Final Drive unit failure - Differential bracket

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Deano1712
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Post by Deano1712 » Fri 01 May, 2009 11:07

p90dds wrote:Hi,
Any advice would be more than appreciated.
Paul.
Many would say walk away but I think most Z3M's will either have this problem extant now or sometime in the future. Few cars have been strengthened. If you can get a decent price reduction there are a number of options for getting it repaired and strengthened. I dont think you can count on BMW fixing it for free, but is worth a try. I personally think that you can get away with doubling the number of welds by drilling out and welding from within the boot. This is far easier and cheaper than the usually intrusive approach, for which you may have to pay a few grand.
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Post by p90dds » Fri 01 May, 2009 18:15

Thanks for the quick responses guys, this is what i was thinking, use it to get a reduction in price, then get it fixed.
I have now seen an mcoupe for sale and have just got home having viewed it, and to be honest i think ive fallen in love with it!!!!
Its estoril blue and in mint condition.
The boot floor looks as new, and the diff mount bracket is structurally as new too.
Is this diff mount problem an issue with coupes aswell or is it only roadsters??
Again, thanks for the help :)
Paul

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PERRIN Z3M
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Post by PERRIN Z3M » Fri 01 May, 2009 18:27

Same fault with both the only difference is it has a roof that doesn't come down

steve
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Jonttt
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Post by Jonttt » Fri 01 May, 2009 18:51

p90dds wrote:Hi,
I'm new here, and have been looking to buy a z3m roadster for some time.
I viewed a car last night, not too far from where I live, and first impressions were that it was in lovely condition, no noise from the engine, full bwwsh etc etc.
But, I was concerned to see that 3 of the spot welds in the boot floor had broken (thankyou zroadster.net for helping me find that because I would never have thought to check there!). I have phoned BMW UK customer services but they tell me that there is no guarantee that the repair would be done FOC, and that each case will be dealt with independently. They said that if the car had had some strenghtening work done in the past by BMW and it had still failed, then they would consider repairing FOC.
This is what they said had happened with yours johntt?
I guess what I am asking is, should I still be interested in the car if I can get a price to fix and have it deducted from the asking price, or should i walk away and continue my search elsewhere???
Other than this probelm the car is fantastic.
Any advice would be more than appreciated.
Paul.
P90dds

My view is that you are better being aware of this problem than not so you can make an informed decision rather than finding out after purchase :head:

Mine had a record on the warranty history report of an inspection being carried out back in 2005 on the final drive unit. I don't know if any work was actually done then (ie they may have done some work but not recorded it). I would have used this to argue that the very fact that they had previously checked meant that there was something to check for! but in the end I did not need to argue this.

At the end of the day the decision is yours to make but there are a few things to consider:

1) there is no guarantee that it will be repaired FOC
2) unless an extreme case (boot floor teared) you will notice no difference to the drive of the car (mine is no different after than before)
3) the majority of people are not aware of this problem therefore the seller may not be willing to reduce price as could sell to someone else?
4) will it affect your ability to sell? same argument as 3) ie most people won't know to check for this, moral dilema = should you tell them?
5) if BMW will not repair there is almost certainly a cheaper fix ie the BMW repair is "bells & whistles". I know BMW themselves are looking at a cheaper fix involving injection of a strengthening "foam" into the cross member and reweld (for simple spot weld failure)

My view in your position is that you should use this to haggle on price. If you are getting from a dealer you could try and insist that it is repaired but if they do it you will have no chance of BMW doing anything in the future so make sure its a good job with a warranty (2 to 3 years).

I doubt however anyone would be willing to repair as they will wait for the next buyer. You are more likely to get a price reduction in the current market and then try BMW.

Ideally before you buy get the VIN number and call into a friendly BMW dealer and ask them to run a warranty report for you to see if the final drive inspection has been done (the warranty report can be ran from any dealer and will show all history irrespective of where it was done :wink: )

But currently you will be taking a chance BMW will repair.

I would have happily driven around in mine as it was but I don't have the resell worry as I'm keeping it.

I would factor in £500 to do a "repair" if BMW won't play ball but I would not get it done striaght away. ie there is a really good chance that some of the "claims" I am aware of currently will help set a better "precident".

If the car is >Jul 99 build date with less than 80,000 miles (and ideally with the warranty inspection history) then my case gives you a pretty good precident that I know I would be happy to get a solicitor to look into (I am more than happy to provide written evidence/statement and can certify such as a chartered accountant) :wink:

I genuinely think this problem is more common than people admit especially on the ///M's. It is a great car so if you can get a documented repair the big plus is that you have a big selling point when you do come to sell (I know lots of people will not like me saying this but if I was selling mine I would be advertising the fact that I have a documented repair of this problem as a positive selling point)

bottom line is that I'm not sure how many ///M's you would find without this problem and even if they did not show it now when will they???

