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Thread: Perfomance Package available

  1. #76
    Team Z8 dwz8's Avatar
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    Andrew,

    so far I don't know. I haven't heard anything from AG with regard to my own car for months.
    I would assume that the kit will fix my problem.
    Best regards, Dieter

    ....

  2. #77
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    I guess I'm faster than BMW NA...

    I've been in Alaska fishing for the past week. So, I'm late reporting, but I have the kit in hand. I ordered it the day that J?rgen released the part number, and it arrived last week.

    I'll post detailed pics tonight, but I can confirm that the strut-tower brace is a flat-oval. However, it is not flat to the ground. In addition to the forward curve, the brace curves upward to clear the dual intakes at the front of the plenum. It is fairly stiff for its weight, but I CAN flex it by hand, which is concerning. Overall, is of quality to match the car. Sure, a stainless piece would look better, but the cost and weight would be higher.

    The "sandwich" rings are pretty basic. I does appear the top ring will work with the Dinan caster plates, but I'm unsure about the bottom pieces. I'll compare to the pics that I have from Dinan Stage 3 installation, but I believe the new bottom piece has a rubber bushing instead of the current nylon one. Again, my memory's rusty here, and I will need to compare to my pic.

    If there is in fact a hold, I managed to slip on under the radar.

    Pics soon.
    thegunguy

  3. #78

    If it bends by hand then is it just a placebo?

    What can be the point of putting in a brace that flexes when the aluminum it is attacthed to has no flexibility, or ability to 'spring back' in a hard impact? I still hope that we will see a more elegant solution from Cartridge.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  4. #79
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Pics from the USA

    Forgive the harsh light, but I wanted to get these up ASAP. Key things to note is the the forward and upward bends of the brace. A straight/flat brace would be stronger, but the placement of the engine doesn't allow it. As far as retro-fits go, it looks pretty good.

    After comparing my pics from the Dinan Stage 3 installation, I believe the new sandwich plates are fully compatible with the caster plates, and since the bottom plate is made to match the OE spring length, the Dinan springs should be good too. The bottom plate just replaces the original plat at the top of the strut. To use the Dinan plates, the studs on the original plate are removed and the caster plate has new bolts that fit down into the original stud. Then there are new studs that go up to the strut-tower from the caster plate. The new bottom plate from the performance kit looks like it will work in the same fashion. We'll need to confirm with Dinan, but it look like those of us with caster plats will continue enjoy the benefit of their use.

    The top plates are included to sandwich the strut-tower to bolster it from deforming. Since they are about 5mm thick, they should also provide support to the stud bolts and keep them from flaring. My guess is that anyone with "mild" deformation of the strut-towers will be able to correct it with the kit.

    Anyway, I'm still not 100% sold on the flat-oval strut-tower brace, especially since I can deflect it by hand, but the kit looks like it will greatly increase the integrity of the engine bay and the strut-towers. Overall, it looks like BMW has engineered a viable fix - we just need to put some miles on it.

    Now, they just need to fix their customers service.
     
    thegunguy

  5. #80
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by macfly View Post
    What can be the point of putting in a brace that flexes when the aluminum it is attacthed to has no flexibility, or ability to 'spring back' in a hard impact? I still hope that we will see a more elegant solution from Cartridge.
    Since none of us are engineers, we can only speculate, but a little flex may be good so that a hard impact is not transfered from one side to the other. Comparing to other braces that I've seen, I would think that it should not flex. But again, I'm no expert.
    thegunguy

  6. #81

    How much force does it take to bend it?

    Is it very bendy, or does it take all of your strength to get a tiny deflection?
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  7. #82
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    It takes some serious mechanical advantage to get it to deflect. I had to put it in a vice on one end and push/pull from the other end. It's about four feet across. So, it's some serious force. When it does bend, it's very slight.

    While forces on the car should be more than what I can apply manually, if the frame moved the brace as far as I did, we've got worse problems. While it doesn't seem to be as rigid as other braces that I've seen, I'm guessing that it's adequate enough to suppress movement from either side.
    thegunguy

  8. #83

    Thumbs up that certainly sounds like great news....

    thanks for the excellent pix and description!
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  9. #84
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Funny story...

    When I picked up the kit today, the guy at the parts counter asked about the purpose of the kit since he had never seen anything described as a "performance kit". After I told him the story, he laughed and said that they see similar damage on a lot of the newer BMW. He even blamed run-flats!

    Seems like there are a lot of ambitious and sporty drivers in BMWs....hmmmmm.
    thegunguy

  10. #85

    Ha!!

    I have heard so many sad and bad tales about the consequences of BMW's belief in aluminum this year that they really must be running scared. It still amazes me that they didn't do more to reach out to us, and work with us. I guess maybe it is my lack of understanding the workings of corporations that makes me feel that this situation was mishandled. I would certainly want to make my best customers feel special, and keep them appraised and updated every step of the way, but what do I know!
    Andrew Macpherson

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  11. #86
    Z8 Addict Z8doc's Avatar
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    Absolutely, they should have reached out to us....

    as soon as it was released. They know we know all about it and I surmise that the 45-50 units in the USA are really for the 45-50 of us here that are posting here on a regular basis.

    I think they are waiting to see how many of will "jump" and get the brace and then contact the remaining if we still are complaining.

    Mine will be in tomorrow and still contemplating the installation and when. Still thinking of chrome plating the cross bar to accent it better.
    Best Regards,

    Jeff
    61995 Silver /// Rot - Original Owner
    Z8 Club of Germany e.V. #102

  12. #87
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Your call, but I think chrome would be a little too much. The black paint has a nice satin finish, and it has a quality look to it. Building on Jerry's idea of doing the M colors, a nice decal or emblem might dress it up some.
    thegunguy

  13. #88
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    How about this?

    Or other syde remark?
     

  14. #89
    Team Z8 dwz8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norcal View Post
    Or other syde remark?
    That's hilarious rofl...
    Best regards, Dieter

    ....

