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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 04-15-2004, 02:47 PM   #1
sacranger
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Unsafe 2000 323/328 coupe - Subframe

First off my 2000 BMW 323ci (all stock) is beginning to self destruct and is really unsafe to drive. The main issue is the subframe pulling away from the unibody. BMW insists it is driving style but I have retrieved the following information from the forums on people who have had this same issue: (Please verify the information below if I have listed your name...Also feel free to contact me at stephen.clemons@cpr.ca.gov if you have any additional information you would like to add to this. My phone number is 916-224-4991 If necessary I will go so far as a class action to get this resolved. If so many of you on the forum are having this safety related problem, think of the poor unsuspecting mom with her kids driving down the road not knowing that the suspention of her car is coming loose from the unibody):

Das Mikro Boot 2000 328ci 47,813 Driver Covered by BMW
Bimmerchop 2000 328ci 25,000 Driver
Br3 2000 323ci 49,000 ? Covered
Akakubi
Nate328ci 2000 328ci 26,000 Covered
Curly
Menace3054 Mike Jones 328ci 50,000+ Covered
Bimmerboy1323
Jason 2000 328i 54,000 Driver
Jason Roth Driver No
ACS3 A.R.T 2000 328ci Driver
Andre Yew 2000 328ci 41,000 Driver Covered
sycE46 2000 323ci 44,000 Driver Covered
Cuore_alfa 2000 323ci
marat III 2000 328ci Driver
SrCsTc
burrito007 2000 323ci
Richard Silva 2000 323ci 58,000 Driver
IDLOOK2 2000 328ci Covered


As you can see these are all 2000 models... This is a major problem that BMW needs to address and reimburse anyone who had to cover this out of pocket. The 2 forums I used for this information are this one and http://bimmer.roadfly.org

Please forgive any information that is wrong, and please contact me for updates... I would like to know if anyone else has had this problem, and I recommend anyone who has not looked at their subframe to have it looked at ASAP . My e-mail is stephen.clemons@cpr.ca.gov
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Old 04-15-2004, 03:27 PM   #2
GordonMurray
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sacranger
First off my 2000 BMW 323ci (all stock) is beginning to self destruct and is really unsafe to drive. The main issue is the subframe pulling away from the unibody. BMW insists it is driving style but I have retrieved the following information from the forums on people who have had this same issue: (Please verify the information below if I have listed your name...Also feel free to contact me at stephen.clemons@cpr.ca.gov if you have any additional information you would like to add to this. My phone number is 916-224-4991 If necessary I will go so far as a class action to get this resolved. If so many of you on the forum are having this safety related problem, think of the poor unsuspecting mom with her kids driving down the road not knowing that the suspention of her car is coming loose from the unibody):

Das Mikro Boot 2000 328ci 47,813 Driver Covered by BMW
Bimmerchop 2000 328ci 25,000 Driver
Br3 2000 323ci 49,000 ? Covered
Akakubi
Nate328ci 2000 328ci 26,000 Covered
Curly
Menace3054 Mike Jones 328ci 50,000+ Covered
Bimmerboy1323
Jason 2000 328i 54,000 Driver
Jason Roth Driver No
ACS3 A.R.T 2000 328ci Driver
Andre Yew 2000 328ci 41,000 Driver Covered
sycE46 2000 323ci 44,000 Driver Covered
Cuore_alfa 2000 323ci
marat III 2000 328ci Driver
SrCsTc
burrito007 2000 323ci
Richard Silva 2000 323ci 58,000 Driver
IDLOOK2 2000 328ci Covered


As you can see these are all 2000 models... This is a major problem that BMW needs to address and reimburse anyone who had to cover this out of pocket. The 2 forums I used for this information are this one and http://bimmer.roadfly.org

Please forgive any information that is wrong, and please contact me for updates... I would like to know if anyone else has had this problem, and I recommend anyone who has not looked at their subframe to have it looked at ASAP . My e-mail is stephen.clemons@cpr.ca.gov
What's the status of this - and what does covered/no covered refer to? Build date?
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Old 04-15-2004, 03:33 PM   #3
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well first I will say that this is not unique to E46. I've seen it happen with E30, E34, E31 (8 series), E36 and E46.

it's poor design the metal they use for the subframe area is super thin and the weld is inadequate and poorly done.

