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Thread: Upgrades and their results...

  1. #1

    Upgrades and their results...

    I've had the benefit of owning and modding a few Z8's, so I thought I'd do a simple shopping list of modifications I've made to my 'driving car' with links. I've put them in what I feel is their order of importance and value. I don't consider the Performance Package an upgrade, more an essential that every car should have, so I haven't listed it as an upgrade.

    Meisterschaft exhaust
    Meisterschaft makes three exhausts for the Z8, the SP which is silent, the HP which is pretty quiet, but a whisper louder than stock and the wildly loud GT which turns a spin around the block into a deliciously naughty sonic assault on the 'hood. This upgrade really changes how you feel driving the car, but it doesn't change the car itself!

    Swaybar & Suspension.
    Dinan swaybar and Castor plates mated to the EU spec Alpina suspension provide the best upgrade of all IMHO. The car rides more comfortably and handles much better.
    (NB: The Dinan sway bars are no longer available, but H&R makes a set of stiffer, stronger bars that will work well.)

    Wheels & Tires
    The 20" rims and Pirelli P Zero tires are simply superb on the car when done with the upgrades above. Also the new Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires are getting rave reviews.

    Brembo brakes
    The brake kit was a vanity upgrade, but these brakes really feel and work much better than stock.

    Steering bushings
    Powerflex Urethane bushings go a long way to eliminating the steering wheel shimmy that some cars are prone to, making the steering feel crisper and more accurate in your hands.

    European side mirrors
    This is a little upgrade that I just love every time I get in the car, you can really see what is going on all around you.

    Dinan chip
    This upgrade makes a noticeable difference to how the car feels by cleaning up the throttle response in the mid range.

    Ultimate Pedals
    This upgrade is for those who like to heel/toe. The stock pedals are placed way too far apart, resulting in awkward foot twisting and missed shifts, with the wider gas pedal downshifts are telepathic.

    Clutch Delay Valve
    A little upgrade that makes a big difference to the feel of the shifting.

    UUC short shift kit & steel weighted gear knob
    A crisper and cleaner shift with a nice polished metal knob. Link to UUC

    Quaife LSD
    When the Z8 was new there was much ado about it not having an LSD. Many of us fitted the Quaife unit. Everyone but me loved this upgrade, I never noticed any difference to the driving experience!


    Please list your upgrades, and how you feel about them here.
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  2. #2
    Z8 Madness
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    You may also consider:

    Clear Bra
    Protect the front end with something like this.

    Windshield Wipers
    I've just removed mine. The car looks so much cleaner without them. It's also easier to clean the lower part of the windshield.
    62050 - Z8

  3. #3
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    The sidebar to the Quaife are the 3.64 gears. Just a bit more fun...
    thegunguy

  4. #4
    I kept the final drive ratio stock on mine, I like the tall gearing as when I do drive it tends to be long days in the saddle, and I feel the stock gearing suits my taste for those.
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  5. #5
    Z8Mania
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    I completely echo you with the LSD. I find it to be an academic benefit- and there is a downside to a LSD vs open diff- the turn in will be a drop less crisp- thats why Lotus doesn't like them. The 3.64 rear gears that many of us did (the stock rear end is 3.38) give a nice at the wheels power boost but this exposes some slack in the drive train so you better be real smooth with your throttle application.

  6. #6
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    I can tell you all, that after driving my stock dif at thunder hill this summer then driving Jeffs car with the LSD right after (thanks Jeff).. THERE IS A DIFFERENCE. Driving hard at the track, I got much less electronic intervention with the LSD. Then again, I'm running different wheels and suspension (tires?) I still think I will get one someday.

  7. #7
    Z8Mania
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    I have no doubt the LSD provides benefits for powering out of a turn on the track. The question is whether its really worth it for street driving and IMHO- the benefit is more academic than real.

  8. #8
    Z8 Madness
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    LSD, Breaks, (and perhaps even Suspension) upgrades are common around this forum, but for most of us casual drivers, they offer little benefit. I rather keep the car stock and enjoy it for what it is (or is not). But, as long as you're spending your own money, do what makes you happy. Having said that, if I had to keep up with a bunch of porsche drivers, then I would revisit my options
    62050 - Z8

  9. #9
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Z8-NL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z8Mania View Post
    I have no doubt the LSD provides benefits for powering out of a turn on the track. The question is whether its really worth it for street driving and IMHO- the benefit is more academic than real.
    The standard BMW system will break instead of redirecting power to the side which needs more or can need more power. Accellerating on a round about will inevitably cuase the DMC system to activate itself by braking one side. With the LSD the BMW systems hardly ever come to life as they are not needed.
    So even for normal spirited road use the LSD is a big improvement. Change the final drive and you feel the accelleration better but this rduces a hypothetical top speed which I never use anyway.

  10. #10
    I was also very surprised by the big extra 'oooomph' the lower gearing has when trying Jeff's car at Thunderhill, it really does make a great difference to the percieved performance, or seat of the pants feel. It was very noticable because by the time we hit the track we'd just covered almost 2,000 miles in our cars, so we were each acutely attuned to how they feel.

    I have the LSD, but stock gearing, however I never really noticed any change in DMC interference, but I am a very gentle driver, even when I'm going fast at the track - but my fast at the track is a lot slower than Ian's, so I'm not surprised he rattled the DMC's cage hard!
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  11. #11
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    As you said Andrew, I really noticed the gear ratio change in Jeffs car, at the track. But particularly after 2000 mi with the regular gears, and a couple hours at the track, that change just F'd me up! All my shift points at the track were just shot. I would have to spend more time to see if I really like it or not, and spend time on the street. I wish I could just change the ratios in the gearbox, essentially making it a close ratio box. 1st gear is already too low and most of the others are spaced too far.

  12. #12
    Z8Mania
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z8-NL View Post
    The standard BMW system will break instead of redirecting power to the side which needs more or can need more power. Accellerating on a round about will inevitably cuase the DMC system to activate itself by braking one side. With the LSD the BMW systems hardly ever come to life as they are not needed.
    So even for normal spirited road use the LSD is a big improvement. Change the final drive and you feel the accelleration better but this rduces a hypothetical top speed which I never use anyway.
    True but I don't think the Z8s handling is such that you should be overpowering the rear end on a public road. Add to that that LSD will give you more over steer, if you have the DSC off, you might get bitten....