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It's 5 O'clock Somwhere
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife and I are about to purchase a 2000 Z3. Z3 has been well taken care of, 64K miles. A little more miles than we wanted but very clean Z3.

We have a 2005 X5 with the 3.0L so I am familiar with the 3.0 engine. This Z3 has a 2.8L. I'm curious as for insight on the 2.8L and the 2000 Z3 model in general. What should I look for? What are any known facts?

Your help is appreciated.
 

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///M 'n it up!
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1,738 Posts
This first one is VERY important: Check the differential mount and trunk floor for tears or popped rivets. There is a sticky at the top of this forum about the "subframe separation lawsuit" with details.

The water pumps are notorious for giving out around 60 - 65k miles. There are several replacement options, and most people suggest an aftermarket metal impeller, instead of the plastic OEM.

Check for leaks in the top around the window, and front of the door seals. Check for water damage in the carpet behind the seats. Indicates a leak around the door seals.

Get service records that show oil changes less than every 10k miles. I wouldn't take a car from an owner that used the BMW suggested 15k mile oil changes.

If the gas gauge needle is stuck, or becomes stuck, they've been using cruddy gas. A bottle of chevron techron fuel injector cleaner will probably fix the issue.

Check that they are using the stock size tires (printed in the driver's side door seal). Some people think its cool to have the same size all the way around so they can rotate tires. This is generally not a good idea on a Z.

Think about a 3.0 instead of a 2.8, much more fun :) ... of course the M owners will suggest an M over a 3.0, so its all just perspective.
 

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///M Practical
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859 Posts
Both the 2.8 and 3.0 are very reliable engines. Except for the MZ3s, there was a slight styling change in the 2000 model year. The tops of the rear fenders were slightly "humped" more than earlier Z3s. A headliner was also added that year for the convertible top.
 

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It's 5 O'clock Somwhere
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664 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Have My Attention

OK Wildag, you have my attention and now I am a bit skeptical. How widespread is the trunk/ rear separation. What casues this, hard driving, aftermarket parts?

I'll look for signs of cracking.

I appreciate the other items to look for. Not sure what I can do about the water pump. I'll just have to be prepared to maybe replace with metal impellar.

Good suggestion on where to look for water leaks. I know the top was replaced about 1 year ago but that was for a hazed rear window ( I thought the windows zipped out)

So in a 2000 I should see a liner in the new top??

Thanks
 

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///M Practical
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859 Posts
The rear window in an oem top is designed to zip out for replacement. If you can't see the zipper from the inside, the top has been replaced with an aftermarket top. There may or may not still be a headliner.
 

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OK Wildag, you have my attention and now I am a bit skeptical. How widespread is the trunk/ rear separation. What casues this, hard driving, aftermarket parts?

I'll look for signs of cracking.
It happens to any Z3 from the 1.9 to S54M, there plenty of recorded cases and scary pictures but you just got to keep and eye out for the issue. There are fixes available.
 

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///M 'n it up!
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OK Wildag, you have my attention and now I am a bit skeptical. How widespread is the trunk/ rear separation. What casues this, hard driving, aftermarket parts?
It is an issue of which you should be aware, but not scared. It does happen to these cars, however it has not happened to mine.

Just check that the car in which you are interested does not have this problem.

It is suggested that Z3s not be used for "drifting" or extended loss-of-traction slides.

If you like the car, buy it. They are alot of fun!
 

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The knights who say Ni!
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I appreciate the other items to look for. Not sure what I can do about the water pump. I'll just have to be prepared to maybe replace with metal impellar.
At 64K on the car, I strongly suggest that you replace the water pump proactively. This can be a very nasty and expensive experience if it self-destructs on you on the road somewhere. I managed to escape a warped head by the bare skin of my teeth and a whole lotta luck. There are plenty of stories here, just search the archives.
 

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hardtop potentate
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Check that they are using the stock size tires (printed in the driver's side door seal). Some people think its cool to have the same size all the way around so they can rotate tires. This is generally not a good idea on a Z.
This is the first I've heard of this being a problem. Can you explain further?
 

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This is the first I've heard of this being a problem. Can you explain further?
It's not a problem. Previous post must be confused. Many z3 cars are non stagger incl. track only version M cars.

Some believe that a non stagger will lower understeer to a point of the car becoming twitchy. Simple fix is to remove rear sway bar if the balance is not to your liking.

I just spent a week flaring my front fenders to run a 275/40/17 non stagger setup. :thumbup: This allows me to rotate, increasing the life of my track tires. I have not proven the car to be any faster. It may actually slow me down because of the higher rotational mass of the larger wheel and tire. But in my case, the car is just a track rat and I'm not looking for every 10th. I'll give up a little here and there for the sake of consumable cost. Besides, 275 in front looks so damn cool.
OK sorry, off topic.
 

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It's 5 O'clock Somwhere
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hey appreciate all the great inout, it is very helpful. I check the Z3 out today. Very clean, very nice. I did not see any indications of the rear end issue. I know I didn't have a magnifying glass, but I did not see anything abnormal.

Tires were the right size all the way around. Z3 drove great. Top was replaced at BMW dealer.

I bought the Z3. It is just a nice day weekender car. X5 is for daily driving. I will consider the proactive waterpump replacement. Everyone knows when you find out that it is bad.
 

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When you do the water pump also do the idler pulley and belt tensioner and belts--unless recently done--telltale sign is a chirping sound that comes and goes--it is a DIY if you are somewhat mechanical and the parts will be around $100. Put it on a lift and look for the allready mentioned diff-mount tear. Get some Gummi-pfledge or equiv. and keep the rubber seals lubed--especially the top of the windshield to top seal. Its a great car--I had a '98 2.8l and it was bulletproof and fun to toss around. I installed a Magnaflow muffler and changed the pads to Axxis delux plus to eliminate dust. Go for It :thumbup:
 
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