New to the parish....

Details of how to register as a zroadster.net user, plus tips on day-to-day usage

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Buzzy-Beans
Joined: Tue 14 Nov, 2017 15:01
Posts: 15

  BMW other

New to the parish....

Post by Buzzy-Beans » Thu 16 Nov, 2017 09:44

Hello all;

Having perused the internet for quite some time I have decided that this is the place to come to for help and advice with regards to anything connected with buying, running and experiencing the delights of Z3 ownership.

I am a sprightly 68 year old who keeps fit by pushing myself to my physical limits on a 1970's vintage Shorter-Rochford road/race bike as well as sharing my life with my singularly amazing Wonderous (wife) and not forgetting my 3 Springer Spaniels, one of whom has my forum name of Buzzy-Beans.

My reason for joining zroadster.net is that despite being a poor impoverished UK state pensioner, I am now searching for a soft top Z3 as a park away gem for use on high and dry summer days.

I am not bothered by outright performance despite having competed in motorsport in my long distant past (autotesting & rallying) and in all honesty I haven’t had a petrol engined car for over 30 years!

I have been wanting to buy a practical modern classic for many a long year and now having sought advice from various friends we have decided it is going to be a low mileage Z3 for us, hopefully in pristine but not show condition.

So as for what engine to go for, I honestly don’t know, although I would love either a 2.8 or 3.0, the dreaded VED costs and fuel consumption knock those on the head, but I do love the sonorous tones of a six so I will be considering the smaller models of these amazing 6 cylinder engines as well as of course the 4’s, but what is the most reliable and easiest to work on as I try to do most of my home mechanics?

What else goes wrong with them and most importantly how are they when it comes to resisting the dreaded tin worm?

I know from trawling through the DVLA MOT history of several hundred cars that the brake pipes appear to suffer from rust, but what else are the major things to look for?

Any help and assistance you are able to give will be very gratefully received.

Many thanks

Buzzy-Beans

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Gazza
Site Admin
Joined: Tue 04 Oct, 2005 21:58
Posts: 9203

  M roadster S54
Location: East London/Essex

Re: New to the parish....

Post by Gazza » Thu 16 Nov, 2017 19:16

Welcome to the Forum, glad to have you along :wink:
Gazza

"Understeer is when you hit the wall with the front of the car, oversteer is when you hit the wall with the rear of the car. Horsepower is how fast you hit the wall and torque is how far you take the wall with you"

S54 M roadster Image, BMW Z1, BMW M3 CSL, Mustang Fastback

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roadvoyager1
Joined: Sun 19 Jan, 2014 18:30
Posts: 68

  Z3 roadster 2.8

Re: New to the parish....

Post by roadvoyager1 » Thu 16 Nov, 2017 20:01

Welcome to the world of Z3.
Lets start with running costs. 4 cylinder engines use less fuel, all 6 pots get around the same;30-32mpg, dropping below 25 if you really have a heavy right foot. VED for my 2.8 is just over £20 per month and it is on the road 7 months of the year so that's £150, which you may find acceptable. Insurance is available as a Classic and my policy which includes breakdown cover comes in at £230 for the year based on 5000 miles.
The 2.0 litre 6 pot turns out 150bhp and the M44 4 pots around 140bhp, so given the extra weight of the bigger engine you have to decide if it is worth the extra cost for more torque and the sound.
The 2.8 engine comes in 2 variants. Single vanos (M52), built before October 1998 and dual vanos (M52TU) after, until replaced by the 3.0 litre. I understand that power delivery is improved with the M52TU. The engines are said to be good for high mileages with several well over 100K miles. The most common problems being sensor related rather than basic mechanical.
Body wise there are pre-facelift until late 1999 and facelift. There are other references if you need to identify which is which.
These cars are all getting on for 20 years old and all of the rubber components will be deteriorating as will the suspension. Most bushes are easily replaced, the only exception being the rear beam which takes a fair bit of effort. Rubber brake hoses can be replaced with stainless steel braided and air intake hoses tend to crack and split but are inexpensive to replace as are the rubber drive belts for the water pump and air con.
Suspension is also likely to be tired so think about replacing springs and dampers if they have not been done.
As for the tin worm; it depends how the car has been looked after. Generally they are fairly solid and almost all external panels are simply bolted on, so easily changed. There is a fairly active market in used parts on this and the Z.roadster.org forum. This is good for many parts although I would suggest that replacement sill covers are bought from your local BMW dealer. For part numbers, and to see how the car fits together take a look at www.realoem.com (This is the link for my model http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/partgrp ... -BMW-Z3_28.
I hope the above helps you decide what is right for you. Let us know where you are based and somebody near will probably be happy to give you a guided tour of a Z3 and what to look out for.
Happy hunting

