What to look for ? (viewing Z3 tomorrow)

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Halo in Reverse
Joined: Sun 01 Mar, 2015 10:42
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  Z3 roadster 2.2i

What to look for ? (viewing Z3 tomorrow)

Post by Halo in Reverse » Wed 04 Mar, 2015 16:16

Folks

Im off tomorrow to view / test drive a Z3 (6 cylinder engine) - manual roof version (is this or bad?) and no Air-con (again is this good or bad on a Z3?)

Ill check the usual suspects :- Engine, Electrics, Suspension for knocks, Steering, Brakes, Tyres, Exhaust, Hood condition

What are the specific's that I should be looking out for on a Z3 ?

Cheers in advance

Halo

TR4man
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Re: What to look for ? (viewing Z3 tomorrow)

Post by TR4man » Wed 04 Mar, 2015 17:30

I assume that you have looked at the buying guide in the knowledge base?

Del
Joined: Sat 19 Nov, 2011 18:35
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  Z3 roadster 1.9

Re: What to look for ? (viewing Z3 tomorrow)

Post by Del » Wed 04 Mar, 2015 17:32

This may also contain some useful info :)

https://www.bmwland.co.uk/forums/viewto ... 3&t=133185

jonzee
Joined: Fri 16 May, 2014 15:24
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  Z3 roadster 1.9

Re: What to look for ? (viewing Z3 tomorrow)

Post by jonzee » Wed 04 Mar, 2015 19:59

Pretty bullet proof really, The only things I can think of are rear springs as they tend to fracture near the bottom coil.
Check all the electrics especially the seat motors, They are not rot boxes so view rust with suspicion as it may have been badly repaired in the past.
above all if you buy it ENJOY, ENJOY , ENJOY.

nearly old
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  Z3 roadster 1.9
Location: doncaster

Re: What to look for ? (viewing Z3 tomorrow)

Post by nearly old » Wed 04 Mar, 2015 21:19

A manual roof is much quicker and simpler so nothing much can go wrong. And who needs aircon when you are driving along with the roof down and a big smile on your face which I am sure you will have. Just go for it I did and don't regret it ever

Dino D
Joined: Fri 10 Feb, 2012 16:59
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  Z3 roadster 2.8

Re: What to look for ? (viewing Z3 tomorrow)

Post by Dino D » Wed 04 Mar, 2015 23:18

Just a comment regarding the roof I believe all 6cyls had a power roof and it's probably just been disconnected.
The auto roof on these is quicker than manually closing and is very, very simple indeed.

The beauty of it is if the auto roof has an issue you simply turn a tap on the hydraulic tank (left side of boot under carpet in the fender) and you have a manual roof.
Best of both worlds.
The seller has likely done this because he has an issue with the roof (probably the micro switch in the first part of the hood that you manually push up) and was quoted silly money so just turned the the tap on the hydraulic tank off.

The more important issue is the condition of the hood, rear window sticking and water tightness as most need replacing by now. This can be done for as low as £350 now so not such a problem of the car is good but the hood is tired.


I personally would never have a car again without aircon again but that's a personal preference.

There are plenty Z3's about too...

therealdb1
Joined: Tue 25 Jun, 2013 22:47
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  Z3 roadster 2.0

Re: What to look for ? (viewing Z3 tomorrow)

Post by therealdb1 » Thu 05 Mar, 2015 00:03

Not all the 6 pot cars had powered hoods as mine has never had one fitted and doesn't have the ram gear in the boot so don't feel short-changed if it doesn't have one.

I generally find that people who dismiss air-con have never had it. Personally I would not buy a car without it but not for balmy summer days. Air-con comes into its own during the winter time as the dehumidifying function is by far the best way to keep the windows demisted. In fact my Volvo switches on the air-con automatically if you set the control for screen demist. Of course, if you have no intention of using the car on anything other than dry sunny days disregard my comments on the desirability of air-con.

Is this a 2.0 or the 2.2 that you were talking about before?

