Tackling the Handling

UK forum for general and technical discussion about the Z3 roadster

Moderator: Gazza

Post Reply
barbancourt
Joined: Wed 30 Jan, 2013 09:45
Posts: 132

  Not specified

Tackling the Handling

Post by barbancourt » Wed 22 May, 2013 19:50

Hopefully, this won't become an epic thread. If it does, that probably means I will have spent a lot of time and $$$. So, here are my symptoms...

- slight pull to the left (possibly alignment / tires)
- vague steering at center (possibly bushings / ball joints / tie-rods / steering rack)
- twitchy /jerky steering at times (possibly alignment / ball joints / steering rack)
- tramlining at times (only on very uneven surfaces)

Currently outfitted with:

- Pirelli P7 (front) Nokian Zline (rear)... yeah I know the Pirellis suck. I also wouldn't have mix-matched the tires, but the seller did that when I bought the car. The Nokians are the new tires, but the Pirellis (probable culprit) are in very good shape. Wheels are 17 inch RH Wheels (2 piece).
- H+R springs (30 mm drop)
- Struts in good working condition (probably stock)
- Z3M strut mounts
- Strong Strut front brace (installed by me)

My first course of action is to have the alignment checked. I have an appointment this Friday. While they are checking that, I'm going to inspect all the suspension components to see if I need to change / update anything. After the test drive, I may opt on new front tires, as I have read the horror stories about the Pirellis and the vast improvements after changing them out. I'd like to put the same brand on front and rear, but I don't know much about Nokians. Anyone have experience with them? Supposedly they're pretty decent. Would seem like a waste to scrap one month old tires with less than 300 miles on them.

I have heard from a member on here that the Meyle HD replacement control arms and bushings are a nice upgrade. I'll see if my current parts need replacement before I start throwing money at it. I may go with the eccentric bushings to add some castor. New tie-rods are possible as well, depending. I would be surprised if I need that stuff because it passed inspection, and the guys who inspect our cars are ridiculous sticklers. They pry on everything, probably breaking stuff in the process. :roll:

As is, the Z drives ok at most times, but then something happens and I'm smacked back into reality that I must pay maximum attention to this car at all times and hold onto the steering wheel with a death grip. In contrast, my late model Lexus GS AWD heavy ass sedan... yes Lexus... on high quality winter tires can eat my Z3's lunch (and steal it's snack too) with respect to handling. In all fairness, it has F-Sport uprated swaybars installed on it, but still... it shouldn't be embarrassing my Z3 like that. I'm not just talking about comfortable ride here... I'm talking about pushing it in the corners. That Lexus handles like freaking crazy... but I digress.

I'll update this thread as I make adjustments. Feel free to opine and suggest crap. BTW, they are "tires" not "tyres". You crazy Brits! :D
ImageImageImage

Del
Joined: Sat 19 Nov, 2011 18:35
Posts: 2122

  Z3 roadster 1.9

Re: Tackling the Handling

Post by Del » Wed 22 May, 2013 20:22

I think you’re making the right start by getting the alignment/tracking checked and a general health check. I’ve replaced a lot of things on the front of mine (and fitted a strut brace) and the tramlining has got no better – if anything it’s slightly worse. I’m 90% certain it’s a tyre issue and when particular tyres cause the problem it seems (from all previous threads I’ve read) that the tramlining is worsened as those tyres wear. There are many views on the best tyre, but one brand I’ve noticed, that has cropped up on numerous occasions in the context of eliminating tramlining, is the Avon ZV5. (Probably a good old British make, old chap :D )

gookah
Z Register member
Joined: Thu 07 Aug, 2008 10:51
Posts: 2727

  Z3 roadster 2.8

Re: Tackling the Handling

Post by gookah » Wed 22 May, 2013 20:35

Get rid of the Pirelli's. Mine were still a good tread and they were the only thing I changed that cured the tramlining,
Before that I had a strut brace, new springs, alignment, tyre pressures, powerflex bushes, etc. etc. nothing worked until I swapped the tyres..... and instant transformation.

and by the way:
Yes they are tyres not tires.

and also take note that:
A 'hood' is on the top of a coat.
A 'trunk' is on the front of an elephant
'Rotors' are on helicopters.
and a 'Fender' is a guitar.

