+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Registered Member
    Location
    Washington, DC, United States
    Member No: 143188 wcampbell6 is an unknown quantity at this point wcampbell6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    128
    Rep Power
    0


    Yes | No

    Help! Bolt holes for x-brace/body brace

    Damage Story:
    A few months ago I had my body brace literally ripped off my car when I hit an exposed manhole while accelerating around traffic in our nations capital.

    The manhole hit close to the center of my butt-strut and yanked back the body brace as a result of the force bending the butt-strut (Picture below)

    Butt Strut


    The body brace itself seems to be totally unharmed. The bolts holding the rear held tight, but the bolts going through the x-brace and the frame were not so lucky. The bolt below the passenger side was ripped clean out. This bent the x-brace out of position. (Picture below)

    X-Brace


    Knowing that the failure had to have come from the forward bolts, I assumed that all the threads had been stripped. However, upon looking closed at the holes after seeing the driver side bolt (Picture below), I realized that it was a combination of the bolts bending and the frame ripping (Picture below)

    Driver side bolt (passenger side bolt was nowhere to be found)


    Driver side hole


    Passenger side hole


    After getting a better look at the damage, I was worried that I wouldn't be able to get the strut braces off and they'd be stuck there forever. Fortunately enough, as far as I can tell, the damage was limited to the forward bolt holes, the x-brace, and obviously the butt-strut. I took of the cap nuts that hold on the butt-strut with relative ease and everything came down pretty easily. Now my car has no butt-strut, body brace, or x-brace. This wasn't too much of a problem because I bought a hardtop in October and that really stiffened the car and holds it together while all the braces are off.

    But seeing as Spring is right around the corner, I'm trying to figure out what to do because without the hardtop, my car feels like it's going to fall apart.

    Here are my options:

    A) See if someone can straighten my butt-strut (unlikely) or get a new one (although I hate to pay for another one)
    a) If I do either of those things, I have to hope that the frame of my car is still straight and that the straightened/new butt-strut will fit.

    B) Get the x-brace straightened/welded back together or get a new/used one
    a) If I do fix the x-brace or get a new one, I still have the problem of the holes to attach the back of it. I've read up a bit on nutserts that I could put in the holes to provide me with threads, but I have no experience with them, don't have the tools to insert them, and don't know if they would even work with the holes as deformed as the are now.

    Either way I cut it, it looks like I have to fix the holes. Nutserts seem to be the best option there, but I don't have experience with them. If I get the holes repaired, and can get a straight butt-strut back on, then I'll be all set and can reinstall everything (this time as tight against the car as possible).

    I'm in the DC area and would love any help I can get (A lift, a metal worker/shop who can straighten hardened steel and weld, someone with experience using nutserts).

    Anyone who can offer suggestions/solutions to this problem, please let me know.

    Thanks in advance.


  2. #2
    Bad Email Address on File
    Location
    San Pedro, CA, United States
    Member No: 60022 KURTZZ3 is an unknown quantity at this point KURTZZ3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    347
    Rep Power
    0


    Yes | No

    What would your insurance company pay for?

    Seems like a straight forward road-hazard claim.

    2002 Z3 3.0i;black/black;sports package;BMW windbreaker;spoiler guard;LeatherZ armrest;Pinnacle Souveran wax;Whalen Shift Machine;Strongstrut tower brace;Alpine CDA-9847 CD;Alpine KCA-420i iPod converter;Silverstar 9006 bulb;Axxis brake pads;Stewart water pump;Zionville autosport radiator


  3. #3
    Registered Member
    Location
    Washington, DC, United States
    Member No: 143188 wcampbell6 is an unknown quantity at this point wcampbell6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    128
    Rep Power
    0


    Yes | No

    Don't think that's an option any more

    Because I've changed insurance since that happened, I doubt I can get that covered.

  4. #4
    Registered Member
    Location
    Altus, OK, United States
    Member No: 13295 bryanclar is on a distinguished road bryanclar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Posts
    4,178
    Rep Power
    19


    Yes | No

    have you called the city?

    I remember (about 10 yrs back) also in the DC area, maybe Alexandria, a similar thing was reported on the news about cars that hit manhole covers during roadwork. In some cases the oil pans were ripped from the cars. The city paid for the damage because the lack of asphalt and the relative height of the covers (extra 2-3 inches) was not properly marked or detoured, or something like that. If you know the exact location and date, which I imagine you likely do, you might want to call them and see. It's worth a shot, anyway.

