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Thread: Daily Driver

  1. #1
    Z8 Novice
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    Daily Driver

    Happy New Year.

    I unexpectedly traded my 2003 911 Twin Turbo in for a 2001 Black on Black Z8 the day after Christmas. I had put 12K miles on the Turbo in the year I owned it and the Z8 had only 5000 miles on it and was in pristine condition. I asked if they wanted to do a swap with no $'s exchanged and they said okay?it was an interesting trade and as I said, quite unexpected even though I had longed for a Z8 since 1998.

    The 2 cars are so tremendously different, especially if you step straight out of one and into the other so if anyone is thinking of a similar or reverse move, I? be glad to give my impressions in more detail.

    That said, I have a question I hadn?t seen asked here yet and that is....to what extent would you all feel this car makes for a solid daily driver?

    The Porsche was an excellent, durable, yet high performance daily driver....18 miles to work each way, no traffic. In fact, I was usually able to go between 40mph and on up to even 100mph (in the am as I go to work at 0530) getting the fun of really exercising the car?s capabilities.

    Anyway, I like the idea that I can completely enjoy this kind of purchase each and every day and after a grueling day at work, it?s one of the most amazing pleasures I know to sit in a car like this and experience it to take away the yuck of work stresses!

    So I'm interested in knowing if anyone else uses theirs as a daily driver or has any opinion on how well the car will hold up and 'enjoy' that kind of regular use....or even if any issues or problems have arisien by those who do use theirs that way. I plan on hanging onto this forever so I?m not worried about holding mileage down for resale values. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    Thanks....Wes

  2. #2

    Thumbs up Happy New Year and Welcome!

    Congratulations on your Z8, and like many of us here, buying a car that you too feel is a forever keeper.

    In answer to your question some owners I have talked to do use them as daily drivers, but as most of us have another car to deal with traffic, parking, valets and the other inherent dangers of city life. Many owners use the M5 as their daily drivers.

    The only thing that can be a pain is if your car needs any major spares the wait time can be quite long. I just had my Euro spec Z8 out of service for over 9 months due to a slow speed shut. The main reason for the wait is the time it takes to source all the parts from Germany. This is the penalty for having a low volume special. However I would say drive it and enjoy it until something else crosses your path that you want as a daily driver, then the Z8 can relax into being the fabulous weekender that it is.

    I have never driven an 996TT, so don't really know the differences, but I do know the 996TT is generally said to be the best all round sports car in the world, while the Z8 is more of a fast 'grand tourer'. You can make a few changes to it to make it handle better, but it will never outrun the Porsche at the track.
    (Nuerburgring: Z8 - 8.18 min / 996TT - 7.56 min)
    (Hockenheim: Z8 - 1.17,4 min / 996TT - 1.14,6 min)

    What it lacks in ultimate speed it more than makes up for in being a wonderful car to enjoy with the top down on your favorite back roads, but don't be fooled into thinking it's a slouch. I have taken mine to many BMW track days, and the only things that really get away from me are 996TT's and the odd race prepared M3.

    I would love to hear your impressions of the differences between the cars, and remember we are always in need of new pictures for the gallery, so please send in some photos once you get out to a great location!
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  3. #3
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    I use an Audi S4 for a daily driver here in Portland, Or. Personally, the Z8 is a garage queen for me, kept spotless and only driven when the roads are dry, and typically for top down pleasure rather than point a to point b. I intend to keep the car forever and don't feel right driving it dirty, paint chipped from winter road gravel, etc. The Z8 is also somewhat quirky and things will go wrong that would be annoying on a daily driver. Maybe in SoCal it would work as a DD, but I suggest finding another car for DD that also strikes a pleasure chord somehow, but in the end is just a car, rather than ART.

  4. #4
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    I can sure relate to your points Rick. As I?m sure you know, living in the Pacific NW yourself, it?s been a very unusual week of winter weather and here in Seattle it?s been snow and ice covered streets in a way we don?t see but perhaps once every 5+ years. So I?ve had this gorgeous new car and have been relegated to walking out into the garage and staring at it or sitting in it but unable to drive it! What a tease. She too is starting out to be a real ?garage queen? !

