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Thread: Domed Struts due to road hazards? Opinions

  1. #1
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    Domed Struts due to road hazards? Opinions

    Becasue of my concern over the need for the "performance package" that BMW is offering to improve the struts, I had my car inspected. I had noticed that my structs were domed which was an indication of the reported problem. In addition, my hood is slightly mis-aligned (I have a picture of it posted in the "Frame Forum"). BMW did a very thorough 3 hours inspection and sent me a report. It stated "... no frame damage, nosigns of impact and no cracked welds around the struct supports, however the structs are slightly domed upward ...". They blame this condition on the car "bottoming out". And this in turn caused the misalignment of the hood. Therefore, they consider this as a result of road hazards and not any defect inmaterial or workmanship. They also recommended that the structs be repaired.

    BMW states that in order to fix these problems I will need to ship the car to NJ or South Carolina to have the struct brought back to the original condition and to have the hood re-aligned. The BMW body shop is working up an estimate for this work.

    I live in Long Island, New York and Boynton Beach, Florida. The car is only on paved roads. Florida roads are nice and smooth. New York roads do have potholes from the change in seasons. But I can't beleive that it would be so easy to "bottom out" the car in a pothole - and only cause struct doming and no other damage to the car.

    I certainly do not know if the performance package installation would have prevented the struct doming and hood mis-alignment that I reported.

    Needless to say, I am livid over this entire situation. After spending over $180K for a car, putting on 23.4K miles, I can't beleive that a pothole was enough to damage the structs and mis-align the hood. And I think I would certainly remember hitting a pothole so hard that it would damage the structs and hood. I don't recall any pothole that would have been this bad. How could this car so easily "bottom out" and be damaged, with no other frame, suspension, alignment or cracks in the car?

    I would like to hear what my fellow board members think of this situation.

  2. #2
    If you are the original owner I would call Bill Stuart at 201 263 8210 immediatly and let him know the situation. BMW NA have been dealing with us on a case by case basis on this issue, but the problem certainly exists, and they have taken it upon themselves to ship other cars to NJ for repair at no cost to the owners, if you bought the car new.

    Good luck, and keep us posted.
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  3. #3
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    Frame Package

    JMOSK

    I am very sorry to hear of the damage to your car. My 2003 Z8 has just over 8K miles and was checked by BMW and showed no damage. I ordered the "kit" and after some problems I was able to get it in hand. I was going to let my local dealer install it after I had it powder-coated silver. The local dealer tried to sc--w me on installation at which time I contacted Bill Stuart. He was helpful and sent me to Shelly BMW in Buena Park, Ca. Shelly had installed this kit on other cars and installed mine in one day. I would strongly recommend the powder coating for the various parts of the kit. The kit looks as if it really belongs on the car and after studying the kit I am sure that it will increase the strength and rigidity of the front end.

    Bill Stuart was responsive and helpful, so give him a chance to help you. To anyone in the So Cal area, I would recommend Shelly BMW.

    Good luck

    Hap

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    Sport Button On - DSC Off FWK-Z8's Avatar
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    The "road hazard" explanation sounds fishy in that BOTH strut towers are domed. would argue that a car must be designed to handle a number of "road hazards" without damage.

    What are the conditions of your wheels an front struts? 45 series tires are not known for their ability to absorb road hazards withhout damaging the wheel they are mounted upon. An impact with something in the road is absorbed first by the tire and wheel and then the strut assmbly and fianlly by the upper strut mount. Damage form such an event should be seen in that order. It is very hard to believe you hit something with sufficient force to damage the structure of your Z8 and stil have pristine wheels and tires.

    to quote out friends at BMW:

    4: Due to low-profile tires, please note: wheels, tires and suspension parts are more susceptible to road hazard and consequential damages.

    You don't have a bent wheel lurking somewhere?