  15. #90
    Sport Button On - DSC Off FWK-Z8's Avatar
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    I have some concerns with this solution

    A strut brace is a good idea; however this design has some real problems. It does not act directly on the struts, but is offset and tansfers the load from the strut through the sheetmetal of the strut tower.

    The problem addressed by strut braces is that in their absence, there is nothing holding the strut towers apart, except where they are welded into the inner wheel housings. Because the towers are angled, there is a transverse component to suspension loads that push the towers towards the center of the car when they are loaded. This puts the welds holding the towers to the car in tension, which could cause failure. At the very least, the strut towers can be deformed inward.

    The usual design of a strut brace attaches directly to the upper suspension mounts and holds them at a fixed distance to one another -- reducng the tension on the chassis welds and preventing inward deflection.

    The problem I see in this design is that the strut brace does not attach directly to the upper suspension mounts, but to the front face of the strut tower. This causes (1) the suspension loading to be transferred to the brace from the upper suspension mount through the relatively weak spring tower, and (2) a bending moment to develop between the suspension mount and the spring tower (the spring tower will react to a load by trying to twist inward at the rear seam. Furthermore, the attaching plates do not appear to have a bearing surface. The load is transferred by pure shear through the rivet-nuts - a very small area and in a hole prone to elongate.

    What is needed is a formed surface, such as a yoke around the top portion of the strut tower, and a brace from the rear of the strut tower attaching to the transverse bar as close to its centre as possible to eliminate the twisting moment.

  16. #91
    DSC Off bummsbass's Avatar
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    Pictures of installation

    The pictures are selfexplanatory. Important: before drilling the holes into the frame the exact position of the strut brace must be tested (engine on), otherwise there can be problems due to the limited space between some parts. In particular check effortless closing of the front hood!
                         

  17. #92

    Thanks for sharing....

    great shots that certainly help us understand the application of the fix. If such a minimal solution is the solving of the problem it will indeed be a masterful patch, but a patch what it looks like too.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  18. #93
    Z8 Madness 2112's Avatar
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    Is that glue around the "rivet-nuts"?

  19. #94
    DSC Off bummsbass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2112 View Post
    Is that glue around the "rivet-nuts"?
    Yes, from exact positioning of the strut brace before drilling holes in the frame profiles (does somebody have a better idea? ), later on it was cleaned of course. There is no particular corrosion protection necessary (FE/AL), the bolts and nuts have an anticorrosive coating.

    It can be seen clearly that the strut brace is taking forces only via the nuts and bolts, the brace is not sitting completely on the frame profiles. Result: the connection is not too stiff. My guess: BMW has made it so by intention. It would not be an issue of cost, to take different nuts, or to prepare the holes of the strut brace in a way that it would sit completely on the frame profiles.

    First experience after driving: I do not feel a major change so far. On good road surface it seems to be somewhat more "quiet" at the front of the car, on bad roads no change.

  20. #95
    Z8 Madness 2112's Avatar
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    Is the car sitting on it's tires when the holes are located or do they have it hoisted and sitting on purchase points on the underside of the frame so that the chasis is not "in tension" when the installation is completed?

  21. #96
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    The way I see it is the brace itself is there to keep the frame from "pinching up and in on a hard impact" and the shock tower bits are there to protect from the doming. If we take GM's supposition that the Dinan caster plates have prevented this in his car then this all makes sense- at least to me as a non-engineer. Btw- thank you to everyone for posting pictures and impressions.

  22. #97
    DSC Off bummsbass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2112 View Post
    Is the car sitting on it's tires when the holes are located or do they have it hoisted and sitting on purchase points on the underside of the frame so that the chasis is not "in tension" when the installation is completed?
    it was hoisted while the installation was made

    Being back after one week abroad I checked the issue with my service shop again. I have to correct myself, the car was "in tension" on purpose and sitting on it's tires when the brace was installed.

    edit Oct. 09

  23. #98
    Quote Originally Posted by bummsbass View Post
    it was hoisted while the installation was made


    Kit installed.....cheers from switzerland

  24. #99
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    Has anyone in SoCal had the kit installed?

    My kit arrived at the dealership today. Think I'll get it powdercoated silver before installation.

  25. #100
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    And I have a Quaife to install...

    Any recommendations for a shop would be appreciated.

  26. #101
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    Part number please & CHP Drive

    I visited my local BMW dealer who has not heard of the “fix” or even the problem, but they were willing to send me to a Dinan dealer to get their parts. I do not want to go aftermarket or I would have already done this to my car. I read many of the post but did not find a BMW part number, though many of you have ordered the strut. I would appreciate it if someone could give me a part number that I could give to my dealer. I want to order the part and have it silver powder coated before it is installed. Thanks all and best regards.

    By the way, I did the CHP drive Sunday and it was a real hoot. I drove my Ford GT and there were 2 other GTs there but were no Z8s. Lots of very nice cars.

    Hap

  27. #102
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Hey Hap - check out J?rgen's original post in this thread. The part number (51710420758) and details on the kit is in the attached PDF.
    thegunguy

  28. #103
    Z8 Addict Z8doc's Avatar
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    you could consider....

    Quote Originally Posted by ron's rocket View Post
    Any recommendations for a shop would be appreciated.
    Discovery Automotive, which is located in Placerville, CA, near Sacremento. They have done this before I think, but many of the places I researched simply ship it off to Brett Andersen at Koala Motorsport and charge you a handling fee. Whoever you get, I would ask the question if they do the work on site. If not, then it is no different than you having your local Independent dealer pull your rear drive and then you shipping it somewhere to get the work done.

    I personally would recommend do just that and send it to the Metric Mechanic. Jim Rowe rebuilt mine and thegunguy and did a great job in just a few day turn around. They strictly work on BMWs and have years of experience and have now done 2 Z8s (we both did the 3.64 gears too but we got that from another source).

