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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 08-17-2014, 10:21 PM   #1
Amyris
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Places near Huntsville Alabama for rear subframe repair?

I am having difficulty finding a place, besides the dealer, for this to get a price. If anyone knows of a place near me that can do it please let me know and if you know a basic estimate that would be great too. I am not paying the dealer $4,500.00 when I only paid $2k for the car.
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Last edited by Amyris; 08-17-2014 at 10:23 PM.
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Old 08-18-2014, 03:24 AM   #2
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There are other ways to fix this problem.....
-


-
You only paid 2k for the car.. Was it that cheap because of the sub frame.

Fix at the top is ....well...maybe $50
And the other one is more complicated.....I'm putting it at $100 for a savings of $4400
Just show a welding shop that picture.

I lost track of how much I have in my car at $5000 and that's not including the purchase price but I'm probably well over that. It has never seen anyone else's shop. It was a total waste of money but I still like it. It gives me something to do. Next is the automatic transmission rebuild. I fully expect it to be trashed by 150k

I need to buy bmws with sub frame and transmission damage. Both of those scare people into selling cars for ridiculously low prices.

Last edited by glhx; 08-18-2014 at 03:38 AM.
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Old 08-18-2014, 03:31 AM   #3
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It was actually $2800 and the guy didn't know about it. It's because he told me he found his dream car and needed $2500 for the down payment so I offered $2800 on the spot before his dream car "got away". The bmw I bought from him is actually my dream car. It has 235k miles....he actually offered to buy it back from me when I told him about the subframe but I won't sell it.
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Old 08-18-2014, 04:19 AM   #4
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-


Check out the 330i with zsp and zpp

This is what my dream car looks like right now

My bmw is in 100 pieces-

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Old 08-18-2014, 04:31 AM   #5
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Nice...it will get done before you know it. Would you feel comfortable driving your bmw at least 70mph on the interstate with your nine year old son in the car for long periods of time with either of those fixes? Safety is my main concern.
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Old 08-18-2014, 05:14 AM   #6
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OP, the solution posted above is a preventive measure if that.
Once the floor of the car at the mounting point is cracked or torn through, it has to be fixed from the bottom.
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Old 08-18-2014, 05:22 AM   #7
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Mine hasn't got through into the inside of the car yet. A preventive measure is great and I wish whomever had the car before me would have used preventive measures. unfortunately for me there will be no savings of $4400.
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Old 08-18-2014, 06:11 AM   #8
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An Indy shop is less expensive
I would track the car with picture #2......it's reinforced everywhere and the sub frame almost isn't even connected to the floor anymore. My guess though is whoever did that is tracking the car and welded it from the bottom as well. I don't think it has to be though. Longer bolts for sure
The mounting point for the sub frame is not as strong as the weakest point of this set up.
Rob43 posted these pictures. He may know who did them or maybe he did them himself. Whoever did number 2 knew what they were doing

Picture 1
If the plate is welded in on both sides like it says it's a fix. It's the same as what the kits do but very rough and rudimentary. Like he said...welded in the bottom. You need to find someone whose half assed fix theirs like that and see if it worked. I don't run in those crowds and refuse to do that type of work. Not saying it doesn't work.

Picture 3 is more preventative.

I would rip out the sub frame.....the gas tank.....clean the metal......and put a kit in myself. When I rebuild the transmission I'll probably do it for the hell of it with the turner Motorsport kit. It's not what I would consider a hard job. It's more a time consuming job. You would need a welder, grinder, the right hand tools, and the knowledge of welding even if a little. The instructions are very good.
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=700468
He's not a good welder

http://www.activeautowerke.com/Insta...PAIR%20KIT.pdf

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Old 08-18-2014, 08:52 AM   #9
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Amy, post pictures of the crack. The trunk floor is stressed during acceleration and deceleratiom most.

GLHX, I see you're making progress, you sprayed the clear already?
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Old 08-18-2014, 09:02 AM   #10
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With either fix, I would feel comfortable driving an e46 at hwy speeds with precious "cargo." Find a good local garage or hometown body shop, print off and show them the diagrams, the DIY and photos of the fix from example 1 and get price quotes. Ask around if you don't already know of a repair place - some of the smartest and most able mechanics are at shops that wouldn't come to mind automatically. Huntsville is a big enough town that someone other than a dealer has already repaired an E46 subframe. Just don't let anyone goad you into getting the expensive fix as quoted by your dealer.

