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Thread: Documented shock tower issues on other BMW models

  1. #1
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Sep 2005

    Documented shock tower issues on other BMW models

    For future reference it might make sense to collect documented cases of similar shock tower deformations in other BMW models. Like some of you have noted, the issue does not appear to be limited to our model.

    On page 117 of the January Roundel, the editors respond to a reader's letter describing similar deformation in an E46. They quote two anonymous BMW master technicians who state that the issue is ?not common or uncommon? with later model BMWs. The do a good job of describing how the damage can occur and is repaired (in non all aluminum framed cars that is). They propose several theories behind the deformation, but the most plausible seems to be that cost cutting measures have mandated using thinner stampings which are inherently weaker. They support this claim by noting that earlier models, such as the E30, that use similar suspension designs but have thicker stampings show no evidence of deformation.

    Preventative use of strut tower braces is examined for both pros and cons, but it seems like it?s a good idea. Too bad we don?t have an option here, even from the aftermarket suppliers. If you buy in to the weaker materials theory, the solution suggested by Andrew and Bob of placing ?helmets? above and below the existing shock tower mount may, in fact, do the trick. I guess the possibility of such a fix could be reasonably developed on our own should we be left in the lurch.

    If someone has access to a scanner and the article, it would be worthwhile to post here.

    We should all scan similar periodicals for other documented cases, and it would also be wise to see if we can get any statements from other technicians that have history of servicing BMWs, not just the Z8. Should things turn nasty with Munich, we may find that we have a louder voice by uniting with our non E52 brethren.

  2. #2

    That is a good idea.....

    should we be left in the lurch.
    I still believe BMW are going to take care of this, but I do think you make a good point, and it can't hurt having all our ducks in a row. I understand the new aluminum 5 & 6's are also showing the same problems. At this point however I have no concrete proof of this, I have simply been told of this by a dozen or so people, including journalists and technicians, but we will need hard evidence.

    You mention cost cutting, and I know that this is really the crime we and our Z8?s are the victims of here. BMW would do well to have the motto 'A stitch in time saves nine' put on every one of their cost controller's desks.

    BMW employ these nerdy pencil sharpeners with no love of cars, to try to improve their bottom line. Instead these creepy little gremlins undermine their engineers excellence to save a few cents simply so they can justify their costly existence, which has nothing to do with helping BMW make a better or more desirable product.

    BMW AG, you need to rediscover your passion, and your love for cars first and foremost. Do not be the dog that is wagged by the tail. These cost controllers are destroying the integrity and desirability of your company's products.
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  3. #3
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Dogsbreath's Avatar
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    Nov 2004

    Strut tower article

    I have the article and can scan it this evening when I get home.


  4. #4
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Sep 2005

    From Dogsbreath

    Here's the scanned letter/response from Roundel pertaining to the E46 that I referenced earlier.

  5. #5
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    Nov 2002

    Thank you

    Quite relevant indeed.

  6. #6
    As has been previously noted here and elsewhere keep in mind the Z8's shock towers may not be as easily fixed if there is impact damage.