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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.

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  #1  
Old 03-10-2020, 05:06 PM
Al C Al C is offline
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Z4m

Hi Guys,
Gonna upgrade my 07 Z4 to a Z4M.
In terms of PPI, what should I be looking out for? Is there a rev record on the vehicle like in a 911 TT?
Anything to stay away from. Mileage recomendations?
All comments,recommendations welcome. Also best recommendation for after market exhaust ..back box delete?
Thanks everyone!
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Old 03-10-2020, 05:36 PM
Muskrat14 Muskrat14 is offline
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Sorry, canít answer your questions, but I picked up an 06 Z4M a few weeks ago. 21K miles, one owner.

I love it. So much fun to drive.

I can tell you that many that are out there have had multiple owners. I wouldnít let that make you shy away. Iíve read on many forums that these cars are frequent sold after a few years of fun and ownership.

I would try to find one w a solid service history.

Good luck in your search.


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Old 03-11-2020, 07:15 AM
turbodt turbodt is offline
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  #4  
Old 03-11-2020, 11:20 AM
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If you buy one with over 50k miles, make sure to set aside some money for rod bearings and VANOS work. My car required rod bearings changed at about 52k. You can read about it here => https://www.zpost.com/forums/showthr...t=oil+analysis

The VANOS bolts can shear on earlier models and the exhaust hub tabs can break, but there are solutions to make it more robust. Also remember that the S54 requires valve inspection/adjustments every 30k miles or so. Other than that, the car is pretty much bulletproof if you maintain it well, as with any other BMWs.

Back box delete would be LOUD. I pulled out the Supersprint Race after just a couple of days with it...so I can't even imagine running straight pipes! For a limited production car, there are surprisingly plenty of aftermarket exhausts to choose from. If you like loud, go RPi, Rogue Engineering Diablo, Eisnmann Race or Supersprint Race. If you like tame, go Remus, Eisenmann Sport, Stromung, or Supersprint Powerloop. Coupe or Roadster makes a big difference in drone toleration. I went through 3 different aftermarket setup before settling on the Eisenmann Sport coupled with the Rogue Engineering x-pipe (resonator)
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Old 03-11-2020, 04:52 PM
turbodt turbodt is offline
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DKL, thank you

for the guidance, and for sharing the link. I've been watching two sites: Z4M Buyers guide, and also EnthusiastAutoGroup. I live near the latter, and it seems to always have the E86 Z4M (Roadster and Coupe) in stock. The two sites present different buying experiences. Primarily I'm faced with buying from a private seller, or buying from a business plan (EAG). The latter states it brings the car to turnkey condition through extensive inspection and replacement where needed; get in and drive off. Buying a POV brings it's own challenges. Caveat Emptor, and all that, which means if I can find a POV, I'd have the PPI done (also with EAG, of course), and be certain to have the cash difference between the two for the needed work. This assumes complete routine maintenance records are available. Some cars I've seen at EAG are approaching the cost of the new Supra, close enough to make me wonder about going that route. Still the E86 Z4M has a stronger appeal to me than does the new Supra (which I do like). I even like the new C8. But the Z4M is still more affordable as an initial purchase, and I'm not looking to finance a new car and be upside down in it's trade-in value before it's paid off.
Thinking about it is invigorating?
thanks again
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Old 03-11-2020, 05:39 PM
Al C Al C is offline
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Not sure yet what's even involved with a "top end" rebuild on this engine, but as an example, are you better off paying top $$ for a Z4M with lower miles ( lets say 25 k miles) or buying one with 60k miles for let's just say $5k less and spending whatever it takes to refresh the engine . Not even sure what's involved with a top end on this car but assuming it's replacing all the important parts discussed above. Also doing a through top end should run generally how much at a top indie shop? At least this way you'd know the work has been done rather than assume all is well, pay top $$$, and then have to do it anyway? Does the typical PPI find the engine wear and tear that we're describing here? Thanks
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Old 03-11-2020, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by turbodt View Post
for the guidance, and for sharing the link. I've been watching two sites: Z4M Buyers guide, and also EnthusiastAutoGroup. I live near the latter, and it seems to always have the E86 Z4M (Roadster and Coupe) in stock. The two sites present different buying experiences. Primarily I'm faced with buying from a private seller, or buying from a business plan (EAG). The latter states it brings the car to turnkey condition through extensive inspection and replacement where needed; get in and drive off. Buying a POV brings it's own challenges. Caveat Emptor, and all that, which means if I can find a POV, I'd have the PPI done (also with EAG, of course), and be certain to have the cash difference between the two for the needed work. This assumes complete routine maintenance records are available. Some cars I've seen at EAG are approaching the cost of the new Supra, close enough to make me wonder about going that route. Still the E86 Z4M has a stronger appeal to me than does the new Supra (which I do like). I even like the new C8. But the Z4M is still more affordable as an initial purchase, and I'm not looking to finance a new car and be upside down in it's trade-in value before it's paid off.
Thinking about it is invigorating?
thanks again
Problem with rod bearings is that if you inspect it, you mind as well replace it as all the labor had already been done just to peek at it. And you won't know for sure unless you have many oil analysis to look at - not just one! Same with the VANOS bolts. So...Even for an EAG car above 50k miles, unless it's got paperwork showing rod bearings has been changed, I would still budget that in.

