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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 01-24-2013, 10:13 AM   #1
NickBMW
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Subframe

Hey guys i have a 2001 325i, it doesnt have any subrame damage but im wondering how common it happens and what my chances are. Thanks

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Old 01-24-2013, 10:15 AM   #2
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More common on 323/328, and M3. Less common on 325/330 but can and does happen still. Avoid poly mounts, roughhousing the rear end (launches, hard shifting, going over speed bumps unevenly, etc) to reduce your chances of failure. Or you can be proactive and drop the subframe and weld plates or inject structural foam. it's a crap ton of work though.

someone should put together a guide and info on the stuff needed for the foam. like where to buy, what gun, etc. and costs!
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:19 AM   #3
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Definitely already existed, I was just looking into it because I'm going to do mine soon.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=710760
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:31 AM   #4
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Yeah I was reading the same thread just now. I was hoping though for more specific info on where to buy the foam. I think I want to do this soon. Where are you buying the foam?

Appears you need:

1) gun: http://www.autobodytoolmart.com/3m-m...1-p-15298.aspx

2) foam BMW part# 83 42 9 410 694 and 83 42 0 307 530 (says to get two of the latter if doing right side) do both foams just mix??

3) inject in following two holes where green shows:



This is assuming you don't see/have cracks.
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:57 AM   #5
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:58 AM   #6
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Yeah I was reading the same thread just now. I was hoping though for more specific info on where to buy the foam. I think I want to do this soon. Where are you buying the foam?

Appears you need:

1) gun: http://www.autobodytoolmart.com/3m-m...1-p-15298.aspx
I'm pretty sure this gun is too small, you need a 400ml gun, like the one I used:http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=939044
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:46 AM   #7
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I'm pretty sure this gun is too small, you need a 400ml gun, like the one I used:http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=939044
Thanks. I saw your thread. I'm trying to source the foam. Would you recommend only one foam pack (two tubes)? just for the left side? recommendation on where to get it? seems not available at ecstuning which means not available?

This is too cheap and easy NOT to do.
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:53 AM   #8
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Isn't this problem more common on coupes and 5 speed 328i's? I have 155k on my steptronic 323i and I check my subframe regularly and it doesn't show any signs of cracking, though that doesn't mean it won't happen at some point.
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:02 PM   #9
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http://www.thebmwpartstore.com/oempa...190445721.html $173.62

Basically the cheapest price I have seen so far. And not to many places carry the foam.
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:12 PM   #10
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http://www.thebmwpartstore.com/oempa...190445721.html $173.62

Basically the cheapest price I have seen so far. And not to many places carry the foam.
I wish I could confirm with BMWpartsstore first whether or not they have it. i would hate to order it now, prepare, then only to get an email 3 weeks later that my order has been refunded and the part is no longer available. it's happened to me before

edit: is this guy (mike is it?) on the forum?
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:11 PM   #11
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Thanks. I saw your thread. I'm trying to source the foam. Would you recommend only one foam pack (two tubes)? just for the left side? recommendation on where to get it? seems not available at ecstuning which means not available?

This is too cheap and easy NOT to do.
Sure, I'll look later when I get to my computer. The foam on the passenger side is not mentioned in the TIS, but I did it anyway just for a peace of mind.
By the way, I still have the gun. You can use it if you want.
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:13 PM   #12
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Sure, I'll look later when I get to my computer. The foam on the passenger side is not mentioned in the TIS, but I did it anyway just for a peace of mind.
By the way, I still have the gun. You can use it if you want.
That's a generous offer. might have to take you up on that. where in LA are you? I emailed bmwparts store to see if they have the foam. Nervous said he bought two tubes but found out that the foam did not fill out on the passenger side as the gap was just too big. he says to only do the drivers side. thoughts?

Also as far as the seam sealer, I read TIS but am still 100% clear. Exactly what is this filling, in what shape, and why?
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:17 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Patton323I View Post
http://www.thebmwpartstore.com/oempa...190445721.html $173.62

Basically the cheapest price I have seen so far. And not to many places carry the foam.
Yes, this is a very good price. I got the foam from Tischer, but have ordered other things from thebmwpartstore. They are fast.
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:31 PM   #14
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Well, my thoughts would be that if the drivers side is the only side that has the stress fractures, then shouldn't really be necessary to fill the passenger side. I would probably do it anyway just for the sake of weight balance and piece of mind. And my understanding is that one foam is for filling the big void and a little structural support and then the structural foam is for the reinforcing effect. It would be nice to have a cut out image of this all in action.... But my thought are that it fills the area in and between #1 because its 2 layers of sheet metal.

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Old 01-24-2013, 02:12 PM   #15
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Unfortunately this is what mine looked like
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:19 PM   #16
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Well, my thoughts would be that if the drivers side is the only side that has the stress fractures, then shouldn't really be necessary to fill the passenger side. I would probably do it anyway just for the sake of weight balance and piece of mind. And my understanding is that one foam is for filling the big void and a little structural support and then the structural foam is for the reinforcing effect. It would be nice to have a cut out image of this all in action.... But my thought are that it fills the area in and between #1 because its 2 layers of sheet metal.

