Buying a Z4MR, advice needed from wiser heads...

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MichaelPorter80
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Buying a Z4MR, advice needed from wiser heads...

Post by MichaelPorter80 » Sun May 12, 2019 10:18 pm

Hello, all I'm looking for some advice...

2006, 2 owners from new, Full Main Dealer BMWSH, all intervals look good, mileage is now 53k. I'm not concerned about the general maintenance, as I am confident in the seller and have done my checks. What I am wondering is what I should budget for in either preventative maintenance or general fixes in the first year or so, and beyond?

I'm obviously not talking about brakes, tyres and window wipers :wink: but more potential major issues, which I have an opportunity to prevent. I plan to do about 6k per year and want to keep it for the long term. I have made the mistake of reading horror stories about engine mounts, Vanos systems, Rod Bearings and so on, but I don't know how common these issues are, or whether there is anything I can or should do about preventing them.

So in a nutshell, if money were no object (not that is isn't!!) what should I consider doing after buying the car. Those of you who have owned a Z4M roadster between 50-100k miles, is there anything specific I should be thinking about/preparing for?

I know this is a broad topic, but any advice would be appreciated. This will be my 3rd Z4, I honestly believe it is one of the most beautiful cars ever made, but it is my first M and I want to make sure I do all I can to enjoy it for the long haul!

Thanks in advance. :D
1st Z4 bought in 2009 - Sapphire Black, 2.0l Sport SOLD
2nd Z4 bought in 2013 - Midnight Blue, 2.0l Sport SOLD
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Buying a Z4MR, advice needed from wiser heads...

Post by buzyg » Sun May 12, 2019 10:31 pm

53k is nicely run for an S54, that has been looked after. Enjoy it. :driving: Mine is just over 70k now. Next ins 2, I plan to have the clam shells done to. If the car has been driven hard then the suspension may be feeling it by now. But honestly, if you found a half decent one then it should n't cause you any major headache for a good few miles yet. :wink:
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Buying a Z4MR, advice needed from wiser heads...

Post by srhutch » Sun May 12, 2019 10:36 pm

Vanos doesn’t appear to be an issue tbh. Rod bearings at 70k is what my Indy has advised, which for me is another 10 years :lol:

Apart from the usual roof motor on roadsters which is easy to sort not a lot to worry about.
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Buying a Z4MR, advice needed from wiser heads...

Post by Spaniarduk » Sun May 12, 2019 10:40 pm

First thing I can think of is rod big end bearing shells. The mileage going for the replacement seems to be 60 - 70k miles, but highly dependent on how well looked after the engine's been. Thrashing the engine before the oil reaches 75C is a no-no. Oil and filter should also be replaced more often than BMW's advice. I do mine every spring and tthatson a car that does 3k a year. Factor about £1000 for an Indy to do the shells.

Valve clearance should have been done at Inspection 2, but mine had not had it done when it went for it at BMW with 24k, shortly before I got it. Ideally it should be checked every 30k.

Vamos..... Dependes. I think mine could do with a check up at 32k now. I has a few tell tales that point towards that
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Buying a Z4MR, advice needed from wiser heads...

Post by Viren » Tue May 14, 2019 11:57 pm

Most important would be bottom end bearings around 70k (around 1k), then engine mounts (around £400), then vanos rebuild (around £800).
07 Z4MC standard spec

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Buying a Z4MR, advice needed from wiser heads...

Post by alex.baker1989 » Wed May 15, 2019 1:07 pm

MichaelPorter80 wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 10:18 pm
Hello, all I'm looking for some advice...

2006, 2 owners from new, Full Main Dealer BMWSH, all intervals look good, mileage is now 53k. I'm not concerned about the general maintenance, as I am confident in the seller and have done my checks. What I am wondering is what I should budget for in either preventative maintenance or general fixes in the first year or so, and beyond?

I'm obviously not talking about brakes, tyres and window wipers :wink: but more potential major issues, which I have an opportunity to prevent. I plan to do about 6k per year and want to keep it for the long term. I have made the mistake of reading horror stories about engine mounts, Vanos systems, Rod Bearings and so on, but I don't know how common these issues are, or whether there is anything I can or should do about preventing them.

