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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 Mon, Jun-19-2017, 04:40:18 AM   #151
Apex_3472
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Default Re: Vince RACP reinforcement/load relief- Install w/o welding and completely drop...

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Originally Posted by VinceSE2 View Post
You can certainly install the kit without any plates, but for two reasons you still need the underside reinforcement plates.

1. Even though you may not believe so, you very, very likely have cracks that need to be fixed. And those cracks should really be covered with plates, or even better the VinceSkinz.
If your going the Epoxy/Rivet path (which I recommend), the VinceSkinz need to cover existing cracks

2.The underside of the front right mount takes a pretty hard compressive beating as the subframe repeatedly slams into it. Especially with the OE subframe bushings.

As seen below, the cracks typically range from barely noticeable, to very bad depending on how far they've gone.











So that underside area needs extra strength to hold up.
And, as explained above, the plate would also need to cover any existing cracks.

And because of the height difference with the plate on one mount, all mounts will need a plate.

Vince


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Vince, at this point do you recommend the epoxy/rivet solution or the weld in bar? Or is it really just a question of what the installer is comfortable with?
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Old Mon, Jun-19-2017, 07:29:26 AM   #152
VinceSE2
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Default Vince RACP reinforcement/load relief- Install w/o welding and completely drop...

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Originally Posted by Apex_3472 View Post
Vince, at this point do you recommend the epoxy/rivet solution or the weld in bar? Or is it really just a question of what the installer is comfortable with?


My recommendation is to go with the epoxy/rivet solution.
Mainly because there's no heat related issues to deal with, the epoxy and rivets are at least as strong http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showt...p?p=1067580225, and it's much cleaner.
(These are also some of the reasons behind the Vince/Skinz http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=582641 )

But as you said, the choice between epoxy/rivet or welding really comes down to what the installer is comfortable with.


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Last edited by VinceSE2; Mon, Jun-19-2017 at 07:36:51 AM.
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Old Mon, Jun-19-2017, 07:46:40 AM   #153
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Default Re: Vince RACP reinforcement/load relief- Install w/o welding and completely drop...

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Originally Posted by kaiv View Post
I didn't realize there were separate front/rear kit. I did the whole thing as described here.

Also did a lot of other stuff at the same time though (patched cracks, installed plates, added some welds in the wheel wells, replaced all mounts ... THe owner of the car had kept tracking even though I told him there were cracks lol )
Awesome. Might have to sign me up for something similar. I have been looking for a local installer that I trust.
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Old Tue, Jun-20-2017, 07:26:36 AM   #154
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Default Re: Vince RACP reinforcement/load relief- Install w/o welding and completely drop...

Just putting this info out for others who want to DIY - started Friday night after work, finished Sunday night at midnight so I could drive to work the next morning. I think my friend and I spent a total of 30 hours doing it. But it might be faster for more experienced people, since neither of us have dropped the rear end of an E46 before, and we've probably spent a couple of those hours just looking for the right tool

However I have not installed the lid yet (since I wanted to POR15 around the exposed metal areas before sealing it up), nor have I put the interior back since it's really dirty from all the cutting and grinding.


Few tips:

I would recommend to drop the subframe assembly completely as it frees so much room up. We tried to slight lower it per instructions but it kept binding on the front studs and the soft brake lines were being tensioned (and we did take them off the brackets). But perhaps the non-M brake lines are shorter than the M3s? I can't confirm that, but FWIW I did this on my 330. So we lowered it to the ground which made drilling and tapping so much easier (especially since you have to do all that from the bottom). Plus bleeding the brakes is a fast job anyways with a power bleeder.

Oh and also, the front studs are fairly obvious regarding how much you should thread them in, since they bottom out on the hexes. But since the rear studs do not have a hard stop, you will have to play around with the stud height. I ended up having two or three threads stick proud of the top surface of the top nut, with just enough thread to full engage the bottom nut. Again, this may be different for the M3s.

When you buy the epoxy, ensure you get the gun. With the gun the trigger required some force to pull, and I can't imagine doing it with just a plunger.

Lastly, find some pipes that fit over the handles of your rivet gun. I bought one of the cheap ones since I have no need for it other than this install, and those big 4.8mm rivets for the sides of the rear bar to the chassis rails are no joke to pop.

