Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > Z Series > E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-13-2013, 02:06 PM
russpe russpe is offline
Registered User
Location: Mount Laurel NJ
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 17
Mein Auto: 2006 Z4 M Roadster
Z3 @%#@! Rattle

My recently acquired '98 Z3 is coming along nicely but I've got a rattle that's driving me crazy. The sounds appear to originate mainly from the passenger side rear whenever I hit a bump. I thought it was the battery since it wasn't secured yet after fixing that the rattle is still there but the battery was loose and needed hardware anyway. I removed the tool tray and spare tire, no go, still there. While I was under the car I noticed what I think are impact shock absorbers behind the bumper and my Bently service manual refers to them but there's no IPB for the rear bumper so I'm not sure. Both the left and right (impact absorbers I'll call them) are loose, also, I believe the car may have been involved in a rear end collision at some point so here's my question... Do these imact absorbers dislodge or degrade after an accident? How do they work? Do they need to be replaced once they've absorbed an impact or was it just a shoddy repair job? Is there any illustration that shows them as an assembly or better yet an IPB? Has anyone else experienced this problem? Any input would be greatly appreciated. BTW, I checked the E-brake and various areas that were other considerations but I've ruled them out. I also saw a post about "Subframe Vibration Absorbers" in the rear bumper... could these be my problem? Should they be loose and move when I touch them or should they be secured and tight?
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
  #2  
Old 01-13-2013, 03:32 PM
Blacklane Blacklane is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Springfield, Ohio, USA
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,081
Mein Auto: 1998 Z3 Roadster
Are you sure it's not your rear shock mounts? That's a common cause of rattle in these cars. Aftermarket ones from Rogue Engineering or Ireland Engineering are superior to the OEM ones by quite a bit.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-13-2013, 04:38 PM
khammack khammack is offline
Warning - Thin Air
Location: Denver, Colorado
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 686
Mein Auto: 2002 M Roadster/2014 435i
Another possibility is the sway bar.
__________________

2014 435i M-Sport, Mineral Gray, Black Dakota Leather, Driver Assistance Pkg, Prem Pkg, Tech Pkg, 8 Speed Sport AT, Heated Front Seats, Active Cruise Control, BMW Perf Tune w/MPE, BMW Limited Slip Diff, BBS CH Wheels.

2002 M Roadster, Steel Gray Metailic, Gray Nappa Leather, Black Soft Top, Steel Gray Metailic Hard Top, TC Kline Double Adj Shocks with H&R Springs, Stromung Exhaust, SSR Type C Wheels.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-14-2013, 11:50 AM
russpe russpe is offline
Registered User
Location: Mount Laurel NJ
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 17
Mein Auto: 2006 Z4 M Roadster
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blacklane View Post
Are you sure it's not your rear shock mounts? That's a common cause of rattle in these cars. Aftermarket ones from Rogue Engineering or Ireland Engineering are superior to the OEM ones by quite a bit.

OK. I'm going to replace the rear shocks and rear shock mounts next. Does anyone have the complete list of parts needed to do this? I see there are quite a few options but I'd like to hear what the general consensus is.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-14-2013, 01:50 PM
Blacklane Blacklane is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Springfield, Ohio, USA
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,081
Mein Auto: 1998 Z3 Roadster
That depends on how deep you want to go based on your budget and driving style. If you do a search here* on "shocks," you will get lots of threads ranging from simple Bilstein replacements to full Koni coil-overs.

For the back shocks, all you need are shocks and shock mounts. The job is quite simple really. Or you can go all-out and replace the sway bar bushings, the Rear Trailing Arm Bushings (RTABs), and the subframe bushings.

The subframe bushings should be replaced with polyurethane ones to stiffen the attachment to help avoid the differential mount failure that many Z3s experience. Subframe bushings are not simple, so read-up on it, decide what approach you want to take (subframe tool, shop press, sawzall, cutting torch, etc.).