So in a nutshell, if money were no object (not that is isn't!!) what should I consider doing after buying the car. Those of you who have owned a Z4M roadster between 50-100k miles, is there anything specific I should be thinking about/preparing for?

I know this is a broad topic, but any advice would be appreciated. This will be my 3rd Z4, I honestly believe it is one of the most beautiful cars ever made, but it is my first M and I want to make sure I do all I can to enjoy it for the long haul!

Thanks in advance. :D
I've only had my Z4MR (52k miles now) for 2 months. The only thing I can report is needing diff seals, but that could be circumstantial and I'm not sure if it's a common wear item.

Other than that the roof motor seems to be a recurring issue, depending on whether or not it's been relocated out of harms way. I'd check that out first. Lots of people have mentioned rod bearing failure at 70k miles. I've spoken to my Indy about this and according to them, it's ultra rare for an S54 to develop this problem, and they get M3's in almost every day for regular maintenance (unless I'm missing something here).

I'd advise getting an INS II done for peace of mind, making sure you get the valve clearances printed out even if they don't need adjusting. I'd also suggest getting a gearbox and diff oil change whilst you're at it to put your mind at ease - that way you can enjoy the car knowing that it's mechanically at its best without taking any chances.
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MichaelPorter80
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Buying a Z4MR, advice needed from wiser heads...

Post by MichaelPorter80 » Wed May 15, 2019 1:09 pm

All incredibly helpful guys, thanks, roof motor has been moved, picking her up Sunday can’t wait!!!
1st Z4 bought in 2009 - Sapphire Black, 2.0l Sport SOLD
2nd Z4 bought in 2013 - Midnight Blue, 2.0l Sport SOLD
3rd Z4 bought in 2019 - Sapphire Black Z4MR Imola Red Leather

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Buying a Z4MR, advice needed from wiser heads...

Post by Mr Tidy » Wed May 15, 2019 8:03 pm

Very useful thread OP - I'm going to look at an MC next week. :lol:

Have a great day on Sunday, and don't forget the photos!
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Buying a Z4MR, advice needed from wiser heads...

Post by Jembo » Wed May 15, 2019 8:44 pm

Good hunting - in terms of a priority as mentioned above

1. INSP 2 if not had one, after +12 years it’s preventative maintenance
2. Start budgeting for rod bearings & suggest choosing an Indy who does them regularly with new uprated bolts & shells. Doing same time as a service will also mean it covers the oil change only once

Otherwise the rest is just how new you want it to feel
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Buying a Z4MR, advice needed from wiser heads...

Post by MrPT » Wed May 15, 2019 10:18 pm

Agree with others re rod bearings and clearances. ABS pump is another thing you could proactively budget for, as you may know from past ownership.

Vanos isn’t a common issue and engine mounts won’t just fail randomly - it’s the bracket bolts that shear or come loose and these can be checked and fixed cheaply before anything serious happens.

Have fun! :)
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Buying a Z4MR, advice needed from wiser heads...

Post by Felix79 » Thu May 16, 2019 6:32 am

I got my M-Roadster last Nov and this is the stuff I wanted to have present.

When I looked at the car, I wanted to see things like an "Honest" engine bay. This means, that it should be tidy with no oil leaks etc, but I didn't want it to look like it had an engine/bay clean. Cars with shiny clean bays, means there was something that needed cleaning up or is done to hide something. Also, my old man was a car detailer for 20 years and he usually would refuse to clean an engine as it is a risky thing. Back when his business was part of a francise, the larger company would do the RAC rally, cleaning off the race cars at the end of day stage. Because of the pressure washer, some of the cars could be killed off if high pressure water hit the wrong part. :o

Service history is vital and also what else would be done at each service. The two previous owners of my car, would spend money on getting extras done each time it had a service. It shows they had attention to detail, which means any little fault was dealt with. It shows they had the money to afford to run the car properly. My dads E46 M3 didn't have this level of previous owner and cost him thousands in getting the car sorted, even though it was a young low milage example.

I like a car where there are pages and pages of receipts for work carried out, as it shows the history of the car and how well it's been cared for.

