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Thread: Dinan 461 BHP upgrade & frame alteration issues.

  1. #1

    Post Dinan 461 BHP upgrade & frame alteration issues.

    This is the full Dinan upgrade for the Z8:

    - High Flow Air Flow Meters and Carbon Fiber Air Box Covers. Air Flow Meter ID is increased by 7.4 mm for a 21% increase in volume. Cost: $3499. Labor: app. 1.5 hours.

    - Equal length, 4:2:1, anti-reversion stainless steel headers, ceramic coated. Cost $7999. Labor: app. 8 hours.

    - Oversized Throttle Bodies and Velocity Stacks. Cost: $4999. Labor: app. 6 hours.

    - Stage 5 Engine Software. For use with complete upgrade package. Cost $799. Labor: app. 1/2 hour.

    - Lightened Flywheel. 7 lbs. lighter than stock: 40% less rotating mass. Cost: $1995. Labor: app. 9 hours.

    The complete parts cost is $19,291. Labor rates may vary, expect around $2500 for the complete install. If you have already had your ECU upgraded by Dinan, they will only charge you the difference to upgrade to Stage 5.

    Maximum horsepower on the Z8 with full engine upgrades installed was dynoed at 461 hp at 7000 rpm. The stock engine on the same dyno produced a maximum of 394 hp at 6500 rpm. Maximum torque from the upgraded engine was dynoed at 415 lbs/ft at 5000 rpm. The maximum for the stock engine was 371 lbs/ft at 4500 rpm. From 5000 rpm up, the horsepower gain over stock is at least 50 with a maximum of 70 at 7000 rpm. The torque gain at 2000 rpm is 63 lbs.ft and is still 53 lbs/ft at 7000 rpm.

    Dinan believes the reason the Z8 engine produces slightly less horsepower than the M5 modified engine is due to the new exhaust system Dinan installs on the M5s but not on the Z8. So, the Dinan upgrade provides about 65 more maximum horsepower than stock and 44 lbs/ft more maximum torque. The gains occur across the rpm range and are not just a bump in the curve. The torque curve, in particular, is really flat, with an average of 400 lbs/ft of torque available from 2000 rpm through 5500 rpm.

    They also offer adjustable sway bars,
    - 27mm front anti-roll bar for $429
    - 14mm rear anti-sway bar for $299.
    Labor for front is app. 1/2 hour and 1 hour for rear.

    These bars are the same diameter as stock but are adjustable, which will allow you to eliminate pretension when the suspension has been lowered or to shift chassis loading for track purposes.

    Dinan is also ready to offer their lightweight wheels for the Z8 (same ones used on the M5). They are 18x9 for the front and 18x9.5 for the rear. They do require spacers to fit on the Z8. Dinan suggests running 275/35-18 tires on the front and 285/35-18 tires on the rear. The wheels run $999 each. Spacers are $299 for a pair.

    This info on the Dinan upgrade supplied by Grease Monkey
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  2. #2
    dclare
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    Siliconvalleyman,
    I am getting the S2 package and they expect it to cost 20k installed. I am not doing the wheels and flywheel from Dinan. I am still researching rims and rubber. They told me it should take a week to get it done, we'll see. I'll keep you posted after completion. Be fast, be safe

    David

    2002 Black/crema


    Historical note added 12.05. It was David's car that was first found to have the altered frame rail while it was at BMW's Aluminum Repair Center for a fender bender.

  3. #3
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    Cool I signed up for the S2 for next week....

    Well, I called Dinan today and took the plunge for a full S2 package. The car goes in next monday for 1-2 weeks. I will see you all on the other side with a 460HP car!!!

    Now comes the hard part.....Honey - oh Honey dear....guess what I decided to do to my car? You know, the one that I swore would satisfy me forever..? !!! I guess I will need to be extra good for a year or so!

  4. #4
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    Talking Got my Dinan Z8!!

    Got the car this AM! My first impressions are quite limited but here they are:

    Engine:
    No doubt about it: the car definitely has significantly more power! The throttle is quicker and more responsive and as you step on the gas, there is a distinctively lower and somewhat louder rumble that I really like. This tone change I was told is due to the headers (no muffler changes in the S2). The acceleration is so quick that you really have to look at the revs to make sure that you do not redline - it comes by that fast. First impressions: wow! this car is a rocket and a real keeper!!!!

    Since I spent the day in commute traffic with the occasional acceleration and handling test, I will have more to say later about the engine.

    I do know that I will have to make darn sure I do not slip the clutch while applying power - I suspect that many burnt clutches will be my reward if I do not drive this car like a race car.

    Handling:
    The car is only about 1/2" lower, not the full inch I expected. The car does have a much tighter feel to it when a quick steering input change is made. This is due to the sway bars keeping roll to a minimum, estimated by Dinan to be only 30% of the stock amount. The spring and slight toe-in makes for super tight lane changes....

    Having raced formula cars, I am experienced with a race car feel and this is a very nice compromise between getting max handling performance and streetable good manner (no tracking, excessive stiffness, etc.).

    I have added a picture of the mats inside and the engine bay. The only thing showing the upgrade in the engine bay is the Dinan air boxes.

    More on all this later when I get a little more seat time.....

    The attached picture also shows the badge number: S20303. I was told (as I suspected) that I have a very low number: and it is.... #2 after the original development Z8!!!! So I guess I am the very first Z8-S2 customer!!

    I am a little miffed since from the vague answers to this question made me suspect that this was occuring (see my next to last post). It seems that Dinan may be worried that first customers on any upgrade packages may opt to wait and not be first. I just am not real happy about the subterfuge.

    The other issue is that the car got 140+ miles on it. Just seems a little excessive for "road testing". Any comments?

    In any event, I am happy I got it and I know that I will always be in awe of the car just by sitting in it, let alone start it up. So my first impressions are quite positive - more later....
     

  5. #5

    Post GM's impessions after a couple of months with the Dinan kit, and some other mods.

    I am very pleased with the Dinan S2 mod on my Z8. Before the upgrade, I found myself becoming somewhat complacent about the car's acceleration. It just didn't thrill me anymore. Adequate but not really satisfying. With the upgrade, the car feels much stronger and the acceleration commands my attention. I also really like the quickness of the revs when downshifting: very snappy like a race engine. There don't seem to be any drawbacks to the upgrade: driveability hasn't been affected, the car isn't finicky.
    Of course, I live at 6000 feet so my actual HP is probably close to stock at sea level. The real question is would I have felt the need to upgrade if I lived at sea level. Probably, since the car still feels as if it could handle more power without being scary, but I don't believe it would have been as much of a priority. Still, with so many of the new exotics coming out with 5-600 HP, I think the Z8 deserves to keep pace.

    I have been told by Jeff Hekin at Dinan that all Z8 kits must be installed by Dinan at their factory. Their workmanship was as good as I've ever seen and I wouldn't trust anyone else to do it right. I'm told they are working on a supercharger for the M5 which will also fit the Z8 and provide 550-600 HP and uses most of the parts in the S2 mod. Given the limitations of rubber on the Z8, I think this will be overkill, but it's good to know that the S2 kit wouldn't be a waste if you wanted to go this route.

