Results 1 to 24 of 24

Thread: Ain't nothing like the real thing--rambling post about silly overpriced minutiae...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Baja (not really)
    Posts
    114
    My Cars
    2000 M Roadster

    Ain't nothing like the real thing--rambling post about silly overpriced minutiae...

    **Fair warning: if you don't like stories of frivolous purchases that nobody will ever notice, you should leave now.**


    I love my car, and if I had to drive it 100% as-is for the rest of its life, I would die a happy man.

    But much in the same way you may love a lot of things--your favorite movie might have a line of dialogue that's a bit clunky, or maybe your wife is perfect other than her snoring sounding like a Peterbilt downshifting on a steep road--there are always areas in which they could be...improved.

    That's not to say there are deficiencies, mind you. There are just little things that are a little off.

    For example: my roadster is a 2000. That means it has the headlights and taillights with clear lenses for turn signals, rather than the older amber-colored plastic. But why, then, are my corner markers orange? I don't dislike amber lenses, when they're period-correct. But I do dislike incongruity.

    So this had to go.

    IMG_0505.jpg



    I replaced it with this.

    IMG_0833.jpg


    "OK, looks fine to me" you may say. "What's the problem?" Well, even though the fitment is accurate, and the price was fair (I think it was $39 for both L&R), the cuts/facets to the interior plastic looked...off. Something about the cross-hatched pattern on crystal clear plastic looked either too "new" or it just didn't seem to match the rest of the car's lights/reflectors. Ironically, they are almost identical to the factory amber lenses, save for the lack of tint. They just sort of stuck out to me whenever I stepped back and looked at the car as a whole.


    So what to do? About a half hour of scouring European eBay and I found these factory EDM marker lights for $39 apiece:

    IMG_0834.jpg


    Not only is the lens slightly less clear than the aftermarket replacement, therefore matching the "patina" of the rest of the car's 18yo plastics, but the pattern to the cut is softer as well. The shape is actually different, too:


    IMG_0836.jpg


    TL;DR version--I didn't like the factory corner lights (despite them being perfectly functional), and spent nearly $40 on brand new aftermarket corner lights that I didn't like. Then I spent nearly $80 on used OEM corner lights, that do the exact same thing as the previous two pairs. Why? Because I can.
    Last edited by Harvey Mushman; 12-05-2017 at 05:02 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Riga, Latvia
    Posts
    1,041
    My Cars
    2x 1997 BMW Z3 2.8
    My car is driving example of tons of stories like this

    I hope you already replaced amber bulbs with chromed ones in turn signal repeater. Otherwise that would probably be the first thing to burn my eyes on your car .

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Baja (not really)
    Posts
    114
    My Cars
    2000 M Roadster
    Quote Originally Posted by deni2s View Post
    I hope you already replaced amber bulbs with chromed ones in turn signal repeater. Otherwise that would probably be the first thing to burn my eyes on your car .

    Of course I did. I'm not a Neanderthal...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Boiling Springs, PA
    Posts
    5,709
    My Cars
    '02 Z3 3.0i/'10 Cooper S
    Yeah, that was one of the first mods I did to my Z3. I've had 4 Z3s over the years and I've always changed out those orange markers. Now If there were only a good replacement for the red markers in the rear (see signature pic)...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    3,752
    My Cars
    2001 M Roadster
    I think it was a US reg that said corner markers had to be amber. That said, it seems pretty rare to see a car that hasn't had clear ones swapped over.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    837
    My Cars
    2000 m roadster 2010 x3
    I believe there's a current recall on the clear marker lights. Ha ha

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    kentucky
    Posts
    536
    My Cars
    '98 Z3 M Roadster
    I bought the European clear markers here in the US for around $80 new. Hard to find these days tho. -- I like the way mine look.
    Dinan ISR-3 kit Dinan Vortech V2 Supercharger Dinan Air to Air Intercooler Dinan 10 psi Tune Dinan CAI Dinan 4.0 Bar FPR Dinan HFM Riot Racing BBTB Schrick Intake Manifold 28.8# Injectors Kenne Bell BAP Mason Engineering Strut Brace Mason Engineering Clutch Petal Apex 18" EC-7 Wheels Full Custom Sound System Hardtop Trunk full of AK's

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Grand Haven, MI
    Posts
    61
    My Cars
    2001 BMW Z3 3.0i
    I also swapped out the amber corner markers for clear lenses with chrome bubs on my '01 roadster, but I am still stuck with the (IMHO) hideous red rear marker/reflectors. I've considered body match painting them, but I'm interested in learning what have others done about those?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Odessa, TX
    Posts
    746
    My Cars
    2000 BMW Z3 2.8 Roadster
    You forgot to share the part number.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Baja (not really)
    Posts
    114
    My Cars
    2000 M Roadster
    Quote Originally Posted by JWin View Post
    I think it was a US reg that said corner markers had to be amber. That said, it seems pretty rare to see a car that hasn't had clear ones swapped over.
    The light they gave off had to be amber-colored, but the lens itself could be clear, IIRC. But it doesn't matter now, I think.

