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Old 12-11-2014, 12:08 PM   #1
Alexdude515
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Annoying subframe

Well here's the background. I have a 2000 328CI and previously lived in MD.went to school in VA and have now officially moved to VA. Am in the process of switching registration/title/etc to VA. I already switched to a VA insurance and am about to take the car in for inspection. I was fixing things on the inspection list and figured I'd check the subframe just in case (note I haven't had any drivability issues at all). So I took a look at it this morning and came across a somewhat torn subframe on the rear drivers side. I'm assuming this won't pass VA inspection (if done properly). What is my best course of action in dealing with this issue. I understand the "recall" on this model had like a 10yr grace period or something so I'm not sure if BMW would cover the repairs. To me, it looks damaged past usage of the TMS reinforcement plates. Maybe I'll be lucky. . Any suggestions/repair costs I might be looking at would be greatly appreciated.Click image for larger version

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Old 12-11-2014, 12:23 PM   #2
Speedy12139
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ouch, that's torn up pretty good, not as bad as i've seen, but still kinda bad
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Old 12-11-2014, 12:27 PM   #3
squirrelhill
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I live in VA and it is my experience that most shops do not put the car on a lift when doing a safety inspection. The VA safety inspection is not nearly as rigorous as it is for MD and most VA inspectors dont do much beyond checking the lights and making sure the brake pads are not shot.

I would recommend taking the car to a local gas station for the inspection and continuing to do some research on the best course of action re: subframe repair.

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Old 12-11-2014, 01:06 PM   #4
Alex323Ci
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yep that is not minor but full-on torn. BMW is not covering this, at most they're doing a good will pay for half at a dealership for full floor replacement. $$$

in your area you could see if member Chase with the 2000_328ci can give advice on shop to do work. He had his done I think by RRT and may have been able to get insurance to cover some of it. BMW says its not a defect, but caused by hard impacts to the suspension. so some people have their car insurance cover this. it would then be the insurance company's job to prove its BMWs flaw. which BMW claims its not.
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Old 12-11-2014, 01:07 PM   #5
addam03E46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squirrelhill View Post
I live in VA and it is my experience that most shops do not put the car on a lift when doing a safety inspection. The VA safety inspection is not nearly as rigorous as it is for MD and most VA inspectors dont do much beyond checking the lights and making sure the brake pads are not shot.

I would recommend taking the car to a local gas station for the inspection and continuing to do some research on the best course of action re: subframe repair.

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This^^^^

Don't sweat the inspection. I've never even seen them take a wheel off to check the brakes like they should, much less go out of their way to look for stuff like this. Lights, brakes, horn are all they really look for. Maybe a check engine light and SRS light may get you failed, but if that ever pops up it's easy enough to pop our cluster out and tape it from the backside until you can get it fixed so they won't fail you for it.
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Old 12-11-2014, 01:42 PM   #6
mikeetastic
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that's fixable.. look at mine here which is much worse than yours.. http://www.e46fanatics.com/forum/sho...936&highlight=

same year 2000 328ci which i pickup dirt cheap.
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Old 12-11-2014, 02:58 PM   #7
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You best bet is to either sell the car and hope this problem goes unnoticed, or torch it.
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Old 12-11-2014, 03:52 PM   #8
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@TS if you plan to sell please tell the future owner
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Old 12-11-2014, 05:16 PM   #9
Alexdude515
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I'd rather fix it than sell it. And even if so. Of course I would advise the buyer. But I'll need to keep it around and have it fixed given that it's my only car at the moment.
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Old 12-11-2014, 05:41 PM   #10
Mr Podman
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If that was my car (and I had your exact car but without the torn bum), I would bolt it all back together, find a place that will complete your required inspection without looking at the sub-frame and I would sell the car for about $3,500, with a big "as is" note in my sales pitch.

You don't want to be the last person holding that car.


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Last edited by Mr Podman; 12-11-2014 at 06:09 PM.
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Old 12-11-2014, 06:02 PM   #11
mikeetastic
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^^ lol no one will buy that at 3.5K with a torn sub frame
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Old 12-11-2014, 06:10 PM   #12
Alexdude515
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I'd rather try to get it fixed. It's my only car and I need it to get to work. Plus, it's got 215k miles so I doubt I'd be able to get anything near a down payment on something new. I've come to the conclusion that I'll be the last owner of this car. So I'm going to fix it as long as I can. Just did a cooling system overhaul, fuel pump/filter, Beisan vanos seals, vcg, CCV system, rotors/pads, solved Srs light from bad occupancy mat with an emulator, front control arm bushings, fog light bulbs, blue reflected high beam bulbs, 8000k xenon bulbs, transmission fluid refresh, coolant refresh, replaced all the decaying vacuum lines hidden behind the head, cleaned the throttle body/icv/DISA valve, new intake boots, new battery, threw in an aftermarket sound system, new pulleys/belts/tensioners, installed led angel eyes, and threw in a constantly scanning obd2 reader/digital gauge output.

