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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 03-25-2012, 08:55 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gheybe View Post
only saw it after the page reloaded with my post in it.
I figured that lol. Sounds like a good fix to me.
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Old 03-25-2012, 09:23 PM   #22
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So what do you do if that happens? Let's say my tower is mushroomed. I just get coilovers? I'm a bit lost. LEARN ME.
You can do what Terra suggested, which would work most of the time. Basically you would just need to find a way to get them back into their original shape , thats all.

Now, sometimes that could be relatively easy and other times it would be nearly impossible. The tower will almost never mushroom evenly so its hard to get it back to be flat in relation to the 3 holes. If you do end up getting the top back to flat , the best choice would be to get coilovers so you can adjust your height as you never know if you got the top to the level it had to be.

You also should never forget the fatigue the metal experiences when its been pushed up (mushroomed) and then being hammered back into place. E46 strut tower tops crack on their own already and if you try hammering them back it might even make the top worse and more prone to crack later.



http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?p=12392864

There are 2 different designs of strut tower tops for our cars. one is a perfect flat top like a pancake and the other (older) looks like a flower. Neither are better as they both crack and mushroom BUT I would speculate that the flat top is easier to repair.


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Old 03-25-2012, 09:47 PM   #23
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Old 03-25-2012, 09:51 PM   #24
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Looks fine to me..Im thinking there was an Issue more so with the bar Its self.

Opening hood and checking my tower...Looks the same jacob
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:02 PM   #25
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Hard to say but it looks like the passenger side is definitely bulged up, even thou all 3 bolt point straight up , the top looks mushroomed.

Look at the pic a posted above , see *** near perfect flat the top is , the squared edges . Yours have rounded edges which would make me believe the top is bulged up. The pass side definitely looks worse then driver side, but it doesnt look like anything that would make me worry about it

Again, it doesnt look awful nor do I think it can cause the strut bar not to fit over.
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:19 PM   #26
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They're both mushroomed I think. The studs don't look parallel to me. Tbh I'd be very surprised if they weren't mushroomed with how bad NYC roads are. I don't tbink they're beyond repair though. If you don't want to do it yourself, it might be worth taking to a body shop. Hell, maybe you can even claim insurance on it since it is from road hazards
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:21 PM   #27
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Took some pics to compare , Im lowered on hnr/bilstiens.
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:37 PM   #28
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I would try another bar; Doesnt look like anything that would cause the bar to be 1/2" off.
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:49 PM   #29
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Wow I can't believe it. So a strut bar is actually a preventive maintenance item now?? This E46 chassis is more fragile than my grandfather.
It's one of these cars where the engine itself outlasts the car.
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:52 PM   #30
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A bit of deja vu there...looks like stay puft. Both towers are mushroomed without a doubt but can still be saved.

Your bolts are pointed outwards from each other. You are supposed to be able to draw 90 degree angles between all the studs with all three being co-planar. They won't be 100% factory spec but you'll get it close enough so that the tower is flat.

I bet when you try to remove the strut from the tower, you'll find some of the stud scraping the tower holes, since your studs are all pointed outwards and away from each other.

Mine had the old design. I saved these:
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showpos...4&postcount=14

Use two strut tower reinforcement plates* and sandwich the tower together with some high grade bolts, nuts, and washers. Torquing the nuts and bolts together and this will pull the tower down with the reinforcement plates as a guide. You will not be able to bring it down completely flat against the bottom plate with this technique, so that is where you take out the 2x4 and put it on top. Hammer down a little at at time and use the reinforcement plate at the bottom of the tower as a guide to get the center down flat as you can get it. You can try heating the tower to help as you mold it, but this maybe negligible.

When replacing your suspension, get rid of those POS aluminum factory upper strut mounts. Whatever you go with use the reinforcement plates then lock down your towers when the strut bar. You'll see in the picture below that I have a new upper strut mount, but I definitely did not put these back in.

@323I00: Your towers are mushroomed too.

*EDIT: CORRECTION--you'll want to use 2 reinforcement plates at the bottom of the strut tower and not 1 plate, so a total of 3 plates. The top plate will need to be cut to fit the top tower, so plan on buying at minimum 3 plates total (1 for you to mod, and 2 for you to use when it is all over with). As you a torque together the plates and sandwich the tower, the reinforcements will flex under load. You will want to minimize as much flexing of the bottom plates as much as possible to counter the force being directed downward by the top plate, so two plates to the bottom of the tower to act as a flat foundation and one on top.
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Old 03-25-2012, 11:27 PM   #31
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Ok help me understand this correctly ,If my bolts are as you say "Your bolts are pointed outwards from each other." Then there mushroomed , So they have to be co-p lanar aka Lying or occurring in the same plane.

Ive went back to see once again thinking that the cam shots arent the best and they seem to be Lying or occurring in the same plane

If I wanted to purchase these plates which would you recomend ? and from which site sponsor.

If youre able to post a link It would be greatful.

Would this really affect the ride ? other then ripping the shock tower ?
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Old 03-25-2012, 11:43 PM   #32
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Ok help me understand this correctly ,If my bolts are as you say "Your bolts are pointed outwards from each other." Then there mushroomed , So they have to be co-p lanar aka Lying or occurring in the same plane.

Ive went back to see once again thinking that the cam shots arent the best and they seem to be Lying or occurring in the same plane
With 90 degree angles drawn, they do not lie in the same plane. Observe the left picture: f you look at the 90 degree drawn lines one through the center of the stud, and the other would basically represent the bottom of the stud projecting outwards. The bottom imaginary line has a few degrees of gap between the plane (orange line) drawn that would be common to them all. Forgive my crude 3d attempt, but this is the best it will be.