Right. Well no my question was (if you are responding to my question) about the seam sealer. it's a totally different step/concept than the foam. BMW TIS says to do it BEFORE the foam. I know how the foam works. just not the seam sealer. See the TIS doc.

And BTW, See Nervous's post here and you will reconsider doing the passenger side. basically its pointless cause it doesn't work.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showpos...&postcount=148
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:14 PM   #17
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Good Info on the passenger side. And I miss read your question about the seem sealer. But reading the TB it seems to me that it just divides the 2 half's of the assembly so the none of the foam moves over to the other side. The instructions state to withdraw the tube as you inject the seam sealer in the center hole and then wait 10 min for it to set up.
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:25 PM   #18
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Good Info on the passenger side. And I miss read your question about the seem sealer. But reading the TB it seems to me that it just divides the 2 half's of the assembly so the none of the foam moves over to the other side. The instructions state to withdraw the tube as you inject the seam sealer in the center hole and then wait 10 min for it to set up.
that seems like it could be correct. i guess it might be easier if i had a visual. anyone have a cutaway of the rear floor?
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:10 PM   #19
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That's a generous offer. might have to take you up on that. where in LA are you? I emailed bmwparts store to see if they have the foam. Nervous said he bought two tubes but found out that the foam did not fill out on the passenger side as the gap was just too big. he says to only do the drivers side. thoughts?

Also as far as the seam sealer, I read TIS but am still 100% clear. Exactly what is this filling, in what shape, and why?
Mango, I saw that comment by Nervous awhile ago. He made it after he finished the job and inspected the two existing bottom holes next to each mounting point.
I can confirm his observation that the structural foam reached the area around the driver side, but not the passenger side hole.
However, I can't agree this means necessarily that the foam didn't reach the passenger mounting point.
First, this doesn't seem likely because the foam is injected directly above that point and I can't see where else would it go. Second, the holes at the driver and the passenger side are not positioned the same way: The driver side hole is on the inner side of the mounting point, the passenger side is on the outer side. If the space is tight, I can imagine the foam won't reach the hole since it's very viscous, but that doesn't mean it won't reach the mounting point at all.

Since I don't know enough, I wouldn't recommend to do or not to do the passenger side. I wish there was more info in the TIS (or elsewhere), which doesn't mention anything about reinforcing the passenger side, but basically I don't feel screwed I did both sides.

Anyway, drill the central hole, uncover the other hole on the left hand side and inject both with seam sealer. I did this with a caulking gun. What's the role of this sealer (or the cavity foam on the previous TIS) - I guess sealing places the structural foam may get through.
Once this is done, you are ready to proceed with the structural foam. Cover the bottom hole on the driver side by tape, inject the foam from the top, let it cure for 24 hours and then you can drive the car again. By the way, I'd wait until it's dry outside, wouldn't risk trapping water inside the cavity.

Regarding the gun for the structural foam, I live in Westwood and you can get it whenever you need it. If you do the job during the weekend and I'm in town, I can even give you a hand with this.
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:41 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Megalocnus View Post
Mango, I saw that comment by Nervous awhile ago. He made it after he finished the job and inspected the two existing bottom holes next to each mounting point.
I can confirm his observation that the structural foam reached the area around the driver side, but not the passenger side hole.
However, I can't agree this means necessarily that the foam didn't reach the passenger mounting point.
First, this doesn't seem likely because the foam is injected directly above that point and I can't see where else would it go. Second, the holes at the driver and the passenger side are not positioned the same way: The driver side hole is on the inner side of the mounting point, the passenger side is on the outer side. If the space is tight, I can imagine the foam won't reach the hole since it's very viscous, but that doesn't mean it won't reach the mounting point at all.

Since I don't know enough, I wouldn't recommend to do or not to do the passenger side. I wish there was more info in the TIS (or elsewhere), which doesn't mention anything about reinforcing the passenger side, but basically I don't feel screwed I did both sides.

Anyway, drill the central hole, uncover the other hole on the left hand side and inject both with seam sealer. I did this with a caulking gun. What's the role of this sealer (or the cavity foam on the previous TIS) - I guess sealing places the structural foam may get through.
Once this is done, you are ready to proceed with the structural foam. Cover the bottom hole on the driver side by tape, inject the foam from the top, let it cure for 24 hours and then you can drive the car again. By the way, I'd wait until it's dry outside, wouldn't risk trapping water inside the cavity.

Regarding the gun for the structural foam, I live in Westwood and you can get it whenever you need it. If you do the job during the weekend and I'm in town, I can even give you a hand with this.
professional info. i will take you up on it. it will definitely be on a weekend... probably a saturday morning so i can go to work on monday!


I'm currently getting a price on the BMW structural foam from a body shop (one set), if not i'll get from online vendor, i'll borrow your gun (thanks) and then i'll need to order the Wurth seam sealer (or can i use any seam sealer from hardware store?)

I'll use duct tape to cover the lower and upper holes so the foam wont poke out
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