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Oct 3, 2010

E46 Subframe Repair

Ok so here are photos of the repair done to my BMW. The car is a 2000 323ci, 5sp, 170k miles, and lowering springs, not gonna mention what kind its not their fault, also a stage 2 clutch with light weight flywheel. The vehicle was in over in really great shape and well maintained.

The repair process wasn't by no means easy. While i didn't do the welding. With some help did the removal of the actual subframe its self. This i think could be done by just about anyone with some friends. If you have every done a clutch or removed an engine you can remove the subframe. First thing is to remove the exhaust and heat shields. Then drop the drive shaft or remove just the rear section like we did. After that its just a mater disconnect the e-brake cables the 2 brake lines and the 3- sensor leads. Undo the the 6 trailing arm bolts and remove the bottom shock bolt and take out the coil springs. Then you can remove the four blots that hold the rear crossmember and then the 4 subframe bolts. Use a jack to support the subframe. You need to keep it level or the front supports will get held up on the studs... So just be-careful and take your time...

I had notices a small crack in the drivers side body well over a year ago and was waiting to take into the dealer for the rework... But i didn't remove the aftermarket suspension and was voided any type of warrantable repair from BMWNA. Oh well then thats a lot to digest consider that the part of the body is weakened by the torque thats distributed form the rear end not so much the movement of the wheels. So anyways when we removed the subframe bolts the drivers side rear mount had fell out of its place. The tops welds had broke also. Here are pictures of the body and the mount. Note: The tear you see is exactly what it looked like... I honestly didn't know it was that bad. I never heard any sounds other then the rear end feeling sloppy

The rest of the missing materiel was resistant welded so its still attached to the bottom of the mount... Here are the 3 welds that hold the mount in... I dumbfounded as to why BMW would think any of this is sufficient enough to hold.
So after everything was cleaned up. It was time to weld the mount back in at the top and then the weld all the tears back together up underneath. This is the only way to know that all safety precautions are taken The top and bottom must be welded and made sure to align with all other mounts. If this is not done then you could risk that chance of not being able to remount the subframe. Here is the access hole to the top and what the all the tears look like after they were welded back together.
After all that was done the fabricator (not me) had made a custom plate out of 16g steel to put over this to help distribute the force evenly over the repair. We also had drilled several holes into this plate for rosetta welds to help with the attachment of the plate.
Plate kits can be found online but none will be as well fit for your exact needs... In any situation you need to make sure your repairs are done porperly. I feel as though that the repair done to my vehicle is done well enough to let my kids or even my grandma drive my car.

Here is the final result before being painted. The reinstall of the subframe is just the reversal of the process. Be ready to be amazed out how different your car will feel!! If you have any questions feel free to ask....

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