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Old 10-21-2012, 03:45 PM   #363
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Springfield OH
Posts: 740
My Ride: '00 323i + '75 2002
After thinking about it for a couple days, I decided I wasn't happy with my initial frame rail brace. The main reason for making the front clip removable was to make maintenance easier to do. But because the brace was welded in place, it meant that I would still need to lift the engine out of the car, or lift the car over the engine/subframe. Both of which can be a chore if you don't have access to an engine hoist or really tall jack. So I decided to cut it out and design a better solution. After a long day/night of measuring and fabrication, this is what I came up with. I only have two pictures right now, I'll get some more detailed ones when I'm not as tired.

It is completely removable, and gives me a sturdy frame to mount the radiator and oil cooler to. I should be able to run some lower bracing to the air dam in the front and hang the intercooler from the lower bar when that time comes. I will also have the strut bar tie into the top bar when I get that fabbed together. Here you can see how it clears the front clip at the top:

With this TIG'd together up next I will get the radiator and oil cooler mounts done. Once those are in place I will make a cover plate that goes over the top of the front frame section, mimicking the stock '02 sheet metal front end with a cutout for the radiator fill cap. I'll probably use sheet aluminum though, the front end is heavy enough already lol.
Tinker Engineering - 2014

Mica - 2000 BMW 323i - The one that started it all
Fiona - 1975 BMW 2002 - The Definition of Project Creep
Heidi - 1988 BMW M5 - The piece of BMW history
Silvia - 2013 Subaru WRX - Stock, for now
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