E46 BMW Social Directory E46 FAQ 3-Series Discussion Forums BMW Photo Gallery BMW 3-Series Technical Information E46 Fanatics - The Ultimate BMW Resource BMW Vendors General E46 Forum The Tire Rack's Tire Wheel Forum Forced Induction Forum The Off-Topic The E46 BMW Showroom For Sale, For Trade or Wanting to Buy

Welcome to the E46Fanatics forums. E46Fanatics is the premiere website for BMW 3 series owners around the world with interactive forums, a geographical enthusiast directory, photo galleries, and technical information for BMW enthusiasts.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Go Back   E46Fanatics > Tuning & Tech > Suspension & Braking Forum by BimmerWorld

Suspension & Braking Forum by BimmerWorld
Have some questions about suspension or brake setups for your E46 BMW? Get all your answers here!
Sponsored by BimmerWorld

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rating: Thread Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average. Display Modes
Old 11-27-2012, 04:29 PM   #1
Brian's 325xi
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 39
My Ride: 2003 325 xi
Exclamation Help!!! Snapped Strut Carrier Pinch Bolt-Need Advice!

Greetings All,

I know there are other postings dealing with this issue but not addressing a couple of specific & important questions I have.

I snapped (sheared the head off flush) my Strut Carrier (steering knuckle) Pinch Bolt (part # 31356778832) yesterday trying to change out my drivers-side CV Axle on my 2003 325 xi. I'm sure the details of how is self explanatory.

My first question is, and I know it isn't advisable, is the car safe to drive a short distance?

The bolt did not turn at all. The RealOem diagram seems to show (at an angle) that there are some threads at the head. Is this correct. I also read that bolts diameter expands/tapers up as it approaches the head (the bot at the shear reads 10.76 mm in diameter). I also read that BMW employed a notch/indent in the strut as a safety measure.

Next. I moved to NC recently from Boston, VIA Vermont. I don't have any contacts connections down here and somewhat limited tools. I'm sure my 18v Dewalt drill isn't sufficient to makes its way in the high tinsel strength 10.9 bolt, let alone have enough torque to power an easy out:

Do I bring the car to a indy mechanic and hope he has the right tools? What is the proper way to pose the question of whether they are adequately equipped to do it properly & in a manner that will minimize damage to the surrounding carrier/strut. Is there such thing as a machine shop that can remove it on the car?

How much should I expect to pay (range)? Would it make sense to go to a shop and have them do the axle, and in the course of completing the job have the removal integrated into the cost of the repair or do it piecemeal?

I'm literally broke!

I know the old adage about the cost of BMW & cost of repair. At the time of purchase I had the money & savings but moved to NC (leaving a great job) to put my wife through med school, and in the course of financing this education have very few hundreds of dollars to spend.

Any Advice at all would be a godsend.

Many Thanks and Much Gratitude for your time & insight!

Warmest Regards,
Brian
Brian's 325xi is offline   Reply With Quote
Ads by Google

Guests, get your FREE E46Fanatics.com membership to remove this ad.
Old 11-27-2012, 04:57 PM   #2
pleiades
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Oregon
Posts: 127
My Ride: M52TU
Can't really help other than to say you could wedge a small prybar or flat-head driver into the pinch gap and see if the strut body (knuckle) slides up (down). That will tell you for sure that the thing isn't effectively bolted down anymore. Looking at realoem pics, I'd venture the bolt is only threaded on the lower half, so ... might not be safe to drive. Does the tip go all the way through the knuckle or is it embedded? If it goes all the way through, at least you'd have two ends to mess with using extractor bits etc. Barring that, call around to junkyards, see if you can scrape up a used knuckle.

If I were in this fix and had to use extractors, I'd probably spray PB Blaster and go ahead and heat the aluminum around the bolt for a few secs. I know, got to be careful heating aluminum but whachagonnadooo....

Hopefully others with your car will chime in soon.

Should add, your car probably shares the same knuckle with other xi models (330....).

Last edited by pleiades; 11-27-2012 at 05:05 PM.
pleiades is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2012, 05:43 PM   #3
GhostFlame
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: oceans
Posts: 193
My Ride: LSB/HPF
drill a hole through the center with a reverse bit.
GhostFlame is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2012, 05:47 PM   #4
5ynd1cat3
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Cincinnati
Posts: 486
My Ride: swagger wagon
Quote:
Originally Posted by GhostFlame View Post
drill a hole through the center with a reverse bit.
This. Same thing happened to me. Drill it out and just replace it with some grade 8 or better hardware (bolt, nut, and washers). You'll be fine.

