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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, Mar-18-2016, 12:35:46 AM   #91
Amadeus
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Default Re: DIY: E46 M3 detailed subframe reinforcement, gear fluid changes, and bushing refr

Here are some various pictures of things along the way (if Iím clogging up your thread, let me know and Iíll remove em )

This is what it was like day after day after day.. Just waiting to be down.

Only crack found. Stop-drilled for now.

More aligned than the picture gives credit for.



Stripped axle bolt, had to cut off.

Also had to cut off.


Alas, back on the ground, as it currently sits. My car was up on stands for so long, that when it I got it back on the ground I kept walking around it wondering if my car always sat so low! Of course it was just around stock ride height..
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Old Sat, Mar-19-2016, 09:02:53 PM   #92
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Default Re: DIY: E46 M3 detailed subframe reinforcement, gear fluid changes, and bushing refr

Amadeus, did you unscrew the subframe bolt to check for cracks underneath it? Keep in mind as you go too, that there is a decent liklihood that the top of the front mount is cracked as well and will need to be addressed at some point if the car lives long enough.
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Old Sat, Mar-19-2016, 09:23:45 PM   #93
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Default Re: DIY: E46 M3 detailed subframe reinforcement, gear fluid changes, and bushing refr

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdev View Post
Amadeus, did you unscrew the subframe bolt to check for cracks underneath it? Keep in mind as you go too, that there is a decent likelihood that the top of the front mount is cracked as well and will need to be addressed at some point if the car lives long enough.
Yeah I did and I suspect there could be some hidden cracks that I wouldn't find until I sanded down all the way to the bare metal. I searched thoroughly and also found one crack along the fender liner.


I too would be surprised if the top front mounts were unscathed. Getting the RACP taken care of is my next goal, I'll be driving it lightly for a while until everything is solid back there. Just a matter of getting the funds first. I was estimating an upper budget of around 3k for welding all cracks, redish plates, and Vince bar. Hopefully no more than that!!
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Old Wed, Nov-08-2017, 09:17:03 PM   #94
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Default Re: DIY: E46 M3 detailed subframe reinforcement, gear fluid changes, & bushing refres

Thanks for this DIY, I have been following it to the T for the last week. I have a question that I need help with though. Not only did the Turner reinforcement kit come with incorrect bolts but the plates fail to cover the one and only crack that I found (Pretty good for 115k miles I thought). The crack is on the driver's side rear in the crease to the side of the mount. Should I stop drill the crack, have it welded, just epoxy the plates on and go? I already had a mobile welder come out and give me a quote to weld the plates on and he wanted $100 an hour for 4-5 hours. That was with me prepping the metal, so after that I ordered epoxy and decided to go that route. Anyone else have this issue? Any help would be appreciated.

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Old Thu, Nov-09-2017, 04:31:22 AM   #95
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Default Re: DIY: E46 M3 detailed subframe reinforcement, gear fluid changes, and bushing refr

Hi S54nuub,

Quote:
Thanks for this DIY, I have been following it to the T for the last week. I have a question that I need help with though. Not only did the Turner reinforcement kit come with incorrect bolts but the plates fail to cover the one and only crack that I found (Pretty good for 115k miles I thought). The crack is on the driver's side rear in the crease to the side of the mount. Should I stop drill the crack, have it welded, just epoxy the plates on and go? I already had a mobile welder come out and give me a quote to weld the plates on and he wanted $100 an hour for 4-5 hours. That was with me prepping the metal, so after that I ordered epoxy and decided to go that route. Anyone else have this issue? Any help would be appreciated.
That's a very common area for cracks to initiate and also a common reason why a lot of members convert to larger scale reinforcement plates with greater coverage than what the TMS plates offer.

Definitely stop drill the crack. I'd recommend ~2mm or less drill bit. Definitely weld it up.

I'm not from the US so I cannot comment on whether that mobile welder rate is reasonable however, where I am in Australia the average going rate is $50/hour (~$38 USD).
Perhaps shop around, you could likely get a better price. Perhaps someone in your local community may have experience?

If you want a larger scale reinforcement plate I do manufacture a set. They cover an exponentially larger area than the TMS plates and more than any other currently on the market. I'll share a link below if you'd like to check them out.

http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=593280

Btw, it is incredible that the damage is that minimal for a car of that mileage. My car was in poor form at ~96k km (~60k miles) by comparison. You're definitely addressing the issue at the right time. Once it starts it grows exponentially.

Also, check our your rear trailing arm pockets and rear wheel arch behind the dampener. Spot welds are prone to pop and seam sealer split. It would be worth applying stitch welds while you're there.
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Old Thu, Nov-09-2017, 07:25:06 PM   #96
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Default Re: DIY: E46 M3 detailed subframe reinforcement, gear fluid changes, & bushing refres

Thanks for the reply Aussie46m3, I feel somewhat lucky to only have the one crack. Can I add a piece of metal to the area with the crack and epoxy it in order to avoid paying a welder? Should I stop drill the crack if I'm going for epoxy over it?

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Old Fri, Nov-10-2017, 01:32:35 AM   #97
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Default Re: DIY: E46 M3 detailed subframe reinforcement, gear fluid changes, and bushing refr

Quote:
Thanks for the reply Aussie46m3, I feel somewhat lucky to only have the one crack. Can I add a piece of metal to the area with the crack and epoxy it in order to avoid paying a welder? Should I stop drill the crack if I'm going for epoxy over it?
I certainly would have been relieved if mine looked like that. The car must have been treated well.

Definitely stop drill the crack. A stop drilled hole stops it from propagating further. If you do not it is likely it will continue to grow after reinforcement under the plate.

I would also weld that crack regardless of what method you use to install the plates. The crack essentially creates a complete loss of cross section in the structural member the RACP forms. This increases the stress on the remainder of the material and creates stress risers at either end of the crack (hence why they grow). The cracks don't necessarily need to be covered entirely. I personally would suggest adding a top side support in addition to underside plates.

I personally do not believe in the epoxy methods for installing underside plates. Given most people need a welder regardless to weld up the cracks I suggest also having the plates welded on.

I have seen epoxied turner motorsport plate separate. I cannot recall the exact thread however, I did save the images onto my mobile.
Even modern cars that are epoxied together are still only epoxied in key areas of low stress. Main components of the structure are welded together as it provides more uniform material properties for consistent elastic deflection. Epoxy has a very low strain failure limit (meaning will crack under small amounts of flex) and a high elastic modulus, while steel is malleable.

My theory is that the epoxy fractures between the two steel components due to the strain (flex) that occurs at the subframe mounts due to the drive-line forces. Welding does add a thermal embrittlement to the parent material however, provides more uniform material properties Epoxy also requires very controlled and precise layer thickness otherwise such fractures do occur. Given the subframe mounts are curved on the front and the plates are flat it can be an issue.
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Old Fri, Nov-10-2017, 04:49:59 AM   #98
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Default Re: DIY: E46 M3 detailed subframe reinforcement, gear fluid changes, & bushing refres

Thanks for taking the time to spell this all out for me. It's definitely a lot to think about. If I had a good welder it wouldn't be a question.

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Old Mon, Jan-08-2018, 03:00:23 AM   #99
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Default Re: DIY: E46 M3 detailed subframe reinforcement, gear fluid changes, and bushing refr

Thank you for this write up!

I followed your steps as I tackled this project on my M3.

I'm glad it's over lol.
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Discussing DIY: E46 M3 detailed subframe reinforcement, gear fluid changes, and bushing refresh 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)