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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 03-20-2004, 09:37 PM
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Randy Forbes Randy Forbes is offline
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The more I look, the less I like it...

Got a chance to look in the trunk of the 99 today, damage there too. Didn't look underneath though.

I'll be taking both cars to the dealer on Monday for the rep to see. The 99's warranty ran out based on time in service and now has 58k miles. It's a CPO so I'll find out if that's worth anything.

Took a closer look inside the 01 and discovered that the trunk floor directly over the differential mount is pulled down 1/8" by laying a straightedge across the width.

I ordered a MIG yesterday so whatever BMW does or doesn't do, I intend to finish building the car that BMW couldn't. Does that s-u-c-k, or what?

All my prior welding experience has been restoring British cars, just doesn't seem right to have to restore a car not yet three years and another barely five years old. Fine German engineering!
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  #2  
Old 03-20-2004, 09:52 PM
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TeamM3 TeamM3 is offline
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time for a Z4 3.0 baby ...
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  #3  
Old 03-21-2004, 04:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeamZ4
time for a Z4 3.0 baby ...
Let's see in a few years.

Remember BMW has a histroy of the multi link suspensions ripping the body/subframe also.
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  #4  
Old 03-21-2004, 06:35 AM
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bob lindquist bob lindquist is offline
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Question First indication

Is there a first indication of this problem, so I don't have to heat gun the gummy paper inside the trunk to inspect for the problem?

Or is it evident looking at the paper, (most likely not).
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  #5  
Old 03-21-2004, 06:58 AM
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Randy Forbes Randy Forbes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob lindquist
Is there a first indication of this problem, so I don't have to heat gun the gummy paper inside the trunk to inspect for the problem?

Or is it evident looking at the paper, (most likely not).
I'd say the straightedge would be a good "first indicator" if the trunk floor is getting pulled down. Second would be if the seam sealer is separating along the left side longitudinal rail.

Naturally you'd have to look directly at the "ear" on the xmbr to see if the differential mount itself was cracking. In that regard, the gray car is okay, don't know about the black one...
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1957 Austin-Healey 100/6 Wine Red
1961 McCulloch R1 go-kart Screaming Yellow
1995///M3 Coupe Dakar Yellow Eurosport Twinscrew S/C
1999///M Rdstr Cosmos Black Eurosport Twinscrew S/C
1999///M Coupe Estoril Blue Eurosport Twinscrew S/C
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  #6  
Old 03-21-2004, 07:23 AM
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bob lindquist bob lindquist is offline
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I see

I will start an inspection right off.....

Added a few cc's of distilled water to the battery after I got the trunk out as long as I was in there.

I think the little car was never intended for all this horsepower.

And drag racing off the light, popping the clutch along the way couldn't help the set up.

A first indication should have been the fact that Dinan sends bracing to weld in place for their swaybar mounts!
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  #7  
Old 03-21-2004, 08:28 AM
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ARC///M ARC///M is offline
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Bracing

If Dinan does not sell the brackets.I am few weeks away from Mig Welding Vin new sway brackets on from Dinan,If some one checks with Dinan and they do not sell the brackets seperate with the suspension upgrade!We can ship them to Randy he could have a few sets made and sell them.If you want. p/s I think we better have a bottom Inspection this year at the gattering!
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  #8  
Old 03-21-2004, 10:10 AM
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01silber 01silber is offline
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I'm wondering what the chances are of having bmw make a re designed diff cover with the dual mounts. and design another mount to be welded to the frame(someone posted another brand of cover on the fly)
I'm sure it will save them alot more by doing that then have another s54 episode on there hands,
My car is such low mileage that I haven't checked yet but I feel for the people that are having the problem
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  #9  
Old 03-21-2004, 10:21 AM
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diffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff

Funny my fellow HVAC Buddy,I just had that conversation with Andy about getting someone to make us the dual ear cover I also discussed drilling the bolts holding the cover on the Pside and adding stainless wire cables through the bolt to the frame to support the yaw of the difff,Trust me we all are chewing on this issue!!
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  #10  
Old 03-21-2004, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinecone
Let's see in a few years.