Remember that you speak 'English' (allegedly :lol: )... but obviously y'all haven't learnt to spell with it yet.... :D.
Image

Z3 2.8 Progress Journal (Mine)
Z3 1.9 Sport Progress Journal (Wifey's)

I have an element of 'M-styling' on my car, If that's a good enough reason for the manufacturers to adorn a 320 with the M badge, then its certainly a good enough reason for me..

barbancourt
Joined: Wed 30 Jan, 2013 09:45
Posts: 132

  Not specified

Re: Tackling the Handling

Post by barbancourt » Wed 22 May, 2013 21:13

gookah wrote: and also take note that:
A 'hood' is on the top of a coat.
A 'trunk' is on the front of an elephant
'Rotors' are on helicopters.
and a 'Fender' is a guitar.

Remember that you speak 'English' (allegedly :lol: )... but obviously y'all haven't learnt to spell with it yet.... :D.
Haha.

My personal favorite is when you guys say, "I'm chuffed to bits." What does that even mean? lol

And yeah, the Pirellis are probably going to hit the recycle bin this Friday if the alignment and suspension checks out. If that doesn't work. I'll start $pending ca$h on $u$pen$ion. :x
ImageImageImage

Mcjazz
Joined: Tue 07 May, 2013 23:28
Posts: 56

  Z3 roadster 2.2i

Re: Tackling the Handling

Post by Mcjazz » Wed 22 May, 2013 21:22

We have only had our Z3 a couple of weeks and initially I thought the steering was terrible. Yes the car had 2 new tyres on the front but they were different makes, tread pattern and speed rating. So bit the bullet and swapped them out for a couple of new Goodyears. Difference was night and day car runs straight as, sharp steering, reduced road noise can't remember such a step change on any car I have owned before. Best money I have spent on a car in a long time for bang for bucks.

Moray

barbancourt
Joined: Wed 30 Jan, 2013 09:45
Posts: 132

  Not specified

Re: Tackling the Handling

Post by barbancourt » Wed 22 May, 2013 21:59

Mcjazz wrote:We have only had our Z3 a couple of weeks and initially I thought the steering was terrible. Yes the car had 2 new tyres on the front but they were different makes, tread pattern and speed rating. So bit the bullet and swapped them out for a couple of new Goodyears. Difference was night and day car runs straight as, sharp steering, reduced road noise can't remember such a step change on any car I have owned before. Best money I have spent on a car in a long time for bang for bucks.

Moray
Thanks. I promise, I'm not a cheapskate. :D

I didn't plan on a new set of tires, but I refuse to drive around all jacked up. I like my cars running smooth as butter. As it stands, the steering is "rubbish" (see... you all are converting me to a proper British gentleman).

Besides Pirellis, what tires should also be avoided, and which ones are bonafide good to go? Specific model names would be appreciated greatly.
ImageImageImage

billz
Joined: Mon 22 Mar, 2010 20:09
Posts: 1240

  Z4 roadster 3.0si
Location: nottingham

Re: Tackling the Handling

Post by billz » Wed 22 May, 2013 22:39

We have conti contact sport 3s on the front and have just put uniroyals on the rear, which are made by conti but not as soft and a lot cheaper. Contis are around £200 a corner for the 255/35/18s and around £170 for 225/40/18
Image ImageImageUploaded with ImageShack.com
Z3 3.0 Sports Sold
Z4 3.0si Ruby Black with Champagne Leather and Piano Black Dash

Mcjazz
Joined: Tue 07 May, 2013 23:28
Posts: 56

  Z3 roadster 2.2i

Re: Tackling the Handling

Post by Mcjazz » Wed 22 May, 2013 22:53

I went for Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 - 225/45 R17 think they are very good. So far anyways. They were on offer at Camskills just over £80 each.

