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Thread: MCS dampers

  1. #1
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    MCS dampers

    For those of you interested in suspension options besides OEM, Alpina (very hard to find) and KW coilovers I am looking into whether Motion Control Suspensionís e39 M5 kit can be fitted to the Z8. MCS was started by the guys who founded Moton and their damper technology is considered one of the best. Specifically I will be looking for a spirited street set up. With todayís suspension technology handling and comfort donít need to be mutually exclusive.

    Will post you guys on what I find out. It helps that MCS is 20 miles from my house 😊.
    Brownie
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  2. #2
    That does sound good, the Alpina set up is so far superior to the stock Z8, it has far more compliance and suppleness, and you never that that harsh skip and judder on the back roads that are so fun in the Z8.However Alpina sprung and damped worked a treat with heavier sway bars, in the hands of our pro-racer test driver it was absolutely the way to go.
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  3. #3
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    The Alpina set up sounds like a great option but the parts are no longer available as best as I can tell. I have to eventually replace my right front strut, it is beginning to leak, which is why I am looking at a possible better option than our 20 yr old Sachs struts. Does anyone know the spring rate of our OEM springs? Canít seem to find it anywhere. The H&R springs apparently use the same spring rate as OEM but are just shorter.
    Brownie
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  4. #4
    I would be interested in an MCS option. I have MCS in some of the other cars, they typically produce excellent product.

    Thank you.

  5. #5
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    I'd also be interested...

    Quote Originally Posted by GaZ8fan View Post
    The Alpina set up sounds like a great option but the parts are no longer available as best as I can tell. I have to eventually replace my right front strut, it is beginning to leak, which is why I am looking at a possible better option than our 20 yr old Sachs struts. Does anyone know the spring rate of our OEM springs? Canít seem to find it anywhere. The H&R springs apparently use the same spring rate as OEM but are just shorter.
    I've got some front suspension work due in the near future many of us will with these twenty+ year old cars.

  6. #6
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Z8-NL's Avatar
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    at the time back in 2002 I had the special Z8 SCHNITZER suspension set fitted. Is still on the car and works perfectly!

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    After talking to people much smarter than me I am optimistic that it can be done. The mounting points of the e39 and e52 (front strut top, front spindle clamp, rear strut top and rear spindle bolt) are very similar. Front pinch bolt is the exact same part. Rear shock bolt is slightly longer in the e39 but same width and thread pitch.

    Our cars are 400-500 lbs lighter than the M5 and presumably have a different spring rate so the strut will presumably need to be set up with different specs than the ones in the M5 kit. Since these struts are customizable for each personís use case I am confident that MCS can set it up properly. It will be nice to have options since even the many low mile cars are going to eventually have to replace suspension parts. Age is just as much of an enemy as mileage and as pointed out these cars are 20 yrs old.

    More to come.
    Brownie
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  8. #8
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    Ok I took it to Euro Speedwagon (you gotta love that name), a highly respected BMW shop north of Atlanta. Tyler put it on a lift and confirmed what Iíve been told by others. It should work with little difficulty and I will be able to change it back to stock without any problem if needed. The plan is to install two way MCS dampers (both compression and rebound are adjustable), linear springs and replace / upgrade the various suspension items like control arms and ball joints. The spring rate will optimized based upon how I will use the car - weekend cruiser that will spend a lot of time in the N Ga / NC mountains. The great thing about the MCS technology is that the dampers can compensate for stiffer spring set ups if so desired. Great kit.Shout out to Tyler at Euro Speedwagon and Trever at MCS. If you are interested in upgrading the Z8 suspension to modern standards of handling and comfort give them a shout. It will probably be a month or so to get all the parts in so the ďon roadĒ review will have to wait awhile.
    Brownie
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  9. #9
    Z8 Novice
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    Mark can you email me please as I can't seem to send private messages. Thanks!