    97 2.8 Arctic Silver - Tanin Red interior with wood console - black top
    Whalen Shift Machine, polished - Type II windscreen (non roll-hoops) - Bilstein HD shocks/struts
    Axxis Metal Master pads - Brembo rotors - Doug Whalen seat bushings
    Passenger Eject (unfortunately non-functional) - OEM Passenger Airbag Disable switch
    Polk Audio all around - Blaupunkt PA amps - LeatherZ Mark II armrest - Strong Strut Trio - AUX input via tapedeck

  5. #5
    Registered Member
    Location
    Auburn, CA, United States
    Member No: 40215 DaneKane is an unknown quantity at this point DaneKane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    2,147
    Rep Power
    0


    Yes | No

    Some actual advice...

    I make premium quality custom SS Z3 Suspension upgrades(Special order only)..and imnsho you really don't have that big a problem..The buttstrut is not a forged component(AFAIK) and should be easily reshaped with a medium press(20t)to a useable state(any machine shop could do this easily)..I also wouldn't be surprised if Paul didn't cut you a deal on a replacement part(his call, of course)..The x-brace is bit more complicated to reshape but your damage doesn't look all that bad.again, all you'll probably need is a little patient presswork(again,any machine shop should be able to do this inexpensively)..BMW x-brace oe nutserts are quite good and should reset quite well..Highly recommended that you add the additional front 2 nutsert positions on th e x-brace when using a Buttstrut or other upgrade(there's four positions up front on the brace, factory only uses two)..The nutserts are most easily installed with a dedicated tool, but you can actually make a very serviceable tool(good for a few , but a be-actch for bunches!)using a slightly longer bolt,a couple of nuts and a washer or two, plus some grease or graphite(Hint: use a tight drill hole to hold riv-nut, tap-in accurately to help hold while installing riv-nut)...Metric nutserts are available aftermarket for the rear positions..they're inexpensive..First set i ever installed on rear used BMW oe bolts(M10x35-z1-10.9,oe#33306760652,about $0.75) and Marson steel ribbed 10mmKLIK Rivet nuts..#47390(short range), but you'll probably need the deeper #47391 units(.150-312)..these have a 15k pullout limit..hence pretty tough..17/32" drill out for these babies(hint:never overdrill the hole!)..the x-brace uses M8x20-z1 bolts(oe#07119915093)and to add the more appropriate additional two, you'll need BMW oe "blind rivet nut" #51718175003..these come in real handy so you may want to buy the ten-pack(less tha $5)...The OEBMW bolts for rear will serve best to install the rivet nuts but will probably be too short to re-install the Buttbrace(see Paul or source at True-Value,etc)..If "working" this out is not your cup of Z3 or within your skill set, then you may want to buy another x-brace..they show up on Ebay frequently, are on most all parted out Z3's and don't really cost that much new('bout $175 at dealer)..be advised most used ones are almost universally pre-bent by service departments Everywhere(careless, I guess)..The re-nutting is a two wrencher at most(but you must have the right parts)..Z3Cheers! dk '97 2.8 bg R..(plus one and counting..)

  6. #6
    Registered Member
    Location
    Washington, DC, United States
    Member No: 143188 wcampbell6 is an unknown quantity at this point wcampbell6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    128
    Rep Power
    0


    Yes | No

    A big thanks!

    Thanks for taking the time to write me your thoughts. I think I have the ability to do the work myself and I'm glad to hear that you think the butt-strut can be bent back into shape.

    Would you mind if I give you a call sometime to talk through the appropriate steps? If so, my email is attached on this response and you can send me your number.

    Thanks again and I'll keep you updated with my progress.

  7. #7
    Registered Member
    Location
    Washington, DC, United States
    Member No: 143188 wcampbell6 is an unknown quantity at this point wcampbell6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    128
    Rep Power
    0


    Yes | No

    UPDATE: Help! Bolt holes for x-brace/body brace

    So on Thursday the 17th, I dropped the X-Brace and Butt Strut off at a local machine shop that has large press. They said they would see what they could do and then get back to me.

    I talked with them today and apparently they are having no luck bending the butt strut back into shape. He did however seem confident that he could fix the x-brace.

    I'm taking DaneKane's advice and getting some quality nutserts for the misshaped bolt holes.

    I think I'll email Paul and the Strong Strut team and see what my options are for the butt strut.

    I'll update again when I fix everything.

+ Reply to Thread


Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

     

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may post new threads
  • You may post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
1e2 Forum