    Just out of curiosity and to set some expectations for what may come, what specifically did you mean when you said that the Z8 has some somewhat quirky things that will go wrong and be annoying? I know every nice automobile I?ve eve had no matter how well built usually has some issues so would be interested in hearing the ones? that you have experienced.

    To you Andrew, thanks for the warm welcome. Having your car out of service for so long must have be painful and I can only hope it was for something pretty significant vs some ordinary part or problem?

    All the trade writers say this so much better than I could so please bear with my amateurish attempts to describe this?. the thing about the 996TT is that it is a car that seems to have reached a pinnacle of design and build perfection for pure performance. It seemed absolutely flawless in it?s superb handling and the sense of infinite reserves of power no matter how fast one went or what situation one was in, to the point of being truly amazing. I found that it actually shifted my normal driving persona to be much more aggressive and a much faster day to day driver than I would normally be due to the confidence it inspired and the infinite power on tap.

    One thing about the car was that it was almost ?too perfected??.it?s hard for that to be really a bad thing but it?s a way of describing the feeling. Other than the obvious looks and ?art-like ?qualities of the Z8, the differentiating aspect I most noticed about the Z8 (instantly) when I drove it was the sense of ?rawness? and a more physical connection in the interaction with the car. Hard to describe but my sense is that everything about the Z8 cries out for very high levels of interaction and engagement at a more gut level, a more emotional and raw feeling level than the Porsche.

    At any rate, I am anxiously awaiting the day I?ll be able to take the top off and really get the full Z8 experience?it?s so beautiful here in the Pacific Northwest and driving the mountains and forests in the summer is a real joy?..that top down roadster experience will be another highly differentiating and what I hope to be pleasurably tactile experience as well.

    Thanks again for the feedback?.Wes

  5. #5
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    Alot of folks have said the same thing about the 996 TT, that it is numbingly perfect, which probably confirms why the first version of the Matrix was a failure (lost entire "crops" since the world was "too perfect"). But it is likely the ultimate DD, with AWD and winter tires it could be driven anytime, anywhere. The Z8 would be a nightmare in the snow, and lousy even in the wet with the stock run flats if you put the hammer down. I was spinning like crazy in 3rd gear during the one time I tried to really drive the car in the wet.

    Quirkiness?---the convertible top will likely separate where it meets the rear plastic window (have it fixed under warranty), the throttle pedal will likely have a slighty "sticky" or "notchy" feel, especially on warm days (get a new throttle assembly under warranty, its a common defect among bmw's of the period), the headlights may fog up under the lens covers, the plastic seatback fasteners (plastic hooks) will likely fall off (you can fix them yourself pretty easily with some plastic epoxy or take it to the dealer). Stuff like that. You should check out the Roadfly message board as well as this site for info.

    Things to do---Remove the Clutch Delay Valve and install Eiesenmann (thru Eisenhaus, the US disty) Race mufflers asap. They mark them up 100% which is a rip, but you gotta get em. You can search on both boards and find out how and why. A UUC short shift kit is also a very nice mod with no downside. The CDV removal makes the clutch much more natural feeling. The mufflers simpy sound intoxicating with the top down. The stereo needs to have the bass turned way down and the treble way up, adjust it to taste. Radio reception seems lousy, use Cd's, or just listen to the engine/exhaust. Replacing the run flats with Potenza S-03's or maybe the brand new Michelin Pilot Sport PS2's is recommened by many for better ride quality and traction, but you then need an inflation kit since there is no spare. Just read everthing previously posted on this board and the Roadfly board for lots of good, and highly accurate info.

    Above all, enjoy the fact that you now own something that is exceedingly a "feeling" experience, and a design that most of us think of as beautiful art. With the top down on a spring/summer/fall northwest day, you will then have what the car can provide. Winter? That's time for polishing, waxing, doing upgrades of little things--and the occasional drive when the roads are good to keep the battery charged and the oil moving around. I am even going to remove the wiper arms so I have an unobstructed view of that beautiful hood while driving, since I don't drive it in the wet anyway (I'll keep them in the trunk and they can be quickly re-installed in a pinch).

    I grew up in WA and have a sister in Issaquah. I have a summer place on Hood Canal. Maybe we can hook up this summer and compare notes and see who has the best shine! Good Luck on the adjustment to this car from the Porsche. In the end it has to be more than a car, more than just fast and impressive, to be soemthing you will always want to keep. I just put Blizzak's on the Audi today for the snowstorm on the way, but I also drove the Z-8....... around the block!..... rick

  6. #6
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    Two things......

