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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 11-08-2013, 03:02 PM
havocmwf havocmwf is offline
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Mein Auto: Z3 Coupe 3.0i 2001
Question Wheels or Ride Height first

Hi,

Recently bought a Z3 Coupe 3.0i 2001 model and keen to start on some mods.

My rather stupid question is this:

Do I buy and fit my wheels first? (looking at something like Kersher KRS 18x8.5/18x9.5)
I would like the tires to come out to meet the fender as close as possible without rubbing.

or

Do I lower the ride height first? (again looking at a stage 1 coilover set of shocks/springs, so nothing to radical, just enough to give it a nice stance) Also a set of adjustable cambers for the front.

Chicken or the egg I know but it has got me concerned

Need to do it in 2 stages due to cost, so I will do one then the other, just need some advice as to which one first is best.

Many thanks

Havocmwf
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  #2  
Old 11-08-2013, 05:48 PM
Blacklane Blacklane is offline
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You will get more satisfaction from the wheels, so do that first.

To lower the car, you will want to remove the rear subframe and weld-in adjustable camber and toe trailing arm mounts, such as the ones from Ireland Engineering (not the posi-lock ones: they can hit the gas tank and are harder to adjust). Without this, your rear tires will wear like crazy. While you have the subframe off, replace the Rear Subframe Bushings (RSBs) with polyurethane ones from Ireland, AKG, or Powerflex. This is important to keep the differential trunk floor mount from tearing out, which is particularly important for your 3.0. It also greatly improves handing. Never use a polyurethane bushing in the differential mount: it is too stiff and will tear the trunk floor out.

Generally, adjustable front camber plates are for track use. For daily driving, they are usually adjusted back to normal.

Last edited by Blacklane; 12-17-2013 at 04:20 PM.
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  #3  
Old 11-09-2013, 01:33 AM
havocmwf havocmwf is offline
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Mein Auto: Z3 Coupe 3.0i 2001
Thumbs up Wheels or Ride Height first?

Hi Backlane,

Thanks for the response.

I think you read my mind. I fancy doing the wheels first if possible as they will provide instant gratification for sure.

There seems to be no real technical reason for doing one before the other which was my main concern as I have never lowered a car before.

I think wheels first then tackle the bigger job of lowering the car. As I will be going for the coilovers I will have the adjustability for the best ride height. As mentioned I am not looking for the ultimate low rider, just something to give it a sexier stance and improve the handling as a secondary benefit. The roads here in the Philippines are not as good as the ones in Europe/UK so fast back lane driving is not really possible. Too many bloody Caribou or tricycles spring up out of nowhere all the time!!!!

Thanks for the quick feedback and safe driving.

Havocmwf
Z3 Coupe 3.0i
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  #4  
Old 11-09-2013, 05:05 AM
dougmcintyre dougmcintyre is offline
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Mein Auto: 2000 M Coupe, 1997 318ti
Life is never that simple.

Although with larger wheels and appropriately shorter sidewall tires, the wheel gap (the gap between the body and the tire) doesn't change, visually the gap looks larger - an optical illusion due to the gap now being much larger than the tire's sidewall height.

IMHO, to pull off the look, larger wheels require the car to be lowered. Otherwise, the car just looks slightly goofy.

Depending on your taste, larger wheels might provide just the opposite of instant gratification.
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  #5  
Old 11-09-2013, 06:58 AM
havocmwf havocmwf is offline
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Mein Auto: Z3 Coupe 3.0i 2001
Talking

I think you may well be correct about the illusion.

It is just a temp problem if you could even call it that as the car will be lowered in due course to resolve the issue.

I think it might also be easier to get the right ride hight if I have the final wheels fitted rather than guessing what they might be to fit in.

I would rather chose the wheels I want and get the height to suit than the other way around.
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  #6  
Old 11-26-2013, 05:22 PM
Itiswhatitisnt Itiswhatitisnt is offline
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Philippines stand up!

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  #7  
Old 11-30-2013, 08:09 PM
Fred Rice Fred Rice is offline
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The wheels I purchased for my Z3 '98 looked amazing. they are 17" Zinik wheels which I have for sale on this forum. they fit perfect and if you do buy new wheels make sure to get an alignment by a BMW specialist.
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Old 12-01-2013, 01:13 AM
havocmwf havocmwf is offline
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Mein Auto: Z3 Coupe 3.0i 2001
Ride height or Wheels first?

