Thinking of Buying an E85 - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums



Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > Z Series > E85 / E86 Z4 (2003-2008)

E85 / E86 Z4 (2003-2008)
E85 Z4 Roadster, E86 Z4 Coupe, E85 Z4 M Roadster, and E86 Z4 M Coupe talk with our BMW gurus here.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-09-2019, 07:41 PM
Fifty150hs Fifty150hs is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Menlo Park, CA
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 663
Mein Auto: SF Bay Area
Thinking of Buying an E85

Hi Guys:

I'm considering purchasing an E85. I am looking for 2007 or 2008 with lower mileage. I have a 2006 X5 with the M54 engine and I do all my own wrenching. I'm familiar with the M54 and frankly I think when properly maintained it is practically bullet proof. I'm looking for advice, tips, etc on things to look out for when buying a Z4 E85. Any known weaknesses or problems that are common to this model.

Thanks in advance.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #2  
Old 05-10-2019, 02:39 PM
keeton keeton is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Atlanta, GA
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 207
Mein Auto: '07 3.0si
The engine in the 2006-2008 E85 Z4s is the N52 series, except for the M series, which is the S54. In the BMW scheme of things, the Z4 is a bit simpler (no I-drive, for example) and has proven to be more reliable than other Bimmers of the same vintage. Some common problems include the top motor (keep the drains clean!), occasional broken rear springs, worn bushings (comes with high mileage) and airbag lights (various reasons). "Sticky steering" plagued the earlier years but was claimed to have been fixed sometime in 2006. Read through the forum for more and you will start to see the pattern.

Good luck with your search. The low mileage ones are not impossible to find as quite a few of these are put away for the winter in colder climates or are garage queens.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 05-10-2019, 05:07 PM
Fifty150hs Fifty150hs is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Menlo Park, CA
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 663
Mein Auto: SF Bay Area
Quote:
Originally Posted by keeton View Post
The engine in the 2006-2008 E85 Z4s is the N52 series, except for the M series, which is the S54. In the BMW scheme of things, the Z4 is a bit simpler (no I-drive, for example) and has proven to be more reliable than other Bimmers of the same vintage. Some common problems include the top motor (keep the drains clean!), occasional broken rear springs, worn bushings (comes with high mileage) and airbag lights (various reasons). "Sticky steering" plagued the earlier years but was claimed to have been fixed sometime in 2006. Read through the forum for more and you will start to see the pattern.

Good luck with your search. The low mileage ones are not impossible to find as quite a few of these are put away for the winter in colder climates or are garage queens.
Thanks for the info. Any major differences between the M54 and N52?
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #4  
Old 05-11-2019, 08:48 PM
GreatFrog GreatFrog is offline
Registered User
Location: College Station, TX
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 14
Mein Auto: E46 ZHP/M, E85 3.0i, R56s
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fifty150hs View Post
Hi Guys:

I'm considering purchasing an E85. I am looking for 2007 or 2008 with lower mileage. I have a 2006 X5 with the M54 engine and I do all my own wrenching. I'm familiar with the M54 and frankly I think when properly maintained it is practically bullet proof. I'm looking for advice, tips, etc on things to look out for when buying a Z4 E85. Any known weaknesses or problems that are common to this model.

Thanks in advance.
Sorry if I am hijacking your thread but I have a extremely clean low mileage E85 3.0i roadster for sale. Here is my for-sale link at m3forum:

http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=607104
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 05-11-2019, 09:00 PM
Fifty150hs Fifty150hs is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Menlo Park, CA
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 663
Mein Auto: SF Bay Area
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreatFrog View Post
Sorry if I am hijacking your thread but I have a extremely clean low mileage E85 3.0i roadster for sale. Here is my for-sale link at m3forum:

http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=607104
Nice clean car. The more I've been poking around, the more I'm wanting a Z4M.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 05-11-2019, 09:34 PM
GreatFrog GreatFrog is offline
Registered User
Location: College Station, TX
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 14
Mein Auto: E46 ZHP/M, E85 3.0i, R56s
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fifty150hs View Post
Nice clean car. The more I've been poking around, the more I'm wanting a Z4M.
I agree. Z4M is a hidden gem and considered as the most under-priced M car on the market. And the M body kit really brings out the Z4 design language to full display. However I am not sure if I would enjoy the rawness of the S54 in a roadster. For me the N52B30 is just a good balance between elegance and performance, as well as reliability. I still think S54's natural habitat is E46 M3' engine bay, which I also own. All being said, I am going to test drive my friends Z4M tomorrow, guess I will find out myself.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 05-12-2019, 08:00 AM
Fifty150hs Fifty150hs is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Menlo Park, CA
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 663
Mein Auto: SF Bay Area
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreatFrog View Post
I agree. Z4M is a hidden gem and considered as the most under-priced M car on the market. And the M body kit really brings out the Z4 design language to full display. However I am not sure if I would enjoy the rawness of the S54 in a roadster. For me the N52B30 is just a good balance between elegance and performance, as well as reliability. I still think S54's natural habitat is E46 M3' engine bay, which I also own. All being said, I am going to test drive my friends Z4M tomorrow, guess I will find out myself.
Please let us know what you think. As you said the Z4M seems to be a hidden gem. There are a pretty fair number that are low mileage.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 05-12-2019, 10:18 AM
KevinC's Avatar
KevinC KevinC is offline
your average JAMF
Location: Hereford, AZ
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,190
Mein Auto: '08 Z4 M Coupé,'16 Golf R
"Gem" indeed...

__________________
'08 Z4 M Coupé LM08602
'16 Golf R
'17 Kawasaki Versys 650
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 05-13-2019, 09:16 AM
janole janole is offline
Registered User
Location: sonoma ca
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 31
Mein Auto: 2007 z4 3.0si
If the shock/struts haven't been changed they are probably shot, mine were completely dead at 62k and I was ridding on springs
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 05-13-2019, 10:01 AM
Lima12 Lima12 is offline
Registered User
Location: Detroit MI
 
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: 2006 BMW Z4 M Roadster
I just bought an M roadster. I was in the same boat as you were. No regrets. A true drivers car. No questions about it.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 05-13-2019, 10:03 AM
Chilibadger Chilibadger is offline
Registered User
Location: West Palm Beach, Florida
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 22
Mein Auto: 2007, Z4 3.0si, manual.
I have a 2007 3.0si which has the most horsepower of the non-M Z4s. It has 260ish HP and has been a great car. Mine has the M suspension package and the handling is really amazing...best driver's car I've owned (GTI, Mini S, Mustang). The top motor housing was redesigned and doesn't have the issues the earlier versions of the Z did. I love the N52 it is silky smooth, and the "si" version makes great power, and the M suspension makes it a fantastic driver.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 05-13-2019, 10:17 AM
GreatFrog GreatFrog is offline
Registered User
Location: College Station, TX
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 14
Mein Auto: E46 ZHP/M, E85 3.0i, R56s
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreatFrog View Post
I agree. Z4M is a hidden gem and considered as the most under-priced M car on the market. And the M body kit really brings out the Z4 design language to full display. However I am not sure if I would enjoy the rawness of the S54 in a roadster. For me the N52B30 is just a good balance between elegance and performance, as well as reliability. I still think S54's natural habitat is E46 M3' engine bay, which I also own. All being said, I am going to test drive my friends Z4M tomorrow, guess I will find out myself.
I got the chance to ride my friend's Z4M yesterday. His is extremely low mileage, at 16k I believe. The engine is virtually new and he just had the valve adjustment done on it. I have to say the engine is perceivably quieter than my M3's engine, probably attributable to the low mileage and valve adjustment. No intrusive rough sound coming into the cabin when cruising down the road. The stock quad exhaust is really handsome to look at and does not sound intrusive either. Overall it is a really balanced packaged. On my Z4 3.0i though, we found the stock dual exhaust produces a really distinctive deep rumbling sound that is pleasing to the ear.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 05-13-2019, 10:20 AM
GreatFrog GreatFrog is offline
Registered User
Location: College Station, TX
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 14
Mein Auto: E46 ZHP/M, E85 3.0i, R56s
Quote:
Originally Posted by janole View Post
If the shock/struts haven't been changed they are probably shot, mine were completely dead at 62k and I was ridding on springs
I am not feeling the bouncing effect of a bad strut (at 68k), I think my friend didn't notice that either during the test drive (compared to his low mileage M). I guess it also depends on the road quality it has been driven through? All being said, I am almost sure that a new set of shocks will improve the overall handling and ride quality of the car. Just not something that I would immediately worry about.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 05-13-2019, 10:25 AM
Fifty150hs Fifty150hs is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Menlo Park, CA
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 663
Mein Auto: SF Bay Area
Thanks for the info. The more I dig, the more I'm looking for a Z$M Coupe. They're pretty rare. Collectible. And from what I've been reading they handle better than the roadster due to more torsional stiffness. I've found one I'm in love with with only 9009 miles on it. Now to figure out where to get the money.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 05-13-2019, 10:37 AM
GreatFrog GreatFrog is offline
Registered User
Location: College Station, TX
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 14
Mein Auto: E46 ZHP/M, E85 3.0i, R56s
The Z4MC is the mostly sought after model and rare to come by, not to mention a extremely low mileage one. With under 10k mile it is definitely a collectible gem, and I am sure it will command a premium inevitably. I think you probably want to make sure the overall condition (mechanical and cosmetic) matches the its low mileage, which is very important for the car to hold its value. Good luck with your purchase. You cannot go wrong with any variant of the E85 Z4. They are hack a lot of FUN to drive.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 05-13-2019, 11:24 AM
Lima12 Lima12 is offline
Registered User
Location: Detroit MI
 