    Bottom line is this: my Z8 is much more fun to drive with the additional HP and I would do it again. However, if someone wanted to know which mod would be my first priority, it would be the ACS kit.

    Finally got my StopTechs fully sorted and bedded in and am very impressed. Not only do they look great but the quickness of their response and the bite of the pads is very satisfying. Feels very balanced.

    Have recently been playing with alignment on the car and have settled on 2 degrees negative camber in back and 1 degree negative camber up front. When combined with stock toe-in settings, makes the car very neutral and very predictable, especially over rough roads. The ACS kit changes the settings quite a bit and if your car wasn't aligned afterwards, you really should have it done.


    Thanks as always to Grease Monkey for the great feedback.
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  6. #6
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    Talking More impressions after this weekend...The Dinan S2-Z8 is a keeper!

    After driving the car over the weekend with numerous accelerations, shifts and more aggressive turns, I have to say that I am completely satisfied with the car's feel and engine performance.

    The S2 package affords an almost naked power feel to the car without any issues that I can detect. The engine is very very responsive, strong through the RPMs, and has a nice "BRRRRAAAPPPP" throaty engine tone when the gas pedal is pushed near the limit. To really find out more, I would have to go to a road course like Laguna Seca....hmmmmm.....Oh Honey?

    The basic conclusion is that the changes afforded by the package is worth the $24K or so asked by Dinan since it puts this car clearly over the top with the Porsche 911 Turbo, Corvette Z06 and Ferrari Modena, in the same league with exotics like the the Ferrari 512TR but a damn sight nicer looking.

    In conclusion, I would now consider this car my ultimate roadster sportscar, excelling in performance, looks, feel, and drivability. I just can't see topping this car with anything else on the market.

    The other question is no, I do not think the suspension mods included caster/camber upgrades or changes....

    So I guess I am #2 - and the first in California!! Any other questions, please ask and I will try to answer as best I can - when I am not driving that is!

  7. #7
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    SVM--good to hear Dinan S2 did you right, I called them also but wondered if the performance increase was worth the money. Question--did you have the flywheel lightened as part of the package, and if so, do you notice any noise (gearlash they call it) at idle or cruising that was not there before? thanks.

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    Post No gear lash noise that I can detect....

    About the potential flywheel noise, I asked this very question to Bob Brandt of Dinan a few weeks back. What I was told was that the S2 package has the level 1 lightened flywheel, and this does not appreciably increase idle gear noise. I agree. I have the stage 1 flywheel and have not detected anything close to a heightened amount of idle/gear noise on the car due to the upgrade except the greater noise of the engine/exhaust during heavier acceleration.

    The stage 2 flywheel (the more aggressive all-aluminum one)would probably be the upgrade that procduces the noise you are concerned about.

    Regarding an outing at Laguna, that's not so far from my home and I have raced there numerous times in SCCA Group 1 FM and love that track. I also ran a Ferrari (328GTS) I owned in open track weekends. It would be a blast and will seriously consider it. Although I was fearless with the Ferrari, I have to admit that I have trepidations about committing the Z8 on that track. Call it the extra cost for an altercation/issue or just plain old age, but there it is anyway!

  9. #9

    Thumbs up More flywheel thoughts............

    I have the Dinan lightened flywheel (7 lbs. lighter) on my Z8. I really like the increase in rpm response it provides, especially when blipping the throttle for heel-toe work. There are no drawbacks to this flywheel: no noise, no rattle.

    They do offer an even lighter aluminum flywheel which will transfer gear noise to the cockpit and it is not recommended for street use. I also find that initial launch is smoother with the lightened flywheel.

    Recommended.

    info sent in by Grease Monkey
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  10. #10
    dclare
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    Exclamation Dinan S2 upgrade

    I have also done the S2 upgrade recently. Before I had the Dinan upgrade done I had scheduled to have my bumper replaced due to an unfortanate meeting with a cement parking block, thank you wife So, I only got to drive the car for about 50 miles before it went in to get a new bumper. The car was shipped to Oxnard and there they uncovered that the frame of the car had been cut by Dinan to fit the headers in I was then told that BMW might no longer structurally warrant the car. I am supposed to find out today what BMW's final stance is. I have talked to Dinan and they are offering an aftermarket patch to the frame. Is anyone else aware of this issue? Thanks

    David

  11. #11

    That is crazy, I am in shock!

    Forget a patch, they need to replace the car if they have cut the frame, I just can't believe that they would do that, they must be out of their minds.

    Please keep us posted on this. I will also alert the other board members who have had this upgrade done. Could you please supply a shot of the cut.

    Once again, I am so sorry to hear about this, it is terrible news.
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  12. #12
    dclare
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    My Z8 is dead

    I misspoke when I said they had cut the frame. That is what I had been initially told. They popped 3 welds that hold the car body to the frame. The only repair for this per BMW is to replace the entire shell of the car. There are no more shells available since BMW has stopped production. Dinan has a patch that would overlay the broken welds and Dinan says would be as strong structurally as the original welds.

    BMW has said they will no longer structurally warrant the car!! Dinan has said they will assume responsibility for the structural integrity. I have told the BMW dealer that I took the car to that this is unacceptable and that they need to buy the car from me. They are going to tell me Monday what they are going to do. I am not dealing with Dinan on this as they were the subcontractor.

    What is the current value of a 2002 with 10k miles on it? Near as I can tell from looking at Yahoo motors and Ebay is aroung $110k. Does this sound about right?

    This is all very sad. I love this car. It has it all.
    Last edited by dclare; August 3rd 2003 at 06:05.

  13. #13

    In this situation I feel they must replace the car with one of your choice.

    The figure you quote is a little low, especially as they have caused you this problem, and heartache. I think that you should be able to pick a Z8 of your choice, and have them pay for it. Since Dinan have very good relationships with many dealers I feel this is something that is both correct and responsible.

    Patching up a car like the Z8 is not an option.

    Dinan have clearly caused this disasterous damage during the course of their work, while claiming that your car will be fully covered by BMW's warranty. I feel they have misled you, lied, broken a contract, and destroyed the integrity of you dream car.

    I think to start with BMW should withdraw from thier agreement with Dinan, since they are not honoring it here. I would suggest that you could argue a case against BMW too, since you no doubt took the car to Dinan under the understanding that their work 'in no way voids or alters your warranty'. This may be a little harsh, but I would certainly be in a foul fighting mood if this had happened to me.
    Last edited by macfly; August 3rd 2003 at 17:04.
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  14. #14
    dclare
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    My Z8 is dead

    I agree Dinan and BMW need to reevaluate their agreement. It is clear that BMW cannot have an authorized sub destroying their cars. Right now I am just waiting to see what they are going to do on Monday. I have talked to my attorney and he is confident that I will prevail if they force it to go to court.

    It is hard for me to understand how Dinan let the car go back to me this way. Do they not have any quality controls? or audit? They were putting my life at risk and other people on the road. It was just fortunate that the car was at BMW for repair immediately after or I wonder if they would have accepted responsibility if it was discovered in a year? Or would it have been my fault somehow?

    I don't really want an Alpina since I obviously want the increased performance. I have not decided what to get. I'll keep everyone posted as this horrible saga continues.

    David

  15. #15

    Image file highlights..............

