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Thread: Inspection Complete.

  1. #1
    Z8 Addict Z8doc's Avatar
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    Cool Inspection Complete.

    My Z8 was inspected today at my local dealer/service center. Bill Stuart, arranged this and coordinated it with me, my service center manager, my service advisor and two field service representatives (one senior, one in training). My Z8 has 39,108 miles and I am the original owner.

    The inspection process took about 2 1/2 hours. As has been posted previously, the senior advisor had a check list provided by BMW. The field service rep. was professional, courteous and helpful in explaining what he was looking for. He went through the process step by step and answered all of the questions related to my car completely. This service rep. told me my Z8 was the 7th Z8 he personally inspected and only one car he has seen has had "damage". After inspection, he gave my car and it's frame a clean bill of health.

    Although I was not allowed to have a copy of the inspection documents, I did receive a copy of the pre and post alignment documents from my service manager for my records.

    An overview (as near as I can recall the details) of the inspection are as follows:

    1] Placed Z8 on the 4 wheel alignment machine (Hunter).
    2] Noted all 4 tire pressures, wrote them down, then evened the tire pressure as needed.
    3] Noted all 4 tire types (i.e., OEM runflats, SO3s, PS2s, etc.)
    4] Noted all 4 wheel types and if OEM, manufacture date (i.e., OEM, Alpina, other)
    Manufacture date of wheel can be found stamped on inside of wheel - side facing brake rotor).
    5] Noted any modifications to suspension components, Noted brand of modifications and install date. Noted if "approved" modifications or not (i.e., Dinan is approved, K&W Shocks are not).
    6] Inspect undercarriage for signs of damage, scrapes, dents, or signs of abuse (such as bottoming out on a pothole or other road hazard).
    7] Check Alignment. Noted within or out of specifications. IF Dinan modified, Noted if IN or OUT of Dinan Specs with regard to Camber, Caster, Toe, for both front and back. Noted, thrust angle and with in or out of BMW spec. KEY POINT HERE: IF FRAME DAMAGED - THERE SHOULD BE NOTICIBLE AND POSSIBLY UNCORRECTABLE ISSUES FOUND HERE. IF out of spec, alignement performed at BMWs expense to see if the car can be brought to within BMW or Dinan Specifications. Copy given to Field service Rep. with before and after settings (and a copy to me too.)
    8] Rear shock towers and welds inspected from underneath. Looked for cracks in welds around rear shock attachement points. Can be visualized from underneath without removing rear wheels. Documented with photos visual appearance.
    9] Removed front wheels and inside front wheel well covers. Inspected front chassis from underneath of shock towers. Looked for cracks, deformations or bends in chassis and welds spots and shock towers. Documented with photos visual appearance.
    10] Documented VIN, Build date, etc from manufacture plate on left drive door sill.
    11] Documented / photo odometer reading.
    12] Documented / photo hood, front fender clearance / gaps.
    13] Drove Z8 around the block and documented steering wheel shimmy or other abnormalities IF any (after being aligned) such as drifting to one direction or another, etc.
    14] Full copy of all Service records on my Z8 given to by Service Center to Field Service Rep.
    15] Open discussion with Field Service Rep about all findings.

    I can tell you I was skeptical about this process but after going through it, I am glad I did. The Field Service Rep was open and informative about the process and even stated, "Here is what I am doing, I am not trying to hide anything". My service manager tried to hold the Field Service reps feet to the fire regard the "performance kit" with regard to a release date and more data on what it entails, etc. but the Rep just did not have or was unwilling to give out that information at this time ( he said late summer it should be available ). He did say he thought that the kit was something that should be able to be installed by a dealer and did not require special mechanics like Oxnard to do the work.

    It appears to me this inspection process is the only way BMW could remotely identify the extent of the problem (assuming they did not know about the issue during production). Once they determine that, then they will move on to how this "performance kit" will be handled (i.e., how much and who pays for it and who will get it). The field service rep. did not come right out an say it but inferred that if a car has visible signs of damage from hitting something, then that is not BMWs fault, and should be referred to the appropriate insurance -- nothing new here but consistency with what others have said.

