Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Don’t you just love it when a car maker pays respect to its heritage? We certainly do. Although BMW’s “Mobile Tradition” department has been around since 1994 not only supplying parts but also re-conditioning worn car/motorcycle components such as engines, transmissions, alternators and electronic control units, we guess that the Bavarian’s want to get the word around again -hence the new press release. According to BMW, approximately 14,000 parts have been re-built ever since the establishment of BMW Mobile Tradition in 1994, which is more than 50 per cent of the entire supply of parts available.
As a rule, BMW Mobile Tradition takes responsibility for the supply of parts 20 years after the end of production of a specific motorcycle and 15 years after the end of production of one of BMW’s cars. Of course there are exceptions such as one of my personal “dream-garage-cars”, the Z1. The supply of parts for this luscious roadster started just seven years after the end of production. If you’re an owner or a wannabe owner of a classic bimmer, hop over to www.bmw-mobiletradition.com for more info. -Follow the jump for the image gallery and the press release
The name says it all: Mobile Tradition. More than 200,000 enthusiasts the world over have joined forces within approximately 600 brand clubs ensuring that the history of BMW lives on – a world record. And when it comes to “living on”, the fans and aficionados of the brand take things very literally: The overwhelming majority of the worldwide fleet of classic BMWs made up of more than 200,000 cars and 70,000 motorcycles are not parked somewhere in museums and garages where they just gather dust, but are rather driven actively on the road. This is attributable not only to the robust BMW technology of way back then, but rather and above all the supply of parts today.
The stock of parts covered by BMW Mobile Tradition comprises some 24,000 individual items, most of them parts for classic cars and motorcycles introduced after 1948. So the enthusiast wishing today to live out his youth dream of a BMW 2002 or R 75/5 need not worry about repair and maintenance: “We want every BMW classic with two, three or four wheels to receive full approval and homologation by the motor traffic authorities” – this is the philosophy of BMW Mobile Tradition.
Focusing on post-war classics.
Starting with the R 24 introduced in 1948, the list of parts available becomes longer as the models involved grow younger. The R 24 single-cylinder motorcycle was the first BMW road vehicle introduced after the war, once again taking up the Company’s production of series motorcycles.
The most recent “youngtimer” from BMW series production the experts at BMW Mobile Tradition have now taken into their fold is the second generation of the BMW 5 Series built from 1981–1988.
Exactly what parts and components are included in the list of items for subsequent production is decided by the customer. Maintaining close contacts with brand clubs, drivers of BMW classics, and the market as such, the experts at BMW Mobile Tradition know exactly where demand is greatest.
As a rule, responsibility for the supply of parts moves over to BMW Mobile Tradition 20 years after the end of production of a specific motorcycle and 15 years after the end of production of one of BMW’s cars, the objective in all cases being to ensure that such classic BMWs remain on the road for a long time to come. By comparison, the period of parts supply required by law, at least in Germany, is only ten years after the end of production.
Parts supply guaranteed: the BMW Z1, a genuine spearhead in technology.
There are also exceptions. One of them is the BMW Z1 quite literally born as a “classic” right from the start – a two-seater spearhead in technology built up to the year 1991 in monocoque design, with its outer skin made of a special synthetic material, and doors moving right down into the side-sills.
The supply of parts for this unique model started just seven years after the end of production, again with and through BMW Mobile Tradition. And the main reason was that the BMW Z1 sports car was always regarded as a very special model built in a production run limited strictly to 8,000 units.
When the supply of parts for a specific model series becomes the responsibility of Mobile Tradition, the simplest job is the physical transfer of the parts and components still available. Indeed, such parts and components remain at BMW’s Parts Supply Centre at Plant Dingolfing, and are handed over to BMW Mobile Tradition only in organisational terms.
However, this also means that BMW Mobile Tradition assumes responsibility for the tools and production machines used for making the parts involved. And the decision as to the future of such tools must be carefully considered: Once such production facilities are scrapped, there is no further option to produce the parts involved as originals. And this, incidentally, involves not only the tooling used by BMW in the production of parts, since the experts at Mobile Tradition also have a word to say regarding the fate of important production facilities used by BMW’s suppliers.
