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Z Series (Z3, Z4, Z8) General discussion and technical help for all year Z series cars.

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Old 06-15-2006, 12:06 PM   #1
St_G

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Z3 Subframe failure

So the guys at bimmerforums.com act as though this is a huge, widespread thing and that Z3s are just these ticking timebombs of impending subframe doom...yet searches of posts here, other forums, and across the internet don't turn up that many other mentions of it, and even fewer actual instances of it happening.

So is this just a case of a particular internet subculture whipping itself up into a Chicken Little panic or are they just the only ones bothering to actually talk about it? As someone beginning a search for a used Z3, this gives me pause, but I don't want to put too much emphasis on what seems to be a very vocal outcry from a remarkably small group of people.
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Old 06-15-2006, 12:18 PM   #2
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a lot of the bimmers from the '90s have frame failures (including the E36 and E46) but they only happen during agressive driving, such as taking your car to the track or driving schools, etc. under normal driving conditions you most likely will never see the problem.
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Old 06-15-2006, 02:28 PM   #3
St_G

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Interesting. I wonder if those guys just race their cars more...

I read that BMW's response was that all the failures were related to either modifications and/or racing, but the people on that forum seem pretty dismissive of that claim.
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Old 06-15-2006, 05:32 PM   #4
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It is a pretty big problem... it happens to a lot of people that don't race their car. Just recently someone emailed me because of my postings on unofficialbmw and told me he had it happen to him. He didn't know what to do -- ended up getting a quote of about 3k+ to fix it at EDGE and sold the car for under 1000$.
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Old 06-15-2006, 08:15 PM   #5
St_G

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Well, that clears EVERYTHING up...

Im glad we've got it narrowed to either being a rare thing that happens to racers or a big problem that can happen to anyone.
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Old 06-15-2006, 09:04 PM   #6
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lol. well dont know what to tell ya. we all have our opinions/beliefs.
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Old 06-16-2006, 03:46 AM   #7
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Bimmerforums = MASSS people.

of course they will have more people who race their cars.... when they share they make everyone seem like they have to get their cars fixed or else death.

i don't think it is a biggie.

also, it can be really expensive to weld metal plates for reinforcement.
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Old 06-16-2006, 10:47 PM   #8
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Well, let's put it this way. I own a z3... and I don't plan on putting in the subframe reinforcement kit. However, I don't drive the z3 like I drive my 325. The 325 get's quite abused and takes the damage The z3 is much more of a cruiser car.
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Old 04-30-2007, 09:59 AM   #9
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Hello Chaps, (this reply is also posted in another thread)
The Z3 price drop in the USA may be attributed to the Rear Subframe failures being experienced here. I own a Z3 and a 1992 Miata and the Miata dances circles around my Z3 in performance, handling and durability.

My Z3 has a broken Differential bracket and Subframe breakage. It is happening to quite a bunch of us here, from weekend completely stock canyon cruisers to those who modiy their Z's. Tha's why I bought the Miata.

Have a Look if you wish:
www.bmwZ3subframeproblems.homestead.com

Why not join a Miata club you ask? Miata has 185,000-miles on it and no loss of compression or excessive oil usage...i just may. I do a Autocross in parking lots maybe 6 times a year and the stock Miata's consistantly beat the stock Z3's fairly easily. The Z3 only beats Miata in looks but Miatas are almost indestructable and age incredibly well.

Thanks Gents and enjoy your Z's
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Old 04-30-2007, 11:43 AM   #10
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The Z3, in my honest opinion, is mostly for rich wives who want a convertible. In Missouri, you will alomst never see a man drive a Z3. The Z4, however, is a balls-to-the-wall convertible. Rich wives hate it because it is too "bare" and men love it because it's, well, pretty bad-ass for a convertible.
And a Miata?
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Old 08-24-2011, 03:12 PM   #11
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Z-3 E36 subframe failure

To all I have a 1999 M roadster with a broken subframe. I can't believe these have not been recalled as my rearend is held in the car by only the exhaust. I could have been killed.This car has not been on a track nor has it been modified it is my daily driver. After contacting BMW I got the run around like you read on the internet. Ten they offerd to pay $2000 on a $10,000 fix. I then got a lawyer and BMW told them I put aftermarket wheels on the car so this is why it failed. After that they offered $5,000. I still said no and my lawyer is contiunting to discuss. My lawyer is now interested in a class action law suit and will be willing to accept past and present cases. If you repaired your car at your own expense or it currently has issues you can join this suit. Don't bother the dealers as they have no impact and in my case won't even return phone calls ( KUNI in Beaverton Or.) If you are interested in joining this fight contact me at dgaudren@yahoo.com with your information
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