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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 09-22-2011, 04:38 PM
Tidan Tidan is offline
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Missing cross-bar?!?

I think my car is missing the cross-bar behind the front cross member. The piece seen in this pic:
http://www.pelicanparts.com/BMW/tech...Flush/pic3.jpg

Mine is missing, but I can see where it used to be bolted up. I'm wondering if when the prior owner changed the clutch, he forgot to put it back on.
Does anyone know the proper name of this piece so I can order a new one or is there a better option?

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 09-22-2011, 04:45 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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It's called the "crossover", and it's part number 7 in the diagram below:



Part number: 51718135880

It's cheap to buy new, bud I'd definitely just buy one from a scrap yard instead. You can probably get one for a few dollars. You'll also need the hardware, of course.
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  #3  
Old 09-22-2011, 05:21 PM
Tidan Tidan is offline
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Thanks ZG!
I wonder if the crossover(or lack of) is contributing to my understeer problem?!?

Is there a hop up or anything that improves on the stock crossover?
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  #4  
Old 09-22-2011, 05:53 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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Yeah, a true cross-brace is the way to go if you want to stiffen things up.



LINK
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1998 BMW 328is
1966 Pontiac GTO
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View my photos: Caught in the Wild
For sale: E30/E36 front sway links
For sale: OEM E36 328 catback
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  #5  
Old 09-22-2011, 06:25 PM
Tidan Tidan is offline
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Do alot of people run the cross-brace? Does it make any difference in handling?

Not sure where to look for the standard brace/crossover. Not having much luck finding one.
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  #6  
Old 09-22-2011, 06:30 PM
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FenderBender FenderBender is offline
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No, it won't make a difference, at least one you can feel, but it looks nice
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  #7  
Old 09-22-2011, 06:33 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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Do you have a cross brace, Matt?

Of course, I've heard different things from different people regarding whether or not a difference can be felt with an x-brace installed. Same thing for strut tower braces in the E36.
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1998 BMW 328is
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View my photos: Caught in the Wild
For sale: E30/E36 front sway links
For sale: OEM E36 328 catback
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  #8  
Old 09-22-2011, 06:40 PM
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FenderBender FenderBender is offline
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No, but I know numerous people with them. I'd like to get one eventually, mainly to protect my turbo and lines from debris as it sits almost right above it.


I kind of rate these things at pretty much pointless/will never notice the difference.

Front strut brace
Rear strut brace
X Brace
Intake
Exhaust
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  #9  
Old 09-22-2011, 06:41 PM
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I don't really see how a thin metal brace can keep the whole underbody of a car from moving, ya know?
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  #10  
Old 09-22-2011, 06:49 PM
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cj.surr cj.surr is offline
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I didn't notice any difference before and after installing the bar OP is referring to. I just installed it because it might take a little of the blow away from the oil pan on large speedbumps.
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  #11  
Old 09-22-2011, 06:51 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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I dunno. I think bracing things up has the potential to make a good bit of difference. The unibody is essentially split down the middle by the trans tunnel, which I imagine greatly affects structural integrity. Seems like bracing those two sides together can make a difference.

An S54 Z3M roadster owner I know swears the front strut tower brace he installed made a huge difference.
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View my photos: Caught in the Wild
For sale: E30/E36 front sway links
For sale: OEM E36 328 catback
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  #12  
Old 09-22-2011, 06:54 PM
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I've heard of owners swearing by strut braces too, I normally just chuckle. However I do plan on getting a nicer one eventually.


