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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 Wed, Jul-27-2016, 03:39:34 PM   #1
VinceSE2
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Default Closed - Group buy VinceBar ("subframe" fix)

What is this?

This is an opportunity to collectively buy laser cut components for, or completed units of, the so called VinceBar at a reasonable cost.

OK, so what's the offer?

I offer three different kits, all of which include the front gusset cups, the rear VinceBar and the extended hardware. The group buy can result in a discount of up to 15% off.

The three VinceBar kits:

All kits include the custom hardware pictured below.
(The extended subframe bolts/studs, the collar nuts and the washers)



  • Weld installation style VinceBar - Component kit (to be assembled/welded by the installer) $335


  • Weld installation style VinceBar - Assembled kit $450

    This is an example of the recent weld quality.




  • Epoxy/Rivet installation style VinceBar - Assembled kit $575









Tooling kits:
  • Weld installation style tool kit $65



  • Epoxy/Rivet installation style tool kit - short drill bit $90



    Content from top to bottom:

    •One tube of a very versatile seam sealer that is sticky and results in a semi solid, rubberish, bond

    •Two stubby paint brushes. One for the epoxy and one for the seam sealer

    •One small spray bottle of POR15 metal prep, for "etching" the bonding surfaces prior to applying the epoxy

    •One 51mm hole saw with a matching bore

    •One drilling guide rod that fits the bore as well as the minor diameter of the M12x1,5 hole in the threaded receiver

    •One 10mm drill bit (to drill through the top of the threaded receivers)

    •One 4,8 mm drill bit for the large rivets

    •One 3,25mm drill bit for the medium rivets

    •Two 3,0mm drill bits for the smallest rivets

    •One M12x1,5mm threading tap (for threading the top part of the threaded receiver)



  • Epoxy/Rivet installation style tool kit - long drill bit $110



    Content same as above except the 10mm drill bit is 30cm long and will reach through the bushing while the subframe is lowered about 10-15cm


Volume discounts:
  • 15-20 kits - 5%
  • 21-30 kits - 10%
  • 31-> kits - 15%

All kits will count towards the total number

Shipping examples:

North America:
• One kit and one tool kit - $125
• Two kits and and one tool kit in one box - $155

What's the VinceBar?

It's a solution that addresses the root cause to (not just the symptoms of) the dreaded "subframe" failures of the E46 chassis.

Why should I care?

Over the last couple of years it has become clear that the design of the rear axle subframe, or more specifically the way the rear axle subframe is attached to the rear of the E46 chassis, is not up to it's task. Especially in high power/torque models as the M3, 330i/d.

Here's a recent video of a single owner, low milage (60000 miles), non "tracked" M3 that Redish Motorsport recently posted on YouTube.


This is one of many great and informative videos James Redish has shared. Make sure to visit their YouTube channel.

Please note that it's actually not the subframe itself (which is a sturdy tubular frame) that fails, it's the chassis panel it is attached to. This panel is commonly referred to as the Rear Axle Carrier Panel, or abbreviated, the RACP.


Over the last couple of years there have also been a number of instances where new failures have occurred after the RACP has been reinforced using the common practice of welding, or epoxying, flat plates to the bottom side of the RACP (at the subframe mount locations).

The new failures have typically ranged from new cracks at other locations of the RACP, to very serious separation of the RACP from the rest of the chassis.

Here's one example

And here's another (the pictures below are from the post from Jan 17th 19:43 in this thread)








So what's wrong with the design of the E46 RACP?

The short story is that the panel itself is too weak, AND that the panel is inadequately attached to the rest of the chassis.

OR, the subframe mounts should have been positioned directly under/in the sturdy chassis legs (a wider subframe) instead of in the floor (which the RACP is). That way we wouldn't have needed to reinforce and/or relief the RACP from all, or parts of, the load.

This is what has been done to the E9X chassis, and to my surprise, is also the case on our VW Sharan minivan (which BTW is front wheel drive).

Let's first look at the subframe mounts of the VW Sharan.

