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E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

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Old 10-01-2012, 10:09 AM   #1
fastestmz3
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Join Date: Sep 2012
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Wrecked 2001 XI

I recently retired at 69 years old and acquired a wrecked 325XI to use as a project car.
Turns out the front subframe is damaged and needs replacement.
Same with sway bar and control links.
Anyone have tips on DIY.

If I posted incorrectly , let me know. I'm a rookie!
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Old 10-01-2012, 01:55 PM   #2
Kubica
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The front subframe just unbolts - shouldn't be hard to find one used. Support the motor, unbolt the inner ball joints, fcab brackets, and power steering rack. Swaybar should be easy to find used also. Buy new links. Motor mounts too.

www.car-part.com

Last edited by Kubica; 10-01-2012 at 05:11 PM.
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Old 10-01-2012, 02:46 PM   #3
Mark M
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Bigger question yet, what type of wreck did this car suffer?

A damaged front subframe would likely be indicative of the car's underside striking something at speed. In that case you'll likely have a lot more associated damage. Bent or ripped out subframe bosses, motor shifted rearward, possible bent control arms, etc. Would need more detail to fully advise.
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Old 10-01-2012, 04:01 PM   #4
SamDoe1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark M View Post
Bigger question yet, what type of wreck did this car suffer?

A damaged front subframe would likely be indicative of the car's underside striking something at speed. In that case you'll likely have a lot more associated damage. Bent or ripped out subframe bosses, motor shifted rearward, possible bent control arms, etc. Would need more detail to fully advise.
^ This.
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:43 AM   #5
fastestmz3
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Angry more damage

I have now removed most parts surrounding the damaged frame.
It definitely hit a stump or cement chunk at speed. Sway bar is bent.
front section of sub frame is badly crushed. Fluid is leaking above the impact area. Next I will try to remove the sub frame to see what's up.
Thanks for your responses.
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:17 PM   #6
fastestmz3
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Sub frame out

Removing the sub frame turned out to be a bear because the damage made some of the bolts inaccessible. I guess a shop would have just used a torch.
All I had was a saber saw, so the cutting was slow and difficult on my back
on the garage floor. Once it was removed I found a small crack in the transfer case and a broken right motor mount bracket. I wish I had taken up stamp collecting instead of XI repair. I'm now in the market for a sub frame , sway bar, motor mount bracket and probably more.
Please comment if you see an easy way out of this mess.
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:53 PM   #7
SamDoe1
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Sell the interior and non damaged components for parts, scrap the rest for scrap metal, then go buy a functioning car.
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Old 10-17-2012, 05:30 AM   #8
gordo325xiwagon
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I am 67 and retired, so we are similar in that respect. In my spare time, I like to work on the BMW and other cars. It is a hobby and I truly enjoy it. However, I would never attempt to bring back to working condition a collision damaged car. There are too many suspension hard points, body fit lines, critical bolt hole alignments, etc., that must be within fractions of millimeters specifications. Hitting a ground obstruction and tearing things up underneath is probably the worst case I can think of.

Back in the day, you could pull the body off, and send a damaged frame out to be straightened, or even replaced. Afterwards, the body panels fit would usually be pretty good, and if it didn't crab-walk down the street, you'd be fine. Trying to straighten a unibody is like trying to reverse the crash forces which I think is next to impossible.

You may get lucky and get most of the critical dimensions back to spec; however, usually getting one dimension is a compromise and you lose others. In my opinion, what could have been a fun project, soon heads south and turns into a frustrating and expensive mistake. Not trying to rain on your parade, but as far as I am concerned the phrase, "Spending good money after bad." is applicable for most collision damaged, salvage projects.
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Last edited by gordo325xiwagon; 10-17-2012 at 05:39 AM.
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Old 10-17-2012, 05:49 AM   #9
fastestmz3
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Thanks Gordo. Very sage advice! I'm going to drop back 10 and punt. Now I just need to figure out whether I can part it out or just scrap it.
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