    The link for the Metric Mechanic - http://www.metricmechanic.com/

    The link for the gears - https://secure7.nexternal.com/shared...t=products.asp

    Scroll down to find the link for the large gear set for the Z8 with Bimmer World.

    I hope that helps.
    Best Regards,

    Jeff
    61995 Silver /// Rot - Original Owner
    Z8 Club of Germany e.V. #102

  29. #104
    DSC Off hapc's Avatar
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    Thanks Gunguy

    Gun

    Thanks very much. For some reason I missed the first page of the post list and did not see Jurgens post. I will order the "fix" and have it powder coated. I will then take pix and post.

    Regards all
    Hap
    Last edited by hapc; October 7th 2006 at 01:19. Reason: poore spelllingg

  30. #105
    Z8 Madness 2112's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z8doc View Post
    but many of the places I researched simply ship it off to Brett Andersen at Koala Motorsport .

    And I believe we were asked not to make this particular contact.

  31. #106
    Z8 Madness 2112's Avatar
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    But Thanks for the referral for the "surgery". I plan to ship to them based on your experience.

  32. #107
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    Question for the US people...how are you guys finding your parts? I'm still being told (by BMWNA and my dealer) that there's a "freeze" on the parts and everything is on backorder and not available to anyone in the US.

    -Dawn

  33. #108
    Z8 Addict Z8doc's Avatar
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    Dawn, just go down to the dealership but...

    go to the Parts Department. Give them the part no. for the Performance kit
    ( P/N 51 71 042 0758) and have them order it. They will have to find it in their European parts data base but they can still get it as there are several in the USA at
    the various regional warehouses. I received mine on Monday last week. The sales person at the parts counter should be able to help you.

    I am just waiting on word from Dinan regarding compatibility with the caster plates before having mine installed.
    Best Regards,

    Jeff
    61995 Silver /// Rot - Original Owner
    Z8 Club of Germany e.V. #102

  34. #109
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    Caster plates

    I was told by Bill Stewart that the plates would be taken out. Ok with me for now, I think.

  35. #110
    Z8 Addict Z8doc's Avatar
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    To put the BMW kit in would indeed require...

    the Dinan plates to be removed, however, you would then loose the benefit of having the increased positive caster and therefore loose the improved cornering ability. Since this is a "fix" in most of our minds, I would then have a set of caster plates that are useless to me and be out the cost of those plates plus installation.

    IF.... the Dinan plates are incompatible and / or Dinan can not come up with a solution, then I would seek reimbursement from BMW for the cost of the plates too, as installation of the kit is really mandatory and not an optional performance upgrade to most of us.

    Right now, I do believe the Dinan plates are somewhat protective so for now, given I am not driving it as much, I will be OK until I hear from Dinan.
    Best Regards,

    Jeff
    61995 Silver /// Rot - Original Owner
    Z8 Club of Germany e.V. #102

  36. #111
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Bill's just saying that because BMW will not test the kit with the Dinan plates. So, they will not make a formal statement of compatibility, and as such, they fall back on what they know - it works with the plates removed.

    From analyzing my own kit and my first-hand documentation of my Dinan S3 installation. I am convinced that the components are compatible. The only thing that has changed is that the new strut attachment pieces (bottom plates) have longer studs to accommodate the added thickness of the new top plates. The installation of the caster plates on the original setup required the removal of the studs from the strut attachment piece. The studs are then inserted in the bottom of the caster plates so that they point upward, and then the caster plates are attached to the top of the strut attachment piece, thus relocating the original studs to the rear and slightly inboard.

    While we are waiting for Dinan to confirm the compatibility on a Z8 that they have in their shop (probably GM's), I don't see anything different from the previous installation other than the longer studs. Thus, my assertion that all should be well. While they are working on a formal fitment test, Dinan believes that everything will be compatible, according to a call I had with them several weeks ago.

    My kit is currently at the shop removing the satin powder coat and replacing it gloss black to match my car. So, I've got a few days before I start itching to get the kit installed. I'm going to put another call in to Dinan this week to check on their progress.

    Norcal, maybe you can make a trip to Dinan to get confirmation since they're only a few minutes away (at your driving speeds).
    thegunguy

  37. #112
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Talked to Dinan again...

    They're still waiting on their kit to arrive - sound familiar? It's nice to see that they are well aware of the issue and working towards a resolution - the advantage of a small firm versus a large one - quick action!
    thegunguy

  38. #113
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    performance package

    I am new to the club and just found out yesterday from the guy who "was" going to buy my Z8 that they had this shock towers problem and I lost the deal. Is all this true for all Z8's or just a few. I have called BMW several times yesterday and have as yet not heard back from anybody there.

    I also tried to e-mail Nina Englert and found out that here e-mail address has been disabled. I live in West Palm Beach FL, there are a lot of Z8's running around here and the dealers know nothing about this defect. I will put in a full effort to find out what this is all about and get to the bottom of it in the US market area.

    Meanwhile I check out my car yeaterday and it looks perfect. The hood lines up perfect the shock towers are not bent and the car drives great. After reading all of your postes it seems to be only a select few car that are experincing this problem and mostly the people that run the car like a race car or over extreamly bumpy terrian.

    After checking my car I decided to check my friends cars that are not BMW and found that none of them have a perfect car, none of the other brands of cars were perfect all the way to the front and these were $100,000. to $200,000 cars and over. So I guess no car is perfect.

    I will tell you that all these post has caused me to lose a $125,000. deal on my 2001 2000 mile Z8. I hope you other Z8 owners do not find out now that your car are greatly depreciated or you can no longer sell it till this all blows over. I myself have decided not to tell anybody till I know 100% from the club or BMW that this a major problem.

    I also have decided not to drive the car anymore untill I get it checked out at my dealer which I plan to do today. I will also try and order the kit if indeed it is available. I also did a search on the web last night for BMW Z8 chassis defect and could not believe all the bad press on my $160,000. which all seems to be generated from this site. I think we should all be carefull what we say on this site if we don't have all the facts first it will hurt future sales as it did mine. I now have dedcided not to sell my Z8 as I will not sell the car till this all blows over and I uncover the truth.

