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Thread: Frame question for you guys

  1. #1
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    Frame question for you guys

    So I am in the Bay Area, and if a car comes up for sale locally (+/-) it is a no-brainer to go to Peter Pan or Dinan or a local dealer to have the shock towers /frame evaluated EVEN if there is a PP istalled. My question is what you guys think about cars for sale further away where an evaluation would have to be done at a local dealer THERE. How competent would you say the AVERAGE BMW dealer is in a pre-purchase with the frame issue? Is this a real specialty evaluation or could any competent dealer (acting in my interests, of course) tell if the frame was in good shape beyond looking at how the hood closes and etc? TIA

  2. #2
    Z8 Guru 2112's Avatar
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    I had a local dealer install the PP cause they were being distributed thru authorized dealers at that moment. They put their best tech on it.

    Having said that. I would not recommend having them make a critical judgement on a car to purchase.

    Doesn't Havenhurstkid travel for these?
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    Does he do complete surveys? Sending a guy would show you are REALLY serious I would imagine. Might make it easier to negotiate too....

  4. #4
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    I think so. P/M him and I am sure he will answer all your questions.
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    thx, will do.

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    BMW doesn't admit any problem with the frame. Wouldn't asking a dealership to inspect for frame damage put them in the position of admitting or recognizing a design problem?

  7. #7
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    No because a perfectly good frame can be damaged by an accident. I believe BMW's position in the case of frame deformation is there was an impact of sufficient strength to constitute an accident.

    My advice would be, if you are willing to, bring in a pro.

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    Yes...the accident of driving on a poorly maintained road , like Sunset Blvd.

    Quote Originally Posted by Z8Mania View Post
    No because a perfectly good frame can be damaged by an accident. I believe BMW's position in the case of frame deformation is there was an impact of sufficient strength to constitute an accident.

    My advice would be, if you are willing to, bring in a pro.
    and an "accident" that could be prevented with BMW's addition of just a few parts to the frame assembly.

  9. #9
    Z8Mania
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    Whenever you buy a used car you should have the car inspected. Dealers do pre purchase inspections (PPI) all the time.

    I don't think BMW would agree with your statement that the accident could be prevented by some parts. The accident would have occurred in any event. The results may be different.

    I don't see the point of rehashing old arguments, I'm just saying the dealers shouldn't have a problem to do an inspection. But even then, many dealers may not be that familiar with the Z8. I would find a specialist who really knows the car, like Marty. Thats just my opinion.

  10. #10
    Z8 Millennial Monster hayvenhurstkid's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for the kind words. I will be in Northern California on the 29th doing a PPI for a buyer outside Chicago. I will be looking at a one owner 2001 silver with black Z8 with 5,600 miles on it. Fingers crossed it passes my inspection. If so it will be going to an excited new owner North of Chicago.
    Marty

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  11. #11
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    From my experience, most BMW dealers are very ignorant about the Z8. Stick with ones that have sold and serviced dozens, like Peter Pan. Anyone else really doesn't know the particulars of our car.

    If you don't have a Z8 knowledgable BMW dealer close, hire Marty or reach out on the board.
    thegunguy

  12. #12
    Z8Mania
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    Some dealers still have "Z8 specialists". My dealer does. Like Rifle says, thats a good way to tell.

  13. #13
    Z8 Millennial Monster hayvenhurstkid's Avatar
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    Z8 "specialists" can be very knowledgeable about the mechanical aspects of the car but many are not aware of the many nuances of the car. In other words, they are unaware or don't know what the problem areas of the car are, especially when it comes to cosmetic issues.
    Marty

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  14. #14
    Z8Mania
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    Agreed. Thats why if I were buying a Z8 Id want both: a knowledgable Z8 person and a knowledgable Z8 tech. Actually, that applies to any collectible car or vintage car. You really need to do a lot of homework. This isn't like buying a brand new M3.

