Is this a MAJOR problem or just cosmetic?

Discuss problems you have had or are having with your Z4
Shipkiller
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Is this a MAJOR problem or just cosmetic?

Post by Shipkiller » Sat Jan 12, 2008 8:46 pm

I was out under my hood (bonnet for you Brits) :rofl: and I found that the upper strut assemblies are cracked.

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Looking at my manual I think that number 1 is the culprit.

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I am thinking that this is a cosmetic issue (still must be fixed) and the load bearing assembly is number seven and eight in the drawing..
Am I correct or is this a REAL issue??
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Re: Is this a MAJOR problem or just cosmetic?

Post by Lotus1 » Sat Jan 12, 2008 9:04 pm

Item one is the shock-absorber mount - would make a mess of your bonnet (hood to you non-Brits) if it were to fail but I think that's very unlikely.

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Re: Is this a MAJOR problem or just cosmetic?

Post by ay8306 » Sat Jan 12, 2008 9:25 pm

I agree that Item 1 is the structural member in this. You can see the three studs which attach the mount to the strut tower. In order to withstand the suspension loads, I would assume that this (item 1) is a steel part. It is hard to tell from the photo, but it appears that the crack is in a plastic part (i.e.; most likely non-structural). I would still have it checked out right away.
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Re: Is this a MAJOR problem or just cosmetic?

Post by Aebous » Sat Jan 12, 2008 10:46 pm

I concur, get it checked. Where's NDI when you need them?
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Re: Is this a MAJOR problem or just cosmetic?

Post by Shipkiller » Sat Jan 12, 2008 11:57 pm

Whats NDI?
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Re: Is this a MAJOR problem or just cosmetic?

Post by Shipkiller » Sun Jan 13, 2008 3:01 am

After lots of internet/forum searches, this is a big problem on E46, Z3 and Z4's.
BMW has a fix you can get a Turner: http://www.turnermotorsport.com/html/de ... 1717036781
that bolts in between the strut and the car body.

After looking at it again, the piece (number one on the drawing) is heavy rubber with an aluminum insert.

It is an easy fix, but will take a little time. Get the new strut piece, use spring clamps, remove the strut. Replace part, reinstall...
The new parts are approx. $45.00 each. Not sure what the steelers want for it.

I don't think I am in any real danger in the short term unless I track the car or drive it hard (me not drive hard :evil: ).... Most owners don't even know they have a problem until they start to hear a knocking noise from up front...
If I get time on Monday, I am going to take it up to one of the local dealers and see what they say. If they want an 'arm and a leg' for the repair :rofl: , I will order the parts and do it myself.

Guess I will have to get a four wheel alignment after all.....

Update, After looking at my techmanuals, the part no. for cars built before 03/03 is 31 33 6 759 871
after that date they changed something and issued a new part number: 31 33 6 764 947
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Re: Is this a MAJOR problem or just cosmetic?

Post by Rick Hunter » Sun Jan 13, 2008 3:35 am

Nice writeup mate. :thumbsup:
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Re: Is this a MAJOR problem or just cosmetic?

Post by Shipkiller » Sun Jan 13, 2008 3:48 am

My wife says I act like I lost my best friend................ :idunno: :sick2:
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Re: Is this a MAJOR problem or just cosmetic?

Post by ovrkll » Sun Jan 13, 2008 4:30 am

Ooooh, wow, sorry to hear that it happened to you! I mentioned a long time ago in a previous thread about strut towers mushrooming (never thought to see one crack), and that is a major reason I bought my strut brace. It prevents exactly what you have experienced.
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Re: Is this a MAJOR problem or just cosmetic?

Post by inTgr8r » Sun Jan 13, 2008 4:19 pm

ovrkll wrote:Ooooh, wow, sorry to hear that it happened to you! I mentioned a long time ago in a previous thread about strut towers mushrooming (never thought to see one crack), and that is a major reason I bought my strut brace. It prevents exactly what you have experienced.
Yes... one advantage of the STB that isn't often mentioned.

SK, if the top piece is cracked like that,
wouldn't that lead you to suspect part #7 as well?

.......
BTW, hands up; who ran out & checked their shock towers???? :thumbsup:

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Re: Is this a MAJOR problem or just cosmetic?

Post by Rick Hunter » Sun Jan 13, 2008 7:43 pm

:crazydude: I knew it was a good idea to get an STB...
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Re: Is this a MAJOR problem or just cosmetic?

Post by Shipkiller » Sun Jan 13, 2008 11:57 pm

Won't know until I get in there. I don't think so. This is due to the fact that number 7 is the Upper Spring Plate.

What 'I think' is happening is that the whole shock assembly is being stressed farther in the X & Y axises more than the Guide Support (No. 1) is able to take over the long term. The Guide Support is made of Rubber and a relatively soft Aluminum center core/sleeve. The Upper Spring Plate (No. 7) does not see that shearing force because it is attached as a unit and only sees the X axis forces...

I think BMW figured this out and updated the Guide Support, hence the new part number.

I still am undecided if I should drive the car or not.
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Re: Is this a MAJOR problem or just cosmetic?

Post by Aebous » Mon Jan 14, 2008 5:30 am

NDI is Non Destructive Inspection....various ways to do it, BUT chances are unless you have the equipment it would probably be major $$$
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Re: Is this a MAJOR problem or just cosmetic?

Post by cj10jeeper » Mon Jan 14, 2008 9:24 am

IMHO if one part is cracking, albeit plastic then the underlying structural parts are pushing up to create that. Personally I'd nto drive it until I'd stripped and was sure.

Seen far too many struts pop through front bonnets on off roaders and it's very messy :(
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Re: Is this a MAJOR problem or just cosmetic?

Post by Wondermike » Mon Jan 14, 2008 6:27 pm

Looks pretty serious to me, no? Did [b/]curtis[/b] not have trouble with the bulkhead welds on his car, or something like that?

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