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Thread: Any ALPINAs have damage?

  1. #1
    Z8 Addict Z8doc's Avatar
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    Question Any ALPINAs have damage?

    Now that BMW has released this suspension kit and it DOES NOT fit the Alpina, question is - why?

    Is it because the Alpinas have sustained no damage or... may not be prone to it? Since both models use the same chassis, the culprit for the damage I suspect will be the run-flat tires as the Alpina version did not come with run flats. I have heard that run flat tires were a late in the design stage decision for the Z8 and more than likely, they did not really assess the stresses that would be transmitted by the run-flat tires (which I have also heard transmit approximately 5 times as much "shock" to the same shock tower). IF this turns out to be true, dumping of the run flats will and should be a necessary part of the upgrade, IMHO. Which then of course opens the question, should BMW pay for your non-run flat tires too?

    Curious if there is a huge difference between those Z8 owners that have damage and those of us that switched to the non-run flats early on and do not have damage.

    Also curious if Alpina is going to make their own version of a performance upgrade AND whether or not it will fit our Z8 and what it wil be made of.
    Best Regards,

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

  2. #2

    As far as I know there are no damaged Alpinas.

    The softer suspension, lighter wheels without runflats and lighter motor have all combined to help 'save' the Alpinas. I have been told that none of the Alpinas inspected has the doming or the bent front frame rails, but despite that Alpina themselves are indeed working on a similar upgrade for their cars as the Z8 one won't fit.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  3. #3
    Team Z8 dwz8's Avatar
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    The main difference is the engine, the strut brace is designed such that its position is very close to the engine. The Alpina engine looks different in that area, so that the brace doesn't have enough room there.
    Best regards, Dieter

    ....

  4. #4
    Team Z8 jawz's Avatar
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    Here is the Alpina dilemna. It is totally different underhood.

    The first pic is a general view of the engine bay.

    The second pic is a view from the front at approximately the height of the engine cover. Note that the cover rides very high in comparison with the top of the strut towers.

    The third pic is basically at top of fender looking across engine bay from strut tower to strut tower.

    The last 2 pics show more detail of the area where the new strut mounts on a normal Z8. Note the severe lack of space in front of the engine where the new strut is placed.

    Due to the small number of Alpinas, I would be surprised if BMW followed up with a strut design for these cars. I would however encourage them to do so. IMHO BMW should recognize the possibility of similar damage, by making a goodwill gesture by, at a minimum, installing the tower plates or installing the Dinan castor plates on all Alpinas. I still believe this should be done on BMW's nickel - JMHO.
     

  5. #5

    Another look at the Alpina stress

    Z8Doc makes some logical points (about the lighter Alpina wheels and not having run-flat tires) to support how the Alpina is protected.
    But the Alpina tire side wall is about an inch thinner so there is less tire to take the "hits". That decrease in side wall may negate the non-run flat advantage.
    I did hear that the Alpina's have softer springs that the Z8's.
    Does anyone know how the weight of the 20" and wider Alpina wheel compares to the 18" of the Z8?

  6. #6
    DSC Off bummsbass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Bender View Post
    Does anyone know how the weight of the 20" and wider Alpina wheel compares to the 18" of the Z8?
    The 20" Alpina wheel about 2 kg less compared to the 18" OEM wheel. The 19" Alpina again 2 kg less compared to the 20" Alpina.

    So far there is no frame damage known at the Alpina Z8.

    BTW: my performance kit was installed yesterday. I am still waiting for a solid proof that there is a frame damage caused not by an accident or similar. I do not know anyone so far.

  7. #7

    That depends on your definition of accident or similar!

    I know of over a dozen cars that suffered the damage while being driven by their owners, and hitting a pothole.

    There was even a case of two Z8 drivers here in California being in the car when it hit a pothole. One was from Germany, one a local CA owner. They inspected the towers, which were fine, and then went for a little drive. The Californian let the owner from Germany take the wheel for a stretch, and lo and behold there was a pothole waiting for him just a few miles down the road around a blind turn. With two owners on board the car ran over the pothole, and suffered over 3mm of doming. One pothole, two owners, clear fact - these cars bend in normal driving.

    Now, would BMW's legal team call that an accident? Certainly said pothole wasn't a planned part of the road's construction, it appearance was accidental, the result of weather, an act of God, or even Gremlin terrorism, so you could call the very existence of the pothole accidental, but as far as I'm concerned a pothole is a normal and everyday fact of life on the American roads we drive, and the Z8 isn't able to take them.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  8. #8
    Freedom Ouray's Avatar
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    Just because there have been no known...

    problems with the Alpina's to date it does not mean that a lighter engine and tire combination with softer side walls is a guarantee that they will not have a problem. Personally I am happy to hear that Alpina is working on a design fix, and would think that BMW would also being doing the same thing since they sold the cars through thier dealerships. On another point, the Alpina vehicles would have to be some of the youngest cars on the road do to thier production occuring at the end of the run. While that does not automatically indicate that they have been driven less then the average Z8 I would have to believe that is the case. If so, maybe we just haven't had the misfortune of an Alpina owner hitting that unforseen pothole as of yet.