maurice the martian
Joined: Tue 26 Jan, 2010 19:44
Posts: 1026

  Z4 roadster 3.0i
Location: mars

Re: Tackling the Handling

Post by maurice the martian » Wed 22 May, 2013 22:53

billz wrote:We have conti contact sport 3s on the front and have just put uniroyals on the rear, which are made by conti but not as soft and a lot cheaper. Contis are around £200 a corner for the 255/35/18s and around £170 for 225/40/18
Cheapskate
Get some maxxis pro's
QUALITY
M:grin:

Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk 2

barbancourt
Joined: Wed 30 Jan, 2013 09:45
Posts: 132

  Not specified

Re: Tackling the Handling

Post by barbancourt » Thu 23 May, 2013 01:12

Another thing about the Pirellis that was surprising is that even with good tread, they hydroplane like a mofo. I've had many high performance tires... from the top tier brands, to mid-grade, to cheapos (in my youth). I've found that the name/price usually doesn't mean squat. I think my favorite tires of all times were a set of Falkens that must have been only about $70 USD a piece. They completely transformed the dynamics of the car they were on.
ImageImageImage

User avatar
stu
Site Admin
Joined: Fri 10 Oct, 2003 18:49
Posts: 3540

  Z3 roadster 2.8 supe
Location: On the edge!

Re: Tackling the Handling

Post by stu » Thu 23 May, 2013 10:53

IMHO, the tramlining can be reduced by fitting the M3 E36 rear Control Arm bush (it's solid compared to the Z3's stock part hollow). My indie showed me years ago how easy it is to move the lower TCA by hand!

Good tyres (suited to the car) and strutbrace also help. I don't think it's brand specific though, to me it seems to be the sidewall stiffness that has the most dramatic effect. I've recently swapped to Falken 453's, which seem to be stiffer, like the Bridgestone S02's I had on a while ago. They don't feel as compiant as the Toyo T1R's or the good old Goodyear Eagle F1's to me, but the grip is really impressive. They have made the car feel like it wants to wander again.
someone in a minority once wrote:I know I'm in a minority
Image

User avatar
John1950
Joined: Tue 15 Mar, 2011 18:49
Posts: 655

  Z3 roadster 2.8
Location: Baarn, Holland

Re: Tackling the Handling

Post by John1950 » Thu 23 May, 2013 11:00

barbancourt wrote:
gookah wrote: and also take note that:
A 'hood' is on the top of a coat.
A 'trunk' is on the front of an elephant
'Rotors' are on helicopters.
and a 'Fender' is a guitar.

Remember that you speak 'English' (allegedly :lol: )... but obviously y'all haven't learnt to spell with it yet.... :D.
Haha.

My personal favorite is when you guys say, "I'm chuffed to bits." What does that even mean? lol

And yeah, the Pirellis are probably going to hit the recycle bin this Friday if the alignment and suspension checks out. If that doesn't work. I'll start $pending ca$h on $u$pen$ion. :x

Here, here.
Well said old chap, I'm chuffed to bits that someone has mentioned this - the standard of English amongst some of the male members here is positively antediluvian.
John Walker
Baarn, Holland
Image Image
_____________________________________________________________________
The Zed | 2.8 | Topaz Blue | Z4 alloys |97K

Z3cade
Joined: Sat 09 Jan, 2010 18:18
Posts: 2634

  M roadster S50
Location: Peterborough

Re: Tackling the Handling

Post by Z3cade » Thu 23 May, 2013 11:07

What do ya mean Bruv? The lingo is ko innit :D
///M Roadster - Evolve Stage 3
Image

Keefboz
Joined: Wed 17 Oct, 2012 16:46
Posts: 35

  Z3 roadster 2.8
Location: North London

Re: Tackling the Handling

Post by Keefboz » Thu 23 May, 2013 11:34

OP I have the exact same issues, however I am completely stock. I got an alignment and it really changed nothing. I am not going to bother modifying the car as I am only using it for a couple years before getting rid when I move again.

Isn't a lot of the bad handling due to the fact that it is a convertible?
"Drive it like you stole it.... then pay your tickets"

User avatar
c_w
Joined: Thu 19 Aug, 2004 17:50
Posts: 4032

  M roadster S50

Re: Tackling the Handling

Post by c_w » Thu 23 May, 2013 11:39

Interesting that you have fitted Z3M front mounts (assume the "right" way around which means your camber is back to stock despite it being lowered?). In my expereince the castor from the Z3M mounts really reduces the tramlining and give sthe car a more positive straight ahead.

