Help - My car is cracking up!

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FinerZ1
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Help - My car is cracking up!

Post by FinerZ1 » Sat 30 Mar, 2013 12:49

I took the Z1 out for a quick drive yesterday and having returned home I noticed a rather large crack in the passenger side front wing.
I didn't hit any potholes or anything else for that matter during the drive so I'm at a loss as to how this might have happened?

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Image

So my question is, has anyone else suffered the same and managed to repair cracked bodywork panels or am I looking at a new front wing? Are these parts still available from BMW and what sort of cost are they?

Cheers

Paul

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Re: Help - My car is cracking up!

Post by a1z1 » Sat 30 Mar, 2013 17:11

Paul,
You are not the only one with this problem. I have had panels repaired and painted but as the paint "sinks" over time you can see the original crack. I bought new panels 2 years ago and they cost £445 plus vat each iirc.
You can also get carbon fibre wings from Germany but these are twice as expensive but they claim they fit better than the ones from BMW.

You might be lucky and pick one up on ebay.de

Regards

Ivor
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cudly1
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Re: Help - My car is cracking up!

Post by cudly1 » Sat 30 Mar, 2013 18:17

Hello Paul,

Many places (bodyshops) can repair these cracks. They can plastic weld and paint them and don't even need to take the wing off the car. I'm sure taking the wing off, or at least releasing, would make a better job in the areas where the wing comes into contact with another component.

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Re: Help - My car is cracking up!

Post by FinerZ1 » Sat 30 Mar, 2013 18:42

Thanks guys for the info. I did a quick check on ebay.de and saw some other body panels but not a front wing. I'll keep an eye out though.
I might just buy a new one if they're still available as I was expecting the price to be much higher than £445 to be honest.

Thanks again.

Paul

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TJS
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Re: Help - My car is cracking up!

Post by TJS » Sun 31 Mar, 2013 12:56

That look ugly, and expensive !

I assume this is caused by the aging of the materials reducing flexibility.

Is there a case for installing the reinforcing strips around the top bolt holes (as supplied by Michael K) as a preventative measure ?

http://www.roadster-fashion.de/Shop/cat ... 5542136313

Perhaps this a subject for a 2014 UK hosted Z1 technical day ?

TJS

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Re: Help - My car is cracking up!

Post by Jet » Tue 02 Apr, 2013 19:41

I was going to say try TJS suggestion as this is a common problem, but never seen it crack that bad in such a small space of time before, are there rubber grommets under those screws?

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ICE C
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Re: Help - My car is cracking up!

Post by ICE C » Tue 02 Apr, 2013 20:30

Paul,

I have got the same problem, I didn't know if it happened on its own or someone had been leaning on it...I had a split in my bumper and took it to a company in Sheffield called Raceproved. They specialise in TVR's so plastics ain't a problem but they are good and the paint work was perfect...

Chris...

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Re: Help - My car is cracking up!

Post by FinerZ1 » Wed 03 Apr, 2013 09:38

I have been in contact with Michael in Germany and he very kindly sent me the instructions from his repair kit but I'm not sure I have the skills nor facilities to do the work myself.
I went to my local BMW dealer yesterday to enquire about buying a new wing but there are none showing on the system either here or in Germany so they are putting in a special request.
They told me it might take up to 3 months and wasn't guaranteed but I think I would prefer a new wing if possible.

They did offer to repair the crack until I told them it was 20cm long and their bodyshop manager advised against a repair of that length.

Chris, how large was the crack on your bumper that was repaired by Raceproved and was it expensive? I was quoted £430 + VAT for a new wing (if available)

I can see this being a real issue for our cars in the coming years if the plastic body work is failing, for whatever reason, and no reasonable replacements being available.

I'll post back when I get a reply from BMW which should be in the next day or so.

Cheers

Paul

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Re: Help - My car is cracking up!

Post by Racing Tortoise » Wed 03 Apr, 2013 22:57

Could it be linked to the very cold weather?
Currently: bereft of Z1
Previously: 1991 Ur-grun Z1 and 1991 Traum-schwartz Z1

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Re: Help - My car is cracking up!

Post by ChrisS » Wed 03 Apr, 2013 23:51

Racing Tortoise wrote:Could it be linked to the very cold weather?
Like Austin Montego bumpers that became more brittle in cold weather?

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Re: Help - My car is cracking up!

Post by FinerZ1 » Thu 04 Apr, 2013 07:02

I did wonder whether the prolonged cold spell could be a factor too. I was speaking to another independent BMW garage yesterday and he said that he'd had another car in a couple of days ago, with plastic panels, that had a large unexplained crack as well.

Guess I'll just have to see what BMW Germany come back with and if they can do them I might just order left and right wings as back up!

