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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Fri, Jan-03-2020, 06:59:27 PM   #1
ItalianM3E46
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Default Under sump cover structural?

Hi,

I just realized that my car does not have the metal sheet with NACA intake that should stay to protect the oil pan from underneath.

I've made reasarches and it seems an aluminium sheet.

My question is: is that sheet thick? Thick enough to play an even minor structural role on car's chassis?

My doubt comes also after I've seen that the bolts hole which hold it in place are pretty big. Seems too big for just a cover.

Thank you
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Old Fri, Jan-03-2020, 07:10:52 PM   #2
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Default Re: Under sump cover structural?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ItalianM3E46 View Post
Hi,

I just realized that my car does not have the metal sheet with NACA intake that should stay to protect the oil pan from underneath.

I've made reasarches and it seems an aluminium sheet.

My question is: is that sheet thick? Thick enough to play an even minor structural role on car's chassis?

My doubt comes also after I've seen that the bolts hole which hold it in place are pretty big. Seems too big for just a cover.

Thank you
Pls know that that is a CRITICAL part of your car. It's every bit a necessary part as your strut brace as it forms a frame stiffening 'box' that provides the structural integrity of your M3! Every part that is there including those tranny/driveshaft crossover plates have a job to do. Note just how thick that aluminum plate is and the size and quantity of the bolts that hold it in place. It's doing a good thing for you bro! BMW knows what it's doing... From wheel & tire sizes & pressure to shock damping and mount durometers, all that s**t has been engineered as a 'system'. Enjoy it!
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Old Fri, Jan-03-2020, 08:39:32 PM   #3
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Default Re: Under sump cover structural?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ItalianM3E46 View Post
Hi,

I just realized that my car does not have the metal sheet with NACA intake that should stay to protect the oil pan from underneath.

I've made reasarches and it seems an aluminium sheet.

My question is: is that sheet thick? Thick enough to play an even minor structural role on car's chassis?

My doubt comes also after I've seen that the bolts hole which hold it in place are pretty big. Seems too big for just a cover.

Thank you
There should be an aluminum (structural) plate with NACA duct, as well as a front belly pan for aero - you should definitely make sure they're on the car
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Old Fri, Jan-03-2020, 08:44:32 PM   #4
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Default Re: Under sump cover structural?

Yes it absolutely is structural. Find one and get it on your car asap.
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Old Fri, Jan-03-2020, 10:07:18 PM   #5
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Default Re: Under sump cover structural?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ItalianM3E46 View Post
Hi,

I just realized that my car does not have the metal sheet with NACA intake that should stay to protect the oil pan from underneath.

I've made reasarches and it seems an aluminium sheet.

My question is: is that sheet thick? Thick enough to play an even minor structural role on car's chassis?

My doubt comes also after I've seen that the bolts hole which hold it in place are pretty big. Seems too big for just a cover.

Thank you
To mirror the other posts yes you definitely need them. The plate requires 12 grade 10 bolts which should demonstrate how structural it really is.

The brace part number is 51717893609 (need 1) and the bolts are 31106772199 (need 12). Technically the bolts are one time use since they are torque-to-yield, but I have re-used them a few times without any ill effect.

Reference: https://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/sho...diagId=31_0576

If you dont have the plastic undertray either I would recommend getting that from FCP as I have gone through 2-3 of them in my ownership.

Hope this helps.
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Old Sun, Jan-05-2020, 02:00:53 AM   #6
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Default Re: Under sump cover structural?

ooook guys, thanks a lot. I already bought the plastic undertray under the radiator because it was missing since when I purchased the car. Lot of healthy cooling air was escaping from there.

Do you think it worth to fit an extra reinforcement plate like this? Or it's too much?

https://farrow.tech/collections/moto...chassis-brace/
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Old Sun, Jan-05-2020, 02:17:50 AM   #7
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Default Re: Under sump cover structural?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ItalianM3E46 View Post
ooook guys, thanks a lot. I already bought the plastic undertray under the radiator because it was missing since when I purchased the car. Lot of healthy cooling air was escaping from there.

Do you think it worth to fit an extra reinforcement plate like this? Or it's too much?

https://farrow.tech/collections/moto...chassis-brace/


I am not aware of that section of the chassis brace being a weak point on the M3. regular e46 chassis get a different (weaker) brace that would likely benefit from that part.

I think it's a waste of money. But certainly wouldn't hurt anything.
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Old Sun, Jan-05-2020, 02:44:44 AM   #8
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Default Re: Under sump cover structural?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ItalianM3E46 View Post
ooook guys, thanks a lot. I already bought the plastic undertray under the radiator because it was missing since when I purchased the car. Lot of healthy cooling air was escaping from there.

Do you think it worth to fit an extra reinforcement plate like this? Or it's too much?

https://farrow.tech/collections/moto...chassis-brace/
“I made this part just to try out”
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Old Mon, Jan-06-2020, 12:09:03 AM   #9
ItalianM3E46
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Default Re: Under sump cover structural?

Ok, just purchased the panel and the bolts on ebay. Brand new from Germany.

I'm so upset it was missing on the car and I realized it just now: I drove a full Time Attack season without an OEM structural part, spending big money in other suspension things and feeling all the time that something was missing.
Ok, it won't have changed the final result, but it's not good that the car run without something that was supposed to be in place.
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Old Mon, Jan-06-2020, 12:41:16 AM   #10
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Default Re: Under sump cover structural?

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Originally Posted by ItalianM3E46 View Post
Ok, just purchased the panel and the bolts on ebay. Brand new from Germany.

I'm so upset it was missing on the car and I realized it just now: I drove a full Time Attack season without an OEM structural part, spending big money in other suspension things and feeling all the time that something was missing.
Ok, it won't have changed the final result, but it's not good that the car run without something that was supposed to be in place.

previous owners are the worst.

hopefully there was no flex in the chassis. If it doesn't bolt up don't force it. Put each bolt in hand right before snugging them all up.

You can find torque values here: http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=400577
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Discussing Under sump cover structural? in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)