    These images show the full extent of Dinan's alterations to the frame.
     
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  16. #16
    dclare
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    Dinan S2 upgrade

    Andrew,
    Have you been able to see if there are similar markings on your car? Has anyone else noticed them?

    What was anyone who had this upgrade told about warranty and modification? I expected that Dinan would be responsbile for the engine, headers, exhaust and flywheel, plus anything else in the S2 upgrade. I also expected that the rest of my BMW warranty would apply. Was this everyone else's expectation as well? Is everyone happy with the upgrade? Does it work as expected? Dinan said they had done about 11 of these. I am really more jealous of what I wont have, than anything else. Take care

    David

  17. #17

    More news as I get it.......

    David, I don't have the Dinan engine upgrade, but I have alerted the two board members who do, and will let you know what happens as it unfolds. Please keep us all in the loop regarding your car.

    Good luck with it!

    (NB. Sometimes it looks as if a post is mine as I post emails and relevant posts from the other boards. This board automaticaly signs it with my name, but the author will always be clearly identified in the text.)
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  18. #18
    Z8 Novice Klint's Avatar
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    This is terrible from Dinan. And no way can a car be 'glued' back together after such damage. Ever heard of those cut and shut cars? This comes to mind.

    Fortunately, the damage done by Dinan didn't injure or even cause a fatal accident. I hope all goes well and I'll be tuning in.

    I would take Andrew's advice and seek compensation in the form of a replacement car and negative publicity on Dinan's shoulders, this should hopefully sort out their quality/safety checks for the future.

    All the Best.
    Clint

  19. #19

    Latest update......

    This email was sent in by siliconvalleyman after speaking directly to Dinan

    I called Dinan and left a message this AM. Late AM, Steve Dinan himself called and we had a 30 minute or so chat about this.

    The conclusions are the following:

    a. Yes, all 10 or so Dinan Z8s WERE modified this way and that's the main reason why the cars were done at their HQ. Since they have over 10-15 new potential orders, Dinan is thinking about modifying the header to avoid this modification.

    b. The area under discussion that is being "modified" are the inner corners of the driver/passenger foot boxes. Each box making up the foot area is made of a two wall construction. The outer one is being pushed in about 3/4" in an 6" x 4" area roughly crescent shaped. The header and heat shield has about 1/2" spacing from this new area. The inner surface is untouched so the driver/passenger cannot see a difference.

    c. There are NO "rivets" popped or other structural areas affected - and certainly the frame was never touched.

    d. Yes, it is true that BMW will not warrant this area. In fact, by Steve's accounting, BMW never warrants any areas that are modified by Dinan. These areas are under the Dinan warranty. When applied to this modification, area failures (cracks, fatigue, etc.) that would happen would not be warranted by BMW but the rest of the car would.

    Dinan is prepared to send a letter saying (i) that no modification of the car was made that would compromise the structural integrity of the frame and chassis and (ii) Dinan will warrant against any claims not covered by BMW in this area and any area deemed affected by this modification by BMW for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Steve also offered to have me get the new headers and fix this area by aluminum plate/welding if I so choosed.

    By the way, Mr. Clare's car is supposedly significantly more damaged than a "fender bender" per Dinan: the engine was removed for repair to the damage and that's when the modification was discovered. I am not suggesting that the mods are a result of the damage, but the mods cannot be seen except with a full engine removal (or headers if this can be done with the engine staying on the car).

    I suggested to Steve that Dinan should add some language in the work order that the car will be physically modified and have the customer become fully aware of this. He agreed to consider this. I told him that I would not have authorized this mod if I had known about it.

    I am leaning to be OK with the above and with the letter. I also certainly do not think that the car is "dead" and worthless. The mods are unfortunate and only visible if the engine and/or header are removed.

    I am however worried that we may be exploding this thing to the point that I will have an issue with the creation of a taint on this car that may be quite small in reality. I hope Mr. Clare can understand that by overblowing this (cut frame, structural integrity loss, unfixable worthless car, etc.) he may be hurting the very people he is trying to help. I love my car and believe it is still "the bomb".
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  20. #20

    For fast comparison......

    I'm not certain about Dinan 's footwell only' claim from this quick visual. For all those who have had the work done I hope and pray Dinan haven't messed with the frame here, as this twin spar along the trans tunnel is the main backbone of the car'e twin tub chassis.
     
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  21. #21
    dclare
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    My Z8 is dead

    I want to state upfront that I love my Z8. I chose to have the Dinan upgrades to it to enhance the driving experience. I viewed Dinan as BMW?s authorized enhancement specialist. The contract I signed was done with a major BMW dealer who highly recommended Dinan. I expected nothing, but to have a smile permanently placed on my face once I got the car back. Now, I was trying to wait until my issue was resolved, but I think that would be a disservice to this board. I will go through the issues siliconvalleyman raised one by one.

    1. I also have talked with Steve Dinan about ten days ago. Steve indicated they had done 10-12 Z8?s so far. Steve did not indicate to me how many pending orders they had, nor did I ask. At no point in the discussion did Steve indicate that Dinan was now considering modifying the headers to avoid this in subsequent installations.

    2. I have not seen the car since I delivered it for repair, so that I cannot state what siliconvalleyman says to be true. However, I do think that the measurements given by Steve Dinan are the very minimum of the modification. This modification is the first major issue I have with Dinan. I have reviewed all the documentation I signed to get this work and Dinan?s own web page, NOWHERE does it indicate that there will be structural modification to the car. I can confirm that the modification is not noticeable from inside the car.

    3. This is a LIE. Here is a complete and exact copy of the email from BMW repair center in Oxnard who discovered the damage. This email was sent July 23, 2003. Steve Dinan told me he had copies of all correspondence from BMW and had also talked to them directly.

    Ed,
    Here are the shots of the additional damage found on Mr. Clare's Z8. This damage is to both right and left structural (backbone) members. It is evident that the damage was done in order to provide clearance of the aftermarket exhaust headers. Factory welds in this area are broken/cracked, not to mention the distortion of the structural assembly. This damage constitutes a set back in the original repair plan/cost as this area, when damaged, cannot be replaced without replacing the entire car chassis. In Z8 collision damage assessment, we look at this area specifically, as damage such as this would total the vehicle, or as mentioned earlier constitute replacing the entire chassis. Please inform the customer of the situation, and advise us as soon as possible. In the interim, I too will ask my Z8 contact in Germany if any alternatives exist in this case.

    Regards,

    Tom


    There is no way I would ever have authorized a modification that voids my manufacturer?s structural warranty of a high performance car.

    4. I certainly expected that Dinan would be responsible for the engine, exhaust, flywheel, headers, springs, roll bars, and the software modifications for engine management.

    Steve Dinan did offer to replace the BMW warranty for structural integrity. The aluminum ?patch? that Andrew has a picture of was also offered to be installed. As I previously indicated the newly reengineered headers were not offered to me.

    What I don?t understand is why Dinan would not upfront tell me exactly what they would have to do? How they could let this car go out looking like it was done at a chop shop? Why the problems with welds were not noticed before being returned? Why if they don?t have a structural problem do they already have a manufactured aluminum patch? Why this patch as a matter of standard procedure isn?t installed? Whether Dinan would have owned up to a problem 2 years from now if this had not been uncovered? Why Dinan is not horrified by their own work quality? What other issues have I not yet uncovered?

