steering

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wizard4
Joined: Sun 12 Oct, 2014 13:40
Posts: 42

  Z3 roadster 1.9

steering

Post by wizard4 » Tue 21 Oct, 2014 19:58

Hi guys im new to the forum I recently bought a z3 apart from getting used to the rear wheel drive handling, I have noticed that when get up to higher speeds the steering is a bit vague, as if the front of the car has become very light, any ideas.
Cheers :?

bertiejaffa
Joined: Fri 26 Jul, 2013 10:28
Posts: 1725

  M roadster S50
Location: Manchester

Re: steering

Post by bertiejaffa » Tue 21 Oct, 2014 22:51

These cars often suffer from tram lining - not sure if this is the issue you are experiencing but often the tyres themselves are usually quite old (see thread below). In the thread you can also see how old the tyres are. This would be my first thought... the next would be the bushes maybe as they could well be original also...

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Robert T
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Joined: Mon 12 Jun, 2006 11:35
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  Z3 roadster 1.9
Location: Cheshire

Re: steering

Post by Robert T » Wed 22 Oct, 2014 06:19

I believe this is the case at very high speed as reported by a few who have driven their cars on derestricted autobahns at something approaching v-max. It is not something that you would notice at normal road speeds, or on a track for that matter. Are you carrying lead weights around in the boot?

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akirk
Joined: Fri 20 Apr, 2012 09:11
Posts: 122

  Z3 roadster 3.0i

Re: steering

Post by akirk » Wed 22 Oct, 2014 10:00

It can also just be the contrast with other cars - so many people jump out of a nose heavy FWD car into a balanced RWD car and it does feel different...
- pop in a strut bar under the bonnet
- make sure the tyres are fine

should be okay
- if not, start to check suspension
Alasdair

meridianZ
Joined: Sun 31 Aug, 2014 23:53
Posts: 8

  Z3 roadster 2.5i

Re: steering

Post by meridianZ » Wed 22 Oct, 2014 21:56

I believe the Z racks are variable where they get tighter (less boost) at higher speeds (not sure if it was for all years)

The e30 I had went through a similar issue and it was actually inner tie rods on the rack that were worn so those may warrant a look at on a Zed.

How fast were you going to make this effect start to happen? Under or over 100mph?

wizard4
Joined: Sun 12 Oct, 2014 13:40
Posts: 42

  Z3 roadster 1.9

Re: steering

Post by wizard4 » Thu 23 Oct, 2014 11:05

I was travelling at 70mph only for a short distance, as it was a back road haven't tested it on either an A road or motorway, afraid I live out in the sticks, Tyres are new, but I must agree it is vastly different from driving a front wheel drive car, last one I drove was a Vauxhall Viva, oops giving my age away lol. Also I have never driven a car with so much Torque especially rear wheel drive, so its a new learning curve for me, I will however get her on to the link road that runs from Devon to the M5, but speed is restricted to 60mph, so will see what happens.
Thank you for your advice and help.
Cheers :)

Cooper01
Joined: Tue 29 Apr, 2014 09:06
Posts: 152

  Z3 roadster 3.0i

Re: steering

Post by Cooper01 » Thu 23 Oct, 2014 13:22

Jump into another Zed along the same road and speed and see if there is any difference. My money is on that you are just not used to it, but I could be wrong. Cooper

wizard4
Joined: Sun 12 Oct, 2014 13:40
Posts: 42

  Z3 roadster 1.9

Re: steering

Post by wizard4 » Fri 24 Oct, 2014 16:25

Thanks cooper01 I suspect you are right.
Cheers :)

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Althulas
Joined: Fri 13 Feb, 2009 00:55
Posts: 809

  M roadster S50

Re: steering

Post by Althulas » Sat 25 Oct, 2014 02:44

I don't know about that I had a blast in mine going uphill and at 130 the front did feel very light which I was suprised by with most of the weight at the front but I suppose if the wind was coming com that direction it would not help.
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beerbelly
Joined: Fri 07 Feb, 2014 20:12
Posts: 177

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Re: steering

Post by beerbelly » Sat 25 Oct, 2014 07:06

just have to get used to it mate nothing to do with it being a balanced car in fact the opposite . your reference to an old viva isn't far off the mark tbh :wink: smooth roads are fine but bumpy back lanes will never be its natural territory

1963paul
Joined: Sat 19 Jul, 2014 14:19
Posts: 89

  Z3 roadster 2.0

Re: steering

Post by 1963paul » Tue 28 Oct, 2014 12:49

wizard4 wrote:I was travelling at 70mph only for a short distance, as it was a back road haven't tested it on either an A road or motorway, afraid I live out in the sticks, Tyres are new, but I must agree it is vastly different from driving a front wheel drive car, last one I drove was a Vauxhall Viva, oops giving my age away lol. Also I have never driven a car with so much Torque especially rear wheel drive, so its a new learning curve for me, I will however get her on to the link road that runs from Devon to the M5, but speed is restricted to 60mph, so will see what happens.
Thank you for your advice and help.
Cheers :)
If you see a silver or a puple Z3, It will be me (silver) or my mate in his purple Z3, we use the N Devon link rd every day to go to work in Exeter, from Tiverton. Must admit, I notice the front feels "light" at speed (80+)...same boat as you, not driven a rear wheel drive for a long time, might be normal.