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    No Wheel Damage

    I am the original owner of the car. It has 23,400 miles on it. I am on my 2nd set of tires - Bridgestone S03's. The run flats were replaced as the tread worn down but had no damage. BMW examined the tires, wheels, hubs, etc. during their inspection and there was no evidence of a major impact that effected the tire, wheel then struct assembly as you noted.

    Quote Originally Posted by FWK-Z8 View Post
    The "road hazard" explanation sounds fishy in that BOTH strut towers are domed. would argue that a car must be designed to handle a number of "road hazards" without damage. This is why I am finding it hard to beleive that my normal highway driving caused BOTH of my structs to be domed out.
    -----------------------------------------------------


    What are the conditions of your wheels an front struts? 45 series tires are not known for their ability to absorb road hazards withhout damaging the wheel they are mounted upon. An impact with something in the road is absorbed first by the tire and wheel and then the strut assmbly and fianlly by the upper strut mount. Damage form such an event should be seen in that order. It is very hard to believe you hit something with sufficient force to damage the structure of your Z8 and stil have pristine wheels and tires.

    to quote out friends at BMW:

    4: Due to low-profile tires, please note: wheels, tires and suspension parts are more susceptible to road hazard and consequential damages.

    You don't have a bent wheel lurking somewhere?

  6. #6
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    I have doming too

    About 25,000mi so far. I've told this story before elsewhere on the site, but it seems in order..

    Once "the issue" was raised here on the board, I checked under the hood and found minor doming on both sides, about equal. I have no recollection of any real big road imperfections over the years, so I can only assume, it is a result of many minor jolts to the system. About a year ago, I had a Z8 friend visiting from Germany. We spent alot of time discussing the propossed fix and potential causes. We went and measured (roughly) the amount of doming on my car. Then, we went for a drive in the countryside. On our way home, we encountered a medium pothole on the drivers side at about 50 mph. A firm jolt, but not real disturbing. When we got home, we popped the hood and were able to "measure" noticably more doming on the drivers side. We were not driving fast, hard, or crazy. Average cruzing, on average American roads.

    As for the wheels, they seem to be built like TANKs, and pass all stress on to the suspension components. I would have rather had a bent wheel. Getting the fix soon.

    Glad your inspection went OK. No major damage.

    Ian

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    Re: I have doming too (Norcal) - THIS IS NOT A DESIGN PROBLEM

    SOMETHING IS VERY WRONG HERE from what you are saying. You are explaining the exact same situation as I am having. That the doming I am seeing is an accumulation of many little jolts that together have domed the structs. The fact that you hit a pothole and could immediately see additional doming in the structs seems to be pointing to a design flaw with the car. How can a top of the line, $140K+ car not be able to take simple potholes that are experienced in every city that goes through big seasonal weather changes. If all cars were built not to tolerate potholes, all owners would be up in arms. Becasue our numbers are small, should this problem be simply explained away as normal road hazard damage and to put the blame on how or where we drive our cars?

    I found it interesting that Norcal also found that BOTH structs started out equally deformed before he even hit the pothole which added to the doming on one struct. I see equal doming on both struts. If I hit a pothole so bad that BOTH structs would be equally damaged, that pothole would have to be wide enough to eat the entire front end of the car. But as BMW stated, this car has never been in a accident.

    This car has 23,400 miles of normal road driving and domed struts on both sides. This is sounding more and more like a problem with the design of the front suspension that I am being asked to repair at my cost and time and loss of use of a VERY EXPENSIVE car.

  8. #8
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    Yes..

    I do believe this is a design flaw. However, I do think (hope) the PP (fix) will solve the issue. There is a lot of detailed discussion elsewhere on this board from the past year or more.