  39. #114

    Sorry you had to find out this way....

    and that we only find you as an owner who is trying to sell!

    Everyone here is a very serious enthusiast, and if you think your one day of heartache is bad welcome to my last ten months.

    Your assumption about the cause of the damage is incorrect, this issue has nothing to do with speed, tracking or anything like that. The USA has a great deal of badly surfaced streets compared to the EU, and this issue is only related to the car taking a very significant pothole impact. I have seen cars with 3,000 miles that have the damage, and with 100,000 miles without it.

    The good news is that this really is all about to be history. As you have seen in this thread BMW has addressed the issue, and come up with a solution that eliminates the problem. Simply print out the pertinent information on this site, take it to your local BMW dealer, have him order and fit the parts, and then sell the car pointing your potential buyer to this site.

    If you don’t mind me saying, $125,000 was a very good price, that is all of $7k depreciation. A Ferrari of the same year would be worth about 55% of your original purchase price, so it seems odd that you are complaining about loosing just 5%. It also seems odd that your buyer would come to see the car simply to tell you about this site, and then tell you he now won’t buy it?

    Good luck with your sale.

    ps: check out Autotrader for a better idea of current values.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  40. #115
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    Reply from BMW on shock towers

    Today I finally got a call back from BMW. The first thing they said to me is do I beleive everthing I read on the internet? They then went on to tell me out of 80 cars they examined in the U.S. that only 1 car that they checked had the problem with the shock towers and that the owner totaly abused his car and even ran it off the road. He said that the car also went thru 4 sets of tires and had 4 different types of wheels that the owner had installed and some other performance upgrades and that BMW still warrantied the repair. He then asked me why I thought that a company like BMW would not stand behind there product and if there was a problem with the shock towers that BMW would take care of it. He also went on to say they tested quite a few car from N.Y. and New Jersey were the roads are probabley the worst in the US full of pot holes and all of them were in factory specs. and had no damage what so ever. They also told me the kit everone is saying is a performance package is simply an accessory and that they make the same part for all there cars. He then offered me a free inspect that will be performed by there field rep. and told me it was not nessary to install the kit unless I plan on doing some performance driving like on a race track or something. So now I am waiting for the call from the fiels rep to do the inspection, I hope I don't have to wait to long. I would like to know if anyone else in the US has had this problem so I can know if they are lieing to me or not. I want to thank all of you for bringing this to my attetion and will let you know what I find in the U.S. market and how the inspection goes.
    Quote Originally Posted by macfly View Post
    and that we only find you as an owner who is trying to sell!

    Everyone here is a very serious enthusiast, and if you think your one day of heartache is bad welcome to my last ten months.

    Your assumption about the cause of the damage is incorrect, this issue has nothing to do with speed, tracking or anything like that. The USA has a great deal of badly surfaced streets compared to the EU, and this issue is only related to the car taking a very significant pothole impact. I have seen cars with 3,000 miles that have the damage, and with 100,000 miles without it.

    The good news is that this really is all about to be history. As you have seen in this thread BMW has addressed the issue, and come up with a solution that eliminates the problem. Simply print out the pertinent information on this site, take it to your local BMW dealer, have him order and fit the parts, and then sell the car pointing your potential buyer to this site.

    If you don?t mind me saying, $125,000 was a very good price, that is all of $7k depreciation. A Ferrari of the same year would be worth about 55% of your original purchase price, so it seems odd that you are complaining about loosing just 5%. It also seems odd that your buyer would come to see the car simply to tell you about this site, and then tell you he now won?t buy it?

    Good luck with your sale.

    ps: check out Autotrader for a better idea of current values.

  41. #116
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    Reply from BMW on shock towers

    Today I finally got a call back from BMW. The first thing they said to me is do I beleive everthing I read on the internet? They then went on to tell me out of 80 cars they examined in the U.S. that only 1 car that they checked had the problem with the shock towers and that the owner totaly abused his car and even ran it off the road. He said that the car also went thru 4 sets of tires and had 4 different types of wheels that the owner had installed and some other performance upgrades and that BMW still warrantied the repair. He then asked me why I thought that a company like BMW would not stand behind there product and if there was a problem with the shock towers that BMW would take care of it. He also went on to say they tested quite a few car from N.Y. and New Jersey where the roads are probabley the worst in the US full of pot holes and all of them were in factory specs. and had no damage what so ever. They also told me the kit everone is saying is a performance package is simply an accessory for the car and that they make the same part for all there cars. He then offered me a free inspect that will be performed by there field rep. and told me it was not nessary to install the kit unless I plan on doing some performance driving like on a race track or something. So now I am waiting for the call from the field rep to do the inspection, I hope I don't have to wait to long. I would like to know if anyone else in the U.S. has had this problem so I can know if they are lieing to me or not. I want to thank all of you for bringing this to my attetion and will let you know what I find in the U.S. market and how the inspection goes. The inspection I did showed the car is perfect as it should be.
    Quote Originally Posted by macfly View Post
    and that we only find you as an owner who is trying to sell!

    Everyone here is a very serious enthusiast, and if you think your one day of heartache is bad welcome to my last ten months.

    Your assumption about the cause of the damage is incorrect, this issue has nothing to do with speed, tracking or anything like that. The USA has a great deal of badly surfaced streets compared to the EU, and this issue is only related to the car taking a very significant pothole impact. I have seen cars with 3,000 miles that have the damage, and with 100,000 miles without it.

    The good news is that this really is all about to be history. As you have seen in this thread BMW has addressed the issue, and come up with a solution that eliminates the problem. Simply print out the pertinent information on this site, take it to your local BMW dealer, have him order and fit the parts, and then sell the car pointing your potential buyer to this site.