Are you using stock dampers/springs? or Z3M struts? Only reason I ask is the standard Z3 springs/struts couple with Z3M top mounts can lead to spring binding on the turret which may give you some odd steering.

barbancourt
Joined: Wed 30 Jan, 2013 09:45
Posts: 132

  Not specified

Re: Tackling the Handling

Post by barbancourt » Thu 23 May, 2013 11:55

Keefboz wrote: Isn't a lot of the bad handling due to the fact that it is a convertible?
It's not that it handles "badly" per se all the time. It is quirky and unpredictable at times, which reduces the overall driving experience. The issues I am having could be experienced on any car, convertible or not. The steering should not be vague at center, the steering should not be twitchy, and it should not tramline. I've had other lowered cars before that did not exhibit these tendencies. It can be sorted.
ImageImageImage

barbancourt
Joined: Wed 30 Jan, 2013 09:45
Posts: 132

  Not specified

Re: Tackling the Handling

Post by barbancourt » Thu 23 May, 2013 12:05

c_w wrote:Interesting that you have fitted Z3M front mounts (assume the "right" way around which means your camber is back to stock despite it being lowered?). In my expereince the castor from the Z3M mounts really reduces the tramlining and give sthe car a more positive straight ahead.

Are you using stock dampers/springs? or Z3M struts? Only reason I ask is the standard Z3 springs/struts couple with Z3M top mounts can lead to spring binding on the turret which may give you some odd steering.
I believe they are stock struts, but definitely on H+R springs. The struts are working fine. The Z3M mounts are installed properly. Tramlining is not my biggest probem, either. It will tramline on a very uneven patch of road, but for the most part it handles most uneven surfaces just fine, to include paint lines and regular road imperfections.

The biggest issues are a slight leftward pull, vague steering, and twitchiness when it gets unsettled. All that combined produces an undesirable experience. It's not a complete dog, though. 85% of the time it drives just fine. Just needs to be sorted a bit. As is, I don't feel confident pushing it hard. Lane changes feel a bit slow and labor intensive, IMO, and I attribute that to vague steering and twitchiness forcing me to be extra careful.

Full disclosure, I'm not overly happy with the grip of the front tires, even if all the other issues did not exist.
ImageImageImage

User avatar
c_w
Joined: Thu 19 Aug, 2004 17:50
Posts: 4032

  M roadster S50

Re: Tackling the Handling

Post by c_w » Thu 23 May, 2013 12:29

Most of that could be the tyres.

But as someone has suggested you could also fit the Z3M wishbone bushes too which are much firmer, might introduce a slight bit of harshmess though.

gookah
Z Register member
Joined: Thu 07 Aug, 2008 10:51
Posts: 2727

  Z3 roadster 2.8

Re: Tackling the Handling

Post by gookah » Thu 23 May, 2013 16:46

c_w wrote:Most of that could be the tyres.

But as someone has suggested you could also fit the Z3M wishbone bushes too which are much firmer, might introduce a slight bit of harshmess though.

Speaking of harshness..
I fitted Polybushes to mine, didnt cure anything except toothache, 'cos my teeth fell out after the first bump in the road...... :head:
Image

Z3 2.8 Progress Journal (Mine)
Z3 1.9 Sport Progress Journal (Wifey's)

I have an element of 'M-styling' on my car, If that's a good enough reason for the manufacturers to adorn a 320 with the M badge, then its certainly a good enough reason for me..

barbancourt
Joined: Wed 30 Jan, 2013 09:45
Posts: 132

  Not specified

Re: Tackling the Handling

Post by barbancourt » Fri 24 May, 2013 09:57

Ok... so I've had a rather disappointing morning so far with the tire shop.

I chose a "tire/lowering/suspension specialist shop" close to my house, just because they were close and had good internet reviews. I'm not from around here and don't really have a good reference. There is a "no kidding performance shop" five minutes from my house that does some extensive tuning work... but they royally f'ed up my E39, so they are off limits.

