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E46 Convertible
The E46 vert forum. Talk about dropping your E46 top here.

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Old 06-24-2013, 11:44 PM   #1
jeton_g
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Cracked subframe ( Horrible)

Hello everyone, Im a new user here, bought a 2003 m3 a few months ago.
Found out the subframe is cracked like crazy, I have a few pics of it now, saw it better from the trunk today, but wasn't able to take pics...I've received some very helpful advice using this forum thought i'de like to share my pics and story...also more pics will be posted of the work done once is completely re-welded and complete. Should be another couple days considering he had to remove the entire back end in order to weld, since the gas lines are running through there...need i say more...
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Old 06-25-2013, 12:01 AM   #2
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dude...that's like...a total loss.
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Old 06-25-2013, 12:03 AM   #3
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Old 06-25-2013, 12:04 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Scooby24 View Post
dude...that's like...a total loss.
Iv been driving around with it like this for several weeks, I have a good welder working on it, wasn't cheap but sure as hell was alot less then i thought.
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Old 06-25-2013, 12:08 AM   #5
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Cracked subframe ( Horrible)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeton_g View Post
Iv been driving around with it like this for several weeks, I have a good welder working on it, wasn't cheap but sure as hell was alot less then i thought.
How much?
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Old 06-25-2013, 12:09 AM   #6
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how much?
1g
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Old 06-25-2013, 12:57 AM   #7
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Cracked subframe ( Horrible)

That's horrible, bad luck I guess? Usually vert subframes don't crack


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Old 06-25-2013, 01:34 AM   #8
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That looks much more like accident damage...
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Old 07-05-2013, 12:04 AM   #9
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That looks much more like accident damage...
With my stupidity I did not check any car history, but recently found out the 2nd last owner before me drifted it into a curb, that might have caused this...Right now Its still sitting at the shop, apparently they ordered a whole back end from another model and are going to replace the entire back end frame and reinforce, hoping it doesn't happen again...
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Old 07-05-2013, 12:07 AM   #10
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That looks much more like accident damage...
That's what I thought too.
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Old 07-05-2013, 05:34 PM   #11
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Old 07-05-2013, 06:33 PM   #12
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For that to happen on both sides indicates it's probably not due to drifting into a curb. Of course that probably didn't help but this is a known mode of failure for subframe mounting areas on the E46, especially the M3 convertible. In fact, this extreme failure mode has only been seen on the M3 convertible to my knowledge. To say that verts aren't vulnerable to subframe mounting damage is ignorant.

I highly recommend any E46 owners, especially M3 convertible owners, to periodically check for popped spot welds in the wheel well area especially. Once one weld pops, the weld spots next to it tend to pop and it's a chain reaction after that. Then eventually that lower section separates from the unibody.

This is all documented
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Old 07-06-2013, 01:28 PM   #13
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Correct me if I am wrong as I am sure all of you will - but didn't the convertible models receive an upgraded subframe over the coupe and sedan models? Especially the M3? Everyone I have ever talked to about these things has said that subframe failure in a convertible is much less likely to occur, considering the reinforcement they receive due to having a mechanical top and being less rigid.

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Old 07-06-2013, 01:41 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Blueandwhite85 View Post
Correct me if I am wrong as I am sure all of you will - but didn't the convertible models receive an upgraded subframe over the coupe and sedan models? Especially the M3? Everyone I have ever talked to about these things has said that subframe failure in a convertible is much less likely to occur, considering the reinforcement they receive due to having a mechanical top and being less rigid.
Im not sure but that sounds like it should
Be right...although most of the forums i've
Read it has been majority verts with this issue
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Old 07-06-2013, 02:02 PM   #15
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Re: Cracked subframe ( Horrible)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueandwhite85 View Post
Correct me if I am wrong as I am sure all of you will - but didn't the convertible models receive an upgraded subframe over the coupe and sedan models? Especially the M3? Everyone I have ever talked to about these things has said that subframe failure in a convertible is much less likely to occur, considering the reinforcement they receive due to having a mechanical top and being less rigid.
There is a poll M3F that shows 10% of verts have cracked sub crashes, vs a significantly higher % of coupes.

Likewise the poll thread has confirmed the vert sub frame is a different part number and is built stronger.

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Old 07-06-2013, 03:10 PM   #16
jeton_g
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Originally Posted by taylor192 View Post
There is a poll M3F that shows 10% of verts have cracked sub crashes, vs a significantly higher % of coupes.

Likewise the poll thread has confirmed the vert sub frame is a different part number and is built stronger.

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I think they are pulling a subfrme from a coupe
To replace mine,.. Instead of stitch weld they will
Weld across entire frame.... Do you think the
Full weld will hold this one together in the vert
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Old 07-06-2013, 03:30 PM   #17
Blueandwhite85
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Re: Cracked subframe ( Horrible)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeton_g View Post
I think they are pulling a subfrme from a coupe
To replace mine,.. Instead of stitch weld they will
Weld across entire frame.... Do you think the
Full weld will hold this one together in the vert
Might be questionable. Certainly have it reinforced as well.

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Old 07-06-2013, 03:46 PM   #18
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Re: Cracked subframe ( Horrible)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeton_g View Post
I think they are pulling a subfrme from a coupe
To replace mine,.. Instead of stitch weld they will
Weld across entire frame.... Do you think the
Full weld will hold this one together in the vert
I think that's a bad idea. The coupe sub frames crack at a significantly high rate, and the vert is heavier. I'd spend the extra to find a vert sub frame, have the reinforcement parts welded on, and epoxy the cavities too.

The sub frame usually cracks around the bolts. A "full" weld will prevent the damage you have, yet your damage is unusual, typical of accidents not wear and tear.

Might as well do it right, otherwise you'll be doing it twice.

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Old 07-06-2013, 04:01 PM   #19
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Cracked subframe ( Horrible)

The verts didn't get an "upgraded sub frame" but since there is no top, the chassis lost a lot of its rigidity. So to make up for it they added reinforcements to compensate for not having a top, hence the heavier weight for the verts which comes from the reinforcements.


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Old 07-06-2013, 05:02 PM   #20
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Re: Cracked subframe ( Horrible)

Quote:
Originally Posted by sakumaxp View Post
The verts didn't get an "upgraded sub frame" but since there is no top, the chassis lost a lot of its rigidity. So to make up for it they added reinforcements to compensate for not having a top, hence the heavier weight for the verts which comes from the reinforcements.


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Let's not mix words.
- The actual sub frame (that the diff mounts to) is the same for coupe and vert.
- The body structure with the 4 mounts for the sub frame are different for the coupe and vert. This has been confirmed. This is what cracks around the 4 mounts. This is what the OP is replacing.

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