    In a nutshell: (all paraphrased)

    ? Owners discovered doming
    ? Owners in the web community got very vocal w/BMW
    ? Lawsuits were threatened..etc...etc
    ? BMW countered "This is not a safety issue"
    ? "You guys are driving the car beyond normal usage"
    ? BMW engineered a solution
    ? BMW is makeing it available to us; downplays it's importance for "normal" driving
    ? The verdict is out, as to if it will solve all the doming/strut issues long term
    ? BMW is being very supportive, overall, to many Z8 owners

  9. #9
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Lupin's Avatar
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    performance package

    Quote Originally Posted by Norcal View Post
    I do believe this is a design flaw. However, I do think (hope) the PP (fix) will solve the issue. There is a lot of detailed discussion elsewhere on this board from the past year or more.

    In a nutshell: (all paraphrased)

    • Owners discovered doming
    • Owners in the web community got very vocal w/BMW
    • Lawsuits were threatened..etc...etc
    • BMW countered "This is not a safety issue"
    • "You guys are driving the car beyond normal usage"
    • BMW engineered a solution
    • BMW is makeing it available to us; downplays it's importance for "normal" driving
    • The verdict is out, as to if it will solve all the doming/strut issues long term
    • BMW is being very supportive, overall, to many Z8 owners
    I am hearing all kind of price on this package
    ranging from $1,800 to $5000
    I was talking to a BMW dealer and they told me that this can happen, like in any other car only if you drive aggressively in bad roads!! (this is of course their version)
    And they quote me $4,500 to install the package, but she told me "You don't need it unless....you drive in bad roads" etc etc...
    Anyway what is the cost of this package?
    Luigi

  10. #10
    The cost of the PP (fix) fully installed seems to be around $1800 regardless of whether you are in Texas or California - the dealer who quoted you $4,500 to do the install is an outright fraudster, and I would advise you never go there again for any reason under the sun. Please let us know which dealership it is, so all our members can avoid them too.

    I am very sad to hear about jmosk's car too, and I'm also concerned that it hasn't had any specific pothole hits. We have spent the year since discovering this issue assuming that it was only the sudden shock of the suspension bottoming that would cause the doming and top frame rail distortions to happen. Maybe we were wrong, and the shock towers and frame rails really can deform gradually though constant use?
    Andrew Macpherson

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

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    Suspension Bottoming

    With regard to the prior post from MacFly, BMW is making the claim that my struts are deformed due to suspension bottoming. Yet there is no other evidence around the car to confirm such bottoming? One would think that if such a serious event occurred, it would only be on one side of the car or the other not both. Or it both, then other damage would be found. I have had no experience of a Z8-eating pothole, but certainly many experiences of some that like to nibble at the car. But my Audi's and Toyota which cost a fraction of my Z8, have ridden the same roads for years. But BMW states that this is not a design problem but 'normal' road hazards. Well why doesn't a $150K+ car sustain 'normal' road damage?

  12. #12
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Lupin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by macfly View Post
    The cost of the PP (fix) fully installed seems to be around $1800 regardless of whether you are in Texas or California - the dealer who quoted you $4,500 to do the install is an outright fraudster, and I would advise you never go there again for any reason under the sun. Please let us know which dealership it is, so all our members can avoid them too.

    I am very sad to hear about jmosk's car too, and I'm also concerned that it hasn't had any specific pothole hits. We have spent the year since discovering this issue assuming that it was only the sudden shock of the suspension bottoming that would cause the doming and top frame rail distortions to happen. Maybe we were wrong, and the shock towers and frame rails really can deform gradually though constant use?
    I am sorry about jmosk' car
    The dealer name is Perillo of Chicago and that happened approximately a couple of months ago when I was shopping around.
    We were talking about this problem, but she didn't call it performance package.
    I can't remember what was the name she used several times, but it was the PP.
    So almost everybody has put in a PP ??
    Luigi

  13. #13
    I think that most of us have added the PP because it is a very small investment based on the consequence and cost of the damage it might prevent.

