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Driveline, Engine & DME Tuning
Talk about driveline improvements, NA tuning and DME tuning your E46 BMW here. This includes diffs, intakes, exhausts, chips, software and OBD tuning.

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Old 11-07-2010, 10:55 PM   #1
McSpeed
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Front subframe reinforcement

If you ever notice your front subframe out basking on a transmission jack in your garage, it might be a good time to reinforce it. Metal tabs can be welded in to strengthen the points where the motor mounts bolt to the subframe (beneath the two shiny areas in this pic):



I'll be bringing my subframe to a welder tomorrow.
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Old 11-08-2010, 06:37 AM   #2
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Bring the engine mounts attached to the subframe with you and a deep socket. With the socket attached to the nut, it will act as a template to center the tab before it is welded in. (Tacked in) If it's not perfectly centered, you will have a hard time installing engine mounts...
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Old 11-09-2010, 03:08 AM   #3
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the pic isn't coming up.
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Old 11-09-2010, 03:45 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by PEI330Ci View Post
Bring the engine mounts attached to the subframe with you and a deep socket. With the socket attached to the nut, it will act as a template to center the tab before it is welded in. (Tacked in) If it's not perfectly centered, you will have a hard time installing engine mounts...
Will do (turns out they aren't open Mondays)

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the pic isn't coming up.
Fixed

Pics of the underside- where reinforcements will be welded (2 per ear):



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Old 11-09-2010, 04:47 PM   #5
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[QUOTE]If you ever notice your front subframe out basking on a transmission jack in your garage, it might be a good time to reinforce it. Metal tabs can be welded in to strengthen the points where the motor mounts bolt to the subframe (beneath the two shiny areas in this pic)[QUOTE]

Was this a known issue from bmw? Or did you decide to do this on your own? and when you say "out basking on a transmission jack" can you explain a little more sorry a little newb at this. I just got my subframe fixed.. thought I might have to have some concern about this.
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Old 11-09-2010, 04:57 PM   #6
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Was this a known issue from bmw? Or did you decide to do this on your own? and when you say "out basking on a transmission jack" can you explain a little more sorry a little newb at this. I just got my subframe fixed.. thought I might have to have some concern about this.
Nah this is something to do if those ears are going to take a beating - high power, racing etc. It prevents them from developing stress cracks and eventually allowing excessive engine movement. The reinforcements I got are from Turner. EDIT: I don't even know of anyone who's done this. Since TT Stage 2 could be in this car's future, and I had somewhat easy access to the subframe, I figured why not.

I was joking about the subframe lounging around- it doesn't usually leave the car. Ever. In the world.
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Old 11-14-2010, 12:34 AM   #7
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Update- here's the reinforced front subframe awaiting epoxy painting of the exposed areas:











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Old 11-14-2010, 01:40 AM   #8
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Welds look aight...could been better but it will do the job I need to do this on mine as well the rear.

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Old 11-14-2010, 06:25 PM   #9
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Welds look aight...could been better but it will do the job I need to do this on mine as well the rear.

-TrippinBimmer
The weldsman said he wished the tabs were bigger:



As it was I guess he had to make do and fill in a little gappage.

btw I love VHT Epoxy Paint.
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Old 11-14-2010, 06:43 PM   #10
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Looks pretty good, thanks for sharing!!
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Old 11-14-2010, 10:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McSpeed View Post
The weldsman said he wished the tabs were bigger:



As it was I guess he had to make do and fill in a little gappage.

btw I love VHT Epoxy Paint.
You mean thicker? That looks really thin for what they are. I might have to order a set and get it CNC out of 1/4 sheet metal.
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Old 11-14-2010, 11:24 PM   #12
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You mean thicker? That looks really thin for what they are. I might have to order a set and get it CNC out of 1/4 sheet metal.
No like he wanted them a little wider/taller or whatever so they'd fill the ear more completely. Regardless, they're pretty serious chunks of metal - I think that picture makes them seem thinner than they are. 1/4" would be a whole other level though.
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Old 11-14-2010, 11:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
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No like he wanted them a little wider/taller or whatever so they'd fill the ear more completely. Regardless, they're pretty serious chunks of metal - I think that picture makes them seem thinner than they are. 1/4" would be a whole other level though.
OIC. 1/4" is normal for me. Take pics of the install..

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Old 11-15-2010, 02:52 AM   #14
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so close...just a VAC baffle to weld in...a Vaio pump to arrive...
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Old 11-15-2010, 10:12 AM   #15
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Very nice. I've seen E36s with engines literally staying in the engine bay only due to gravity, because the motor mount tabs had completely cracked/rusted off
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Old 11-21-2010, 08:11 PM   #16
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Bump! How did you paint the inside of the ears after everything was welded? Also, in pictures posted in #4, did you remove all the paint that was stated in the TMS instructions?
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Old 11-21-2010, 09:37 PM   #17
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Bump! How did you paint the inside of the ears after everything was welded? Also, in pictures posted in #4, did you remove all the paint that was stated in the TMS instructions?
I blasted spray paint all in there several times, at different angles, so it should be covered with something. #4 was from before I brought it to the shop- they took care of the prep per the TMS instuctions.
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Old 11-21-2010, 09:44 PM   #18
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I blasted spray paint all in there several times, at different angles, so it should be covered with something. #4 was from before I brought it to the shop- they took care of the prep per the TMS instuctions.
Thanks--I just figured I would prep it before handing it over to them. The TMS instructions show the paint being taken off of the ears in #4, then just welding in the plates. I then wondered about the now exposed metal directly under that plate that sits into subframe.

Did you use some metal primer paint then some enamel paint?



EDIT: I see that you used some VHT Epoxy paint...I guess this answers my question about the primer.

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Old 11-21-2010, 10:14 PM   #19
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Thanks--I just figured I would prep it before handing it over to them. The TMS instructions show the paint being taken off of the ears in #4, then just welding in the plates. I then wondered about the now exposed metal directly under that plate that sits into subframe.
I brought mine to a place called 'Corvette Connection' which does a lot of this kind of stuff so I gave them the instructions and trusted them deal with the prep. They also took out the control arms somehow, to make sure the ball joint boots were unmelted, even though TMS says it isn't necessary. I see what you mean about that inner meta-metal area; but I think between the welding, paint, and bolt through it it's pretty well sealed up.
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