Establishing an important back-up: storage of tools.
Pressing tools for body components and highly complex moulds for model-specific parts come right at the top on the priority list of production facilities to be maintained. So all of these tools and facilities important for subsequent production are stored for the future and kept in a safe place.
The other side of the coin is that even the best tools only have a limited service life which may well be reached by the time the model involved is taken out of production. So while such tools, once they have reached the end of their useful life, go to the scrap press, the most important asset still remains with Mobile Tradition: their design and construction plans.
As soon as the stock of parts made by means of such tools starts to dwindle, Mobile Tradition orders the production of new tools. And proceeding from the number of cars still on the road as well as demand for the specific component involved, the experts of Mobile Tradition are able to calculate quite precisely how long the current stock will last.
100 per cent original: material, surface, quality.
This system has been working very successfully since 1994, the year in which BMW established Mobile Tradition with a clear objective: Only a fully functional, perfectly looking classic car can be a credible and convincing witness of its time. And making this possible is not always easy with cars and motorcycles built in the past. The older the model series, the greater the challenge to the specialist in re-building the necessary parts and components.
So this is where teamwork is essential: In cooperation with Sales, Parts Engineering, Planning and Purchasing, the specialists put together a precise production plan, in the same way as for a current model series in production today.
To begin with, this means compiling all the information available on the part or component required. The most important data, of course, is the material the part was originally made of, the machining process applied at the time, and whether there was any special treatment of the part’s structure or surface.
The quality of the material used is of decisive significance above all with engine or transmission components if they are to harmonise perfectly with existing old parts later on in practical use.
All the information available is important in this context: drawings still available, specimens and technical data. The database used for this purpose is BMW’s comprehensive Group Archives housing hundreds of thousands of technical data, descriptions and design drawings from 90 years of BMW product history.
Re-production of parts requires genuine teamwork.
Following this first phase, the big moment in Technical Support and Purchasing comes next: The challenge is now to find a supplier able to build a classic part the right way and in the right quality. This can be done only by a premium supplier since the quality demands made of classic parts are the same as the demands made of current components in models produced today.
Finding such a supplier is not always an easy job, since some production methods are no longer used by all companies – or perhaps by no companies whatsoever. A further point is that costs must remain within reasonable limits, despite the relatively small number of parts built.
The objective, therefore, is to keep the prices of newly built components as close as possible to those of original parts – and precisely this is one of the fundamental tasks of BMW Mobile Tradition, ensuring that as many aficionados as possible are able to afford sheer driving pleasure in – or on – their classic.
Once a suitable supplier has been found, the next step is to make the production tools required. This can be done in a relatively easy and straightforward process as long as the appropriate design drawings are still available. Should important data not be available, on the other hand, the only option is to determine the exact mould required with the help of existing parts. Here again, the specialists at Mobile Tradition remain consistently in touch with the supplier in order to quickly and thoroughly solve any questions or problems which might arise.
The first parts made with the help of the tools completed for this purpose go initially to the specialists for parts engineering at BMW, where they are precisely measured and tested. A door hinge, for example, must fit exactly, the door must open and close precisely, and the seams round the door must be exactly the same as on the original.
To ensure all these requirements, the first specimen is built into the car in the position required. Then, depending on the complexity of the part, several iterations examining and optimising the tools are required in order to achieve BMW’s quality standards, before the part is finally cleared by the parts engineering specialists and production can really start.
Here again, quality is checked and verified consistently until the ready-made parts are stored in BMW’s Central Warehouse, since the objective, obviously, is to offer all customers perfect parts and components in perfect quality.
Some 1,400 re-built parts in the year 2006 alone.
Approximately 14,000 parts have been re-built ever since the establishment of BMW Mobile Tradition in 1994, that is more than 50 per cent of the entire supply of parts available. In other words, without such parts re-built by Mobile Tradition BMW would not have any sales and distribution of historic parts worth mentioning and there would be no genuine promotion of old vehicles and their tradition in a truly authentic style.