    I have also put on lighter wheels and non-run flat tires (MPS2). Doing this will greatly help reduce the unsprung weight, and thus lessen the potential impact of a bad pothole. Ted has gone one step further and put the softer Alpina suspension onto his car to further try to protect the frame.
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  14. #14
    Team Z8 RRZ8's Avatar
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    Andrew, did you put in the PP in both your Z8's ?

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    Sport Button On - DSC Off Lupin's Avatar
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    PPackage

    Quote Originally Posted by macfly View Post
    I think that most of us have added the PP because it is a very small investment based on the consequence and cost of the damage it might prevent.

    I have also put on lighter wheels and non-run flat tires (MPS2). Doing this will greatly help reduce the unsprung weight, and thus lessen the potential impact of a bad pothole. Ted has gone one step further and put the softer Alpina suspension onto his car to further try to protect the frame.
    Thanks Andrew
    I will look into that ASAP
    Luigi

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lupin View Post
    I am sorry about jmosk' car
    The dealer name is Perillo of Chicago and that happened approximately a couple of months ago when I was shopping around.
    We were talking about this problem, but she didn't call it performance package.
    I can't remember what was the name she used several times, but it was the PP.
    So almost everybody has put in a PP ??
    Luigi

    Frame Fix ?

  17. #17
    Andrew, did you put in the PP in both your Z8's ?
    I'm down to just one Z8 now - the SL500 and the Lotus have taken the other two spots in my motorized world.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  18. #18
    Team Z8 RRZ8's Avatar
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    A fully European car fleet I know that you are very happy with the Lotus, what about the SL ?

  19. #19
    I'm very happy with the SL, it is my daily driver, and I think that MB have done an awesome job with it. It isn't a sportscar at all, but it is a wonderful sporty two seat tourer, with a very small trunk! I find I only put the top down about once a month, when I have reason to drive out to the beach, or go somewhere pretty, but it is a better open car than closed, as with the top up it creaks and groans a lot over LA's rough roads.

    Other than that it is hard to fault it, but it is also hard to feel excited about it. I've had it a year, and I haven't taken a single picture of it, while with the Z8 everytime I take it out is with a camera, it is just so beautiful I'm always wanting to take it's picture.
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  20. #20
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    About the domed towers and hood misalignment

    After the Performance kit was installed all of my hood/fender gaps returned to a normal, near perfect alignment. If you remember the gap had closed to the point that it was rubbing at the corner of the fender and hood. Still waiting for the replacement hood insulation mat, but sleep better knowing the front end won't fall off if I hit another pot hole.

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    Repairing the domed struts

    It seems to me that if I go through the MAJOR effort of having the domed structs repaired on my Z8, that without installing the performance package the repair is going to be useless. What will prevent it from happening all over again? Given that I have never hit any Z8 eating potholes but many that nibbled at the car, post repair I will be nervous that the whole things will happen again.

  22. #22
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Lupin's Avatar
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    PPackage

    Quote Originally Posted by RRZ8 View Post
    Frame Fix ?
    No was something else (maybe frame package), I think I may have an email at home. As soon as I go back I 'll look for it.
    Luigi

  23. #23
    The Performance Package (kit) consists of a brace that runs between the shock towers as well as new steel strut bearings (as opposed to the O.E. aluminum ones) and steel strut tower plates. The sandwich effect of the new bearings and top plates significantly increases the support in this area. It will also correct very minimal mushrooming of the towers that may be present. We have had no problems bringing every car into proper alignment after installation of the kit. I have performed 10 installations of the performance kit. No matter how you drive or on what roads you drive I recommend the installation of the kit.

    It can be installed with existing Dinan camber plates.
    It cannot be installed in conjunction with Dinan cold air intake (not enough clearance for cross support)

    Once installed, the cross support does make minimal contact with the hood insulation, but if properly installed does not in any way inhibit smooth opening/closing of the hood.