    Andrew and I both were out at Laguna Seca in the rain once. Scary may not be the right word, thrilling, but it sure kept my attention. I left all the electronic aids on. Talk about blinking lights in the dash!! In tun 11, I would go from full ABS on entry, to Stability intervention past apex, to traction control. The back end didn't hook up untill half way down the front strait, deep into third gear, around 75? Couldn't get close to the C4 there that day.

    Also: think about adding at least the DINAN sway bars, if no other suspension mods

    Enjoy your new Baby!! Welcome

  7. #7
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    One other thing....

    I think you are right on with your view of the Z8s allure. I shopped many high dollar sports/gt cars, but they were all too isolated. The Z8 has the raw, seat of the pants feel I was looking for, and Ohhhhh what a body!!

  8. #8

    Ditto on the Dinan Swaybars.

    They are a really great addition, to both handling and passanger comfort. (No more motion sickness.) I understand Dinan now makes a full suspension set for the car, which could be an easy addition since most BMW dealers will happily fit Dinan parts.

    The standard set up allows too much body roll, and a heavy handed degree of understeer. They sway bars help eliminate this, and a lowered & stiffened suspension kit will be the final fix, and a big plus if you are planning going to the track.

    The others have covered the main quirks with the car, all the others you can see in the problem section. The softtop strings are important to keep an eye on, and the secure fitting of the softtop cover when it's down, as this can flip up and damage the body at speed if it isn't attached properly. It's an easy error to make, so always double check those little press on clips fastners.

    The UUC short shift kit is really good too, but there have been some negative reports on it, which all come down to poor fitting. Only have it fitted by someone who is familiar with the kits, and be sure to use all the extra hard bushes that they supply as options.
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  9. #9
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    Great stuff

    The Matrix analogy on the 911TT and it's perfection is absolutely fantastic Rick....I'd been trying to put it to words and never could get it right but you completely nailed it.

    This forum is fabulous and I have a ton of excellent and valuable knowledge to work with as a new owner. As I've still not driven the car other than on the way home from the dealer and then one lovely joy ride the day after I got it (due to the Ice an Snow storms), reading all the great stories and experiences across this board has built enormous anticipation for what is to come.

    Thanks to everyone who has offered their impressions and given ideas as I'll be taking some of this to heart and applying some of these upgrade suggestions in the coming months.

    Andrew, I saw in a post to the other new owner (Brett) that you wanted pictures sent. Do you have an archive of everyone's cars? If so, can you point me to it? Also, if I sent a few shots of mine, should I send a mail just to you for putting into that archive or simply use the attach file feature in a posting?

    Take care....Wes

  10. #10

    Gallery

    Wes, I never even thought about it, but if you just entered via a link to the message board you won't be seeing the full site navigation, just go to www.bmwz8.us and you will see the link to the gallery section on the left side. In the Owner's section are all our pictures, and I would love some from you too!

    As someone who is passionate about photography I always ask everyone to try extra hard to make the images look great, and I put up good new images whenever I get them in.
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  11. #11
    Z8 Addict Z8doc's Avatar
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    Congrats on the your Z8. I am new to the message boards but bought my Z8 new about a year ago. I was actually looking to buy the 996TT [had a tentative deal on a Silver/black and intended on using it as my DD when I walked into my local BMW dealer to buy my wife a new X5 and there she sat, all covered in silver, primped and polished in such an alureing way... oh my [I said to myself]!! It seemed to speak to me and I never looked back, I had to have her! Of course the experience when I met my wife was similar but this gal never talks back to me!

    My car had actually been ordered by the CEO of a local energy company. When it arrived, his company was in the middle of layoffs and he felt it was in poor taste to take delivery so it was up for sale. Destiny I guess.

    I use my Silver/red-black as a DD {about 18 miles one way too} except on bad rain/snow days and use a Jeep Wrangler as an alternative bad weather vehicle [it has a 7" lift and 35x14.50 tires] for the occasional blizzard or deep mud here in OK. At the end of the day, top down, heated seats, the growl of the exhaust...ahhhh, not much is more relaxing on the way home, you know...simple pleasures!