Bought the wheels first
Front - 18 x 8.5 225/40R18
Rear - 18 x 9.5 265/35R18
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Last edited by havocmwf; 12-02-2013 at 04:43 AM.
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  #9  
Old 12-01-2013, 03:25 PM
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Randy Forbes Randy Forbes is offline
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Nice looking car! The wheels are a nice__tasteful__choice too. Dropping it an inch/25.4 mm, or so will only make it look better!
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  #10  
Old 12-01-2013, 05:11 PM
Z3Papa Z3Papa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by havocmwf View Post
Bought the wheels first
These look nice.
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Old 12-02-2013, 04:38 AM
havocmwf havocmwf is offline
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Having to think really hard about the drop. The roads here are not like in Europe or US. They are OK at best and full of holes at worst. They also have lots of speed bumps everywhere. Mainly on side roads. So dropping the height could be a ride comfort / safety issue. I would love to drop it the inch or so as you suggest but I am worried that I will degrade the ride or even damage the car due to the quality of the roads. I think I might get coilovers and see how it goes. I can always raise it back up if things don't work out. At least I will have new shocks and bushes
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  #12  
Old 12-04-2013, 04:38 PM
tohbi tohbi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blacklane View Post
To lower the car, you will want to remove the rear subframe and weld-in adjustable camber and toe trailing arm mounts, such as the ones from Ireland Engineering (not the posi-lock ones: they can hit the gas tank). Without this, your rear tires will wear like crazy. l.
i wonder if this is why my lowered '97 goes thru rear tires so quickly?
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Old 12-04-2013, 08:21 PM
havocmwf havocmwf is offline
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Stance

My understanding (and there are more here with a better technical understanding) is that when you lower the car the wheels start to bow inwards at the top and outwards at the bottom. This is a negative camber. You need to fit the toe & camber kit to correct this otherwise your tyres will suffer from uneven wear and wear out quickly. Take a look at some of the Touring Car Championship racing cars and you can see the negative camber quite clearly. Great for racing not so good for tyre wear. They will also have more positive toe due to the lowering effect. Some positive toe is desirable in a rear wheel driven car but too much will affect handling.

Some people actually want this look or "stance" on their vehicle. Depends on your driving style and cost to run.

What you don't want (I assume) is in the attached photo of the black Cima, unless you are a Japanese style guru

http://www.stancenation.com/2011/08/...panese-sedans/
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  #14  
Old 12-18-2013, 11:52 PM
ticklemejoviemo ticklemejoviemo is offline
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Re: Wheels or Ride Height first

i too have a 3.0 coupe that i am intending on lowering. have the vorshlag camber plates, but was wondering if i should/need to get the camber and toe kits from ireland eng.

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  #15  
Old 12-19-2013, 01:25 AM
havocmwf havocmwf is offline
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Mein Auto: Z3 Coupe 3.0i 2001
Ireland Engineering

From what I can tell from reading this forum, Ireland Engineering have a good name and their Toe/Camber kit for the Z3 is well rated. For what it's worth (not a lot really) I will be getting the kit myself when I finally go for the coilover springs and lower the car. I believe it is also worth changing all the bushes while you have the rear in bits
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  #16  
Old 12-19-2013, 01:49 AM
ticklemejoviemo ticklemejoviemo is offline
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Re: Wheels or Ride Height first

as far as i know, you have to remove rear subframe in order to install though. lots of work. but in the scope of things, if this turns out to be the case, it'd be cheaper in the long run rather than buying new rear tires every X amount of miles (should this kit be NEEDED).

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  #17  
Old 12-19-2013, 04:34 AM
Blacklane Blacklane is offline
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Yes. You need to remove the rear subframe to install the weld-in adjustable rear trailing arm mounts to correct the rear camber and toe. You also need to remove the subframe to install polyurethane Rear Subframe Bushings (RSB). It's not all that bad as long as you have at least a floor jack: Disconnect hand brake cables inside car, remove lower shock bolts and springs, disconnect brake lines, support subframe, remove differential mount bolt(s), remove subframe bolts and plates, lower subframe. ( I have to admit, it will not be as easy as this makes it sound, though).
The Vorshlag camber plates are for the front, but not to correct the camber. Generally, they are used to increase the camber for track use. Normally, the camber is adjusted back to nominal for street use to prevent unnecessary tire wear.
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  #18  
Old 12-19-2013, 08:00 AM
tohbi tohbi is offline
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my car is lowered and the inside rear edge wears quicker than the rest of the tire. i don't live in the city but, if i did, the problem may be less evident because of my driving style.

i regularly use third gear in the turns. partly, this is possible because of the wonderful torquey engine. also, being lower, the car can be pitched sideways at high speed. this wears the outside edge. presumably, if i did less highway driving and more city driving, the tires would wear more evenly but, here in arizona, most of my driving is long, open highway.

i'm looking for a way to mitigate this inner tire wear. welded in camber adjustment is more than i prefer doing. has anyone tried narrower rear tires? how about a square setup, 225s all around? or one could compromise with 235s all around.

the car pushes too much now. any thoughts on what 235s on the front will do, make it understeer worse, better.....?
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