Remember BMW has a histroy of the multi link suspensions ripping the body/subframe also.

The Z4 chassis is like no other before it, you need to do your homework

remember, the Z3 roadster chassis was terribly flimsy until they added the coupe roof structure, this made the chassis stiffer but never addressed weak link areas like the rear floorpan

The Z4 roadser chassis achieves almost the same stiffness numbers as the Z3 coupe, albeit sans roof structure, all the beef is in the lower chassis areas. Unlike the Z3 the Z4 diff mounts entirely to the tubular rear subframe assy. and the area where the subframe mounts is quite beefy and stiff. Don't see it happening myself
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Last edited by TeamZ4; 03-21-2004 at 10:33 AM.
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  #11  
Old 03-21-2004, 10:37 AM
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diffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff

Whats this have to do with are z3 cars problem.
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  #12  
Old 03-21-2004, 10:47 AM
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eVal eVal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Forbes
I'd say the straightedge would be a good "first indicator" if the trunk floor is getting pulled down. Second would be if the seam sealer is separating along the left side longitudinal rail.

Naturally you'd have to look directly at the "ear" on the xmbr to see if the differential mount itself was cracking. In that regard, the gray car is okay, don't know about the black one...
I'll be curious if BMW just doesnt say that there is no certainty that the trunk floor is perfectly flat to begin with...
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Old 03-21-2004, 10:54 AM
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phrider phrider is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ARC///M
If Dinan does not sell the brackets.I am few weeks away from Mig Welding Vin new sway brackets on from Dinan,If some one checks with Dinan and they do not sell the brackets seperate with the suspension upgrade!We can ship them to Randy he could have a few sets made and sell them.If you want. p/s I think we better have a bottom Inspection this year at the gattering!
Would any of the existing Rogue Engineering "two eared" covers work on our diffs? See http://www.rogueengineering.com/Merc...tegory_Code=DC

AndyM, afterall, already carries Rogue products.
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  #14  
Old 03-21-2004, 10:54 AM
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TeamM3 TeamM3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ARC///M
Whats this have to do with are z3 cars problem.
we're just having a conversation here guy ... you can choose to deal with the problem or you can move on to another model and let it be somebody else's problem to deal with

ps:
Quote:
Originally Posted by TeamZ4
time for a Z4 3.0 baby ...
resistance is futile

TeamBorg
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Last edited by TeamZ4; 03-21-2004 at 10:58 AM.
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  #15  
Old 03-21-2004, 02:48 PM
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Just curious...

Clearly there is a fundamental problem but to what expent might something like a 3.46 or 3.73 conversion exacerbate the problem? It seems that the effective torque multiplication might hasten the problem given the ineffective mounting design.
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  #16  
Old 03-21-2004, 07:21 PM
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TeamM3 TeamM3 is offline
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makes sense to me big wheels and R-tires too
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  #17  
Old 03-21-2004, 07:25 PM
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Randy Forbes Randy Forbes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///M Rakete
Just curious...

Clearly there is a fundamental problem but to what expent might something like a 3.46 or 3.73 conversion exacerbate the problem? It seems that the effective torque multiplication might hasten the problem given the ineffective mounting design.
Maybe. But there are reports of stock 2.8s that have failed too.
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  #18  
Old 03-21-2004, 07:47 PM
jplouis jplouis is offline
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Randy, what are your thoughts on replacing the subframe bushings with Group N bushings? Do you thinkit would help in reducing subframe and diff movement. I ask because the bushings aint cheap and I don't think I could replace them myself, adding to the cost.
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  #19  
Old 03-22-2004, 05:01 AM
Neil Neil is offline
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Jplouis -

Although available for E30s and most E36s, I don't believe that the Group N bushings are available for Z3/M Coupe/Roadster.

Z3/ M Coupe/Roadsters have the same rear subframe bushing as the E36 318 Ti. It is very similar to the E30 bushing, but a bit shorter.