1963paul
Joined: Sat 19 Jul, 2014 14:19
Posts: 89

  Z3 roadster 2.0

Re: steering

Post by 1963paul » Tue 28 Oct, 2014 12:53

1963paul wrote:
wizard4 wrote:I was travelling at 70mph only for a short distance, as it was a back road haven't tested it on either an A road or motorway, afraid I live out in the sticks, Tyres are new, but I must agree it is vastly different from driving a front wheel drive car, last one I drove was a Vauxhall Viva, oops giving my age away lol. Also I have never driven a car with so much Torque especially rear wheel drive, so its a new learning curve for me, I will however get her on to the link road that runs from Devon to the M5, but speed is restricted to 60mph, so will see what happens.
Thank you for your advice and help.
Cheers :)
If you see a silver or a puple Z3, It will be me (silver) or my mate in his purple Z3, we use the N Devon link rd every day to go to work in Exeter, from Tiverton. Must admit, I notice the front feels "light" at speed (80+)...same boat as you, not driven a rear wheel drive for a long time, might be normal.
Sorry did I say "80+"...I meant 70 :roll: ...(its a dual carriageway).

wizard4
Joined: Sun 12 Oct, 2014 13:40
Posts: 42

  Z3 roadster 1.9

Re: steering

Post by wizard4 » Thu 30 Oct, 2014 17:56

Thanks guys firstly I reached 80mph on a flat straight level road, I had to back off, the steering was so light and developed so much play in it that I was constantly battling with the steering. Paul I'm rarely on the link road as Im retired, but there has been a silver Z3 down in Ilfracombe lately, it passed my friend on the Atlantic highway to Cornwall, reckons it was the 3litre version couldn't see it for dust, mine is a mere 140bhp, so different league.
So plan is to check the steering, and take it from there. Paul if you and your mate would like to meet up sometime, at a weekend for a z3 meet, that would be great.
Cheers :)

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akirk
Joined: Fri 20 Apr, 2012 09:11
Posts: 122

  Z3 roadster 3.0i

Re: steering

Post by akirk » Thu 30 Oct, 2014 18:16

I would be worried by a z3 which felt light on the steering at 80, that doesn't sound right...
mine is rock solid at all speeds (legal of course) even on atrocious roads around here...

Alasdair

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

  Z3 roadster 1.9

Re: steering

Post by Del » Thu 30 Oct, 2014 19:10

I agree with Alasdair, it doesn't sound right and I don't think it can simply be put down to the character of a rear wheel drive car. The engine in the 1.9 (M44) is much shorter than the 6-pot cars causing the main bulk of the engine weight to be towards the centre of the car along with the passenger and fuel tank - so the weight is better positioned in the middle of the car. If you are experiencing tramlining i.e. the front wheels following the lorry ruts, the problem is normally more noticeable when driving in the inside lane and is not necessarily linked directly to speed.

I would suspect the tie rods (possibly either the inner and/or outer joint) or badly worn lower control arms (two ball joints on each and the known troublesome rear round bush).

wizard4
Joined: Sun 12 Oct, 2014 13:40
Posts: 42

  Z3 roadster 1.9

Re: steering

Post by wizard4 » Thu 30 Oct, 2014 19:23

No tramlineing Del that's not a problem the rear bushes were checked but we still have to check the rest of the joints as you and Alasdair suggested, but surely they would have shown up on an MOT? Either way I will get to the bottom of it, I will let you know what happens as it may be useful for other members in the forum. Just on another note, I am having to replace the rear section of the exhaust, couldn't believe the price of genuine BMW system, £600 + for exhaust system, £400+ for cat, and then cost of labour!!!!!
Sadly more than the car is worth, have had to go for aftermarket job.
Cheers

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

  Z3 roadster 1.9

Re: steering

Post by Del » Thu 30 Oct, 2014 19:53

My own experience with MOTs and ball joints is that many MOT inspectors will allow what is in their judgement "slight play" which they may, or may not, mention as an advisory. Once the "play" is deemed "excessive" it will fail the MOT. With the rear control arm bushes, unless the solid, horizontal part is actually fractured it is sometimes quite difficult to see (whilst on the car) age related perished/splitting rubber. I changed my own control arms and bushes shortly after an MOT a few years back. Only when off the car, I could rotate the bush holder by hand and clearly see perished/splits. Z3s are now quite old cars and so it is most likely that many, still with OE stuff, are driving around with several tired, wobbly bits whilst still limping through MOTs. :)

wizard4
Joined: Sun 12 Oct, 2014 13:40
Posts: 42

  Z3 roadster 1.9

Re: steering

Post by wizard4 » Sat 01 Nov, 2014 22:00

Well gentlemen each of you were correct in your own way there is a upper ball joint with slight movement, also for some inexplicable reason both nearside tyres had lost some pressure, actually down to one bar each, once tyre pressures corrected, steering is fine, but will replace both upper ball joints later on.
Thanks everybody :)

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