    Quote Originally Posted by bubbafett View Post
    I bought the European clear markers here in the US for around $80 new. Hard to find these days tho. -- I like the way mine look.
    I like the way they look too. I don't just want congruity, but I want them to be correct.

    Quote Originally Posted by LannVouivre View Post
    You forgot to share the part number.
    63148400409 Left side
    63148400410 Right side

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    South Central PA
    Posts
    10
    My Cars
    '00 Z3 2.3 Roadster
    Dang, I just ordered a clear set that look like the ones you removed (from ECS tuning) and was hoping they would look OK. One of my OEM amber corners is cracked so I needed to replace anyway.
    Oh well, at least they will look better than amber. I'll have to keep and eye out for a Euro set.

    I did procure an airbag plug that was missing from my driver's door, and driving me crazy:
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/BMW-OEM-00-...72.m2749.l2649
    Last edited by RedconOne; 12-06-2017 at 08:06 AM. Reason: Added link

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Baja (not really)
    Posts
    114
    My Cars
    2000 M Roadster
    Quote Originally Posted by RedconOne View Post
    Dang, I just ordered a clear set that look like the ones you removed (from ECS tuning) and was hoping they would look OK. One of my OEM amber corners is cracked so I needed to replace anyway.
    Oh well, at least they will look better than amber. I'll have to keep and eye out for a Euro set.

    I did procure an airbag plug that was missing from my driver's door, and driving me crazy:
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/BMW-OEM-00-...72.m2749.l2649

    The clear ones from ECS will look fine. They'll be clear like all the other lenses on your 2000, and they'll sit perfectly flush just like the OE amber ones. I'm just an oddball, and have a strange obsession with factory parts.

    Good find on the plug, BTW

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Boiling Springs, PA
    Posts
    5,709
    My Cars
    '02 Z3 3.0i/'10 Cooper S
    You can get those airbag plastic covers for less from the dealer.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Albany, TX
    Posts
    13
    My Cars
    '01 Z3 Roadster
    Quote Originally Posted by cngizbleevng View Post
    You can get those airbag plastic covers for less from the dealer.
    The dealer wanted to charge me $12.

    I got mine here for $3.75 plus shipping of about $5:

    https://www.ecstuning.com/b-genuine-...e/51418413218/

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    130
    My Cars
    2001 M Roadster
    Funny enough, but there are not many. However most sellers on eBay selling those markers from Latvia. Hey deni2s, side business? . I am about to pick up a pair. My amber ones are chipped at some corners.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Riga, Latvia
    Posts
    1,041
    My Cars
    2x 1997 BMW Z3 2.8
    Quote Originally Posted by DimrBimmer View Post
    Funny enough, but there are not many. However most sellers on eBay selling those markers from Latvia. Hey deni2s, side business? . I am about to pick up a pair. My amber ones are chipped at some corners.
    I think they are ordering them straight from German stock and probably transporting to Latvia themselves. At least most OEM parts I can get like 30% cheaper on local websites than from local bmw dealer, just need to wait 1-2 weeks to arrive from Germany.

    What's funny, that ebay sellers from Latvia are refusing to ship to Latvian address - wanted to order some cooling pipes, so had to pay more to get them from abroad. Probably that's how they are avoiding paying taxes.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    130
    My Cars
    2001 M Roadster
    Quote Originally Posted by deni2s View Post
    I think they are ordering them straight from German stock and probably transporting to Latvia themselves. At least most OEM parts I can get like 30% cheaper on local websites than from local bmw dealer, just need to wait 1-2 weeks to arrive from Germany.

    What's funny, that ebay sellers from Latvia are refusing to ship to Latvian address - wanted to order some cooling pipes, so had to pay more to get them from abroad. Probably that's how they are avoiding paying taxes.
    Hmmm, so how can I order a keyfob for keyless entry from those guys? They are only available in Germany, according to few dealers I talk to in US.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Odessa, TX
    Posts
    746
    My Cars
    2000 BMW Z3 2.8 Roadster
    Quote Originally Posted by Harvey Mushman View Post
    63148400409 Left side
    63148400410 Right side
    You are a Saint.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Arida Zona
    Posts
    24,031
    My Cars
    z3
    Just putting this out there, I don't think those "flat clear" types are an OE option at all. As far as I know an aftermarket company took an orange lens reflector and reproduced it with a clear lens. That's why they look a bit odd - the reflector design was meant to be behind an amber lens, and this is also why the flat clears never fit properly.