Buzzy-Beans
Joined: Tue 14 Nov, 2017 15:01
Posts: 15

  BMW other

Re: New to the parish....

Post by Buzzy-Beans » Thu 16 Nov, 2017 20:51

@roadvoyager1 that is the kind of reply which differentiates the good from the bad and ugly, thank you so very much for your help and time in sending back such a very meaningful, sincere and helpful reply.

I live in South Lincs. overlooking the bedroom in which Sir Isaac newton was born.

Many thanks

vzh7gk
Sponsor 2018
Joined: Fri 05 Feb, 2010 13:12
Posts: 106

  Z3 roadster 1.9
Location: Cheltenham, UK
Contact:

Re: New to the parish....

Post by vzh7gk » Thu 16 Nov, 2017 21:28

If you haven't done so already, the buying used guide written by Mike Fishwick and published by Veloce may well be a worth while read. It was published earlier this year.
No connection, apart from Mike being an acquaintance when we were both in Bristol and into BMW 2 wheelers...
Graham (G4FUJ)
Prescott marshal and Hill Controller
Found another Z3 so back here after a long break :) 1999 1.9, Palmetto Green
1 Morgan 4/4 (selling in Spring) and a Land Rover 90 (keeping forever)

Bonzo
Joined: Wed 21 Mar, 2012 21:52
Posts: 864

  Z3 roadster 2.8
Location: Norfolk

Re: New to the parish....

Post by Bonzo » Fri 17 Nov, 2017 01:05

Hi Buzzy, I'm 69 and the proud owner of Z3lda, a pre face lift, ( ass lift really! ), 2.8 Z3 If you troll through the knowledge base on this forum and the one on zroadster.org you will find lots of info on and the buying of a Z3. You need to test drive as many Z3s as you can, with different engine sizes to be sure you know which one feels right for you. My 2.8 Z3 was the first one I tried as it was for sale by a friend. I was bowled over by it's low end torque and grunt further up the rev range, and it sounds great too! I know a guy on .org who lives in Lincolnshire, he goes by the forum name of t-tony. He is a great chap, a motor technician and a past Z3 owner. I'm sure he will help. Just say Bonzo sent you.
Keep in touch.
Cheers,
Bonzo
Z3lda (Zelda), 1998 2.8, Montreal Blue, Beige Oregon leather interior and M steering wheel, Sports Seats, Wood trim, Chrome Line Interior, Centre armrest with Cupholder, Alpina Softline wheels, Chromed Angel Eyes, De- tango'd, Rear stone guards, Sport aerial, ASC front strut brace, Strong Strut Butt Strut and Body Brace, Uprated brake fluid, Yellowstuff pads 78k.

roadvoyager1
Joined: Sun 19 Jan, 2014 18:30
Posts: 68

  Z3 roadster 2.8

Re: New to the parish....

Post by roadvoyager1 » Sat 18 Nov, 2017 18:37

Pleased that the info was of help. I am always concerned that some people may take it as patronising, especially if they have a few miles on the life clock. I think t-tony from the .org forum is on away in sunnier climes until January, however, there are a few others from .org in Lincs. so you could join up, introduce yourself and maybe meet a couple of them to learn more about the cars. You will find them to be a friendly bunch and fairly active even through the winter.

petecossie
Joined: Wed 11 Apr, 2007 14:13
Posts: 125

  M coupe S50
Location: Billingham

Re: New to the parish....