    Now..... I am just waiting for the official response from Bill Stuart and the performance upgrade.
    Last edited by Z8doc; July 26th 2006 at 05:50. Reason: spelling
    Best Regards,

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

  2. #2

    Thanks for the inspection review...

    and taking the time to be as thurough with your questions as you were. I am glad to hear that they are inspecting the rear of the cars too, I hadn't heard that before.

    Please do keep us posted on BS's response.
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  3. #3
    Sport Button On - DSC Off jim's Avatar
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    Stress transfer

    Open Question, ie: Car hits significant pot hole at speed. Wheel drops and pops back up causing dome to stretch/bulge.
    I'm interested as to the "how" in BMW's new design and "where" the "stress transfer" could/will relocate itself, if at all. Seems that if they reinforce the dome and the car hits a pothole will the alloy cone "take" the upward stress (twist?) with a steel dome over it.
    When an engineer redesigns a particular part to be stronger, there is likely to be a location in original design that then becomes the "new" weak spot. Does anyone know exactly what the new fix is? If BMW is charging it's "Flagship owners" $5,000 to make our cars "drivable" then the fix should be bullet proof.
    As an aside, I would not think it advisible for anyone to install a "stiffer" shock currently as this would only create more stress to the towers.
    js

  4. #4
    Z8 Addict Z8doc's Avatar
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    For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

    So your concerns and questions are valid. However, there is just NO official information released about the fix so what it entails is unknown just as what affect or effect it will have or cause.

    I got the distinct impression from the FSR, that should the scenario occur that you describe, "hitting a pothole at speed" and you actually damage your car or shock tower, BMW is likely to reject any notion that it is due to a fault of design and is and should be handled via insurance channels. Road hazards and any damage caused by hitting such have traditionally been handled via insurance. The scenario I have concerns about is that your shock towers deform from "normal driving" on typical US highways (without hitting a pothole at speed causing the strut to bottom out). Certainly if that occurs, then that would clearly represent a defect in design or materials.

    At this point, I am just waiting to see what the upgrade consists of in both material design and installation and analyze how or if it is actually going to prevent anything (i.e., deformation). Then, I will worry about who is going to pay for it if it seems to be a sound product and not something that was "rushed into production" to passify a potential legal situation.

    I too am waiting for the "official" report from BS at BMW and will report when I hear.
    Best Regards,

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

  5. #5
    Z8 Guru 2112's Avatar
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    Any mention of modified cars come up? Specifically; will modification prevent one from getting the upgrade?

  6. #6
    Z8 Addict Z8doc's Avatar
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    No... the FSR was careful to not make any statements

    that were definite with regard to the upgrade. He was careful too about the "approved" modifications as mentioned above but did not venture into any speculation on whether modifications would or would not preclude getting the upgrade as that is literally a different issue than why he was there. He was there for one purpose only, to inspect the car and determine whether or not there was or is any frame damage.

    The issue of the performance kit is a separate one and he did not engage in any speculation about it or who would get it -- I really do not think he really knows to be honest.
    Best Regards,

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

  7. #7
    Z8 Guru 2112's Avatar
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    Thanks;

    I have aftermarket wheels/tires brakes and springs that are not part of the S2 package. I just hope I will still be able to get the upgrade.

    I swapped the wheels and tires out with less than 800 miles on the car. I also have little if really any visable doming. Wonder if there is a connection? I have hit a couple of potholes, we have tons of them up here. In fact our Cooper S has a domed shock tower due to hitting a pothole. It has stock wheels and runflats.

  8. #8
    Z8 Addict Z8doc's Avatar
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    You know....

    there is definitely something to be said for changing out the wheels and tires and arguably, may help prevent shock tower distortion. The OEM wheels on the Z8 weigh nearly 34 pounds each. That mass combined with the OEM run flats and their exceptionally stiff side walls, could be part of the problem with the shock towers deforming. From a physics perspective, the mass of the wheel tire combination will definitely affect how much force is transmitted to the shock tower support at speed, especially, if the shock tower bottoms out when a pot hole or other object is hit.

    Me..., I have Bridgestone SO3s with OEM wheels, and for the past 8k miles, the Dinan Stage 3 suspension, including caster plates and I have no damage over 39K miles. Question are, did the switch to regular performance tire from the run flats make the difference, did the Dinan caster plates act as a preventative measure, or am I just lucky to not have damage or, in fairness, does my frame not have a defect and therefore I have nothing to worry about (BMWs position)?

