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Thread: 25 years of parts - but what about availability

  1. #1
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    25 years of parts - but what about availability

    I have been waiting for 5 months now for a part for the Z8. The latch that closes the old mobile phone storage area between the front seats is unable to open. The part is $500 !!! But BMW apparently didn't have any in stock and had to go back to the manufacturer to have more made. So it is a looooooooooooong wait. It's a good thing this was not a critical part to the operation of the car or I would really be annoyed about the wait.

    Jay in Southeast Florida
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  2. #2
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    This is why the Club is working with BMW Classic to help improve the availability and develop alternative parts. If you haven't already, I'd contact the Club and let them know which part you're having difficulty with. As you mention, it's not critical, but it'd be good to have it documented as one that's no longer in production.
    thegunguy

  3. #3
    Z8 Madness
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    Wasn't it 50 years?
    2016 Porsche GTS/MT

  4. #4
    Yep, 50 years it is! Mind you BMW have been amazing in supplying parts to all their old machines, there is barely a car of bike made that BMW Classic can''t get bits for, though some bits do take longer than others! I'm deep in restoring a 1974 R90S, and all the parts I need are there on micro-fiche and delivered a week or two later. It has kind of blown me away to be honest!
    Andrew Macpherson

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  5. #5
    Z8 Madness
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    That is great!

    Would love to see some pics of your R90S project. I'm sure it's been fun. Makes me want to go back and read zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance, it's been 20 years.
    2016 Porsche GTS/MT

  6. #6
    Well, here is how she looks right now. The new suspension and new rims are in place just to be able to move her around, but I'm still gathering parts in preparation for her journey to the restoration specialists at Irv Seaver near you to get a full engine and transmission upgrade, and also a full respray. The second shot is an old '74 ad showing how she'll look when she's done.
     
    Andrew Macpherson

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  7. #7
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    B-E-A-utiful! I vote for a tasteful seat upgrade from the original.
    thegunguy

  8. #8
    Z8 Madness
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    Very very nice. Thanks for sharing. And please, if you do have to come down to Irvine, let me know. I owe you a very nice lunch/dinner. But more so, would love to catch up.
    2016 Porsche GTS/MT

  9. #9
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    Can someone tell me how to contact the Club to let them know about this parts problem.

    Jay in Southeast Florida
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  10. #10
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    You can reference the Club at the link in the menu to the left, in the Z8 Club Info section of the forum menu, or by contacting J?rgen Wunderlich via PM on this board. Again, he may not be of help, but there is an effort to work with BMW Classic on out of production parts like this one to keep inventory or develop alternatives. So, documenting this part will could help others in the future.

    Also, if you're not already, consider joining the BMWCCA. It's $40 (from memory), but you get 10% off BMW parts. It takes a little bit of the sting out of the Z8 parts cost, and it adds up quickly! $500 for a latch is just silly. However, I'm not sure whoever you're dealing with isn't working you. If it's the part you describe, (fastener, center console cubby - 51168249010), realoem.com shows the part for $177.80. Now, realoem isn't always 100% accurate with prices increases and regional fluctuation, but $500 seems out of whack.
    http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...62&hg=51&fg=35

    As far as parts availability in general, anyone in the US should check with Dana Caldwell at Peter Pan BMW in Burlingame, CA. He actually inventories many Z8 specific parts that most other dealers will only order from Germany (probably not this one though). This is because he does more Z8 business than anyone else in the country (probably the world) - there's always at least one car in his shop/palace, if not more. Luckily, the bulk of the Z8 mechanicals are direct from other models (5 and 7). So, other than the interior, body panels, lights, etc. parts are usually easy to source.

    I just realized you sent me a message on this earlier, which I hadn't seen. Sorry for the delayed answer.
    thegunguy

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    I heard back from my dealer today after asking them to contact parts in Germany. The response, after waiting for the last 5 months, is that the company that makes the part is out of business. That was the full extent of their answer.

    Needless to say I will start pursuing a decent answer at this point. Warning to anyone awaiting a critical part. How would you feel if you got that answer and your car could not be driven???

    Jay in Southeast Florida
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    Eisenmann Mufflers
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  12. #12
    LLZ8
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    I thought BMW guaranteed parts for 50 years?

    Larry
    2001/Silver/Red-Black

  13. #13
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Jay, did you check with any other dealers? I'm still surprised that they quoted you $500 for a part that shows to be $180 list online. Something's not right there.

    I've run into many people at BMW parts counters that don't understand how to order parts for the Z8 as they often require accessing the European system. It may very well be that the sub-component maker of the latch is out of business, but due to the price discrepancy, I wouldn't put incompetence or outright disinterest by your dealer off the list just yet. I may be wrong, and they could be a great source. However, something's not making 100% sense.

    Yes, BMW stated 50 years as mentioned by Andrew earlier in the thread.
    thegunguy

  14. #14
    I'd just call Dana at Peter Pan before doing anything else - 650-204-7550
    Andrew Macpherson

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  15. #15
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Juergen Wunderlich's Avatar
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    I had a brief conversation with BMW AG in Munich and this part is expected to be delivered here in Germany the next two weeks. There was a problem with the manufacturer of this special part but now the problem should be solved. The price here in Germany is EUR 128 plus VAT.

    Best Regards,

    Jürgen

  16. #16
    Z8Mania
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    Very nicely done Jurgen.

  17. #17
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    I went back to my records and I did in fact order this part in September 2010. So it has been 5 months that I am waiting. It was only in contacting Jurgen at the BMW Club in Germany that information is being reported about this part. I contacted our BMW NA representative Bill Stuart (who is out until April) and one of his associates got back to me to ask for the part number. So I still have no official response from BMW about this part. This onging episode has to make us concerned over the availability of any part we might need.