Anyway, so I showed up to the tire shop this morning for my appointment and brought my 19 inch BBS LM rep wheels from my E39 with me as an option instead of replacing tires. They have less than 2,000 kms on the wheels and tires... pretty much brand new. And the tires are expensive Bridgestones at about 200 Euro each. So I instruct the lady at the counter that I want an alignment first. Then if that doesn't work, I want them to see if the 19 inch wheels I brought with me fit the Z3. She then said that won't work because they are going to align the car with the current wheels and if they change the wheels, they will have to do another alignment. At that point, I was like... uhhh let me talk to someone who actually knows what they are talking about.

So then I talk to the tech (who apparently owns a Z3M). What a douche. First he looks at my wheels and says it is impossible to fit 19's on a Z3. Strike one. Then when I tell him that they do fit on a Z3, he said that the E39 wheels won't fit on the Z3. Strike two. I switch topics to avoid a pissing match over who knows more, but I'm seriously considering walking away at that point. We start to discuss other options. I describe some of the symptoms I'm having and he says "all wide low profile tires will have those symptoms". Strike three, you're out. But he managed to get strike four when I asked him what tires he recommended and he said, "Pirelli".

Ok, so if he had said 19's will fit, but they have to be the correct offset, I would have given him a pass. But all he asked me were what car they came off of. When I told him he said, "won't fit". Then I explained to him that I had spacers on my E39, and they were in fact the correct offset for a Z3 (mind you I have measured the diameter and width of my current wheels and the other set, and they are not far off). I also would have given him a pass if he said that I may need a hub adapter to make them fit, as he would have been correct.

As far as "all wide low profile tires having the same symptoms", I questioned him on that and told him this is not my first car with such tires and lowering and I didn't have those issues. Not only that, my E39 tires were wider and lower profile than the wheels I have on my Z3 and I had no such issues. Then he changes it from the tires being the problem to the combination of the tires plus the car are the problem. So which one is it, guy? Is it the tires or the car? Jesus. I would have given him a pass if he had said this is common on the Z3.

Anyways, he gave me quotes on new tires and all of them were ridiculous. He doesn't carry the Nokians I have on the rear (brand new, installed at the time of purchase), so I'd have to either mismatch tires, or buy 4 new ones. I ain't doing that. So, I'm going to let them align my car for the 50 bucks, and take my happy ass somewhere else.

New course of action:

- See if the alignment fixes anything
- Take my 19 inch wheel to another shop and see if they have more "creative" suggestions than "it won't fit", i.e... we need spacers, or hey we tried it and it hits your suspension components so it doesn't fit (perfectly acceptable answers).
- Contact the guy who sold me the car to obtain new front tires, so I have a matching set. The guy is a mechanic who restores vintage autos and knows his stuff. He uses Nokians on his personal car and highly recommends them. He also only paid like 150 Euro for the rear set, so I know it's not going to be crazy pricing.
- After those steps, I'll start doing the control arms/bushing, etc... as required.

Sorry, had to vent! :head:
ImageImageImage

User avatar
BladeRunner919
Joined: Fri 17 Feb, 2012 20:18
Posts: 2221

  Z3 roadster 1.9

Re: Tackling the Handling

Post by BladeRunner919 » Fri 24 May, 2013 11:02

barbancourt wrote: Sorry, had to vent! :head:
I was actually really impressed with your patience in the face of complete idiocy!! :D

gookah
Z Register member
Joined: Thu 07 Aug, 2008 10:51
Posts: 2727

  Z3 roadster 2.8

Re: Tackling the Handling

Post by gookah » Fri 24 May, 2013 11:36

Well at least you know not to waste your time there again, so that's a positive.
Are your existing wheels/tyres the same sizes/offset as swapping the wheels front to rear will provide an immediate answer on Pirellis versus the others at the front?

By the way, I am rumnning 19's on my Z3 and it's lowered on Eibachs too. Rear 19 x 9.5 ET35, front 19 x 8.5 ET38
Image

Z3 2.8 Progress Journal (Mine)
Z3 1.9 Sport Progress Journal (Wifey's)

I have an element of 'M-styling' on my car, If that's a good enough reason for the manufacturers to adorn a 320 with the M badge, then its certainly a good enough reason for me..