    If you don?t mind me saying, $125,000 was a very good price, that is all of $7k depreciation. A Ferrari of the same year would be worth about 55% of your original purchase price, so it seems odd that you are complaining about loosing just 5%. It also seems odd that your buyer would come to see the car simply to tell you about this site, and then tell you he now won?t buy it?

    Good luck with your sale.

    ps: check out Autotrader for a better idea of current values.

  42. #117
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Boatracer..

    ...first, welcome to the board. This site is one the best resources on all things Z8.

    When you have a few hours, spend some time reading the other posts in the this forum. You'll find information overload on this issue going back to original release by the Z8 Club earlier this year. You'll also find that you're just now starting on a path that many have blazed. Don't beat yourself up trying to start from the beginning - all the info's here.

    Again, welcome, and happy reading!
    thegunguy

  43. #118
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    I have read everone of the posts on this site regarding this issue. What I would like to know is how many of the cars are from the U.S. if known. I was told by BMW only 1 in the whole U.S. and the car was totaly abused and how many owners actually put the bar on there car.
    Quote Originally Posted by thegunguy View Post
    ...first, welcome to the board. This site is one the best resources on all things Z8.

    When you have a few hours, spend some time reading the other posts in the this forum. You'll find information overload on this issue going back to original release by the Z8 Club earlier this year. You'll also find that you're just now starting on a path that many have blazed. Don't beat yourself up trying to start from the beginning - all the info's here.

    Again, welcome, and happy reading!

  44. #119
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    I have personally seen about twenty Z8s up close in the US. Of those twenty, I have seen the strut towers on five. Of those five, one had slight bulging of one strut tower that was the direct result of hitting a single pot-hole. I say "direct result" because the owner was showing the strut towers to another owner from Europe prior to the drive (no deformation), and during the drive they hit a pot-hole. Inspecting the car immediately after the drive revealed slight bulging on the side of the tire that impacted the hole. I don't think that this is the "1" car that BMW says was abused.

    As I recall, the survey conducted by the Z8 Club in Germany suggested as high as 20% of cars were showing damage. However, I understand that there is some new information on this that will be released soon.

    From what I know, BMW's response to every owner that has had their car inspected is that they are "within specifications" - not whether or not the strut tower or the frame was deformed. Since only they know what the "specifications" are it's hard to really know what this means, especially regarding their statement that only one heavily abused car is showing damage, but I have to believe that it means that all is well for most of us. However, it is funny that every BMW mechanic (both at BMW centers and independent shops) that I have talked to about this issue comments that strut tower deformation is a common thing in most modern BMWs, not just the Z8.

    As far as the "bar", I assume you mean the Performance Kit or what many of us affectionately call "the fix". As the part has only been available for a week or so in the US, I don't believe that anyone has had it fitted in the car. I believe there are several in the process currently, but we have yet to receive any feedback from a US installation.
    thegunguy

  45. #120
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    br81 - BMW inspected my car and determined it had slight doming of the right shock tower. My car has not been abused, and it has not been driven off road. So there are at least two cars in the US with shock tower doming and there is at least one piece of "misinformation" (I'm trying to be polite) from the BMW rep that spoke with you.

  46. #121
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    Install scheduled for Tuesday at Classic BMW in Richardson, TX. They have already done one car, and Pandaman is apparently scheduled for this Saturday. Since I have the Dinan setup, I am only going to have them install the brace. I'll do the plates on my own should Dinan give it the nod.

    I'm having the DME recall done at the same time.
    thegunguy

  47. #122
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    Does anyone know if BMW is covering there car under warranty? My car gets inspected next week and I was told that if there is a problem BMW would stand behind it. I was also told by Ken Green Customer Relations and service at BMW that if there is a problem that they will take care of it and I asked "well if you don't find the problem now and I do hit a pothole latter down the road and then have the problem will you stand by it" and he basicly said that under normal driving conditions I shuold not have any problems and that BMW would stand behind there product. I was also told not to install the performance upgrade by the BMW rep. I recieved an e-mail from BMW today with what they are saying about this issue and I will post it for all of you to read this week.
    Quote Originally Posted by ZbobZ View Post
    br81 - BMW inspected my car and determined it had slight doming of the right shock tower. My car has not been abused, and it has not been driven off road. So there are at least two cars in the US with shock tower doming and there is at least one piece of "misinformation" (I'm trying to be polite) from the BMW rep that spoke with you.

  48. #123
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    my 2 cents: get ahold of your dealer's manager, explain the situation and get them to do the inspection and then install the performance package in a timely manner. I do not see how installing the package on a car that is aok would hurt or void anything. My experience is BMW NA will stand behind you unless its clear that you were driving the car in an "abusive" (read: hard enough to cause noticeable damage) manner. I drive my car as a sports car should be driven and BMW NA has stood behind me 100%. BTW, I have slight doming on the passenger front, but my car is well within spec and I think the performance package will address any concerns I have. Scheduling an install right now.

  49. #124
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    BMW says "frame issue are not true"

    I just got off the phone with customer relation at BMW and they are saying all this talk about shock towers is totaly false and that they will be posting a quote soon for all to read. My car gets inspected on Tuesday so now I will know for sure if I have any damage.
    Quote Originally Posted by Z8Mania View Post
    my 2 cents: get ahold of your dealers manager explain the situation and get them to do the inspection and then install the performance package in a timely manner. I do not see how installing the package on a car that is aok would hurt or void anything. My experience is BMW NA will stand behind you unless its clear that you were driving the car in an "abusive" (read: hard enough to cause noticeable damage) manner. I drive my car as a sports car should be driven and BMW NA has stood behind me 100%. BTW, I have slight doming on the passenger front, but my car is well within spec and I think the performance package will address any concerns I have. Scheduling an install right now.

  50. #125
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    IMHO its a waste of your time to talk to low level people. You need to discuss this with your dealership and that would be the manager and above. The manager may not be aware of this so what you need to do is to be calm and patient. You do not have to argue the merits of this shock tower matter, what you want is to know your car falls within spec and that they will install the Performance Package for you.