In answer to your earlier question yes the rear wing comes off easily but you shouldn't need to take it off to get it resprayed. It might be better to leave it on the car and then whoever sprays it will have no excuse if the colour match is not spot on! I've no idea how much a wing would cost to paint I guess it depends on how much preparation is necessary. Your best bet is to ask a few body shops and tell them that you are paying for it yourself it is not an insurance job.

bertiejaffa
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Re: What to look for ? (viewing Z3 tomorrow)

Post by bertiejaffa » Thu 05 Mar, 2015 03:01

As the guys have said....

Manual top only equals quicker put down... the auto function was an option extra.... the only thing to go wrong with a manual top is your arm, auto tops are just as good but faults tend to be more garage and less physio

Again, aircon..... if its warm/hot, put your top down and your foot down further... if it is really hot then zircon is an advantage but for the 5 days a year that the temp is anywhere near the likes of australia, south africa or saudi then best to just stay at home and trim the roses with a BBQ and beer (aka, aircon in a softtop = you're driving to slow)

The rest of the car is, as they say, bullet proof so if there is bad rust then walk away. Tyres etc are a little harder to judge. Most Z3 are 2nd cars and suffer often from a feeling of tram lining , i.e. the steering may feel like it is in tram tracks but it might just need new tyres. always good to check the date of the tyres, there is a number on the side that represents month/year.
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Halo in Reverse
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  Z3 roadster 2.2i

Re: What to look for ? (viewing Z3 tomorrow)

Post by Halo in Reverse » Thu 05 Mar, 2015 07:51

Great info and insight folks - many many thanks

The car I'm viewing today is a 2.2 (standard) Roadster - its not the same car with the peeling lacquer that I mentioned in my previous post as i gave up on that one.

Curiously the car isn't advertised as having Air Con - but I can see an AirCon button (Snowflake icon) next to the heated seats button so am thinking it may well have Air Con...time will tell :-)

Cheers

therealdb1
Joined: Tue 25 Jun, 2013 22:47
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  Z3 roadster 2.0

Re: What to look for ? (viewing Z3 tomorrow)

Post by therealdb1 » Thu 05 Mar, 2015 10:18

Sounds like it does have air-con then. Heated seats too a bonus!
Check the air-con works if it is fitted since it can often be an expensive fix if you need a new condenser rather than just a gas recharge.
If it's not working then this is a price haggling tool!
Let us know how you get on.

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Neutro999
Joined: Sun 20 Jul, 2014 00:12
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  Z3 roadster 3.0i

Re: What to look for ? (viewing Z3 tomorrow)

Post by Neutro999 » Thu 05 Mar, 2015 11:09

you may have already gone off to look at the car by the time I post this but I will put it up anyway :D

Having hunted for months looking for my z3 last year I thought I would post some insight into my personal take on buying a good one.

Firstly, I wouldn't be overly concerned with mileage unless it will be your everyday car and you plan on keeping it for the forseeable future. The 6-cyl engines as others have pointed out they are bullet-proof. My 3.0 has 100k on the clock and drives well and starts first time (with a satisfying growl) and I don't use it as a main car and have yet to have any work done on it mechanical issue wise or service (m.o.t coming up soon though so we shall see) - so yes they are remarkably robust! :shock:

I would recommend looking to buy one with as much kit/optional extras fitted as you can. I would class air-con as being a good option to have as being a £1k option all those years ago - makes it something of a rarity. Also things like sports seats (rare on non-sport roadsters, especially in classic leather with stitching down the middle) alloys wheels - the bolted alloys, radial or the 8-spoke are rare. chrome-line exterior (door handles and round the windscreen finished in chrome), on-board computer, m-sport steering wheel and sound upgrade (hi-fi or harmon/kardon) are hard to come by so again is good when it comes to resale in the future as more desirable/rarity factor etc...Even things you might not realise like if the car still has the original bmw stereo with cd-changer (or even rarer the dash-mounted bmw cd player) are good to get as even if you want to upgrade to a newer stereo with bluetooth/mp3 the original stereos can sell for a fair bit on fleabay. Also any individual spec models that have all the kit you want and are to your spec/float your boat should be snapped up immediately! (although they are like hen's teeth in the uk!) also 51/02/52 and even some 03 plate z3's that were made will also hold onto their value a bit more in my opinion because of being newer style reg's

Now for things to look out for that i regretted buying mine with:

Check the interior carefully and determine whether it does just need a good scrub/elbow grease with some wet-wipes or is it actually that grotty-looking (if your car has been through a fair-few owners like mine had then could well be past it's best) - I was fortunate mine just needed a thorough going over with a damp cloth and some mr.muscle and it came up fairly well. :o

Leather seats, steering wheel leather - are they worn beyond being able to be spruced up with a d.i.y dye kit at home? Gear-knobs are not an issue as the vast majority of variations are available to buy new on fleabay from BMW's online parts store for a reasonable cost (£40-50) alloy-wheel condition should be checked as again if they need refurbing (like mine do) - potential expense (could be good to haggle) and the headlight condition - are they clear/shiny or looking a bit dull/scratched/misted (like mine are) - you can get d.i.y polish kits but they are a time-consuming job - new headlights from bmw are in the region of £600 each so not an expense you want :head:

Keys - z3's (and most bmw's of that era) - should come with 4, yes 4! keys. Two remote keys and valet and spare plastic ones - mine only came with one and it was as dog-eared and grotty as anything - so I ordered a new one from a stealer - which was not cheap for what it is... :roll:

mine had a new windscreen fitted which is an after-market one not bmw and it bothers me :cry: - again new ones not cheap from a stealer.

When it comes to handbooks/service books etc... will obviously always add resale value in the future, but people also accept that the cars are getting on a bit and some have been through a fair few owners so partial service history ones shouldn't be ruled out (as mine is). My error was thinking I could easily find an owners manual and partially used service book on fleabay - there are not many readily available so if you want a complete book pack it's best to find a car that has it all with it! Otherwise it's off to a stealer again!

this post ended up being a bit long-winded so apologies. But to sum up really - in my opinion the more kit the better and just be aware that even if you think something is an easy fix or that second-hand bits are readily available it's not always the case and even thought bmw have an amazing stockpile of parts - they are not cheap...

Thanx
Neutro999
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'01 Z3 3.0i with black leathers - a.k.a 'The Rebel'

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BladeRunner919
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  Z3 roadster 1.9

Re: What to look for ? (viewing Z3 tomorrow)

Post by BladeRunner919 » Thu 05 Mar, 2015 11:56

Neutro999 wrote: Leather seats, steering wheel leather - are they worn beyond being able to be spruced up with a d.i.y dye kit at home? Gear-knobs are not an issue as the vast majority of variations are available to buy new on fleabay from BMW's online parts store for a reasonable cost (£40-50) alloy-wheel condition should be checked as again if they need refurbing (like mine do) - potential expense (could be good to haggle) and the headlight condition - are they clear/shiny or looking a bit dull/scratched/misted (like mine are) - you can get d.i.y polish kits but they are a time-consuming job - new headlights from bmw are in the region of £600 each so not an expense you want :head:
I wouldn't say polishing up the headlights is that time consuming. I used the 3M kit for about £20 and can't have spent more than an hour on it.

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Neutro999
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  Z3 roadster 3.0i

Re: What to look for ? (viewing Z3 tomorrow)

Post by Neutro999 » Thu 05 Mar, 2015 12:57

oh really? :) I was sure I saw an article about doing it and it was very involved with having to leave the product (can't remember what brand it was) to work on the lense for so long then rinse-off then apply something else, scrub that, then polish something else on etc... it all seemed very long winded :roll: - thats why I looked at replacing the worst one with a brand new light from bee-em and then saw the price and thought sod that! - will have a look at the 3M kit then :rtm:
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'01 Z3 3.0i with black leathers - a.k.a 'The Rebel'

Halo in Reverse
Joined: Sun 01 Mar, 2015 10:42
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  Z3 roadster 2.2i

Re: What to look for ? (viewing Z3 tomorrow)

Post by Halo in Reverse » Thu 05 Mar, 2015 22:05

Hi Neutro, thanks for posting all that info. It's always good to hear the perspective of these lovely cars owners.

I didn't buy the car in the end as it wasn't quite right for me for a number of reasons so the search continues....I do think that I may like to drive a 2.8 or 3.0 and I would be open to an Auto with the bigger engine too

That said there is what appears to be a nice 2.2 in Sterling Grey with Lotus White leather up for top money but looks well kept

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