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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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  #1  
Old 08-08-2012, 01:31 PM
MCDz3 MCDz3 is offline
McDuck
Location: Huntersville, NC
 
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Mein Auto: 1998 Z3 2.8 roadster
1998 Z3 suspension recommendations please

Hey folks, I've been trying to solve a problem with the ride of my 1998 2.8 roadster. Initially it seemed to be getting kid of sloppy and the steering wheel was vibrating at 58 mph, so based on recommendation of a mechanic I replaced the lower control arms and bushings. This made some improvement but still not what it should be. Steering wheel still vibrated. Next I replaced my tires, nothing great but very affordable. They balanced everything but I still have pretty much the same issue, shaking steering wheel and just an uncomfortable ride over all. Had a local mechanic who has had some experience with the same car as mine, take it for a drive. His recommendation now is struts and shocks based on handling and roll of the car in turns.
First off does this sound like it could solve the problems I'm having? If so, with out breaking my bank, can someone recommend an affordable strut and shock? And with the struts i see on the web, is that all I need to replace or are there other associated components required?

Sorry for the long post but this is my situation. My budget is very tight and I'll have a friend help me in replacement.

Thanks in advance,
MCDz3
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  #2  
Old 08-08-2012, 02:59 PM
Justin A Justin A is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 Jeep TJ, 1997 Z3 2.8
my 97 2.8 has bitstein shocks/struts & b/G lowering springs and handles like its on rails
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  #3  
Old 08-08-2012, 03:04 PM
Justin A Justin A is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 Jeep TJ, 1997 Z3 2.8
if you look around online you cant get the parts for 800-1000$ easy! def not bad for a sick suspension that will last 100k
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  #4  
Old 08-08-2012, 05:11 PM
smayo964 smayo964 is offline
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Like Justin mentioned, surf around, there are many options to do. When i got my 99, it was still on original struts/shocks at almost 100K miles. Changed front struts for little over mid 200s with Bilstein touring and changed the rears for under 200 with Bilstein touring and Ireland mounts. put a couple rubber spring spacers in the rear and it drives really nice as a daily driver. If I need a little more in the front, i'll add the blocks there. Just a cheap way of getting more out of the stock springs vs. new. Good luck on quest.
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  #5  
Old 08-09-2012, 04:59 AM
dougmcintyre dougmcintyre is offline
formerly updmst
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
 
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Mein Auto: 2000 M Coupe, 1997 318ti
It all depends on your budget and needs.

Many people on this forum like the TC Kline SA and DA coilovers. For larger budgets, ASTs can be a good choice (especially if you track your car).
For smaller budgets, Konis, Bilsteins, and KYB replacement shocks (and, IMHO, basically in that order) are good. See
http://www.tcklineracing.com/index.c...y&Category=285
and
http://www.tirerack.com
for prices and options.
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  #6  
Old 08-09-2012, 10:16 AM
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Pinecone Pinecone is offline
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First thing I would check is if you have a bent wheel.

For high end, TC Kline makes VERY nice suspensions.

For more stock like and less expensive, Bilstein HD or Koni single adjustables will do the job. Always replace the rear upper shock mounts with better ones. Rogue Engineering are one of the best these day.
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  #7  
Old 08-09-2012, 10:40 AM
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amancuso amancuso is offline
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I had a steering wheel shake/vibration in my e36 cabrio, it was solved with new struts/mounts.
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  #8  
Old 08-09-2012, 12:55 PM
john@eac john@eac is offline
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You might take a look at the prices on the bilsteins that we have at eaceuroparts.
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  #9  
Old 09-11-2012, 09:43 PM
MCDz3 MCDz3 is offline
McDuck
Location: Huntersville, NC
 
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Mein Auto: 1998 Z3 2.8 roadster
So I want to thank every one for their suggestions, but before I invest in struts and shocks, is it really feasible bad struts and shocks can be causing the shakiness and vibration i feel at 58 mph and higher? Are there other things that can cause this problem? t's really taking a lot of the fun out of driving this car... Oh and one more question are their struts only on the from or on the back too, or shocks on the back? I seem to hear conflicting descriptions..

Last edited by MCDz3; 09-11-2012 at 09:46 PM.
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  #10  
Old 09-11-2012, 10:39 PM
dmytroa@telus.n dmytroa@telus.n is offline
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Location: Kamloops, B.C.
 
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Mein Auto: 1998 z3
1

Last edited by dmytroa@telus.n; 09-11-2012 at 10:40 PM. Reason: didn't read post carefully
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  #11  
Old 09-12-2012, 06:24 AM
dougmcintyre dougmcintyre is offline
formerly updmst
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
 
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Mein Auto: 2000 M Coupe, 1997 318ti
Quote:
Originally Posted by MCDz3 View Post
So I want to thank every one for their suggestions, but before I invest in struts and shocks, is it really feasible bad struts and shocks can be causing the shakiness and vibration i feel at 58 mph and higher? Are there other things that can cause this problem? t's really taking a lot of the fun out of driving this car... Oh and one more question are their struts only on the from or on the back too, or shocks on the back? I seem to hear conflicting descriptions..
Yes and yes. Bad struts and shocks could cause your problem. A bent wheel, an out of balance wheel, and a defective tire could be the source of your problem. But, assuming you are dealing with an experienced mechanic, he looked at and has driven your car, he is in the best situation to give you good advice. Even if the problem is not caused by your shocks, based on the mechanic's assessment of the handling, your shocks are shot and need replacing.