User avatar
Gazza
Site Admin
Joined: Tue 04 Oct, 2005 21:58
Posts: 9201

  M roadster S54
Location: East London/Essex

Re: Tackling the Handling

Post by Gazza » Fri 24 May, 2013 11:52

gookah wrote:Are your existing wheels/tyres the same sizes/offset as swapping the wheels front to rear will provide an immediate answer on Pirellis versus the others at the front?
Good point.
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

barbancourt
Joined: Wed 30 Jan, 2013 09:45
Posts: 132

  Not specified

Re: Tackling the Handling

Post by barbancourt » Fri 24 May, 2013 13:53

gookah wrote:Well at least you know not to waste your time there again, so that's a positive.
Are your existing wheels/tyres the same sizes/offset as swapping the wheels front to rear will provide an immediate answer on Pirellis versus the others at the front?

By the way, I am rumnning 19's on my Z3 and it's lowered on Eibachs too. Rear 19 x 9.5 ET35, front 19 x 8.5 ET38
Yes, essentially. I can't remember exactly, but I think they are 9.0 and 9.5 or 8.5 and 9.5 inches with ET40 offset. I had spacers on them to fit the E39. The center bore is different though, and requires an adapter. I went to test fit them on my own, but the bore was just a bit smaller on the wheels than on the Z3 hub. Like I said I had spacers on the E39, so I don't know if it would have fit those either without the adapter, as I'm quite certain the center bore is larger on the E39 than the Z3. I measured the diameter and width of the tires currently on the car and also of my 19's. They are of marginal difference. We're talking about less than a centimeter difference in height and width. And I agree that a wheel/tire swap would confirm/deny the tire issue, which is why I brought them with me. The guy was more interested in selling me his tires than the more obvious solutions. He doesn't carry the Nokians that would match the BRAND NEW rear tires to the suspect front tires so he suggested I replace all four tires for 800-900 Euros and sell my new Nokian rear tires on Ebay. LOL. Really? As opposed to just buying two new Nokians somewhere else? Is that a serious suggestion?

Anyways, I'm taking it down the street to the less pretentious mass market chain garage/auto parts store. I've used them in the past and they are much more friendly and knowledgeable than both the "expert tuning shop" and the "expert tire shop" in my neighborhood.
ImageImageImage

barbancourt
Joined: Wed 30 Jan, 2013 09:45
Posts: 132

  Not specified

Re: Tackling the Handling

Post by barbancourt » Fri 24 May, 2013 13:55

BladeRunner919 wrote:
barbancourt wrote: Sorry, had to vent! :head:
I was actually really impressed with your patience in the face of complete idiocy!! :D
You know when something crazy is happening to you and in the moment it's kind of like you don't realize how crazy it was until you had time to think about it? That's how it was. On the drive home, I was like WTF man.
ImageImageImage

gookah
Z Register member
Joined: Thu 07 Aug, 2008 10:51
Posts: 2727

  Z3 roadster 2.8

Re: Tackling the Handling

Post by gookah » Fri 24 May, 2013 15:11

barbancourt wrote:
gookah wrote: Are your existing wheels/tyres the same sizes/offset as swapping the wheels front to rear will provide an immediate answer on Pirellis versus the others at the front?
And I agree that a wheel/tire swap would confirm/deny the tire issue, which is why I brought them with me. .

I meant just swap your "existing" Z3 wheels between front and back to check tramlining, .....not changing to the bigger wheels.
If the wheels as fitted now are the same sizes front and rear then you can try that first.
Image

Z3 2.8 Progress Journal (Mine)
Z3 1.9 Sport Progress Journal (Wifey's)

I have an element of 'M-styling' on my car, If that's a good enough reason for the manufacturers to adorn a 320 with the M badge, then its certainly a good enough reason for me..

barbancourt
Joined: Wed 30 Jan, 2013 09:45
Posts: 132

  Not specified

Re: Tackling the Handling

Post by barbancourt » Fri 24 May, 2013 15:53

gookah wrote:
barbancourt wrote:
gookah wrote: Are your existing wheels/tyres the same sizes/offset as swapping the wheels front to rear will provide an immediate answer on Pirellis versus the others at the front?
And I agree that a wheel/tire swap would confirm/deny the tire issue, which is why I brought them with me. .