  9. #9
    Team Z8 jawz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Bender View Post
    I did hear that the Alpina's have softer springs that the Z8's.
    The Alpina does have a softer suspension to compensate for the low profile tires, but exactly which components are softer or exactly where the "softness" resides in the suspension is still unknown to me.

  10. #10
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Z8-NL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bummsbass View Post
    The 20" Alpina wheel about 2 kg less compared to the 18" OEM wheel. The 19" Alpina again 2 kg less compared to the 20" Alpina.

    So far there is no frame damage known at the Alpina Z8.

    BTW: my performance kit was installed yesterday. I am still waiting for a solid proof that there is a frame damage caused not by an accident or similar. I do not know anyone so far.
    and I can tell you that the M6 wheels are 1.7 kg less then the ALPINA wheels but with more comfort due to 19" size and thus higher tire walls

  11. #11
    Freedom Ouray's Avatar
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    According to BMW, Alpina's will not be getting a PP

    Bill Stuart emailed me today with a brief message that BMW is not going to be releasing a Performance Package for the Alpina vehicles. Very disappointing.

  12. #12

    I would check with Alpina in Germany...

    it is my understanding that they are working on some form of PP themselves for release early next year. Even without a brace I would be tempted to install the 'dome-tops'. Alternatively Alpina owners could club together and commision a fix of their own. Cartridge would be the logical choice, they make the most exquisite stuff, and the owner is an Alpina owner.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  13. #13
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    Frame Forum

    I am leaving for Germany after Thanksgiving and plan to visit Alpina on Dec. 4th or 5th. Perhaps I'll get some news about a PP for our cars. As a long time BMW owner I am disappointed. 83-733, 87-635, 88-735, 99-740, 01-X5, 03 Alpina, my daughter is on her third 5 series.

    John Thurau The CE

  14. #14
    Update on Alpina damage - the Z8 Club in Germany has made me aware that they have two Alpinas that have sustained shock tower damage. At this point I do not have any further information as to the exact cause of the damage on these two cars, but I will keep everyone posted as and when I hear more.

    The Alpina PP is still on schedule for release later this spring, so I would suggest that Alpina owners add it at the earliest opportunity. I have found it to add a wonderful peace of mind that has made my car more enjoyable than ever.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  15. #15
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    I just bought a 2003 Alpina and was wondering if I should have the performance package for the Alpina installed. Does anyone has thoughts on this. Also, is it covered by the Certified PreOwned Warranty. Dride

  16. #16
    I would certainly suggest fitting the PP into your car because in the unforseen event of you having to swerve to miss an accident and hitting the curb, or coming across a very bad pothole at high speed it will do a great deal to prevent you sustaining any frame damage.

    Depending on which area of CA you are in there are a couple of trusted dealers we as an owner group have good experience and great faith in, Dana Caldwell @ Peter Pan BMW in the Bay Area - 650-294-2123, and Century West BMW in the LA area.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  17. #17
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    Thanks

    Thank you. I talked to Fred at Century West and he advised to do the installation and the total cost is $3500. Is this about right? I also had a conversation with George at Bimmers Clinic in the Valley who seems like a very knowledgeable and nice guy. I like small business owners especially in this economy. Any thoughts?

  18. #18
    I really like George, he is the guy I take my cars to, but if you need factory backed work done it makes sense to use the the guys at Century West. I haven't taken my cars there, but Havenhurstkid uses them for certain things like PP installation, dash and windscreen replacement etc., and he is an absolute perfectionist so getting his seal of approval is a very high rating in anyone's book - he works in the car biz, and really knows his stuff, so I tend to follow his lead on these things. (He also uses George for all his regular care & maintenance).
    Andrew Macpherson

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  19. #19
    Freedom Ouray's Avatar
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    I have an Alpina and had the package installed because I viewed it as a small "insurance" cost vs. the cost of damage. As for price that quote is roughly 2x what I paid the local BMW dealer to purchase and have it installed in NJ about 2 years ago.

  20. #20
    Z8 Addict Scott Pettit's Avatar
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    I agree with Ouray. Dana at Peter Pan quoted me about 1800.00.
    Scott Pettit
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  21. #21
    I think somewhere in the $2000 range is the right price for the PP & installation, $3500 is pretty high.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  22. #22
    Z8 Addict Scott Pettit's Avatar
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    On top of what I posted before, I get a 20% discount at Valley BMW in Modesto so I bought the PP there and then called Dana in San Mateo to install it. Now, I just need to schedule it. Maybe June will be my magic month.

    Scott
    Scott Pettit
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