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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 05-14-2013, 07:53 PM   #21
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Location: Washington (the state)
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My Ride: 2003 325xi
Wow, this is getting interesting. Perhaps GSherbs should start a new thread with this topic and get more hits? I don't have much to offer as you're asking about metal forming on structural components. Tricky stuff, I'd be asking body-shop pros for estimates and methods. The fact you may have domed three layers is a concern. That is, you may have bent the lower plate with rivets, the sheet metal tower and a strut bar mount? I'm wondering what's the deal there? Is this car driven in a spirited manor shall we say?
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Old 05-15-2013, 07:46 AM   #22
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Spirited? Not so much anymore - its really a combination of factors that have led to the deformation of the towers...

First is an aftermarket suspension - h&r coil-overs. Second is the generally poor condition of the roads around here. Over time the stiffness of the suspension and the pounding that it transfers to the rest of the vehicle has taken its toll.

I can't necessarily say that the strut bar mounts are all that deformed but my intuition tells me they must be to some extent. I'm about 100% sure that the strut bar mounts are "floating" on the top of the strut tower as the amount by which they appear to be so is different between the two towers - the passenger side tower is a bit worse than the drivers side. I'm also fairly certain that the tops of my towers are flat but I'll check that as well.

I'll get some pics for you guys as soon as I can but it may not be until this weekend.
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:06 AM   #23
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okay may be this is what you talking about?

rear shock mounts reinforcement plates.
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Last edited by jasonbimmer; 05-15-2013 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 05-15-2013, 08:34 PM   #24
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Yes, those $20 babies. They are suspiciously looking like what already may be there with rivet holes and where they mount? I assumed they went on top.

They even list XI's as fitting. Hmmmm?

............................................................ ......

Like the E36 before it, the front strut towers on the E46 are notoriously weak. Under normal driving conditions with a stock, fresh suspension it is unlikely that you will ever have a problem. But with an upgraded street or race suspension with firm springs much of the energy from pounding the road is transmitted to the thin sheet metal in the strut tower. This pounding will cause the tower to deform or even crack. Look for 'mushrooming' or deformity around the holes for the three mounting studs at the top of the strut tower. The sheetmetal around the holes should really be flat and square. Poor shocks or stiff suspensions will actually cause this sheetmetal to pop up.

These factory BMW reinforcement plates will help disperse the energy and save you from costly repairs in the future. A strut brace also helps to prevent this but these plates are designed to reinforce the strut tower from the bottom. They install over your strut mount or camber plate and simply add thickness (strength) to the strut tower. They can be sandwiched in place and do not require welding. Price is for the pair.
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Old 05-17-2013, 12:22 AM   #25
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I installed those Turner rear shock mount reinforcement plates when I did my suspension a few weeks ago. Those things are thick! Wasn't sure if I needed them but thought it couldn't hurt.
'01 330xi
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Old 06-16-2013, 12:52 PM   #26
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I put both of those in my XI yesterday.. I hope that I did not already have the front reinforcement and put another one on.. it came in my ECS tuning coil over install kit.
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Old 10-20-2013, 05:04 PM   #27
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I'm pretty sure my 2002 325XIT already has the reinforecement plates installed from the factory. However, I ordered a set from Turner Motorsport and will try to install an additional plate on my drivers side to correct a camber problem. My camber has been out of spec and the alignment shop can't get more positive than -1.2 deg on the left front and I have excessive inside tread tire wear. My ride height is currently lower by about 1/8" on that side and I figure the extra plate should increase the height by at least that amount and hopefully help with the camber. Has anybody checked their alignments after installing these plates to see if their camber is impacted?
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Old 10-26-2013, 09:02 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by jasonbimmer View Post
okay may be this is what you talking about?

rear shock mounts reinforcement plates.
Build 02/04 325xiT I look from the top and I see those rings and have 2 black rivets which I assume are holding them in place.
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