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Old 08-18-2014, 10:19 AM   #11
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Mine hasn't got through into the inside of the car yet. A preventive measure is great and I wish whomever had the car before me would have used preventive measures. unfortunately for me there will be no savings of $4400.
There really is no preventative measure for the 323/328 that I know of. They all fail. This is why (among billions and billions of other reasons) you should avoid 323s and 328s. I wish you had noticed the forum before you bought this car. Always always always go for a 325 or 330 (330 hands down over 325) but if you must, 325 over 323/328. Not only the subframe things but tons and tons and tons of other upgrades. A totally different car, IMO.

A proper fix though is going to cost you 4-5k. That includes total rear end tear down ( a day or two right there), ordering the complete floor assembly new from the BMW dealer, and a competent welder to drill out all the welds from the old floor and body and weld new one in. Then they have to seam seal it and protect it. then while the suspension is out, there's no better time to refresh it. Realistically you're looking at 7-10k when its all said and done ( to do it right)

You're better off selling the car, taking a small hit, and buying a 325 or 330.

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Old 08-18-2014, 10:27 AM   #12
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Thanks everyone. I am taking it to a place today to get a free estimate. I will take pictures when it's up on the lift. My problem I'm having is most places that do this type of work here will not touch a bmw. I found one that is willing to look at it and see today. I could only find one mechanic shop here other than the dealer that works on them. I don't see what the big deal is about these cars. I was ASE certified in parts when I was 19 but other than that I've never touched a car. I couldn't even change a tire till Tuesday. All I did was listen and read valuable information here and watch YouTube videos and I have successfully changed a lot of parts and fixed it so it can run. According to the place I took it to it needs $6500 worth of work. That sounds like a lot but considering they want almost $200 to change a cabin air filter that has four springs holding it in, I'd say that is ridiculous. Even at new oem parts it's about $1200 or so for me to fix it myself and if I want West Nile Virus I can continue digging in mosquito infested junkyards to make it even cheaper. I guess I say all of that to say this...bmw is not a four letter word like people act like around here, it's only three letters. With the lack of people around here willing to work on them it drives the prices up for the ones that are. If I have to take a welding class to learn to fix it myself then I will. I'm about to leave now and I'll post pictures to see what you all think as soon as I get back.
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Old 08-18-2014, 10:43 AM   #13
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Thanks everyone. I am taking it to a place today to get a free estimate. I will take pictures when it's up on the lift. My problem I'm having is most places that do this type of work here will not touch a bmw. I found one that is willing to look at it and see today. I could only find one mechanic shop here other than the dealer that works on them. I don't see what the big deal is about these cars. I was ASE certified in parts when I was 19 but other than that I've never touched a car. I couldn't even change a tire till Tuesday. All I did was listen and read valuable information here and watch YouTube videos and I have successfully changed a lot of parts and fixed it so it can run. According to the place I took it to it needs $6500 worth of work. That sounds like a lot but considering they want almost $200 to change a cabin air filter that has four springs holding it in, I'd say that is ridiculous. Even at new oem parts it's about $1200 or so for me to fix it myself and if I want West Nile Virus I can continue digging in mosquito infested junkyards to make it even cheaper. I guess I say all of that to say this...bmw is not a four letter word like people act like around here, it's only three letters. With the lack of people around here willing to work on them it drives the prices up for the ones that are. If I have to take a welding class to learn to fix it myself then I will. I'm about to leave now and I'll post pictures to see what you all think as soon as I get back.
i'm not sure you understand the amount of work, time, money, and materials involved. assuming you had all the body and welding skills of an experienced BMW tech AND body man, the parts alone required to sensibly and properly do this job are going to be a lot. I don't even want to know what a new BMW floor part costs.

you're concerned about the safety of your son and you say you barely learned how to change a tire last week. I probably would not engage in removing and reinstalling the rear structure of your BMW after taking a "Welding class."

It's safer to get a good car.
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Old 08-18-2014, 11:09 AM   #14
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The 4th letter is there....it's just invisible.
Replacing the whole floor pan is very unnecessary.......the kit will fix most of them as it redistributes over a larger area. And takes place of the old metal. You can road race the car with the kit installed. If the problem goes past where the kit covers. Just weld that 1" of metal and it will be fine. The best DIY on the internet is right above in the links. It would be a lot better though if there were still a platform there to weld to.