    My pricing is as follows
    Parts $599.00
    Labor - $1275.00 (8.5 hours)
    Alignment - $210.00
    Total - $2084.00 + tax

    Contact me with any questions @ [email protected]

    Dana Caldwell
    Service & Parts Director
    Peter Pan BMW
    San Mateo,Ca

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    PP with Dinan S2 engine mods

    I had the PP installed on top of the Dinan S3 suspension components and the S2 engine mods (which has the carbon fiber intake boxes and larger diameter hoses). Rasmussen BMW in portland did the work. Although the fit is snug, and the hood does make slight contact with the strut brace (this seems to be the case Dinan or not), everything appears to be working fine. So, at least in my case, the PP CAN be installed with the Dinan intake boxes and hoses. What issue made you say that the PP cannot be installed with this setup?

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    JMOSK---your posts are like reliving the whole frame affair again for many of us. The strut towers/frame in the front is weakly designed IMHO and more susceptible to deformation than most cars, but BMW does not want to admit that for liability and cost reasons. But the PP should hopefully brace it up to meet or exceed a "normal" car's strength. You pay, you hassle yep yep yep. But you still have a Z8.

  26. #26
    Sport Button On - DSC Off jim's Avatar
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    Struts & PP, I'm in Boynton, call 544 4555, ask for Jim

    Hi, Did you take the car to Braman? I'm in Boynton Beach and will take a look at the car if you wish. I have a 2000 Z8 which I love, sorry to hear of your clutter.
    Jim


    Quote Originally Posted by jmosk View Post
    Becasue of my concern over the need for the "performance package" that BMW is offering to improve the struts, I had my car inspected. I had noticed that my structs were domed which was an indication of the reported problem. In addition, my hood is slightly mis-aligned (I have a picture of it posted in the "Frame Forum"). BMW did a very thorough 3 hours inspection and sent me a report. It stated "... no frame damage, nosigns of impact and no cracked welds around the struct supports, however the structs are slightly domed upward ...". They blame this condition on the car "bottoming out". And this in turn caused the misalignment of the hood. Therefore, they consider this as a result of road hazards and not any defect inmaterial or workmanship. They also recommended that the structs be repaired.

    BMW states that in order to fix these problems I will need to ship the car to NJ or South Carolina to have the struct brought back to the original condition and to have the hood re-aligned. The BMW body shop is working up an estimate for this work.

    I live in Long Island, New York and Boynton Beach, Florida. The car is only on paved roads. Florida roads are nice and smooth. New York roads do have potholes from the change in seasons. But I can't beleive that it would be so easy to "bottom out" the car in a pothole - and only cause struct doming and no other damage to the car.

    I certainly do not know if the performance package installation would have prevented the struct doming and hood mis-alignment that I reported.

    Needless to say, I am livid over this entire situation. After spending over $180K for a car, putting on 23.4K miles, I can't beleive that a pothole was enough to damage the structs and mis-align the hood. And I think I would certainly remember hitting a pothole so hard that it would damage the structs and hood. I don't recall any pothole that would have been this bad. How could this car so easily "bottom out" and be damaged, with no other frame, suspension, alignment or cracks in the car?

    I would like to hear what my fellow board members think of this situation.

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    My Wisconsin BMW dealer has no knowledge about any Z8 PP or fix............help!! I could have the fix in and ready for spring...................... I am still upset about frame problems and blaming roads. BMW should shape up, recall and put the fix in.

  28. #28
    Sport Button On - DSC Off FWK-Z8's Avatar
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    Come on, you're not really gong to drive a Z8 in Wisconsin before Spring anyways, are you?

  29. #29
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    Domed struts

    If indeed the damage is a result of normal road driving then I suggest BMW consults with Kia, Subaru, Ford etc. who have apparently licked the problem 30 years ago. The BMW response is a typical, arrogant, German auto makers response to our problems. They know it all and we're just the fools who drive them. I've seen it before with both BMW and Mercedes. They just don't build the kind of cars that got them where they're at.