Observe the right picture and see no gaps. The right picture is better than the left. I still have the original mushroomed strut mounts and can try taking more pictures if needed.

With that being said, if it is hard to see that the strut tower is actually mushroomed, looking at these studs is a good indication whether the tower is actually mushroomed. If you can compare a new upper strut mount with an existing one, it is day and night of a difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 323I00 View Post
If I wanted to purchase these plates which would you recomend ? and from which site sponsor.

If youre able to post a link It would be greatful.

Would this really affect the ride ? other then ripping the shock tower ?
These are factory parts, and was included in mid to later E46's in the Xi models with the rough road package. However, they can be used in all E46s. E36s have their own as their tower designs are different but still susceptible to the same flaws. The BMW part number for one single plate made for an E46 is: 51717036781. Check with your local Canadian BMW dealer for pricing. It should be around $10 (at least USD) for one.

Mushroomed strut tower throws your alignment off, among other things.

Last edited by genuity; 03-25-2012 at 11:44 PM. Reason: USD
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Old 03-25-2012, 11:53 PM   #33
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With 90 degree angles drawn, they do not lie in the same plane. Observe the left picture: f you look at the 90 degree drawn lines one through the center of the stud, and the other would basically represent the bottom of the stud projecting outwards. The bottom imaginary line has a few degrees of gap between the plane (orange line) drawn that would be common to them all. Forgive my crude 3d attempt, but this is the best it will be.

Observe the right picture and see no gaps. The right picture is better than the left. I still have the original mushroomed strut mounts and can try taking more pictures if needed.

With that being said, if it is hard to see that the strut tower is actually mushroomed, looking at these studs is a good indication whether the tower is actually mushroomed. If you can compare a new upper strut mount with an existing one, it is day and night of a difference.



These are factory parts, and was included in mid to later E46's in the Xi models with the rough road package. However, they can be used in all E46s. E36s have their own as their tower designs are different but still susceptible to the same flaws. The BMW part number for one single plate made for an E46 is: 51717036781. Check with your local Canadian BMW dealer for pricing. It should be around $10 (at least USD) for one.

Mushroomed strut tower throws your alignment off, among other things.
Great reply and Info

Ok I see where youre going with this , Heres what Ill do , Ill take string and and wrap It around all 3 blots which then some how some way I could level It off and see using a laser pointer gun, It can possibly give me that drawn line just from above.

Would this diy attempt work.

Looking at the blots I dont see any tells of It being stripped or any gap

If you can post a pic that would be grand.
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Old 03-25-2012, 11:56 PM   #34
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Technically it's impossible for all three to be in the same plane. Only two can be coplanar. It is correct to say that all 3 studs are parallel, or that they share the same normals.
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Old 03-26-2012, 12:16 AM   #35
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Btw my front mounts and shocks were replaced like 5 months ago
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Old 03-26-2012, 12:22 AM   #36
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Jake having looked at youre pics and my pics I dont think there mushroomed , I dont feel my car pulling or having any vibration when driving or braking , Im sure If we had shroomed towers wed feel It under many circumstances , I also think wed have some play , Theres no tells of hair cracks or etc..I think were ok , Then again I could be wrong , When I get my hands on that laser gun tomorow Ill try a diy attempt , Wrap all 3 bolts and point on to the string with the laser and see If It follows the string , Kind like a self level test.
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Old 03-26-2012, 01:02 AM   #37
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Jake having looked at youre pics and my pics I dont think there mushroomed , I dont feel my car pulling or having any vibration when driving or braking , Im sure If we had shroomed towers wed feel It under many circumstances , I also think wed have some play , Theres no tells of hair cracks or etc..I think were ok , Then again I could be wrong , When I get my hands on that laser gun tomorow Ill try a diy attempt , Wrap all 3 bolts and point on to the string with the laser and see If It follows the string , Kind like a self level test.
They are mushroomed. It's not always noticeable behind the steering wheel, but chances are your alignment is off.
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Old 03-26-2012, 01:34 AM   #38
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Jake having looked at youre pics and my pics I dont think there mushroomed , I dont feel my car pulling or having any vibration when driving or braking , Im sure If we had shroomed towers wed feel It under many circumstances , I also think wed have some play , Theres no tells of hair cracks or etc..I think were ok , Then again I could be wrong , When I get my hands on that laser gun tomorow Ill try a diy attempt , Wrap all 3 bolts and point on to the string with the laser and see If It follows the string , Kind like a self level test.
All photos are mushroomed, including Jake's. And you would not feel any vibration whatsoever. That's like saying if your door was dented, you'd feel vibrations. It just locates the spring/strut assembly, it doesn't affect its performance.

Jake, I'm curious how this happened. What struts did you have before and after the replacements five months ago? And did you/do you have reinforcements? I'm thinking the new struts increased the force transmitted to the towers. I'm guessing without reinforcements this is more likely to happen when new struts are installed.

Or do you have coilovers?
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:20 AM   #39
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They are mushroomed. It's not always noticeable behind the steering wheel, but chances are your alignment is off.
She drives straight ,She doesnt pull to the left or right.
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:54 AM   #40
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Oh, boy...

On the right side, I notice, of course, that the alignment pin is off a little bit, and it seems that there's a partial ring of deformation, but I can't say for sure if that's lighting or real.

I think you installed these at IMG, and vaguely recall you talking about the new design of the supports or something. It certainly doesn't seem like they'd be that far off that a correct sized strut brace wouldn't fit, so for one, I'd make sure that the M brace really is supposed to be a direct bolt on for non-M.

How does your car track? Does it seem the alignment is off to you?
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