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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys. I have a Z3 2.8, year 2000 model. Bought from new so I know it's had no lousy history.
Of late it's developed a front end judder that can be felt on both the steering and the floor well. It starts to kick-in at around 120KPH (75MPH). I took it up to 200KPH (125MPH) the other day to see if I could drive through it - as is often the case with a misbalanced wheel. Judder stayed about the same.
Have had the wheels balanced (twice). Haven't hit any curbs/potholes and there's no sign of scrubbing on either front tyres - indicating tracking ok? It's got 32000Kms (20k miles) on the clock so it's unlikely to something that's 'worn out'. I appreciate age is a factor as is climate. Car lets me live with it in the south of France where it gets a tad hot in the summer, and rubber tends to dry out in places like this. I'm starting to think of perished rubber mountings on the front end. Has anyone else met this?
Thanx guys, Phil.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Vintage42, many thanx for your reply.
No, not had the alignment checked but as I mentioned, not hit any curbs and tyres wearing evenly across the tread - which isn't the case with misalignment?
Something I forgot to mention in my post; when riding over the multitude of *adjective* speed-ramps down here, I can feel a very slight 'clunk' from the front end suspension. That's why I considered a possible front end chassis mounting bush issue.
 

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The Arkleyologist
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Only 20k miles on the car is astounding....but does it still have the original tires? Z3's are highly dependent on perfectly round/symetrical tires...bad things happen when they do not meet this criteria.
 

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Put the front wheels on the back and see what happens. I'm guessing your tires are old and the belts are separating. Take it into a tire shop and have the wheels balanced - the tires are probably not round any more. Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi ZEEBOY.
20K miles is very low - mostly AutoRoutes (Freeways) in France and a few of those hairpin bend roads up in the Alps. Great fun.
Z3s tend to be a bit 'happy' at the rear end. Those tyres got replaced at 14k miles. Front end tyres got replaced a few months ago not because they were down to the hardspots, but because they'd passed their age limit for the French road-worthy certificate.
I posted 2 threads on this one because I cocked up on the 'title' with the first one :-( Sorry.
A guy with an enviable 30ltr version in New Zealand, 'NZ00Z3', suggested the front control arm rear bushings may be worn. I think he's probably right. I'm inclined to have a look at those but since this problem seems to have occurred round about the same time as the new front tyres, I might first try swopping front/back wheels.
Thanks ZEEBOY, NZ00Z3, Vintage42, for your suggestions.
Phil.
 

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BMW CCA 1405
1997 BMW Z3 1.9
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5,180 Posts
... Z3 2.8, year 2000 model... 32000Kms (20k miles)... Bought from new... developed a front end judder that can be felt on both the steering and the floor well. It starts to kick-in at around 120KPH (75MPH)...
... not had the alignment checked...
... the front control arm rear bushings may be worn...
I seems unlikely for the FCABs to become worn at 20,000 miles, or to cause a high speed judder.
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12931
Faulty new front tire(s) or the alignment do seem more likely to cause that problem.
 

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Phil,
You said 2 things that make me jealous: the Alps and going 125 mph. Having been to France I can only imagine the thrill of driving a Z around the curves. Here in Houston the only mountains we have are speed bumps in the parking lots. At 85 mph I am fighting pickups on the freeway and praying I don' t get a speeding ticket. I hope you can find the fix to your problem as you have a really great car.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hi guys
A big thanks to 'Vintage42', 'NZ00Z3', 'AB1945', 'ZEEBOY', 'z3jeff' for the useful and helpful replies (on both threads I opened). I had some ideas of my own but you chaps, collectively, have pointed me the right direction:
To pass the last 'Controle Technique' (MOT/road worthy certificate) I foolishly had fitted a pair of inexpensive front boots - Handcocks. Michelins on the rear were newish. AB1945 said transpose front and back wheels and see what happens. I know that's gunna fix it.
Slight 'clunk' feeling over speed ramps - I think NZ00Z3's nailed that one. Will let you know how I get on.
I can see you're all passionate about your Z3s - so am I. When mine was 2000Km (1250Miles) old I was on a German derestricted Autobahn on me way to work. 'Hammer time' up to 234KPH/146MPH to see that it met its European spec. and wasn't governed to US restrictions - as post '97 Z3s were all made in the US. It did it, just! The car felt so stable and positive. Sat low down, that looks..... well it just does - and perfectly legal in Germany. I'm lucky (nah, all planned!), got the Alps 45mins away. Those Jeremy Clarkson 'Top Gear' roads up there were designed with a sports car in mind! OMG!
Will leave with those Alpine roads (Top Gear UK) and two old reports on Z3s from the TG UK team. Enjoy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?annot...&feature=iv&src_vid=lUF-N8BsBmU&v=Np8z6l-FWOE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9k0_Mc0QmHQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6q5SVHpN_CU
 
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