    Islander

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by islander View Post
    If indeed the damage is a result of normal road driving then I suggest BMW consults with Kia, Subaru, Ford etc. who have apparently licked the problem 30 years ago. The BMW response is a typical, arrogant, German auto makers response to our problems. They know it all and we're just the fools who drive them. I've seen it before with both BMW and Mercedes. They just don't build the kind of cars that got them where they're at.

    Islander
    I do not agree, BMW has been investigating the problem, and has come with a solution. Germans in general are 'cautious' so they needed some time, but I do not feel that they have been arrogant. And we are all fools to drive the Z8 (?)
    I agree that BMW should watch out to keep building quality cars that got them where they are now (keep an eye on AUDI....).
    Result of normal driving ? BMW insists that they tested the Z8 intensely on the Nurburgring (including hitting curb stones on purpose...). I think it would be a nice discussion to see how our forummembers think about this.....

  31. #31
    BMW insists that they tested the Z8 intensely on the Nurburgring (including hitting curb stones on purpose...). I think it would be a nice discussion to see how our forummembers think about this.....
    While this is true, there were a number of pre-production test cars that did show some signs of the issue, including the blue/black one in the museum in Spartenberg, but those in the position of power decided it was because the test drivers were much, much harder on the cars than any owner would ever be, so they left it be assuming the issue would never appear in normal use.
    It is important to note that ALL the testing was done on Michelin Pilot Sport tires, which were to be the OEM tire until the very last moment when the Marketing Dept demanded the switch to run-flats. That one error aside I would tend to agree with the assesment of the engineering team at BMW AG, that using MPS tires there is almost no chance that any of these issues would have arisen. It is harsh to say that all of this comes down to the run-flats, but had they been a part of the testing program there would certainly have been far more doming evident in testing, and then BMW AG would have engineered in a solution before releasing the car.
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  32. #32
    Sport Button On - DSC Off FWK-Z8's Avatar
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    Arguably the run-falts have much stiffer sidewalls; however they may actually work to the advantage of absorbing shock that could lead to strut tower damage.

    If the tire were to enter into the equation, it would mean that you would have to transmit sufficient force to the suspension to cause damage without completely compressing the sidewall - in other words the sidewall would have to be stiffer than spring or suspension mounts - not likely. I suspect that damage occurs only after the tire sidewall is completely collapsed and allows wheel to surface contact (albeit through rubber-to-rubber contact). If this is true, the stiffer sidewalls of the run-flats will absorb more compressive force and provide more cushioning before there is wheel to surface contact through a collapsed sidewall.

    This said, I would think twice before putting larger diameter wheels on a Z8 with correpondingly shallower sidewalls.

    BTW Andrew, Spartanburg is a city, not a mountain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWK-Z8 View Post
    Come on, you're not really gong to drive a Z8 in Wisconsin before Spring anyways, are you?
    Well due to this global warming: winter here is spring so far "40"

  34. #34
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Dead horse - BEAT ME
    thegunguy

  35. #35

    Interesting thought, but ...

    Quote Originally Posted by FWK-Z8 View Post
    Arguably the run-falts have much stiffer sidewalls; however they may actually work to the advantage of absorbing shock that could lead to strut tower damage...

    ... I would think twice before putting larger diameter wheels on a Z8 with correpondingly shallower sidewalls.

    by that definition, the stiffer sidewall would deliver a softer ride, by absorbing more energy.

    I just took delivery on my Alpina fitted Z8 with full Alpina suspension, 30/35 series non-run-flat tires and 20" wheels. I can tell you that the ride is definitely less jarring (read less vertical acceleration and decceleration of my rear end). That same force that is getting transferred to me (via a seat cushion) is passing through the chassis and to the strut towers.

    In my investigation of trying to reduce the forces on the strut towers, I communicated with some owners who had fitted their cars with just the Alpina wheels and non-run-flats. Klaus told me how that resulted in a stiffer ride, driving him to go to the 19 inch M6 wheel for a better ride with the higher sidewall.