When taking a car for a test drive, I get dad to drive it for me, while I am in the passanger seat, listening and feeling for anything that is not right. By getting someone you know/trust drive, means it won't be the dealer/seller, who will rabbit on about things, which can mask anything that may be wrong with the car. After a while, swap over and see if there is anything each other notices, the other may have missed. Also, make sure you give the car a good run, so you can tell if there is any overheating/running issues once the car is up to temp.

There is an old and wise saying, rough people and rough cars go together. These cars are NOT cheap to run and are now cheap enough that they can be got cheap enough for someone without the funds to run it, could buy it, thinking it's going to be as cheap as an old E46 to run.

With the roadsters, don't be put off by a car with a high number of previous owners. It's very typical people only hold on to them for one or two summers, before wanting something else. This is not typically a car normal people like to use as a daily.

After the trouble my dads E46 M3 had, I would only buy from a dealer who would do a full cover warranty. This saved my backside, as there were 3 things that came up that meant I had to get stuff done on the car.

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Buying a Z4MR, advice needed from wiser heads...

Post by Jembo » Thu May 16, 2019 8:04 am

Felix79 wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 6:32 am
After the trouble my dads E46 M3 had, I would only buy from a dealer who would do a full cover warranty. This saved my backside, as there were 3 things that came up that meant I had to get stuff done on the car.
I’d beg to differ, as all based on experiences.

Whilst a form of trader warranty can save your bacon, I’ve often found talking to the owner of the car gives you far better insight than a dealer ever could... & have walked away from many Dealer / Private cars before choosing mine.

Finding a forum car that hasn’t wanted for anything, with a fastidious owner who warms the oil properly before being enthusiastic is where I believe is best to look... and normally you don’t have to ask, they’ll be genuinely excited about the car, plus you’ll have a digital history here to complement the service history, which should tell you everything they don’t.

Good hunting
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Buying a Z4MR, advice needed from wiser heads...

Post by MDUBZ » Thu May 16, 2019 8:09 am

Agree with a lot of the above but a shiny engine bay could just mean the car is well looked after: I keep my engine clean - it hurts me to lift the bonnet and see dirt and it’s easier to diagnose faults if they arise - they can handle a bit of water will do mine a couple of times a year only ever requires a quick squirt of engine cleaner and a gentle rinse with water. Ask lots of questions and if what you see and smell and what you hear don’t add up you can always walk away - It’s easy to travel a fair distance to look at a car and have already convinced yourself that you want the car before you have seen it (been there done that more than once :rofl: )

Do some research and check for common problems e.g. rear springs. Has the work been done or should you factor in some additional budget - I always allow myself a £2K window - my JCW cost me an extra £500: health check (peace of mind), a decoke and a PCV change to tackle an engine thirsty for oil.. (it still has a drink problem but it’s within the BMW tolerance of 1L every 1000miles :| )

The standard checks apply:
Get to check it over and start from cold
Tyres, oil, bodywork, arches and underside.
Don’t buy in the rain (it hides a multitude of body work sins)
Start it up
Check for rattles, strange noises and get out and check for oil in the exhaust gas
Check that all the electrics work (roof, windows, heated seats, audio, lights)
Take it for a drive
Use all the gears at a variety of revs, rattles, pulling
Test the brakes
Try not to scare the s**t out of the owner if you take them out for a test drive (private sales) do the reverse if its a salesman on a trade sale.
Optional step: ignore everything your head says, take some brave pills and buy the car regardless
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Buying a Z4MR, advice needed from wiser heads...

Post by Spaniarduk » Thu May 16, 2019 11:15 am

Jembo wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 8:04 am

I’d beg to differ, as all based on experiences.

Whilst a form of trader warranty can save your bacon, I’ve often found talking to the owner of the car gives you far better insight than a dealer ever could... & have walked away from many Dealer / Private cars before choosing mine.

Finding a forum car that hasn’t wanted for anything, with a fastidious owner who warms the oil properly before being enthusiastic is where I believe is best to look... and normally you don’t have to ask, they’ll be genuinely excited about the car, plus you’ll have a digital history here to complement the service history, which should tell you everything they don’t.

Good hunting
I totally agree.