Things left on my to do list are the subframe repair (obviously), RTABs, differential bushings and fluid refresh, subframe bushings, sway bar bushings, front coils and rear shock/springs, head gasket (maybe), new plugs/coils, intake gasket, interior fabrics, and rear drivers side window motor.
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Old 12-11-2014, 06:11 PM   #13
Mr Podman
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Ask here how many Fanatics bought a used E46 only to discover it had a torn bum.
It's not zero.

I can see by the OP's list of things done and things to be done that there is a lot of love for the car. And you're going down a path with it.
Still, for me, I'd dump it.

Incidentally, I just sold my 2000 E46 Coupe with 88,000 miles for a couple of hundred dollars over book value. You can see what shape it was in by looking at the pictures here: http://bmw328ci.blogspot.com/

The point being, there must be another one out there like the one I just sold.


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Last edited by Mr Podman; 12-11-2014 at 06:18 PM.
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Old 12-11-2014, 06:11 PM   #14
Alex323Ci
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexdude515 View Post
I'd rather fix it than sell it. And even if so. Of course I would advise the buyer. But I'll need to keep it around and have it fixed given that it's my only car at the moment.
thank you for not being a total d-bag and taking suggestion to sell to someone else and screwing new buyer over by not disclosing broken floor. that could kill someone
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Old 12-11-2014, 07:38 PM   #15
Alexdude515
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This is what the exterior and engine currently looks like. It's in pretty decent shape if you don't count underlying issues. Click image for larger version

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Old 12-11-2014, 07:46 PM   #16
Dbills
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My subframe was very similar to yours
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I gave a guy $1000 cash and he fixed it from top and bottom in one day. Id recommend fixing it as any car you buy with the ~3,000 you could potentially get for this one would have problems as well, and you have already addressed many of the problems on your current car.
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Old 12-11-2014, 07:54 PM   #17
Alexdude515
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Wow only $1000??? Was this an Indy shop or a private guy you knew could do it? And yea that's my thought process right now. I've already addressed so many of the current common e46 issues that I should only have a few of them left to work towards. I'd rather fix what I have left instead of start all over with another car. Also, where are you located Dbills? I'm curious to see if I could find somewhere in VA richmond area that could do this job. From what I've read on repair costs, 1000 and a day's work is damn near nothing for this job.
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Old 12-11-2014, 08:31 PM   #18
Alexdude515
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Also, for that repair did you have the TMS reinforcement plates installed as well?
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Old 12-12-2014, 10:25 AM   #19
Alexdude515
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Well, just dropped the car off for inspection... Let's see how this goes
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Old 12-12-2014, 11:50 AM   #20
Dbills
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Originally Posted by Alexdude515 View Post
Wow only $1000??? Was this an Indy shop or a private guy you knew could do it? And yea that's my thought process right now. I've already addressed so many of the current common e46 issues that I should only have a few of them left to work towards. I'd rather fix what I have left instead of start all over with another car. Also, where are you located Dbills? I'm curious to see if I could find somewhere in VA richmond area that could do this job. From what I've read on repair costs, 1000 and a day's work is damn near nothing for this job.

Okay so I took it to BMW to see if they would do anything and they said they couldnt do anything for me. After a longg time speaking with Scott from the dealership he had me call a local body shop. They responded by saying that "we cant do it because it involves aluminum welding and there is only 1 guy in NJ that can do it" (there is no aluminum welding involved) and some more bs. Scott then called his contact at the same shop and put us in touch. He was the owner of the shop I believe and told me that if I pay cash I can drop it off Friday night and have it back by Saturday night or Sunday morning. I agreed to this and he did all the work by himself and his nephew without involving the shop employees.

As for the TMS plates no I did not install them. He had to cut out the whole drivers rear section of the mounting point and welded in 2x as strong steel in its place. In foresight I would have liked them to be installed on the other mounting points. I was expecting all four to be torn or cracked due to the severity of the drivers side. But it was the only one affected thus the only one he touched. I figured the cars at 225k right now so the subframe should outlast the car if it took that long to get the tear that was repaired.
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