Design, Build, Test, Iterate

Posts Tagged ‘DIY’

Z4 power top lock fix (also my first 3D print!)

Belated post from July 6. The broken power top was the issue that led me to drain the battery and to watch as the car dumped half of its coolant onto the concrete. With some of the more critical fixes out of the way, I used this as an excuse to learn how to use […]

Z4 headlight restoration

Belated post from June 3. Careful wet sanding from 1000 down to 2500 grit, some polishing compound, and clearcoat (and more sanding/polishing) made my headlights as good as new.

Z4 valve cover gasket replacement

Belated post from May 23. Replaced valve cover gasket to resolve a slow oil leak and mayonnaise under the oil cap. The more I work on this car, the simpler it seems. With the cylinder head so easily in view like this, even the infamous “blown head gasket” isn’t so menacing anymore.

Z4 DISA valve fix

Belated post from May 21. For a couple of months, I’d thought the gurgling noise emanating from somewhere under the dash was caused by air trapped in some fluid — coolant, maybe. It turned out to be a loose piece of plastic in the intake manifold.

Z4 startup RPM drop — bad ICV?

For the past few months, my engine has been occasionally nearly (but never actually) stalling immediately after ignition. When it happens, it never occurs more than once. The engine idles at around 600 RPM after the warm-up period, and throttle response seems normal. I thought this might be caused by a clogged idle control valve […]

Z4 AUX cable install

Belated post from May 2. Listening to the top 50 hits on the radio is fine until they become the top 50 songs you never want to hear again.

Z4 front strut replacement and oil change

Belated post from March 28. These fixes were my last before I left LA. The two-piece strut brace probably wasn’t critical to the car’s structural integrity, but it definitely bothered me, as did the dark engine oil.

Project: Z4

Belated post from March 8. While in California for my SpaceX internship, I bought a 2003 BMW Z4 3.0i, codename E85. So far, it’s been a wonderful box of broken things to fix. Many have been simple problem diagnosis and repair, but I’ve had fun with a few of them. This is the first of […]

DIY half-wave dipole antennas for 900 MHz XBees

The 900 MHz XBees I bought back in May 2012 came without antennas (not a mistake — the ones with whip antennas were out of stock, and I couldn’t wait). It turned out that making effective dipole antennas out of 50 ohm coax cable is fairly easy in practice: I followed this tutorial to make […]

More flight videos

Ever since I achieved stable flight, I have gone outside for flight testing almost every day for the past week. Check out some videos after the break.