You can consider polyurethane for the other bushings, since it is harder than rubber, but all of those things move and polyurethane squeaks loudly. Rubber is fine for daily driving and much quieter.

*At the top of the forum page, on the right, is a button called "search this forum."
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-15-2013, 11:27 AM
amancuso's Avatar
amancuso amancuso is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: New Jersey
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,428
Send a message via AIM to amancuso
Mein Auto: 128i, 330i, Z3 2.3, R56
I was going to say rear shock mounts too. You should check out our little group on facebook
http://www.facebook.com/groups/GardenStateZSCCA/
or our webpage
www.gszscca.org

Our next fix it day will be in Late April or early May.

Al.
__________________

Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-15-2013, 07:20 PM
smayo964 smayo964 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: MS
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 151
Mein Auto: 1999 Z3 Roadster
Khammack, you're a genius! LOL I have been chasing my little knocking from both sides for months. I already have the Ireland mounts, etc, but never looked at the sway bar. Simple, but effective sugestion. Thanx.

Sent from my SGH-T989 using Bimmer App
__________________
S. Maykowski, Columbus MS.
My '99 Z3 Alpine White 2.8L Speed Buggy
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-16-2013, 06:57 AM
babyZ babyZ is offline
Enthusiast
Location: Dandridge, TN
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 62
Mein Auto: 1997 BMW Z3
I agree with almost all of the above statements. The OEM shock mounts, especially the rubber bushings are awful if they are original to the car.
I replaced mine with the Turner Motorsport billet aluminum ones with new bushings and have had no rattle.

Good luck with it!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-21-2013, 08:01 AM
russpe russpe is offline
Registered User
Location: Mount Laurel NJ
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 17
Mein Auto: 2006 Z4 M Roadster
Quote:
Originally Posted by khammack View Post
Another possibility is the sway bar.
Thanks khammack you nailed it. I inspected the shock mounts and didn't see anything that would justify the noise I was hearing so I kept looking and found that 1 end of my sway bar wasn't even connected! Somehow it slipped out of the bushing so it's just floating and colliding with other suspension components whenever I hit a bump. In the repair manual it suggests removing the sway bar and bench mounting the new bushing/mount(s) then reinstalling the assembly. The old bushing is still there but not connected so I'm torn between reinstalling it or going new. I know what I should do but these jobs always end up being harder to do then you thought. Has anyone performed this procedure?
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-21-2013, 02:37 PM
amancuso's Avatar
amancuso amancuso is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: New Jersey
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,428
Send a message via AIM to amancuso
Mein Auto: 128i, 330i, Z3 2.3, R56
I've not done it but I know some people who have. I'll see if I can get them to chime in if khammack doesn't respond.
__________________

Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 02-14-2013, 07:35 AM
russpe russpe is offline
Registered User
Location: Mount Laurel NJ
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 17
Mein Auto: 2006 Z4 M Roadster
OK, the saga continues... I had a BMW mechanic replace the sway bar bushings and mounts as well as the rear shocks, bushings and mounts at a cost of $700. I drove the car home and the rattle (very loud and annoying rattle) was as bad as ever. I really thought I had it this time but no luck. I can't even appreciate the improved suspension because every bump I hit causes such a clatter that it drives me crazy. The lions share of the noise originates in the passenger side rear but nothing seems to be loose under the car. The only thing left that I can think of is to remove the rear bumper and remove the 15 lb counterweights (2) which (if loose) could be heavy enough to cause such a rattle and while its off I can try to see if there is anything else I can find loose. I'd like to know if anyone else has had this problem or heard of this problem. I would really like some help diagnosing this noise.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 02-14-2013, 10:15 AM
amancuso's Avatar
amancuso amancuso is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: New Jersey
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,428
Send a message via AIM to amancuso
Mein Auto: 128i, 330i, Z3 2.3, R56
Hi Again!
Sorry you are still hearing a rattle back there. We're having our next meet on 3/3/13 please feel free to attend and maybe someone can help you out there. PM me for details.