As far as I've been able to determine, currently only RTRS makes an aftermarket bushing for our cars. (EDIT: subsequent to original post, learned that Powerflex DOES NOT make a bushing for this application). However, the RTRS bushing appears to be modeled on the stock bushing. Though much stiffer urethane, it may not prevent the vertical movement (aka "slop").

Ireland Engineering also has a bushing listed on-line (under E30 Suspension). It appears very promising, but is not yet in production.

Neil

Last edited by Neil; 03-22-2004 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 03-22-2004, 06:59 AM
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Pinecone Pinecone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeamZ4
The Z4 chassis is like no other before it, you need to do your homework

remember, the Z3 roadster chassis was terribly flimsy until they added the coupe roof structure, this made the chassis stiffer but never addressed weak link areas like the rear floorpan

The Z4 roadser chassis achieves almost the same stiffness numbers as the Z3 coupe, albeit sans roof structure, all the beef is in the lower chassis areas. Unlike the Z3 the Z4 diff mounts entirely to the tubular rear subframe assy. and the area where the subframe mounts is quite beefy and stiff. Don't see it happening myself
I was thnking more of the E36 cars, requiring front and rear subframe reinformcents and rear sway bar mount reinforcements.

And as far as anyone can tell, the problem is NOT the stiffness of the car, but the fact that the subframe is very loose on the bushings.

In fact, being very stiff can cause more cracking, that's why airplane wings flex.
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  #21  
Old 03-22-2004, 07:01 AM
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Pinecone Pinecone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil
Jplouis -

Although available for E30s and most E36s, I don't believe that the Group N bushings are available for Z3/M Coupe/Roadster.

Z3/ M Coupe/Roadsters have the same rear subframe bushing as the E36 318 Ti. It is very similar to the E30 bushing, but a bit shorter.

As far as I've been able to determine, both Powerflex and RTRS make bushings for our cars -- but they're both modeled on the stock bushing. Though much stiffer urethane, may not prevent the vertical movement (aka "slop").

Ireland Engineering also has a bushing listed on-line (under E30 Suspension). It appears very promising, but is not yet in production.

Neil
So we are back to Randy's bushing inserts.

But he was having problems making them.

And he keeps ignoring my suggestion for a way to make them easier, with s avery small change in effectivenesss. I may have to do it myself.
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  #22  
Old 03-22-2004, 07:35 AM
Neil Neil is offline
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Terry -

Randy is back on track.

In fact, I'm hoping to have a set of his inserts very shortly.

I also expect that Ireland Engineering will have their new bushings in stock within the next 1 - 2 months.

Neil
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  #23  
Old 03-22-2004, 09:16 AM
yetiboy yetiboy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil
Terry -

Randy is back on track.

In fact, I'm hoping to have a set of his inserts very shortly.

I also expect that Ireland Engineering will have their new bushings in stock within the next 1 - 2 months.

Neil
Neil,

Were you referring to these. If so, they look to be available...


Click on "New" and then scroll down to "Rear Subframe Mounts - Urethane for Z3"https://secure7.nexternal.com/shared...unt2=526801705

MSH

Last edited by yetiboy; 03-22-2004 at 09:20 AM.
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  #24  
Old 03-22-2004, 10:21 AM
Neil Neil is offline
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MSH -

Yes, those are the ones.

I've spoken to Jeff Ireland and they don't yet have them in stock.

They promised to call me as soon as they have them and I'll spread the word.

Neil
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Old 03-22-2004, 10:30 AM
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Randy Forbes Randy Forbes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinecone
So we are back to Randy's bushing inserts.

But he was having problems making them.

And he keeps ignoring my suggestion for a way to make them easier, with s avery small change in effectivenesss. I may have to do it myself.
Now Terry, you know you're too persistant to be ignored

I'll be honest though, I don't remember the specifics. Was your idea to pour them in situ? That was something else I had considered but did not linger on it (you could take up the airspace in the voids but couldn't eliminate the upper/lower gaps that allow the subframe to float).
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