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E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 Roadster, Z3 coupe, Z3 M Roadster and Z3 M Coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 12-05-2002, 11:55 AM
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AndyM AndyM is offline
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The Z4's whacky engine subwoofer

Has anybody read the Car and Driver review yet?

They talk about an 'Engine Subwoofer' and it is the first time I have heard of it. I don't have a scanner so I can't scan the article, but here is what they say it is:

'There's a plastic tube about 3" in diameter connected to the intake system between the air filter and engine. The tube winds its way rearward to the firewall, connecting just above the driver's footwell. It is, in effect, a subwoofer for the engine....The tube is sealed by a flexible membrane that vibrates a column of air and sends a convincing facsimile of engine noise into the cabin....We note that at about 4000rpm-when you can really begin to hear this device-it doesn't sound like a straight six. It's the noise from some other, higher strung engine. Still we thought it nifty until our left ear went numb from the resonance at 5500rpm.'

Any thoughts?
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  #2  
Old 12-05-2002, 12:01 PM
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Sounds pretty lame if that's what its supposed to do. If you want to let in engine noise insulate the firewall less or something.
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  #3  
Old 12-05-2002, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kaz
Sounds pretty lame if that's what its supposed to do. If you want to let in engine noise insulate the firewall less or something.
I really can't understand it...Isn't the car loud enough without this thing? They mentioned they thought it was odd seeing as 20 years ago every car company was doing the opposite.
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Old 12-05-2002, 12:30 PM
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I can see it - sorta - if it has the ability to make the engine noise optional. Sealed for those who don't like the noise, opened for those who do?

Since some do spend hundreds on exhausts just to make the car sound 'meatier.'
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Old 12-05-2002, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by The Roadstergal
I can see it - sorta - if it has the ability to make the engine noise optional. Sealed for those who don't like the noise, opened for those who do?

Since some do spend hundreds on exhausts just to make the car sound 'meatier.'
I don't think it makes it "optional". But that's an interesing idea-given this kind of device, it wouldn't be too hard for BMW to engineer a flap that could control the amount of noise that enter the cabin-- they could create a volume control knob for engine noise-- that would actually be pretty cool. Sometimes, I feel like hearing as much engine noise as possible, and other times i just want to cruise and listen to the radio.
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Old 12-05-2002, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by The Roadstergal
I can see it - sorta - if it has the ability to make the engine noise optional. Sealed for those who don't like the noise, opened for those who do?

Since some do spend hundreds on exhausts just to make the car sound 'meatier.'
I don't think it is optional unless you remove it (if that is even possible). The test car was a 3.0 6-speed so I am not sure if it is on the 2.5.

I think that the Z4 exhaust sounds better than the Z3 exhaust, a bit more aggressive and don't really see the need to add the 'sub'.

I am curious if any Z4 owners have noticed it when driving.
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Old 12-05-2002, 12:48 PM
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It's only available on the 3.0. Now I'm curious as to how it sounds; I only test-drove the 2.5, and there wasn't much engine noise in the cabin.
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Old 12-06-2002, 09:37 PM
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The noise difference IS noticable on the 3.0, and the manual states that this is "by design". I guess the "woofer" is there!
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