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-   -   Torn out Sway bar Rivets (http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=971660)

Eurobahn BMW 02-18-2013 01:22 AM

Torn out Sway bar Rivets
out of the subframe. A little background on the car (only suspension and drivetrain) skip if you dont care:

2001 325iT
D2 Coil overs with corner balance 50/50
Hotchkis sway bars with Hotchkis end links
Front custom machined end links with spherical... eye.. things (not ball joints?)
Almost every rubber component is polyurethane
UUC Motormounts
UUC Tranny Mounts
Eurobahn BMW Greensboro subframe reinforcement kit welded in & installed
gs6-37bz transmission swap with 3.46 final drive
During the time the sway bar was on I had a fidanza aluminium flywheel and 330 clutch with the s5d 320...d? (5 speed tranny)
CSL reps 18"
meyle HD control arms and a bunch of other misc stuff

~220,000 miles, sway bar has been on since 75K, also was the first suspension mod I did. before coilovers it has been through about 18 auto-x, 6 circuit X, and 4 HPDEs. Has been driven hard pretty consistently throughout its life on the street (mostly curves and country drives)


first day of noticing

passenger side is fine.

undo the nuts on the passenger side and the driver side falls right out

studs are actually rivets. of some sort.

picture of the damage

so what my best friend and I did was we took it down, hotchkis supplied a swaybar spacer/reinforcement plate which was about 1/4 inch thick, I didnt think it was supposed to be welded on, because it was painted but we used it for that purpose anyway. We flattened out the pucker, welded the rivets back in, and then welded the reinforcement plates on top of that all around (we were going to drill the middle and weld in a vignette but decided that perimeter was enough and there was a structural bead there that we didn't want to compromise. so the load is distributed on a larger surface area. then we painted it black so it doesnt rust.


Tested it and it's all quiet again. At first symptoms sounded like I just had bad control arm ball joints, then the sound got worse and my car's handling capabilities were off. this had been an ongoing problem for a while and it finally just failed. I am pretty confident that this setup is solid, but if it isnt. Then it's back to the drawing board with some a656g80 steel.

hope this helps anyone. Doubt you'll see this problem, but if you do. here you go. youre not the only one. also the other side was welded in too.

paraklas 02-18-2013 06:21 AM

You got me worried now, as I broke the OEM brackets (with PU bushings) on the passenger side (RHD car) three times, before going with the Hotchkis setup. Now I'm guessing that since the brackets haven't broke yet, the 2 riveted studs are taking much more force. I am seriously considering welding the plate on the frame right now.


Eurobahn BMW 02-18-2013 08:52 AM

Paraklas, like i said, I don't know if it happened because i drove the crap out of my car on the daily or what, but i suppose it doesn't hurt to take it down for a minute and see if there is any play in the rivets. I don' know if anyone else has this problem.

I have never broken a bracket so maybe that was my problem.

ianmc54 04-26-2013 02:25 PM

Same thing happened to me. I've had the Hotchkis sway bars on tightest setting for 2 years now. Happened just like the picture, drivers side as well, but not passenger. I'll probably do the same fix. Thanks for the idea.

Eurobahn BMW 04-27-2013 12:44 PM


Originally Posted by ianmc54 (Post 15375906)
Same thing happened to me. I've had the Hotchkis sway bars on tightest setting for 2 years now. Happened just like the picture, drivers side as well, but not passenger. I'll probably do the same fix. Thanks for the idea.

hmmm that is pretty interesting that the driver's side happened to you too. maybe I should weigh my car down and re adjust my endlinks to compensate for me in the car.

my car is corner balanced 50/50 but I never adjusted my endlinks accordingly.

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