Post by petecossie » Sat 18 Nov, 2017 20:23

Welcome to the Forum from a spritely 70 year old long term BMW owner. There's loads of info on here to help you to decide on what version of the Z3 you eventually want to go for. I agree that 6 cyl engines do sound great and that would be my choice.
I'm sure if there are any cars that come up and you want some assistance with having a look over it, someone will come forward to help.
Keep an eye on the for sale ads on here and .org site in case something turns up.
Also go and drive a few cars if you can as already mentioned just so you can compare the pros and cons of the different vehicles.
Pete C

2000 Z3M Coupe - Cosmos Black Metallic/Black Interior.
Image
Previous BMWs
2003 E46 M3 6 speed manual - Carbon Black/Black Interior.
2000 Z3M Coupe - Cosmos Black/Black Interior
1986 M635
1985 E28 M5
1983 E28 528i Alpina

Buzzy-Beans
Joined: Tue 14 Nov, 2017 15:01
Posts: 15

  BMW other

Re: New to the parish....

Post by Buzzy-Beans » Sat 18 Nov, 2017 21:49

I am overwhelmed by the number of replies, many, many thanks................. and now just to prove how mad I am!!

Throughout my well in excess 1,500,000 mile post last accident miles (when I was 19) and having taken delivery of 36 brand spanking new cars and countless 2nd hand ones, with the singular exception of the van I bought to convert into a self built motorhome, I have never had a single test drive.

I think, from what I have read that the 2.2 six Z3 might be the one for me to go for, but a former Z3 owning friend has suggested they can be somewhat unreliable (she owned a 2.8 and now owns a 3.0 Z4), so this is a factor I am currently looking into and would welcome any advice.

I am also half thinking of importing a very low mileage one in from Japan but yet again I don't know all of the inns and outs and various pitfalls of doing such a thing let alone getting that idea past my most beloved purse string holding SWMBO.

Currently my head is spinning with all the detail data and information!!

All the best

BB

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Gazza
Site Admin
Joined: Tue 04 Oct, 2005 21:58
Posts: 9203

  M roadster S54
Location: East London/Essex

Re: New to the parish....

Post by Gazza » Sat 18 Nov, 2017 23:14

Obviously Import Duty and VAT play a big part with an import, luckily you won't have the bother of an IVA Test.

By the time you add shipping into the costs I can't see how it will be viable unless they are giving Z3's away in Japan.
Gazza

"Understeer is when you hit the wall with the front of the car, oversteer is when you hit the wall with the rear of the car. Horsepower is how fast you hit the wall and torque is how far you take the wall with you"

S54 M roadster Image, BMW Z1, BMW M3 CSL, Mustang Fastback

ImageImage

Buzzy-Beans
Joined: Tue 14 Nov, 2017 15:01
Posts: 15

  BMW other

Re: New to the parish....

Post by Buzzy-Beans » Sun 19 Nov, 2017 08:01

Gazza wrote:
Sat 18 Nov, 2017 23:14
Obviously Import Duty and VAT play a big part with an import, luckily you won't have the bother of an IVA Test.

By the time you add shipping into the costs I can't see how it will be viable unless they are giving Z3's away in Japan.
I have found this accident and rust free year 2000 Z3, 2.0 six with only 52,450 kms (32590 miles) on the clock inclusive of shipping to the UK for £3260 https://www.tradecarview.com/used_car/bmw/z3/21854563/

I haven't as yet calculated the other add on costs yet, but they can't be all that great?

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Gazza
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  M roadster S54
Location: East London/Essex

Re: New to the parish....

Post by Gazza » Sun 19 Nov, 2017 11:09

Landing fees
Customs Clearance
Agents fees
Import Duty 10% (car and total for shipping and other costs)
VAT 20% (on the car and associated shipping costs).

RoRo is cheaper (Roll on Roll off) than container, just make sure the 'Shipping' includes all dock fees in Japan and UK.

