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Thread: Strut brace

  1. #1
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    Strut brace

    I haven't looked under my hood today, but might something like this be better than the PP? Need to see if one could be fitted. The one shown is from a 2003 AC Schnitzer Z4 with our motor.

    Update: I looked under the hood. It looks like both would fit (the PP and the Schnitzer type). Might also be able to tie the PP to the Schnitzer. The only thing, is where the mounting point would be near the firewall. I wonder if Schnitzer would do one for us?

    Quick and dirty layout below
         

  2. #2
    Z8Mania
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    IMHO a nice idea but theres no way for us to know how it would handle the stresses. Also it seems to me the PP is working for everyone so why mess with it? I also think the Z4 has a factory brace that ACS just replaced- so it has the central mounting points already on the frame.

  3. #3
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    True, true, true... but??? Not so sure if the PP is the end-all. I still question how its mounted to the rail, and not the top of the tower. I think more bracing yet, could be even better.

  4. #4
    Z8Mania
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    You might be right but lets face it, the PP isnt really a strut brace, its a frame brace and shock tower reinforcement kit.

  5. #5
    Sadly the skinny steel bar has a bit too much flex in it to really act as a frame brace, and even the steel donuts aren't 100% insurance against strut tower deformation. If there was a stronger, better solution I''d certainly be in the market for it.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  6. #6
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    Agreed Z8mania, but my concern is, while the PP may keep the rail in place, it still seems possible for the tower itself to move etc. Wouldn't a brace that attaches to the top of the tower help? The reason those things are used is to stabilize the chassis, add rigidity and limit deflection... all sound like a good idea to me. The only question would be, where might all that extra energy go? What other component might become over stressed? or, has the energy all been redistributed to multiple points, no one point getting too much? No way for me to tell.

  7. #7
    Z8 Madness
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    Looking at the frame picture on top of this thread, I don't see how the bar does anything to keep the towers from deforming. The steel washers probably are the only protection. The bar might keep the side rails of the frame from deforming, hence avoid the misaligned headlight/fenders that we see on damaged cars.
    2016 Porsche GTS/MT

  8. #8
    Z8Mania
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    You all make good points. I think in the end we simply have to understand that our beloved Z8 has some weak spots. And that makes her... no different from any other car. Or even any other machine, even our own bodies. So we know how to protect from and reduce problems and its advisable to yes make an even better stress bar, but given that the space in the engine bay is so limited I think we have the best setup. As an aside, I like the look of the bracing that Aston Martin does on their cars.
     

  9. #9
    Wow, that looks like the inside of a space ship, not an automobile!
    Andrew Macpherson

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  10. #10
    Z8Mania
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    Its after they slapped the PP on the shuttle.

  11. #11
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z8Mania View Post
    You all make good points. I think in the end we simply have to understand that our beloved Z8 has some weak spots. And that makes her... no different from any other car. Or even any other machine, even our own bodies. So we know how to protect from and reduce problems and its advisable to yes make an even better stress bar, but given that the space in the engine bay is so limited I think we have the best setup. As an aside, I like the look of the bracing that Aston Martin does on their cars.
    Now THATS what I'm talking about! I'm going to do some looking into this... Just 'cause I'm not sold on the PP.

  12. #12
    Team Z8 ZMates's Avatar
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    Norcal,

    count me in on this project. The PP is better than nothing, but your brace would be a significant improvement.

    John

  13. #13
    You might do well to talk to Steve Dinan, he has a Z8 chassis in his yard, and has the experince with manufacturing things to be a good potential partner. The guy who is our contact there (thru Dana) is Derek Butts ([email protected])
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  14. #14
    Z8Mania
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    Agreed that would be a good route to explore.

  15. #15
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    Thanks for the contact info Andrew. I'll try talking with Dinan to see if they could do that for us.