Having owned my MCoupe for 10 years+, there's still isn't much out there that I would rather have for the same money. Not even the new Supra for the following reasons:
  • N/A vs Turbo - S54...ohhhhh that S54!
  • 6 speed manual vs slushbox - I don't care how great that auto is, it is still an auto!
  • Rawness vs Isolation

Although, I'm itching to trade up to the Cayman GT4, but I just yet can't convince myself that it is 4x as much fun as the MC for 4x the money.
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Old 03-11-2020, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Al C View Post
Not sure yet what's even involved with a "top end" rebuild on this engine, but as an example, are you better off paying top $$ for a Z4M with lower miles ( lets say 25 k miles) or buying one with 60k miles for let's just say $5k less and spending whatever it takes to refresh the engine . Not even sure what's involved with a top end on this car but assuming it's replacing all the important parts discussed above. Also doing a through top end should run generally how much at a top indie shop? At least this way you'd know the work has been done rather than assume all is well, pay top $$$, and then have to do it anyway? Does the typical PPI find the engine wear and tear that we're describing here? Thanks
I can tell you that typical PPI won't find all the stuffs that's discussed here since you would have to open up the top and bottom end to inspect it. At that point, you mind as well replace/repair all that was discussed since you're 90% there.

I would take the 60k miles car and use the $5K toward bulletproofing the engine. That would give you the peace of mind that the engine won't blow up on you down the line. Rod bearings are a ticking time bomb in these engines. I thought it was something that was overblown by the internet, but you can see from my link above that it was inevitable to just bite the bullet.

$2k for rod bearings is typical at an indie shop that specialized in S54 - I paid about that all in.

VANOS is a bit more tricky as you would have to find an Indie that's willing to take it apart and install all the Beisan System's upgrades. So, I would do the VANOS stuffs with the valve adjustment to save you on labor. I can't give you any figures here because I got a friend that helped me install all the Beisan System's upgrades, but you can visit the company's website linked below to gauge out prices for the parts. Just look at all the S54 stuffs that they offered.

http://www.beisansystems.com/products.html
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Old 03-11-2020, 08:46 PM
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KevinC KevinC is offline
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Some sound advice already posted here. Good job guys!

I'll chime in on the EAG experience. I traded my original Z4MC (58k miles at the time, bought new in 2007, traded in mid-2015) towards an E39 M5 at EAG. Very positive experience all the way around. Yes, you pay top dollar for an EAG car, but you also get what you pay for. Eric has been in business for over 20 years now, and while he has his detractors out there, you'd be hard pressed to find one that has actually done business with him - his customers universally praise him, me included.

Without going that route, I'm in agreement that a 50-60k mile car is a good way to go, and just go ahead and get the rod bearings done sometime shortly after purchase. The VANOS seems to be less problematic on these cars than earlier S54-equipped M3's. Apparently the troublesome bolts were upgraded in the motor's later years.