Al.
__________________

Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 02-14-2013, 10:31 PM
atopa2002 atopa2002 is offline
Registered User
Location: Richmond,Virginia
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 22
Mein Auto: 2009 e90 335i
Quote:
Originally Posted by russpe View Post
OK, the saga continues... I had a BMW mechanic replace the sway bar bushings and mounts as well as the rear shocks, bushings and mounts at a cost of $700. I drove the car home and the rattle (very loud and annoying rattle) was as bad as ever. I really thought I had it this time but no luck. I can't even appreciate the improved suspension because every bump I hit causes such a clatter that it drives me crazy. The lions share of the noise originates in the passenger side rear but nothing seems to be loose under the car. The only thing left that I can think of is to remove the rear bumper and remove the 15 lb counterweights (2) which (if loose) could be heavy enough to cause such a rattle and while its off I can try to see if there is anything else I can find loose. I'd like to know if anyone else has had this problem or heard of this problem. I would really like some help diagnosing this noise.
I went thought the same problem , diagnosing changing everything as suggested above, so it was left with the counter weights, just removed the bumper and removed those useless weights and the car is so quiet now, the bushing holding it was worn and it was shaking like crazy, my car now feels lighter, no change in handling or vibration.so take them off, it took me 30 min s with simple tools, I bought wrench the torex to take the bumper off.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 02-15-2013, 08:09 AM
russpe russpe is offline
Registered User
Location: Mount Laurel NJ
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 17
Mein Auto: 2006 Z4 M Roadster
Quote:
Originally Posted by atopa2002 View Post
I went thought the same problem , diagnosing changing everything as suggested above, so it was left with the counter weights, just removed the bumper and removed those useless weights and the car is so quiet now, the bushing holding it was worn and it was shaking like crazy, my car now feels lighter, no change in handling or vibration.so take them off, it took me 30 min s with simple tools, I bought wrench the torex to take the bumper off.
Wow! I can't tell you how much I appreciate you taking your time to help me out. I was so discouraged when I drove my car (after the work) and that horrible noise was still there. What surprises me is that there is really nothing (until now) that I've been able to find in this truly awesome forum that addresses this problem. I think it's only the 2.8s that have the counter weights but even so wouldn't you think the problem would be more prevalent? Anyway, I'm looking forward to removing the weights but just one question... what is the procedure? Do you have to remove the bumper or other components? Could you just describe the method you used? Thanks again, in advance for your help.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 02-15-2013, 09:05 AM
Giznaz Giznaz is offline
Need a tow?
Location: PacNW
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 244
Mein Auto: '99 Z3 2.8/'04 X5
You know, something else you may want to check would be the gas tank dampners.

The straps holding up the gas tank have rubber pads in places. The rubbers fall out, the straps and gas tank rattle.

That would be right behind the seats, and if the passenger side strap was loose. . .
__________________

Last edited by Giznaz; 02-15-2013 at 09:06 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 02-15-2013, 10:49 AM
russpe russpe is offline
Registered User
Location: Mount Laurel NJ
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 17
Mein Auto: 2006 Z4 M Roadster
Well I did check the gas tank but not for the rubber insulators, I'll do that thanks. However if you heard this noise you'd agree that it was something further back. If you look at my earlier post you'd see I suspected the counterweights (SWAG) but since there was nothing in the forum I figured it wasn't the culprit. After all I really don't want to do more work then I have to. Now I can't wait till a break in the weather and have at it!
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 02-15-2013, 12:05 PM
atopa2002 atopa2002 is offline
Registered User
Location: Richmond,Virginia
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 22
Mein Auto: 2009 e90 335i
It's very easy,the metal bumper or hard part and the plastic part is help together by two torx bolt,size T50 or 55,jack the rare and look under the car where the bumper is attached to the car,you will see the two bolts at each side holding the bumper to the subframe ,those are the only big bolts you need to take out ,there are two small screws attaching the edge of the bumper to the wheel well plastic,take it out and use your hand to remove the edge of the bumper from the wheel well plastic .you don't have to take out the bumper all the way,the reverse lights wires is still attached,support it with a small chair.

