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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 and coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 12-25-2009, 05:25 PM
sportsguy sportsguy is offline
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Location: Kirkland, WA
 
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Mein Auto: 09 FJR1300 06 Jetta 03 Z4
Z4 - taking to mechanic in morning - might join you all soon :)

Well, a quick test drive last week have both my wife and I interested enough in this particular 2004 Z4 3.0 that I'm taking it into my mechanic tomorrow for a review. If it passes, I'm making the dealer an offer. Their current price is nuts right now, but they've already suggested they're willing to deal.

What can I tell you...

31,xxx miles
automatic trans (I want this for Seattle traffic )
3.0
black over beige leather (love that combo)

Unsure what else it has that would be considered options, because I have no idea what was standard. Suffice it to say, it's fine the way it is for right now, IMO.

I was impressed with the ride quality on the mounted run flats - very sporty, but me likey!

Some of you will get this, others will think I'm nuts, but...

I'm buying the car to replace my '09 Yamaha FJR1300 as my daily driver. The Z4 is a pretty close approximation of the feeling I get on my bike, too.

Finger's crossed that this unit checks out with my mechanic. Well worth the small cost to have a pro check it out, even with the low-ish miles.

If this one fails, there are two others local to me I'll be checking out. I just like this color combo most. What I don't like is the feeling chrome on one wheel... Oh well, "replaceable" & "bargaining chip" for the moment.

Clean carfax, too, which is a plus.

I'll post up if I score a hit with this one.
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  #2  
Old 12-25-2009, 06:24 PM
ebruder's Avatar
ebruder ebruder is offline
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I would think you would have negotiated a price that was acceptable to you and then have a mechanic check it out. Now you are spending money for a prepurchase inspection on a car you might not want to buy because of the price, and are, at the minimum, letting the dealer know that he has you pretty well hooked.

You are absolutely doing the right thing in getting an independent prepurchase inspection, but see if you can delay that until after you negotiate a price.

My 2 Cents. Good luck in any case.

EB
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  #3  
Old 12-25-2009, 06:45 PM
sportsguy sportsguy is offline
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Mein Auto: 09 FJR1300 06 Jetta 03 Z4
I already told them my offer will be based on the inspection.

This car is the priciest of all currently for sale locally, so I want some ammo from the mechanic (if there is any). I also want to know what the mechanic feels the relative value of the car is.

I debated negotiating the price beofrehand, but with a couple other potential units in play, I can simply walk away if I don't like the dealers number. Investing in the inspection is, to my mind, going to happen either way, and if I negotiate a price up front, it's tough to renegotiate the price again.

In the end, I'm just as happy to walk away and look elsewhere if I cannot get the deal I want. There's no emotion attached... yet...
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  #4  
Old 12-25-2009, 06:50 PM
KenTenn KenTenn is offline
KenTenn
Location: Nashville, TN
 
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Mein Auto: '06 M Roadster
Tell your mechanic to check for any indications of accidents - carfax is a joke. I just bought a car with a clean car fax and then found it had been wrecked. I traded an '03 black n Tan 3.0 in on an M Roadster. The 3.0 was a great car. Like you, I bought it with about 30k miles and put another 30k on it before trading it on the M. I would think you should be able to buy that car for about $15,000 or so. If not, keep looking. Find an enthusiast that has taken good care of a low mileage Z. They are out there. Good luck.
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  #5  
Old 12-26-2009, 08:47 AM
12thBMW 12thBMW is offline
BMW Only Since 1972
Location: Oregon
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
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Mein Auto: '06Z4, '05X3
Is this going to be a CPO'ed car? In case you don't already know, the N52 engine in the Z4 has a valve problem which causes the engine to "tick". There are LOTS of posts about this over the past years. Don't know what such a replacement would cost out of pocket, but if CPO'ed they should cover it. The inspection may or may not find this, since it tends to occur sporadically; esp., after driving from cold start and stopping before the engine gets fully warmed up, then letting it sit overnight and the next morning when started...the engine "ticks" (mine "hammered").

Also, there was a change in several things at the '06 model year; bluetooth standard, 6sp auto (unless you're getting a stick), and some other things. These may or may not be important to you. The list of differences are posted a bunch of different places.

Enjoy...my Z4 is the most fun driving I've had since my '72 2002!!
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  #6  
Old 12-26-2009, 07:06 PM
sportsguy sportsguy is offline
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Mein Auto: 09 FJR1300 06 Jetta 03 Z4
Thanks for the feedback guys. Much appreciated.

