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Z4 (E85) background

Discussion in 'E85 Z4 (2002-2008)' started by Bill Howard, Dec 8, 2007.

    Bill Howard guest

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    BMW's Z4 has been delighting motorists since 2002 as a much-improved-handling follow-on to the Z3. The E85 comes in a roadster (convertible) and coupe (hardtop) version with M variants.

    Sales have followed the boom-and-bust cycle common with two-seater convertibles with a run-up shortly after the model's introduction, tapering off in the later years of life. From a peak of 20,234 Z4s (including 155 leftover Z3s), the Z4 was likely to fall below 10,000 sales for the first time even in 2007. A replacement is due around 2009, when production will move from South Carolina to Germany, so most BMW convertibles (and variants) can be in one facility.

    The 3.0 model uses a 3.0-liter, 215-hp inline six-cylinder engine while the 3.0si models have 3.0-liter, 255-hp inline sizes. The M versions have 3.2-liter, 330-hp normally aspirated engines.


    Here is 2008 pricing:

    Z4 Roadster 3.0i.........$37,175
    Z4 Roadster 3.0si........$43,175
    Z4 Coupe 3.0si...........$41,175
    Z4 M Roadster............$52,875
    Z4 M Coupe...............$50,875
    Includes $775 freight


    You may sometimes see the M versions without the Z4 prefix: M Roadster, M Coupe. (For M Z4-specific topics, see BMWCCA.org's M Discussion Forum.)

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    330indy1

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    where is the M Roadster forum in M forums??

    :confused:
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    wh1tby

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    I have a Z4 Coupe (3.0Si) and love the car, although it has suspect build quality (windshield not put in correctly, replacement steering column due to heat causing it to stiffen up and miscellanueous rattles). The car is one of the most elegant BMWs ever and is a classic. I have noticed that some people complain about access, but I am 59 years old, 6' 1" and weigh 220 lbs and have no problems at all. Not sure what problems people are having unless they are suffering from old football injuries!! All in all a wonderful fun car and fills the need for performance, handling and looks. Just hope it does not fall apart.
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    330indy1

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    steering issue

    Related to the typical z4 electric steering issues other people have experienced?

    That is weird about the windshield being installed incorrectly.... from the factory? :eek:
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    wh1tby

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    Ref: Steering issues

    Yes, it appears that the steering problem is a common fault. Although not admitted by BMW, they replaced the steering column at the dealer with no questions asked. The car is fine now and shows no symptoms of the problem.

    The windshield was incorrectly installed at the factory. The problem manifested itself as what sounded like a dashboard rattle. Investigation showed that the windscreen was installed too low in the aperture and was rattling on the car frame. Very odd. Appeared after around 3 months of driving.
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    330indy1

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    unbelievable.... must have been installed at 4:45pm on a Friday :)

    Is there a visible indication for the windshield mis-alignment, or did it only manifest itself as a rattle... ?

    It is loyal customers like you, who after dealing with this #$%^& are still true to the brand --- BMW should be thankful. I hope BMW took good care of you.
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    330indy1

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    Factory methods differ

    .... By the way, after viewing the 'making of a Z4' factory videos (part 1 & 2) on YouTube, it is clear how this happened >> The windshield is installed by humans.

    On the other hand, the 'making of an e46' Munich factory video shows the windshield is installed by robot.

    ...things that make you go, 'Hmmmm" :rolleyes:
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    wh1tby

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    Windshield issues

    There were no visible problems, just a rattle that got worse over time. Yes, I have been true to the brand for around 17 years. Interestingly I owned a X5 (2001 model year) and the door handles (internally) suffered from the finish peeling off them. They were replaced twice and still had issues. I tend to believe that BMW's factory in SC produces products that are of a lesser quality than their other factories. Mainly assembly and locally procured parts.

    The Z4 is developing a series of rattles that are difficult to track down (the coupe has a rear cover under the hatch that rattles very badly when driving, but this is not related to the problems I am discussing here). As I have the sport package, it rides like a brick, which is good for handling but not for comfort or rattles. When the tires come up for replacement, I am going to replace with standard tires and one of the BMW mobility kits. They are quieter, give a better ride and are supposed to maintain the handling. We shall see..... The other issue which was irritating is what sounded like tappet rattle. Turns out that they have issues with air in the hydraulics for the lifters/tappets. A visit to the dealer and all is quiet once more. The car is still great to drive which is why we still have her. Normally with the fault rate I have seen on this car, we would have traded her in.
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    330indy1

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    interesting; was the rattle related to oil choice

    or something else? I wonder if other cars with the N52 are experiencing this?
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    wh1tby

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    Not sure, although the dealership seemed to indicate that it was not an unknown issue. To rectify the problem, they have a bleeding program that removes air in the hydraulics. I have a 530i with the same engine (N52) and it has not suffered from the same problem, however a sample of 2 is not sufficient from which to generalise.