The weights is held to the subframe by a bolt unscrew it then the weights is freed reattached the bumper making sure the side ends get hooked or locked in to the wheel well plastic and then screw the torx bolts back.
It's very easy,I'm not mechanically inclined but it took me just 30mins.
I have had my z3 for a year and its my first car I have worked on my self,changing oil,trans fluid,diff fluid ,fuel filter etc,
John
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 02-18-2013, 05:57 PM
tohbi tohbi is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: arizona
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 387
Mein Auto: z3 '97 atlanta blue 2.8
convertible tops rattle too.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 02-20-2013, 07:37 AM
russpe russpe is offline
Registered User
Location: Mount Laurel NJ
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 17
Mein Auto: 2006 Z4 M Roadster
Yes convertible tops rattle and so does everything else on this car :-) But the noise I'm getting is more like bowling balls rolling around in the trunk. As soon as I get a break in the weather I'll be pulling out the counterweights in the bumper and see how things are after that.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 02-20-2013, 12:28 PM
Blacklane Blacklane is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Springfield, Ohio, USA
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,081
Mein Auto: 1998 Z3 Roadster
I wonder if you are hearing the fuel tank clunk that results from the foam strap pads falling out:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=281932

At least it's easy to inspect.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 03-20-2013, 09:46 AM
E36/7 E36/7 is offline
Registered User
Location: Toronto
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 38
Mein Auto: 1996 Z3; Ducati Monster
Quote:
Originally Posted by smayo964 View Post
Khammack, you're a genius! LOL I have been chasing my little knocking from both sides for months. I already have the Ireland mounts, etc, but never looked at the sway bar. Simple, but effective sugestion. Thanx.

Sent from my SGH-T989 using Bimmer App

Is this the front sway bar that you mounted? Thanks.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 05-31-2013, 12:15 PM
russpe russpe is offline
Registered User
Location: Mount Laurel NJ
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 17
Mein Auto: 2006 Z4 M Roadster
Rattle solved!

OK I finally got it! First I'll tell you what it wasn't :-) (based on what I tried)

It wasn't the rear shock mounts (but I replaced them)

It wasn't the rear shocks (but I replaced them).

It wasn't the disconnected rear sway bar (but I reconnected it).

It wasn't the spare tire/assy (but I tightened it all up).

It wasn't the tool tray or jack (but I refastened it).

It wasn't the loose battery (but I replaced the missing brackets).

It wasn't the loose gas tank (but I re-secured it anyway).

It wasn't the loose muffler/exhaust system (but I replaced all the hangers).

It wasn't the 10 lb vibration absorbers integrated into the bumper hangers (tossed them).

Are you ready?

It was the rear bumper hangers/shock absorbers!!!!!!

The one on the drivers side was loose and broken and the one on the passenger side was loose. This car was involved in a rear end accident at some time prior to my ownership and although the repair work was cosmetically acceptable it was not properly repaired or reassembled. After I removed the rear bumper and fender shirts with no less than 7 wrenches (needed to fit the array of wrong hardware that was used in place of the right hardware) I was able to see the awful repair work that was done. WOW! Talk about shoddy! Anyway, I bought a used bumper hanger/shock absorber ($50 instead of $150) and proper hardware, removed the useless 10LB vibration absorbers from both bumper hangers, replaced the broken one and tightened the loose one. Replaced the bumper and fender skirts using new hardware and went for a test drive. Holy #$%! the noise was gone! This car is now 100% drive-able even tho it still needs a little TLC to clean up the interior a bit. I have been driving it for a few weeks now and I'm ready to pass it on to my son, knowing it's road worthy (and fun as hell to drive)! So the bottom line after all the work is about $9,000. This includes the purchase price and all the parts and labor which includes about $2,000 in front end suspension work, new tires, brakes, rotors, front calipers, rear shocks, tuneup, various odds and ends. Was it worth it for a 1998 Z3 with 96,000 miles? Maybe not but it sure is a nice car now. In fact I liked it so much I just bought a 2005 Z4 for myself! The only thing different is this one is perfect and NEEDS NO WORK!!!!!
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 06-01-2013, 06:32 PM
tohbi tohbi is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: arizona
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 387
Mein Auto: z3 '97 atlanta blue 2.8
the advantage is you know the car intimately now.