All high performance cars have "risk" areas and to me this is not a massive one as I think it can be repaired for a reasonable cost.

Its hard to walk away from a nice clean ///M and for the right money this would not put me off :D
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Robin
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Post by Robin » Sat 02 May, 2009 10:14

I wouldn't buy an ///M without inspecting these areas.
Some pics of problems here:-
http://www.zroadster.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=20157
I'd want a significant sum off the price. Part for the repair & part for the headache.
There's always other ///M's for sale to check out.
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Michael McGovern
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Post by Michael McGovern » Sat 02 May, 2009 11:39

im going to brands hatch on tuesday and thought well i better not check this problem just incase mine is bad and id pull out of the trackday, ignorance is bliss. But i couldnt sleep, so torch in hand checked the boot at 4am last night, im clean it seems.

Do you think this is a problem that will almost certainly happen to every m and i should keep checking or just ones that have been driven hard? or is it simply luck of the draw.

1998 65k

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Robin
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Post by Robin » Sat 02 May, 2009 12:27

If you look at the pics in the link above you'll see there's not just the problem of spot welds in the boot to consider/check. There's also the torn diff bracket & cross member.
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Jonttt
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Post by Jonttt » Sat 02 May, 2009 13:01

Michael McGovern wrote:im going to brands hatch on tuesday and thought well i better not check this problem just incase mine is bad and id pull out of the trackday, ignorance is bliss. But i couldnt sleep, so torch in hand checked the boot at 4am last night, im clean it seems.

Do you think this is a problem that will almost certainly happen to every m and i should keep checking or just ones that have been driven hard? or is it simply luck of the draw.

1998 65k
4am ! :roflmao:

Does seem to be luck of the draw, yours is a case in point, early ///M with 68k as no sign of the problem :thumb:
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Post by Michael McGovern » Sat 02 May, 2009 13:48

how can these further checks be undertaken? can i do it or will i need to bring it to a garage?

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Post by Gazza » Sat 02 May, 2009 15:46

Check all around the Diff Mount, if there are cracks you'll see them :wink:
Gazza

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Post by Zed Carer » Mon 27 Jul, 2009 22:15

For the Non-M's see HERE for Boot Welds on a 99 2.8 - all now fixed
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ALM
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Final Drive unit failure - Differential bracket

Post by ALM » Sat 08 Aug, 2009 12:52

Hi,
Thought I would pass along my experiences with this issue. I recently bought an immaculate (or so I thought!) imola red M roadster with 25K miles, full history etc from Hexagon's of Highgate in London as an approved used BMW. It was only after they had delivered the car to me that I became aware of the diff issue through Jonttt’s excellent post on the subject. Upon checking the boot floor of my car I found that several of the welds had failed and evidence of a small ‘crack’ in the boot floor emanating from one of the welds. My opinion after reading the various posts on the subject was that the failure was fairy advanced. As the car was booked into Warrington BMW to have a couple of small parking dents taken care of (at Hexagon’s expense) I asked them to investigate the boot floor, which they happily did. The manger at the body shop confirmed that there was a problem and submitted the job as a warranty claim directly with BMW. Of course, I also spoke with the supplying dealer, Hexagon, to tell them the failure had been confirmed and they dispatched a driver within a few days to pick up the car and take it back to London for repair (I live in Cheshire). The car should be returned to me towards the end of next week, in which case it will have been with Hexagon for two weeks so there is clearly a lot of work involved. As a footnote I did receive a call from Warrington about a week after the car had been picked up by Hexagon to say that BMW had authorized them to perform the work. If you are local, Warrington BMW, would seem an excellent dealer to involve with this issue (I guess they view it as good business as it’s a big expensive job, frankly, I would have been happier to have the work performed at Warrington as they are local to me but it just didn’t work out that way). One further piece of info which may be of use is that the manger at Warrington did mention that the cars do have a 10 year warranty on the bodywork and structure which, if valid, should strengthen any claim for the remedial work to be paid for by BMW.
Thanks to Jonttt for his excellent and informative posts on this subject, they were a huge help……hopefully see you at Tatton next month!
Alan

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Jonttt
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Post by Jonttt » Sat 08 Aug, 2009 18:35

ALM, thanks for taking the time to post up your experience as well.

