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  • 07-18-2010, 10:01 AM

    Re: Can't justify the cost of a double damper swap

    Ummm... I agree with HBWT

    You CANNOT afford not to swap them out. Even prior to the Class A BMW would not touch any of them even with the slightest modification. It is clearly written in the Class A documentation.

    I have assisted many people in getting this fixed and guided them through negotiation with BMWNA. If it is modified forget it. There is no negotiation.

    I am not sure that you grasp the cost of this repair when it comes out of your pocket. Compared to a couple of used dampers and the labor to install them, the dampers are pocket change. Your Indy that found it may even have a set that he would be willing to swap for you. You are talking multiple thousands of dollars for this repair and weeks without your car that you may have to rent one. Get it covered and you can probably negotiate a loaner.

    You alternative is to drive it to the north east and visit Turner Motorsports. They can do the repair and install their reinforcement kit. It is out of pocket but the end result will be better than out of pocket to the local chop shop.

    This situation is frustrating but you really need to consider setting it back to stock including wheels.

    If you are looking for the "modded" crowd you might be looking for E46 Fanatics.

    Good Luck
  • 07-16-2010, 08:03 PM

    BMP sent me an email regarding rear shock tower

    mount failure, and I've copied it here for you.

    BMW 3-Series Rear Shock Tower Mount Failure

    Why It Normally Happens?
    There are 2 common reasons for failure of the rear BMW shock tower mounts on the e30, e36, and e46 models. The first reason is metal failure due to rust, corrosion, and load impact caused by severe impacts of pot holes. Severe pot hole impacts will typically cause shocks to bottom out which will eventually fracture the sheet metal. The second reason is incorrect installation or failure to reinstall all the necessary parts.

    When replacing rear shock absorbers make certain that you remember to transfer the inverted upper and lower cup washers from your old shock absorbers over to your new shocks before installing the new upper mounts as shown in the image below.

    These cup washers are an important part in the assembly, without them the rubber shock mounts will fail very quickly. The rubber shock mounts are designed to soften the impact of a harsh compression of the shock absorber. When the vehicle experiences an extreme impact such as a pot hole in the road the inverted cup washer bottoms out on the outer rim of the shock mount. This washer disperses the impact that would otherwise tear the center out of the rubber mount. The top of the shock has a similar washer to keep the shock from tearing out when the shock is hyper-extended.

    Shock Mount Reinforcement Plates
    The BMP rear shock tower reinforcement plates will strengthen this inherently weak area of the BMW e30, e36, and e46 models. This mount was originally designed for the Z3 chassis to reinforce the area around the rear shock tower mount bolt holes but has since become a standard add on for most all variations of the BMW 3 Series. For best results we recommend using new mounts, and reinforcement plates on the installation of new rear shocks.

    *Sold Individually

    Taper-Core Rear Shock Mounts
    The BMP Design "Taper-Core" rear shock mounts are a simple fix for a problem that has plagued BMW for many years. BMW's original design relied solely upon the bond between the rubber and tube-steel center core of the rear shock mount. After only a year of wear and fatigue the rubber could break away from the tube steel center core, sending the rear shocks into the rear speaker deck of your Bimmer. To address the problem, an aftermarket supplier developed a taper-core center spacer that would compress the rubber against the outer housing. These are always recommended when replacing your shocks or springs.

    Billet Aluminum/Urethane Rear Shock Mounts
    The BMP design rear shock mounts are an excellent addition to a high performance suspension kit. The BMP Design Rear Shock Tower Mounts use 60 durometer urethane cast-in bushings that permit the mount to be used on street performance vehicles or the weekend race car, without the harsh ride and damaging effects of solid steel racing mounts. Constructed of 6061-T6 anodized billet aluminum.

    Obviously you can find out more by going to their site. The above is just the basics.
  • 07-15-2010, 11:06 AM

    In that case I'll start trolling the E46 forums

    for a cheap set of used rears to see what I can come up with. Thanks very much for the info and advice.

    If anyone on this forum has a set or knows someone who has a set of used rear shocks for an '00 328Ci (sport package) that they're willing to part with cheaply, I'd appreciate you posting here to let me know. Or you can email me at [email protected]
  • 07-15-2010, 10:20 AM

    You are correct that the fronts are a bear to

    swap out, but I'd only worry about the rears for this inspection. Fronts have nothing to do with rear subframe.
  • 07-15-2010, 09:53 AM

    I see but if I can get my hands on a used set ...