    Anyway, I love my Z8! Have experienced many of the Quirks you have heard, plastic rear window separation, spontaneous windshield cracks x 2, electrical flickering (?), etc but I still love it.

    Hope you enjoy yours as much as I enjoy mine!

    Stay safe,

    Doc
    Tulsa, OK

    The picture is of my Older brother, I could not get him out of my Z8 [he drives a Dinan 2003 Range Rover, and nice BMW cousin that is!]
     

  12. #12
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    Hello;

    I am interested to hear more about the "sticky" or "notchy" feel of the throttle pedal. I am having this problem. Is there anything that can be done about it? what causes it? I thought this was a drive-by-wire system, but it feels like a sticky cable.

    thanks

  13. #13
    It's been a while since I've heard about a throttle pedal notch, seemed more of an issue in the early days, and I don't remember the cure I'm afraid. Maybe have your local dealer check it out.
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  14. #14
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    I seem to recall there was a recall/fix/dealer campaign or such? Dealer may have a fix.

  15. #15
    Yikes, this thread was originally posted in 2003. Wonder if after nearly 10 years Wesley does indeed still have his Z8?
    C.A. Cardenas (AKA Dan)
    2003 (last one?) Z8 - Hellrot / Sport Rot
    Original Owner - Munich Tourist Delivery
    -- Others --
    1988 M6 - 32K mi. - Original Owner
    1989 DINAN 750iL - 73K mi. - Original Owner
    1998 M3 - 63K mi. - Original Owner
    2015 X5 (F15) Diesel - Daily Driver

  16. #16
    I doubt it, he hasn't visited the board since March 06, so I'm pretty certain he sold his car back then. That was during the time the frame issues first came to light, and I think a lot of folks jumped ship rather than wait for it all to get cleared up. There were a couple of months back then when I almost did too!
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  17. #17
    Z8Mania
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    Yes and I think years 5-15 are the absolute biggest lull in interest in a "new" car. Thats when problems (ahem) arise and there are new temptations. Fortunately some of us stayed the course. I'm glad I did. We're now in year 13, we'll soon get past that year 15 hurdle, I think when we do, we will see a gentle acceleration in the rate of appreciation, both financially and spiritually. FWIW, I have a 2000 car with 30k miles, I dont remember having any throttle issues and I dont recall ever having a service campaign done for this, but its been a long time and perhaps it was done and I just don't remember.

  18. #18
    Team Z8 ZMates's Avatar
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    the throttle control is just a potentiometer. Potentiometers do fail over time, so you could try replacing.

    PS: bought my Z8 in 2009 (couldn't afford one in 2003) and seem to have made a decent unrealized gain in the meantime--at least here in Switzerland.
    Silver/black
    Dinan S2 package: headers, throttle bodies, oversized MAFs, airfilters, anti-roll bars, lightweight flywheel
    Dinan by Brembo brake kit and monoball control arm bushings
    BBS forged individual wheels
    Quaife differential, 3.64:1 final drive
    Meisterschaft GT titanium mufflers
    K&W 3 way adjustable competition monotube dampers and monoball adjustable mounts
    CDV delete

  19. #19
    Z8Mania
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    Makes sense.... Ive read a few reports recently about how difficult it is to drive in Switzerland- particularly with regard to speeding. Supposedly the police drive unmarked Subarus, they drive aggressively to get other drivers to speed up, and then they ticket them? Is this true? Thats crazy!

  20. #20
    Team Z8 ZMates's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z8Mania View Post
    Makes sense.... Ive read a few reports recently about how difficult it is to drive in Switzerland- particularly with regard to speeding. Supposedly the police drive unmarked Subarus, they drive aggressively to get other drivers to speed up, and then they ticket them? Is this true? Thats crazy!
    I haven't heard of that, but that doesn't mean it's not true...I don't watch the local news. The place is crawling with speed cameras, though.
    Silver/black
    Dinan S2 package: headers, throttle bodies, oversized MAFs, airfilters, anti-roll bars, lightweight flywheel
    Dinan by Brembo brake kit and monoball control arm bushings
    BBS forged individual wheels
    Quaife differential, 3.64:1 final drive
    Meisterschaft GT titanium mufflers
    K&W 3 way adjustable competition monotube dampers and monoball adjustable mounts
    CDV delete