    For now, I will continue to drive my car the way I have over the past 39K miles and I will continue to enjoy it. IF it breaks, I will deal with that when it happens but I still am interested in the performance kit IF it will actually help to prevent shock tower distortions in the future so I am anxious to hear more about that and hopefully soon.
    Best Regards,

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

  9. #9
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    inspection

    I had my Z8 inspected by BMW and only received a letter that the car was excellent and that the wheels were balanced... that is all! My BMW dealer knows nothing about the fix or upgrade. I am also waiting for the fix, but driving the z8.

  10. #10

    it is interesting to note....

    I have been denied access to view my car's inspection by Bill Stewart, who has also been saying some pretty 'dark' things about me to other owners here!

    BMW are looking more and more like the cigarette company in 'Thank You For Smoking'. It is a great film about the absolute lack of honor in the corporate world, and it is fun to note the role of the Alcohol Industry rep in the film too.
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  11. #11
    Z8 Guru 2112's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by melny View Post
    I had my Z8 inspected by BMW and only received a letter that the car was excellent and that the wheels were balanced... that is all! My BMW dealer knows nothing about the fix or upgrade. I am also waiting for the fix, but driving the z8.

    Boy, I have to wonder if this is heading towards "no fix is needed"??

  12. #12
    Z8 Addict Z8doc's Avatar
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    As stated above, I WAS allowed to view the inspection.

    Since there is precident set with the owner being able to watch the inspection process and talk to the FSR afterward, I see no reason why you should be denied access.

    I would schedule the appointment for the inspection with who you bought your Z8 from (Crevier, I believe it was) and on that day, tag along. I can say that the FSR wants to get through the inspection so I just stood back and watched and asked a few questions when there was a lag in the process and asked him to inform me on what he was looking for.

    I insisted with my dealer and with Bill Stuart that I be present as I wanted to "see what the FSR sees", so that we can talk from the same vantage and view point. Like I said, Jaws, Myself and others have been present for the inspections and this sets a precident -- therefore, there is no way they can or should deny you access. Crevier should should not have issue with you being present, especially if they would ever hope to have you consider buying another BMW from them in the future.

    After speaking with Bill, I have no reason to doubt that the upgrade will be released once it is in final form -- estimated, September. However, I am speculating that BMW may be waiting to release the upgrade until they have all of the inspections completed and have compiled their data. From that, they will most likely begin the process of getting the upgrade in the same order they got the vehicles inspected -- this is pure conjecture and speculation but sort of sounds like a reasonable plan.

    My advise, proceed and get your vehicles inspected ASAP so we all can get through this.
    Best Regards,

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

  13. #13

    I fully agree.....

    My advise, proceed and get your vehicles inspected ASAP so we all can get through this.
    I just want BMW NA to extend me the same courtesy that they did you, and allow me to be present, Mr Stuart?
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  14. #14
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z8doc View Post
    ...getting the upgrade in the same order they got the vehicles inspected...
    If the Performance Package is NOT a "fix" why would the order of inspections or even having an inspection matter?
    thegunguy

  15. #15
    Team Z8 dwz8's Avatar
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    Interesting. Seems like there is some kind of systematic inspection happening in the US now.
    I am not aware that BMW has talked to any owner here in Germany other than those who complained directly to BMW.
    Best regards, Dieter

    ....

  16. #16
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Z8-NL's Avatar
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    Dieter,

    same experience here although my dealer has been harrassed by several Z8 owners re the package they also try to check allignment and look at the towers. Obviously test not as comprehensive as in US.
    It is because we Eurpopeans are too nice and they do not fear any real action from any of us.
    Let's see what the "fix" will bring and WHEN it will be brought. Probably after our Z8 Club meeting in Germany (also at the "ring"). Looking forward to that with or without "fix"

    Z8-NL

  17. #17

    Mr. Stuart's response

    -----Original Message-----
    From: andrew macpherson
    Sent: Saturday, August 19, 2006 5:23 PM
    To: Stuart William, (C)
    Subject: Inspection follow up...

    Hi Bill,

    I do hope you had a lovely weekend, and are enjoying the summer in the
    north east.

    I had the chance to speak to several owners this weekend who you
    arranged inspections for, and also facilitated them being present during
    the inspection. All felt like you must have had a very specific reason
    to refuse me this.