In this picture, of the right rear suspension looking towards the front of the car, you can just barely notice that the front right mount is directly behind the coil spring. And both mounts are directly under/in the chassis leg.



In this picture, facing the right rear wheel well, you can clearly see how much further out to the side of the car (that's where the chassis leg is) the VW Sharan's subframe mounts are.



Here's another excellent example of how the subframe mounts are tied directly to the chassis legs. This is a E91 3-series Touring I happened to notice at a salvage yard.

Fortunately someone had cut out the rear right corner of the body and chassis, leaving the right side of the subframe exposed.



Notice the chassis leg to the left in the picture. In the picture it's the white "beam"running top/down (picture wise) just left of the center if the picture. It's running in the front/back direction and it has two clearly visible holes in it. The front one has a rubber plug/grommet in it. Notice how it starts to turn outwards (left in our viewing direction) just as it's getting covered by the harness of cables. It's taking this direction as it continues in the door sills.

Now look at the right side where the chassis leg has been removed. Can you see how the subframe mounts is sitting right below where the chassis leg used to be?

Also notice the cross section of the sill, how many layers it's made up with, and how sturdy it is.

Here's a picture of the side view that should help you understand how well the subframe mounts are placed in the E9X platform that followed the E46.



Now compare this to the positions of the subframe mounts of the E46 chassis (at the outside ends of the blue subframe where you can see the circular mounts and the shiny nuts)





Notice how the rear mounts are almost, but not quite, (and this is an important design flaw) all the way out to the chassis leg, but the fronts are very close to the center of the car.

However, both are attached to the "floor panel" (the RACP) rather than directly to the chassis leg itself.

The latter results in a, let's say, unfavorable and inefficient way of coupling/sending the rear axle torque load to the sturdy chassis legs (frame rails).

This is the culprit of the infamous so called "subframe issue" of the E46 ( and E36 AFAIK).

In technical terms this (the path the load needs to take) is referred to as the "load path".

The design of the E46 chassis forces the load to take a "detour" on it's way, from the subframe mount, to the chassis leg. And it's taking that detour via the flimsy, 0,75mm sheet metal of the RACP.

Here's a picture of the underside of the rear part of the E46 chassis. In this picture I've outlined the chassis leg in red.



Notice the dashed line directly outside of the rear mounts (with the blue oval surrounding it on the left side of the image), this is where the RACP is NOT connected to the chassis leg.

Here's a picture of the inside/topside where the gap is very obvious:



And this picture shows how the end plates of the VinceBar closes that gap:



In the gap area, without the VinceBar, the RACP is only attached to the outside perimeter of the chassis leg. And this is what makes the design even worse gas opposed to "just" applying the load to the floor/RACP) as the load now has to take a detour through most of the RACP on its way to the chassis leg.

Here are a few 2D sketches of the cross section of the area mentioned above. The gap between the RACP and the chassis leg is the area directly below where its says stitch weld in the first picture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VinceSE2 View Post



First lets revisit my sketch.

Remember how I said that the cross section of the vertical plane going through the rear mount threaded receivers only connect to the outer most part of the chassis leg? And how this puts a lot of stress at the hotspots?



While the structural resin, aka "foam", does help relieve the stress at hotspot #1 (by stiffening the "beam" within the area enclosed by the cavity highlighted in grey)...



...it does nothing to improve the load path from the mount to the chassis, nor does it improve how the load is dissipated to other parts of the chassis leg.

Hence my idea of improving just that. In this image I have conceptually made that connection.



But in order to avoid bending the connection and/or the vertical wall of the chassis leg one should create something that is rather rigid such that it "cleanly" applies a vertical force to the chassis led. Something like this:



Apart from providing this rather "clean" vertical force, the bar also strengthens the factory "beam" and the bolt through design also relives the "beam". In addition the bolt through design relieves the spot welds, in the vertical plane as well as the bending, attaching the threaded receiver.