    Jay in Southeast Florida
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    Dinan Performance Software

  18. #18
    And that is exactly what's why we should all be members of the club.
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  19. #19
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmosk View Post
    This onging episode has to make us concerned over the availability of any part we might need.
    I'm not sure I agree fully, but we also don't know the full history of your issue. As I've stated, I'm not sure the parts counter at your dealer really knows how to deal with special order EU part, especially since they're charging nearly three-times of what BMW lists for the cost of the part (confirmed by J?rgen). That alone suggest to me that they led you down a dead-end path. If Bill (or his assistant) and the Club are just now getting involved, it's a bit a a new chapter by getting the true experts involved. So, is availability really an issue here or did you just have a ignorant local dealer? We shall see.

    As Andrew notes, the Club is really our most valuable ally on these issues as things move forward - and their relationship with BMW Classic. While BMW stated they'd support the car for fifty years, there is the acceptable reality that comes in to play as there no realistic way to avoid changes in sub-component manufacturers or even maintaining inventory of parts on such a limited production car. This is exactly why BMW Classic exists - to support owners of out-of-production vehicles like they do on motorbikes and vintage classics dating back to the earliest days in BMW's history. From meeting the leadership at BMW Classic on the Club trips in Europe, I can assure you that they are VERY serious about maintaining BMW lineage vehicles and working with their enthusiast owners. I have no doubt that we will start to experience a few issues here and there where a part is no longer in production or in inventory, and an alternative solution will be needed. This is where the Club and BMW Classic will need to work to develop these alternatives. As in the case with our neon lights passing their shelf-life, they have already begun looking into acceptable alternatives, including the possibility of an LED unit that would maintain the OE design. I see this pattern repeating in the future for other parts that need to be 'updated' while improving availability. Don't forget that some parts may no longer be produced as their materials or manufacturing processes are no longer viable for environmental considerations. A lot has changes in this area since 1999 when our cars went to production.

    The good news is that most mechanical parts for our cars come from other BMW models, and there is massive availability on these. For the Z8 specific parts, we may not have the immediacy of availability that our modern Internet-gratification society has come to expect, but I have every confidence in the Club and BMW Classic's abilities to keep our cars on the road for well BEYOND the fifty year mark.

    Regardless, I just think we should be cautious about concerns for parts availability, especially in a time with the values of cars like ours are in flux. To my knowledge, BMW has never violated their promise to support the car in even a single instance. In my case, they've gone above and beyond, with many out of warranty repairs or sharing the cost on issues. They have shown a tremendous love for our cars and the desire to keep us enthusiast owners happy. So, I'm perhaps a little more patient than some on issues like this (if there even is one), but I firmly believe that BMW will continue to favor the car that they, to this day, consider their modern flagship.

    FYI - Bill usually takes a few months off this time of year. After so many years of service, he's earned it! He's team are just as capable. So, I'm sure they'll be back with you soon.
    thegunguy

  20. #20
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    Yes Bill's team asked a few more questions today and said they will get back to me. To give you more insight into the interaction between the local dealer and BMW parts in Germany, here is a copy of an Email in which the parts department at the dealer explained what happened regarding this part. As I indicated, this is not a critical part so that fact this is going on for 5 months was not bothering me. But I wanted to alert all of us that something like this will probably happen again. So be forewarned.

    Here is the explaination from the dealer:

    The part was originally ordered September 27 on a rush order. At the time part was on backorder from US and Germany. Usually when a part is backorder from Germany usually its about 4 to 8 weeks before they have an idea. For this situation unfortunately there is no paper trail on checking the status because we used to just call on the phone and ask a live person how much longer. The good news is now they only answer email. We even went on the national locater to check the entire US to see if anybody had one in stock but where unsuccessful no BMW dealer had one available. I would have bought it from another dealer at no extra charge to the customer. There has been requests for an ETA once every month. And when BMW looked up the status of the order there was never a ETA date from the vendor on when it was going to be available. The next step is for BMWNA to contact AG to contact the vendor for an ETA on the part number. This follows under one of the mistakes that BMW had only one vender making the part for the console. Now us as a franchise dealer and not BMW they don?t tell us what is going on behind the scenes with vendors. BMW is the only one that know who the venders are and contacts are in Germany for reasons they don?t want us to go around them and buy the parts directly from there vendors. BMW never at anytime informed us that this vender was going through hard times. Every time we asked for a ETA BMW would say there is no information let me send a request and see what is going on with this part. Now unfortunately on Monday BMW informed us that "the supplier went bankrupt. BMW is working on an ETA. But can not confirm anything right now." these are there exact words. Now BMW never said they are not going to make the parts for a Z8 anymore. It is just a tragedy that they couldn?t do something to help the vender to stay in business until another vendor could be secured for making these parts. All this is what has been going on behind the scenes it just for right now our hands are tied until they get another vendor on board.


    Jay in Southeast Florida
    Z8 #436
    License Plate: MYBMW Z8
    Eisenmann Mufflers
    Dinan Performance Software

  21. #21
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Sounds like all the powers-that-be are working on this now. Good news.
    thegunguy

  22. #22
    Team Z8 jawz's Avatar
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    I had the same problem with my local dealer regarding a hard top headliner. They told me he couldn't find any reference to a hard top headliner in any of the parts books and he suspected they aren't available for some reason. I don't believe that. If I were in a pinch for it, I'd have asked Dana already. Next time I'm headed up to Dana's, I'll ask them to track it down.