I meant just swap your "existing" Z3 wheels between front and back to check tramlining, .....not changing to the bigger wheels.
If the wheels as fitted now are the same sizes front and rear then you can try that first.
It's staggered fitment.
ImageImageImage

barbancourt
Joined: Wed 30 Jan, 2013 09:45
Posts: 132

  Not specified

UPDATE

Post by barbancourt » Fri 24 May, 2013 16:05

UPDATE:

So, went to pick up my car from the tire shop. They couldn't do the alignment because the tie-rods are rusted and can't be adjusted. They offered to replace them, but I declined. I'll give them some points though... they didn't charge me anything for looking and attempting. The new guy at the counter seemed much cooler than the other guy, so maybe I just had two bad apples on the original visit this morning. I thought about giving them another chance, but... nah.

Went to my preferred shop right after, and I felt bad for cheating on them with another shop. Greeted by the same familiar faces, even though it's a chain store. I actually bought my 19 inch tires from them awhile back. Anyways, told them what I was trying to do, and the answer was, "Sure, no problem we'll check to see if it fits." Not going to go through the whole conversation, but it was a succession of me talking and them nodding yes. Just how I like it. The other place was trying to tell me crap, and they were telling me wrong. These guys were in complete receive mode, and didn't even bat an eyelash when I said I want to test the 19's on the Z3. They seemed almost "happy" to check it for me. Of course, the first step is to change the tie-rods and get it aligned, though.

Very glad I escaped from the other shop with only wasted time and not wasted money. I'll update you all as the information comes in. At least I found out about the rusted tie-rods from them. That's a good thing, as it somewhat validates my sloppy steering complaint, provided that the alignment is out of spec.
ImageImageImage

User avatar
Gazza
Site Admin
Joined: Tue 04 Oct, 2005 21:58
Posts: 9201

  M roadster S54
Location: East London/Essex

Re: Tackling the Handling

Post by Gazza » Fri 24 May, 2013 16:17

I want to know how you intend taking 4 x 19" wheels with you to try the fit :lol:
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

User avatar
Brian H
Joined: Tue 16 Dec, 2008 19:55
Posts: 2503

  Z3 roadster 3.0i

Re: Tackling the Handling

Post by Brian H » Fri 24 May, 2013 18:10

Gazza wrote:I want to know how you intend taking 4 x 19" wheels with you to try the fit :lol:
Roof down stacked on the passenger seat :shock:.

User avatar
Gazza
Site Admin
Joined: Tue 04 Oct, 2005 21:58
Posts: 9201

  M roadster S54
Location: East London/Essex

Re: Tackling the Handling

Post by Gazza » Fri 24 May, 2013 19:16

Brian H wrote:
Gazza wrote:I want to know how you intend taking 4 x 19" wheels with you to try the fit :lol:
Roof down stacked on the passenger seat :shock:.

Won't fit, difficult to get one wheel in, they won't lie flat.
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

barbancourt
Joined: Wed 30 Jan, 2013 09:45
Posts: 132

  Not specified

Re: Tackling the Handling

Post by barbancourt » Fri 24 May, 2013 19:29

Gazza wrote:
Brian H wrote:
Gazza wrote:I want to know how you intend taking 4 x 19" wheels with you to try the fit :lol:
Roof down stacked on the passenger seat :shock:.

Won't fit, difficult to get one wheel in, they won't lie flat.
Girlfriend's car. :wink:
ImageImageImage

User avatar
c_w
Joined: Thu 19 Aug, 2004 17:50
Posts: 4032

  M roadster S50

Re: UPDATE

Post by c_w » Sun 26 May, 2013 19:18

barbancourt wrote:Very glad I escaped from the other shop with only wasted time and not wasted money. I'll update you all as the information comes in. At least I found out about the rusted tie-rods from them. That's a good thing, as it somewhat validates my sloppy steering complaint, provided that the alignment is out of spec.
It's really common to find the tie rod threads siezed on BMWs, mine were when I went to have mine tracked so I just replaced the assemblies, but even with plenty of grease they tighten up in time. However, unfortunately it doesn't necessarily mean they are worn.