Id like to point out following other ppl's comments re. Inspection 2. Inps2 without an unequivocal reference to valve clearance check being done is not an Insp2 and to my surprise this is what many official BMW service garages do for low mileage engines. When i got my Z4M with 24k it had Insp2 done a few months before I bought it and I could not see any comments in the paperwork. Also the cost for said Insp2 was just above £600. I still went ahead and bought it because of the low mileage would be fair to say one would argue valve clearance should be warrant on mileage, not on a car that spent 10 years parked in a garage. My opinion anyway...
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Buying a Z4MR, advice needed from wiser heads...

Post by Felix79 » Thu May 16, 2019 12:25 pm

Jembo wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 8:04 am
Felix79 wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 6:32 am
After the trouble my dads E46 M3 had, I would only buy from a dealer who would do a full cover warranty. This saved my backside, as there were 3 things that came up that meant I had to get stuff done on the car.
I’d beg to differ, as all based on experiences.

Whilst a form of trader warranty can save your bacon, I’ve often found talking to the owner of the car gives you far better insight than a dealer ever could... & have walked away from many Dealer / Private cars before choosing mine.

Finding a forum car that hasn’t wanted for anything, with a fastidious owner who warms the oil properly before being enthusiastic is where I believe is best to look... and normally you don’t have to ask, they’ll be genuinely excited about the car, plus you’ll have a digital history here to complement the service history, which should tell you everything they don’t.

Good hunting
I see your point, I had not really considered a car owned by a forum user. When I have bought and sold guitars in the past, I typically only use the guitarist forum I am on, if I am unable to try the guitar first.

Going from my own situation, Oxford is NOT a good place to find cars like a Z4M, as this city is not a car friendly place at all and every time my dad and I have bought cars that are fun, we've had to go some distance to view/buy our previous cars.

While a "digital forum history" is good in principle, I think it's not going to have as much "value" as a folder with invoices/receipts detailing everything in the eyes of the general public. Also, with people being able to edit their forum posts, it wouldn't be too hard for someone to "add/remove" things that have been done to a car. While I believe that most people on forums such as this are honest people, all it takes is one person taking advantage and the reputation of a whole forum can be tarnished by their actions.

I was very lucky that outside of Oxford, there is a small dealer who gets a nice range of "cult" and petrolhead cars. He also has a garage linked with his dealership, that allows him to get stuff done on cars quickly. That safety net, was important to me, as my old man had so many problems with his M3 in the first year of ownership, that a warranty would have covered. He ended up having to get Mr Vanos come down and install one of his custom Vanos units, as well as getting a load of work done on the SMG gearbox. This was one hell of a big bill that caused my mum to be very "unhappy" about how he was paying out so much money, on a car that already was pricey enough.

Also, with any 21st century M-Car, it's much harder for a DIY mechanic to do everything at home and most people are going to want to see a car with either a dealer or a specialist (the better of the two IMO) being involved with the cars history. Without this, it's going to be hard to get a good price on a car, as people will expect a heavy discount, which considering people may just not bother even going to look at the car, is going to offset any savings doing the work yourself might gain you.

Due to damage I have to my lower back, I can't do any work on my car myself, which means if anything goes wrong, I need to get either one of my mechanic friends to take the car into their workshop to repair, or get it sent to a garage that can sort it. The stress I would have worrying about something going wrong, would do me no good what so ever. Also, when I was looking at cars last year, my mum was wanting me to get something as new as possible and something that was going to be reliable. I was effectively given her 2010 factory JCW Mini Cooper S and when I told her I was not only looking at older cars, but a BMW that had a lot of the same bits my old mans E46 M3 had, she really needed a lot of convincing that it would not be a repeat of the problems dad had with it.

As you originally said, it's based on our experiences with cars and our Z4M's. For me, I had a lot of things to consider due to my health and being based in Oxford, where prices are very high and trustworthy, qualified and priced fairly garages are not that common. I think if I am ever in the situation to get a Z4M-Coupe, I would most likely be happy to get one a forum member has owned, as I know most of the members are the type of owners you want to buy from. But in Nov last year, I was totally new to the forums and I didn't feel comfortable in just having blind faith things would work out.

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