Hello & Z3 Coupe [Irish] Tarmac Suspension

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Hello & Z3 Coupe [Irish] Tarmac Suspension

Postby nick323ti » Sat Apr 12, 2014 12:27 pm

Hi all,

Well after having joined this forum a while back this is my first post. I've read many of the build and tech threads on this forum with interest and find it a great resource!

I've been doing special stage (forestry) rallying for many years in a 205, 309 and more recently in a Mk.2 Escort. I've prepped all my rally cars myself with reasonable success.

Anyhow, moving on...the Mk.2 is pretty much a bottomless pit in terms of time and money (surprise, surprise) so I've decided to park the Mk.2 until I win the Euromillions and look at building a BMW for tarmac stage rallying in Ireland.

The...ahem... 'design philosophy' - or sort of plan - is to build a car with a non-BMW 2 litre 4-pot engine with a not-too-ambitious power output of say around 170-180bhp (e.g. Zetec, Duratec or XE territory) which allows me to use BMW OEM big-6 bits which shouldn't be stressed at all and prove reliable and low cost relative to expensive exotic bits needed for reliability in high power situations.
I also plant to harvest some of the bits out of my escort like the close-ratio Type-9, pedal box and a few others bits and pieces.

One area where I'm willing to push the boat out is on suspension but I haven't anything that I'm really happy with yet.

I've been mulling over suitable base models options and I'm leaning towards a 3 litre Z3 coupe (breadvan).

I'm ready to start this project, have a car lined-up to buy, etc but I'm not doing anything until I can figure out what suspension to use. I need a good bit of travel for Irish tarmac so maybe something like custom strut bodies with 300/70 Bilstein inserts or maybe Proflex?

If anyone has any advice on what suspension to use for bumpy tarmac or could share their experiences of using 300/70 Bilstein & custom strut bodies or Proflex or Sellholm, etc I would be most grateful.

Thanks,
Nick
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Re: Hello & Z3 Coupe [Irish] Tarmac Suspension

Postby bruvs1 » Sat Apr 12, 2014 6:27 pm

Hi, everybody wants z3m breadvan back end which is like rocking horse s**t, recently built this up for a forum member but he had to break a full car to get it!! And not cheap. Wide track z3 back end is more available off z3 2.2- 2.8 . Bilstein is available direct and cheaper depends on budget..
http://www.bruvsmotorworks.co.uk 320is, 330is rallying!
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Re: Hello & Z3 Coupe [Irish] Tarmac Suspension

Postby nick323ti » Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:36 am

I agree re Z3M, but the back end of a non-M 6 pot Z3 should do me fine.
I'd just need a decent CWP (518 auto estate 4.45?) and LSD (or even ATB) and I should be OK...

For the front suspension, I was thinking of Bilsteins too. I've had them (coilovers & 260/60 inserts) on the Escort and 205 with no issues on gravel so would be happy to use them again with tarmac inserts.

I'd be happy enough to use fixed platform Bilsteins (B6 or B8) too if I knew they were up to the job and if I thought I could get suitable springs...

Does anyone have a contact in Bilstein who could go through the options with me?

Thanks,
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Re: Hello & Z3 Coupe [Irish] Tarmac Suspension

Postby bruvs1 » Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:36 am

+44 1455 283407 bilstein UK Leicester. Wide z3 back end is more available at the mo, might even be worth breaking a whole car as later wide ones have m44 engine or a 2.8 manual one! :wink:
http://www.bruvsmotorworks.co.uk 320is, 330is rallying!
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Re: Hello & Z3 Coupe [Irish] Tarmac Suspension

Postby nick323ti » Mon Apr 21, 2014 9:05 am

Many thanks for sending on the Bilstein contact details.

As I mentioned previously, I have a '99 2.8 Z3 coupe lined up at a reasonable-ish price only there are a few issues I need to get clear about.

First off rather than swap the original engine for something else, I'm more inclined to keep the original engine for the time being. One issue though is that the original engine is the M52TUB28 - i.e. the twin vanos type. Before I looked at the car I thought it might have the M52B28 which I understood meant I could do a few low cost tuning mods like fitting the M50 intake manifold and perhaps a few other bit and pieces. Now I'm not at all sure what I can do to the TUB28.

The second (and more pressing) issue is that the car is an automatic which I was happy enough about initially because I understand (from realoem) that it has a 4.1 cwp and by using a VIN decoder website it has a LSD fitted as standard. I thought that I would be able to swap the automatic for a manual box (e.g. 5 speed M3 'box) relatively easily but after doing a bit of research I have discovered that it involves a lot of messing with the cars electrics/electronics which for me is really daunting. :x
Also I think the Z3 I'm looking at has OBDII which maybe makes the swap even more complicated?

I'm happy enough at swinging spanners and welding but anything to doing with BMW auto electrics/ electronics makes me fairly nervous. The extent of my experience fiddling with auto electrics is on a Mk.2 which only has a few wires :roll:

If anyone has undertaken an auto to manual swap and can share their experience or if anyone can advise whether it is do-able without a major amount of fluting around with electronics I'd be confident to proceed and would be very grateful.

Thanks
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Re: Hello & Z3 Coupe [Irish] Tarmac Suspension

Postby Garry.M » Mon Apr 21, 2014 1:19 pm

The only person that I can think of that might be able to help,,, and do the conversion +supply some of the bits you'd need is Chris Ransley- 07949 464954
It's worth a call and see what he says,,, very helpful guy
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