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E36 /7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 roadster and coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 03-19-2003, 03:16 PM
scy scy is offline
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Location: Minneapolis, MN
 
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Mein Auto: '00 Z3 Coupe
Will an M Coupe suspension fit a Z3 Coupe?

Someone is selling a set of H&R coilovers for an M Roadster/Coupe.
I'm thinking about buying them for my '00 Z3 Coupe.
To all the experts out there, will this fit without modification?
If not? How much (read expensive) modifications to the Z3 do I have to do to make this work?

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 03-19-2003, 04:52 PM
JediZ JediZ is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 Z3 Coupe 3.0i
Should bolt right on if you get M Coupe upper strut mounts etc. The M Coupe geometry is similar to the E36 M3 (front only). Many 3 series E36ers have converted their suspension to M3 specs. The same can be said for Z3s to M Coupe geometry.
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  #3  
Old 03-20-2003, 11:34 AM
gbrown gbrown is offline
M coupe
Location: SoCal
 
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Mein Auto: 2001 M Coupe
Pay close attention on the mounts for the front sway bar. I think they differ and recall running into this problem with the 3 sets of FK coil overs I tried a while back.
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  #4  
Old 03-20-2003, 09:13 PM
Daver Daver is offline
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The front swaybar on the Z3 attaches to the control arms; on the M, the swaybars have end-links that attach to lugs up on the strut. You can still use your Z3 swaybars with M-struts... you should be able to use the M-swaybar on your Z3 if you have M-struts.
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  #5  
Old 03-21-2003, 02:15 PM
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dwaynemosley dwaynemosley is offline
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I installed complete front strut assemblies, and rear springs and shocks on a '00 Z3 coupe. The items were removed from a '00 M coupe. The new config aligned perfectly using M coupe specs. I left the sway bars as originally installed.

I can recall only a couple of differences. First, the bottom rear mounting bolts for the shocks were different lengths. It will require a different bolt or spacers to make it work. Secondly, the steering effort increased quite a bit. It wasn't a bad thing, just different. One positive result was that the increased caster drastically reduced the propensity for the car to "tramline". It was a very noticeable change.

Hope this helps,
Dwayne
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  #6  
Old 03-21-2003, 04:35 PM
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Ron Stygar Ron Stygar is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by dwaynemosley


First, the bottom rear mounting bolts for the shocks were different lengths. It will require a different bolt or spacers to make it work.
Correct.
The M coupe ones are M12x1.5x60 mm long
The non M Coupe ones are M12x1.5x70 mm long.
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  #7  
Old 03-21-2003, 06:50 PM
Daver Daver is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by dwaynemosley
.... One positive result was that the increased caster drastically reduced the propensity for the car to "tramline". It was a very noticeable change.

Hope this helps,
Dwayne
Dwayne,

this sounds like something I need to do ... I certainly wouldn't mind a stiffer wheel in the car, and to reduce tramlining... that'd be super! Did you reverse the strut mounts or install them as spec for an M?

daver
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  #8  
Old 03-21-2003, 07:09 PM
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Randy Forbes Randy Forbes is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Daver
Dwayne,

this sounds like something I need to do ... I certainly wouldn't mind a stiffer wheel in the car, and to reduce tramlining... that'd be super! Did you reverse the strut mounts or install them as spec for an M?

daver
Daver,
Just installing the M upper strut bearings as intended (rt on rt/lft on lft) with be an increase in both castor and camber angle from a stock Z3. Naturally, reversing them will increase the camber even more (up to about -3.0 degrees) but I am unsure whether the castor angle increases or decreases when they are reversed.
Castor is a little more trouble for the home mechanic to measure
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  #9  
Old 03-21-2003, 10:21 PM
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TeamM3 TeamM3 is offline
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you actually want to use the MZ3 swaybar endlink arrangement over the Z3 endlinks. The swaybar end position is the same for both the MZ3 and Z3 swaybar, the endlinks just go down the the control arm on the Z3 and up to a bracket on the strut housing for the MZ3. You just need the M3/MZ3 OE or aftermarket endlinks, they will bolt right up to the Z3 swaybar if the struts have the appropriate brackets. I would recommend the Ground Control endlinks. Fitting the endlink brackets to the struts and converting to the M endlink arrangements is actually one of the little known tricks for the Z3. They just didn't put that endlink setup on the M for nothing, you know ...

The only other significant difference between the Z3 vs MZ3 front strut is that the OE spring perches are different from each other, which isn't an issue with a coilover setup.

The lower spindle mounting bolts are simply dependent on which spindle you use. Since you are re-using the same spindle you simply re-use the same mounting bolts. The brackets on the struts are identical.

The only potential issue you may have is the balance between the springs and the OE swaybars. The Z3 front swaybar is larger and the rear swaybar smaller than the MZ3 swaybars. The OE springrates are matched to those swaybars, how that will pan out with the coilover rates is unknown to me.

Please let me know if I can be of further assistance

TeamBMWZ4@aol.com
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  #10  
Old 03-21-2003, 11:22 PM
Daver Daver is offline
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Excellent info!

When I ordered the GC setup for my Roadster (2.8), I asked for the strut-housings with the swaybar lugs... this was to give me more options in the future.

Jay wanted to have a look at my car, so I drove it up to the GC shop. He noted that there is a difference between the M and Z3 bushings... something like the Z3 uses soft rubber bushings whereas the M uses harder/solid bushings. He also said if I went with an M swaybar arrangement, then I could switch over to aluminum control arms (a la M3).

I've since traded over to a Z3 Coupe (3.0) and moved all the GC gear to that car. Recently got an email from Jay... said he had a new set of rear-coils I'd want to check out. I will talk to him about the end-links at that time.

Now, I'm running a soft coil up-front (250's) ... perhaps the softer coils work well with the heavier swaybars. Rears are 525's... overall the car feels pretty well balanced... turn-in is sharp, and a fair amount of the understeer has been tuned out. I need to get the car on an autocross course to feel out the edges... might be a tad too far towards oversteer.

Any thoughts about the strut mounts? I could go with BMW M mounts, or go with GC adjustables. The GC adjustables aren't a LOT more expensive than the BMW parts... at least not the prices I end up paying.
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