Wherever possible, the number of parts re-built must be sufficient to ensure long-term, reliable supply. And this means that the number of parts increases from one year to the next: Last year, for example, BMW Mobile Tradition started re-production of some 1,400 new parts, some of them in a continuous, ongoing re-production process involving, for example, radiator hoses, seals, or elastomer units on the chassis.
It is also a fact, however, that not all parts can be stored forever – even parts not in use grow old in the course of time, particularly when they contain rubber components. Other parts are made only once, creating sufficient stock for “eternity”. This applies, for example, to most body parts and components.
Considering the work involved in these processes, it is obvious that the production of classic parts is not a “fast” business. On the contrary, the average period elapsing between the decision to re-build a part and the initial delivery to the customer is six months – and may be longer.
This is the case, for example, when looking for a suitable supplier takes extra time, if the original material is no longer available in the market, or if there are no further options for machining and processing such material. In such a case the engineers and technicians at BMW Mobile Tradition check out all activities for the best replacement of parts through semi-finished or finished production with the same – or better – product features.
Safety-relevant parts only from the original supplier.
This selection procedure is particularly demanding and elaborate in the case of safety-relevant components such as the car’s brakes: According to internal BMW standards, such components must come from the original manufacturer since this is the only source originally approved by BMW’s Development Division. So the principle applied here in all cases is that the components involved must be “Original BMW Parts”.
Should the original supplier no longer be available, only the BMW Development Division can do the job: Either the engineer responsible for the original part approves the identical part provided by a new supplier or a completely new process of validation must be launched.
One example of this particular effort is parts number 34 11 0 004 531 for re-built brake discs on the BMW 501/502 “Baroque Angel”, the elegant 503 Coupé or the racy BMW 507 sports car built back in the ’50s.
Giving new life to old engines: BMW exchange engines also for classic models.
Defective or worn car components need not always be replaced by new parts. On the contrary – engines and transmissions, alternators and electronic control units are ideally suited for re-conditioning.
In this process a classic engine requiring a complete overhaul receives the same attention and care as a new engine, both being completely stripped and repaired at Plant Landshut. Hence, an engine overhauled by BMW comes with the same warranty of two years, regardless of when the engine was originally built or what model it was fitted in.
The exchange principle applied in this case is that the customer receives an exchange engine in return for a defective power unit offering the same quality and function as a new engine. Indeed, neutral, non-partisan tests confirm that these engines offer not only perfect quality, but also supreme all-round economy, the process of repairing a severely damaged engine often costing more than an exchange engine from BMW.
Complete overhaul with full warranty coverage: electronic control units.
The same applies to the supply of alternators and electronic control units, except that in this case the components involved are overhauled not by BMW, but rather by the supplier of the original component.
Here again, therefore, Mobile Tradition cooperates closely with proven series suppliers and selected specialists. And to maintain an adequate supply of exchange parts, BMW Mobile Tradition cooperates inter alia with BMW’s own Recycling Centre in Munich, with BMW Retail Outlets, and with authorised BMW Dealers all supplying the used parts required to the Central Warehouse where they are scrutinised, assorted, and prepared for subsequent reconditioning.
In the process each part is covered by complete documentation specifying where it comes from and who was responsible for what kind of reconditioning. Clearly, this is essential since BMW offers the same warranty on such components as on every new production part. And should there really be a defect at any point in time, an exact record of the part’s history helps to determine the reason for such deficiency.
Love for every detail: Original BMW Accessories.
Unlike other car makers, Mobile Tradition does not offer used parts, but rather only new or reconditioned parts, and the experts on classic cars and motorcycles only become involved in the supply of parts where they are able to solve problems in the interest of the customer. This may of course also involve accessories, meaning that a classic tank bag for a BMW R 25/3 motorcycle built in the ’50s is also available from BMW Mobile Tradition, just like appropriate footmats for the 02 Series built in the ’70s.
Mobile Tradition shows its core competence in particular in the re-production of parts no supplier in the free market is able to provide in the quality required. Recently, for example, Mobile Tradition has started to offer a small series of rebuilt front wheel arches for the 501/502 Saloon, with the swinging, sweeping lines that gave the car its name “Baroque Angel”. The wheel arches and tanks for classic BMW motorcycles built back in the ’50s are also available, with the decal lines so typical of the brand being painted on once again by hand, in the same way as this was done half a century ago – could it be more original?
