November 21, 2017

I Guess It's A Big Day Today

My Z4 parts were due to arrive via USP sometime Monday. Usually they stop here in late afternoon so I knew I had time to make a run to the recycling center and the post office. With the shipment weighing only 24 pounds and plastic parts I figured they would not need my help carrying the large box to the door. Heidi came outside after lunch to check the weather and to see if she would stay out longer than just dumping her tanks. She didn't see any parts delivery either.

Stella and Sadie didn't do much more than Heidi after their lunch ... they didn't even beg for a walk. All of them were asleep 5 minutes after going back inside. That sunshine makes the weather look warmer than it was and the strong winds blowing cold air made it just cold enough to stay inside.

Like Sadie, I was getting tired of just sitting in the house waiting for ~5pm, when I thought the parts would arrive. By 2pm the hounds were up and moving, Sadie was giving me 'the stare' to take a walk so off we went. With the double layer of coats it was pretty worm but not warm enough to be working outside.

While we were walking back and almost to the first corner of our walk I noticed a USP truck driving slowly on the highway. It was obvious it was just pulling away from my driveway and had hopefully delivered the parts I was expecting.

My parts were finally here after one delay and the website notice "ships immediately" for each part I looked up and ordered. I placed and paid for the order on November 9th. Can you hear my blood pressure rising?

I still think it will be a simple job of installing five parts. As I write this I am waiting for the temperatures to increase to the forecast of 51°. I found out Sunday I can work outside comfortably in anything above 42°. I do expect some 'hiccups' along the way of installing these parts. The biggest question is if I can install the new grille without taking the bumper off. Other Z4 owners say it's possible without any problems. The videos show removing the bumper is simple and only takes about 15 minutes.

So the first thing I wanted to do was match each part that was received to my order and to make sure they had shipped the correct pieces. I still have a small piece that is being shipped from Germany ... makes you wonder why they had that part marked "in stock ... ships immediately" on their website for that part number.

This piece has to slide inside the bumper around two different air ducts on each side. I was able to slide the old damaged grille out and around those two pieces but it was a tight squeeze to get it out.

I do know where this part goes. It was demolished on that 96 mile return trip home from my friend's house. See all of those silver nuts already on the part? They tie in with the story below.

Every part had the required number of nuts already on the new parts. I didn't have to order those separately. Even the pictures of each part showed them when I placed the order. At the time I ordered I had a question about one of the parts so I called a sales rep. He suggested he take a look at my parts ordered and would match up all the screws, washers, nuts, plastic plugs and any hardware that was needed.

I will have to look on the right side of the car to see where this part goes as it was completely gone on the left side, under the car. This are the same parts, one for the left side and one for the right side. There are only 3 places to attach to the frame with screws. The part on the right side of the car is still there and in good shape so it might not need replaced or do I replace it so both pieces are of the same condition?

The sales rep added all the hardware to my order. I sorted them all by part number so I could match with my order to see if I was missing anything. For some reason the shipment did not come with a shipping list of items inside the box, it was just parts. You would be surprised just how many dollars are in this group of small plastic packages.

For each part I have not only the diagram but the type of hardware that is required. Overall it's pretty accurate but it does have a few things that is different and confuses things.

After looking at the lists and pulling the hardware that was required, I had everything sorted by part, the drawing and the hardware I would be using. Looks simple eh?

It might look simple but why did I have this many pieces of hardware left over?? Some of them is because I ordered the "kit" for the belly pan cover, so hardware for the part was ordered by the sales rep and are duplicates. A few other pieces are not listed in the detailed parts drawing as being needed.

As I install each part I will look around for any other missing screws that I might be able to use from this stack of parts. Who knows maybe some of the screws, or nuts were missing before I took off the damaged pieces on Sunday or even missing before I had the damage. For the parts I did take off Sunday I only had a total 11 screws and washers.

I already have a return authorization number to return any parts or pieces I do not use. To add to the delay in shipment, they sent me the wrong oil filter wrench. The corrected part is being shipped today with a Friday delivery date. I am hoping it is the correct part but I must admit I have my doubts that the correct part will show up. Plus I am expecting it on Monday not Friday.

I called them to let them know the part number on their bar code label was the correct part number for the wrench but it didn't match the part number on the package of the oil filter wrench. Amazing how ONE letter different can cause me and possibly others a problem.

This is a reputable company for all OEM parts for any European car. I had good luck in the past when I order a few things for my Mini Coopers ... but I admit I am not real happy with the way this order was handled. It was delayed once,  then a few days later I was notified one of the parts was not in stock and would be shipping from Germany sometime around December 1st. I needed to confirm to them they could ship the rest of the order instead of waiting. Then the wrong oil filter wrench was shipped. I realize in shipping that things can go wrong but to me it is nothing more than attention to detail. My pet peeve. To say the least I am glad I'm retired ... LOL

All of that didn't bother Heidi though. She slept the afternoon away, then the night away on the couch next to me while I watched ballgames. This morning wasn't much different as she sprinted for the Marmot sleeping bag right after she finished her breakfast. She crawled inside after her paws moved the bag into the optimum position.

We would still get our morning walk in, lunch will be served and then I'll put the bloodhounds in the bedroom so I can work without having to 'hound sit' while I work. Stella would rather stay inside where it's warm and sleep after her lunch. So would Heidi but I know that Sadie would take off if I let her roam while I work and each time I let her roam lately she goes further and further outside the boundaries.