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: 2006 BMW Z4 M Roadster
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fifty150hs View Post
Thanks for the info. The more I dig, the more I'm looking for a Z$M Coupe. They're pretty rare. Collectible. And from what I've been reading they handle better than the roadster due to more torsional stiffness. I've found one I'm in love with with only 9009 miles on it. Now to figure out where to get the money.
Both Z4MR and Z4MC are the same with the exception of the hard top. The couple commands the extra premium because they made less than the roadster. The premium is mainly driven by people who look for the coupe as it is a trackable car. You need a roll cage or a hard roof to take a car to the track.

I was in that same dilemma. Ended up w a roadster as i will never track my M. Definately take it on the twisties and enjoy the crap out of it. It really is up to you whether the coupe makes sense or not. The roadster is cheaper as you cant track that car.

I couldn't justified the additional 7-8k average for the coupe. The roadster is more fun imo. Either way. The Z4M is the last pure breed drivers car BMW made. Everything else just has too much tech.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 05-13-2019, 11:47 AM
GreatFrog GreatFrog is offline
Registered User
Location: College Station, TX
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 14
Mein Auto: E46 ZHP/M, E85 3.0i, R56s
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lima12 View Post
Both Z4MR and Z4MC are the same with the exception of the hard top. The couple commands the extra premium because they made less than the roadster. The premium is mainly driven by people who look for the coupe as it is a trackable car. You need a roll cage or a hard roof to take a car to the track.

I was in that same dilemma. Ended up w a roadster as i will never track my M. Definately take it on the twisties and enjoy the crap out of it. It really is up to you whether the coupe makes sense or not. The roadster is cheaper as you cant track that car.

I couldn't justified the additional 7-8k average for the coupe. The roadster is more fun imo. Either way. The Z4M is the last pure breed drivers car BMW made. Everything else just has too much tech.
I agree. In the end, it all comes down to personal preference and usage. Want track-ready rigidity? go with the coupe. Want the feeling of wind blowing through your hair and hearing the exhaust pop right at your ear? get a roadster. As a matter of fact the soft-top roadster has a lower center of gravity, especially with the top down. Aesthetic wise, I prefer the look of the roadster with the top down and the profile of the coupe as a closed-top stance. Personally I would still pick the roadster for its one-of-a-kind experience, as I am not a hard-core track guy. But there is indeed a hype in the coupe market and people are asking more $$$ for a reason. You just need to justify that extra cost to yourself.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 05-13-2019, 02:24 PM
janole janole is offline
Registered User
Location: sonoma ca
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 31
Mein Auto: 2007 z4 3.0si
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreatFrog View Post
I am not feeling the bouncing effect of a bad strut (at 68k), I think my friend didn't notice that either during the test drive (compared to his low mileage M). I guess it also depends on the road quality it has been driven through? All being said, I am almost sure that a new set of shocks will improve the overall handling and ride quality of the car. Just not something that I would immediately worry about.
easy to check, pull the 18mm bolt at the bottom rear shock, compress up upward, I'll bet it will not come back down.

mine were like these at the 11:40 mark of the video
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 05-13-2019, 02:49 PM
GreatFrog GreatFrog is offline
Registered User
Location: College Station, TX
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 14
Mein Auto: E46 ZHP/M, E85 3.0i, R56s
I have seen similar testing on the shock/strut. As a matter of fact I did the same thing when I changed out my old 325i's rear struts. Not coming up on itself when compressed is definitely a sign of wear on them. However, we all know that the main function of the strut is to dampen spring oscillations. So it is the compression/rebound resistance that matters the most, rather than its ability to return to fully extended position. He did mention that his shock is very easy to compress though. Unfortunately there is no easy measure of the compression/rebound resistance I guess, therefore people uses the test shown in the video to tell if the shock is short or not. It could be a good indicator, but just not the most strict and accurate one. BTW, how do you know you were riding on springs before changing out your struts? I am just curious.