    I also do not understand why the level of body damage to my car is even a discussion point. The body damage was done before the Dinan upgrade and does not in anyway include the area pictured. The only reason that I can see for bringing this up is that the body damage accident somehow caused the identified structural problems and I am trying to transfer responsibility/liability. This is clearly not BMW?s stance. It is also not mine, but I believe if this car had not been virtually directly transported (less than 100 miles) after upgrade, that Dinan would have tried to claim some reduced responsibility if any at all.

    I am not OK with this since I did not have the opportunity for informed consent. In my mind the lack of professional workmanship as represented by the pictures is not acceptable for $26,000 or $200 for that matter. The Z8 represents the pinnacle of driving machines; it should be handled that way by all who seek to be associated with it. Dinan not admitting what is clearly stated in BMW?s professional opinion is also unacceptable. Since I am forced to choose between trusting BMW and trusting Dinan, I chose BMW.

    It was not my intent to ?explode? anything. I was trying to discover if any of the other people who had done the upgrade were aware of any of these issues. Maybe I had just missed something or it was no big deal. However, I believe the facts support my concerns. I also believe that if I keep this car I will now be legally obligated to tell any subsequent buyer that the car is no longer structurally warranted by BMW. What has that done to the value of my car?

    There is absolutely no win in this for me. This is not about money. This is about professionalism, workmanship and honesty.

  22. #22

    The email from BMW is very clear.......

    I'm sad to say. Please keep us posted, and good luck with it.

    All the best, Andrew
    Last edited by macfly; August 7th 2003 at 09:38.
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  23. #23
    Z8Mania
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    David,
    Im sorry to read all of this. I hope it works out. Have you contacted a lawyer about this yet? You might want to look into it in light of they did work you didn't authorize them to do.

  24. #24
    dclare
    Guest

    Yes, I have

    Unfortunately, I have contacted my attorney. He is in possession of all relevant emails, pictures, contracts and web pages. I have not yet asked him to get directly involved as hopefully the people involved will not require that. I am meeting with the GM of the dealership with whom I contracted for the work tomorrow. They appear to be truly trying to peaceably resolve this, which I appreciate. I'll keep everyone posted.

    David

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    Post A few days are needed to sort this out...

    First of all, Mr. Clare should understand that my personal email as posted on the site only reflected what my understanding was as of Monday. I still stand by it as an accurate understanding of what I had heard on monday. It was meant to be factual, not judgmental.

    As of today, it is clear that all, including Dinan is looking into this more carefully. Mr. Dinan obviously got more of the story since monday AM and is currently trying to really get to the key issues. I believe him.

    At Dinan's request, I am bringing my Z8 to their HQ facility tomorrow AM to have them take a look and ascertain this issue that until now was only communicated to Dinan by email, pics, posts, and phone calls. My conversations with Mr. Dinan makes me believe that the company is genuinely interested in resolving this issue constructively and proactively. To help him in this, my Z8 will help figure out what course of action is best for me and perhaps for others.

    I propose that we let Dinan have some days to analyze the issue with a recently modified car and after discussions with BMW, I am confident that the company will get to the bottom of this.

    I hope that after detailed analysis, we can get to a solution that gets this issue behind us.

  26. #26
    dclare
    Guest

    A Few day to sort this out...

    First of all, my name is David. Mr. Clare is my father. Second, I had a clear understanding that you were relating factually what you were told. I had/have no issue with factual dissemination of the information. My concern was that the information you were relating was in the least incomplete and biased. There was no way for you to know about the email details from BMW. However, based on my personal discussion, Steve did know and have a copy of that same email at least a week before his conversation with you.

    I think you are doing the exact right thing in having your car examined. In my personal opinion all who had the S2 mod should have them examined if for no other reason than peace of mind.

    Dinan should be searching for a constructive resolution to this issue. We, as owners of the Z8, love our cars and sought to enhance that experience. I clearly need alot more convincing on the proactive nature of this search for a resolution. My car has been in Oxnard now for 2 weeks, has Dinan sent a representative to examine it? Have the other 8 owners who paid for the S2 upgrade been proactively notified of a potential issue? I do not know the answer to these questions. I can only speak for myself, but I would appreciate my vendor notifying me and keeping me in the loop. That would show respect and trust. Also there are only 10 of us, so it is not an unmanageable group.

    I truly hope that Dinan quickly and satisfactorily resolves the issues. Even though I only had the car for 100 miles the S2 change was dramatic and appeared to be all that I had hoped for. The car has style, class, sex appeal, scarcity and claws. What else could we want? Oops, I may have talked myself into buying another one.

    David

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    Post A few more days are needed indeed...

    First of all, my use of Mr. Clare is one of politeness when I never met somebody. That's just my upbringing and not meant as a slur.

    It looks like we are all on edge over this. I will take the last post constructively and not as a further indictment of our aftermarket vendor which I consider unproductive over a public internet forum.

    At the end of the day, it's what the company will actually do, not what the company should've, would've, or could've done. Call me crazy but I still think my car is repairable and can retain it's original value after some well considered and appropriate steps. I will continue to think so unless and until the facts point otherwise.

    I suggest we take this discussion out of the public forum until actual facts about the issue exist. I have already had constructive discussions with another affected person and believe that this is the better forum. My basic point is that until we have a firm position by BMW, Dinan, and us owners, this forum is not helpful except to have alerted the affected parties and from now on, only inflames the situation and makes an amicable solution that much harder to achieve.

    I believe we agree on at least the fact that some time is required to have all parties get the facts. Let's give them that time and be part of the solution.

  28. #28

    Thumbs up Indeed, well said.

    The only constructive thing is now for all those concerned to reach the right solution on their own.
    I hope this will end well for everybody involved. Please do keep us posted, as the outcome is one of great interest and importance to us all.
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  29. #29
    ImolaS54
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    i can't believe this....i would expect to have them to buy the car...
    or give the owners a large sum of money for this hack.

    Myself and probably countless other enthusiasts would NEVER buy a car with this hack done to it....

    Wish you best of luck!

  30. #30
    dclare
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    Dinan does right

    My Z8 may live again! I had a conversation yesterday with my dealer, saying Dinan may have found a solution. I had originally been told by BMW Oxnard that no more shells were available. Dinan found 3 shells at BMW Germany on its own initiative. They are having one shipped over here for my car. The car will be repaired at Oxnard. The current expectation is that it will take 45-60 days to get the shell here. I am supposed to receive written confirmation of this in the next few days. Assuming all this happens, I am looking forward to having my car back with the upgrades.

    I appreciate the effort Dinan put into resolving this very important issue. They are doing the right thing.

    I also want to thank my fellow board members for their information and perspective. I have found this board to be very helpful. This board allows us all to communicate directly our experiences and thoughts about our beloved Z8s.

    David

  31. #31

    Thumbs up Wonderful news!

    All's well that ends well! I'm so happy to hear this, and so happy that Dinan are prepared to stand by their product and warranty.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  32. #32
    Z8Mania
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    Good news!

    Wow- as one of the critics I have to turn around and say, if this is true, that Dinan is doing the right thing- good for them.

