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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 03-14-2010, 08:31 PM   #21
mkodama
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You should just get some H&R springs. Only like $210 for a set brand new.
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Old 03-14-2010, 09:03 PM   #22
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Fairly common issue with E46s, almost as common as exploding expansion tanks.
Does not affect safety nor performance at all.

Just buy new springs.
BMW NA will never pay for new springs, its like asking them to pay for your new FCAB or spark plugs.
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Old 03-14-2010, 09:11 PM   #23
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BMW replaced mine and just charged me for the labor a few years ago. I think I had ~65k miles on it.
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Old 03-14-2010, 10:07 PM   #24
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That's for one, not two chief.
Was just trying to help. Yeah you probably could find some used one's from someone upgrading on one of the forums. I guess make sure you get sport or standard based on your car. Good luck.
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Old 03-14-2010, 10:12 PM   #25
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At least i caught the crack in both of my springs before the snapped.
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Old 03-14-2010, 10:42 PM   #26
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My place in the broken spring club:



Replaced all the springs with an Eibach Prokit.
EDIT: at 51,000 km
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Old 03-14-2010, 10:52 PM   #27
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Wow.... this is the second that I see, in less than a month.,..
you certainly have a point.. shame on you BMWNA....
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Old 03-14-2010, 11:16 PM   #28
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What sort of mileage do you have? You can't say it's completely inexcusable, springs are wear items ffs and if you've gone over 100k on the original suspension you've got no one to blame but yourself.
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Old 03-15-2010, 12:26 AM   #29
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This happens to cars in general, not just BMW. Happened to my friend's old ford pickup not long ago. Same thing.

Spring steel is very susceptible to corrosion, and is very brittle. It's also very hard to weatherproof something that is constantly being stretched and compressed, and constantly blasted with water, rocks, and salt.

If BMW offered some titanium springs so that you wouldn't ever have to worry about this, I doubt many people on here would have paid the extra money.
FFS are you kidding me? Spring steel is by definition *not* brittle. Titanium, on the other hand, *is* extremely brittle. Steel is used because it's not prone to cracking or breaking. Within its limits you can pretty much flex a spring as many times you want. It's why you have steel connecting rods and springs, not titanium*.

* Yes, titanium connecting rods are not unheard of, but there are a number of problems aside from cost that discourage their use.

Last edited by blarf; 03-15-2010 at 12:32 AM.
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Old 03-15-2010, 12:34 AM   #30
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BMW NA will never pay for new springs, its like asking them to pay for your new FCAB or spark plugs.
No, it's not. Springs are not wear items. If they're rusting through, BMW has done a **** job of treating them. Honestly, can you think of any other car that's prone to breaking springs with less than 100,000 miles on them?
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Old 03-15-2010, 01:50 AM   #31
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FFS are you kidding me? Spring steel is by definition *not* brittle. Titanium, on the other hand, *is* extremely brittle. Steel is used because it's not prone to cracking or breaking. Within its limits you can pretty much flex a spring as many times you want. It's why you have steel connecting rods and springs, not titanium*.

* Yes, titanium connecting rods are not unheard of, but there are a number of problems aside from cost that discourage their use.
Nope, not kidding you, and actually, yes, by definition many, if not most spring steels are brittle. Just that something is brittle does not mean it is weak or unable to be flexed. Check out the definition of brittle:
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A material is brittle if it is liable to fracture when subjected to stress. That is, it has little tendency to deform (or strain) before fracture. This fracture absorbs relatively little energy, even in materials of high strength, and usually makes a snapping sound.
When used in materials science, it is generally applied to materials that fail in tension rather than shear, or when there is little or no evidence of plastic deformation before failure.
Take a piece of spring steel, and try permanently deforming it. You will be unsuccessful because it will just flex a good amount, and then at a certain point it will just snap. This is because spring steel is usually a medium carbon steel which trades most ductility for a high yield strength.

Go a step further and if you look at tool steel, which is a high carbon steel, and that type of steel trades almost all ductility in exchange for a very high yield strength. This is why if you drop a tool bit, some times it just snaps when it hits the floor.

The other end of the spectrum is low carbon steel, like a paperclip or body panels of a car. It has a pretty low yield strength, but a high amount of ductility.

The grade/alloy of titanium usually makes a big difference on how it performs, but if you work with the Grade 5 otherwise referred to as 6Al-4V, it has a really high yield point just like spring steel, but it still keeps some ductility. In general, steels are usually slightly stronger than titanium, but titanium is always lighter than steel by a pretty large amount.

Another thing that comes into play the fatigue limit of the material. Things like titanium and steel have pretty decent and relatively distinct limits, which means so long as you stay under this fatigue limit, you can flex the metal as much as you want without causing damage. Some things like aluminum have pretty much a non-existent fatigue limit, so even if you stay well below the yield strength, the material can still fail over time from fatigue.

Cliff Notes: Everything you said was incorrect.
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Old 03-15-2010, 01:55 AM   #32
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Cliff Notes: Everything you said was incorrect.
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Old 03-15-2010, 03:39 AM   #33
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Cliff Notes: Everything you said was incorrect.
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Old 03-15-2010, 03:58 AM   #34
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*wince*

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cliff notes: Everything you said was incorrect.
:p
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Old 03-15-2010, 06:25 AM   #35
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omg i havent seen that in years.
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Old 03-15-2010, 06:46 AM   #36
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Actually, a very common issue with just about any car thats come into my shop. My 325 i broke the rear springs in 4 places, but the car has 250k on it, so it was a given, but as I said mostly all cars can have this happen. The engineers designed the springs for only so many deflections. It's called planned oblesence.
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Old 03-15-2010, 09:28 AM   #37
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Nice definition of the metallurgical properties of different carbon content steels and the similarities/differences when compared to Ti and Al, mkodama!

OP, springs eventually fail, the more load/cycles, the quicker it occurs! As a kid in the early '80s, after a 60 mile drive in a 1 year old Ford Station Wagon loaded with four diesel batteries, both rear springs FAILED as the load was removed (sounded like glass breaking). It happens, fix it and move on!

ChasCan, it's obsolescence.

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Old 03-15-2010, 10:18 AM   #38
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With this DIY http://www.e46fanatics.com/howto/how...hp?howto_id=12, broken springs amount to a $230 repair and upgrade since you can reuse the stock shocks with sport springs like the Prokit.
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Old 03-15-2010, 03:30 PM   #39
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No, it's not. Springs are not wear items. If they're rusting through, BMW has done a **** job of treating them. Honestly, can you think of any other car that's prone to breaking springs with less than 100,000 miles on them?
Yes, and many. I myself saw a broken spring on a PT cruiser(it had a front spring snapped in half) when I was at my buddy's shop and it had way less then 100k miles. Broken springs in general are pretty common issue (not just in BMW), nothing to cry over, just deal with it. OP's car is 11 years old , he should be happy that it still drives and the wheels arent falling off ( I'm not being sarcastic, I'm telling the truth ).

P.S. Yes, springs are a wear item, everything that has any contact with something else as well as movement in a car is considered a wear item, you gotta be real dumb not to realize it.
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Old 03-15-2010, 04:21 PM   #40
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My 330i has 147,000 miles on it and the springs have shown at least no noticeable signs of having broken. After reading this thread I think I'll eyeball them though. My Camaro broke a rear spring at about the 180,000 mile mark.

I wonder what the spring failure rates are related to if the local roads get salted...
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