Very similar to the Mason Engineering rear strut bar with the cross brace. This design is however nearly completely hidden, and does not affect the luggage space, or the ability to load larger items with the rear back rests folded down. It doesn't negatively impact the usability of the car.

Just the way I like it!

You can find more detail about this in this thread: http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showp...63&postcount=2

What I've shown in the 2D sketches above is however just a cross section of the RACP where the rear mounts are. That does not explain the numerous cracks, and separation, that are formed in other places of the RACP.

Therefor I've created the image below.

Please note the thin red lines to the left of the image. Those thin red lines (in a simplified way) illustrate the "detour" the force is taking (because of the gap between the RACP and the chassis leg) from the mount to the chassis leg.



This is why the RACP starts cracking in the areas with the thin red lines, even after the addition of underside plates and/or the "foam"

And below you'll find another excellent video from Redish Automotive. It illustrates the effect of that unfavorable load path (from about 01:00 and on).


IMHO, this video (credit to James of Redish) clearly illustrates why the rear bar is needed. The rear bar relieves the RACP from most of the load which is causing the stress, that in turn, causes these popped spot welds and cracks.

The rear cross bar simply "sends" the load to the chassis legs without it having to pass through the RACP's areas of flimsy sheetmetal and spot welds. This is the load relief of the RACP.

OK, so what does the VinceBar solution actually do, and how does it work?

The VinceBar solution is actually made up of two major components:
1. The front "gusset cups" (formerly known as "pipe gussets")
2. The rear cross bar (the VinceBar itself)

1. The front gusset cups address the very common (but unfortunately not very commonly known) cracking of the top side of the front mounts.





These cracks stem from a combination of:
a. The lateral forces from the control arms (side to side forces from the rear wheels during cornering)
b. The vertical forces, mainly the upward compression force, from the subframe bushing area.

The front cups address these cracks by reinforcing the RACP, distributing the load to the rear seat floor (the next level of sheet metal above the RACP), and clamping the reinforcement to the RACP via a through bolt design.





2. The rear cross bar (the actual VinceBar.

As I believe it'sdesign, position and function is fairly well explained in the paragraphs above I will not repeat that here.

I recognize this, haven't you posted about this before?

Yes, that's correct. I've posted about this in several threads, but these are my own main threads:

"Subframe" fix, AKA weld install style VinceBar (mostly post #2 & #3)

Extended bolts and accessories group buy (ended)

Epoxy/Rivet install style VinceBar


So what's new and notable with the extended studs/bolts, the bar and cups?

1. Electro plated extended hardware
2. Laser cut components
3. A few design changes
4. The new kit option "Weld install style components kit"

1. The extended subframe bolts (which are key components in the VinceBar solution) are made from the high strength Chrome Nickel alloy 34CrNiMo6. I've previously coated them with a Zinc spray. Now they are professionally electro zinc plated as shown in the picture below (the shorter bolts and studs are the OEM hardware).




2. Rather than manually fabricating the sheet metal, the square tubes and round tubes, I've modeled the design in 3D and generated dxf and STEP files. This way a laser cutting shop can provide me with components of gr eat quality and in much larger numbers than I could ever fabricate myself.





But there is a but. In order for this to make financial sense, and to lessen my personal risk (to order parts not knowing if I'll be able to sell them) I need to know that at least 15-20 kits will sell.

Hence the group buy.



3. In the effort of making the design easier to assemble and install I've designed these "shelf pieces" for the epoxy/rivet installation version



As seen below the shelf piece replaces the lip that was cut off in order to fit the VinceBar.



And here you can see how the shelf piece is bent to the correct shape and riveted to fit in and supports the "lid" as it's being put back to cover the VinceBar.














I've also redesigned the short square tubes to have the cap cut out from the square tube rather than cutting a piece of sheet metal.






4. The new "component kit" which includes the laser cut component required for the weld install version, as well as the extended hardware.