Re-built from new parts: the BMW 2002 tii.
The consistently growing number of re-built parts is increasingly closing the gap at least in the case of post-war models. Today, for example, more than 90 per cent of all components required on the 02 Series built in the ’70s are available once again.
To prove this point, two master mechanics at Mobile Tradition worked very actively recently in completely re-building the original body-in-white of a 02 Series car out of new parts. This assembly process took place in a specially established “Glass Workshop” on the premises of the BMW Museum Exhibition just next to the Munich Olympic Tower, thrilling thousands of visitors able to experience the process live as of May 2005.
Eleven months and approximately 7,000 parts later, the new BMW 2002 tii proudly bearing the production year 2006 was the star at the Techno Classica Show in Essen and at the world’s largest events for classic cars.
The second project handled with the same professionalism and efficiency by the two restorers under the eyes of museum visitors was a BMW 525 from the very first BMW 5 Series. And right now a particularly rare car is being returned to its original condition in the workshop: a BMW 2004 from BMW’s Plant in South Africa. Again, original parts from Mobile Tradition were and are being used on both cars in the process of restoration.
Parts supply for classics on the internet and through dealers.
Should the owner of classic BMW wish to order spare parts, the process is just as simple and straightforward as in purchasing all other parts: All he has to do, wherever he may be, is contact the nearest BMW dealer. The dealer, in turn, will order the parts required simply by entering the appropriate parts number, since the logistic system for classic parts is fully integrated in BMW’s worldwide service network, including a quality and supply guarantee.
To keep drivers – and riders – of classic BMWs up-to-date, BMW Mobile Tradition offers a truly unique service: Published each quarter, a list of parts being re-built informs customers of parts currently in production again.
The complete catalogue of all parts available is listed in the internet and is permanently updated.
The customer looking for a specific part is therefore able to obtain the information required here, with parts groups being split up according to model series, presented in explosion drawings, and defined by the appropriate parts numbers.
This comprehensive offer is supplemented by a DVD with repair instructions for all passenger cars coming under the responsibility of BMW Mobile Tradition.
To access the online parts catalogue, all the prospect has to do is contact www.bmw-mobiletradition.com under Mobile Tradition/Teileversorgung for accreditation. Registering in this website is simple, straightforward, and free-of-charge.
BMW Mobile Tradition also supports BMW dealers and private customers on any questions or problems they might have in the process of restoration and maintenance, with experts suggesting solutions in the process of repair, providing instructions for fitting parts, and offering tips on alternative parts. They also help the customer with detailed data on how to tune the engine and provide information on the oil and fuel grade a classic BMW requires. Quite simply because at the end of the day it is the ultimate objective of BMW Mobile Tradition to guarantee Sheer Driving Pleasure for a long running life.
Posted by Dani
The Ka, which may be previewed as a concept at the September Frankfurt Show, will be offered once more in an ST guise. The latter, as with the rest of the Ka range, is expected to be equipped with a Fiat 500 derived powertrain –probably the Abarth’s 1.4-liter Turbo producing between 120 to 150Hp. We know it’s way too early for assumptions, but having in mind that the New 500’s platform doesn’t even come close in terms of driving dynamics to the current Ka, we doubt that the new Ka ST will offer the same kind of pleasure behind the steering wheel.
The new Golf will be offered in Europe with VW Group’s turbocharged engines that include 1.4 TSI, 1.8 TSI and 2.0 TSI petrol units developing from 122 up to more than 200 Hp (for the GTI), and 2.0 TDI diesel units producing 140 and 170 Hp. The Golf will be available with manual, DSG and semi-automatic gearboxes. In the
Here’s something to consider next time you ask your boss for a raise. The owner of a car dealership in
Posted by Dani
THE PEUGEOT 308 RC Z – TAKES PEUGEOT STYLE TO A NEW LEVEL
- World Premiere at the
- Powered by a 218 bhp turbocharged THP petrol engine
- A versatile 2+2 Coupé
- Emits only 160g/km of CO2
With the world launch of The Peugeot 308 at the Frankfurt Motor Show another 308 concept will also be showcased – The Peugeot 308 RC Z Concept Car.