    ... of rear shocks, I'd still have to also swap the fronts, wouldn't I? If I swapped just the rears, I imagine the stealer would still view the fronts as non-OEM and use that as an excuse to deny the claim.
  • 07-15-2010, 09:34 AM

    Re: Rear Floor / Subframe mounting inspection

    What do you mean by "a little sugar gets you"?

    I apologize if my post came across in any way rude or hostile. That wasn't my intention at all ... maybe the frustration that this happened to me is starting to show. Or did you mean spread some sugar on the dealer when I take it to get it inspected? :-)
  • 07-15-2010, 09:33 AM

    But just fyi, the tools required for a rear shock

    swap are minimal, and the labor to do this is easy. I did my own at the end of the driveway.
    Your big task would be to come up with oem shocks.
  • 07-15-2010, 09:29 AM

    Can't justify the cost of a double damper swap

    The problem is that I don't have the original dampers so I'd have to find a used set, pay to install them and then remove them and re-install the Bilsteins after the subframe fix. I'm fairly mechanically inclined - I do all my fluid and filter changes, brake work, etc - but I don't have the time or access to the tools needed to do a suspension swap. I can't justify the cost of 2 suspension swaps (plus the cost of old parts) for a 10 year old car which I don't plan to keep for more than another 2 years. (Plan to get a 4-door ride next year). IMHO, the money spent on suspension swap or subframe repair would be better spent towards a newer ride.
  • 07-15-2010, 09:13 AM

    I think I'd put a set of stock dampers back in

    before going to the dealer. You dampers didn't cause the failure but no need in letting them use that as a way of weaseling out of doing the repair.
  • 07-15-2010, 08:16 AM

    Rear Floor / Subframe mounting inspection

    ............ a little sugar gets you ________

    start by having a dealer look at it
  • 07-15-2010, 08:10 AM

    Re: Rear Floor / Subframe mounting inspection

    Thanks for the response c.d.iesel. Over the past 2 days I've done a fair amount of research on this issue and also followed it closely about 4 years ago - the class action lawsuit settlement, only dealers can make the inspection, it will be fixed as long as the car is stock, it can take several weeks, etc. But I got the impression that judgment was made by the dealer, not BMWNA. Are you saying the decision is BMWNA's not the dealer's to make? Since the settlement excludes "any current or former owner or lessee of a class vehicle that has been modified with suspension parts ..." how is it that certain owners who this applies to have had their cars fixed and other not? Maybe it just depend on the discretion or mood of the person adjudicating the particular repair claim that day. I'm not trying to be argumentative, I just want to hear from enthusiasts in the DC area who modded their suspension what their experience has been with certain dealers. BTW, I don't recall getting the letter (I am an original owner) but it may have slipped me as it would have arrived last year around the time when I became a first time parent and everything seemed upside down. I've also moved since I first bought the car so that could be the reason.
  • 07-15-2010, 07:39 AM

    Rear Floor / Subframe mounting inspection

    Any BMW Dealer must inspect and report their inspection
    findings in writting - on a Repair Order - through the normal
    dealer-BMW Warranty communications system. You can go to any dealer
    and get the inspection performed. Judgement is through BMWNA,
    not the dealer. It's a national Service Information. Letters were sent out to owners (provided your not hiding from the Dealer Network)
    A class action suit also exsists - do some research
    The inspecting dealer probably does not make the actual
    floor repairs, but 'sends' it out to a experienced body shop.
    It's MAJOR disassembly of the back half of the car for
    welding. It's not pretty. Good luck.
  • 07-15-2010, 06:51 AM

    Subframe issue - which Wash DC dealer to go to?

    Over the last 2 days I've been hearing a creaking, sometimes groaning sound coming from the rear of the car (328Ci) so I took it to my local indy shop who diagnosed the source as a cracked subframe. I have Bilstein PSSes installed and from my research on this issue some dealers will still honor a claim even with non-OEM suspension, as long as the car is well maintained and doesn't show obvious signs of abuse. I need to find a dealer in the Washington, DC area willing to look beyond this "suspension modification" and honor my repair claim. I'd like to hear from any DC area member who had the subframe issue with non-OEM suspension and their dealer fixed it. Which dealer did you go to? -- Thanks.

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