As a guy who also does much preventative maintenance. You would only need the stuff like diff bushing and subframe bushings. The rest you can get to with the subframe installed and do it when you can. If I was doing this job on a budget that is what I would do.

Doing his job the first run out. I don't know.....it's time consuming and easy. But you need welding skills and grinding skills. That's the scary part for most. It looks like a,lot of work.....and it is. I changed my oil pan gasket. I would have rather done the subframe job it was that hard.

He is right. The 328 and 323......your missing a lot of upgrades going below 2002 and not running a 325 and especially a 330. I would almost sell him back the car and upgrade for not much more. Your car is close to the 300k club. That's a club with few members for a reason.

The best part about the e46 is this site and the following. We have literally documented almost everything you can do to this car from the ground up......including ripping the paint off of one. Mostly every problem has been solved with in depth documentation on how as you see above. There is everyone here form. Maintenance gurus....engineers...painters....and even pretty fly for a white guy "hey man I want some fat mods wi a sick stance"
.....taking a welding class is fine. As long as you have a torque wrench and know how to use it. You should torque those wheel bolts anyway.

If you have the $2k to fix this you should combine it and upgrade. Get a $5k car with less miles.

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Old 08-18-2014, 11:17 AM   #15
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The car was cleared with 3 wet coats......blocked down with 400grit and recleared with 3 more. It's in the sanded down to 5000 grit trizact and waiting to be polished. The 5000 sandpaper is basically polish.....taking out scratches is what makes it shine. Even the headlights are cleared and sanded to 5000g. When it's polished the dull in that picture will be gone......
It's almost finished........have to freshen up putting it back together as there are trays of nuts and bolts sitting around with no memory of the.........was that the 7mm or 8mm screw that goes there?
I'm still doing the thread documenting it. I just keep editing it so it won't refresh. I don't want people using any of the info until it's complete. There are 7000 pictures on my flickr account.

Why are these plastic rivets gray.....they fit in the bumper.....but they are for the trunk. Ok where the bumper rivets......guess I'm ordering new ones. .....go to real oem and there are 3 different rivets for the bumper with a cartoon picture of them. Hope ecs tuning has a picture.

That's where I'm at right now lszlszx.

And from sitting my abs module went bad as well as a rear driver wheel speed sensor for some reason. I've had set backs for sure.

I will say this. The op welding in this parts is like me painting this car. I did the research and picked up a paint gun. The results will show in the reflection. See how the light clearly reflects in almost a straight line. Most show cars don't have that. Cutting with 400 removes clearcoat urethane wave. It was not my first paint job but it was to this scale.

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Old 08-18-2014, 11:21 AM   #16
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OP, the only shop I've consistently heard good things about here for BMWs is EuroTech on South Memorial. Might want them to look at it. Not sure how you haven't found it already.

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Old 08-18-2014, 11:55 AM   #17
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The guy in the DIY post just hired a welder to come out and do the work.
It took him 6 days a couple of hours each night and 2 of those were waiting on the welder.
7 hours to put it back together.
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Old 08-18-2014, 02:43 PM   #18
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Thank you to everyone for your input. Today I got an estimate for $700 to weld it and we won't even discuss the other estimates I got. @Iszlszx you are always helpful and I thank you and I have included pictures and a video of the damage. @WDE46, thanks for telling me about them, they did not come up on yellow pages or google. I called them and have an appointment to drop it off tomorrow morning. @Mango, I appreciate your input but getting another car is not an option for me #1 for financial reasons and #2 I could not in good conscious sell this to anyone else and #3 I have multiple sclerosis, I won't be able to drive for a lot longer and this is my dream car. It is the last car I will have so I will do whatever it takes within my budget to fix it. @glhx I appreciate all your input and you are correct the best part about the E46 is this forum.

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Old 08-18-2014, 04:40 PM   #19
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Not sure if you're going to Eurotech, but I can vouch for them. The owners used to work for Century, but decided they could do better and more reasonable, price-wise, as an independent shop. They're off of South Memorial and Lilly Flagg--not much to look at from the outside, but the guys are pretty knowledgeable. Century wanted over $1700 to replace shocks and springs (my parts); Eurotech asked $900. Check them out. 256-882-7111.
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Old 08-18-2014, 04:42 PM   #20
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Yes thanks for the information. I called and have an appointment for tomorrow morning.
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