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Re: Help - My car is cracking up!

Post by FinerZ1 » Fri 12 Apr, 2013 16:45

A quick update - Elms BMW in Cambridge have just called me back to say that they can order a new front wing from Germany although couldn't give a delivery date.
I've just placed an order with them so we'll see how long it takes!

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Re: Help - My car is cracking up!

Post by felix » Mon 15 Apr, 2013 09:46

If you haven't already done so you might wish to drill a small hole (1-2mm) at the current end of the crack to prevent is propagating further.

I have an article from Michael from a few years ago and he mentions the cause being a mix of the elastic compounds in the wing material having evaporated over time and stresses placed in the wing where it's bolted to the chassis. So a cold day combined with the passage of the years and a few decent bumps on the road and you have the wrong mix.

A few years back I saw that a number of the wing mounting holes on my car were cracked so used Michael's repair kit. So far so good - fingers crossed!

When you install the new wing ensure that the rubber washers are all in good shape and don't over-tighten the mounting screws.

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ICE C
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Re: Help - My car is cracking up!

Post by ICE C » Tue 16 Apr, 2013 13:24

Sorry for the delay Finer z1,

The crack on the bumper was about 150 cms long and right on the corner which can be difficult. I don't know much it was so sort, but I will dig out the paper work. I think they sorted out the bumper and I had scratches on the drivers door from rubbing on the sils and I am sure it was about £500 but I will check that for you.

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Re: Help - My car is cracking up!

Post by SCORPION » Tue 23 Apr, 2013 11:36

ME TOO !
Same place, starting at the driver's side mounting bolt nearest the windscreen about 10cm so far.
The car has been in a garage all winter (never below zero) and I only took it out in March for it's MOT and it was OK then.
Any suggestions will be much appreciated.
In the mean time I'll try to see if any local bodyshop's can help.

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Re: Help - My car is cracking up!

Post by FinerZ1 » Tue 23 Apr, 2013 11:46

Sorry to hear about this Scorpion...seems to be happening more and more recently.

I resigned myself to the fact that I was going to need a new wing so took Felix's advice and drilled a small hole at the end of the crack to stop it spreading.
I also drilled two small holes either side of the mounting point and secured the two parts with metal wire to try and limit the movement.
I'll let you know if/when BMW come back with a delivery date for a new wing if you're interested.

Cheers

Paul

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Re: Help - My car is cracking up!

Post by SCORPION » Tue 23 Apr, 2013 12:05

Thanks Paul.
My son sells classic cars and he has recommended a local bodyshop so I will go and get a price from them first. If I can take it in while the crack is small it may be fixable.

Can someone tell me if the front wing just unbolts and slides forward, as per Paul Brossaud's guide, or are there any hidden fastenings ?

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Re: Help - My car is cracking up!

Post by Jet » Wed 24 Apr, 2013 00:28

There is a hinge/bracket thingy under the headlight, holds the pointy end of the wing in place, unbolt that before it will slide out.

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Re: Help - My car is cracking up!

Post by SCORPION » Wed 24 Apr, 2013 14:09

Thanks Jamal. There's always something that's not obvious - well, to me anyway.

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Re: Help - My car is cracking up!

Post by sfh3l » Mon 06 May, 2013 13:49

Hey Paul,

One of my front wings started that trick a few years ago - look slike it might even be the same bold hole as yours (though on the other side of the car). I noticed it while it was confined to the area between the bolt hole and the gutter that runs up the side of the bonnet opening (gutter is effectively created by the upstand of the wing itself). I managed to get the wing off without doing further damage and carefully stuck a short plywood splint (about 5 inches) along the upstand to bridge the crack. Used 6mm ply and araldite and it arrested the crack completely and it has not opened again. I now see another of the fixings is beginning to do the same and think next winter I might have both wings off and stick similar splints to protect each of the holes on both wings.

I also have a small crack at the front lower edge of the rear wing, in the panel and above the 'hook' that connects with the bearer on the chassis. I plan a similar line of attack with that.

As Felix says, these were very exotic materials in their day and despite making over 8,000 Z1's, the bodywork can only be seen as a test bed as there were no cars at that time that had used the same materials and been exposed to weather and vibrations for 20+ years.

Good luck with the new wing. I'd advise the reinforcement plates on that one too - time flies you know!
Best regards,

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Re: Help - My car is cracking up!

Post by SCORPION » Tue 07 May, 2013 12:36

Jet wrote:There is a hinge/bracket thingy under the headlight, holds the pointy end of the wing in place, unbolt that before it will slide out.
Do I need to take the headlight out to get to the thingy ?
Sorry - I'm a bit nervous as I don't want anything else to snap.

