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E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)
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  #1  
Old 12-06-2011, 10:25 AM
babyZ babyZ is offline
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97 Z3 back tires wearing out quick!

Im brand new to this forum and the world of BMW. I just got my 97 Z3 a few months back and im absolutly in love. My problem is my back tires, probably from the squat, wear down on the inner races very quickly. Tires, theyre expensive. Any way to combat this problem?
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  #2  
Old 12-06-2011, 10:42 AM
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amancuso amancuso is online now
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How old were the tires when you bought the car a few months back?
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  #3  
Old 12-06-2011, 11:20 AM
babyZ babyZ is offline
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Had less than 500. After about 1500 miles, the were worn down to slicks. Tried the alignment route but the shop said i didnt need one and that they were meant to lean in a little, but i feel like the sway is a bit much.
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  #4  
Old 12-06-2011, 11:37 AM
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BeemerMikeTX BeemerMikeTX is offline
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Go to another alignment shop, preferably one with BMW experience. My 2001 Z3 3.0i routinely gets 18,000 miles from the rear Michelin Pilot Sport 245/40-17 tires. My car has 80k+ miles, and it has NEVER been aligned since new, because all four tires wear out evenly across the tread with no abnormal wear indications. The front tires go about 25,000 miles or so.
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"Beemer" is for my BMW motorcycles - '13 K1300S, '95 R1100RS, '88 K75S, '75 R90S (gone, but not forgotten).

Last edited by BeemerMikeTX; 12-06-2011 at 11:59 AM.
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  #5  
Old 12-06-2011, 12:20 PM
KBH22102 KBH22102 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 Z3 2.8, 2002 M Coupe
Z3's do eat rear tires but wearing out a set of rears at only 1500 miles is very fast. Has the car been lowered? Lowering will accentuate the negative camber even further and increase the wear rate. Does the car handle well? Trailing arm bushings can wear out in a 14 year old car and affect the toe which will also increase tire wear. The trailing arms themselves are also easily bent in sliding type accidents. The rear suspension on a Z3 cannot be adjusted in stock form but there are available toe/camber adjustability kits that require you to drop the rear suspension subframe for welding and installation. This will then allow you to correct some of the negative camber and increase tire life.
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  #6  
Old 12-06-2011, 04:05 PM
tohbi tohbi is offline
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turning corners in 3rd gear help mine wear evenly. doesn't increase tire mileage unfortunately.
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  #7  
Old 12-06-2011, 05:36 PM
bugsmasher bugsmasher is offline
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My back tires wear out fast also, I think its normal, but a little expensive, its to police that think its not normal. go figure
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  #8  
Old 12-07-2011, 06:18 AM
babyZ babyZ is offline
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It hasn't been lowered and I've spent quite some time underneath checking anything and everything for cracks, bends, and worn parts but it's still a mystery. The car handles great and as far as I know has never been on terribly rough terrain or in an accident. In my research I found it to be somewhat normal for the tires to lean, but the severity is my concern. Im in college still and tires are PRICEY for working only freelance. Thanks to everyone who has replied. You've all been much more help than anyone else I have asked.
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  #9  
Old 12-07-2011, 06:29 AM
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BeemerMikeTX BeemerMikeTX is offline
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It is normal for the rear tires to lean "in" at the top (i.e., negative camber), as has been case with BMW's for a long time. I don't know what you mean by "severity". If you can, post of pic of your car taken directly from the rear so we can see it.

If you are wearing rear tires out in 1,500 miles with normal street driving, then SOMETHING is wrong. Even Acura NSX's and Porsche 911's don't wear them out that fast.
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2001 Z3 3.0i Roadster (Topaz Blue Metallic, 5-speed manual, Sport Package, CD radio, heated seats and mirrors, non-power top via special order)
"Beemer" is for my BMW motorcycles - '13 K1300S, '95 R1100RS, '88 K75S, '75 R90S (gone, but not forgotten).
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  #10  
Old 12-07-2011, 07:45 AM
babyZ babyZ is offline
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Once I pull it out of the shop today I will get some pictures up. This last set of tires has last a bit over 3000 and is showing some wear, but not enough to change them yet. My concern grew from the first set which were terrible. Could it have been the tires themselves? Brand or style I mean.

Problem could've been combatted somewhat with rotation, but my front and rear rims differ in style and are awkward to rotate. I need to search around and find a set of 4 matching.
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  #11  
Old 12-07-2011, 07:49 AM
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Pinecone Pinecone is offline
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Typically if the rear tires are wearing that fast, the toe in is wrong. That can come from a bent control arm or bent subframe.

If somethign is bent, you need to replace the bent part. Otherwise, the Ireland weld in toe correction kit wroks best.

Camber by itself does nto wear tires, but camber with excessive toe is killer.
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  #12  
Old 12-07-2011, 11:33 AM
dougmcintyre dougmcintyre is offline
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A tread depth gauge will allow you to accurately monitor wear. About $5 to $10 at any auto parts store.
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  #13  
Old 12-07-2011, 07:36 PM
Giznaz Giznaz is offline
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First off, tire wear like you describe is normal, for these cars.

That being said, 1500 miles is excessive, thus a couple caveats.

1. If the rear toe is wrong, the tire will wear badly.
2. If the car is lowered, shocks bad etc, same thing.
3. Bent or worn rear suspension pieces will wear the tires.
4. If the wheels are wide, same thing. I had stock 16 inch wheels, replaced with stock staggered 17 inch. Tire wear doubled. It's due to the wider wheels.
5. Possible cheap tires

So, many of the answers given here are correct, just maybe not all for your particular car. 1500 miles IS way too fast, should be 12000-15000 or maybe better. There is something not right.
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  #14  
Old 12-08-2011, 06:31 AM
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Pinecone Pinecone is offline
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1. Absolutely.

2. Not necessarily. See 1

3. Absolutely

4. Not necessarily. Tire width does not change toe or camber. Now, a bent wheel may cause some issues.

5. Typically cheap tires are harder rubber and take longer to wear out.
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  #15  
Old 12-08-2011, 07:19 AM
tohbi tohbi is offline
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a little off topic but i just gotta post something.

when i was new to the list [not that long ago], pinecone pissed me off. i had written a post asking a whole slew of questions about my new-to-me ride and he basically told me to search the archives first, then ask more pertinent questions. i was a little taken aback but i shouldn't have been.

now, when i click on bimmerfest i find myself hoping to see a pinecone post. his expertise and willingness to share more than compensate for any directness that might offend tender sensibilities. he is one of the treasures of bimmerfest but he isn't the only one.

so i want to offer a big christmas thank you to all members who share this list and especially to pinecone and the other experts who are so generous with their time and, often, their equipment and personal assistance.

while i can't do much wrenching myself anymore, i'm finding that knowledge found on this list allows me to avoid the stealership and hire shade tree mechanics for many repairs. couldn't do it without you guys.
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  #16  
Old 12-09-2011, 05:40 AM
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Pinecone Pinecone is offline
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WOW, thanks.

Others would use another word than directness.

Hppy holidays.
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  #17  
Old 12-09-2011, 09:24 AM
tohbi tohbi is offline
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at the time, seems to me i did use another word. ha! but i realize some newbees aren't as thick-skinned as we old crocodiles. hey, they just need to understand us!

recently, i was chastised for being rude and sexist because i wrote that sports cars, like beautiful women, can be high maintenance.

luckily, i didn't buy a miata. imagine the gay jokes...... [oh boy, bet i'm in for it now]
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Old 04-14-2019, 11:12 AM
Bimmerman4ever Bimmerman4ever is offline
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