I would be surprised if BMW didn't cover this, the 4 M coupe owners that I know had this problem and 1 M roadster had it covered by BMW (at least the ones that had CPO warranty did)
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Old 04-15-2004, 03:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sacranger
Bimmerchop 2000 328ci 25,000 Driver
[/email]
328i**
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Old 04-15-2004, 04:01 PM   #5
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So yes, it's a known issue of the earlier E46.
But how many are really affected? Will all cars suffer from the rear floorpan damage eventually, or is it just the minor percentage of affected cars that do break apart? Can't imagine all pre 2001 cars are going to have this problem.
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Old 04-15-2004, 04:22 PM   #6
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My local dealer says thats a BMW common problem not only the E36/E46, this happend to my car at less than 20k miles. Hope that help.

Best Regards
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Old 04-15-2004, 04:26 PM   #7
sacranger
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Covered, not covered

This means covered by BMW or dealer...
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Old 04-15-2004, 04:37 PM   #8
Tommy_hf
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at 20 k already??
And what kind of driving do you do?
323ci step or manual?
normal or spirited driving?
suspension mods?
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Old 04-15-2004, 04:40 PM   #9
GordonMurray
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I have 56k miles on my '00 323 and I've done several AutoXs and I drive it like I stole it.

Does this affect cabrios as well?
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Old 04-15-2004, 04:43 PM   #10
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that is scary. maybe they should be bonding reinforcements instead of welding in reinforcements. bonding is what allows lotus to use super thin metal for the chassis. so who was able to get bmw to pay for it out of warranty. hmmm... should i be considering adding reinforcements?
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Old 04-15-2004, 04:48 PM   #11
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what are the symptoms of it?
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Old 04-15-2004, 04:56 PM   #12
Tommy_hf
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loud clunking and squeeking from the rear end?

for E36, they had reinforcement plates, but I haven't seen them for E46.
Kinda sucks to know...
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Old 04-15-2004, 05:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HW323ci
that is scary. maybe they should be bonding reinforcements instead of welding in reinforcements. bonding is what allows lotus to use super thin metal for the chassis. so who was able to get bmw to pay for it out of warranty. hmmm... should i be considering adding reinforcements?

Lotus needs to use bonding material because it's really really fuggin hard to weld aluminum.
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Old 04-15-2004, 05:24 PM   #14
HW323ci
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Quote:
Originally Posted by notE46
Lotus needs to use bonding material because it's really really fuggin hard to weld aluminum.
http://autozine.kyul.net/technical_s....htm#Aluminium
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Old 04-15-2004, 05:24 PM   #15
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here you go:

http://www.turnermotorsport.com/html...Cat=suspwheels

look under 'Reinforcement Kits'

http://www.turnermotorsport.com/html..._ID=4111225649
http://www.turnermotorsport.com/html...DUCT_ID=RE2493
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Old 04-15-2004, 05:32 PM   #16
sacranger
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Squeek

Mine squeeks like crazy
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Old 04-15-2004, 05:39 PM   #17
notE46
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Originally Posted by HW323ci

umm yeah thanks but that's old info to me. I've known that for quite a while.

but my point that lotus needs to use bonding material because aluminum is really really hard to weld still holds.

and you can't just use bonding material on anything, specically when it wasn't designed from the start to use it.
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Old 04-15-2004, 05:47 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sacranger
Mine squeeks like crazy
Check your car. Here's a link to some pictures.
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=123618

Squeeks from the rear end can come from a ton of different things.
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Old 04-15-2004, 06:39 PM   #19
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So most of those are coupes...any sedan owners had problems besides Bimmerchop? 45k on mine, warranty is up in 5 days. I checked out the underside near the subframe a few days ago and there was no visible damage/cracking that I could see. No sounds from the rear, either. Knock on wood.

Also, those of you with sedans, does your car have the folding seats?

At least 1/3rd of my mileage is highway. I baby my car most days, and beat the crap out of it every couple of weekends with autox and the occasional track/driving school day. That said, the roads I drive on are relatively smooth, and there are few, if any, potholes (and they're all minor at that).
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Last edited by akhbhaat; 04-15-2004 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 04-15-2004, 07:18 PM   #20
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I am wondering about this too now I checked a few months ago but I think I will check again. I have a 2000 with 91k now just turned. I am wondering if this is mostly on coupes because they are less rigid and they all have folding rear seats which causes more flex. I am hoping I dont g t this problem but I think not having the folding seats helps. I drive my car pretty hard sometimes autox but not really anymore. But then again it made it 91k safe maybe its ok
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