The Z3 is prone to steering feedback not seen in any other BMW car, even those with identical suspension setups. However, there is a rubberised joint in the steering column (near the exhaust manifold). If there is any play at the steering wheel it's most likely this joint.

barbancourt
Joined: Wed 30 Jan, 2013 09:45
Posts: 132

  Not specified

UPDATE #2

Post by barbancourt » Mon 27 May, 2013 18:38

Ok...

So, different service manager at the shop today when I dropped it off. Mostly all the same level of great customer service and displayed knowledge of automobile repair theory and execution. I love when people know their job. This guy, however, did his job just a bit better than the last guy because he asked me for my TüV paperwork that shows I can put the 19 inch wheels on the Z3. I don't have it and honestly don't care at this point. I like the wheels on the car now, so I'm not dying to put the 19s on.

Anyway...

They checked the Pirellis I had on the front and said that in a month or so, depending on my driving habits, I would probably have to replace them. Strange, because they "look" like they have life in them, but it is consistent with what the previous shop says and he used a tool in front of me to measure so I believe him. Real world driving agrees with them, because the car doesn't handle all that greatly, and I caught a nasty hydroplane the other day when it should have cut right through that small puddle.

UPDATE #2

Got a call from the shop. They changed the front tires according to my directions and now the front tires match the brand new rear ones that the seller put on. Apparently they are great tires (Nokian Zline "new 2013 model")... at least that is what the guy at the shop and the guy who sold me the car said.

They checked the suspension and all checked out "ok". The master mechanic took my car for a test drive and said the alignment and everything tracked true. From what he said the car drives perfectly. He also said that the Pirellis I had on the front were in awful condition and needed to be changed. I doubt he drove it before the tire change, so I don't know if he has a point of reference to compare it to. He did say that if he would change anything, he said that the rear shocks may be ready for a change soon, but they are not necessary RIGHT NOW. As a shadetree mechanic, and enthusiast driver, I'd say that the rear shocks were not my problem. That being said, they didn't adjust the alignment because they didn't know if I wanted to go ahead and change the rear shocks, and also it checked out fine on their test drive.

So... I'll pick up the car tomorrow morning and test it out for out for myself. I appreciate the shop's commentary, but I reserve the right to say whether it is ok or not. 8-)

Good thing is that he said it drives well. I won't say the Pirellis are at fault, though, because I can't in good faith scrutinize a worn tire. If the Pirellis were new, I'd say they were garbage. Being that they were a month away from being toast, I'd say that the age was more of a problem than the actual quality of the tire.
ImageImageImage

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

  Z3 roadster 2.8
Location: Norfolk

Re: Tackling the Handling

Post by Bonzo » Mon 27 May, 2013 19:33

I changed my part worn Michelins on the front to new Avon ZV5's to match the rears. This completely cured the dreaded tramlining and twitchy /snatchy steering. Way to go dude. 8-)

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.

barbancourt
Joined: Wed 30 Jan, 2013 09:45
Posts: 132

  Not specified

UPDATE #3

Post by barbancourt » Tue 28 May, 2013 16:05

Picked up the car today. Much better! I took it on the uneven stretch of road that gives me the most problems. Normally, it violently jerks the wheel to one side when I hit it. With the new front tires, it didn't even blink. Cornering ability has increased also. Definitely feels more capable. The shop manager recommended a shock replacement again when I saw him in person. It's got the OEM shocks on still, with the H+R springs. The age of the shocks, combined with them being OEM is only exacerbated by the aftermarket stiffer and lower springs. I'll probably get them done next week. Any shock recommendations with 30mm drop H+R springs?

The steering feels better, but not quite like an F1 car yet. 8-) It's acceptable for now though. If one of you drove my car you'd probably say I was being picky. It's not eye-raising bad, or really bad at all for that matter. I just think it is not where it needs to be for my standard.
ImageImageImage

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests