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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 07-28-2011, 11:14 PM
Cityconstable Cityconstable is offline
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Location: Boston ma.
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 156
Mein Auto: 1997 z3 2.8
Wink 97 z3 I can't pull the trigger on shocks and struts, ideas?

50k is almost here and I've replaced everything else there is to replace. now it's time for shocks\struts. I've read previous posts, checked prices, wretched, checked for reasonable prices..and still can't decide. No track in my future, not sure what the bilstien touring would feel like, 1600-2500 is a bit overkill for ast's. I'm looking for the best possible ride on Boston's worst possible streets. Help? Pity? Donations?... grin
97 2.8 z3 Thanks all.
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  #2  
Old 07-28-2011, 11:22 PM
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KevinC KevinC is offline
your average JAMF
Location: Chandler, AZ
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,044
Mein Auto: '07 Z4MC,'05 330Ci ZHP
As a replacement for a street car, Bilstein is the answer. I have a set sitting in my garage right now, ready to go onto my Z4MC, which just hit 40k miles. I'll get 100k or more out of them, and if I manage to wear them out, they'll be replaced free under the lifetime warranty.
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  #3  
Old 07-29-2011, 03:21 AM
Monolith Monolith is offline
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Location: NJ
 
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Mein Auto: 1997 Z3 1.9L DASC Auto
The tourings are very similar to stock shocks in ride quality. I use them because of the Jersey and NYC roads. A set runs about $300 for all four corners at the discount places.
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  #4  
Old 07-29-2011, 04:02 PM
DKane DKane is offline
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Location: Auburn,CA
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 109
Mein Auto: '97 2.8 Z3 bg R
What you really need...

..is a more up-to-date set-up. WHat you have is twin-tube, low gas(or no gas)..The Bilstein Sports(or more appropriate HD's) are mono-tube, medium gas pressure designs..They are more responsive, last much longer than twin-tube(old, old, ancient tech!) and are a true upgrade at very little additional cost(over the life of the product)...If you want to do it better, add Energy Suspension front sway bar bushings. These will add a more precise feeling to the steering and very little additional cost(about $25)...for potholes: try your best to AVOID them..most damage occurs because of spot-on targeting and SPEED!..jmho, but I bet most such damage also occurs with oe suspensions..Happy Z3Motoring! dk '97 2.8bg R, +1("Z-KANE")
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  #5  
Old 07-29-2011, 04:15 PM
Cityconstable Cityconstable is offline
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Location: Boston ma.
 
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Posts: 156
Mein Auto: 1997 z3 2.8
DK, where did you get your your setup? Now is that the " touring" class or is sport another model type? Are the energy suspension bushings made by bilstien or their own company? You got me interested... Thanks
Jay
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  #6  
Old 07-29-2011, 05:26 PM
Monolith Monolith is offline
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Location: NJ
 
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Mein Auto: 1997 Z3 1.9L DASC Auto
Tourings are twin tube.

Sport are monotube.

More info on the differences:
http://www.shockwarehouse.com/site/bilstein_info.cfm


Energy is their own company.
http://www.energysuspension.com/

Last edited by Monolith; 07-29-2011 at 05:28 PM.
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  #7  
Old 07-30-2011, 12:22 AM
DKane DKane is offline
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Location: Auburn,CA
 
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Mein Auto: '97 2.8 Z3 bg R
parts are where you find em..start lookin'...

..24mm ES front bushings are out of stock but can be ordered at no extra cost direct from manufacturer((and priced quite well, too)....Bilsteins, should be shopped for best price..Play hell to find the HD's(old stock, but good product)....Sport models fit....Rear was:f4 BE3 2386 HO(x2), while fronts were F4 VE3 4400/4401 (sports)...You need to put the time in to shop these items if you want the best price..You can always get them at BAVAUTO, and they usually have a 10% sale once or twice a year..but other retailers may do even better(Bimmerparts.com, etc)..prices vary a lot...and so do some of the current parts numbers..Check with Bilstein(they're very friendly and helpful)...if you're going to go cheap, you might as well substitute "Monroes"(NAPA, etc)..at least they have a great warranty(for what that's worth)...more than that, you are at your leisure!..Z3 Cheers! dk '97 2.8 bg R+
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  #8  
Old 07-30-2011, 04:20 AM
dougmcintyre dougmcintyre is offline
formerly updmst
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 653
Mein Auto: 2000 M Coupe, 1997 318ti
Ride quality is very subjective. I had a 318TI with Bilstein Sports and H&R sport springs. I loved the ride - sporty, firm, and well controlled. Everyone who ever rode in the car commented (most negatively) on the ride. What is comfortable to one person is bone jaring harsh to another.