    [email protected]

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    Imran, email sent.
    Brownie
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  11. #11
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    Update - last week Tyler at Euro Speedwagon took the front and rear suspension assemblies from one side over to MCS so that they could take detailed measurements. Turns out that there will be some customization needed, the M5 kit is not as plug and play as we would like. The biggest issue are the rear struts - they are shorter than M5 struts. We are also going to have to invert the struts since there is not enough clearance to reach the rebound adjustment knob at the top. MCS will get back to us soon on their plan. Worst case I will have it Jan-Feb if they need to do some custom welding / fabrication of the dampers and spindle. They are very meticulous and only use a company in the Netherlands for this work. Still deciding on appropriate spring rates, will be relatively soft since it is a street car and not a track car. Should end up significantly better than stock in terms of handling and comfort. The good news is that MCS will have all the data they need to build you guys a set if interested.
    Brownie
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  12. #12
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    Update 2 - Everything finalized with MCS, work has begun. MCS will use E39 dampers as the base and make some minor changes. They will be fabricating new rear shock mounts since we need to invert the rear dampers. Will use stock front shock mounts. Probably going to use 400 lb springs in the front (vs ~275 stock) and 250 or 300 lb springs in rear. The much improved technology of the MCS dampers will offset any comfort issues from the stiffer springs. As context other BMWís set up for racing use front springs closer to 950 lbs. Completion and install will be mid to late November.
    Brownie
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  13. #13
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    Thanks for the update. Interested to see how it turns out!

  14. #14
    Ditto, should be awesome!
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  15. #15
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    Custom fabricated MCS dampers have arrived! Now I need to get on the calendar of my shop to get them installed. I have a number of things to get done in addition to that - serpentine belt, pulley and bearings, engine mounts, performance package among a few other things. Also installing the bluebus module to get Bluetooth functionality on the stock radio. Pics of the dampers with the Eibach linear springs below:
       
    Brownie
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  16. #16
    Looks awesome, can't wait to hear how they feel and drive.
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  17. #17
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    Thanks Andrew. Over time I would like to build my own version of GMís famous Odinís warhorse 😊. Dinan doesnít support the Z8 anymore so I have to get a little more creative. At some point I would love to get my engine rebuilt by Peter Partee of Partee Racing. He is doing some amazing work with S62 engine rebuilds, anything from stock rebuilds to Daytona prototype builds. Iíll probably stick somewhere in between, maybe shoot for 500 hp at the crank. Car will look stock but be oh so much more fun.
    Brownie
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  18. #18
    You should also check out Dieter's Nowack 500hp Z8. I got to drive it for a moment in Europe when we were doing one of the EU Z8 Club events, and the motor was absolutely sensational. By memory it revved much higher, but it also was balanced and had a lightened flywheel, all of which made it a fabulous dancing partner for brisk driving. I'm not sure if he's still an owner, he hasn't been here in ages, but here's a link to one of his threads with some info on the car info - you could always reach out to him - http://www.bmwz8.us/forum/bmw-z8-cha...owack-846.html

    I never got to drive GM's car, I was driven in it by Steve Dinan, who is a great and fast driver, but you just can't tell what it's actually like to drive from the passenger seat. What you can tell is that it sounded like an angry tin of broken metal at tickover, something to do with the valve system by memory, while massively powerful it was way rougher and less pleasant than the incredibly smooth Nowack experience.
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  19. #19
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    Great info, thanks. Definitely not interested in a full blown race engine, my car will never see a racetrack. I will probably go the route of using Peterís proprietary JE pistons, port and polish the heads and some valve work. Maybe go with the lighter Carrillo rods and a hotter cam. That combined with the Supersprint headers and (hopefully) an Eventuri intake should get me close to my target while still remaining very civilized.
    Brownie
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  20. #20
    Lightening the flywheel and hyper-balancing everything should def be on the 'to do' list, as the S62 has a slightly too heavy flywheel.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  21. #21
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    Agreed, that will be on my list too.
    Brownie
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  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by macfly View Post
    Lightening the flywheel and hyper-balancing everything should def be on the 'to do' list, as the S62 has a slightly too heavy flywheel.
    Andrew - How will this change the feel or drivability of the car? How will it feel different on the road?
    Skip Hammerman

    2002 BMW Z8 - Meisterschaft GT, PP installed, CDV delete. 110,000+ Mile Club
    2013 BMW X3
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  23. #23
    The biggest difference in driver feel/feedback will be in instant rev-matching on heel-toe changes, but the motor will also accelerate fractional quicker.
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  24. #24
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    How much did those end up costing you if you don't mind me asking?

  25. #25
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    The cost of the dampers not including install was close to the prices quoted on the Motion Control Systems website. I got the 1 way non remote adjustable. There was an added cost for the Eibach springs and the custom fabricated rear shock mounts but not huge. All in all it will be more expensive than buying new OEM struts and springs but not as much as you would think. And the technology is much better. Tyler Kirwin at Euro Speedwagon has been working with MCS in developing the suspension package and I highly recommend you give him a call with questions 770-727-1973.
    Brownie
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