Last edited by GreatFrog; 05-13-2019 at 02:51 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 05-13-2019, 03:08 PM
janole janole is offline
Registered User
Location: sonoma ca
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 31
Mein Auto: 2007 z4 3.0si
I had alot of chatter over rough roads and it felt like the car would bottom out on deep smooth depressions on the freeway, wish I had filmed the shocks when I pulled them, they compressed completely with little to no force (their own weight) and had no return on their own, pulling them back out was easier than depressing them. Our roads absolutely suck here, so that is an issue for sure. the Konis I put in didn't make the cars feel any softer, but made the car feel more composed

The fronts we not as bad, but did them anyways since I had them

Last edited by janole; 05-13-2019 at 03:10 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 05-13-2019, 09:16 PM
Andyz4 Andyz4 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Orlando, FL
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 172
Mein Auto: 2006 Z4 3.0si
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lima12 View Post
You need a roll cage or a hard roof to take a car to the track. I was in that same dilemma. Ended up w a roadster as i will never track my M. The roadster is cheaper as you cant track that car.
Not sure where you are getting your info, but I track my bone stock roadster almost every month, and it's a fantastic track car. These cars were built from the start as convertibles, and have superior torsional rigidity even relative to many hardtop sports cars. The coupe adds a bit more, but rare is the driver who could fully exploit it.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 05-14-2019, 11:14 PM
KevinC's Avatar
KevinC KevinC is offline
your average JAMF
Location: Hereford, AZ
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,190
Mein Auto: '08 Z4 M Coupé,'16 Golf R
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreatFrog View Post
I got the chance to ride my friend's Z4M yesterday. His is extremely low mileage, at 16k I believe. The engine is virtually new and he just had the valve adjustment done on it. I have to say the engine is perceivably quieter than my M3's engine, probably attributable to the low mileage and valve adjustment. No intrusive rough sound coming into the cabin when cruising down the road.
The factory exhausts are vastly different on the 2 cars, and that probably accounts for the difference. I remember being taken for a hot lap in an M3 by one of the instructors at the Performance Center in Greenville in 2007, and I couldn't believe the difference in the sound, particularly the exhaust note. Very angry/metallic/loud from the M3, while much more docile from the Z4M. I'm fine with the quieter Z4M setup because it allows you to hear the engine better, and a sweet sounding mill it is.
__________________
'08 Z4 M Coupé LM08602
'16 Golf R
'17 Kawasaki Versys 650
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 05-14-2019, 11:32 PM
KevinC's Avatar
KevinC KevinC is offline
your average JAMF
Location: Hereford, AZ
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,190
Mein Auto: '08 Z4 M Coupé,'16 Golf R
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lima12 View Post
Both Z4MR and Z4MC are the same with the exception of the hard top.
Not true. More torsional rigidity in the coupe, faster steering rack, thicker anti-roll bars, slightly more aggressive shock valving as a result of the stiffer platform. Possibly more, but those differences for sure.
__________________
'08 Z4 M Coupé LM08602
'16 Golf R
'17 Kawasaki Versys 650
Reply With Quote
Reply

See More Related BMW Stories


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > Z Series > E85 / E86 Z4 (2003-2008)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Thinking of Buying a (slightly) modded 08 335 - thoughts?? TaylorCar E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013) 0 09-05-2014 09:12 AM
Toyota owner thinking about buying 2012 bmw x5 xdrive35d Carenthusiast14 X5 E70 (2007 - 2013) 12 01-09-2014 08:57 PM
Thinking of buying an 07 X5 4.8 X5ist X5 E70 (2007 - 2013) 12 08-13-2013 10:41 PM
Thinking about buying a used BMW.. advise on maintance AlexLA New Member Introductions 2 02-26-2013 02:16 PM
Thinking about buying 2007 328i convert tiffanyhey E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013) 5 07-16-2012 08:03 AM


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:26 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
© 2001- VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.