Jump to content


BMW suspension on a Z?


Recommended Posts

I'm pretty sure I'm going to install the M6 motor and trans in a Z but I started thinking about all the suspension parts and if it would be possible to use those as well.

I've never done a suspension transplant before so this might just be a terrible idea but I thought I would ask, where would I start on this?


I think I would have to keep the Z steering rack...

I guess I would really have to place the entire front and rear suspension set up under the Z and  see what metal needs removal and what needs to be added for support.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why?  It seems to me that handling is probably more easily improved using available after-market suspension upgrades.

Our old Z's may not "feel" as smooth, or be as "easy" to drive fast as cars with modern suspensions, but they still handle quite well in the hands of a good driver.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chris. I seem to agree with Oiluj. This project could very easily go feral on you leaving you with a Zed that just refuses to steer right due to geometry issues and a Beemer in pieces.

I like your other idea better: Transplanting the M5 engine and gearbox in the Z. Maybe going to an R180 with LSD and selling the BMW parts to buy a GC coilover system like HaZmat.

My 2 cents.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

The suspension is out of what Bimmer?

its great weather here and Im in the backyard drinking some beers with a friend. Beemer is a nickname for old BMW's here in the netherlands . Google dikke beemer and you will see what I mean.



Edited by EuroDat
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the US some very serious BMW people call BMW bikes "Beemers" and the cars are referred to as "Bimmers". That is something I picked up when I was a member of BMWCCA.


As for the suspension swap. If I am making the correct assumptions I believe the donor car is an E24 M6. If it is then there is a lot of work to transplant the suspension.

The track width is 56.3 / 57.5 (Front / Rear) for the M6

The track width is 53.5 / 53 (Front / Rear) for the Z


So you are gonna have some width issues to deal with. Also you have to determine where all the M6 suspension wants to mount to keep all the factory caster / camber/ Etc. If you narrow up the strut mounting locations to mount in the Z you change the geometry of the suspension. Also the M6 suspension is going to transmit loads to the Z body differently. That means lots of reinforcing and reengineering.

You will also have to mount the M6 rear cross member that holds the trailing arms. Is there enough room in the Z floor pan to accommodate that?

You would also have to add the mounting studs out near the Z doglegs. Not a super strong point in the car and prone to deterioration.

Also there appears to be no camber or toe in adjustment on the E24 like on my E36's. They tend to get off with bushing wear. Just added adjustable camber & toe in on our E36/7. Lots of work.

I believe you would have to strip a lot of the car in order to do all the welding work required. My 2 cents is like Chas' much easier to go coilover and put that time and work into the drivetrain swap if you pursue that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I did say it might be a terrible idea and it certainly wouldn't be the first time.


Charles, I started doing some of those measurements today and came to the same conclusion.

Yes, it would go "feral" pretty quickly.


OK thanks guys, I appreciate all of your advice.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Guidelines. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.