If you want to look as happy as this distinguished gentleman, who is clearly pleased as punch driving his Z1, then read on and consider the following
- ACCESS PANEL
- BOOT LEAKS
- DOOR SCRATCHES
- INTERIOR LIGHTS
- INTERIOR TRIM
- LOWER SIDE PANEL
- PANEL GAPS
- REAR LIGHTS
- REAR QUARTER
- REAR SCREEN
- STEERING RACK
- STEERING WHEEL
- THE ROOF
- UK MODEL
- WHEEL ARCH LINER
- WING FRACTURES
SPACE SAVER WHEEL and COVER
FIRST AID KIT
ORIGINAL SPEC AUDIO
The false panel that allows access to the boot, is often replaced to fit additional speakers, or speakers fitted to the panel itself. These are no longer available.
The antennae or Ariel is built into the windscreen, so any radio interference is likely to be the contact between the screen and radio connection.
Does it have the original Audio equipment? Usually this is replaced for something more modern, the first 200 cars were fitted with the Z1 Audio System, a re-badged Sony unit.
Being plastic, the bodywork wears very well and of course does not rust, at a glance there is not much to see from a paint/rust perspective, but observe the following which is hidden from view
The boot filling with water is a common fault, the top cover or boot rubber gasket is damaged and letting in water. There is a line of sealant under the rear quarter panel which degrades over time, leaking into the boot. Unfortunately this is not visible nor accessible eternally.
The seat shells are prone to being scratched and can easily be repaired.
The doors take approximately 4/5 secs to open and 6/7 to close. Check all 4 doors buttons. Check for door scratches. As above, when closing the doors can move up too high, putting pressure on the rear quarter panel. Vertical scratches mean door alignment, horizontal scratches are side panel/dirt problem. Movement should be smooth and both take the same time to open or close. Ask when the door belts were last replaced. With a screwdriver you can see the condition of the belt through the brush if you look down the side with the door open, the brush is located to the left of the drivers door button with the door open.?
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As described in the door section, scratches can be dirt down the side panel, the side panel warped or possibly door alignment.
Engine checks are no different to the standard E30 and therefore not covered in this guide.
The rear Exhaust is double skinned, so external signs of rust do not necessarily mean imminent failure, as it can last for several thousand miles before needing replacement. The CAT is unique to the Z1 and can also be subject to surface rust.
The original fisheye filament lighting system are extremely poor and will need upgrading if you drive at night with limited street lights, the inside glass gets cloudy and dirty restricting the beam pattern further and condensation builds up if the humidifier bag (small bag of beans hidden inside the unit) has lost its sparkle.
Check the instrument cowling, these get caught by hand Jewellery from the driver.
The kick panel as you climb into the car also takes a battering from boots, heels, trainers, big feet and clumsiness.
The plastic sidelight lens tends to get a buildup of condensation, as the rubber gasket hardens or in some cases goes missing. The indicator part of the lens discolours over time, turns dark brown and looks unsightly, these are hard to get hold of and in limited supply. The bulbs supplied are dual filament 5/21w bulbs.
The instrument lights tend to go out, usually around the window and heater control area, these can be replaced easily.
LOWER SIDE PANEL
These can warp or bend if they have been sat on or if not installed correctly and can lead to door scratches.
Look beneath the mirrors, confirm the presence of a cap that covers the wiring, these are NLA.
Removing the panels and putting back on is not difficult, lining them up is. Check the rubber strips between panels are present, the panel `forks` (as described in panel removal) are inserted onto the rubber mounts. Check the panel clips that draw the panels together, are they missing?
Check no bits of the plastic are broken off, a common mistake is to try and remove them with a screwdriver. Rear Lights are costly to replace.
The rear screen is quite fragile, cloudiness can be improved with the BMW screen cleaner, scratched or cracked means a replacement, you can get this replaced without the expense of a new roof.
The original patterns are as described in the Seat section, Lemon with a patterned cloth seat and back support section. Red leather with Red cloth material, Light Grey with grey patterned material and Nubuck and Camouflage. Material will wear over time but hopefully undamaged or torn. The Nubuck will compact and adopt a waxy look and feel if not treated, the side supports can wear away to expose the sponge underneath, these are no longer available. The seat area is the biggest problem, suffering the worst wear, as the camouflage leather comes away from the foam base and adopts an unsightly wrinkly effect.
The weak point of the roof is around the `elbow`, where the frame folds. The canvas roof suffers most resulting in the material fraying and eventually a hole will appear. Usually a patch will suffice to prevent leaks, but the roof will need repaving at some point.
Another stress point is the rear quarter (rear wing), usually on the drivers side as it is the most used. Drop the hood and check the Torx bolt mounting point just above the door button, this has a tendency to crack as the door places a lot of stress on this area when being closed. To reduce the stress and risk of cracking, these bolts are loosened to allow wing movement.
Another unique item to the Z1 is the steering rack, it is not interchangeable with any other model. 23 years on they are showing signs of wear around the Universal Joint.
The T shaped original steering wheel is unique to the Z1.
Get the suspension checked professionally, any competent tester can confirm the life of your setup. The dampers are a limited supply item and unique to the Z1.
To identify an official UK released model, the Clocks will be in MPH and the Fuel Gauge will be in Gallons not Litres.
Open the bonnet and check along the wing mounting points for the Torx bolts, these tend to crack usually at the uppermost point and can split the wing in two if not repaired, the rubber washers also act as a shock absorber, are they worn or missing?
The 7 spoke 16inch alloys are unique to the Z1 and generally in good condition, tyres are 225/45/16.
WHEEL ARCH LINER
As described in the bodywork section, to remove the side panel you must move the wheel arch liner out from under the side panel leading edge, the liner becomes brittle over time and attempting to bend them means they crack or break, unavoidable if you need to perform any maintenance work on the door or panels. Replacing the wheel arch liners is a time consuming job.