    We all mistakes. Its what we do about them that distinguishes people.

    a point of curiosity- didnt BMW say they would make spare parts for the Z8 for 50 years? If so, wouldnt this include the shells and frames?

    no matter what, David, I am glad to read that it looks like you have a satisfactory resolution. good luck and please keep us informed.

  33. #33
    drjbmw
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    Hello to all the late nighters...

    A long time BMW (8) owner but new to the board, enjoyed the informative posts. greasemonkey is very articulate and knowledgeable individual. Sorry to hear about David's problems but glad to hear that Dinnan is stepping up to take care of him.

    Anyone else opting for the repairs to correct the bobo? If not, Could this affect the re-sale value of the car? How much longer would BMW or Dinan offer to perform the repairs free of charge? Would appreciate your opinions.

  34. #34
    Z8Mania
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    I think yes, this would affect the resale value- but doing any modification to the engine will affect resale so I think the question is not whether resale is affected- it already was- but whats the difference between a car that was modified by dinan vs. a totally stock one that's 100% factory.

    While I think BMW may be doing a great job of "CYA" with their memo, I think if any of those welds are damaged, then none of us here is qualified to say whether or not this is a big deal. We would need to run all kinds of impact analysises. Or so I am told by a friend who really, truly does understand this.

  35. #35
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    Re: Dinan does right

    After coming back from vacation and reading all the posts on the S2 controversey (wow!), I have the following unresolved questions: If Dclare's car requires a new shell from Germany to fix correctly due to Dinan's actions, and both Dinan and BMW agree that is the necessary solution, then was his car "uniquely botched" (and if so how/why!) or are all the S2 cars in a similar state, and how do they get fixed, if there are only 3 shells at the factory and there are 10+ S2 cars? Rjay

  36. #36
    Z8Mania
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    According to the previous postings here and elsewhere, all the other Z8s were similarly modified

    as to the shells- I am stumped on this one because BMW said they would make replacement parts available for 50 years after EOP. I see 3 possibilities.

    1- I am wrong on the 50 years thing

    2- they are just short on parts right now

    3- they are lying for some reason.

    I think 2 is the most likely (I hope!)

  37. #37
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    I understand that all the S2 cars had "similar" modification in order to fit the headers, but my question is whether the modification necessarily damaged all the frames, or if they uniquely screwed up Dclare's frame due to the mod being done improperly. In other words, if done properly (as if there is a proper in this case!), does the mod ruin the frame, or is there a variable outcome based on how well the mod was performed?

  38. #38
    Z8Mania
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    I think yes- they were done the same way and that means you can expect the same result. even if the other cars bolts were unaffected for some reason I would think BMW would have the same reaction meaning those people are in the same position as David and that is my biggest issue here- Dinan should have known theyd be putting David in a terrible position.

  39. #39
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    And I'd been nurturing the thought of my Dinan upgrade -- the only question was when. I guess I'd be a fool to do it?

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    Dinan is designing a new set of headers that will fit the Z8 without having any frame modifications, which is what they should have done in the first place, duh. So they are not doing the S2 mod until that is finished. Once completed, the entire S2 mod can then be done at your local BMW dealer, just like the M5. At that point, it may be worth considering, if we can overcome thier previous malfeasance.

  41. #41

    as Rick says.....

    Dinan are well aware that there is a potential market for the S2 kit in the Z8, and I understand that they are working hard to create a header set that will fit inside the frame, and allow the work to be done by your local Dinan/BMW dealer.

    As you can see in the earlier posts everyone who has had the mod done was delighted until the frame alteration situation became apparent.

    I would say that once the new kit is available then it will be a very good mod if you want that extra bit of ooomph.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  42. #42
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    Talking The Z8 frame issue is resolved....

    As one affected Dinan Z8 upgraded owner, I posted in August that I believed Dinan needed some time to sort things out and I am very happy that the drama started some months ago has been resolved to the satisfaction of all.

    The 10 or so affected Dinan Z8 owners have been offered the following 2 options by Dinan:

    (i) they can accept a new header that will now clear the engine bay AND have a BMW-approved frame repair that I understand has been highly engineered and will be supported by a 10 year/100,000 mile warranty from Dinan, or

    (ii) get a new tub (frame) and have the whole car essentially rebuilt onto this frame along with the new headers.

    All of the above at Dinan's expense, including car transportation

    I and at least one other Z8 owner have opted for Option I, the Dinan repair. It is a no-brainer for me: there are no VIN issues, the car warranty by BMW/Dinan is workable, and the car will have much less work done than the full tub replacement. To me, the replacement is an overkill and frankly, I would not want my car stripped bare and rebuilt (thousands of parts!!) while expecting everything to fit and show like new.

    Both solutions are offered and perhaps the only real need for Option II is Mr. Clare as he needed a new frame anyway after he crashed his car.

    I have to say that I am very happy with the solution and especially Dinan's behavior and integrity in dealing with this issue. For all others that are still complaining and posting about this subject: unless you are an affected Z8 owner, I would wonder about your agenda in continuing to slam what was an unfortunate problem caused by Dinan but in no event was this done in bad faith, and the issue was professionally addressed and resolved.

  43. #43

    Talking Great news, I am thrilled!!

    Dinan have showed themselves to be accountable, straight forward and honest in resolving this situation.

    Hopefully there have been a lot of lessons learnt all round, and we can all rest asssured that Dinan will always stand by their work.

    My final though on the issue is what if David's car hadn't been driven over that kerb by a former friend of the family? (FYI, he didn't crash his car.)

    Would Dinan have continued to make this mod, and continued not to tell the owners what his company were doing to the superstructure of their cars?
    Andrew Macpherson

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  44. #44
    Z8Mania
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    Andrew,
    thats my thought exactly. I don't feel I have a big anti-Dinan agenda, but lets face it, what they did was purely deceptive and they did not freely admit a mistake, nor did they take any action to correct something they should have known better with. What does that mean regarding other products they have? They got caught with their pants down and are now trying to make the best of the situation- so for that we must give them credit, but it is entirely fair and appropriate to be critical of them and to view anything Dinan does in the future with skepticism.

  45. #45
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    Thumbs up Deception needs prior knowledge

    Perfectly understandable to think that Dinan was actually pushing this issue "under the rug" so to speak, but the real situation is quite a bit less dramatic than that.

    Unfortunately for Dinan, they actually thought that the mod was NOT on the superstructure but on a footwell which was not part of the load bearing frame. It was only when they looked at it closely that the true situation was clarified. I believe this since I was part of the fact finding (my car was the one looked at), and the behavior of the company completely changed when this fact was confirmed.

    I was told that the Z8 is the first car in their experience with a multiple box frame construction due to its use of aluminum, but I believe that there are no "bad facts" as a lawyer would say. I guess they are guilty of assuming a conventional construction for the frame, something that I think they will never make again.

    Call them incompetent or plain sloppy for assuming a few things when they should not have, but I think it is over the top to call this deceptive. It was just a bad call and a mistake.

  46. #46
    Z8Mania
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    In this case there really are bad facts. It would have been better if we didnt know the foregoing. While this is interesting- at best it sounds like a gigantic load of BS they are feeding you- and at worst it is sloppy, which bodes even worse for Dinan- afterall would you want a shop that is so caviler in their attitude to do this work? You're talking about working on a 6 figure vehicle that everyone knows is made out of aluminum.