Karl, you remember the guy who was going to start making titanium ones around here?
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  #13  
Old 09-22-2011, 07:03 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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Yeah, it's Rooster1986. Thread HERE. I'm assuming the plan fell through.
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View my photos: Caught in the Wild
For sale: E30/E36 front sway links
For sale: OEM E36 328 catback
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  #14  
Old 09-22-2011, 07:58 PM
Tidan Tidan is offline
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Well, at this point I'd be happy with having the plain old stock bar that I appear to be missing.
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  #15  
Old 09-22-2011, 08:39 PM
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I have one that I can ship to you if you really can't find one on craigslist...
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  #16  
Old 09-22-2011, 10:23 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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No junkyards in your neck of the woods, Tidan?
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1966 Pontiac GTO
2007 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 5-door
View my photos: Caught in the Wild
For sale: E30/E36 front sway links
For sale: OEM E36 328 catback
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  #17  
Old 09-23-2011, 06:29 AM
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crisscross crisscross is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeGerman View Post
I dunno. I think bracing things up has the potential to make a good bit of difference. The unibody is essentially split down the middle by the trans tunnel, which I imagine greatly affects structural integrity. Seems like bracing those two sides together can make a difference.

An S54 Z3M roadster owner I know swears the front strut tower brace he installed made a huge difference.
I've seen a braced up m3 (front strut brace, rear tower brace, and cross brace) where the owner put the oem jack in the front jack spot, and lifted the entire side of the car. The was hardly any flex in the thing at all.
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  #18  
Old 09-23-2011, 06:31 AM
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IgotBMW IgotBMW is offline
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If you're in SoCal (I'm on my phone so I can't see your location), you can have mine. Off 97 328i. There's also 2 BMW junkyards located here if you want their info I can provide.
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  #19  
Old 09-23-2011, 07:23 AM
Tidan Tidan is offline
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Wow, thank you for all the generous offers!
I'm in SoCal, outside of San Diego (in the mountains).
I'd like to get it taken care of while I have the car up on the jack stands - I'm doing the radiator, hoses, front sway bar, etc....
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  #20  
Old 09-23-2011, 08:08 AM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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On a side note, if you're replacing the radiator, double check ahead of time to see if you have the crimp on hose clamps for the small coolant overflow hose which runs along the top of the radiator and into the expansion tank. You'll want to replace that with a screw-type hose clamp (which BMW should have used in the first place...).
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1998 BMW 328is
1966 Pontiac GTO
2007 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 5-door
View my photos: Caught in the Wild
For sale: E30/E36 front sway links
For sale: OEM E36 328 catback
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  #21  
Old 09-23-2011, 08:34 AM
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IgotBMW IgotBMW is offline
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I'm in Cerritos. 91/605 if you want to come by pick it up this weekend.

The two junkyards for future needs are

Bavarian Auto Recycling
3688 Omec Circle Rancho Cordova, CA 95742
From outside the US call: (916) 635-4269

Pride Auto Parts
12300 Branford
Sun valley ca
818-890-1600 Gary
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  #22  
Old 09-23-2011, 09:04 AM
Tidan Tidan is offline
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Looks like its a couple hour drive each way for me.
Let me see if I can get the radiator, swaybar, etc... done by tomorrow.
Thanks!
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  #23  
Old 09-28-2011, 10:27 AM
Tidan Tidan is offline
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Finally found a junk yard down in Chula Vista that had ONE E36 that still had the crossover bar. And, appearantly someone had allready removed the bell housing or clutch and tossed the bar aside so I didn't even have to crawl under in the oily dirt to get it!
Not sure what bolts were needed but I grabbed some off the chassis that fit the threads.
$4 entry fee
$10 for the bar
$1 tax
$20 in gas driving damn near to the international border

Total: $35.00

Though I did find some nice turns to drift around on the way to and from. So it wasn't a total wash!

Last edited by Tidan; 09-28-2011 at 10:29 AM.
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  #24  
Old 09-30-2011, 07:04 PM
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jmo69 jmo69 is offline
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I replaced my bar with an X-brace, the one pictured in post #4, tightened up my front end considerably along with my Sparco solid strut brace. Plus the extra protection under my oil pan.


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Last edited by jmo69; 09-30-2011 at 07:05 PM.
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  #25  
Old 09-30-2011, 10:08 PM
Tidan Tidan is offline
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Nice! Did you notice any handling difference? Did it reduce any understeer?
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