I opted to pass on the 2004 Z4 after the inspection today. The car needs a new steering rack, and the dealer's offer to me was to replace the battery, because it was low on voltage. WOW! Amazing offer.

Found a 2003 Z4 with less mileage (28,502) instead - THAT comes home on Monday. Very clean car.

I have read about the ticking noise, and, IIRC, also read it's not an engine killer. Coming from a DIESEL car, ah, it might simply make me feel at home if it develops... *chuckles & knocks on wood*
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  #7  
Old 12-26-2009, 07:19 PM
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ebruder ebruder is offline
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Welcome. Enjoy and good luck with your new car.

Part of negotiations is being able to say "no" and walk away.

Again, enjoy!

EB
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  #8  
Old 12-26-2009, 07:40 PM
sportsguy sportsguy is offline
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Location: Kirkland, WA
 
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Mein Auto: 09 FJR1300 06 Jetta 03 Z4
Quote:
Originally Posted by ebruder View Post
Welcome. Enjoy and good luck with your new car.

Part of negotiations is being able to say "no" and walk away.

Again, enjoy!

EB
Thanks.

The funny thing will be if the other dealer calls me tomorrow to discuss things further. I did tell them I was open to discussing the pricing, but I also told them I was looking at another car - even odds they call me during the week to "discuss" things further... LOL

I plan to take the long, winding backroads home from Mount Vernon to Kirkland on Monday, so I'll get to enjoy almost 2 hours of back-road cruising on my ride home.
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  #9  
Old 12-27-2009, 06:55 AM
dougmcintyre dougmcintyre is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sportsguy View Post
What can I tell you...

31,xxx miles
Quote:
Originally Posted by sportsguy View Post
The car needs a new steering rack,
WOW. How is this possible?
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  #10  
Old 12-27-2009, 08:31 AM
sportsguy sportsguy is offline
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Location: Kirkland, WA
 
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Mein Auto: 09 FJR1300 06 Jetta 03 Z4
Quote:
Originally Posted by dougmcintyre View Post
WOW. How is this possible?
Both myself and the mechanic asked ourselves the same question. I mean, I know the car was a rental in it's first life, but still...

At first I thought it was simply the roads I was driving on, that the steering wasn't "sticky", but the the tires we catching groves and edges in the crappy pavement of the road surface. I thus focused on other things to look/listen for.

The next trip to the dealer I noted the passenger side front rim's chrome was peeling off. Oddly, it was chrome applied OVER the original chrome... hmmm. Knowing that is wrong, my spidey senses were tingling...

Now, yesterday, by the time we hit the highway, I knew something was wrong with the steering. While driving, the wheel would "set" in a spot - didn't matter if you were in a turn, or in a straight line, the effort to move the wheel from the spot it was in ramped up noticeably. Like trying to pull two magnets apart - that kind of effort - strong magnets. While trying to drive one-handed, the effort required to move the wheel would result in the car jerking a bit.

So, the car goes up on the hoist, we take the front tires off, pull the ball joints apart and what do you know? Everything in the steering system operates smoothly - expect when you turn the steering wheel. Back to sticky.

$1200 gets me the new rack, installed with taxes.

As I'm driving to see the next Z4, it occurs to me...

The first Z4 was likely bounced off a curb - wheel first. THAT kind of hit would hurt the steering rack, any other bent bits are easily replaced, and the rim, when fixed, would likely have been re-chromed if, say, a rental company just wanted a cheap, quick fix.

Now, the second car, one year older and with only 28,500 miles on it - that one was just fine. Steering felt great, looked excellent underneath, minus some light rash where someone scratched a speed bump once. Otherwise, the car checked out nicely. It needs an alignment, but the tires look evenly worn thus far, and have around half tread left, so at least I know new tires aren't hiding an alignment issue.

One fender (driver's rear) was repainted, but all the body lines check out straight and true. The panel gaps are even in BMW spec (thanks to the FAQs here for that tidbit).

Brakes are roughly 50%, to, but fine for now.

...and now I have to admit...

After I sold my highly modified Golf TDI, which was silver, I thought for sure I was done with silver cars - just too boring, I thought. While sitting at the dealer signing papers yesterday evening, though, I happened to look out the window and see the setting sunlight reflected off the silver fender's curve. WOW! I kinda melted at that point. Thankfully we were just signing papers, and the negotiations were all done, price settled (happily at pretty much what I asked).

I am happily supported by my wife in this purchase, and even have the thumbs up to shop for some farkles... so first up is a wind blocker kit. Our drive yesterday, top down to 70/80 mph, with a wind deflector kit in the first Z4 confirmed how comfy these cars are - even at 40 degrees. Heck, we didn't even find it that noisy, so I'm sold. I want the plexi kit, though, instead of the mesh kit. Online price seems cheaper, too, plus I like the clarity in the rear view mirror.