All in all, excellent kit Vince! Everything required was there other than tools and epoxy, and everything fits perfectly (with some hammering required for the front mounts). I'm glad to have done this as I can now autox and track without worry.




Last edited by t.er; Tue, Jun-20-2017 at 07:46:17 AM.
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Old Tue, Jun-20-2017, 02:40:17 PM   #155
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Default Vince RACP reinforcement/load relief- Install w/o welding and completely drop...

Quote:
Originally Posted by t.er View Post
Just putting this info out for others who want to DIY - started Friday night after work, finished Sunday night at midnight so I could drive to work the next morning. I think my friend and I spent a total of 30 hours doing it. But it might be faster for more experienced people, since neither of us have dropped the rear end of an E46 before, and we've probably spent a couple of those hours just looking for the right tool

However I have not installed the lid yet (since I wanted to POR15 around the exposed metal areas before sealing it up), nor have I put the interior back since it's really dirty from all the cutting and grinding.


Few tips:

I would recommend to drop the subframe assembly completely as it frees so much room up. We tried to slight lower it per instructions but it kept binding on the front studs and the soft brake lines were being tensioned (and we did take them off the brackets). But perhaps the non-M brake lines are shorter than the M3s? I can't confirm that, but FWIW I did this on my 330. So we lowered it to the ground which made drilling and tapping so much easier (especially since you have to do all that from the bottom). Plus bleeding the brakes is a fast job anyways with a power bleeder.

Oh and also, the front studs are fairly obvious regarding how much you should thread them in, since they bottom out on the hexes. But since the rear studs do not have a hard stop, you will have to play around with the stud height. I ended up having two or three threads stick proud of the top surface of the top nut, with just enough thread to full engage the bottom nut. Again, this may be different for the M3s.

When you buy the epoxy, ensure you get the gun. With the gun the trigger required some force to pull, and I can't imagine doing it with just a plunger.

Lastly, find some pipes that fit over the handles of your rivet gun. I bought one of the cheap ones since I have no need for it other than this install, and those big 4.8mm rivets for the sides of the rear bar to the chassis rails are no joke to pop.

All in all, excellent kit Vince! Everything required was there other than tools and epoxy, and everything fits perfectly (with some hammering required for the front mounts). I'm glad to have done this as I can now autox and track without worry.





Thanks for sharing your experience and tips, it's valuable to the community!

I take it on me, given I haven't completed proper instructions yet, that you misinterpreted the rear stud design.

The studs and collar nuts are meant to be assembled into a bolt prior to being installed. Just like the factory bolts, and as shown to the lower right in this picture:




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Old Tue, Jun-20-2017, 09:55:29 PM   #156
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Default Re: Vince RACP reinforcement/load relief- Install w/o welding and completely drop...

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Originally Posted by VinceSE2 View Post
The studs and collar nuts are meant to be assembled into a bolt prior to being installed. Just like the factory bolts, and as shown to the lower right in this picture:

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Ah... now that makes sense. No biggie, end result was basically the same
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Old Fri, Jun-23-2017, 03:05:17 AM   #157
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Default Re: Vince RACP reinforcement/load relief- Install w/o welding and completely drop...

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Originally Posted by Brian N View Post
Awesome. Might have to sign me up for something similar. I have been looking for a local installer that I trust.
Would be happy to!

Quote:
Originally Posted by t.er View Post
(...)those big 4.8mm rivets for the sides of the rear bar to the chassis rails are no joke to pop.
Yep that I can confirm lol
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Old Sat, Oct-21-2017, 08:20:30 PM   #158
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Default Re: Vince RACP reinforcement/load relief- Install w/o welding and completely drop...

Awesome kit you have put together Vince, any update on the X bracing?
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Old Sat, Oct-21-2017, 08:47:04 PM   #159
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Default Re: Vince RACP reinforcement/load relief- Install w/o welding and completely drop...

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Awesome kit you have put together Vince, any update on the X bracing?


Thank you.
No, no update on that yet. I’m keeping myself busy with a couple of other projects, SMG relocation and continuous development/evolution of the RACP stuff.

But I’m very much looking forward too the X-brace project!


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Discussing Vince RACP reinforcement/load relief- Install w/o welding and completely drop... 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)