Sent from my HTC Glacier using Bimmer App
__________________
5ynd1cat3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2012, 05:56 PM   #5
pawelgawel
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: This is LONDON??
Posts: 936
My Ride: 330CI
happened to me last year..
this is what i did..

i used heat and one of those easy out sockets that you use when you strip heads and it bites into thesides of the bolt.
Use a torch to heat up the carier all along the bolt. hammer the socket onto the other end that is sticking out and go for it.

gl

Sent from my SGH-I727R using Bimmer App
pawelgawel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2012, 07:28 PM   #6
Brian's 325xi
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 39
My Ride: 2003 325 xi
Thanks everyone for your help. Any insight on if the car is (although really risky) driveable to a close shop (maybe 4 miles away on 25 mph street)? To drill and extract what kind of drill do I need at minimum (right now I only have a Dewalt 18v Cordless), What about drill bits, What type/kind of extractor? How would I drive the extractor-surely a drill (I don't have airtools) won't set it. I also don't know what to expect once the knuckle gets free (how hard is it going to be to line it up again). I had back-up muscle (but less brain) in the initial attempt but I am on my own going forward.

I have experience heating to get bolts out but never drilling and extracting in an automotive setting. In short-I'm mechanically inclined but not very coordinated (I have a slight genetic tremor when I focus on something precise). Hence my apprehension about keeping a drill bit centered. Would heating make that much difference in terms of lower torque needed to get the bolt out?

Anyone have any what an autoshop would charge?

Thanks again everyone
Brian's 325xi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2012, 07:37 PM   #7
Stinger9
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: New York
Posts: 8,011
My Ride: '04 330Ci
Kinda hard to advise with hardly any resources and lacking a bit of confidence. Hard to email you any of either! No offense intended as I do empathize with you.

You've already got a large amount of specific advice if you go back and reread the posts here. Reverse drill after centerpunching, and then easy out set. They come in a variety of sizes. Your 18v drill might make it if you have the charger with you.

Ill-advised to tell you OK to drive. You'd probably make it if you crawled along, but if we told you to give it a try, the downside is horrible in terms of damage to the car!
Stinger9 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2012, 08:33 PM   #8
Brian's 325xi
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 39
My Ride: 2003 325 xi
No offense taken! Many thanks for the advice. I think I'm going to go for it and try to get it out. Unfortunately the trip I just made to the parts store came up very weak. They only easy out that they had was 7/32 which seems not quite right. I'm thinking of trying Harbor Freight maybe for cheaper drill bits maybe a better assortment of easy-outs; then Sears but the one nearby is very light in the tool dept so its special ordering blind.

Thanks Again!
Brian's 325xi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2012, 08:47 PM   #9
pawelgawel
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: This is LONDON??
Posts: 936
My Ride: 330CI
use a torch on it for even 10 min.. make it as hot as possible.. then hammer the easy out socket onto the end part where its sticking out. Make sure its on as best as possible. of its done properly, it will be impossible NOT to get it out.

It will come out from the other end

Sent from my SGH-I727R using Bimmer App
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	uploadfromtaptalk1354067031582.jpg
Views:	75
Size:	19.9 KB
ID:	479909  

Last edited by pawelgawel; 11-27-2012 at 08:48 PM.
pawelgawel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2012, 08:49 PM   #10
Stinger9
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: New York
Posts: 8,011
My Ride: '04 330Ci
Preview what Harbor Freight covers for you in terms of this job online before you go so you can think about the choice to make. And possibly ask our advice in advance.
Stinger9 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2012, 08:51 PM   #11
Stinger9
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: New York
Posts: 8,011
My Ride: '04 330Ci
Quote:
Originally Posted by pawelgawel View Post
use a torch on it for even 10 min.. make it as hot as possible.. then hammer the easy out socket onto the end part where its sticking out. Make sure its on as best as possible. of its done properly, it will be impossible NOT to get it out.

It will come out from the other end

Sent from my SGH-I727R using Bimmer App
And best to use the largest drill you can make work without damaging the knuckle threads. The thinner you leave in there, the weaker it is to remove.
And spray PB in there asap to allow to soak in.
Stinger9 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2012, 08:57 PM   #12
fiveightandten
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 1,297
My Ride: '03 330ci / '98 M3
Don't use heat in close vicinity to a strut.

There is a small centering pin on the strut that sets the clock position in the spindle. If the head snapped off the bolt, that's the only thing holding the strut in the spindle anymore. Not safe to drive.

It's only a few more bolts to remove the strut and pull it out of the wheel well. Then you can use heat until your heart is content. I would saturate the thing in PB blaster, clean off any exposed threads on the back side with a wire wheel, and have at it with that easy out after heating it. I'm not sure how much of a nub you have to work with, but people have had luck using JB weld to adhere a nut onto the end of a broken bolt. I've not tried that personally. It would have to be cleaned up with a wire wheel nicely before you tried that.
__________________
-Nick
fiveightandten is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2012, 09:35 PM   #13
Brian's 325xi
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 39
My Ride: 2003 325 xi
Schrödinger's cat-That is AWESOME! I've always enjoyed that thought experiment-maybe too much. It's also uniquely applicable to this situation.

I'm going to draw up a list of items I need and run them by all of you for feed back.

Thanks Guys!
Brian's 325xi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2012, 11:29 AM   #14
Brian's 325xi
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 39
My Ride: 2003 325 xi
The shop said it would take .5 hr to 2.0 hrs to get it out depending. That's at $100/hr-This seems like it could be cheaper than the tools needed or not depending on time. Also I soaked the bolt with PB Blaster every day for 2 weeks prior to tackling the job. I also broke a 1/2" drive socket-sears-(not commercial grade) trying to loosen the bolt. This must have some bearing on how stuck it is-how should this factor into my decision. They also said they'd do the axle job for $150.
Brian's 325xi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2012, 11:49 AM   #15
Stinger9
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: New York
Posts: 8,011
My Ride: '04 330Ci
At this point it's your call.
Let us know which route you take and how it goes!
Stinger9 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2012, 12:12 PM   #16
pawelgawel
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: This is LONDON??
Posts: 936
My Ride: 330CI
at that price your close to just buying an entire used knuckle and hub assembly.

GL

Sent from my SGH-I727R using Bimmer App
pawelgawel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2012, 01:14 PM   #17
trizzuth
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Rondoland
Posts: 5,159
My Ride: gobbles oil like a B
Ug, I just got shivers cause this same thing happened to me last year. He'd to remove carrier and slowly and painfully drill out bolt with lots and lots of oil as lube. Replaced with other bolt and nut, has been fine ever since, Scared to replace struts on wife's car now because of this. With the weight of the car on the strut and spring,you should be able to drive a short distance if there are no major bumps, just go very slow.
__________________
trizzuth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2012, 01:36 PM   #18
Stinger9
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: New York
Posts: 8,011
My Ride: '04 330Ci
Gun Shy

Understand your reluctance, but many many have replaced struts without any trauma. Give it a shot!
Stinger9 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2012, 01:38 PM   #19
pawelgawel
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: This is LONDON??
Posts: 936
My Ride: 330CI
one side came out without issues, the other side snapped for me... its a 50/50 at this age and the fact that the bolt is threaded all the way through (i don't know why).

Sent from my SGH-I727R using Bimmer App
pawelgawel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2012, 04:26 PM   #20
Brian's 325xi
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 39
My Ride: 2003 325 xi
Sorry for the Delay in Updating Everyone-I muddled over it for a week and brought it to a "professional" mechanic who proceeded to charge me $200 to make things worse, and said he "couldn't fix it & couldn't get the parts". Also told me to drive it as is as its fused together. I'm not convinced of the safety and I obviously cannot proceed with the underlying CV axle.

Now I have a ground off extractor in the bottom of the bolt (threaded part)-they tried to back it out. That's too hard obviously to drill through, correct? I talked with a guy that said to carefully, and slowly drill the whole bolt out from the top (I'm sure I'd pierce the strut though); once I reach the easy out bang/pop it out with a punch and then proceed. I think this is certain to fail and waste time.

Should I try extracting it myself from the broken head? With a lot of heat? Or is the mechanics failure indicative of this being impossible?

Many Thanks Guys for all the advice!
Brian's 325xi is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Censor is ON





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:46 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
(c) 1999 - 2011 performanceIX Inc - privacy policy - terms of use