The 308 RC Z Concept Car is a 2+2 Coupé with true versatility and at the same time a style that is modern, original and well-balanced. A lot of attention has been paid to the design to ensure it is as light as possible with the use of aluminium and carbon fibre for many of the components.
With a length of 4.276 m (the same as the hatchback), a width of 1.840 m (25 mm more than the hatchback) and a height of only 1.320 m, the streamlined design ensures both improved performance and reduced fuel consumption, helping further to protect the environment thanks to reduced CO2 emissions.
The stylish design at the front is taken directly from the 308 but has been given a sharper and sportier lower panel incorporating the single air intake, chrome front grille and integral front fog lights.
The “feline” like front headlamps which extend along the line of the bonnet contain four cylindrical lights, clearly visible through the clear lenses, each of which create a bright and piercing beam of light to ensure safe night time driving.
The curved shape of the roof panel and rear window assists the airflow over the rear of the vehicle, creating sufficient rear down force to eliminate the need for a rear spoiler, thereby preserving the purity of the vehicle design.
The two centrally mounted rear exhaust pipes are integrated into the wraparound rear bumper lower panel. To achieve this, the rear exhaust silencer has been located in a transverse position where it also serves as an aerodynamic diffuser, but still allows sufficient space for the storage of a spare wheel in the boot floor.
The rich metallic grey exterior body colour is created by a special process using finely milled metallic particles. This gives the impression that the vehicle has been formed from a single block of metal, enhancing further the purity of the overall design.
The fascia panel has been taken directly from the 308 hatchback. The entire fascia panel is trimmed in leather, while the use of chrome, aluminium and black lacquer detailing creates a sporty, upmarket impression. With this in mind, a Bell&Ross® clock has been placed in the centre of the fascia panel, between the two central air vents, its typography perfectly matching that of the instrument panel.
Another sign of the vehicle’s exclusive nature is the bucket type front seats with polished aluminium eyelet detailing, the style of which is also reflected in the design of the inner door panels. The ergonomically designed driver’s seat ensures the driver is always firmly in control of the vehicle.
At the rear there are two occasional folding leather seats. The vehicle therefore offers real modularity and great versatility. For example, enough space can be created behind the front seats to house a set of golf clubs. Similarly, the length and maximum available boot volume can even accommodate a mountain bike!
The 308 RC Z is powered by a 1.6 litre THP turbo-charged petrol engine developed from the EP6DTS engine normally found under the bonnet of the 207 GTi, but now with a maximum power output of 218 bhp.
It is characterised by incredible responsiveness, thanks to the maximum torque output of 280 Nm produced from very low engine speeds. This can also temporarily be increased to 300 Nm due to the over boost function.
The engine is coupled with an entirely new 6 speed manual gearbox
The front suspension uses many aluminium components to help reduce weight and ensure exceptional road holding, excellent steering accuracy and great feedback, intensifying the overall driving sensation.
The rear suspension, developed from the hatchback, consists of a torsion-beam, two rear suspension arms and an integral anti-roll bar. It has been specially modified to take account of the wider vehicle track and tyres. Indeed the front and rear tracks have been increased by 59 mm compared to the hatchback.
Braking relies on large (360 mm) diameter ventilated discs at the front with four piston callipers. Polished split rim 19’’ alloy wheels are fitted with Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 245/40 R19 tyres.
While the exceptional road holding of the 308 RC Z forms the basis of its primary safety, it is supplemented by safety equipment borrowed from the 308 hatchback such as the Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) and the directional bi-xenon headlamps. Similarly, in terms of secondary safety, the 308 RC Z uses the same impact protection structures designed to deform in a controlled manner, maximising the absorption of impact forces.
Like all concept cars, the 308 RC Z is an amazing test bed of ideas making it possible to design and test new concepts, technology and styling ideas free from the constraints of volume production.