  Move on to the right/passenger side.  Leave the slip joint as loose as you can.  I sprayed mine with penetrating oil to make it a little easier to slide.  As before, use a floor jack to get the can where you want it.  Just like the DTM system I did ~15 years ago, the aft right/passenger bracket is too short.  I needed to use one of my lengthened ones.  Also, I noticed the flanges on the mufflers are tipped up a little.  So I also had to bend the custom bracket (see pic).

Custom bracket, bent
12.  I had still had great difficulty getting the tips level.  The outboard tip was too low, even thought my clearances to the bumper were perfect on the inboard tip.  On the forward right/passenger bracket, I was unable to get the height off ground I needed to level the tips.  I ground out a small pocket to make the slot bigger in the bracket, which enabled me to raise the front of the can a little more.

Right/Passenger forward factory SS bracket.  Note markings where I ground out the slot to make it larger.
13.  As before, tighten the connection at the mid/H-pipe.  Check for level again.  Fully tighten the connection at the mid pipe.

14.  Adjust side-side with the bottom parts of the L brackets.

15.  Fully tighten the slip joint connection.  I pulled out the small slip pipe to get it as close to perfectly aligned to the Mid/H-pipe as I could.  In theory you can adjust the distance the tips stick out from the car with the slip joint.  But, the best I could do is have the right/passenger tips stick out about 1.5mm further than the left/driver tips.

Right/Passenger Side: 13.5 mm minimum
Right/Passenger Side: 2 mm minimum
Right/Passenger Side: 3 mm minimum
Other pics of the brackets and connections in their final installation arrangements:

Aft Left/Driver hanger.  Factory SS bracket, but bent to allow pure up-down adjustments.
Aft Right/Passenger hanger.  Custom made and bent slightly to allow pure up-down adjustments.
Forward right/passenger hanger.  This is a factory SS hanger with the pocket / slot enlarged slightly.
Forward Left/Driver hanger, unbent from factory SS as-delivered.
Right/passenger's mid hanger
Left/Driver's mid hanger

Right/passenger tips stick out about 1.5mm more than the left ones. 

15 September 2016

Shifter Surround "screws"

I noticed that one of the "screws" that are on the shifter surround was missing.  I've owned the car a year and didn't notice.  The replacement part, which isn't a screw at all, is available.  These are non-functional fasteners.  On my car, it would not snap into the chrome surround.  I might have vacuumed up the one that was there, who knows.  Not sure why or if my surround has been modified/broken in some way.  I used a little clear silicone caulk to hold the replacement in.

51167896796 clip, $4.29r each

missing "screw"

14 September 2016

Completing the toolkit

I like to carry a complete tool kit in all my cars.  As previously posted on this blog, this car did come with the 71111096023 jack fixture plate in the trunk.  Early S52 M coupes did all come with this fixture, but no jack and no lug wrench.  At some point in production (including all S54s), that fixture was replaced with a flat storage plate, 51712694649, which let you store other things and offered a little more space.  I prefer to have the tools just in case who-knows-what happens.

The straps that hold the lug wrench and jack used to be available from BMW, but now they are No Longer Available (NLA).  I used McMaster equivalent straps, which were inexpensive, nice quality, and easy to get.

The jack I received is beefed up significantly from the one in my S54, which is 2001-2002 vintage, even though they both have the same part number.  It has thicker metal, better paint/powdercoat, and more weldments.

Crank, 71122228423, $16.90r
Jack, 71121093476, $88.83r
Tire bag, 71121182667 , $6.99r
Strap, short, McMaster 3955T89, $1.36
Strap, long, McMaster 3955T241, $1.44

Total cost of this mod = $115.52
Total investment in vehicle to date = $13531.53

OEM BMW strap on the far left.  McMaster straps (2) to the right.

More weldments on the later jack

2001-2002 era jack with OEM straps in my S54 coupe

13 September 2016

LeatherZ Mark2 UGDO Universal Garage Door Opener Armrest

Years ago, we used to sell both Mk1 and Mk2 armrests with the BMW/Johnson Controls Homelink Universal Garage Door Opener (UGDO).  BMW sold Mk1 lidsets with UGDOs integrated in them.  The UGDO is a nice feature, especially in convertibles, because it doesn't need batteries and it only works when the key is in the ignition.  And it cuts down on clutter in the car.  And the buttons illuminate BMW amber.  BMW made many versions of the UGDO and the part numbers show it... try to buy the later/last part numbers when you look them up.  A good tip is to follow EPC when it says "superseded by".

You cannot buy new UGDOs from BMW any more.  You have to find used ones on ebay and that's what I did.  It is built into a new black Mk2 armrest.  Install is simple if you have a BMW pin removal tool, the UGDO borrows power from the car's pre-wired cell phone connector cable.

LeatherZ doesn't sell UGDO armrests directly, but if you source a UGDO module, you can work with Andy and he will integrate it into an Mk2 armrest for you.

[for a real throwback, when we first started making Mk1 leather armrests, BMW sold us the part for $17 and change apiece.  They had it priced wrong but that same part now is worth hundreds of dollars, easy!!]  

UGDO used, ebay, $45.00r
Mk2 Black lid-only armrest custom ordered to accept UGDO, LeatherZ, $150.00r

Total cost of this mod = $195.00
Total investment in vehicle to date = $13416.01

I used these pins and plugs to make the UGDO connection removable.  The female sockets are already in the X400 connector on the car.

07 September 2016

Garage Sale!

I will keep this post up to date with parts I have for sale.  Most of these came off the S52 coupenut car, but some are new, as described.  All prices include shipping and Paypal fee.  Shipping to lower 48 states in US only.  Email jonmaddux@leatherz.com to purchase.

Door entrance covers 51478399867 with qty 6 fasteners 51478399492, $91.34 and $5.40 retail, $45
Black interior door pulls (pair), 51221960829 and 51221960830, $48.96 retail, $22/pair
HK Amplifier, 65108400292, $1274-you-have-got-to-be-kidding retail, $100
Fan clutch, Original BMW, 55k miles, 11527831619, $272.38 retail, $60

HK coupe subwoofer, $50

HK front kickpanel speakers, 65138399656, pair, $109.47 retail each, $40/pair

HVAC display panel, 64118398898, knife-edge scratch in blue part of the dial, only visible at night, otherwise mint, $71.81 retail, $40

DICE link ipod adapter with cables, $65

HK front tweeters, removed from bezel, 65138400381, $96.31 retail each, $25/pair

E85/E86 MZ4 right rear brake rotor, removed from a car with 22k miles, thickness is 20.22 (min is 18.5 mm) part number 34212282304, $214.62 retail, $75.00.  Includes free complete set of stock rear pads, also with 22k miles

Ireland Z3 / ti subframe bushings, new in box, $85

Rear shocks mounts, new never installed, OEM BMW, pair 33521137972, $115.60/pair retail, $81
Z3 suspension gasket kit.  All you see here.  $15.

S54 oil pan gasket kit.  Includes 11131437237, 11137832023, and the dipstick o-ring.  $39.
Driver's side headlight with new bulbs, clear turn signal, black rings, 63122695021, all tabs perfect, spider web crazing on edge of lens, $250  More pics here.