Last edited by VinceSE2; Thu, Sep-29-2016 at 12:41:49 PM.
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Old Wed, Jul-27-2016, 03:39:58 PM   #2
VinceSE2
FKA VinceSE
 
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Default Closed - Group buy VinceBar ("subframe" fix)

VinceBar group buy lists

Version undecided
  • Amadeus - Brooklyn CT - Deposit paid

Tool kit undecided
  • Amadeus - Brooklyn CT - Deposit paid

Weld version

Weld version - Components kit $325
  • David 325is - Greenville, SC - Deposit Paid
  • V8Z4 (2pcs) - Fountain hill, AZ - Deposit paid
  • Ctres - Deposit Pending


Weld version - Assembled kit $450
  • Kalahari - Dallas TX - Deposit paid
  • Airkingmt - Houston TX - Deposit paid
  • TC2 (2pcs) - Hendersonville TN - Deposit paid
  • duracellttu('s brother) - Las Vegas, NV-
    Deposit paid
  • Coopnasty4424* - Deposit paid
  • TheCoder - Henderson NV -Deposit paid
  • SeattleLSB - Seattle, Washington - Deposit paid
  • Shainz - Austin, TX - Deposit paid
  • Mach_3 - Fordland, MO - Deposit Paid
  • Criddlen - North Las Vegas, NV - Deposit paid
  • Ohio04m - Mainville, OH - deposit Paid
  • benzthis- Flushing, NY - Deposit paid
  • e36man - Santa Barbara, CA - Deposit paid
  • 19shaun79 - Winnipeg, MB. Canada - Deposit paid
  • Aurospeed - Calgary, Canada - Deposit Paid

Weld version - Assembled kit VERT STYLE front cups $525
  • dr.gofast - Houston, TX - Deposit paid
  • lmattiso - San Jose, CA - Deposit paid
  • jbla - Deposit Pending

Weld version -Tool kit $65
  • Kalahari - Dallas TX - Deposit paid
  • TC2 - Deposit paid
  • Coopnasty4424 - Deposit Paid
  • TheCoder - Paid
  • SeattleLSB - Seattle, Washington - Deposit paid
  • V8Z4 - Paid
  • Airkingmt - Houston TX - Deposit paid
  • Shainz - Austin, TX - Deposit paid
  • Mach_3 - Fordland, MO - Deposit Paid
  • Criddlen - North Las Vegas, NV - Deposit paid
  • dr.gofast - Houston, TX - Deposit paid
  • lmattiso - San Jose, CA - Deposit paid
  • Ohio04m - Mainville, OH - deposit Paid
  • benzthis- Flushing, NY - Deposit paid
  • e36man - Santa Barbara, CA - Deposit paid
  • 19shaun79 - Winnipeg, MB. Canada - Deposit paid
  • Aurospeed - Calgary, Canada - Deposit Paid


Epoxy/Rivet version

Epoxy/Rivet version - Assembled kit $575
  • Slater * - Ontario, Canada - Deposit paid
  • Gus - Amherstview Ontario Canada - Deposit paid
  • Delvin* - f.t Worth, TX - Deposit paid
  • 90mtx - Jacksonville, FL - Deposit paid
  • AdamTT - Väröbacka, Sweden (!) - Deposit paid
  • Brian N - Foothill Ranch, CA - Deposit paid
  • Topaz_46 - Lumby, B.C. Canada - Paid
  • Beavis - Pound ridge, NY - Deposit paid
  • 2004LSB - San Gabriel, CA - Deposit paid
  • Ninertriplezero - St Armonk, NY - Deposit paid
  • WOLFN8TR - Henderson, NV - Deposit paid
  • DeathTrap - College Park, GA - Deposit paid
  • Riscal33 - Monroeville, NJ - Deposit paid
  • Teslazerok - Regina(?), Canada - Deposit
  • DavidM310 - Chandler, AZ - Deposit Paid
  • repoman89 - Boston MA, Portsmouth NH, or West Chester PA - Deposit Paid
  • rovert604 - Canada - Deposit paid
  • NojeebS - Temple City, CA - Deposit paid


