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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 06-29-2019, 07:59 AM   #1
wfx32
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mason x-brace instead of subframe reinforcement plates?

has anyone tried this mason x-brace alternative to the weld-in subframe reinforcement plates ?
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Old 06-29-2019, 08:05 AM   #2
wfx32
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BMW E46 X-Brace Rear Suspension Sub-frame Support

Designed to correct the factory defect on the suspension hard points. This support bolts on without welding. No removal of the fuel tank or suspension is necessary.

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Old 06-29-2019, 09:24 AM   #3
wfx32
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mason x-brace instead of subframe reinforcement plates?

or these powerflex subframe bushing inserts are a better preventative measure?

https://www.powerflexusa.com/shop/pr...ng-insert-3626
https://www.powerflexusa.com/shop/pr...g-inserts-3747
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Last edited by wfx32; 06-29-2019 at 11:39 AM. Reason: front and rear bushing inserts are different
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Old 07-01-2019, 08:39 PM   #4
wfx32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wfx32 View Post
or these powerflex subframe bushing inserts are a better preventative measure?


closest DIY i could find for the subframe bushing inserts was on an E39.. suggestions on how the E46 install would be any different?
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Old 07-01-2019, 10:02 PM   #5
jmo69
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Actually the xi doesn't have as many subframe issues as the RWD cars, less power to the rear.
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Old 07-01-2019, 11:12 PM   #6
wfx32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmo69 View Post
Actually the xi doesn't have as many subframe issues as the RWD cars, less power to the rear.
Quote:
Originally Posted by avdi.vide.tace View Post
I think this would be most beneficial after addressing all cracks properly. You cannot determine the extent of damage to the many weld spots that go defective, because they are often covered over with the seam sealer (among dirt, debris, et al).

Redish Motorsport has countless videos of the proper inspection, repair, and reinforcement process; I've seen too many E46 M3 owners skip over proper inspection and repair of ALL the damage before even thinking about installing reinforcement plates.

This is great for those that have their subframe repaired already, as it indeed will assist, with the reinforcement plates, to prevent further damage from occurring once it is all repaired.

thanks yes i have heard this is more of a RWD m3 and drifter issue .. but the reason i am worried is that the chassis subframe tearing problem has been known to occur on all e46 models ..

i never had a rear differential issue with the 2004 and i am the original owner.. but the previous owner of the 2005 (with redesigned rear diff) replaced both rear diff in 2017.03, i had further leaks and replaced right rear diff in 2019.01, also diff mount bushings were splitting badly which is a precursor to the tearing.. so i replaced with armstrong poly rear diff mounts.

mechanic i trust says go with the powerflex bushing inserts as a preventative measure. youtube says structural foam (bmw official solution) or weld-in reinforcement plates (turner or bimmerworld) are both patch fixes which may not actually solve the problem. so i'm thinking of having the chassis inspected for the cracks and then install the mason x-brace.

Last edited by wfx32; 07-01-2019 at 11:35 PM. Reason: reference previous x brace thread
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Old 07-02-2019, 11:23 PM   #7
wfx32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avdi.vide.tace View Post
Redish Motorsport has countless videos of the proper inspection, repair, and reinforcement process;
http://www.redish-motorsport.com/E46...forcement.html
http://www.redish-motorsport.com/BMW...eckReport.html

some scary videos there of the weld defects. he has an interesting process to cut into the chassis to see the cracks and then punch/drill to stop the cracks from spreading.

i guess this repair would require some professional skill. i'm not sure who would be prepared to take on the work here. it would be a bit difficult to bring my car to his shop in Bristol UK.

Last edited by wfx32; 07-02-2019 at 11:34 PM.
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Old 07-06-2019, 05:53 PM   #8
wfx32
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edit .. wrong thread .. again

Last edited by wfx32; 07-06-2019 at 05:55 PM.
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Old 08-19-2019, 10:13 PM   #9
jmo69
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Quote:
the previous owner of the 2005 (with redesigned rear diff) replaced both rear diff in 2017.03, i had further leaks and replaced right rear diff in 2019.01,
I don't understand what you mean by "replaced right rear diff" I've only got one rear diff and it's pretty much in the center.
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Alternative to expensive xi control arm bushings https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1231503

Bad outer xi ball joint? https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1127077


2003 325xi auto Stahlgrau

1998328is 5sp
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Old 08-19-2019, 10:41 PM   #10
wfx32
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05 rear diff has two halves. 04 was a simpler design. i will take a couple of photos when i get the 05 back.. hopefully this week.
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Old 09-01-2019, 06:25 AM   #11
Zaknin
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Here is the video of x-brace installation, author said that only nuisance is that bracing is squeaky on hard bumps\potholes, audible without music in car, I don't think I would be happy with something like this for daily, but for weekend toy - why not.
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Last edited by Zaknin; 09-01-2019 at 06:25 AM.
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Old 09-01-2019, 07:28 AM   #12
wfx32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fixnit4u View Post
Immediately I could tell a difference after the install as the rear end is definitely planted and more secure now. I have rubber diff and subframe bushings because this is my daily driver and I'm happy that although the body is much more rigid, this didn't cause any issues with harsh handling or other negative driving dynamics. I read somewhere that someone had issues with squeaking noises, but in my case it's completely quiet and I think that could've been due to improper installation or other issues with that person's car.

Also, I wanted to attach a few photos because the other installs I've seen look either ghetto or half-assed.

-jake






Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaknin View Post
only nuisance is that bracing is squeaky on hard bumps\potholes, audible without music in car, I don't think I would be happy with something like this for daily, but for weekend toy - why not.

i called mason a few months ago to discuss this. squeaking may have just been hanís install.
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