I regretted letting mine go almost immediately and it took me 3 years, but I eventually replaced it with the one I have now, and I plan on keeping this one for the duration. They really are special cars, were always rare, and only getting rarer as the years go by.
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Old 03-11-2020, 10:46 PM
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Found some pictures of my VANOS rebuilt (and valve adjustments) to give you an idea of what's involved. This was performed when the car had about 46K miles - note how much wear there are on the upper timing chain guide, with most finding the tip broken off in higher mileage cars. At the time, Beisan didn't have anything for the upper chain guide, so I just replaced it with a new OE, which means I would need to get that replaced again when I hit 100K miles...yay.
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Old 03-12-2020, 01:46 AM
Al C Al C is offline
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Guys
Thank you all so much for sharing your knowledge and experiences with me. Got to set about finding just the right z4m to invest in.
Let me know if you see any reasonable deals out there. Very few dealership cars offer any service records and not many PO selling near me. I figure something in the 40k miles ( 3k per year at 13 yrs) should be a weekender and in reasonable shape. Hopefully mid to high teens is a decent price. Wish me luck!
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Old 03-12-2020, 07:41 AM
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Good luck hunting. I think a reasonably priced Z4M Roadsters with 40k miles in decent shapes should be in the low to mid twenties and Coupes in the mid to high twenties, if not the low thirties. I have only see high mileage examples or not the greatest shapes dips into the teens.
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Old 03-13-2020, 06:40 PM
Muskrat14 Muskrat14 is offline
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Originally Posted by dkl View Post
Good luck hunting. I think a reasonably priced Z4M Roadsters with 40k miles in decent shapes should be in the low to mid twenties and Coupes in the mid to high twenties, if not the low thirties. I have only see high mileage examples or not the greatest shapes dips into the teens.


DKL is correct in the pricing within that mileage.


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Old 03-15-2020, 01:35 PM
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OP - start bidding! You may get lucky with this one. Hurry though, as the auction will end in a day - Good Luck!

https://bringatrailer.com/listing/20...m-roadster-28/
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Old 03-15-2020, 03:48 PM
Muskrat14 Muskrat14 is offline
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Great looking Z4M. Letís play a little game and guess what the finally selling price will be.

Iíll guess $24,500.




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Old 03-15-2020, 04:08 PM
Patrick Gent Patrick Gent is offline
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One other thing that seems to be a common problem with these is (are?) the engine mount bolts. Mine were replaced under cpo warranty with factory bolts. I think I have read that the better solution are aftermarket bolts (ARE?).

And get and follow Mike Miller's Lifetime Maintenance Schedule. Mike is the tech guy at BMW Car Club of America. Do not believe the factory 15,000 mile oil change.

By the way, my 2007 M Coupe is at 150,000 with still no indication in the oil that I need connecting rod bearings. I got the level of lead in the oil (first layer of the bearing) well under control by partially warming up each morning before I drive off. Eventually I am going to see copper and need to replace the bearings, but not yet.

I did have the Vanos replaced under cpo--it was, if I recall, a $4,500 job at the dealer. But again, did not know at the time, it is still a factory Vanos and not the better bolts (I had not heard of the kit noted above).
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Old 03-15-2020, 04:19 PM
Al C Al C is offline
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Thanks Patrick. Appreciate the advice. Getting more anxious every day to find the right m and get my 07 z4 ready for market

Ps. I know Iíve seen a poll on this forum somewhere about members exhaust choices... any idea where and what do you run? Thanks
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Old 03-15-2020, 09:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Gent View Post
One other thing that seems to be a common problem with these is (are?) the engine mount bolts. Mine were replaced under cpo warranty with factory bolts. I think I have read that the better solution are aftermarket bolts (ARE?).

And get and follow Mike Miller's Lifetime Maintenance Schedule. Mike is the tech guy at BMW Car Club of America. Do not believe the factory 15,000 mile oil change.