  51. #126

    br81 - totaly false is totaly false.

    There is no smoke without fire, and Z8Mania is one of the owners I have spoken to who knows exactly which pothole hit did the doming to his towers. However I have owned three Z8's and heavily tracked two of them, and I can assure you that driving them very fast indeed at the track or on the road will not harm them in any way, the only thing that represents a danger is a very bad pothole hit.

    You should install the Performance Kit precisely because BMW had the good grace to design and manufacture it for us to remove any concerns that may have arisen on this issue with our cars. You started posting here because you want to sell your car. It will be far easier to sell it with the PP installed, because you yourself can show how BMW stands behind their product by pointing to it under your hood.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  52. #127
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    PP Package Cost

    Has anyone had the package installed at the dealer or been quoted a price. I am waiting for my dealer to provide the installed cost and would like a benchmark.

  53. #128
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    I think BMW should...

    Give it to every Z8 free. It is a requirement, not a personal choice to have it installed.

  54. #129
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Agreed - twist my arm!
    thegunguy

  55. #130
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    8.5 hours @ $120 per hour = $1,020.00 plus the

    ...kit itself @ ~$550.00 = ~$1,600 all in. I'm having mine installed Monday but have not talked about the price. I did speak to my dealer about their customery hourly rate and he indicated $120.00 per hour. However, if I can get this gratis, I'd be very happy....but I'm not very optimistic. I didn't buy the Z8 from them and have purchased no other BMWs.....so I'm inclined to pay w/out a big fuss. Beats the heck out of $5,000.00. I can't help but think the original quote was high on purpose for this very reason.

  56. #131
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    BMW said they will be posting a reply on our website disputing the shock tower post and they are sending me a letter stating that will stand behind my shock towers now and if they don't find any damage on Tuesday they will also stand behind them in the future. Once again BMW said don't install the performance package unless you plan on racing the car or plan on doing a lot of aggressive driving. I can't wait to see the post on our member's site. At the very least I am now relieved and now know that I made the right decision buying the Z8. By the way I did contact the manager at my BMW repair shop and he will be there during the inspection. I did not join this site just to sell my Z8 I joined to find out about the shock towers and get others input and have since decided not to sell my Z8. I have owned many high performance cars and anyone of them would have been damaged by a major pothole like the ones you are talking about. I have examined my other race cars and they all have a performance kit like the one BMW came out with only those came on the car right from the factory so I do beleive this would be a good thing to install if you live were the roads are that bad.
    Quote Originally Posted by macfly View Post
    There is no smoke without fire, and Z8Mania is one of the owners I have spoken to who knows exactly which pothole hit did the doming to his towers. However I have owned three Z8's and heavily tracked two of them, and I can assure you that driving them very fast indeed at the track or on the road will not harm them in any way, the only thing that represents a danger is a very bad pothole hit.

    You should install the Performance Kit precisely because BMW had the good grace to design and manufacture it for us to remove any concerns that may have arisen on this issue with our cars. You started posting here because you want to sell your car. It will be far easier to sell it with the PP installed, because you yourself can show how BMW stands behind their product by pointing to it under your hood.

  57. #132

    br, you are getting a bit caught up in a war of words....

    the simple fact is that there is absolutely no danger to our cars from driving fast, and there never has been. You do not need the Performance Package to stabilize the car in high performance driving, you only need it to prevent the consequence of encountering an unexpected pothole being more severe than you would like, regardless of the way you are driving. It certainly isn't the kind of loading that hard braking, cornering and acceleration puts on the car that brought this concern up, it is the abrupt wallop of the shocks bottoming out which is exacerbated by the heavy wheels and very stiff run flat tires that has brought this into being a point of discussion. 50 mph isn’t high performance driving, but at that speed you hit a bad pothole and you have a problem. Now you are quite right in saying that this can and does happen to any car, the difference is steel is easy to bend back, aluminum has to be replaced, and that is how all this got started. Originally we were told that any distortions in the frame required complete front frame replacement.

    The Club and BMW will be sharing the results of their investigations in Europe shortly, and the facts have certainly turned up some interesting results. However before you walk away from fitting a PP I suggest you send a PM (private message) to each voter in this poll. You can see exactly whose cars befell the misfortune of the poor roads here in the US by simply clicking on the numbers of the votes in this poll.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  58. #133
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    I just got off the phone with Bob Smith BMW in So. Calif. and was quoted about $800 for the parts and 12.5 hours for installation. The total estimate is $2,900. This seems way out of line with what others are reporting on this site. I was also told that there is a waiting list for the package in that only one at a time is being released from Europe. Please comment. Thanks.

    Bob Adler

  59. #134
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Bob,

    The list price for the kit is $599. Estimates a few from several BMW service centers and a handful of actual installs put the installation at about 8 hours. My local centers charge about $120 an hour.

    I have no experience with Bob Smith BMW, but it sounds they're putting a serious markup on the deal, considering a $200 premium over list, over four additional hours, and a rate of $168/hr.

    To my knowledge, the kit is no longer on a hold, nor is there a "waiting list". There are at least a dozen reports on this and other sites confirming availability of the kit, including completed installations.

    I'd try another dealer.
    thegunguy

  60. #135
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    BR81 .... the key words are as follows:

    "Ambitious spirited driving over bad road surfaces" that, according to BMW's statements in the past, is what has lead to the deformations. So, in kind, you have to decide what type of driving you plan to do?

    Are you A] The owner who has a garage queen and takes the Z8 out for short drives on a sunny day and only for trips to the hardware or grocery store to get a few convenience items ( a couple thousand miles a year at the most) and just cruises around or B] the type of owner who drives the Z8 hard and fast, enjoying the thrill of the acceleration, the roar of the exhaust, the wind in your hair, etc (who might actually come up on a road hazard or "bad road surface" at a significantly greater speed)?