    In the past, Alpina Roadster owners had told me that their Alpinas had a better ride than Z8's that they had driven. Therefore, I came to the conclusion that the Alpina suspension somehow overcame the natural tendency of the stiffer ride with 20 inch wheels of the Alpina. I decided to convert to the full Alpina setup, as Alpina had initially designed, and have been rewarded with with a sofer ride and hopefully more protection of the strut towers.
    Last edited by Bend; January 12th 2007 at 13:41. Reason: clarification

  36. #36
    Indeed, the poor old horse long since expired!!

    FWK-Z8 in a sudden pothole or bridge-join impact the front suspension of our cars will bottom out, this happened twice to me twice in my first Z8. The runflats with the more rigid sidewalls absorb much less of this sudden impact, and transmit the force more directly to the shock. This is not just my experience, but also the word from the Fatherland. I have gone up to 20" rims, but I have also fitted the full Alpina suspension to my car to cope with the lower profile. I like my rims, but don't love them, so my search is still on for a better, lighter and more stylistically suited rim.
    Andrew Macpherson

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

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    What do I do post domed strut repair?

    Well as you know (I started this thread) I have the domed strut problem and a misaligned hood. Not due to an accidents but normal conditions you find on the roads in Florida and New York where I drive the car. Yes, that includes the normal bottoming out that MacFly mentions in the prior post from potholes and bridge joints.

    Now I don't know if the problem occurred when I had my run-flats on the car or my Brigestone S-03's (which I totally love compared to the run-flats - hugs the road very nicely).

    Any comments on the S-03's and the Z8 suspension? The sidewalls are very stiff on the S-03's and I wanted it this way so I would have the confidence of feeling the car hugging the road when turning at higher speeds. I was going to put Toyo Proxces on the car at one point but I heard that the sidewalls where so loose that you felt like you were losing the rear end on turns.

    So do you think my problem occurred when I had the run-flats on the car and that the strut problem may not occur with my S-03's?

    And how do people feel about the PPG being the resolution to the problem? I am going to have the domed struts fixed but am certainly concerned with what to do after they are repaired. Change the tires? Use the kit? Both?


  38. #38
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Both - take a browse through the Frame section. There are many posts on the installation of the PP and the use of non-RFTs.
    thegunguy

  39. #39
    Z8 Novice
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    I'm new to this site and am trying to get up to speed. Do I understand correctly:

    1. Anyone with a Z8 can anticipate aproblem with domed struts and/or misalignment?

    2. Parts are available from BMW to correct this problem before it occurs.

    3. The price of the parts is about $500

    4. The parts are not finish painted

    Is my summation correct, if I'm missing something please elaborate.

    Thanks,

    islander

  40. #40
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    1. Yes - although, I don't believe any Alpina has ever shown frame problems as described.
    2. Yes.
    3. Yes.
    4. Parts are finished - powder coated black. Some of us have chosen to have the parts repainted for personal aesthetic reasons. However, this is not necessary.

    We're all glad to help, and I don't intend to be cavalier. However, all of this and more has been discussed at length in the Frame forum. There are many posts there, but you many want to take an afternoon and read through the section. You will learn much on the progression of the issue and preventative measures.
    thegunguy

  41. #41
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Andrew,

    This brings up a thought - perhaps we should collectively develop a FAQ on the frame issues for new owners to quickly get up to speed.
    thegunguy

  42. #42
    Great idea, if you start it I'll make it a sticky over in the Frame Forum.
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  43. #43
    PS: I'll also move this thread over to the Frame Forum tomorrow as that is where it really belongs.
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  44. #44
    Sport Button On - DSC Off jim's Avatar
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    Doming issue causes

    Re: Dooming & Tire Sidewall stiffness, I think it is an optimization issue;
    Too little stiffness and the tyre collapses onto the rim and shock transmission occurs - too much stiffness and there is more transmission rather than absorbtion on hitting a pothole. I think they probably need to run tests with different profiles to optimize it – given the problem its probably better to have a slightly stiffer sidewall. Personally, on factory rims I'd opt for a softer sidewall and trash the run flats (weight). On a lightweight rim, I'd go for the stiffer sidewall.