This is an example of what is chargeable -

Booking, docs, export Customs clearance
Receive load and secure
Load to vessel
Oceanfreight to the UK
UK unloading from vessel
Unpack / Customs clearance
BTI Application
Import docs / admin / port and shipping line security
(excluding duty & VAT)

I know a couple of Shippers if it helps you.
Gazza

"Understeer is when you hit the wall with the front of the car, oversteer is when you hit the wall with the rear of the car. Horsepower is how fast you hit the wall and torque is how far you take the wall with you"

S54 M roadster Image, BMW Z1, BMW M3 CSL, Mustang Fastback

ImageImage

roadvoyager1
Joined: Sun 19 Jan, 2014 18:30
Posts: 68

  Z3 roadster 2.8

Re: New to the parish....

Post by roadvoyager1 » Sun 19 Nov, 2017 19:13

I was wrong t-tony returned to the UK today, so it may be possible to get in touch with him very soon. He is very helpful.
Regarding the 2ltr from Japan. It is a 6 cylinder, however, with 150 bhp will not have the power of one of the larger engines (think leisurely driving rather than high speed) and is little more than the 140bhp 4 pots.
The only negatives I have heard about the 2.2 ltr engine is that they can use a bit of oil (BMW don't consider it to be excessive until it exceed a litre in 800 miles) whereas the earlier 2.8 will use less than that in 5000 miles. The 2.2 and 3.0 engines, introduced shortly after the body facelift are known by the BMW code of M54. Try Goggling for known problems with these engine. I understand they use more electrical control than the earlier M52 (2.8ltr) such as fly "by wire throttle" but I have not seen that these are particularly problematic.
Time to break the habits of a life time and get out there, drive a few and decide what suits you best. Happy hunting.

Paulro
Joined: Wed 07 Dec, 2016 18:47
Posts: 16

  blank

Re: New to the parish....

Post by Paulro » Mon 20 Nov, 2017 20:26

Have a look on eBay. There's what looks like an excellent 2.2 sport in black.
76k. 02reg. 2 former owners, very good mot history and looks a bargain at £3375.
There might even be room to manoeuvre.
Certainly looks a very good starting point.
Good luck.
Paul

Buzzy-Beans
Joined: Tue 14 Nov, 2017 15:01
Posts: 15

  BMW other

Re: New to the parish....

Post by Buzzy-Beans » Mon 20 Nov, 2017 21:16

Yes Paulro, I have seen that Z3, but the only trouble is the colour.

Having once owned a black Escort RS 2000 I vowed I would never ever buy a black car ever again!

I know the silver and dark blue Z3's look to my eyes the nicest, but if at all possible I would far sooner have a flat colour such as white or yellow as they are far easier to restore and generally maintain, but seemingly trying to find a Z3 in the UK which isn't either metallic or black is almost akin to finding rocking horse poo !!
Mind you this Zeeeeeeee looks to be rather fetching, even if it is silver https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Bmw-Z3-Sport ... Swk-1Z-JdY

Bonzo
Joined: Wed 21 Mar, 2012 21:52
Posts: 864

  Z3 roadster 2.8
Location: Norfolk

Re: New to the parish....

Post by Bonzo » Fri 24 Nov, 2017 23:48

A 2.8 has plenty of low down torque which makes pottering around at 30-40mph in 4th very easy, with some good urge available if you need it without changing down. :thumb: ...... Unless to want to of course.... :drive You really owe it to yourself try a good 2.8! Z3lda uses no oil, but I've heard that 3.0 litre Z3s do!

:cheers

Bonzo.
Z3lda (Zelda), 1998 2.8, Montreal Blue, Beige Oregon leather interior and M steering wheel, Sports Seats, Wood trim, Chrome Line Interior, Centre armrest with Cupholder, Alpina Softline wheels, Chromed Angel Eyes, De- tango'd, Rear stone guards, Sport aerial, ASC front strut brace, Strong Strut Butt Strut and Body Brace, Uprated brake fluid, Yellowstuff pads 78k.

User avatar
Gazza
Site Admin
Joined: Tue 04 Oct, 2005 21:58
Posts: 9203

  M roadster S54
Location: East London/Essex

Re: New to the parish....

