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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 02-12-2013, 01:38 AM
mr. slate mr. slate is offline
Tom
Location: SoCal
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 116
Mein Auto: 1997 Z3 2.8
97 Z3 Lowered Rear Suspension Dilemma

I bought my roadster a couple of years ago. It was already lowered with H&R lowering springs. As most of you know lowering the rear end of a Z3 causes a negative camber. I like how the car looks and the ride isn't bad considering the lowered suspension, however, the tires are wearing unevenly. I priced an Ireland camber kit on the net. Surprisingly it was quite affordable. The installation was another story. The first shop I approached quoted the following: If I provide the kit it will be $1150 to drop the sub frame and install the camber kit. If the rear sub frame bushings are worn it will be an additional $149 for polyurethane sub frame mounts. If the trailing arm bushings are worn it will be an additional $552 to replace all four.

Based on your similar experience is this competitive pricing for this upgrade? If so will it make a significant difference in performance and tire wear? Are there any alternatives that are less expensive?
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  #2  
Old 02-12-2013, 08:14 AM
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Pinecone Pinecone is offline
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Location: Maryland
 
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Mein Auto: M Roadster/M3
Toe wears tires, camber affects HOW they wear.

Have the toe checked. You may have a bent trailing arm.

Dropping the subframe is not that hard, but it does take time.

And the Ireland camber and toe kits are weld in, so they have to disassemble the rear suspension, possibly farm out the welding, then reassemble.
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  #3  
Old 02-12-2013, 08:44 AM
babyZ babyZ is offline
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Location: Dandridge, TN
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 62
Mein Auto: 1997 BMW Z3
Try the Rear Adjustable Camber/Toe Bushings from Turnermotorsport.
I too have the H&R springs and camber has been a bit of an issue.
Fairly straight forward installation.
Cant pull out too much camber but with a proper alignment it certainly helps.
Considerably cheaper than the IE kit with a lot less hassle.

About $269.99.

Hope this helps!
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  #4  
Old 02-12-2013, 09:52 AM
dougmcintyre dougmcintyre is offline
formerly updmst
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 661
Mein Auto: 2000 M Coupe, 1997 318ti
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr. slate View Post
...

Based on your similar experience is this competitive pricing for this upgrade?

...
For central NC, yes.

But labor rates vary in different areas. These upgrades are almost all labor.

I would either do all 3 upgrades or do what most people with lowered cars do - suck it up and live with it. Especially for the non-Ms, living with it can result in terrible rear tire life. But, if the car is not a daily driver, could be the best approach.

Also, the adjustable bushings are problematic. They work well for some people, other people report constant problems with the adjustments slipping.
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  #5  
Old 02-12-2013, 12:50 PM
Z3Papa Z3Papa is offline
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Location: Bloomington
 
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Mein Auto: 2002 Z3 3.0
I had this issue and installed the IE camber/toe weld in kit. It was a PITA to drop the whole subframe, press out the old trailing arm bushings, weld the plates, and then press in the new eccentric bushings, but worth it as I was able to return the car to stock alignment despite being much lower. In terms of price, the quote for the install on the kit is a bit high. The quote to add the rear subframe bushings is a rip off as they are already dropping the entire subframe as stated above, to put it on the ground to weld in the plates. It should really be no more than pulling the old bushings and sliding on new which should take no more than 30 minutes more work.

You don't even want to know how little time Randy Forbes can pull one of these out of your car and install this. For anyone in the southeast, I'd wager he would charge appreciable less than this and do the work top notch without breaking a sweat.
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Last edited by Z3Papa; 02-12-2013 at 12:54 PM.
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  #6  
Old 02-12-2013, 01:45 PM
dougmcintyre dougmcintyre is offline
formerly updmst
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 661
Mein Auto: 2000 M Coupe, 1997 318ti
Quote:
Originally Posted by Z3Papa View Post
The quote to add the rear subframe bushings is a rip off as they are already dropping the entire subframe as stated above, to put it on the ground to weld in the plates. It should really be no more than pulling the old bushings and sliding on new which should take no more than 30 minutes more work.
The lowest shop rate I know of in central NC is $90 per hour. Ireland Engineering rear subframe bushings retail for $100. Cost of subframe bushing + 30 minutes labor = $145. Throw in some shipping and taxes, pretty close to $149

Anyway the question wasn't if the prices were a rip off. But whether if the prices were a competitive rip off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Z3Papa View Post
You don't even want to know how little time Randy Forbes can pull one of these out of your car and install this. For anyone in the southeast, I'd wager he would charge appreciable less than this and do the work top notch without breaking a sweat.
Yea, Randy is one of the good guys.
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  #7  
Old 02-12-2013, 07:43 PM
Z3Papa Z3Papa is offline
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Location: Bloomington
 