    IF... your answer is [B], then definitely get the kit, regardless of who pays for it. IF.... you are [A], then you could probably get away without it but IMHO, I would NOT take that chance. As others above point out, the roughly $1600 is a much better price to pay to try and prevent something than $5,000 or more in repair of the shock tower or chassis. Even if I still bend the tower after installation, at least I tried to prevent it.

    Interesting potential scenario is this, Now that the "Kit" IS available, say you do not opt for it. Then you drive your garage queen to the corner market and inadvertantly hit a medium size pothole at medium speed and presto... you now have deformity. Now that the kit is available and you DID NOT opt to install it, would BMW then say, you should have as it was designed as a upgrade to help reinforce the chassis and prevent the thing that now has happened? Personally (and I think everyone here would agree), get the kit installed and be done with it.

    I would recommend you deal with Bill Stuart at BMW NA (201.263.8210) as I have found him to be a very helpful, more so than anyone else I have dealt with at BMW NA. I think if you are reasonable to him, he will more than likely be reasonable in return and you will be happy in the end and get back to enjoying the ownership experience the way it was meant. That is the direction I am going.
    Best Regards,

    Jeff
    61995 Silver /// Rot - Original Owner
    Z8 Club of Germany e.V. #102

  61. #136
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    Gun,

    Thanks for the reply. It might be a good idea for others to post the actual costs once they do the install. My dealer admitted he hasn't done one yet and so he might have just been taking a stab. He called me back and told me his parts dept. checked out what I said and immediately reduced the parts cost to $599. He now wants to review the labor cost so he gets good marks for trying. Bob Smith has been a very reliable dealer and has stood behind this car in the past. I will post his final estimate as soon as I hear.

    Bob

  62. #137
    Z8 Addict Z8doc's Avatar
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    Bob, more that likely, your dealer will be...

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERTSZ View Post
    immediately reduced the parts cost to $599. He now wants to review the labor cost so he gets good marks for trying.
    Bob
    in the ballpark with everyone else. I have found that labor costs will vary a bit from region to region but more than likely, it will be similar and if your total cost is in the vicinity of $1600, + / - a couple hundred, it is probably reasonable.
    Best Regards,

    Jeff
    61995 Silver /// Rot - Original Owner
    Z8 Club of Germany e.V. #102

  63. #138
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    Completely agree

    Quote Originally Posted by Z8doc View Post
    ....Personally (and I think everyone here would agree), get the kit installed and be done with it.

    I would recommend you deal with Bill Stuart at BMW NA (201.263.8210) as I have found him to be a very helpful, more so than anyone else I have dealt with at BMW NA. I think if you are reasonable to him, he will more than likely be reasonable in return and you will be happy in the end and get back to enjoying the ownership experience the way it was meant. That is the direction I am going.
    This is very good advice and anyone looking to have this work done on their Z8 would be well advised to follow it.

  64. #139
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Install in progress...

    Well, I left the car at Classic BMW in Richardson, TX to install the kit. They have already done one, and they have six or so kits in inventory.

    The gloss black powder-coat that I had put on the cross-brace and top rings looks great against the black BMW paint. The original satin finish looks good, but I think the gloss looks better...too each his own.

    The car will be ready for pickup tomorrow, but I'm going to get it Thursday morning. I'll post pics soon after.

    I'm also scheduled to run the car at the Motorsport Ranch this Saturday. So, I'll post a report on the "performance" improvements.
    thegunguy

  65. #140
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    According to your post I am a (B) driver and do enjoy driving my Z8 the way it was intended to be driven. I live in south FL were the roads are always under construction and there are railroad crossing everywhere I have hit pot holes went flying over railroad crossings raced other cars at Moroso race track and have been thru hundreds of construction site with major potholes and debris and I am glad to say after getting my car inspected by my BMW dealer and BMW’s own service team they found no damage what so ever to my Z8. They also said not only was my car in factory specs it was perfect not even a little doming or anything. They showed me everthing that was done and even threw in a 4 wheel alaignment. I can’t imagine what kind of pothole it took for some of you to damage your cars but it must have been a sink hole or something. I will still install the performance kit as now the whole world is concerned about this potential problem from reading all these posts and news articles. I bought the car to drive it and have fun with it not baby it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Z8doc View Post
    "Ambitious spirited driving over bad road surfaces" that, according to BMW's statements in the past, is what has lead to the deformations. So, in kind, you have to decide what type of driving you plan to do?

    Are you A] The owner who has a garage queen and takes the Z8 out for short drives on a sunny day and only for trips to the hardware or grocery store to get a few convenience items ( a couple thousand miles a year at the most) and just cruises around or B] the type of owner who drives the Z8 hard and fast, enjoying the thrill of the acceleration, the roar of the exhaust, the wind in your hair, etc (who might actually come up on a road hazard or "bad road surface" at a significantly greater speed)?

    IF... your answer is [b], then definitely get the kit, regardless of who pays for it. IF.... you are [A], then you could probably get away without it but IMHO, I would NOT take that chance. As others above point out, the roughly $1600 is a much better price to pay to try and prevent something than $5,000 or more in repair of the shock tower or chassis. Even if I still bend the tower after installation, at least I tried to prevent it.

    Interesting potential scenario is this, Now that the "Kit" IS available, say you do not opt for it. Then you drive your garage queen to the corner market and inadvertantly hit a medium size pothole at medium speed and presto... you now have deformity. Now that the kit is available and you DID NOT opt to install it, would BMW then say, you should have as it was designed as a upgrade to help reinforce the chassis and prevent the thing that now has happened? Personally (and I think everyone here would agree), get the kit installed and be done with it.

    I would recommend you deal with Bill Stuart at BMW NA (201.263.8210) as I have found him to be a very helpful, more so than anyone else I have dealt with at BMW NA. I think if you are reasonable to him, he will more than likely be reasonable in return and you will be happy in the end and get back to enjoying the ownership experience the way it was meant. That is the direction I am going.