    There are two OE types of reflectors:
    The amber reflectors were used for the entire production run in US and Europe
    The clear "raised" type were used on some Euro models

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    809
    My Cars
    1999 Z3M, 1999 2.8 Coupe
    Anyone ever found anything like these for a Coupe?

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/BMW-Z3-96-0...pXV8ov&vxp=mtr

    I've got smoked marker lights but still have the amber head lights and tail lights. My black Coupe looks a bit Halloweeny for my taste.

    I do have a spare set of OEM clear headlights from my Roadster. PO did the HID conversion but on a spare set, and included the untouched head lights when I bought my Roadster. So I guess I'm smoked and amber or smoked and clear on the Coupe. Both look a bit off to me, but I don't love the clear marker look on a black car. Sigh, 1st world problems.

    I had a sweet set of smoked tails on my old E30, but think they were good ones made by Hella.
    Nathan in Denver

    1999 M Roadster, VFE V3 S/C, Randy Forbes Reinforced, Hardtop, H&R/Bilstein, Apex PS-7
    1999 Z3 2.8 Coupe, 1 of 2, Manual Swapped, M Suspension & Brakes, M54B30 Manifold, Style 68's

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Tim @ BMW of Dallas
    Posts
    1,501
    My Cars
    98 Z3 2.8
    Quote Originally Posted by BimmerBreaker View Post
    Just putting this out there, I don't think those "flat clear" types are an OE option at all. As far as I know an aftermarket company took an orange lens reflector and reproduced it with a clear lens. That's why they look a bit odd - the reflector design was meant to be behind an amber lens, and this is also why the flat clears never fit properly.

    There are two OE types of reflectors:
    The amber reflectors were used for the entire production run in US and Europe
    The clear "raised" type were used on some Euro models
    This exactly. The cheapo looking clear ones are definitely not OE. The OE clears that you got look much nicer! I'm a die-hard amber guy though, and I have ambers on all of my cars
    98 Z3 2.8 Roadster - GC, Vorshlag, AKG, ARC-8.
    99 Z3 2.8 Coupe - TCK, GC, Revshift, Kosei.
    97 Cosmos M3/4/5 - GT3582R, Broken.
    13 Smart Fortwo - DD/beater.



  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Baja (not really)
    Posts
    114
    My Cars
    2000 M Roadster
    Quote Originally Posted by Tim95M3 View Post
    This exactly. The cheapo looking clear ones are definitely not OE. The OE clears that you got look much nicer! I'm a die-hard amber guy though, and I have ambers on all of my cars
    I always kept ambers on my Japanese cars, but always went "euro" on the German stuff.

    BTW--if anyone wants those aftermarket clears that I bought, let me know. Just give me a couple bucks for shipping and you can have 'em. Unless you're in Chicagoland, and then just swing by and pick them up in person

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Newport News , Virginia
    Posts
    71
    My Cars
    1996 Z3 E36(7) M44
    I am going through this with my dealer. He had new old stock on a right clear lens. It was my lucky day. Then my left one cracked. He put the order in from Germany. It came back that American cars did not ship with clear side markers and the order was cancelled. They were trying to make sure it was the correct part for my car. They requested (the German side) the Vin to show it was correct. He supplied my vin and they are supposed to ship. They said they had 26 in stock.
    That was 4weeks ago.
    I had looked at the after market clear fender side markers on eBay and Amazon. They looked for to be too shiny.
    The plastic on my car is killin me. It seems I spend a lot of time changing the plastic and rubber and rubber on my car ��

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    5
    My Cars
    1997 Z3
    Quote Originally Posted by Harvey Mushman View Post
    I always kept ambers on my Japanese cars, but always went "euro" on the German stuff.

    BTW--if anyone wants those aftermarket clears that I bought, let me know. Just give me a couple bucks for shipping and you can have 'em. Unless you're in Chicagoland, and then just swing by and pick them up in person
    I'd love to have them. At the moment I have 1 amber and an empty hole.

Similar Threads

  1. ACS rims (the real thing) or M-pars
    By Dan in forum 1996 - 2003 (E39)
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 03-09-2006, 09:29 AM
  2. FS: 2002 E46 M3 Oval Mirror (the real thing)
    By callerys in forum BMW Parts For Sale (Panjo) sponsored by Bavarian Auto Recycling
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 04-19-2005, 02:45 PM
  3. 2001 BMW 740iS the real thing.. $25k fully serviced, no wrecks
    By ATC2B in forum BMW Cars For Sale / Wanted (Panjo)
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: 03-01-2005, 07:37 PM
  4. Difference between replica Contours and the real thing?
    By WebDev in forum Tire & Wheel Forum sponsored by The Tire Rack
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 01-18-2003, 09:12 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •