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General E46 Forum
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:48 AM   #41
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Oh, boy...

I'd make sure that the M brace really is supposed to be a direct bolt on for non-M.
I have the BMW M3 strut brace installed on my 330Ci.

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...68&hg=51&fg=75


Turner Motorsports also shows it as fitting my 330Ci: http://www.turnermotorsport.com/p-41...ce-e46-m3.aspx
BAVAuto also shows the BMW part fitting the 330Ci:
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:23 AM   #42
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So I looked at Jake's pictures again, and what I originally thought was a bulge on the right tower, I now think is just a scrape or rubbing, not a deformation.

Also, where the alignment pin sits on that side seems to be where it should be...the extra hole looks like it might have been done for a prior installation. I've seen that before where guys need more camber for the size tires they have or something. Also, I have to say that for those who 'clearly' see the studs not being parallel, I'm not seeing that at all--I think some of the impression you might be getting might just be from what I think is called the parallax effect...something like that.

Before you freak out about this, Jake, I think I'd try another strut bar...or maybe a few of us can measure the distances we have between studs across the engine and give you a point of comparison. I'll do that now, and maybe others can too.

Okay, so I measured the distance between the two inside studs...from the inside of both studs, not the bolts...and got exactly 3' maybe plus 1/32nd at most.

Anyone happen to have their cars handy and can do the same measurement. Maybe not conclusive, but might be helpful.

HTH
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:29 AM   #43
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:32 AM   #44
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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?
Doug, the strut holes are elongated and thus would allow for movement of the alignment pin (that's its purpose)

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Old 03-26-2012, 09:32 AM   #45
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Doug , Im measuring from one bolt to the next and Im getting 4 Inces and some what , Am I going wrong about this ?
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:33 AM   #46
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So I looked at Jake's pictures again, and what I originally thought was a bulge on the right tower, I now think is just a scrape or rubbing, not a deformation.

Also, where the alignment pin sits on that side seems to be where it should be...the extra hole looks like it might have been done for a prior installation. I've seen that before where guys need more camber for the size tires they have or something. Also, I have to say that for those who 'clearly' see the studs not being parallel, I'm not seeing that at all--I think some of the impression you might be getting might just be from what I think is called the parallax effect...something like that.

Before you freak out about this, Jake, I think I'd try another strut bar...or maybe a few of us can measure the distances we have between studs across the engine and give you a point of comparison. I'll do that now, and maybe others can too.

Okay, so I measured the distance between the two inside studs...from the inside of both studs, not the bolts...and got exactly 3' maybe plus 1/32nd at most.

Anyone happen to have their cars handy and can do the same measurement. Maybe not conclusive, but might be helpful.

HTH
The studs are clearly not parallel. And I think measurements are going to need to be smaller than that. MM maybe?
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:39 AM   #47
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First, I measure between the towers...the inside of the inside stud to the other inside/inside stud...about 3'

Mango, I know the holes are elongated beneath the nuts, but the alignment pins on both seem to be where they should be, notwithstanding that extra mess on the right side.

If you look at all the nuts, though, you'll see that they're obviously not moved much from their factory positions...there's maybe a little shadow around the ones on the right side...maybe 1/16-1/32. I've seen other pictures where you can see how far off the nuts have been moved from original position, and these haven't really been at all.

I'm not seeing the lack of 'parallel' that you're seeing at all...not saying you're wrong, just that I don't see it.
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:45 AM   #48
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Theres only two possible scenarios here.

1) Bar is bent

2) Strut towers are bent

Which do you think is more likely?

This is common with all E36 and E46 cars. The sheetmetal forming the strut towers for both generations of 3-Series is simply too thin.
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:53 AM   #49
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There are a couple other possible scenarios:

The bar said to be from an M, might be, but not from an e46.

Maybe he tried to install it in one piece, rather than take the ends off first, and thus the extra distance the studs travel inward wasn't enough to get it to fit. The towers are at quite an angle inward. (I know Jake knows a lot, but know that none of us know everything...just saying...nothing personal, Jake!)

Anyway, eventually I'm sure this mystery will be solved! Fingers crossed.

So, anyone else measure the distance between the towers? BTW, I measure to the top of the inside stud. 3' plus 1 mm between them on my car. How about yours?
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:22 AM   #50
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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?
It had the oem sport suspension for 108k miles pretty much. I put in new sport suspension with new strut mounts, spring pads, bump stops, etc.
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:27 AM   #51
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It had the oem sport suspension for 108k miles pretty much. I put in new sport suspension with new strut mounts, spring pads, bump stops, etc.
but no strut tower reinforcement plates?

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Old 03-26-2012, 11:07 AM   #52
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Mango,

According to realoem, which shows these plates in the picture, but not the parts list, so I assume it's not for his (or my) car, but you're saying it's possible to fit them, I guess.

Are they oe for certain later models, or other models, do you know?

Also, Jake, did you have the strut bar in three pieces when you tried fitting it? I think you'd lose the 1/2" you were shy if you didn't have it apart. The tops of the studs are closer than the bottoms of them just because of their angle.

Anyway, measure the distance you have and compare to mine or others (if they give them) so you have a point of reference before you get all worried about an issue that may or may not be one.
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Old 03-26-2012, 12:49 PM   #53
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Mango,

According to realoem, which shows these plates in the picture, but not the parts list, so I assume it's not for his (or my) car, but you're saying it's possible to fit them, I guess.

Are they oe for certain later models, or other models, do you know?

Also, Jake, did you have the strut bar in three pieces when you tried fitting it? I think you'd lose the 1/2" you were shy if you didn't have it apart. The tops of the studs are closer than the bottoms of them just because of their angle.

Anyway, measure the distance you have and compare to mine or others (if they give them) so you have a point of reference before you get all worried about an issue that may or may not be one.
They come stock on xi models. Otherwise you needed the "rough road" package to get them from the factory
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Old 03-26-2012, 12:50 PM   #54
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She drives straight ,She doesnt pull to the left or right.
That doesn't necessarily mean anything
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Old 03-26-2012, 12:52 PM   #55
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Dmax,

Those plates are original equipment on Xi models. Many people have bought them and installed on their cars for added support. They will fit all models as they all use same strut hat. They're very cheap, I got mine from my Dealer for $7.50 a piece
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Old 03-26-2012, 01:00 PM   #56
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I'm not seeing the lack of 'parallel' that you're seeing at all...not saying you're wrong, just that I don't see it.


Those studs should be perfectly parallel to each other. As you can see in the picture, they're not. It's not as significantly mushroomed as other cars, but it is there.
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Old 03-26-2012, 01:01 PM   #57
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Yes, DMAX. They're cheap insurance. People have been using those plates for at least a dozen years, especially on the E36/M3s. In fact, they might even be the same part#. EVERY E36/E46 OWNER SHOULD HAVE THESE PLATES.
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Old 03-26-2012, 01:02 PM   #58
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So, anybody measure between the inner studs on their towers to give Jake some info beyond just my 3' plus 1 mm distance (to the top of the stud)? This is for Jake...maybe he'll allow totally inappropriate threads if we help him out!

Terra, I don't think your lines are parallel with the studs...close, but your drawing seems a little off to me...nothing personal!

Mango, I seem to recall some having issues with the studs not being long enough for the strut braces...maybe because of things like these plates. Is there a different mount for the strut that includes longer studs?
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Old 03-26-2012, 01:05 PM   #59
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I also don't get why peoples engine bays are so dirty! My engine bay and especially strut towers are 100% clean. you wont find any dirt hiding in any corners! I wash my engine at least twice a month though... HAH!
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Old 03-26-2012, 01:06 PM   #60
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So, anybody measure between the inner studs on their towers to give Jake some info beyond just my 3' plus 1 mm distance (to the top of the stud)? This is for Jake...maybe he'll allow totally inappropriate threads if we help him out!

Terra, I don't think your lines are parallel with the studs...close, but your drawing seems a little off to me...nothing personal!

Mango, I seem to recall some having issues with the studs not being long enough for the strut braces...maybe because of things like these plates. Is there a different mount for the strut that includes longer studs?
Jake doesn't need any info. His towers are bent. The bar doesn't fit. Nothing could be more obvious. He just needs to hammer them back in
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