Someone wanting the "best possible ride on Boston's worst possible streets" is not likely to be happy with Bilstein Sports or HDs.

IMHO, after maintenance, the single most important improvement to a car is to upgrade the shocks. If at all possible, try to stretch your budget.

Last edited by dougmcintyre; 07-30-2011 at 04:43 AM.
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  #9  
Old 07-30-2011, 09:07 AM
Cityconstable Cityconstable is offline
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Location: Boston ma.
 
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Mein Auto: 1997 z3 2.8
Thank you all

right now my biggest concern is that the rear end hops and slides on broken up pavement especially when accellerating (which i like to do frequently). the lanes are narrow here and when slaloming through traffic I like to keep the wheels on the ground. this is especially true for the expressway where 70-80 or so mph, gravel or moguls, concrete ruts and constant lane changes can get squirrely. Driving is a contact sport here. Budget isn't the problem but the wrong selection would be as it will take me 20 years to cover the next 50k. It's a short but intense summer season. oh well maybe I'll just cover the tires with rubber cement...
thanks for all the feedback.
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  #10  
Old 07-30-2011, 09:19 AM
Monolith Monolith is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 Z3 1.9L DASC Auto
You're now talking about poly bushings for the rear subframe, not shocks. Ireland or Powerflex bushings should help that.
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  #11  
Old 07-30-2011, 10:25 AM
dougmcintyre dougmcintyre is offline
formerly updmst
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 653
Mein Auto: 2000 M Coupe, 1997 318ti
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cityconstable View Post
right now my biggest concern is that the rear end hops and slides on broken up pavement especially when accellerating (which i like to do frequently). the lanes are narrow here and when slaloming through traffic I like to keep the wheels on the ground. this is especially true for the expressway where 70-80 or so mph, gravel or moguls, concrete ruts and constant lane changes can get squirrely. Driving is a contact sport here. Budget isn't the problem but the wrong selection would be as it will take me 20 years to cover the next 50k. It's a short but intense summer season. oh well maybe I'll just cover the tires with rubber cement...
thanks for all the feedback.
I would contact TC Kline with the above description and get their recommendation -
http://www.tcklineracing.com/index.c...on=ViewContact

I've found TC Kline to be very helpful over the phone. But kind of terse and slow in email.
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  #12  
Old 07-31-2011, 03:42 AM
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Pinecone Pinecone is offline
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Location: Maryland
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 10,482
Mein Auto: M Roadster/M3
Firm is fine for around town, but take the same car on a 1200 - 1500 mile trip and see what you think after that.

BT, DT.
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  #13  
Old 07-31-2011, 05:37 AM
dougmcintyre dougmcintyre is offline
formerly updmst
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 653
Mein Auto: 2000 M Coupe, 1997 318ti
Like I said ride is very subjective. My longest trip in the TI was 1,855.4 miles (Chapel Hill, NC to Worcester, MA) - getting off the interstate as much as possible.

On the trip I was totally captivated by the car's comfort and performance.

Of course, after owning a 1970 MG Midget, my view of ride quality is very forgiving. And bad handling has been defined by a series of worn out used cars.

But, getting back to Cityconstable problem. With the driving conditions you have described, I wouldn't be surprised if the shocks and all the suspension bushings are worn out.

Or, perhaps, our swing arm suspension simply can't handle these conditions. Stretches of rough road my VW GTI sails through, the M coupe has to be slowed down. Fortunately for me, in NC, long stretches of bad road are very rare.

Last edited by dougmcintyre; 07-31-2011 at 06:18 AM.
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