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View Full Version : Z8 frame failures, tearing rear subframes and now, E46 shock tower failures?


EdCT
01-19-2006, 09:36 AM
According to the latest Roundel's tech letters section, E46's can also be counted on for distorted shock tower mounts if one hits a pothole or curb hard enough.

The author claims cost-cutting beginning with the E36 models as the blame. He goes on to suggest BMW's are not made as strong as they need to be and that prior generations never suffered from these maladies.

When the rear sub-frame fiasco first occurred, I was concerned but open-minded about it, but in light of the Z8's frame failures and this latest discovery, I'm really starting to wonder.

Ed

bmw325
01-19-2006, 09:38 AM
According to the latest Roundel's tech letters section, E46's can also be counted on for distorted shock tower mounts if one hits a pothole or curb hard enough.

The author claims cost-cutting beginning with the E36 models as the blame. He goes on to suggest BMW's are not made as strong as they need to be and that prior generations never suffered from these maladies.

When the rear sub-frame fiasco first occurred, I was concerned but open-minded about it, but in light of the Z8's frame failures and this latest discovery, I'm really starting to wonder.

Ed


Yeah-- I was thinking the same thing. It seems like BMW cant' design a durable body to save their lives anymore... Sad. Although, I've yet to hear of body problems in any 5 or 7 series.

Artslinger
01-19-2006, 10:41 AM
E46 shock tower failures. :tsk:

Another reason why if you considering buying a used 3 series have the car inspected, and make sure the mechanic puts the car on a lift and inspects the undercarriage and suspension completely.

ilkhan4
01-19-2006, 12:33 PM
Yeah-- I was thinking the same thing. It seems like BMW cant' design a durable body to save their lives anymore... Sad. Although, I've yet to hear of body problems in any 5 or 7 series.

Ah, so you haven't heard about the mysterious cracking windshields on the new 5 and 6? From what I've heard, it has something to do with the aluminum front subframe expanding and contracting at a different rate from the steel frame.

bmw325
01-19-2006, 12:54 PM
Ah, so you haven't heard about the mysterious cracking windshields on the new 5 and 6? From what I've heard, it has something to do with the aluminum front subframe expanding and contracting at a different rate from the steel frame.

Figures...

jeff330i
01-19-2006, 03:44 PM
what is one to do if they have a distorted shock tower mount?

bmw325
01-19-2006, 03:47 PM
what is one to do if they have a distorted shock tower mount?

Apparently, it can be fixed pretty easily-- the shock tower can be hammered back into shape, and then an alignment is performed.

adgrant
01-19-2006, 04:33 PM
Interesting. I drive a lot in NYC have had 4 different E46s and not seen the problem yet. Fortunately my last E46 is leased so no resale problems.

avalys
01-19-2006, 04:49 PM
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=128511

I started a thread on this issue: it seems that my 2003 325Ci has the problem. I'm wondering how many other people have noticed it.

Apparently BMW makes a reinforcement plate for the shock tower crown: you can see the BMW part sticker in the picture at:

http://www.turnermotorsport.com/html/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=51717036781

I'm going to go to the dealer and see if they'll fix this for me. If not, I'll take it up to TMS.

bmw325
01-19-2006, 06:30 PM
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=128511

I started a thread on this issue: it seems that my 2003 325Ci has the problem. I'm wondering how many other people have noticed it.

Apparently BMW makes a reinforcement plate for the shock tower crown: you can see the BMW part sticker in the picture at:

http://www.turnermotorsport.com/html/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=51717036781

I'm going to go to the dealer and see if they'll fix this for me. If not, I'll take it up to TMS.

Very interesting-- never seen that part before. I'm guessing the M3 strut tower brace would perform the same function..

SARAFIL
01-19-2006, 06:35 PM
Interesting. I drive a lot in NYC have had 4 different E46s and not seen the problem yet. Fortunately my last E46 is leased so no resale problems.

I've seen this on quite a few cars. The roads in RI are pretty bad, and I've seen many cars come back with this damage as a result of hitting potholes.

avalys
01-19-2006, 06:39 PM
I've seen this on quite a few cars. The roads in RI are pretty bad, and I've seen many cars come back with this damage as a result of hitting potholes.
Oh really? I assume you didn't cover it under warranty, then.

What was the procedure for fixing it? Did you install the reinforcement plates I linked to in order to prevent it from reoccurring? How much did you charge?

Sorry for all the questions, this has me rather...agitated.

EDIT: Also, what made people bring their cars in? Like I said, I haven't noticed any problems with the handling or anything. Was it just something that was noticed while performing other work?

SARAFIL
01-19-2006, 06:54 PM
Oh really? I assume you didn't cover it under warranty, then.

What was the procedure for fixing it? Did you install the reinforcement plates I linked to in order to prevent it from reoccurring? How much did you charge?

Sorry for all the questions, this has me rather...agitated.

EDIT: Also, what made people bring their cars in? Like I said, I haven't noticed any problems with the handling or anything. Was it just something that was noticed while performing other work?

I don't know of anyone that complained or brought it in to be fixed. The few that I've seen have been cars that have come off lease and have required the repair as part of the CPO process. It's relatively simple and it's not that expensive of a repair.

adgrant
01-20-2006, 08:20 AM
I've seen this on quite a few cars. The roads in RI are pretty bad, and I've seen many cars come back with this damage as a result of hitting potholes.

The roads aren't exactly wonderful in NYC. Did the damaged cars have the regular stock suspension or the sports suspension or was there no pattern?

ktc
01-20-2006, 08:33 AM
Apparently BMW makes a reinforcement plate for the shock tower crown: you can see the BMW part sticker in the picture at:

http://www.turnermotorsport.com/html/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=51717036781

I'm going to go to the dealer and see if they'll fix this for me. If not, I'll take it up to TMS.

Considering this part is 1/10th the cost of a tower brace, it seems like a cheap one-time insurance... if it works.

Any news around here (or does Turner know) about how efficacious these plates are? Do they just screw in on top of those 3 bolts on the strut towers?

iove75
01-20-2006, 07:32 PM
It could be that roads in the US are not maintained as well as Europe. And the towers are subject to greater forces than was anticipated. If the damage is due to the pothole or curb, shouldn't insurance pay for it as the damage was the result of a collision?