  16. #16
    Z8 Addict Scott Pettit's Avatar
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    I spoke with Paul Ebeyer at Strong Strut during ZFest in September and he said that they are designing a brace for the Z8. I will keep everyone posted as things progress.
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  17. #17
    Z8 Madness
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    I think any aftermarket brace should work around the BMW PP so that both can be on the car at the same time. If so, I may be interested. Otherwise, I'll stick to the BMW PP in case I have to defend a claim against the insurance company or BMW one day.
    2016 Porsche GTS/MT

  18. #18
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    Sorry Scott, but the "Strong strut" product looks like crap... not going in my car. If the web site was any worse I would have lost my lunch on my keyboard! I'll be pursuing other options, thanks anyway.

  19. #19
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    What? You don't want a big slab of blingy chrome in you car? No love for websites from 1995? You creative people....
    thegunguy

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Norcal View Post
    Now THATS what I'm talking about! I'm going to do some looking into this... Just 'cause I'm not sold on the PP.
    I'm with you and would go in on any "elegant" solution, but frankly I've always been more concerned about the rear. With the PP we have "some" protection for the front, but I've always wondered what keeps the rear shock towers from deforming.
    C.A. Cardenas (AKA Dan)
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  21. #21
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    Agreed, the rear is some concern... no idea how to deal with that.

  22. #22
    Z8Mania
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    What protects the rear? The front!

    OK, kidding aside, I'm with you.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Z8Mania View Post
    What protects the rear? The front!
    Funny you should say that. My worry is that since "in theory" the PP stabilizes the front, all the twisting is being transferred to the rear.

    I'm not an engineer, so I'm not sure that can actually happen, but...
    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

  24. #24
    Z8Mania
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    Thats my concern as well. However what can we do beside open up the entire trunk area?

    Well we can:

    1. replace run flat tires with regular tires (I prefer MPS2)
    2. change the suspension with something like the Alpina one which has softer springs and shocks
    3. watch out for potholes and road hazards.

  25. #25
    Z8 Addict Scott Pettit's Avatar
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    Norcal,

    Have you seen the Strong Strutt product in person or just on the website? They are on thousands of Z's and I have yet to hear / read a complaint. The one that they are developing for the Z8 is not available (as of ZFest in September) and as far as their website goes, Paul does not build websites, he is a machinist that builds race and modified cars and specializes in the BMW Z series. I can vouch for his product as I have used the front, rear and full body braces on my cars and they are great.

    If you are concerned about bling, yes he does do that also as many of the folks who buy his product not only track their cars, but turn around and concours the same auto.
    Scott Pettit
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  26. #26
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Sorry, but a Z is not a Z is not a Z.

    In the realm of frame modification/strengthening I wouldn't touch anything from a vendor that doesn't have Z8 specific experience, and even then I probably wouldn't ever use anything that wasn't from BMW, directly. While I have "good feelings" about the PP, I don't want to give BMW a reason to deny a claim should I ever actually have an issue with the frame.

    Other than a letter, the Z8 shares basically nothing with any of the other roadster line of "Z" cars. It's closest relatives are the E38 and E65. So, supplying parts to Z3s and Z4s doesn't really have any meaning with our cars. Furthermore, I don't think it would be wise for Strong Strut to offer a product from a financial standpoint. There is likely too small of a market to make it profitable with the necessary R&D, and with the state of the frame always of concern, I don't think they'd want to secure the financial backing to cover the risk of a trip to the ARC or a new frame. I'm betting even Dinan, with all of their experience and financial status, wouldn't get into this game. They've already been bit by the Z8 once...thus their limited availability of parts.
    thegunguy

  27. #27
    Z8Mania
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    Good points. Though I think we should add in E39 in there too.

    I realize none of us got where we are by just accepting "good enough", but in this case I am satisfied with the PP and at a minimum I think its "good enough".

  28. #28
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    I thought about the E39, but my own (potentially flawed) survey points to the 7s as being the "closest" relative, since they make up the bulk of the parts. Since almost all of the E39 parts are from the "lowly" 6, I stuck with the big guys. Certainly the engine could be labeled an E39 product, but I just see the M tech as non-model specific. Then again, the S62 was derived from the M62, which I believe was in the E38 initially.

    I really love the "name the donor" game.
    thegunguy

  29. #29
    Z8Mania
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    I think youre right. But the drivetrain comes from the 540 I believe.... (transmission and dreaded CDV!)