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      04-06-2018, 11:28 PM   #1
SkysTheLimit
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SkysTheLimit's 2011.5 E90 M3 ZCP 6MT Slicktop Journal

Hi Guys,

Wanted to start a build/documentary/random pics thread for my latest car since this one is a keeper. I realize that not everyone wants to hear my story, so I will start out with the basics. I will get into my backstory in the 2nd post, so feel free to either read if you care to or skip to the 3rd post to begin the journal.

1a.) Introduction (car): My written introduction does not do this car justice. It is 99% of what I wanted (I did not want Jet Black again. This is my 3rd Jet Black car.) However, I concede with the other 1% because I am very well aware that I cannot find a car closer to my spec.

Specs:
2011.5 E90 M3 Sedan, Jet Black on GEAT (Speed Cloth)
• Slicktop
• 6MT
• ZCP Competition Package
• ZCV Convenience Package
• Power rear and manual side sunshades
• One owner

Understanding the rarity of these cars, I decided to PM SickFinga to get some details behind it (Thanks @Sickfinga! Your PM box is full so I was not able to send a thank-you note!). He’s mentioned before that there were only 137 E90 ZCP 6MT Slicktops produced for the US market. As it turns out, my car is 1 of only 2 cars produced to the same spec! It’s a true unicorn. There are only (4) total JB/Cloth E90 ZCP’s produced, (2) 6MT/(2) DCT.

I am totally thrilled and relieved at the same time. The search is finally over!
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..: 2004 E46 M3 Coupe 6MT CB/B
..: 2011.5 E90 M3 Sedan 6MT ZCP Slicktop JB/Speed Cloth
::: >E90 ZCP Build Thread
Gone but not forgotten: 2011.5 E90 M3 ZCP DCT, 2007 E92 335i, 2006 E90 325i, 1998 E36 M3, 1999 E36 323is

Last edited by SkysTheLimit; 04-06-2018 at 11:57 PM.
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      04-06-2018, 11:31 PM   #2
SkysTheLimit
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1b.) Introduction (me): I have been the owner of an E46 M3 for the past 8 years now, and I’ve loved every minute of driving it. I am a huge BMW enthusiast and have driven every iteration of the M3, including E30 S14, E30 w/ S52, E36, E46, E90, E92, F80, F82, F80 ZCP, and F87 (yes, to me the M2 represents an M3). So, I’ve had a taste of it all and know what I like and don’t like. Every model has pros/cons but to me, the E46 and E9x stand out above the rest in terms of their cohesiveness. What I mean by that: every part of the car connects in a way that their sum is greater than their parts alone. The E46 delivers a raw, mechanical experience that in my opinion the E9x only expands upon to improve or eliminate the E46 weak points (subframe, rear trailing arms, camber-out front end, low-end torque). Both are absolutely thrilling to drive; you have to work to extract the most out of them, and they talk to you every step of the way.

I had the opportunity to co-drive a friend’s E90 ZCP DCT at an autocross very early on when I had my E46 dialed in with suspension and wheel/tire mods. I was impressed in that the E90, factory stock, was able to keep up with my modified E46. I was also able to jump in the E90, having never driven one before, and run close to its performance limit immediately. There are few cars in existence that communicate so remarkably well that you feel connected upon the first drive. To say I was sold is an understatement.

It would be a while that I could afford to buy-in to the E9x chassis, so I kept on with my E46 over the years. I gradually de-modified my E46 into its current state (factory springs, Koni single-adjustables, HP+ pads, SS Race muffler). To this day, it is still a thoroughly enjoyable ride.

I entered the E9x M3 market over a year ago, searching daily for a stripper car. I was open to both E90’s and E92’s, although I had a slight bias to the E90 due to the rarity and versatility. I was set on the ZCP package due to the wider wheel widths and lower ride height (SCCA benefits). I did not find anything for months. I missed out on a number of cars, including one that showed up on this forum – a 2011.75 E90 ZCP 6MT in Melbourne Red/Speed Cloth with no options other than ZCP. It was truly perfect. I made the seller, Matterhorn an offer to which he ended up selling the car for $1,000 more. It was a great car, and he seemed like a great seller. I missed out on a Space Gray E90 that kcohen ended up buying. I of course tried buying @Erie Von Otto’s car, and I also missed a few others throughout the country, many of which are now in the hands of fellow members.

I ended up buying a 2011.5 E90 ZCP DCT from California which was in excellent condition. It was fully loaded, totally badass, and perfectly maintained. I happily drove around in the DCT until I realized that I wasn’t 100% satisfied with the DCT itself. I found myself on the market once again, searching daily for a suitable 6MT car. I even reached out to forum members who had 6MT’s, asking to buy their cars but didn’t gain much traction. Accelerometer reassured me that it would be worth the wait, and gave me some more hope.

