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BMW E46 Chassis Reinforcement Kits & Parts

BMW E46 Chassis Reinforcement Kits & Parts As much of an "Ultimate Driving Machine" it is, many BMW models unfortunately suffer from weak points in the chassis. Over the years we have uncovered many weak or failure-prone areas in the chassis and have developed our own reinforcing solutions for them. And we continue to be the leading experts on BMW chassis reinforcing. Failures can come from a number, or combination, of causes: improper maintenance, age and mileage, poor design, environmental factors, poor repair work, and over-stressing modifications. The longer you let your car go without repairing or reinforcing these areas, the closer it gets to crumbling apart. Our chassis reinforcement kits are designed to first identify potential weak points and then strengthen and reinforce the existing design.

Most of our kits are not labor intensive although welding is usually required. If you suspect your chassis may have structural problems we recommend taking it to a well-known bodyshop or restoration shop. (find out who your local BMW dealer uses - we sell many of our kits to dealer-authorized repair shops). Making the preventative fix simple and effective is better than a long and complicated repair after the failure. Our kits are not usually used for fixing existing damage (only your body shop can determine the correct course of action). But our kits have been proven under extreme conditions on racetracks around the world to prevent many of the costly - and dangerous - chassis problems.
You're currently viewing parts for your (E46) 3-Series 1999-2005. Reset your chassis
For accurate results, specify your model below.
Heavy Duty Convertible Rear Shock Mount Reinforcement Plate Set The upper rear shock bolts to the sheetmetal in the folding top well on convertible models. As the mileage goes up more and more stress is put on this sheetmetal and it can actually tear away from the rest of the chassis. Look for lttle cracks originating from the mouning holes. This reinforcement plate helps spread the shock loads around the sheetmetal and reduce stress in localized areas. Price is for the pair.
ECS
Part #: 002478ECS02KT
Price: $37.90 (USD) 
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E46 M3 Complete Turner Motorsport Reinforcement Package

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The E46 is by no means a very old car. But more and more E46s are seeing track use or being converted to all-out track cars. And the odometers aren't rolling backwards. With age, mileage, and hard use the chassis will develop weak points that threaten the overall integrity of the car. When suspension points and subframes start to rip from the car, it puts the driver and anyone else at a serious safety risk. Not to mention the obvious effects on the performance of the car. TMS has developed reinforcements for the most-common weak points in the E46 chassis. With these kits in place you can be sure that your car spends less time on a body rack and more time on the race track. Included in this package are all of the reinforcements we developed for the E46:
 

Turner Motorsport
Part #: T46REINF-M3
Price: $251.80 (USD) 
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E46 Complete Turner Motorsport Reinforcement Package

The E46 is by no means a very old car. But more and more E46s are seeing track use or being converted to all-out track cars. And the odometers aren't rolling backwards. With age, mileage, and hard use the chassis will develop weak points that threaten the overall integrity of the car. When suspension points and subframes start to rip from the car, it puts the driver and anyone else at a serious safety risk. Not to mention the obvious effects on the performance of the car. TMS has developed reinforcements for the most-common weak points in the E46 chassis. With these kits in place you can be sure that your car spends less time on a body rack and more time on the race track. Included in this package are all of the reinforcements we developed for the E46:
 

Turner Motorsport
Part #: T46REINF
Price: $301.65 (USD) 
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Genuine BMW Structured Foam 400Ml - 83190007361

This is used to help reinforce the subframe and its mounting points. The extra strength helps prevent cracking and splitting in certain weak points that were later identified by BMW and remedied by using this for support.


Genuine BMW Structured Foam - 400Ml

Genuine BMW
Part #: 83190007361
Price: $86.23 (USD) 
$106.66 (19% off MSRP)
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E36, E46, Z3 Factory BMW Rear Shock Mount Reinforcement (Sold Each)

This is the factory BMW rear shock mount reinforcement, as equipped by BMW on Z3 models. This also fits all E36 and E46 models as well. Turner Motorsport makes our own that are thicker but these can also do a good job of preventing cracks and deformation of the rear shock towers.

Priced per reinforcement plate. Order 2 to cover both rear shock towers.

This item fits the following BMWs:
1992-1999 E36 BMW 318i 318is 318ti 318ic 323is 325i 325is 328i 328is M3 (not for convertible models)
1999-2006 E46 BMW 323i 323ci 325i 325ci 325xi 328i 328ci 330i 330ci 330xi M3 (not for convertible models)
1997-2002 Z3 BMW Z3 1.9 Z3 2.3 Z3 2.5i Z3 2.8 Z3 3.0i M Roadster M Coupe

Genuine BMW
Part #: 51718413359
Price: $21.19 (USD) 
$24.64 (14% off MSRP)
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E36, E46 Rear Shock Tower Mount Reinforcement Kit Made in the USA A very common weak point on the 3 series BMW is the sheetmetal of the rear shock tower. The sheetmetal here is relatively thin and very susceptible to stress and fatigue. A worn out shock will bottom-out more often and this energy is transferred through the bump stop and into the metal chassis. Stiffer shocks and shock mounts also put more stress on the sheetmetal. Factor in age, mileage, and environmental conditions and it's not a surprise that we see shock tower failures often. BMW addressed this issue with reinforcements of their own but our's are thicker for additional strength. This kit mounts on top of the shock tower and can either be bolted or welded in place. Because of the shape of the rear shock tower, these do not fit cabrio/convertible cars.

This item fits the following BMWs:
1992-1999 E36 BMW 318i 318is 318ti 323is 325i 325is 328i 328is M3 - not for convertibles
1999-2005 E46 BMW 323i 323ci 325i 325ci 325xi 328i 328ci 330i 330ci 330xi M3 - not for convertibles
Turner Motorsport
Part #: TSU9975100
Price: $31.95 (USD) 
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E46 Rear Chassis/Subframe Reinforcement Kit The E46 rear driveline and suspension are very similar to that of the E36. An unfortunate side effect of this is that the E46 also shares some of the same problems as the E36. One of these problems is the rear mounting points for the subframe, which can rip out from their spots in the sheet metal. This happens because the rear differential transmits the torsional load from the engine through the subframe, then into the chassis. This constant loading and unloading weakens the sheet metal and causes it to fatigue and separate from the chassis. BMW tried to fix this problem in the E46 by placing a cross member on the front two mounting points of the subframe. This cross member keeps the front mounting points from having problems by placing the bushing and the stud in double-sheer, thus reducing the twisting action on the sheet metal. The unfortunate side effect of this is that the load from the front of the subframe now gets transmitted to the left rear of the subframe. This is where we have seen many failures of the chassis on low mileage street cars and race cars. BMW has also tried to prevent the issue by injecting foam into the open space between the underside of the chassis and the top of the trunk. This seems to work but that does not address the issues of the spot welds failing on the sheetmetal. It can also make any additional work there harder and almost impossible to weld against. Our reinforcement kit has proven over and over again to be effective and the easiest to work with in the long run.

This product reinforces the chassis sheet metal at the subframe mounting points. We do this by thickening the metal and distributing the load over a larger area. This kit will save time when repairing the chassis, and is also strongly recommended as a preventative maintenance item.

Photo Gallery: E46 Subframe Failure / Repair

Click here for installation instructions.

This item fits the following BMWs:
1999-2005 E46 BMW 323i 323ci 325i 325ci 325xi 328i 328ci 330i 330ci 330xi M3
Turner Motorsport
Part #: TDR4675412
Price: $139.95 (USD) 
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Turner Motorsport Rear Trailing Arm Bushing Limiter Kit (RTAB Shim Kit)

Turner Motorsport Bushing Limiters were the first - and still the best - RTAB Limiter on the market. Instead of a 'floating' design that can rattle and wear, our aluminum Limiters are fixed in place and feature an anti-stick Teflon coating so the bushing never sticks and squeaks.

The great defect in the rear trailing arm bushing (RTAB) is that the soft rubber design allows too much movement and extension during cornering. The bushing is not strong enough to resist hard cornering loads. A stiffer bushing helps but has trade-offs in ride and comfort. If you want to maintain your ride comfort with rubber bushings, these RTAB Limiters will prolong their life and improve handling.

These Limiters sit on either side of the bushing and limit its movement. By limiting motion the bushing effectively becomes stiffer, improving handling and reducing toe change during cornering. When not cornering, the Limiters are not in play so ride comfort remains the same as stock. Our Limiters are permanently bolted to the housing that surrounds the bushing. Other types of Limiters 'float' between the bushing and housing, which can rattle and squeak as the bushings move. Instead of plastic or Delrin that will wear over time, our RTAB Limiters are made from aluminum with a tough hardcoat anodize (tougher than standard anodizing) and finished with a Teflon anti-stick coating.

Turner RTAB Limiter Kit includes -

  • set of 4 anodized aluminum bushing limiters
  • 5mm Allen bolts and washers
  • install template

Need E36/E46 RTAB bushings? Click here for replacement trailing arm bushings.

Click for installation instructions.

 

This item fits the following BMWs:
1992-1999 E36 BMW 318i 318is 318ic 323is 323ic 325i 325is 325ic 328i 328is 328ic M3
1999-2006 E46 BMW 323i 323ci 325i 325ci 325xi 328i 328ci 330i 330ci 330xi M3
2003-2010 E83 BMW X3 2.5 X3 3.0 X3 3.0si
2002-2008 E85 E86 BMW Z4 2.5 Z4 3.0 Z4 3.0i Z4 3.0si Z4 M Coupe Z4 M Roadster

Turner Motorsport
Part #: TSU9990001
Price: $89.95 (USD) 
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Genuine BMW Strut Brace Bracket, Left - 51717895249 - E46 M3

Connects the strut brace bar to the strut tower.

GENUINE BMW BRACKET LEFT:517160

Genuine BMW
Part #: 51717895249
Price: $85.50 (USD) 
$121.68 (30% off MSRP)
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IRP Adjustable Front Strut Brace - E46 BMW

A strut tower brace adds additional reinforcement to the front strut towers, tying them together for extra rigidity. This makes the whole structure stronger with less chassis flex. Handling and steering feel are improved with better turn-in and input with no downsides. 

The IRP adjustable strut brace bar is a high quality brace that is constructed of 100% steel for guaranteed reinforcement and prevention of flex. The brace bar is painted black to ensure corrosion protection and to add to the looks of the engine bay.

Easily installed with basic hand tools.

Fits the following BMW chassis:
E46 BMW All Submodels

IRP - Individual Racing Parts
Part #: IRPFSB-46
Price: $119.95 (USD) 
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E46 Front Subframe Reinforcement Kit Made in the USA The motor mount area on a subframe is one of those easily-forgotton areas that may be hiding a serious problem. The subframe on the E46 has a gusset ('ear') welded on for the motor mounts. These gussets take the stress of the motor mount as the engine torques (more upgrades = more torque = more stress). Worn motor mounts only transfer more stress to the subframe. Unfortunately, the sheetmetal will fatigue over time even though the gusset is reinforced from the factory. Check for cracks along the welds and an uneven plane from the subframe to the gusset. A total failure of the guesset will shift your engine to the side and forward, taking out many other components along the way and leading to a very costly repair.

The next time you replace the motor mounts, oil pan gasket, checking your oil pump nut, or any other time you drop the front subframe, you should install these reinforcements. This kit comes with steel reinforcing plates that are welded to the underside of the guesset as well as plates to close off the bottom of the gusset for extra strength. Instructions included.

This item fits the following BMWs:
1999-2005 E46 BMW 323i 323ci 325i 325ci 328i 328ci 330i 330ci M3
Turner Motorsport
Part #: TDR4675F99
Price: $44.95 (USD) 
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Genuine BMW Strut Tower Bracket, Right - 51717895250

Connects the strut brace bar to the strut tower.

 

GENUINE BMW BRACKET RIGHT

Genuine BMW
Part #: 51717895250
Price: $122.57 (USD) 
$145.84 (16% off MSRP)
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E46 Rear Sway Bar Reinforcement Kit Made in the USA The BMW E46 3-Series chassis is one of the most rigid and well built BMW chassis to date. Even so, it still has some of the traditional BMW weak points. One of these is the rear sway bar / swaybar mounts. From chassis to chassis the problem has not been identical, but all the damage we have seen has been related to metal fatigue. The metal fatigue is due to the constant twisting and side loading of the sway bar. These forces on the sway bar will cause the mounting points to fail over time. The failure can happen faster with sway bar bind due to improper maintenance of the bushings. However, proper sway bar bushing maintenance does not totally eliminate the problem. In the case of the E46 the sheet metal for the bushing bracket does not have enough material to support the loads being transferred to the subframe. We have designed the reinforcement to strengthen and redirect the load to stronger sheet metal. Requires Welding. Does not fit M3.

Click here for installation instructions.

This item fits the following BMWs:
1999-2005 E46 BMW 323i 323ci 325i 325ci 325xi 328i 328ci 330i 330ci 330xi
Turner Motorsport
Part #: TSU4675461
Price: $39.95 (USD) 
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E46 Strut Tower Reinforcement Plates - priced each 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. The 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.

This item fits the following BMWs:
1999-2005 E46 BMW 323i 323ci 325i 325ci 325xi 328i 328ci 330i 330ci 330xi
2001-2006 E46 BMW M3*
* - The stock M3 upper strut mount already does a good job of dispersing the loads of the suspension. These reinforcement plates will fit a stock mount for added strength but need to be trimmed to fit inside the strut tower. The are very strongly recommended for all M3s with coil over suspensions because aftermarket coil overs typically have a smaller surface area for their strut mounts.
Genuine BMW
Part #: 51717036781
Price: $11.83 (USD) 
$13.10 (10% off MSRP)
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