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1998 BMW Z3 2.8L
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430 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 1998 Z3 2.8 Roadster sat up for a month and today I took it out for a drive and the brakes are pulling to the left when applied. Prior to that, the brakes have been excellent. I tried jamming on the brakes a few times from highway speeds but they continue to pull left. There are no leaks in the system. Does anyone know a quick fix to this problem?

Not sure if bleeding the brakes will help. Might just have to rebuild all four of the calipers.

BTW, what is best for bleeding the brakes, a pressure or vacuum bleeder?

Does anyone know if the 1993 Z3s come with DOT 3 or DOT 4 brake fluid?

Any information is greatly appreciated!
Nick
 

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terry2001z3
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233 Posts
you could have several posible problems.i would start with just looking at the pads.are they worn more on one side of the car than the otherside.you could try taking the pads from one side to the other side of the car.if you still have not found the problem i would change the rubber brake lines.they swell up inside as they age.
 

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1998 BMW Z3 2.8L
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430 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I removed all of the tires and I did see on the front right that the wheel well, the wheel, caliper, and strut had a film of brake fluid or oil on them. You can see the spray pattern.
I figure it is either the hose or a leaking strut.

FWI: The car has 29,000 miles, always kept in an enclosed garage.


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Below. Possible leak on hose connections.
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Top of strut.
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1996 Z3 roadster with Dinan Cold Air Intake & Stage 1 suspension.
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199 Posts
Yikes. Some kind of brake fluid leak (lines or calipers) certainly explains the pull... although from the pics, it looks like the leak is on the driver’s side (left), some initial thought experiment would suggest it should be more “grabby” on the working side (passenger) and subsequently have the car yawing to the right (clockwise) when stomping on the brakes. I’m not imagining a scenario where a leaking line would make that specific region exhibit more braking.

With the roadster running & wheel off, would it be possible to have someone apply brakes to see if the leaking could be identified in a specific location?

I’ve always used Dot4 (ATE Super Blue) when flushing my lines. Haven’t seen it sold lately, so might resort to Pentosin Dot4 used to flush my X3’s lines if/when the roadster needs another flush. A pressure bleeder works perfectly fine and (was?) relatively inexpensive.

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1998 BMW Z3 2.8L
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430 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The pictures were on the passenger side. I ordered and should receive the Motive Power Bleeder and new hoses for the front tomorrow.

I am leaning more toward a leaking strut. The brake fluid reservoir is between the full and fill lines. The residue on the tire, strut and wheel well is thick.
Probably will order some struts after I bleed the brakes. Leaning towards the KYB GR-2/Excel-G struts since this is driven only on the road during nice wither and never on the track.
 

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The pictures were on the passenger side. I ordered and should receive the Motive Power Bleeder and new hoses for the front tomorrow.

I am leaning more toward a leaking strut. The brake fluid reservoir is between the full and fill lines. The residue on the tire, strut and wheel well is thick.
Probably will order some struts after I bleed the brakes. Leaning towards the KYB GR-2/Excel-G struts since this is driven only on the road during nice wither and never on the track.
I thought your pics appeared to show a leaking strut. Have seen that on many makes of older cars regardless of mileage. I am guessing the seals fail from age and not usage?
As for KYB struts, I have used them on many vehicles with great success. But I prefer the Bilsteins on BMW's. Used KYB on an old E28 535IS and I did not like the ride. Switched it back to Bilsteins.
HTH
 

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1998 BMW Z3 2.8L
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430 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I thought your pics appeared to show a leaking strut. Have seen that on many makes of older cars regardless of mileage. I am guessing the seals fail from age and not usage?
As for KYB struts, I have used them on many vehicles with great success. But I prefer the Bilsteins on BMW's. Used KYB on an old E28 535IS and I did not like the ride. Switched it back to Bilsteins.
HTH

While Silstein struts do you have? And how do you like them?
Well, it looks like nobody in the U.S. has the KYB struts. Looks like my next option is the Bilsteins. Since I don't track this car and keep it on the highway, but I do drive a little aggressively at times I am leaning toward the B4 for a softer ride.

Another option are the Sachs, but I don't know much about those struts.
 

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Sachs is a good choice. they were factory items on my old Z3M.
As for Bilsteins, I have used the B8, B6, and the B4. The B4 is a good choice for non-track cars, but I see that it is not available for the Z3M. I used them recently on an E93 convertible and they were great.
I have the B8 on my Z3M.
For you, the B4 IS available for a non-M car. See this link for their catalog. I picked a 3.0 roadster as an example.
HTH


This is more or less what I have. My stuff is old...
 

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1998 BMW Z3 2.8L
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430 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I called everywhere for the Bilsteins, most places were out of stock and the other places had the left side but never the right side. I finally found a site that had both left and right side, so I placed an order.

BTW, Rock Auto showed they had the Bilsteins for a substantially lower price ($102 each). Years ago I used to order parts from Rock Auto, but now they don't have telephone customer service. Plus there isn't anyway to verify if they have the parts in stock. So they lost my business.
 
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