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Re: Help - My car is cracking up!

Post by Jet » Tue 07 May, 2013 14:52

SCORPION wrote:
Jet wrote:There is a hinge/bracket thingy under the headlight, holds the pointy end of the wing in place, unbolt that before it will slide out.
Do I need to take the headlight out to get to the thingy ?
Sorry - I'm a bit nervous as I don't want anything else to snap.
Yes, headlight out to expose plastic bracket, a 10mm bolt holds it together if I remember correctly.

Headlight - watch out for the 10mm bolt located underneath, real ass to get to, as the undertray has to come off to get to it. Some people have found theirs missing, they get left out for that reason.

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Re: Help - My car is cracking up!

Post by Pat Slade » Thu 27 Jun, 2013 07:33

Just been to Germany to see Z1 friends. We went to see Udo Pott at his garage (potti's garage) near Paderborn. Whilst there we discussed the front wings which BMW are producing. I was told they were not coming out of the moulds with consistent dimensions! The carbon items produced by Michael Kabbert are a reliable shape and fit but I understand there are some concerns about the fibre pattern becoming visible through the paint finish over time.

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Re: Help - My car is cracking up!

Post by FinerZ1 » Thu 27 Jun, 2013 09:06

Thanks for the update Pat and good to know BMW are still producing them even though they might not fit properly!
I'm going to give BMW a couple more months to see if they can delivery my original order and, if not, I might be tempted to go for a carbon fibre if funds allow.

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Re: Help - My car is cracking up!

Post by SCORPION » Tue 16 Jul, 2013 12:09

I got the wing repaired at the recommended body shop, it looks superb. I very neat job and they resprayed the complete wing ( a good match).
Only time will tell if the repair and the spray will last.

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TJS
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Re: Help - My car is cracking up!

Post by TJS » Mon 22 Jul, 2013 20:30

With the wing off the car can the crack from the mounting hole be repaired by" plastic welding" from underneath combined with a small drilled hole as suggested by Felix ?

Is there a minimum size and length of repair relative to heat distortion ?

I have noticed I have two split mounting holes.

TJS


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Re: Help - My car is cracking up!

Post by ChrisS » Fri 16 Aug, 2013 20:38

Today I have joined the cracked wing club. The crack is about 3 inches long so far. I'm taking it to a local repairer who did some work on Mrs Clarkson's Z1. I hope the crack doesn't spread further by then. At least I don't need to drive the Z1 over the weekend.

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Re: Help - My car is cracking up!

Post by ChrisS » Fri 16 Aug, 2013 20:38

Today I have joined the cracked wing club. The crack is about 3 inches long so far. I'm taking it to a local repairer who did some work on Mrs Clarkson's Z1. I hope the crack doesn't spread further by then. At least I don't need to drive the Z1 over the weekend.

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Re: Help - My car is cracking up!

Post by ChrisS » Mon 19 Aug, 2013 19:27

KC Autocolour don't seem too concerned by this. They noted that the rubber washer under the hex bolt nearest to the crack was much more compressed than the others. We loosened all the bolts by about half a turn to relieve the tension on the plastic panels on each side of the car. The provisional estimate for removal of the wing, reinforcement underneath, making good on top and repainting is about £200. They advised against drilling a hole at the end of the present crack, as it would make it more difficult to achieve a good finish. They've recently acquired new equipment that makes successful repair of plastic components easier.
As well as the regular insurance jobs, they do a fair amount of specialist refinishing. Last time I called in, they had a Z8 under restoration, so I'm confident they can do a decent job. This may have been done by the time we meet at Lotus F1.
While I was out in the Z1, I also got an estimate for reinforcement of the frayed hood corners and replacement of the plastic window by All-Wheel Trim. £400 should cover it. Since the rest of the hood is in good condition and is watertight, I prefer this option to replacement of the whole hood. They say the pinching of the fabric that causes the fraying is an elementary design error that they can overcome. We'll see. It's booked in for a couple of days in October.

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Re: Help - My car is cracking up!

Post by Jet » Tue 20 Aug, 2013 17:31

ChrisS wrote: While I was out in the Z1, I also got an estimate for reinforcement of the frayed hood corners and replacement of the plastic window by All-Wheel Trim. £400 should cover it. Since the rest of the hood is in good condition and is watertight, I prefer this option to replacement of the whole hood. They say the pinching of the fabric that causes the fraying is an elementary design error that they can overcome. We'll see. It's booked in for a couple of days in October.
When I had my hood replaced, one thing I'd have liked is copy the Z3 design of a removeable zipped rear screen. Unfortunately The company I used lacked imagination and said it couldn't be done.

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