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    I have been wondering for awhile about the reality of damaged frames on our Z8's. Seems that when most of us had pretty new Z8's and the topic was hot several years ago....probably caused by some possible DE cars and maybe a few more cars...PP was finally pushed out by a surrendering BMW after several months of loud noises from our Z8 Forum, Z8 Club and probably a few other places I do not remember. Once PP done ....Presto Changeo all is well with no more bent frames to read about on our forum. I am guessing many less than 1000 PP have been installed and 4000 cars have been running a decade or more with supposedly the bent frame potential. Assuming I am any where near correct my wonder is where are all the bent frames from all the un-PPed cars. Maybe a few isolated problems from rather early punished Z8's pushed for a solution for which there is not that much of a problem. Anyway just some thoughts about the real or maybe perceive value on PP......havehhurstkid maybe has seen some frame problems from the many cars he has inspected?

  16. #16
    Z8 Millennial Monster hayvenhurstkid's Avatar
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    Fortunately most of the cars I inspect are free of damage but I have seen my fair share of cars with domed shock towers. Usually it is only on one side but severe enough to noticeably dome the tower and pinch the seam between the front fender and the engine hood. If a car has a domed tower and a pinched seam I always tell my customer to take a pass on the car.
    Marty

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    The run flats had a lot to do with the potential for damage from an "accident" (LOL Jerry!). Many replaced run flats long ago and there can't (shouldn't) be any originals left on these cars.

    Phil

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    Interesting that not that many comments on the Forum that I remember since PP made available....not good that you have seen several with domed shock towers....considering selling my 2001, 27k miles Black/Black w/o PP is part of my wonderment...I'll touch base with you if I decide to sell...we last spoke when I had the ignition problems on my return trip from Monterey 2008...you were a big help!

  19. #19
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    Marty, Have you yet witnessed a car that had the PP installed and was still damaged? I would find it hard to believe someone would install it over the top of damage but I guess they could.

    As rwwinsz8 suggested and I would want ask too; Can we consider the PP solution a complete solution? ie Does it appear to have effectively prevented anyone from suffering damage after installation?
    .
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  20. #20
    Sadly it is still an issue, and I've even seen a car with the PP that has sustained shock tower dome and arm damage, but by and large all the cars I know of as friends and forum members do seem to be getting along well without having sustained any damage. That said they all have PP's, non run flats and caring, careful, aware owners.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  21. #21
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    I look at it like this: like in poker, etc. the PP is a signal. It's an indicator that the previous owner is 1) aware of the potential issues with the car, and 2) cares to maintain the car with knowledge of those issues. This issues include anything like setbacks, etc. If I were buying, I'd prefer a car from a knowledgable owner, including the PP. A car without the PP is a signal that its owner 1) doesn't keep up with issues on the car, which might lead to problems (VANOS, 5w30, etc.) or 2) just doesn't care.

    Is the PP a 100% fool-proof deterrent to potential damage? No, but combined with non-RFTs, lighter wheels, caster plates, and a knowledgable owner, the potential for damage is less than cars that do nothing to protect the frame.
    thegunguy

  22. #22
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    On the support side, BMW's abilities to repair damaged cars has improved since the issue was originally discovered, basically eliminating the idea that a damaged car is irreparable.
    thegunguy

  23. #23
    Z8 Millennial Monster hayvenhurstkid's Avatar
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    I have seen one car that had severely domed towers that the dealer went ahead and installed a PP anyways. Didn't quite get that. If a car has no doming and the seams are good between the fenders and the engine hood, I always tell a customer to install a PP. With the run flats discarded and a PP installed the chances that a pothole or other road hazard are going to damage the frame of the car is extremely remote.
    Marty

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  24. #24
    Z8Mania
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    I agree with you all. Good points. As I see it, every machine out there, even biological ones, have weak spots. We now know most of those on the Z8. One thing to consider when all the Z8s were new, most of us were driving them probably more than we drive them now. Other cars come into the garage etc and being aware of this weakness means maybe the Z8 doesn't go into an area known for bad roads.

  25. #25
    means maybe the Z8 doesn't go into an area known for bad roads
    Sadly thats the entire state of California!
    Andrew Macpherson

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  26. #26
    Z8Mania
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    Andrew, then you should come out here and sample some of our "legendary" NY roads...