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Tell exactly how you install the IE weld in toe/camber kit without having to take both the SF and trailing arm bushings out? The IE setup uses eccentric bolts through slotted weld on guides which I'd be stunned could be installed without taking out the trailing arm bushing. So charging appreciably more to put it all back together seems ridiculous. Many years ago I trekked to Randy's house to get the subframe bushing installed just because of quotes like this.
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  #8  
Old 02-13-2013, 05:08 AM
mr. slate mr. slate is offline
Tom
Location: SoCal
 
Join Date: May 2008
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Mein Auto: 1997 Z3 2.8
All great comments. Thank you. I understand that this is not an easy process... and not cheap. I have some decisions to make.
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Currently own:
2001 530i slate green
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Formerly owned:
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1986 Porsche 911
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  #9  
Old 02-13-2013, 07:41 AM
dougmcintyre dougmcintyre is offline
formerly updmst
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
 
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Mein Auto: 2000 M Coupe, 1997 318ti
Just to make your decision harder, here is another option. Instead of spending $1851, buy a TC Kline Racing Z3 True Match single adjustable suspension - http://www.tcklineracing.com/webdocs...Details150.cfm - for $1593. Leaving $258 towards the install. Sorry I don't have an estimated install cost. But, especially on the roadster, the install is a do-able DIY.

With the height adjustments set to max, the car will be back to stock height and stock tire life. Or you could trade-off a little tire life with a slightly drop of the car.

As compared to the stock suspension, TCK SA has much better handling and a much improved ride.

You didn't say which shocks are currently on your car. If the shocks are the original ones, I would definitely go with the TCK SA. Even if the shocks have been replaced, I would still seriously consider the TCK SA.

Last edited by dougmcintyre; 02-13-2013 at 08:26 AM.
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  #10  
Old 02-13-2013, 05:03 PM
mr. slate mr. slate is offline
Tom
Location: SoCal
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 116
Mein Auto: 1997 Z3 2.8
Thanks Doug. $258 is definitely significant. This car is a bit of a hobby for me. Your comments along with the others really help me determine the right path to take. I'm thoroughly enjoying the car as is but would like to continue to invest in quality as I plan on owning it long term. The shocks have been replaced but the replacements were OEM. I will continue to set aside funds while I do my research on best options. Thank you all again for the options.
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Currently own:
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Formerly owned:
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1986 Porsche 911
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  #11  
Old 02-13-2013, 05:07 PM
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Randy Forbes Randy Forbes is offline
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Location: SW Florida
 
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Mein Auto: ///Motorized Vehicles
I do the Ireland toe/camber kits for $750.00, this assuming that I already have half the backend already apart.

Well, speak of the devil!



Yep, yesterday...



Want to see how it's done? Toe/camber kit installation work starts here on page forty-six (46): http://www.spcarsplus.com/gallery3/i...keover?page=46

EDIT: I guess I should explain; that green thing is a fixture that I made using a brand new OE BMW rear suspension carrier for the ///M model. Now, I can "test fit" any suspension carrier prior to a toe/camber kit installation, knowing the I'm not wasting time, parts and money trying to resurrect a bent piece.
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1999///M Rdstr Cosmos Black Eurosport Twinscrew S/C
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2001///M Rdstr Steel Gray
2011 X5 35i Sport Deep Sea Blue/Cinnamon

Last edited by Randy Forbes; 02-13-2013 at 05:24 PM.
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  #12  
Old 02-14-2013, 04:56 PM
mr. slate mr. slate is offline
Tom
Location: SoCal
 
Join Date: May 2008
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Mein Auto: 1997 Z3 2.8
Randy, do you have any contacts that do similar procedures in or near Southern California that you can refer?
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2001 530i slate green
1997 Z3 atlanta blue

Formerly owned:
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1986 Porsche 911
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  #13  
Old 02-17-2013, 12:47 PM
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Pinecone Pinecone is offline
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Road trip :d
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  #14  
Old 02-18-2013, 09:13 AM
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Randy Forbes Randy Forbes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr. slate View Post
Randy, do you have any contacts that do similar procedures in or near Southern California that you can refer?
These guys are in San Diego:
Midnight Oil Express
858-271-9944
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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
2001///M Rdstr Steel Gray
2011 X5 35i Sport Deep Sea Blue/Cinnamon
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