I have used Halliwell Jones in Warrington for many years and bought loads of BMW's from them. The guys in the parts department are superb and can't do enough for you. I went into order some parts a few weeks ago and spend 30 minutes why they looked around my ///M and passed on some funny stories of the ///M's over the years :D

If you get chance get them to take you around to their storgage warehouse, its the largest indoor car storage area in the UK :wink:

I got the impression when I got them to look at my diff problem they had not experienced it before and I agree they look at this as a good warranty job for them and are very keen to get BMW to authorise the work.

I bet you can't wait to get it back though..........

Hopefully see you at Tatton :drive
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Post by ALM » Wed 12 Aug, 2009 13:02

I can't wait to get it back. Save for a few hundred miles I haven't really had the chance to enjoy the car since I bought it. It does fly down the A50 though Jonttt!

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Spot weld letter from BMW...any help??

Post by Guest » Thu 05 Nov, 2009 00:56

Hey :)

As I was going through the service history for my M///, as I've said before, I came across a letter which I thought would be of help to people with the spot weld/subframe issue.

I've attached the letter (not great quality I know, but if there is any interest in it, I will upload a proper version) from BMW re the spot welds, and what amounts to an admission of the problem, and an agreement to fix it free of charge!

I hope this is of use to someone!! :D

Link:

http://s909.photobucket.com/albums/ac29 ... t=ltr3.jpg

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Brian H
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Post by Brian H » Thu 05 Nov, 2009 07:46

What a find!

Great news if you are currently involved in a case with BMW, I wonder how many of these letters were just binned when the inspection was carried out?

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Jonttt
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Post by Jonttt » Thu 05 Nov, 2009 09:57

VioletDuck, thats so cool, I'm sure it will be of help to members on here who have previously not got any joy out of BMW :rtm:
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Post by Guest » Thu 05 Nov, 2009 09:57

I guess most! The service history with the car is incredibly comprehensive, which I suppose is lucky from my point of view :)

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Jonttt
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Post by Jonttt » Thu 05 Nov, 2009 10:00

Well worth asking a mod to move to the knowledgebase :wink:
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Post by Guest » Thu 05 Nov, 2009 11:35

i could always scan a much better copy for that so someone could print it off...just wondered if it would be useful initially :wink:

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Boysie
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Post by Boysie » Thu 05 Nov, 2009 11:39

Hi

You answered my reply before i sent it???

A better copy yes with the headed paper might help

Brilliant ammunition for future use
Clever Boy :D :D

My diffs mounting is ok now
But the indie said its just time :head: :head:

Ray
Last edited by Boysie on Thu 05 Nov, 2009 12:19, edited 1 time in total.
Ray

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soma
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Post by soma » Thu 05 Nov, 2009 12:12

my I second the motion for a printable copy please :D I am currently looking into an mcoupe with potential weld issues. The letter may just help when it comes time to getting bmw to cough up the cash :thumb:

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Post by Guest » Thu 05 Nov, 2009 12:25

I guess most! The service history with the car is incredibly comprehensive, which I suppose is lucky from my point of view :)

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Post by Guest » Thu 05 Nov, 2009 12:45

I will try to upload a high quality version today

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PERRIN Z3M
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Post by PERRIN Z3M » Thu 05 Nov, 2009 19:06

This letter looks great but if your car is over 10 years old then you will find it very hard to get any good will from BMW they told me in not so many words to f**k **f, My car is early 99 (they did tell me though that is also a problem on some S54s so get them checked.

So my advise is get it done before it reaches 10 years.

steve
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Post by shantybeater » Thu 05 Nov, 2009 19:09

My car is over 10 years old but with 49k on the clock I reckon i'm with a fighting chance considering the warranty is 60k/6 years.

Thanks for this post, i've been planning on calling them for the last few weeks but not sure what to say/who to contact to get the best chance.

If you can get a better copy i'd be very gratefull
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Jonttt
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Post by Jonttt » Thu 05 Nov, 2009 19:47

I know of some over 10 years that have had this done free of charge by BMW but have promised to keep owners details private so I have to respect that. I had a load of emails when I first posted my thread earlier in the year and lots of people contacted BMW with really mixed respones :head:

I am aware they have used the 10 year thing several times yet repaired at least two I know of 11 years old :roll:

Thats why this letter may be very useful.

Shanty, see my thread in the knowledgebase with example initial emails to BMW UK Customer services. If you don't get joy from them ask for contact details at BMW Germany (thats what I was advised to do, by BMW UK :shock: but did not need to).

