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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.

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Old 01-02-2017, 05:04 PM
Rrudytoo Rrudytoo is offline
First Time BMW *****
Location: Simpsonville, SC
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 49
Mein Auto: 2002 Z3 2.5
For those who have lowered your Z.

Happy New Year!

I have waffled over lowering my Z3 or leaving it at the stock ride height for a while and decided against it. Part of my reasoning is that I can barely get my floor jack under the jack points as it is and that brought me to post this question here today:

Those of you who have lowered your Z3, how do you manage to get under your car to jack it up? Do you incur any problems with bottoming out over speed bumps and such?

Rather than lowering mine I chose to install Powerflex urethane bushings on both sway bars, the front sway bar links, the front lower control arms and the differential mount (the soft/street version) and I really like the improved handling response and feedback.

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Old 01-02-2017, 06:56 PM
Wertles Wertles is offline
Yoda with a library card
Location: Rochester, NY
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 283
Mein Auto: 1999 M Coupe
I'm lowered. Harbor freight has a low profile aluminum jack for pretty cheap that works just fine. Getting my car in my lift takes a little more creativity. I go really slow over speed bumps. No issues yet but I'm not slammed to the ground.
1999 Boston Green M Coupe
2002 Z3 2.5 Automatic Roadster
2013 Ram 3500 Crew Cab Dually, 850 ft/lbs torque, stock and staying that way
1995 318i spray paint red, 170,000 miles and climbing
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Old 01-02-2017, 07:58 PM
Blacklane Blacklane is offline
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Location: Springfield, Ohio, USA
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,875
Mein Auto: 1998 Z3 Roadster
I must have the same Harbor Freight aluminum jack. I love it. It easily fits under the Z3 and is light enough to throw in my truck if needed.

Lowering the Z3 usually means about an inch. You don't really notice any difference in the way the car acts, just how it looks. I sort of had to lower my car when I had three broken springs and couldn't find OEM replacements. It seemed that all aftermarket springs were shorter than OEM. That meant installing Bilstein Sport shocks and the Ireland rear camber and toe adjusters. I don't really have any complaints, though. The car feels nice and looks good. The only time I recall wishing the car was taller was when a skunk ran out in front of me. There was not enough room for it to pass under the car.

BTW: polyurethane belongs only in the rear subframe bushings to stiffen the subframe attachment to the frame. Poly anywhere else is generally is too stiff and often squeaks. A Poly diff mount(s) can literally rip the car apart.

Last edited by Blacklane; 01-02-2017 at 07:59 PM.
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Old 01-02-2017, 09:23 PM
zooz3 zooz3 is offline
Registered User
Location: palmetto, fl
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 49
Mein Auto: 2000 z3 coupe 2.8
I lowered my coupe loved the look. I went back to stock springs due hitting debris in road setting off passenger door airbag. Twice. Sensor in floor.

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Old 01-03-2017, 04:29 AM
KBH22102 KBH22102 is offline
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Location: Mclean, VA
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 619
Mein Auto: 1997 Z3 2.8, 2002 M Coupe
My car is lowered about an inch. I jack it up from the side beam about midway between the two wheels. Speed bumps are not much of an issue as long as I take it slow. I am very wary of parking bumpers as I will scrape/crunch my front bumper cover. I end up backing into spaces more often.
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Old 01-20-2017, 01:58 PM
zuud bye zuud bye is offline
Location: @6400 rpm just across the tax line in HF,WV
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 41
Mein Auto: Z3 00 - ///M3 5-Speed Vrt
When I had the 1996 Lowered I would drive it up on 4 small pieces of 2x4 to get the height needed.

Definitely put the H&R Lowering Springs and Bilstein Sport Struts/Shocks AND get the big H&R Front & Rear Sway Bars at the same time, you WILL love it!!
M52, 2.5L Z3 5-Speed Roadster, 2000 Jet Black 139K Smiles Mine
S52, 3.2L ///M3 5-Speed Vert '98 Cosmos Black 240K Smiles Wifeys
M50, 2.5L 525i E34 Tragi-matic '95 Sedan Alpine White III 209K Smiles Daughters
M30, 3.5L 535i E34 Tragi-matic '90 Sedan Glacier Blue/Indigo 122K Smiles Wifeys & Daughters

M44, 1.9L Z3 5-Speed Roadster '96 Boston Green 264K Smiles Was Mine Insurance Company Total in Jan 2013- Rear End Collision - Paid $4800 !!
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Old 01-25-2017, 08:52 PM
tohbi tohbi is offline
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Location: arizona
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 413
Mein Auto: z3 '97 atlanta blue 2.8
my 97 has the factory sport package which, i'm told, is lowered. at it's age it's starting to have camber issues with inside wear on the rear tires. otherwise, i love the cornering ability.

i'm not sure what to do about the camber issue [causes the inside edge of rear tires to wear prematurely]. an expensive kit is available to build in adjustable camber. i'm thinking of buying a couple of wheels and replace the staggered setup with square. that may help the wear issue a bit. it will allow tire rotation.
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Old 01-29-2017, 12:13 PM
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Sportedge Sportedge is offline
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Location: Montréal, Canada
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 165
Mein Auto: 1998 1.9L Z3 3.73LSD
I run 225/45R18 tires on square BBS RS-GT. New Sachs on all four. The front tires will rub on the fenders, which happens to be the hood in our case, on occasions, such as bottoming between driving down hill and uphill at a fair speed, worst in a corner. Plus, the roads are horrible in my area... and add to this the fact that I'm 210 pounds, (I wont put any numbers on my wife!), this is why I can't lower the car at all in my setup.
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