Well, sure enough, I checked before work one morning and found the car. It was almost too good to be true so I called the dealer up immediately (thank goodness they opened at 7AM) and began asking detailed questions. My sales guy, Barry, was extremely helpful and answered everything quickly. They had gotten the car the night before as a trade-in and hadn't even gone through it yet. After some deliberation, I decided to put a deposit on the car, pending the outstanding recall work as they were apparently not allowed to sell the vehicle until the recalls were fixed. The car sat for two weeks waiting for the recall part, while the dealer simultaneously inspected the car and replaced anything that needed immediate attention. Two weeks later (seemingly forever), he called me to say the recall was completed and we did the transaction remotely. I shipped the car up from TX to NJ sight unseen and crossed my fingers that all would check out.

To those of you still looking, this is my advice: I bought this car the same day it was posted. There was no information posted in the ad. It took me over a year, but they are out there. I was about to give up many times. Be persistent, and be quick!
__________________
..: 2004 E46 M3 Coupe 6MT CB/B
..: 2011.5 E90 M3 Sedan 6MT ZCP Slicktop JB/Speed Cloth
::: >E90 ZCP Build Thread
Gone but not forgotten: 2011.5 E90 M3 ZCP DCT, 2007 E92 335i, 2006 E90 325i, 1998 E36 M3, 1999 E36 323is

Last edited by SkysTheLimit; 04-06-2018 at 11:53 PM.
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      04-06-2018, 11:34 PM   #3
SkysTheLimit
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2.) First Documentary Post:
First post is appropriately after pickup. I took the car to work the next day and have a couple iPhone pics:





I will do a detailed shoot once I have time to fully detail the car.

Here's a quick gas station shot the night I sold my DCT to Brearley_III



Of course it didn't take me long to start modding. In fact the car arrived bone stock, but didn't last a week!

I installed a 32mm Adjustable Dinan bar that my GF was kind enough to get me the year prior for my birthday. I bought Bimmerworld endlinks to use with the bar.



I also swapped the stock muffler with the EAS modded muffler with Dimisa tips that I got from my buddy burnurass. I'm still looking for something louder and lighter, so we'll see if anything comes up.

I have a number of other parts waiting to go on, including IND black kidney grilles, LED angel eyes, and a CF Performance rear spoiler. I will update the thread as I go with mods and random photos.
__________________
..: 2004 E46 M3 Coupe 6MT CB/B
..: 2011.5 E90 M3 Sedan 6MT ZCP Slicktop JB/Speed Cloth
::: >E90 ZCP Build Thread
Gone but not forgotten: 2011.5 E90 M3 ZCP DCT, 2007 E92 335i, 2006 E90 325i, 1998 E36 M3, 1999 E36 323is

Last edited by SkysTheLimit; 04-06-2018 at 11:41 PM.
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      04-07-2018, 01:11 AM   #4
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Looking good so far bro. I have her black e90 as well. Make sure u post in the jb e90 thread as well. Can't wait to see progress of this rare find
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      04-07-2018, 03:08 AM   #5
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Great looking car! Funny how similar my process was, got notified of a MR E90 with speed cloth in TX and immediately jumped on it. GL with the build!
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      04-07-2018, 04:24 PM   #6
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congrats! we just finished the bearings on your old car!
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      04-07-2018, 05:01 PM   #7
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Congrats! Welcome to the 6mt club
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      04-08-2018, 08:33 PM   #8
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Welcome. Keep up the journal..
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      04-08-2018, 09:15 PM   #9
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I'm glad it worked out for you and look forward to keeping up with your mods.
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      04-08-2018, 10:42 PM   #10
derbo
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Congrats! I love journals. Subscribed.
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      04-11-2018, 04:23 PM   #11
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Science demands you get that thing on a scale sometime
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      04-11-2018, 09:57 PM   #12
SkysTheLimit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhanksevo View Post
Looking good so far bro. I have her black e90 as well. Make sure u post in the jb e90 thread as well. Can't wait to see progress of this rare find
Thanks bro, didn't realize there was a JB thread so definitely will do. Appreciate the kind words!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aktavate View Post
Great looking car! Funny how similar my process was, got notified of a MR E90 with speed cloth in TX and immediately jumped on it. GL with the build!
Thank you! MR on cloth is literally a dream. Totally worthwhile. You must have one beautiful ride! Would love to see pics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff@autocouture View Post
congrats! we just finished the bearings on your old car!
Very nice! I saw some new goodies on IG - glad you guys are taking care of her

Quote:
Originally Posted by D1ESEL View Post
Congrats! Welcome to the 6mt club
Thanks! No regrets so far.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChadB View Post
Welcome. Keep up the journal..
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BOOF-M3 View Post
I'm glad it worked out for you and look forward to keeping up with your mods.
Thanks Mark. It was great trading info and I hope your suspension kit gets sold soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by derbo View Post
Congrats! I love journals. Subscribed.
Thank you! I also follow you on IG so keep up the great work!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richbot View Post
Science demands you get that thing on a scale sometime
Yes indeed sir. I tried getting my guy to do it while getting aligned but I was a day off - he was too lazy to set up the scales and was doing so the next day for some corner balance work. I'll try and make it over there one day he has them set up because I too am very curious.