    (I promise it will be a truly "moving" experience! )

  27. #27
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    Sorry, I cannot resist.

    Our 800 (plus) billion bailout should have been spent on infrastructure, not banks (or make believe green industries). Let them fail.

    Our roads are terrible up here too. It was not too long ago i remember roads at least being maintained well if not up to date.

    Ok, I vented, please ignore me and move ahead.
    .
    2000 Red over black
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  28. #28
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    It would certainly be nice if the powers that be would prioritize some infrastructure. I have no idea, but it **seems** to me that all the increased tolls and feels we pay around here do not go to the roads, as is stated, but rather somewhere else... Where? I don't know... I suspect its going into someones pocket.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stimpy View Post
    So I am in the Bay Area, and if a car comes up for sale locally (+/-) it is a no-brainer to go to Peter Pan or Dinan or a local dealer to have the shock towers /frame evaluated EVEN if there is a PP istalled. My question is what you guys think about cars for sale further away where an evaluation would have to be done at a local dealer THERE. How competent would you say the AVERAGE BMW dealer is in a pre-purchase with the frame issue? Is this a real specialty evaluation or could any competent dealer (acting in my interests, of course) tell if the frame was in good shape beyond looking at how the hood closes and etc? TIA
    I always brought my own quarter. Sadly most did not have a clue why, or why I kept asking them to do a paint meter check. They do make sure the a/c, heated seats and lights work, and do a good job checking out the basics of the car operation, features and things like leaking hoses.
    Charles Guerin
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2112 View Post
    Sorry, I cannot resist.

    Our 800 (plus) billion bailout should have been spent on infrastructure, not banks (or make believe green industries). Let them fail.

    Our roads are terrible up here too. It was not too long ago i remember roads at least being maintained well if not up to date.

    Ok, I vented, please ignore me and move ahead.
    .
    Isn't TARP on track to make a profit or already has? I think the money hole was Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac. Can't blame the banks for that mess.
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  31. #31
    Actually yes you can, it was the banks lobbying to eliminate any kind of meaningful regulation and oversight that led to the entire mess.

    Besides Fannie & Freddie are just another part of the same corrupt Central Banking cartel. We'd be so much better off with any of these Central Banks, we need another Andrew Jackson right about now.
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  32. #32
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    We need Glass-Steagall back to keep commercial banking and investment banking separate. It was investment banking that tainted the good reputation of the big banks. If you remember the 80's, it was all the thrifts investing in long term mortgages with short term deposits as a source of funding that did a lot of them in. In the 90's that was solved by federal and private label investment bankers selling mortgage bonds to the public. The federal agencies are being bailed out in one form or another by the taxpayers. Unfortunately the investors in the subordinate tranches (and toxic blends thereof) of private label bonds were often the investment arms of banks, influenced since the repeal of Glass-Steagall by the investment banker "whales" that came when each commercial bank had to have an investment bank to keep up with the Joneses. You have to pay to play for the fees. And don't get me started with the rating agencies, who now have the gall to say they can rate governments and banks when they pretty well screwed up the mortgage business (rmbs and cmbs). The smaller banks blew up when their loan investments had no juice to keep the borrowers going in a failing economy. Ultimately the problem was the Americam dream of owning a home became perverted. Americans may be able to aspire to owning a home, but not all can pay for $400,000 home.

    Rumor in the banking/real estate world is that the echo boomers saw so much loss in their parents' house they will rent forever (multi-family being forever a good investment). I don't buy it. When they have kids they will want a home and homes will be a good investment in the 2020 - 2040 period, now that we are cranking all this money into the system that will eventually ramp up inflation and ruin our retirement....just sayin'.
    Charles Guerin
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  33. #33
    Yes, so much uncertainty about the future, and inflation is a real worry as this whole fictional reserve backing, mark to what ever the hell you like, fiasco collapses. I'm not really a gold bug, and suspect we'll see it at $800 before $3,000, but there just isn't much left that makes sense to invest in these days, except having fun - more Z8's!!
    Andrew Macpherson

