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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 10-06-2012, 03:19 PM
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OrionsGate OrionsGate is offline
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Front shock tower rusted out

Hey, I was replacing my H2O pump (preventative!) and a few other items when I noticed that my front drivers shock tower was rusting out (see pic). The rust only runs vertically down the edge of the tower and terminates at just before the frame. Turns out I had bought the car 3 years ago with the issue (which was nicely covered up by seam sealant).

Anyway, what should I do? It is clearly not a load bearing (or it would have failed by now).
My plan is to go to a local body shop to see if they can clean it, weld a strip on the inside & outside, seal and undercoat it.

What do you think?
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1995 325i, 235K miles (yes!), 5sp, LSD, M3 cat back, halo projectors, H&R/Bilstein/etc. suspension overhaul, painted sideskirts...Oh now it's white...plasti-dip... snap.
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  #2  
Old 10-06-2012, 03:45 PM
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Mein Auto: '96 328iC, '04 325Ci
It is part of the load bearing structure for the strut tower. You've lost about 1/4 to 1/3rd of the load bearing area. I think my biggest concern would be what the condition of the rest of the seam area around the strut tower is like. It may be fine and getting some welding done on the bad area fixes you up or you could be one big bump away from disaster.......
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Old 10-06-2012, 03:50 PM
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OrionsGate OrionsGate is offline
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dc_wright, you are probably right about the load bearing area.
Any suggestions on what else to do. I think the welding a strip would be a good solution for a car with 230K miles.
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Old 10-06-2012, 03:57 PM
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Mein Auto: '96 328iC, '04 325Ci
I think if you can find someone to do it that's going to be your best solution. Plan B would be to start looking for an inner wheel well at salvage yards if you can find one in your area that isn't already similarly rusted.
Plan C would be to find a new piece but you likely don't want to put that kind of money into the car at this point in its life.......

http://parts.bmwofsouthatlanta.com/p...148122543.html

http://www.bmwparts4cheap.com/OEMPar...148122543.html
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Old 10-06-2012, 06:13 PM
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dc thanks!!
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  #6  
Old 10-06-2012, 06:41 PM
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yowza!! that's pretty bad....i don;t think that a simple strip of metal will be sufficient to do a repair on that. i'd be looking for a replacement panel and get that welded in.

some cheaper alternatives would be to check with the local vocational centers to seeif they woud be interested in using the vehicle as a learning platform. it gives the students some real world experience, saves you some coin, and gets the car repaired.

good luck.



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