Epoxy/Rivet version -Tool kit $90
  • Slater - Paid
  • 90mtx - Jacksonville, FL - Deposit paid
  • M3B - Deposit pending
  • WOLFN8TR - Deposit pending
  • DeathTrap - College Park, GA - Deposit paid
  • DavidM310 - Chandler, AZ - Deposit Paid
  • repoman89 - Boston MA, Portsmouth NH, or West Chester PA - Deposit Paid
  • AdamTT - Väröbacka, Sweden (!) - Deposit paid


Epoxy/Rivet version -Tool kit long drill bit $110
  • Delvin - f.t Worth, TX - Deposit paid
  • Topaz_46 - Paid
  • Beavis - Pound ridge, NY - Deposit paid
  • 2004LSB - San Gabriel, CA - Deposit paid
  • Ninertriplezero - St Armonk, NY - Deposit paid
  • rovert604 - Canada - Deposit paid
  • NojeebS - Temple City, CA - Deposit paid

Last edited by VinceSE2; Thu, Sep-29-2016 at 01:10:40 PM.
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Old Wed, Jul-27-2016, 03:40:42 PM   #3
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Default Re: Group buy VinceBar - laser cut components

Also reserved
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Old Wed, Jul-27-2016, 04:31:18 PM   #4
w3fl3x
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Default Re: Group buy VinceBar - laser cut components

In for more pictures and detail!
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Old Wed, Jul-27-2016, 05:37:52 PM   #5
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Default Re: Group buy VinceBar - laser cut components

I can attest to this solution holding up and not moving even under harsh driving conditions. It's concealable and from what I've seen has eliminated any flexing of the RACP. I kept the cover off to monitor the brace and I am very happy with the results. I have done enough e46 subframe repairs and reinforcements, this looks like it will be the go to if i have to do anymore.
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Old Wed, Jul-27-2016, 05:53:18 PM   #6
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Default Re: Group buy VinceBar - laser cut components

Can't wait to get mine in. Plenty of pictures will be taken and posted here, if that's fine with vince.
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Old Wed, Jul-27-2016, 08:38:09 PM   #7
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Default Re: Group buy VinceBar - laser cut components

i'm very excited to install mine, first in a non-M (2004 330i ZHP). we'll also be putting one in an LS-powered E46 330Ci w/ M3 rear end.

vince has put a lot of effort into this solution, and a lot of care, and it shows. will he single-handedly be able to save the fate of the E46 RACP? stay tuned...

peter
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Old Wed, Jul-27-2016, 09:37:10 PM   #8
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Default Re: Group buy VinceBar - laser cut components

Quote:
Originally Posted by w3fl3x View Post
In for more pictures and detail!
X2!!
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Build Thread - S54 Vanos Thread

TTFS Engine/SMG Tune - SGT Headers/Sect 1/SCZA - Evolve Eventuri - Sprint Booster V2
UltraGauge - Orion V4's - CF Lip/Console/Diffuser - VIS XTS CF Hood - CSL Trunk - Valentine One - Turner 15F/12R Spacers
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Old Thu, Jul-28-2016, 01:34:14 AM   #9
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Default Re: Group buy VinceBar - laser cut components

Quote:
Originally Posted by WOLFN8TR View Post
X2!!
gary, you should get in on this!

peter
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Old Thu, Jul-28-2016, 03:06:56 AM   #10
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Default Re: Group buy VinceBar - laser cut components

Quote:
Originally Posted by slater View Post
gary, you should get in on this!

peter
I'm very interested in this, I've been following Vince's work.
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Build Thread - S54 Vanos Thread

TTFS Engine/SMG Tune - SGT Headers/Sect 1/SCZA - Evolve Eventuri - Sprint Booster V2
UltraGauge - Orion V4's - CF Lip/Console/Diffuser - VIS XTS CF Hood - CSL Trunk - Valentine One - Turner 15F/12R Spacers

Last edited by WOLFN8TR; Thu, Jul-28-2016 at 03:14:16 AM.
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Discussing Closed - Group buy VinceBar ("subframe" fix) 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)