    Ramdol guest

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    <When the tires come up for replacement, I am going to replace with standard tires and one of the BMW mobility kits.>

    What's a "mobility kit" and what will replace run flats with?
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    wh1tby

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    BMW's Mobility kit is a compressor and a liquid you inject into the tires that form a temporary seal. They are provided with some of the M series models. I am looking at Michelin Pilot PS 2. They fit the run flat rim (or so say my local BMW dealer and Tire Rack say). They are substantially cheaper, handle better and ride better than the run flats which have very stiff side walls. They are a high performance tire.

    One comment is that I believe that one of BMW's motivations for the use of run flats is weight saving. This is on two counts. They do not need to accommodate the tire and a reasonable storage space for the driver and his/her passenger and they save the weight of a spare. The biggest issue, here in the US, is that if you are in West Texas (say) it is unlikely that you will be within 150 miles of a garage that can provide a replacement, which is the maximum range of the run flat on the Z4. Run flats are not supposed to be repaired, so a replacement is all that can be used which is amazingly impracticable. In Europe life is a little different as the density of the population is much higher and the distances between centers of civilisation are so much smaller. How we reconcile the issues here in the US is a problem and I am not sure there is a real solution. I use my Z4 in and around a reasonable size city and I do not expect to have many issues with run flats, however I am not pleased with the ride compromise and I am not pleased with the replacement costs. Where we live (Austin, Texas) , is like living in a gravel pit and the roads are not kept free of debris. Flats are quite common. I have been lucky so far and I will not have far to travel on standard tires with a temporary repair from the BMW kit.

    redzards guest

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    2005 Z4 question

    I recently purchased a 2005 Z4 that was part of the Detroit Auto Show display. The car is supposed to be a 1 of 1 because of the aero kits added. The car is toledo blue Metalic. I may show the car and if I can get some photos from the 2005 show that would be very interesting.

    Anyway the car is great and with 11K miles like new. I just took of the hardtop today so next sunny day the top comes down.:)

    Ramdol guest

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    '05 Z4 - Detroit Auto Show

    Congrats on the '05. 11K sounds terrific.

    On this thread, I've been searching for opinions on the Run Flats. You have them. What are your road conditions? Do you forsee any problems, need to replace, concerns, etc.
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    330indy1

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    replacing the run flats with regular treads on a z4 is probably one the easiest and most rewarding mods out there....

    redzards guest

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    Run Flats,

    My new to me Z4 has 11K miles so the tires are in good shape , but they are very firm. When the time comes I probably will go with Nokian tires. We have them on a Z3 and they are great. Works well in winter althought I may park my car this winter. Anyway as I put more seat time in I will have more of an opinion

    Lucky Dick

    doberman61 guest

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    03 Z4 2.5 65,000 miles

    Hi,

    I have a 03 Z4 2.5 with 65,000 miles and I was just reading about this steering column problem people are sometimes having. I have not noticed this stiffness on my Z, should I still have the steering column looked at still ??

    I am also trying to find a 3rd brake light the corner of mine I just noticed is cracked and broke and can only find the complete kits not just the third light, anyone know who just might sell just the 3rd brake light cover that is on the trunk.

    Update:
    On a side note i phoned my dealer and mentioned I read about the possible steering problem and the lady says there are no open recalls on my Z4

    Thanks
    Dennis

    Ramdol guest

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    Your 02 2.5 Z4

    Assuming your Z4 came w/run-flats, what are you running with tires?

    Can you share tire history? (e.g. wear, replacement, types tried, cost, etc.)

    Doctorache guest

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    I recently purchased a 2005 Z4 roadster (35,000 miles) and began to have the stiffness problems with the steering once the weather warmed and the car sat in the hot sun. I purchased a Wolf (Noah) Car Cover and use it on my Z4 when its in my workplace parking lot. So far that's eliminated the steering problem. The cover must keep the temperature around the car below the threshold that triggers the steering problem.

    Rich

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