So, tomorrow I hit the bank, grab the cheque, trek the 53 miles back to nowhere, grab the keys to my little umwandelbar sportauto and tell the GPS to "ignore highways" for a back road romp back home, whereupon I need to juggle the Jetta and the Yamaha to organize the "new world order" of parking.
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  #11  
Old 12-27-2009, 09:41 AM
That Guy That Guy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sportsguy View Post
Now, yesterday, by the time we hit the highway, I knew something was wrong with the steering. While driving, the wheel would "set" in a spot - didn't matter if you were in a turn, or in a straight line, the effort to move the wheel from the spot it was in ramped up noticeably. Like trying to pull two magnets apart - that kind of effort - strong magnets. While trying to drive one-handed, the effort required to move the wheel would result in the car jerking a bit.
I've got the steering rack issue you described so well above. However, my car only displays this trait when the ambient temperature is greater than 92-95 Fahrenheit (car operating temperature does not impact occurrence). Of course I test drove the car and purchased it on a fine April day in Salt Lake so needless to say it was far from 95 degrees.

Steering rack. I always thought it had to do with the electric assist but never could understand how electronics would be sensitive to ambient temperature.
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  #12  
Old 12-27-2009, 10:27 AM
jman1975 jman1975 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sportsguy View Post
Thanks for the feedback guys. Much appreciated.

I opted to pass on the 2004 Z4 after the inspection today. The car needs a new steering rack, and the dealer's offer to me was to replace the battery, because it was low on voltage. WOW! Amazing offer.

Found a 2003 Z4 with less mileage (28,502) instead - THAT comes home on Monday. Very clean car.

I have read about the ticking noise, and, IIRC, also read it's not an engine killer. Coming from a DIESEL car, ah, it might simply make me feel at home if it develops... *chuckles & knocks on wood*


love my 2003 (when its not in storage anyway)

no issues either with the well documented defects on this forum
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  #13  
Old 12-27-2009, 03:09 PM
sportsguy sportsguy is offline
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Location: Kirkland, WA
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
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Mein Auto: 09 FJR1300 06 Jetta 03 Z4
Quote:
Originally Posted by jman1975 View Post


love my 2003 (when its not in storage anyway)

no issues either with the well documented defects on this forum
Love hearing things like this.

Just cleaned the garage after a 3 hour ride on the FJR (can you say frosty/icy? *shiver*) - lots of room for the Z4 to come home to.
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  #14  
Old 12-27-2009, 04:50 PM
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jmillet jmillet is offline
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Location: Seattle WA
 
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Mein Auto: E86 Z4 M Coupe 7LM08376
Quote:
Originally Posted by sportsguy View Post
SNIP
So, tomorrow I hit the bank, grab the cheque, trek the 53 miles back to nowhere, grab the keys to my little umwandelbar sportauto and tell the GPS to "ignore highways" for a back road romp back home, whereupon I need to juggle the Jetta and the Yamaha to organize the "new world order" of parking.
Welcome to the Pacific Northwest Z4 Group. Your local BMW CCA Chapter has lots of Z4 owners. Introduce yourself on their BB http://bmwpugetsound.com/vbb/index.php
Before you start spending money modifying your Z4 suggest you spend some money on yourself by attending a Driver Skills course. The Porsche Club and Alfa Club allow roadsters with factory roll-over protection (hoops) to participate in their driving schools. The BMW Club accepts roadsters in their Car Control Clinic.
http://www.pnwr.org/Track/driver_skills/default.asp
http://www.nwalfaclub.com/track/driving_school.php
http://bmwpugetsound.com/driving_sch...tml#EventTypes
Most clubs do their registration through Motorsport.reg http://www.motorsportreg.com/
Looking forward to seeing you and your Z4 at an upcoming event. Next event is a lunch at Triple XXX in Issaquah:
http://bmwpugetsound.com/vbb/showpos...25&postcount=1
http://www.triplexrootbeer.com/
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  #15  
Old 12-27-2009, 09:11 PM
sportsguy sportsguy is offline
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Mein Auto: 09 FJR1300 06 Jetta 03 Z4
Big thanks Jim! I registered at the PNWBMWCC forum.

Liking the sound of some of those driver control courses as well - I love things like that to explore limits and learn control safely!

...and I'll keep an eye on the calendar, too, for Wednesday's lunch. Provided I have everything sorted, I might well drop my name in the hat.

Thanks again for the welcome and the great info!

duane
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