    In the end you say you are one of the ones who suffered damage and you say Dinan did right by you so that counts for something. But like it or not, this incident has only made Dinan look bad in my eyes- and I would be surprised if I were the only one. I hope they get you up and running soon.

  47. #47
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    The solution for you is simple.....

    "Bad facts" are not what you want to make of it but has a certain legal definition that transcends just being pissed at somebody for screwing up. In this case, that means knowing that they were really beating the frame up and decided not to tell people, and having internal emails or other communications to prove it in court.

    Also, I would like to think of myself as at least a businessman and enterpeneur that has enough experience to see through such simple subterfuge. The idea that a sideliner somehow sees that I am being duped and fed "BS" is at best patronizing, at worst ridiculing me. Obviously I am not standing for it and challenge you to back up your position with at least some attempt to get the facts, and don't do it through some website posts!!!

    I have done my homework by actually talking and in many cases MEETING with the parties involved, including other affected Z8 owners. You have not. Let us leave it at that...and it's "cavalier", not "caviler".

    I really do not care if Dinan looks "bad" in your eyes. It's your choice and I am not the one that should like it or not like it. The solution for you is simple and crystal clear: just don't have Dinan ever work on your car.

  48. #48
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    To me, it looks as though Dinan was guilty of really poor engineering, oversight, and judgement when they came up with their "solution" to fitting headers that were designed for the M5 to the Z8. It was an incredibly dumb shortcut that turned into a fiasco for them, and hopefully has caused them to thoroughly review their operations. I believe it when SVM says
    Dinan did not know that they were damaging the frames. Think about it---surely Dinan would know at some point they would be found out and it would be toxic for their business if they purposely did this. Its just hard to understand how a reputable group of experienced engineers could make such a boffo error.

    Hopefully the owners impacted get their cars fixed to their satisfaction, although I think Dinan should have offered any owner full fair value for their cars and a refund for the mod as an option, thus making owners "whole" if they so choose. I for one would not be too happy about substituting a Dinan "patch" and frame warranty for the original BMW frame warranty.


    For the rest of us, we don't have to argue about it, there is now plenty of information to make our own individual decisions on whether to use Dinan (or any aftermarket mod provider) products. Everyone's sense of risk/reward is different. I for one appreciate those who take the risk and pay the price to personalize their cars to their own imagination. We all get to learn from their "pioneering" when they are nice enough to share it with us.

  49. #49
    Z8Mania
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    Dear Mr. siliconvalleyman,

    The facts happen to look bad. There is no denying it.

    I didn't know we were discussing this as a legal matter. I sure hope not, and I don't think I made any mention of that in my previous post. A web forum is not an appropriate venue for you to discuss your legal options.

    My interest is in discussing something I consider as shocking and potentially dangerous.

    I will grant you that it is entirely possible to believe Dinan that they didn't know they would harm the frame. But what I cannot accept is that Dinan, with years of experience in doing all kinds of modifications to BMWs, having made contacts with BMW, offering their own warranty, and holding themselves out as the premiere tuner of BMWs (in the US), would not know enough to look before they leap and ask BMW about doing work that might affect the unique aluminum frame of the Z8. I will not accept that Dinan did not know the Z8 was a unique vehicle with a possibly unique structure.

    Let's take Dinan's claim at face value: they didn't know they would harm the vehicle. This implies they did not know much about the structure of the car- otherwise they would have known not to do that work. What would it have taken for them to gain that knowledge? A phone call, an email, a fax? Surely, those are not high barriers for Dinan to scale.

    So lets say it is more likely than not that Dinan is not fibbing to you. That only leaves incompetence as a possibility.

    Now, of course, I may just be a simple sideliner, but don?t accuse me of not getting the facts I can get. That is not fair of you. I am getting them from one of the best places I can get them from- that is from you. If you don't wish to present the facts, then don?t present them. But I am glad you did.

    Like Rick said- it?s nice of you to share them. It is a benefit to the community.

    Now lets get something straight. I feel badly for you in this. I'm sorry if this exchange of posts turned hostile between us- it was not my intention. I am bothered by Dinan, but not by you. And I am glad you found a resolution that works for you.

    In my case, you are correct- because of your story, I would never let Dinan or anyone associated with Dinan near a vehicle I cared about.

    One final thing- if your car is being worked on, if you have not had it done yet, have the clutch delay valve (CDV) replaced with a hollowed out one- it will make driving much, much better. (See: http://www.zeckhausen.com/CDV.htm )

  50. #50
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    I think we are all on the same page here

    The last few posts are a good summary of what has happened. No question that I would have preferred to avoid this issue altogether but since it occured due to what may be oversight, negligence or incompetence, we all have to make our own mind and move on. I just have strong feelings when some kind of deception on Dinan's part is implied since I definitely did not get any sense of this whatsoever. Look, there is no doubt they screwed up, it's just a matter of knowing that (i) they owned up to it when they recognized the issue (ii) they resolved the issue, and (iii) they probably have learned from the issue. I think the above occured, others may not think so.

    I was told by the moderator for a few weeks now to put my conclusions in writing and I did so. I was a little reluctant since I do not want to be a kind of proxy representative for this issue or Dinan in general.

    The bottom line here is I have posted the conclusion from my perspective and feel good about the way Dinan responded to the problem. I guess all have to draw their own conclusions and label Dinan's actions and responses appropriately.

    That's about all I will say on this. No harm done, no foul whoever you are.

    Maybe its the gods getting me back for any insolence on my part, but my Z8 got me to work this AM and then hard quit on me. No electrical, no turning the engine over, even the key could not be turned in the ignition. The clock also stopped so it must be a system electrical failure or shutdown? When it was towed to the dealer, they started it right up and started the old nightmare of "could not reproduce the problem....". Anybody have any idea?

  51. #51
    Z8Mania
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    Agreed- lets move on

    Sorry to read about the car. I have no idea what would cause that- but it seems to be some kind of electrical gremlin- otherwise it wouldnt have started again.

    I hope you do take my advice on the CDV- the difference without it is very positive.

    By the way, the name's Jerry. Take care.

  52. #52
    Z8 Addict Z8doc's Avatar
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    Dinan S2 upgrade

    Entering this late. Bought my Z8 a year ago, I love it [yes it "spoke to me" too when I saw it on the showroom and I had to buy it [I was actually looking at a 911 turbo] -yep, made the right choice. I drive it as much as possible as evidenced by it's 13K miles. I was considering the S2 upgrade till I came across this conversation but I am very curious as to what the final resolution to all this is?

    I mean, it has been several months now since all of this happened - are those owners that opted for the patch still happy with that decision? Are those that opted for the chassis replacement happy that they went that route? Has Dinan actually developed the new headers?

  53. #53

    This is a off the record, but is all I know so far.

    For a moment there it looked like all was going to be resolved happily, but sadly this has not been the case, and indeed it has been a long time since there has been a post on this thread.