    I don't know what the factory run flats weigh nor their impact pressure on the strut dome vs a lighter tire/wheel combo. Maybe BMW Hdqtrs can help or know that answer.

    It's also very important to recognize that it's one thing to measure vertical shock tests and an entirely different issue to measure, account and gauge lateral shock tests (for which their is no "absorber") such as, ehmmmm,,,, hitting curbs.

    Granted, the frame should sustain such minor taps, but Exotic cars are called Exotic for a reason as there is a trade off in cutting edge design, manufacture of quality, beauty and performance. They have to be treated with repect and care. I have had/do own many "hot" cars and the Z8 is at the top of the heap on workmanship, dependability, safety, agility, speed and beauty. I'd buy another one tomorrow at the right price, & no I don't work or have any affiliation w/BMW nor am I a vendor. I just don't think the car should be bad mouthed as a few have attempted to do, as it is, in fact, a beautiful specimen of a vanishing breed.

    Quote Originally Posted by jmosk View Post
    Becasue of my concern over the need for the "performance package" that BMW is offering to improve the struts, I had my car inspected. I had noticed that my structs were domed which was an indication of the reported problem. In addition, my hood is slightly mis-aligned (I have a picture of it posted in the "Frame Forum"). BMW did a very thorough 3 hours inspection and sent me a report. It stated "... no frame damage, nosigns of impact and no cracked welds around the struct supports, however the structs are slightly domed upward ...". They blame this condition on the car "bottoming out". And this in turn caused the misalignment of the hood. Therefore, they consider this as a result of road hazards and not any defect inmaterial or workmanship. They also recommended that the structs be repaired.

    BMW states that in order to fix these problems I will need to ship the car to NJ or South Carolina to have the struct brought back to the original condition and to have the hood re-aligned. The BMW body shop is working up an estimate for this work.

    I live in Long Island, New York and Boynton Beach, Florida. The car is only on paved roads. Florida roads are nice and smooth. New York roads do have potholes from the change in seasons. But I can't beleive that it would be so easy to "bottom out" the car in a pothole - and only cause struct doming and no other damage to the car.

    I certainly do not know if the performance package installation would have prevented the struct doming and hood mis-alignment that I reported.

    Needless to say, I am livid over this entire situation. After spending over $180K for a car, putting on 23.4K miles, I can't beleive that a pothole was enough to damage the structs and mis-align the hood. And I think I would certainly remember hitting a pothole so hard that it would damage the structs and hood. I don't recall any pothole that would have been this bad. How could this car so easily "bottom out" and be damaged, with no other frame, suspension, alignment or cracks in the car?

    I would like to hear what my fellow board members think of this situation.

  45. #45
    as it is, in fact, a beautiful specimen of a vanishing breed
    Amen to that, regardless of all the worries about all this detail IMHO this is the most beautiful car of the last twenty-five (or more) years, and I'm sticking with it thru thick and thin - and that's what relationships are about, getting thru the tough bits.
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  46. #46
    Freedom Ouray's Avatar
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    My Alpina was the 2nd BMW that I have purchased, the first having been a 740iL just after the announcement on the new 745Li body style. I have always thought the 740iL was a classic body style and the new design of the 745 closed the deal for me. When it was time for another daily driver I could not see purchasing the 750 body style so I test drove an Audi A8L. All things considered, style, handling, rear wheel vs. all wheel, etc. the A8L won hands down. I agree that BMW needs to keep an eye on Audi, they are making tremendous in roads. In the NJ area I see far more A8L's on the road today then 750's.