By the way, my 2007 M Coupe is at 150,000 with still no indication in the oil that I need connecting rod bearings. I got the level of lead in the oil (first layer of the bearing) well under control by partially warming up each morning before I drive off. Eventually I am going to see copper and need to replace the bearings, but not yet.

I did have the Vanos replaced under cpo--it was, if I recall, a $4,500 job at the dealer. But again, did not know at the time, it is still a factory Vanos and not the better bolts (I had not heard of the kit noted above).
Don't get too re-assured with the oil analysis looking for copper level spike...it may not happen. If you look at my link posted above, there's no indication of copper spiking, so it would mean that I should be pretty safe...but yet, I was in fact already into copper on my bearings!

Most of us changed out the motor mount bolts to the 10.9 grade BMW Motorsports bolts (original bolts were 8.9 grade), but those are no longer available from BMW...so you'll have to source the correct 10.9 bolts from other hardware vendors.

Regarding the VANOS bolts, there were 2 types (hex and torx), both BMW factory installed. The hex bolts were the problematic ones, which were ultimately been replaced by the torx version). Mine came with the torx version already installed, but since I already bought the replacement bolts when I decided to inspect it, mind as well had them replaced it while we were in there.
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Old 03-16-2020, 02:46 PM
Al C Al C is offline
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Ps. I know I've seen a poll on this forum somewhere about members exhaust choices... any idea where and what do you run? Thanks
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Old 03-16-2020, 03:03 PM
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Ps. I know I've seen a poll on this forum somewhere about members exhaust choices... any idea where and what do you run? Thanks
Did you see the last portion of post #4? Do you have specifics that you want to know?
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Old 03-16-2020, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Muskrat14 View Post
Great looking Z4M. Letís play a little game and guess what the finally selling price will be.

Iíll guess $24,500.




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Dang- somebody got really lucky and walked away with it for $20k!
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Old 03-16-2020, 03:12 PM
Al C Al C is offline
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Thanks DKL...I did.
Thought I saw a survey/ poll listed somewhere on these forums about % of exhausts being run by brand. Kinda like loud and what I'm hearing from RPI, but at $1k, if a muffler delete gives a similar sound, I'd rather invest that $$ in the engine. Thanks again
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Old 03-17-2020, 04:37 AM
Muskrat14 Muskrat14 is offline
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Originally Posted by dkl View Post
Dang- somebody got really lucky and walked away with it for $20k!


Thatís a great deal! Even factoring in shipping, a great deal.


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Old 03-24-2020, 05:27 AM
Al C Al C is offline
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Rod and main bearings?...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkl View Post
I can tell you that typical PPI won't find all the stuffs that's discussed here since you would have to open up the top and bottom end to inspect it. At that point, you mind as well replace/repair all that was discussed since you're 90% there.

I would take the 60k miles car and use the $5K toward bulletproofing the engine. That would give you the peace of mind that the engine won't blow up on you down the line. Rod bearings are a ticking time bomb in these engines. I thought it was something that was overblown by the internet, but you can see from my link above that it was inevitable to just bite the bullet.

$2k for rod bearings is typical at an indie shop that specialized in S54 - I paid about that all in.

VANOS is a bit more tricky as you would have to find an Indie that's willing to take it apart and install all the Beisan System's upgrades. So, I would do the VANOS stuffs with the valve adjustment to save you on labor. I can't give you any figures here because I got a friend that helped me install all the Beisan System's upgrades, but you can visit the company's website linked below to gauge out prices for the parts. Just look at all the S54 stuffs that they offered.

http://www.beisansystems.com/products.html
Not to show my ignorance, but with the "top and bottom" discussion, we are talking about the rod bearings being the issue in these engines, not the main bearings..correct?
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Old 03-24-2020, 05:49 AM
Muskrat14 Muskrat14 is offline
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Rod bearings, which are serviced by dropping the oil pan to gain access. You can somewhat monitor the wear of these by doing an oil analysis and looking for higher levels of copper. Iíll be sending my oil out to
Monitor. Iím far from an S54 engine expert but unless the car was tracked a lot by previous owner, I would t consider doing them u til at least 80K miles.


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