Post by Gazza » Sat 25 Nov, 2017 12:22

3.0 does use a little oil, maybe a litre/six months.
Gazza

"Understeer is when you hit the wall with the front of the car, oversteer is when you hit the wall with the rear of the car. Horsepower is how fast you hit the wall and torque is how far you take the wall with you"

S54 M roadster Image, BMW Z1, BMW M3 CSL, Mustang Fastback

ImageImage

vzh7gk
Sponsor 2018
Joined: Fri 05 Feb, 2010 13:12
Posts: 106

  Z3 roadster 1.9
Location: Cheltenham, UK
Contact:

Re: New to the parish....

Post by vzh7gk » Sat 25 Nov, 2017 13:42

Welcome buzzy-beans.
Just picking up on a comment in another thread - are you a Land Rover person too then? :)
Graham (G4FUJ)
Prescott marshal and Hill Controller
Found another Z3 so back here after a long break :) 1999 1.9, Palmetto Green
1 Morgan 4/4 (selling in Spring) and a Land Rover 90 (keeping forever)

Buzzy-Beans
Joined: Tue 14 Nov, 2017 15:01
Posts: 15

  BMW other

Re: New to the parish....

Post by Buzzy-Beans » Sat 25 Nov, 2017 16:59

vzh7gk wrote:
Sat 25 Nov, 2017 13:42
Welcome buzzy-beans.
Just picking up on a comment in another thread - are you a Land Rover person too then? :)
Oh so sadly not any more as I sold my last one a couple or so years ago so I could buy a van which I then converted into a motorhome. But prior to that I had a few Series models, then a 300 TDi Disco and finally an utterly devine Defender 90 300TDi.
To be 100% honest if I was only thinking about myself and sod SWMBO then I would buy another one right now and stop looking for a zroadster.

vzh7gk
Sponsor 2018
Joined: Fri 05 Feb, 2010 13:12
Posts: 106

  Z3 roadster 1.9
Location: Cheltenham, UK
Contact:

Re: New to the parish....

Post by vzh7gk » Sun 26 Nov, 2017 08:10

:D OK,
Had a couple of Series, an early 4-door RR, Disco1, 127" and finally the 90. They usually stay with me for a long time. Present 90 had a ground up rebuild chassis/body with all the tin work galvanised, a few years ago. Can't live without one (whenever I've sold one the next has arrived within 12 months), so the present one was done to outlast me! :)
Graham (G4FUJ)
Prescott marshal and Hill Controller
Found another Z3 so back here after a long break :) 1999 1.9, Palmetto Green
1 Morgan 4/4 (selling in Spring) and a Land Rover 90 (keeping forever)

Buzzy-Beans
Joined: Tue 14 Nov, 2017 15:01
Posts: 15

  BMW other

Re: New to the parish....

Post by Buzzy-Beans » Sun 26 Nov, 2017 09:02

vzh7gk wrote:
Sun 26 Nov, 2017 08:10
Can't live without one (whenever I've sold one the next has arrived within 12 months), so the present one was done to outlast me! :)
One of my closest friends is paraplegic and a permanent wheelchair user, all thanks to an accident when he was driving his very highly modified Series 2 at a LandRover festival at Peterborough way back in the 1985, when he jumped it over a single decker bus. His Series cleared the bus but sadly on landing, the force of the impact with the ground crushed his spine following which he spent almost a year in the highly specialised orthopaedic Oswestry Hospital during which time he was thankfully refused entry at the pearly gates on several occasions!

The amazing thing about 'A' is that he still loves his Landies, most especially Series 1's and is currently in the process of totally building one out of parts he has sourced over several years on the internet. All the ones he has built over the years since his accident have been done to almost show standards despite him not being able to drive any of them with the exception of one which he fitted a V8 to along with an auto box and air suspension that lowered it down almost to the floor allowing his to bum shuffle into the drivers seat from his chair.

It is A's amazing wife who gave me the idea to buy a zroadster as she used to own a 2.8 Z3 and now has a 3.0 Z4.

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