Based on other people results I think its also important to get a friendly BMW repairs dept on board who have dealt with this before. Those with most success have done this even if it means phoning aroudn and travelling for them to look at the car. This is good warranty work for them so if they know what they are doing then they will push it as well, as has happened in several cases following BMW UK's initial reluctance.
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Post by Guest » Thu 05 Nov, 2009 19:49

TAA DAA!

:D

The link below is to a much higher quality letter, in full, on BMW headed paper.

Hopefully this will prove useful as the 'smoking gun'!

Link:

http://s909.photobucket.com/albums/ac29 ... Letter.jpg

Click on the letter, then right click, print. That should hopefully work!

Let me know what you think !

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Titan
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Post by Titan » Thu 05 Nov, 2009 20:02

Don't know if it's just me, but that link isn't working :|
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Post by Guest » Thu 05 Nov, 2009 20:04

ok try this one, don't know what happened there!

http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac29 ... Letter.jpg

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Post by Boysie » Thu 05 Nov, 2009 20:05

Hi

Nice one
:D :D

Ray
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Post by TitanTim » Thu 05 Nov, 2009 20:13

Great find, worth just printing off and filing in "cars I might buy folder" :)

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Post by shantybeater » Thu 05 Nov, 2009 20:48

Thanks for that violet duck :)

Jonnt i assume you mean the 'Final Drive unit failure - Differential bracket' thread? I'll have a good peruse before I call
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Post by Guest » Thu 05 Nov, 2009 20:54

Violetduck = James :D

glad I could help. the yellow custard is going into the garage in 3 weeks until April.

I was looking in the boot the other day, and found the original toolkit and the first aid kit!

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Jonttt
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Post by Jonttt » Thu 05 Nov, 2009 20:55

Yep, get yourself a cuppa, its a long thread :D
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Post by shantybeater » Sat 07 Nov, 2009 14:27

just thought i'd let you guys know (as i cant post in the diff thread) I took my car into BMW yesterday, the guy was extremely helpful but said it was out of his control, he spoke to a chap on the phone who said anything past 10 years wont be covered. Regardless to this he's still agreed to examine the boot on monday and post off the paperwork to BMWUK to 'give it a shot'
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Post by Zed Carer » Sat 07 Nov, 2009 16:26

shantybeater wrote:just thought i'd let you guys know (as i cant post in the diff thread) I took my car into BMW yesterday, the guy was extremely helpful but said it was out of his control, he spoke to a chap on the phone who said anything past 10 years wont be covered. Regardless to this he's still agreed to examine the boot on monday and post off the paperwork to BMWUK to 'give it a shot'
I heard about the "10 year" rule but when I collected my 99 2.8 after it had been fixed FOC the dealer was just starting work on a 98 Z3M that was 11 years old but it was being done FOC.

Not sure about your dealer's "give it a shot" approach - when BMW at first refused to consider repairing my Z3 the dealer's attitude was "b$st$rds let us deal with it and BMW will be paying" and 7 weeks later I got a phone call saying that BMW had agreed to preventative work being done FOC.
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Jonttt
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Post by Jonttt » Sat 07 Nov, 2009 17:03

Shanty, its good news your dealer is going to do the report free of charge, mine wanted paying for it at first :head:

The important thing to remember is be patient (as Zed Carer says it can take a couple of months to get resolved) and polite but concise in your stance. I would take lots of comfort in the knowledge of how many cars BMW have repaired free of charge this year that we now of.

You car has not been modified and that is the only (semi) legitimate reason I can see for them to refuse (even then there is enough evidence on non modified cars to make this a weak excuse).

Good Luck and keep us informed when you can :wink:

If you do need any "support" later on I'm sure there are a few of us on here who would be happy to lend our voices :D
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Post by Jonttt » Sat 07 Nov, 2009 17:05

ps you can'tpost to the Knowledgebase thread. This is to allow those threads to stay on topic as people do have a tendancy to digress and it only confuses the purpose of the original thread. (plus post totally non relevent threads in that part of the forum,some people just don't think :roll: )

Hopefully a member of the site admin willlink this thread to the knowledgebase one as the link to the letter above is great.

And it would allow some more current experiences to be linked :wink:
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Post by shantybeater » Sat 07 Nov, 2009 17:07

Thanks jontt I appreciate the help mate :) without your thread i'm not sure I would have tried BMW at all. Fingers crossed, I'll update this thread so people can see the outcome
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Post by PERRIN Z3M » Sat 07 Nov, 2009 20:28

That is exactly what my local dealer (my brother) did for me, unfortunately I found BMW UK to be less than helpful.
I hope you have more luck than me and get it sorted under good will.