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  34. #34
    Z8 Millennial Monster hayvenhurstkid's Avatar
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    I'll second that! Live one day at a time, cherish your friends and family, and have fun.
    Marty

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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by macfly View Post
    Actually yes you can, it was the banks lobbying to eliminate any kind of meaningful regulation and oversight that led to the entire mess.
    Totally agree on the lack of banking regulation. However, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were regulated by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) and subject to a totally different regulatory regime. You can blame the banks for a lot of bad decisions and misleading sales jobs, but it's really hard to pin the Fannie/Freddie mess on the banks...or the federal reserve. In fact Greenspan recommended making it clear that there was no implicit guarantee of Fannie/Freddie.

    http://money.cnn.com/2005/05/19/news...enspan_fannie/
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  36. #36
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    Or the fact that the politicians wanted the banks to lend to people who were increasingly not well qualified. The whole thing was a stink bomb just waiting to go off...

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    Back to the PP if I may:

    Does anybody have any experience with Chicago area dealers installing the PP? A Forum search provided no info for around here. I called around today and got mixed responses. Some said no problem, others did not know what it was.

    I know the PP is old news, but it's new for me! My new Z8 is fine, and I want to keep it that way by installing the PP ASAP.

    Appreciate any feedback...

    Thanks!

    Tom
    60766

  38. #38
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    I personally wouldn't worry too much about finding an experienced dealer. It's an easy install. I did it in an afternoon.
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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z8LVR View Post
    Back to the PP if I may:

    Does anybody have any experience with Chicago area dealers installing the PP? A Forum search provided no info for around here. I called around today and got mixed responses. Some said no problem, others did not know what it was.
    I was lucky and had mine installed at Peter Pan when I bought my car, but otherwise you have to be careful as a bad install may cause problems shutting the hood. Seems common sense, but ask how many the particular tech (not just the dealership) have installed, and see if they can give you references from the owners. I know this is a bit much, but this is an unusual part installed on an unusual car. You can also search the board members by state and contact local members for recommendations, as all members are not active board participants and may not have read your post.
    Charles Guerin
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  40. #40
    Z8Mania
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    It may be an easy install for some, but there is little tolerance for error here. In addition to the advice from Charles, perhaps you should call up Bill Stuart and ask him if he has any suggestions for your area?

  41. #41
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    Boiled down to the core, this install amounts to drilling 4 holes. There is ample opportunity to screw that up, though. However, if a BMW mechanic has done 10 installs, that means he has drilled 40 holes. That doesn't make him an expert at drilling holes. If you're not comfortable doing the job yourself, I'd rather have a metal worker do the job as the only skill required is the ability to center a punch and I"m pretty sure BMW isn't teaching this skill.
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  42. #42
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    While the install is essentially simplistic, the margin for error pretty small. Too low and the brace is tight on the intake hoses. Too high and the brace is too tight with the pad and can bend the hood.

    Mechanically, I wouldn't have an issue doing the install, but I'd recommend that everyone have BMW install it, regardless of ability, due to accountability. If you have BMW install the PP, you have some recourse should you have frame issues one day. If you install it yourself or with an independent, you've given BMW a potential reason to deny you support should issues arise.

    Same goes on install. If a BMW service guy botches the install, the dealer and BMW are there with the ARC to correct it. If you or independent mess up, well...not so great.

    Ultimately, it's each owner's decision what to do, but I personally can't recommend having anyone but a good BMW service center do the install, on accountability alone.
    thegunguy

  43. #43
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    ZMates, my last post wasn't to contradict you. It's just that I think there's wisdom in having BMW do the install as a recommendation for most.
    thegunguy

  44. #44
    Z8Mania
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    And also for resale. When you go to sell the car, the next person will like to see the install was done by a certified BMW shop vs "Joes Autoshop"...

  45. #45
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    resale? Aren't we all getting buried in our Z8s?
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    Meisterschaft GT titanium mufflers
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    CDV delete

  46. #46
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    I'm having mine grafted to my body.
    thegunguy