    I would please request that you explain why I was denied this courtesy,
    one that you were happy to extend to other owners.

    Thanks as always.

    Regards, Andrew Macpherson.

    ----------------------------------

    Good morning:

    Our inspection procedure does not include or require the customers
    presence or participation as it slows the process down, and another
    reason is the possibility of a customer getting hurt in the dealers
    shop. Within days of the completed inspection, a letter with the
    results is sent to the customer.

    With reference to my email dated August 18th, we would like to perform
    this inspection, which may take 3-4 hours, in accordance with our
    procedure, to confirm the structural integrity of your car and await
    your advice.

    Regards, Bill


    -----------------------

    I find this shifting of goal posts interesting, and reflective of a questionable and certainly not honorable way of dealing with the clients who bought BMW's most expensive car. Anyway, below is my response...

    -----------------------

    Dear Bill,

    In accordance with your request that I not take my Mercedes Benz SL500 to the Meet In The Middle event which I arranged for the Z8 community, I took the precaution of adding Dinan caster plates and changing the wheels and tires to BBS rims that saved 58lbs over the stock. Both of these changes were made at considerable cost ($8,000+) to prevent the shock tower damage to the car on the drive, and honor your desire to have me there in a BMW, not a Mercedes Benz.

    Since my car is not in standard or 'as delivered' trim to conform to your desire for it to attend the MITM event I absolutely insist on being present at an inspection.

    I certainly appreciate BMW NA's kindness in buying us lunch on the Sunday at MITM, and I was very happy to have been able to make these upgrades to stabilize the weakness in the frame, even though it was at considerable cost, so I could attend the event in my Z8. However at this point I am not prepared to take my car for an inspection when you now refuse me a courtesy you freely extended to other owners.

    Warmest regards.......Andrew Macpherson.
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  18. #18
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Frankly, I'm very surprised that some were allowed back during the inspection anyway. I would approach this as a case of "beg for forgiveness rather than ask for permission". In the current full legal defense mode, of course BMW is going to quote insurance restrictions, etc. as reasons to keep you out of their shop. Since, the dealer has a bit of autonomy and is "out of sight", you may be able to accomplish this through an existing relationship with the SA or other staff at the dealer.

    Call me a skeptic, but I'm still hesitant to get the inspection until I see a consistent direction and level of performance from BMW.
    thegunguy

  19. #19
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    Unhappy One of the worst experiences

    I am just getting arounnd to documenting my experience with the "inspection". As I stated before, it took them a week to get around to it and when they finished, the letter from Bill had the wrong mileage on it (the mileage was from the next oil service). That was not so bad. When I drove home, the steering wheel had an odd puling sensation. I called the dealer and told them I would bring it back in a couple weeks as I was travelling out of town. On my way back to the dealer a stranger yelled at me from another lane that my left front wheel was about to come off. That explains the odd pulling sensation. Needless to say I was a little irate when I returned it to the dealer. When I demanded they do the alignment again and check the lug holes for ovaling they gave me a relatively dumb look. If your dealer is anything like my ex-dealer... I suggest you insist on watching them, if only to protect your investment.

  20. #20
    Freedom Ouray's Avatar
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    This is the first time that I have posted a message. I was also told that I could not have access to the results of the exam. The only communication that I received was that the car was ok. On a different note, I purchased my vehicle this year and I have to say that this web site was a driving factor for me as I have never seen such a professional web site, and extreme enthusiasm by car owners, for any other vehicle. Andrew, you have done a wonderful job and service for both the owners and BMW. I believe that this web site has enhanced the long term value and reputation of the Z8. Now, if only BMW would do their part...

  21. #21

    It looks like delivery could be as early as mid Oct

    The word from Germany is that production of the parts is well underway, with delivery in Germany expected within 4 weeks, and in the USA as soon as two weeks after that, meaning prehaps mid-late Oct.

    Mr. Blabst at BMW AG in Munich reconfirmed that Ms Englert is the head person dealing with this issue for NA. I have put several calls into her, but as yet no response.

    I hope that BMW will release to us some design diagrams and images of the parts soon, so we can better understand exactly what the fix/upgrade will be.
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  22. #22
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Some pics would be nice, but...

    ...I'd much rather have details on the installation - how, where, who.
    thegunguy