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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Received a BMW E46 M3 strutbrace today. The four nuts that hold the cross bar to the strut caps were not included. They are not listed on the parts info either. Looks like the stock E36 strut nuts would work fine here. Paul McLaughlin South Motors BMW is checking on this. He has the braces in stock.
Anyone in the CT area that wants to see if it fits the E46 M3 or non M3 E46 can stop over and see.













 

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Investigative Tinkerer
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But Ron, the question is, will it fit on OUR cars?

Can the end brackets be made to work if another bar was fabricated?

Those ///M caps look nice...
 
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RS2 said:
Ron,

Please keep us updated! I received my BMW E46 M3 strutbrace last week also but I can't install it because of the same reason, the four missing nuts!

Have you found the the black caps to the nuts as in the pic below of the M3 CSL prototype?

/RS2

And if it fits an E36/7-8, will it fit a E36 M3 ('96+)?
 
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nate328Ci said:


There are LOTS of companies that make E36 braces :dunno:
I know. But from a price/quality/appearance standpoint, I like THIS one.

If this one won't work, I'd get the Strong Strut. But it's more $$.

Adding up the component prices, I get $192.24. That's a hell of a deal for a quality piece.
 

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TD said:


And if it fits an E36/7-8, will it fit a E36 M3 ('96+)?
It should. The Strong Strut was designed for the E36/7-8; Paul only started selling them to E36 owners after he realized that the two were compatible. The strut for both applications is exactly the same.
 
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JST said:


It should. The Strong Strut was designed for the E36/7-8; Paul only started selling them to E36 owners after he realized that the two were compatible. The strut for both applications is exactly the same.
Alright! So now I'll just sit tight on the verdict re: the E36/7-8.

And even if I do the Strong Strut, I think I'll use those caps.

But I don't plan to do either soon.

BTW, after test driving that M3 Coupe for Archer, I decided I really do like the feel of the UUC SSK. Unfortunately, that's now another mod on the To Do list. If only I had more money and more time.
 

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nate328Ci said:


There are LOTS of companies that make E36 braces :dunno:
There are certain advantages to the BMW strut brace design. Most aftermarket strut makers uses a hinged design at the connection between the bar and the strut towers. BMWs in particular do not use a hinged design as far as I can see from Ron's pictures. The hinged design make the bar a strictly "for show" piece because the hinge will move along with the flex in chasis and it's added weight. The BMW designed brace should provide some real benefit in tightening up the chasis.
 

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TD said:


I know. But from a price/quality/appearance standpoint, I like THIS one.

If this one won't work, I'd get the Strong Strut. But it's more $$.

Adding up the component prices, I get $192.24. That's a hell of a deal for a quality piece.
Retail prices for this are more than $192.24 as listed in the photo. This is for an E46 M3, it would most likely fit a 328Ci, maybe I will get one if there are installation instructions posted :angel:
 
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nate328Ci said:


Retail prices for this are more than $192.24 as listed in the photo. This is for an E46 M3, it would most likely fit a 328Ci, maybe I will get one if there are installation instructions posted :angel:
Nate-

You are NOT paying attention. Go back to the top of the thread. The idea here is to see if it'll fit on the E36/7-8 (the Z3/MZ3 Roadster and Coupe). It would not be surprising if it did fit. And JST confirmed that if it fits on the E36/7-8, it'll fit on the regular E36 coupe, sedan and convertible, which is, of course, why I care.

Installation instructions would be the same as for any other strut brace, I'd assume.

The E36 //Motorsport strut brace only fit the '95s.

JST has the Strong Strut on his E36 M3 and it is a great piece. But if I could get this for less, it would be a no-brainer.

And who pays full retail for BMW parts?
 
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I believe in a previous thread on this topic (search the archives ;) ) Ron stated that South would sell the parts for something like 20% off the LOWER price column!

Edit:I am wrong---the 2nd column is the price that they are selling at, which is 25% off retail.
 

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TD said:


Nate-

You are NOT paying attention. Go back to the top of the thread. The idea here is to see if it'll fit on the E36/7-8 (the Z3/MZ3 Roadster and Coupe).

Installation instructions would be the same as for any other strut brace, I'd assume.

And who pays full retail for BMW parts?
You listed dealer cost though, there is no way that you will get it.

I guess that YOU missed this part :dunno:
Anyone in the CT area that wants to see if it fits the E46 M3 or non M3 E46 can stop over and see.
 
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atyclb said:
I believe in a previous thread on this topic (search the archives ;) ) Ron stated that South would sell the parts for something like 20% off the LOWER price column!

Edit:I am wrong---the 2nd column is the price that they are selling at, which is 25% off retail.
Which makes the $192 amount the correct total.

Does the E46 M3 come with that brace?
 

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atyclb said:
I believe in a previous thread on this topic (search the archives ;) ) Ron stated that South would sell the parts for something like 20% off the LOWER price column!

Edit:I am wrong---the 2nd column is the price that they are selling at, which is 25% off retail.
That is not 25% off. That appears to be dealer prices. That is off the parts CD

25% off of $113 is $87.75
 

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atyclb said:
well here's the original thread, pricing info is vague, but it will be at least 25% off retail.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=4489&highlight=csl+strut

and the M3 does NOT come with the brace standard, but many are looking into adding it, mostly for cosmetic reasons.[
At 25% off, I get $264.23 with 6 nuts. Still a very good deal. But, I think the blue prices form the Parts CD are dealer invoice prices...

now, all I need to know is whether or not it will fit a non-M E46 :angel:
 
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nate328Ci said:

now, all I need to know is whether or not it will fit a non-M E46 :angel:
I think it is rather safe to assume YES.

But I know someone will correct me if I'm wrong.
 

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TD said:


I think it is rather safe to assume YES.

But I know someone will correct me if I'm wrong.
I would assume so as well, but would rather look before I leap, if you know what I mean. Parts aren't always interchangable...
 
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nate328Ci said:


I would assume so as well, but would rather look before I leap, if you know what I mean. Parts aren't always interchangable...
What's funny is I could now go back and quote your first reply to thsi thread but change it. As in, "There are LOTS of companies that make E46 braces."

See, good brace + good price = genuine interest re: whether it'll fit in YOUR car. That's all my first post was asking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Nuts and things

Retail price in the pic I posted, is the BMW suggested retail price. Many dealers inflate the suggested retail pricing. I know a few dealers that discount from suggested retail pricing. Paul at South Motors discounts 25%. Circle BMW 20% and P&W in PA 15%. There is a dealer in CA that does 30%.
Net price in the pic is what the dealer pays for the item.
The E46 brace will not fit the E36 or E36/7/8 cars. The strut cap bolt pattern is different and the cross bar is too long.
As far as the nuts for the cross bar goes, I would use the E36 strut cap locking nuts. They match the cap nuts and fully contact the top of the cross bar.



You could also use the E46 strut cap nuts. The added flange diameter does nothing since it doesn't fully contact the top of the cross bar which curves down on the sides.



I found a cover for the strut cap nuts. Looks OK. I would dry film coat in black the strut cap nuts or live with the silver.



This pic shows the two above nuts along with the nut cover.

 
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