    David Clair has taken his situation to his lawyers, as his car languishes in bits between Crevier and BMW ARC in Oxnard. Some of the other owners have taken the patch, some have taken replacement cars, and no one is talking about it, for fear of compromising their situation, their car's resale value or whatever else they're protecting.

    Time will no doubt heal and reveal all, I'll post the concrete final news when it is finally a fact, but as of Jan 04 it is far from over.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  54. #54
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    Too bad but understandable

    Hope all turns out well for all of you involved. Would you suggest that I wait till the final resolution before taking the upgrade or has Dinan "fixed" the upgrade so it won't happen again?

    You now, with the attorneys involved now, I hope it does not, in the end, affect the relationship Dinan and BMW have. Lawyers have a way of leveling every one and in this kind of legal wrangling, it is you and I, the consumer who ends up sometimes getting hurt. Remember ford and Firestone? Heck, those people are even related to each other [Harvey Firestone's kid married Henry Ford's kid way back when]

    Too bad but I think I just may go with some suspension upgrades thru my local dealer. BTW, when that is done, do you know what the approach angle of he front nose is after the upgrade? I have a sloped driveway and if I go any speed at all, I can get the nose to scrape easily so you can see my concern.

    Let me know

    doc

  55. #55

    Upgrades etc....

    If you were considering any Dinan upgrades I would say you are 100% safe in doing so. I have been very pleased with all my Dinan work, especially the sway bar set up. The thing that you mustn't loose sight of is how happy all the owners were with the upgrade here until they realized Dinan had messed up the frame.

    Dinan are now offering the S2 kit with a new header set that means the frame can be left alone, so you can do all the Dinan engine upgrades and have no fear. I generally think Dinan are an excellent after market house, and feel that they offer great value with their warranty.

    I don't know about the nose height with their suspension set up, but I imagine it does lower the car. A sideways, or 45? approach to the drive is always best with a low car, so I'd try that.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  56. #56
    Z8Mania
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    a respectful dissent

    With all due respect to anyone happy with their Dinan mods, Doc- I would think long and hard before modifying a car like the Z8. They dont make them anymore and any remedy would have to be monitary. Ask this question before you proceed- if you could get the exact amount of cash you paid for the car in exchange for your Z8 today, would you take it? If the answer is no- then you have to consider the downside of doing any serious work on the Z8. And that assumes you could get the cash back + lawyers fees + the pain and suffering.

    This is not to ignore those who are happy with their Dinan mods- these comments really apply to any tuner/modifier.

    I would recomment you do the CDV modification. Its truly worthwhile and can be done by most BMW tuners/installers perhaps even a friendly dealer.

    More details:
    http://www.zeckhausen.com/CDV.htm

    and this comes from someone who-as you can tell- is pretty anti-modification.

  57. #57

    Agreed.

    I had a Z8 that I did every mod going to, in part to learn about the car itself, in part to satisfy my curiosity to see what I could do to improve on a masterpiece. The results of that learning are what inspired me to start this board. I no longer have that car, but what I learnt with is that the best way to go faster is just to buy a faster car!

    I agree with Jerry, the only 'must have' mod is the CDV, but there is one other thing I would consider, the Dinan Sway Bars. They make the car transition thru the twisties in a more neutral and balanced way, and eliminate passenger motion sickness.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  58. #58
    Z8Mania
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    And to change the stock run flat tires to michelin pilot sports or other similar tire.

    I switched on my M5 to the MPS and they made a big difference from the factory Dunlops. I expect when I do this in the spring the MPS will make a very noticeable difference.

  59. #59
    Z8 Addict Z8doc's Avatar
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    Sway bars

    Agree with the mod. I think I will leave a masterpiece alone. What is involved with the sway bars you mentioned. Are they provide thur Dinan or AC Schnitzer, etc.?
    You are referring to just a sway bar upgrade, not the whole suspension upgrade aren't you?

    Could / should I do them myself [understand I am an american auto gear head from way back]?

    BTW, since you mention tires, which do you like better, the Potenza S03s, MSPs, or the new Goodyear Eagle F1-GT, all are Y rated and have similar test results and price?

    Thanks guys-
    Doc

  60. #60

    Tires and sways.....

    My choice of tire so far is the SO3, they have a slight edge over everything in terms of ultimate grip, and should you go to the track they will do better there than the others.

    The Dinan swaybar kit is reviewed elsewhere on the site, but as yet I don't know anyone with the full Dinan kit. If you do fit it just keep all the OEM parts so you can swap back if you want to. If you do fit it, please write us a full review, as we have no info on it so far.

    I don't think it will be a negative in any way, and will likely make the car sweeter and more blaanced in rapid transitions thru twisty mountain roads. (This is the only place I found the OEM set up was weak, most everywhere else it worked fine.) If you are handy with a spanner then it is an easy job, so long as you have a car lift.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  61. #61
    Z8Mania
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    To explain why I went with MPS on my M5 and will do it on the Z8 is that the tire on the M5 is also an OEM tire, so if I ever have to involve the dealer, its pretty easy. On the Z8 I simply took an easy route as the Performance Center uses them. I wouldnt doubt Macfly's advice on which is the best.

  62. #62
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    what if...

    Thanks for the advice on the tires and sways. I was leaning toward the S03s. When I was went to the DE, the Z8s had MSPs and a couple of them had S03s. I asked the instructors and they liked them both.

    Back to the Dinan upgrades. I had a 'what if' thought. You mention that as a solution to the problems, some people opted for the patch, soem rebuilding, and some..a new car?

    If someone got a new car, what did they do with the used damged one? Was the deal a trade out with Dinan? If so, what happened to the damaged one?

    What if...Dinan took those in trade, restored the vehicle to Stock with the OEM equip., except for the patch, and auctioned them off to various car dealers. There are a few used Z8s for sale out there for sale and if you did not know any better, an unsuspecting buyer could get taken for a ride he/she did not expect.

    Dinan probably would not do that [reputation on the line] but I could see and individual opting for a patch, then removing all of the Dinan mods and then selling it as stock, trying to recoup as much as possible (I don't think anyone on this message board would do that).

    If I were in the market for a used Z8, I would definately look closely at the vehicle and consider checking with Dinan to verify whether or not that particular VIN was one of those 10-12 that were damaged. Definately, it is a buyer beware situation if you are buying used and if you confirm it has never been modified, then you are going to get a great car.

  63. #63

    Indeed, it is buyer beware.....

    as many of these cars have now slipped into the second hand market, and no one will tell you which VIN's have been modded.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  64. #64
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    maybe consider...

    You know those that are pursuing the legal route with Dinan over this issue may be able to get as part of what ever settlement they come to, is for Dinan to agree to make available to anyone who requests, a list of which vehicles recieved the mod., i.e., which ones were damaged.

    After all this is a saftey issue to with regard to the structural integrity of the vehicle and a consumer issue too. Maybe the Office of Consumer Affairs in California might be able to exert some pressure on Dinan to release to the public which ones were Damaged. I would just hate for someone to get a damaged one unsuspectingly.

  65. #65

    Very good point indeed.

    I am not sure how this would happen, as no one involved will make any moves to 'restrict' Dinan. The way this market works is that the cars won't be sold by Dinan, they'll go to the trade where they'll be either broken up, or patched up and sold on.