  66. #141
    Z8Mania
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    NYC pothole- not recommended.

    Rail road tracks- you should slow down for them- I dont care what kind of car you are driving. Any road damage you can see, the procedure is to brake hard before the damage/ rail road tracks/ etc and then as you are just about there get off the brakes- do not hit the brakes hard when actually encountering the hazard as this puts all the weight to the front of the car and makes the impact that much worse. Sorry if you already knew this.

    Btw- I drive my car in the same way as you. And I think we all should- its a great car, meant to be driven!

  67. #142
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    Installed

    I have just returned from picking up the Z8 from BMW of Austin.

    The perfomance package appears to be very well engineered. Although the bar is slightly flexible in the vertical axis, it should be very rigid in compression and tension, which is what counts.

    BMW of Austin, as always, handled the service extremely well.

    The long trip home was the first time in months that I have had a pleasant, worry free drive in the Z8. Although I have been occasionally critical of the way that BMW has handled this matter, I am impressed with the final result and very appreciative of BMW's efforts.

  68. #143
    Team Z8 KenZ8's Avatar
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    Small world...

    I'm scheduled to have my performance package installed tomorrow at BMW of Austin. They called me today to tell me that they had just installed a PP on another Z8, and they were very happy with the fit, design, end result, and that I should be very pleased when it's completed. Do you live near Austin? I just moved to Georgetown.

  69. #144
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    Austin

    Hi Ken - Welcome to Texas. I live over an hour south of Austin. I'm really closer to San Antonio, but the Austin guys sold me an M3 a few years ago and they have taken very good care of me since then. I suppose I was the guinea pig for the perfomance package installation, but I wasn't concerned as the tech is very capable and conscientious.

    Bob R

  70. #145
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Installed!

    I guess I may be the first one to post photos of a completed install in the US. The installation was done at Classic BMW in Richardson, TX. Eventhough they're not my closest dealer, I chose them based on the number or Z8s that they sold and their reputation in servicing the car. One of their two Z8 techs also worked at Dinan for several years. Since, I have the S3 suspension, this was a key for my application.

    As far as Dinan compatibility, it appears that everything is 100% compatible. We're still waiting for the official statement from Dinan, but they were always very confident in the several conversations that I had with the guys from Dinan. As I speculated, all that is necessary is to knock out the longer studs from the new strut-mount plate in the PP. These studs replace the existing ones in the Dinan Caster plate. The added length allows the top plates to be used in conjunction with the Dinan goodies. As I still believe that the caster plates provide a similar safeguard, I now have double protection against deformation at the strut towers.

    My initial driving impressions don't tell much at this point, but I've really only been on the highway. I did go over one RR crossing, and the already stiff frame seems a little tighter up front. This weekend I'm taking the car to the track. So, I should be able to get a better feel for the handling impact. I cannot imagine that it will be anything but improved.

    As you will note in my photos bellow and from previous posts, I had the kit powder-coated glossy black, and the results are much better than the photos suggest - spectacular actually. The standard finish will look fine, but the added gloss matches my car perfectly. I am very pleased with my choice to re-finish the kit. Cost - $85.

    As said by others, I'm still wary of big bumps and potholes, but that's true with any vehicle. However, it's nice to have a little more piece of mind.

    In the end, I think BMW has delivered a good product for us. It's not perfect, but considering the cost it's effective and attractive considering the cramped space. While I still contend that they could have handled the whole affair better, I am pleased with the final result. For me, it's time to move on to enjoying the car again.

    Good luck to you all in your upcoming installations.
     
    thegunguy

  71. #146
    Team Z8 KenZ8's Avatar
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    It looks great, especially the top plates matching the car color. I just had the package installed today (BMW of Austin), and I'm very pleased with the appearance (and service/attention to detail)- however, after seeing your photos, I may take the plates off and have them done in titanium silver to match the body color. On the silver car, the stock black satin cross bar blends in well. I'll post photos as soon as I find my camera among the boxes.

  72. #147
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    BMW UK have finally agreed that they will import the performance kit. They have found a Z8 that they own in a museum and will fit it to that one first. Then sometime in " the next month or two" they will give me details so I can fit one to my car in the UK.

    Like pulling teeth!

  73. #148
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    Quote Originally Posted by thegunguy View Post
    As you will note in my photos bellow and from previous posts, I had the kit powder-coated glossy black, and the results are much better than the photos suggest - spectacular actually. The standard finish will look fine, but the added gloss matches my car perfectly. I am very pleased with my choice to re-finish the kit. Cost - $85.

    The glossy black looks good to me!

    Does the brace rub the hood liner in your case, and can it be seen on the brace's surface?

  74. #149
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    Report from the track...

    I put about 100 miles on at the Motorsport Ranch today, and I can report that the Performance Package lives up to its name. Throughout the day, the front tires had a bit more bite than they did on the same track three weeks ago. In most scenarios, my car is fairly neutral with the S3 suspension using GM's suggested settings on the sways, but with 3,600 lbs. of weight tugging on the tires, the fronts can begin to lose grip in tight turns under power, resulting in understeer. With the PP fitted, this threshold seemed to be a bit higher, allowing me to carry more speed into the tighter parts of the track.

    Also, the inside front wheel seemed to be more planted on high-speed sweepers, allowing for little bit more speed.

    The only thing that annoys me about the PP thus far is contact between the cross-brace and the pad under the hood. Due to this contact, the hood requires effort to close in stead of just letting it drop like before (palm prints - yuk!), and yes, it does rub on my gloss powder coat, which will probably kill the gloss in short order.

    After today, I have decided that I have gotten the Z8 about as fast as I care to at the track. While it is a very fun car to run on the track on occasion, it's weight works against it the faster it goes. Soon, I hope to join Andrew in the joys of Lotus ownership.
    thegunguy

  75. #150
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    829
    Great report! thanks.

    Could it have been mounted any lower?

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