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      07-14-2011, 09:03 PM   #1
x3man1994
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Anyone have any Z3 M experience

I was looking to buy a car thats fast, tail happy, a good handler, cheap and impractical. Does anyone have any experience with the Z3 M?
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      07-15-2011, 08:56 AM   #2
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133k miles and counting on mine. Are you looking for an S52 or S54, coupe or roadster? I have an S52 coupe, but know plenty of folks with S54 cars, so would be happy to help on general comments.

I've loved this car and still haven't found a suitable replacement. It's a fun track car, remarkably practical daily driver and has been one of the cheapest cars to operate I've owned.
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      07-15-2011, 09:10 AM   #3
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my buddy has the e85 M roadster and all i can say is that thing is crazy fast on the turns!
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      07-15-2011, 09:13 AM   #4
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I hear good things about them. Check for subframe issues / reinforcement may be needed. I personally prefer the M coupe from that era, but it may be too practical for you.
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      07-15-2011, 09:50 AM   #5
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Yeah, like many BMW's, the rear subframe is a weak point. It can be addressed by using better bushings and replacing the stock single eared diff mount with a dual eared diff mount.

The Z3 used the E30 trailing arm rear suspension with the E36 front suspension, while the Z4 was a proper suspension all around. The Z3's are more raw and hoon worthy becuase of that, but the Z4 is certainly more composed and is almost always faster at most tracks.

The S54 Z3 M Coupes are very rare, I think about 650 were made for the US market, so they're usually fairly dear in pricing. It's not uncommon for them to be more than Z4 M Coupes. However the S52 coupes are not as rare, or as valuable and make a rather good bargain, relatively speaking. Stock for stock, the S52 cars had better gearing and were only a few tenths behind the S54 cars in the quarter mile. Over 100, it's a totally different story, and an S54 car with 3.73 or 3.90 gearing is quite quick.

Perhaps worthy of mentioning, a Z3 M Coupe has exactly enough room in the hatch to fit a full size keg. It's almost like it was designed around it. Other useless trivia, the Z3 coupe is listed as 260% stiffer than the Z3 roadster. The Z4 roadster was listed as being nearly as stiff as the Z3 coupe, and the Z4 coupe is stiffer still. Z3 M Roadsters, especially the S54 cars feel comically overpowered, while the coupes and all Z4's feel much better capable of handling their power. Of course that also means that an S54 Z3 M Roady is about as raw as any recent BMW.
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      07-15-2011, 03:33 PM   #6
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I am in the process of finding another. I wrongly let the below go and have regretted it since.

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