Hi petemo94... yep 3/8" is kinda close to the metal...add a passenger and full tank of gas and that gap will be even closer yet- if the bushing is starting to fail. I really don't know much about other shocks compare to OE shocks .. this E46 factory sport package works well enough for me. With pushing 70k on your car I'd say if you put a new set of shocks, rear shock mounts, and get the BMW OE mounts unless you are going to go with some aftermarket performance mount ( and I'd add the plates too) you'd be more than happy with the improvement. You may also want to replace the 2 washers ( per side) that install on the shaft below the mount. One is a large cupped washer and the other is a smaller washer just under that one. Get a flashlight and look just over the top of your rear tires to view the shock in the tower...you should be able see condition of those washers... If your car is the never seen rain or snow kinda car your probably OK with reusing the washers from the old shocks. If you have any questions about what shocks to use maybe post the question on this form or I've had good service and advice from the guys at Bavarian Auto. Oh and the plates,,, I'm not sure some of the aftermarket "thicker" plates will work on the convertible .. the factory plate just clears the lip on the tower and the convertible top bracket stuff when installing them. Good Luck- Have fun
Last edited by socks210; 01-03-2013 at 07:19 AM.