I was not even out of the backyard this morning when I saw Stella have her head down while she was trotting .. then took off running. Even Sadie couldn't catch her.

There goes Stella zoomed in at 200mm through the camera. I was sure I was going to have to start jogging to the woods on the north side of the field ... I wasn't really that enthused to start the day doing that, in fact I wasn't happy just thinking about it.

Sadie wasn't sure what was going on nor why Stella was running away before even starting to walk.

She was sure she had locked onto some deer in the woods or could hear them deep in the gully. So I have one bloodhound running away from me faster than I could ever run to catch her ... and I have a another bloodhound debating if she should take off into the woods and down into he gully to follow what her nose was telling her.

Stella was gone. She was either in the woods straight ahead or maybe (hopefully) down a slight incline just left of center in the field.

When I told Sadie to "go find Stella" ... she turned to smell the air and to listen to see where Stella might be. Once she locked into her scent she took off running in Stella's direction that was a solid 100 yards away if not more.

As I walked to the top of the small incline before the first corner I was thrilled to see that Stella was still in the field, reachable and in the second option I mentioned. Now would it take me walking over to her so she would walk back with Sadie and I or would she come when I yelled her name.

She glanced up when she heard her name and then started trotting toward the path with a few stops in-between.

So after all of this early morning action, the three of use are no further than the first corner of the walk.

Stella still had other plans. Her nose in the above photo had picked up another deer scent and she was running again following her nose.

On the ATV path that parallels the back of the field I saw what had her running. A fresh deer hoof and not enough of them close to each other so the deer were running along this path.

With no signs of deer, Stella decided it was time to play with Sadie. Caught her by surprise and immediately had the advantage. As I have mentioned before, when they play outside Sadie is on the defense and when they play inside Stella is on the defense.

At 9 years old Sadie is missing most of her front teeth. That is what happens when you are a puppy staying in the large black indoor kennel while the owner is at work 9 years ago. She was strong enough she could grab those black thick wires of the indoor kennel and bend them. I could not even bend them back with a pair of pliers. She tried her hardest to get out and using her teeth was a big part of her escape tools.

I was beginning to think that they were never going to stop. It was getting colder, my feet were freezing by now and I wanted to go.

It wasn't me that got them to stop playing ... it took only one gunshot off in the distance to have Stella stopped immediately and let me know it was time to head home.

The skies are busy with air traffic this week.

Stella was not in the mood to search or run away after hearing that shotgun sound. We were close to home about as fast as she started the walk.

They don't know they will be spending most of the afternoon shut up in the bedroom while I work on the Z4 this afternoon or maybe they do, because they let me know they would like to go for a ride. They having been on once since last August. There really isn't any time to take one today. I am focused on one thing today ... finishing the Z4 parts installation and taking it out on the road for a drive as soon as possible.

As we came back inside I was close to catching Heidi totally submerged inside the sleeping bag but he heard me walking into he bedroom on the hardwood floor and woke up just as I was taking the photo.

Before I end this I thought I'd answer the question that a few of you that had about the reasoning for doing this work myself instead of taking it to a auto body shop. To me it looked like a simple job and one I could do myself. I don't mind doing this kind of work as long as I am not doing it 40 hours per week for 52 weeks per year.

I knew I could save money by buying the same parts they would. I also felt I could get the job done faster than they would. After all it took me less than two hours, not even an hour and a half to pull off the damaged parts. That time included jacking the car up and then driving it a few inches up onto the ramps.

With a body shop doing other cars at the same time as yours, other work might move in front of my car based on parts availability, or if they are friends or not or even what their boss wants done first. I'd have no control over the order my car was done once it was in their shop.

So I decided soon after I saw what I had to do that it would be faster if I did the work and I didn't see it taking longer than an afternoon to get the job finished. Plus while the car is raised that far off the ground I can do my own inspection under the car just for my own curiosity. Although the car had not more than one previous owner that worked for BMW, I can see this car was driven full time in all kinds of weather ... luckily he did all the required maintenance at a BMW facility on time but he put some hard miles on it.

We did three hound walks yesterday and will get at least two in today, although Sadie might have to wait until late afternoon or early evening before she gets the 2nd one. It all depends on how many 'hiccups' I have putting this car back together.

Another sunny and fairly warm day here in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.


  1. OK, I gota ask, is that little doggy-dish/planter an official Z4 part? Maybe a dash accessory??

    1. I am thinking of hanging that from the mirror.

  2. "makes you wonder why they had that part marked "in stock ... ships immediately" on their website for that part number."

    I have found that more and more online sellers (Amazon in particular) are 'order takers' for the seller that has the physical item. The order taker will always say that the item is in stock because they want to make the sale. When the real seller tells them that they don't have the item the online seller will then apologize, reverse the charge and offer to notify you when it becomes available. Amazon is an 'affiliate' of the actually suppliers just like all their Amazon Affiliate Members are to Amazon.

    1. I understand that but this specific supplier shows a large warehouse of parts, well known for fast shipping and great customer service but you are right ... most likely buying those OEM parts from another supplier before shipping them. Of course this car is 14 years old so that is probably normal for an older model of car.