I did promise to update as I go, so here's the latest. Went over to a friend who is one of the best in the tri-state for performance alignments (SJF Performance) and got the car dialed in. Turns out the pins were already pulled and the alignment was decent, but he's a perfectionist and he made great into perfect as always. Funny how a good alignment can transform the car.



And finally, you're all going to have to deal with random pics from my potato as I mentioned in the first post...so here's a dirty car/grainy shot after work:



I may have mentioned it before, but my second set of wheels/tires are as follows in case anyone is curious:
  • APEX EC-7, 18x9 ET31F 18x10 ET25R no spacers
  • 275/35/18 RE71R square

My angel eyes came in today but I got home too late from long hours at the office, so didn't get a chance to pick them up. I will grab them and install those with the black grilles and maybe some other goodies this weekend, and then report back.
__________________
..: 2004 E46 M3 Coupe 6MT CB/B
..: 2011.5 E90 M3 Sedan 6MT ZCP Slicktop JB/Speed Cloth
::: >E90 ZCP Build Thread
Gone but not forgotten: 2011.5 E90 M3 ZCP DCT, 2007 E92 335i, 2006 E90 325i, 1998 E36 M3, 1999 E36 323is

Last edited by SkysTheLimit; 04-11-2018 at 10:03 PM.
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      04-12-2018, 12:57 PM   #13
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      04-19-2018, 02:22 AM   #14
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Love it. Great spec!
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2011 E90///M3 | Space Grey | Fox Red | DCT | ZCP | Slicktop
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      04-19-2018, 10:30 AM   #15
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So awesome to read stories like this. Your persistence paid off well!

Congrats on the car and can't wait to see what else you do with it
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      04-19-2018, 11:44 AM   #16
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Austin, you bastard! That's such an awesome combo congrats!
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      04-20-2018, 11:50 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam@ModeCarbon View Post
Thank you still haven't installed that M2 spoiler I got from you by the way. It's on the list!

Quote:
Originally Posted by M3ANMACHINE View Post
Love it. Great spec!
Thanks bud!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike@IND View Post
So awesome to read stories like this. Your persistence paid off well!

Congrats on the car and can't wait to see what else you do with it
Thanks Mike! Glad to hear you enjoyed reading - it sure did!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt@AUTOcouture View Post
Austin, you bastard! That's such an awesome combo congrats!
Thanks Matt, I couldn't help myself


4/20 Update:
OK now for some updates. Did a few things since the first string so here goes:
  • IND Gloss Black Front Grilles
  • 6000K LED Angel Eyes
  • Rep CF Performance Splitters
  • Euro coding via Carly (max bright AE's, Euro hazards, sidemarker delete, etc.)
  • OEM F10 M5 lighted knob and boot

Amazing what a few things can do to clean up the front end. Anyway, apologies for the dirty car. Here's a before:


In-progress CARLY coding:


Dirty after:


I love the IND grilles. Perfect fitment. The AE's do their dim outer ring thing. This is to be expected without a full LED ring conversion. But for the price paid, I have no complaints. It's easily an upgrade from the standard orange halogen bulbs.

I got the splitters used from a friend. They're not perfect, but how could I go wrong? Makes me feel less bad if anything happens to them. They'll protect the bottom of the bumper, and I also have a backup set ready to go. Plus, they're completely removable.

Here are a couple of less-dirty shots. The front end of the car is covered in clear film that will need a light polish. I'll be working on this when I get the car sealed up.




Interior shot of the completed F10 M5 knob install. I opted to remove the factory ring from the factory M3 knob, cut down the F10 boot, and re-glue that to the factory ring using contact cement. Came out 95%; with my OCD, I might go back in with some more glue to achieve 100%.



Speed cloth closeup


As you can see, the car is quite immaculate both inside and out. I intend to keep it that way.

Finally, here's a random shot with the 2 cars from the day the DCT sold:


I did a shoot at a local park but haven't been able to go through all of the photos. I'll post them here when I get a chance.

Enjoy!
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..: 2011.5 E90 M3 Sedan 6MT ZCP Slicktop JB/Speed Cloth
::: >E90 ZCP Build Thread
Gone but not forgotten: 2011.5 E90 M3 ZCP DCT, 2007 E92 335i, 2006 E90 325i, 1998 E36 M3, 1999 E36 323is
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      04-22-2018, 12:48 PM   #18
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The speed cloth seats are everything!
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      04-23-2018, 07:30 PM   #19
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Congrats on the pickup!
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      04-24-2018, 09:31 AM   #20
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Looking great Austin!
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      05-01-2018, 02:38 AM   #21
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Looking good
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      05-02-2018, 10:58 PM   #22
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Love the car dude!!! I have the other Jerez Black over speed cloth Zcp except my seats are manual
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