    I think it will be hard to follow the cars, they may change hands several times quickly, so hopefully prospective owners will find this board, and get the knowledge before it is too late.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  66. #66
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    I recently bought a z8 from a very reputable preowned BMW store in Atlanta, but I'm slightly concerned after reading this thread.

    I briefly poked around underneith the z8 before the purchase, although nothing was apparant in the suspected area due to the fully populated drivetrain being in the way. Neither did I notice any fresh tailpipe welds or newly replaced parts anywhere in the undercarriage.

    If any upgrades were performed, at a minimum I figure the factory muffler system would have been modified. So if upgrades were installed, removed and replaced back with the oem I should notice tailpipe/muffler/converter welds or fresh clamps. Since I've my own lift, I will be under the car looking much closer tomorrow in the AM :-)

    -Brett

  67. #67
    Z8 Addict Z8doc's Avatar
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    used Z8..

    Since you have a lift, you should be able to see the area in question very easy. It is where the larger headers would have been [where the body and chassis were cut away to make room at the botttom of the firewall]. The stock configuration should make excess room in that same area IF it had been modified and then switched back to OEM. Fortunately, fellow Z8 owners on this thread have left a picture trail so you can look.

    Also, ask your dealer where they got the car from. If they are truely on the up and up, they will tell you, and from there, you may be able to contact the previous owner?

    Hope it isn't one of those cars and I hope you begin enjoying yours as much as I do mine, it is truely a great machine. ;-)

  68. #68
    Z8Mania
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    If you want, I have a lift and I could move the cars that are on and beneth it right now and put the Z8 up there and photo its underside for you. Mines never been modified (except for some bozo who bumped into the front bumper cover and the removal of the CDV)

  69. #69
    gocargo
    Guest

    Thumbs up

    Good news:

    This AM my z8 went on the lift and I carefully inspected the specific areas shown in the fotos (mentioned earlier in this thread). I was unable to see the "actual" body and frame due to the perforated form-fitted aluminum heat-shielding applied to the under body in the areas around the transmission well and rear of the motor. To me this shielding appears factory installed and in the condition and age of this car.

    As I remembered from my preliminary inspection several weeks ago, every weld, clamp and bolt in the complete exhaust system is of same age nothing appearing to have ever been loosened, altered nor replaced.

    So far, from this 2nd inspection, I believe this car is unmolested, realizing someone would have had to go thru a "tremendous" ammount of exercise to disguise any previous Denin butchery.

    -Brett

  70. #70
    Z8Mania
    Guest
    Brett,
    thats great. when you have some time, Id love to see some pictures

    you can visit my car here:
    http://homepage.mac.com/z8mania/PhotoAlbum6.html

  71. #71
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    Smile Finally getting the car in for the mod

    Checked this thread and saw some more activity, so I thought to add my latest as one of the 11-12 or so affected Z8s. Got a call (finally) from Dinan this week to schedule my repair and the car goes in on June 1 for the header change and body repair. It is supposed to take 2 weeks.....

    I am sorry to hear about Mr. Clair's issues but I am not surprised. Anybody who thinks a complete tub/body change would be routine or take less than a few months is seriously underestimating the complexity of the operation. Thousands of parts, many many chances to drop something, rip/scratch something, etc... That is why I was happy to hear about the possibility of the BMW-approved body repair and opted for the fix. In Mr. Clair's case, his crash damage did not give him any option to opt for just the repair. I just hope that the lawyers won't screw it up for the rest of us affected guys, or Dinan for that matter.

    In any event, I am very pleased with the mods on my car, Dinan and non-Dinan. Apart from the S2 Dinan package, I got the Eisenman race muffler, the short-shifter. I will be doing the CDV ASAP since it seems an absolute no-brainer from all owners that got it.

    The car is just a blast to drive, and the engine music from the muffler gives me goose bumps everytime. I am still happy I got the fix, and with the new headers, there isn't really any more issue with opting for an S-package.

    I think the delay in posting was that Dinan took a pretty long time getting ready to start these long awaited repairs and contacting the owners. I frankly started to forget about the issue....but after June I truly will.

  72. #72
    Z8Mania
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    Im glad it seems to be working out for you.

    The CDV is a device BMW places in the hydrolic line to control the rate of clutch engagement/disengagement. They do this to protect the drivetrain from someone just dumping the clutch. The thing is- by their doing this, they make it very difficult to shift the car smoothly and they also achieve something pretty insidious- they transfer costs to you because the clutch will wear out much faster than normal (mine was pretty worn out at only 17000 miles!) and thats a wear and tear item, not a warranty item, like the drive train would be. They are also saying they dont think Z8 drivers are as good with a manual as M5 drivers since no M car comes from the factory with a CDV.

    Trust me on this- its well worth your time to do this.

  73. #73

    Thumbs up Nine months later.........

    After a factory visit to Dinan where GM was getting his car upgraded to S2 + Schrick cam install I asked him what Steve Dinan had to say about the original frame mods, and what was the final outcome of this sad tale.

    GM:Steve explained what happened, his chief engineer, who's been with him since the company started, approved the denting of what he believed was a footwell panel, to accomodate the S2 headers. As it turned out, that panel was part of the Z8's subframe. Plain and simple, he made a mistake.

    Steve offered each owner involved 3 options: Dinan would buy their car at replacement cost, Dinan would buy a new sub-chassis and rebuild their car, or Dinan would repair the dent with a BMW approved bonded/riveted heat-treated aluminum patch which would make the sub-chassis even stronger than the original. In addition, Dinan would pay to have the car shipped to and from their facility, install new headers, and provide a substantial gift of Dinan products to each owner.

    Every owner involved, exept for one, is completely satisfied with the way in which this was handled. In my experience, no other company would have gone as far to make sure everyone involved was happy with the results. They could easily (and far less expensively) have turned this over to their insurance company and let us negotiate with their adjusters. Guess how that would have turned out. Instead, Steve insisted on doing everything possible to make sure all involved were properly taken care of, at his expense. Finally, every time I speak with Steve, he apologizes again for the mistake. What more could you ask for?



    I am very happy to be able to report this, as I love happy endings. It is great to know that Dinan is a company who really do stand by their work, and their customers.
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  74. #74
    Z8 Addict Z8doc's Avatar
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    Faith is restored .........

    You sometimes have to have a little faith that thinigs will work our in due time. Sounds like a great ending.

  75. #75
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    Dinan S2 engine and S3 suspension--I like it.

    Having driven the mods for 8 months (installed post fiasco, with the new properly designed headers), I am very happy with the engine performance and the overall Dinan parts quality. It is faster and meaner no doubt, but is it worth the money? I would say no, but I love the car so much that I am willing to lavish over making it the best it can be. So I am happy I did it even though I don't think it is worth it. Make sense? The suspension is quite a bit stiffer and really needs a change from run flats to regular tires to not be too harsh, but I like it, especially on the track or driving hard.

    The car is very driveable around town with these mods, but is a real animal when you let it loose, and a bit scary, which I think is great. As my neighbor says, there is no such thing as too much horsepower, and I have to agree, as long as you can control it! I also have the Quaife 3.64, the Eisenmann Race, UUC short shift kit, CDV removed. All good mods that have worked great. Can only choose one?----Eisenmann, what a great sound.

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