Also, the suspension is a system. When one part has a problem, the other parts are worked harder and can prematurely fail - bad shocks cause the bushing to wear more quickly or an out of balance tire causes more work for the shocks. I.E., delaying on replacing the shocks will cost you more money.

Technically, struts are on the front, shocks are on the back. But as you have noticed, these terms are used rather loosely. If you check the links I previously posted, the fronts are MOSTLY described as struts, and the rears MOSTLY described as shocks.

Last edited by dougmcintyre; 09-12-2012 at 06:43 AM.
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  #12  
Old 09-12-2012, 12:22 PM
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Pinecone Pinecone is offline
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Mein Auto: M Roadster/M3
Struts front, shocks rear.
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  #13  
Old 09-12-2012, 12:31 PM
MCDz3 MCDz3 is offline
McDuck
Location: Huntersville, NC
 
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Mein Auto: 1998 Z3 2.8 roadster
Thanks those who have responder so quickly. I am going to have the place that installed the new ires check the balancing again. And go from there to struts and shocks. Someone asked If I had changed the lower control arm bushings when I changed the control arms, the answer is yes.

Thanks!
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  #14  
Old 09-13-2012, 05:01 AM
dougmcintyre dougmcintyre is offline
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Location: Chapel Hill, NC
 
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Mein Auto: 2000 M Coupe, 1997 318ti
OK, I can't remember the tire sizes on all the different models. But, assuming the same size is used front and rear, have the tire place exchange the front and rear wheel/tires. If the problem is a single bad tire or single bent wheel, the problem should move to the rear.
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  #15  
Old 09-13-2012, 06:36 PM
Z3Papa Z3Papa is online now
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Does anyone else hate the phrase "it handles like it is on rails?". To answer your question, your problem could be bad dampers, a wheel with tire weights that have come off, bad LCAB's, but if your car has more than 50,000 miles, it can't hurt to upgrade your suspension. If you were nearby, I'd be more than willing to diagnose by elimination.
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  #16  
Old 02-26-2013, 07:23 AM
MCDz3 MCDz3 is offline
McDuck
Location: Huntersville, NC
 
Join Date: May 2012
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Mein Auto: 1998 Z3 2.8 roadster
Ok folks thanks again for the input. I finally have the struts in hand! Are there any other part required in order to change the struts out?

Mcdz3
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  #17  
Old 02-26-2013, 07:44 AM
dougmcintyre dougmcintyre is offline
formerly updmst
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
 
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Mein Auto: 2000 M Coupe, 1997 318ti
Not required, but do this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinecone View Post
...
Always replace the rear upper shock mounts with better ones. Rogue Engineering are one of the best these day.
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  #18  
Old 02-26-2013, 07:57 AM
MCDz3 MCDz3 is offline
McDuck
Location: Huntersville, NC
 
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Mein Auto: 1998 Z3 2.8 roadster
Thanks, got it. Rears will come shortly. More specifically nothing required on the front struts, just the struts right?
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  #19  
Old 02-26-2013, 08:15 AM
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amancuso amancuso is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MCDz3 View Post
Thanks, got it. Rears will come shortly. More specifically nothing required on the front struts, just the struts right?
You should probably replace the strut mounts as well. I'm going to be doing this job late next month. Already have the parts in the garage.
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  #20  
Old 02-26-2013, 11:14 AM
dougmcintyre dougmcintyre is offline
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Mein Auto: 2000 M Coupe, 1997 318ti
To help prevent shock tower cracking, I would add strut tower reinforcement plates - http://www.turnermotorsport.com/p-19...ates-pair.aspx
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  #21  
Old 02-26-2013, 04:57 PM
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vintage42 vintage42 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 BMW Z3 1.9 5MT
Quote:
Originally Posted by MCDz3 View Post
... I finally have the struts in hand! Are there any other part required in order to change the struts out?
You don't say what struts you bought. Unless you bought Bilstein, which have their own internal bump valving and external corrugated bellows dust cover, I think all other struts need the BMW soft yellow foam rubber bump stops and plastic dust covers that attach to the stops. The dust covers are reusable, but the old soft bump stops will be deteriorated and must be replaced.
http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f2...umpercover.jpg
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  #22  
Old 02-27-2013, 06:23 AM
Dheilman Dheilman is offline
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Location: Kendall, WI
 
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Mein Auto: 1998 Z3 Roadster 2.8 5spd
Quote:
Originally Posted by vintage42 View Post
You don't say what struts you bought. Unless you bought Bilstein, which have their own internal bump valving and external corrugated bellows dust cover[/url]
All Bisteins EXCEPT Touring. They are similar to OEM.
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  #23  
Old 02-27-2013, 08:10 AM
dadmog dadmog is offline
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Mein Auto: 98 MZ3
Replaced my OEM shocks with Bilstein Sport. VERY hard riding; so for street use, I would consider Touring.
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  #24  
Old 02-27-2013, 08:16 AM
Wertles Wertles is offline
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Might be too late for the OP since he has already bought his, but for a daily driver on a budget, I put Monroe shocks and struts on the 2.5 convertable. It was about $350 for all 4 corners and has a great ride. The M Coupe has the H&R/Bilstein combo and definitely rides FIRM.
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  #25  
Old 03-07-2013, 04:39 PM
HANSONCLN HANSONCLN is offline
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Find someone that has a road force wheel balancer and that would defiantly point to or away from wheels or shocks
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