Steve
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Post by Brian H » Sat 07 Nov, 2009 20:38

I got my Z 1.9 fixed at 11 years old, If anyone needs my details and case number then send me a PM. I have heard of the 10 year rule quite a lot recently which makes me think that BMW have maybe accepted liability up to a certain age or are just trying to fob people off. As Jonttt says and it also worked for me be courteous at all times.

I think the letter will be a great tool for people trying to claim as it clarifies that they knew of the problem, just stick at it when they say NO. My dealer refused any help even after an inspection from the BMW Technical Manager but I contacted BMW UK and it got resolved. :D

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Location: UK

Post by shantybeater » Sun 08 Nov, 2009 12:07

You are worrying my perrin! what did you do in the end then? did you get an alternative fix ? if so what was the cost and what was done?

Ardchyle - I may take you up on that if they put up a fight, i'm trying to stay optimistic at the moment
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PERRIN Z3M
Joined: Fri 12 Oct, 2007 20:49
Posts: 398

  M roadster S50
Location: Horley

Post by PERRIN Z3M » Sun 08 Nov, 2009 21:33

shantybeater I am still deciding on my options I have two people who have said they will fix it for me mine has only got 3 welds popped so thinking I will get it re welded by a professional and see how that goes.
At the end of the day it is only two pieces of metal that have come apart due to not enough welds ie the S54 seems to have more so if i have lots more put in it should be better than new.

steve
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Jonttt
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Joined: Sun 28 Dec, 2008 16:32
Posts: 6536

  M roadster S54
Location: Liverpool

Post by Jonttt » Sun 08 Nov, 2009 21:58

Perrin, check the actual diff bracket as well though as it may be cracked.

If you check my post BMW do a "replacement" kit including the stronger bracket ie its not just the spot welds, they are just a tell tale / related symptom to the real problem which is torque stresses from the diff on the bracket being transmitted along the cross member.

The recognised remedy is to replace the diff bracket and strengthen the cross member.

Deano has a great post about his DIY strengthening solution :wink:

You could try rewelding the spot weld seam but it is not solving the problem.

The S54's definately have more spot welds, a "thicker" diff bracket and presumably a strengthened cross member.

I know from other members on here that were the cases are not severe (ie diff bracket not cracked yet but welds popped) BMW solution may be to reweld the spot and "inject" the cros member with something to strengthen it, not sure of they have ever implemented this less intrusive solution though? Others who have first hand experience may be willing to advice better.
Happiness is not around the corner........happiness is the corner
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shantybeater
Joined: Wed 12 Mar, 2008 14:33
Posts: 1963

  Porsche
Location: UK

Post by shantybeater » Sun 08 Nov, 2009 22:19

Well if BMW do agree to do mine they could just do the welds as I have 1 & a half welds gone and the bracket has no signs of tearing thank god!

Keep us updated though Perrin, an alternative is definately needed!
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PERRIN Z3M
Joined: Fri 12 Oct, 2007 20:49
Posts: 398

  M roadster S50
Location: Horley

Post by PERRIN Z3M » Sun 08 Nov, 2009 22:29

Jonttt

The bracket is fine on mine but I am liking the idea of changing the diff bracket I wonder how much of a job this will be.
My other idea is to just get a thicker plate welded onto the existing bracket which will make the bracket extra strong and from what I have seen on cars that have failed this will stop it cracking.

steve
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shantybeater
Joined: Wed 12 Mar, 2008 14:33
Posts: 1963

  Porsche
Location: UK

Post by shantybeater » Sun 08 Nov, 2009 22:48

How many miles has yours done mate?
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PERRIN Z3M
Joined: Fri 12 Oct, 2007 20:49
Posts: 398

  M roadster S50
Location: Horley

Post by PERRIN Z3M » Sun 08 Nov, 2009 22:58

46k

1999 v plate

full bmw service history except last inspection 2 when i had a specialist do it.
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ALM
Joined: Sat 25 Jul, 2009 09:43
Posts: 33

  M roadster S50
Location: Knutsford

Post by ALM » Mon 09 Nov, 2009 08:55

I recently had my M roadster repaired FOC by BMW and it was over 10 years old at the time. In keeping with the experiences of several people on this board BMW didn’t supply any paper work with the repair but I did ‘intercept’ an email from the body shop to BMW UK asking whether they should proceed as usual with the repair or would a technical manger need to inspect the car first; there was no mention of age or service history in the communication Again, as has been said before finding a dealership that is willing to push BMW seems to be critical, it is, after all, a well paid job for the body shop. Don’t let them off the hook!!

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