of course, we expect a comparison between your z3 and z4.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 06-03-2013, 11:04 AM
russpe russpe is offline
Registered User
Location: Mount Laurel NJ
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 17
Mein Auto: 2006 Z4 M Roadster
After a weekend of driving the Z4 I'm ready to compare the 2 cars. Keep in mind I'm no expert but I know a good car when I drive one. I also own a 2000 Pontiac WS6 modified for 1/4 mile racing with 625 hp and a 2003 Audi A6 2.7T both of which I bought new a long time ago. I haven't bought any cars since then because both are holding up nicely... until now. The 2005 Z4 I chose was a nice one, 50K miles clean (near perfect) inside and out. It's got a 3.0l with an auto transmission (almost didn't buy it for this reason) which included the "sport" option. The first thing I noticed was how refined it is compared to the Z3. All the bells and whistles on the Z4 really put it in the luxury class while the Z3 is very basic and rough by comparison. Everything about the Z4 feels polished. The interior and styling are very nice and the ride is tight and nearly rattle free which gives it a new car feel. Both cars have the power convertible top but the Z4 has a glass window and can be lowed hands free even from outside the car by using the key. When I drive the Z3 it feels powerful, not so much from HP but from gearing and torque which combine to give it a thrilling high performance feel. Going thru the gears is a pleasure and down shifting isn't nearly as necessary as I do it since it has power in every gear but its fun so I do it anyway. When I first drove the Z4 I felt it was smooth and responsive and slightly more powerful than the 2.8l Z3, until I used the "sport" option in manual (auto) mode. No kidding, it was like unleashing a lion! I'm used to powerful cars and my WS6 has nothing to fear but I'm afraid the Z3 would lose this race... and not by a little either. I'm not taking anything away from the Z3 because it is a blast to drive but the Z4 is in another class all together. The luxury, power, styling and ride are just that good. With all that said, both cars have a lot to offer and the only reason I bought the Z4 was because I drove the Z3 and loved it.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 06-08-2013, 08:43 AM
tohbi tohbi is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: arizona
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 387
Mein Auto: z3 '97 atlanta blue 2.8
thx for the review russ. probably, many of us who have one or the other have considered purchasing the one we don't own.

i've thought the z4 would push even worse than the z3 but haven't read too much about the handling characteristics of the z4. it looks heavier and bigger.

i like russ's characterization of the z3 as being less refined than the z4. perhaps oddly, this is what i like about it. back in the day, i owned a couple of triumph spitfires that compare in appearance to the z3, if not in quality. well, suffice it to say the triumphs were a nighmare mechanically. the z3 is everything the old british roadsters wanted to be.

maybe i'm primitive but i like that my z3 doesn't have a top liner. those metal struts make me feel nostalgic. i wish the z3 and z4 had real frames. sheetmetal frames are okay for passenger cars but i like the real thing on a sports car. i miss the front opening hood on the old spitfires; one could sit on the front tire and work on the engine for hours, many many hours.......

which car is faster matters only on the racetrack. for we street drivers it's the feeling of speed that's invigorating and that's the main attraction for the z3 for me. it's dependable and fun to drive, especially around turns.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > Z Series > E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:45 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2011 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms