Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: big mistake?

  1. #1
    Z8 Novice
    Join Date
    Jun 2013

    big mistake?

    Hello all.

    I'm afraid now I've made a huge error. Last year, in September the local BMW dealer here in Vancouver, B.C. Canada was selling a 2001 Z8, with 22,000kms, (13,000 miles) on the clock. It was an Original Ontario car bought new from a gentleman in Vancouver and shipped west. (Or so the salesman told me, so who knows really...) As soon as they posted it for sale I went in to check it out. They had it in the showroom, clean and looking great. I looked the car over and checked for any major signs of 'decay' but to my eye, it looked good.

    I am a BMW M enthusiast, but my main focus is picking up cars that I grew up loving - I never them new only second hand, because that is what I can afford. After having an awesome summer in business I thought I would 'invest' in something that maybe has the potential to rise in value. So, I layed down a deposit and told them I would have the check ready in a week.

    I knew nothing about the Z8's 'shady' history and potential problems. I found this site and did the research. Immediately upon discovering there were frame issues I contacted my salesperson and asked them straight out if this car had any frame damage whatsoever. He called within a couple days and reassured me the Z8 had no frame deficiencies at all. He also stated that if the car were to have issues they would 'not be able to sell it'.

    Reassured I dropped the check off, checked the car over once more and asked them to put it into storage for me. 3 months later I had it at home and tucked in for the winter. During the delivery process I noticed something not right with the dash, it was all bunched up in a very wavy pattern - alas, dash delamination. Not knowing anything about this issue upon looking at it, to be honest I didn't truly pay it the attention it clearly deserved. I was more concerned with scratches of the ebrake handle and shift knob - also the door pulls and aluminum kick plates - I asked them to replace all these parts which they did. All the while overlooking this terrible dash problem.

    Now, upon further review I've freaked out over the potential frame issue. I did the coin test on the hood creases and they remain consistent all the way from the windshield to the headlights, BUT, on the passenger side the headlight casing stick up slightly over the hood closure, thus it is not 'flush' with the hood when closed. Have any of you had this problem? Is this caused by the frame bulging underneath? The car had a front end respray before the dealer listed it for sale, I'm thinking maybe they took the headlights out for this and did not replace them properly? (I'm hoping anyway...)

    Sadly, I've never spent this much money on a car before and was buying it a) because it's completely awesome and I love it, and b) because of the potential for an increase in value over the next 25 years.

    Please tell me that I have not made a huge mistake... I'm ok with having the dash fixed, it was own my stupidity on this issue. From what I can gather the fix is around $2300.00?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.


  2. #2
    The dash fix is as you say, and I bet the front end was reassembled slightly wrong from the respray, if the shock towers are not domed then you have nothing to worry about. If you can I'd suggest ship it to Matt at Peter Pan to get everything sorted out. It's also in need of its ten year refresh, changing all the fluid hoses etc, so I'd get it all done at once, then fly down and do Monterey car week or a tour of Napa.
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  3. #3
    Z8 Novice
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Andrew and many members here will be an invaluable resource as you have already discovered. I would encourage you to let them be your guiding light.
    I live in Vancouver and am by no means an expert on these cars but am on my 2nd Z8 which has 2000kms on it - yes I am slowly coming round to driving it more guys. I purchased my first Z8 from a local dealer as well as a number of other BMW's and have had all my minor servicing as well as performance package installation on my 2nd Z8 (they remove the headlights for that as well) done by the same dealer with good success.
    If you want to compare notes on local dealers or anything specific with respect to our experiences or cars conditions let me know.
    I would defer to Andrew before proceeding with anything significant or major fixes.

  4. #4
    Z8 Novice
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Thank-you for your support, it is very nice to have a site like this with so many knowledgeable people!

  5. #5
    Welcome! The headlight housing not being flush with body panels is a consequence of the car being entirely hand built. This is one place I've found some pretty interesting variances between all Z8s. Where you really have to look for the frame distortion is the shock towers- they should be flat. Try using a straight edge and see if it lays flat- if the shock tower shows any doming- you've got a problem. If theres no doming you want to get the performance pack installed asap and I would also recommend you change the run flat tires to regular tires. Cheap insurance there. Check out the frame forum for more, or ask away.

  6. #6
    Team Z8 Charles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Jerry is exactly right. I looked at a lot of cars before buying and now see differences in lots of little things between the cars. You were wise to do the coin test and that probably is answer that your frame is fine. But do get the Perf Package asap to make sure it doesn't happen. The new dashes are reportedly better than the old. Things will happen to the car over time, but there are a lot of solutions on this board, some of them surprisingly inexpensive. Just use the search function.

    There are a few precious people at dealerships that know about these cars. We have one in Dallas, but I found my car within a short distance of Peter Pan and Matt. If you are anywhere close, there is no better place to sort it out and give you piece of mind.
    Charles Guerin
    AH61406 - Titanium Silver/ /Black

  7. #7
    Well said.

    One other thing to mention. Every machine has its weak points. Whether its a car or even our bodies. As time goes on we discover more and more where they are. So now we know where they are on the Z8. If the frame is good, you can protect it and all will be fine. The first thing I would do is check the shock towers. From there I'd replace the tires, unless you would change out the wheels too. If you are going to do that, you have to decide if your car is going to be more of a garage queen or a driver. If its the former, then just change the tires and keep the stock wheels. If you want to make it more of a driver, then there are several things you have to consider. On wheels, the general thinking is 19s are still safe with the stock suspension and you can't do 20s unless you swap out the stock suspension for the stock Alpina European suspension. And theres plenty more to discuss!

  8. #8
    Z8 Millennial Monster hayvenhurstkid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    When you take the headlights out they can be a bit tricky to put back in. It is true that being a hand built car, each one is a touch different. If your car passed the coin test that is a very good sign. I agree that you should send your car to Matt at Peter Pan BMW. He is the best!!!

    2001 Z8
    2014 Range Rover sport Autobiography
    2013 Ford Raptor
    2011 Porsche 911 turbo S coupe