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Old 05-04-2014, 11:21 PM   #1
323CI-MI
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Quick question on front reinforcement plate.

Hey all,
I just changed my oil-level sensor and had to remove the reinforcement plate to get to it. I ran out of time to put the plate back on. Do I need to wake up early tomorrow morning to put it back on, or would it be okay to drive one full day with it off? Thanks!
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Old 05-04-2014, 11:27 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by 323CI-MI View Post
Hey all,
I just changed my oil-level sensor and had to remove the reinforcement plate to get to it. I ran out of time to put the plate back on. Do I need to wake up early tomorrow morning to put it back on, or would it be okay to drive one full day with it off? Thanks!
Mine has been without one since I had it and no problems have come up. If you drive on rough roads where there is loose rocks or trash then I would put it back on rather then take a chance running over something and causing more damage to repair.
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Old 05-04-2014, 11:52 PM   #3
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Old 05-05-2014, 02:49 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by 323CI-MI View Post
Hey all,
I just changed my oil-level sensor and had to remove the reinforcement plate to get to it. I ran out of time to put the plate back on. Do I need to wake up early tomorrow morning to put it back on, or would it be okay to drive one full day with it off? Thanks!
I would put it back on. If it is a vert, then you definately need it back on before driving the car. However, it is recommended to be on the car and torqued correctly BEFORE, driving it, that is why it is called a reinforcement plate.

Encryption, I think you are talking the plastic shield, that you can drive without, but it is there to protect from debris.
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Old 05-05-2014, 10:14 AM   #5
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all repair instructions from bmw state DO NOT drive without reinforcement plate installed
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Old 05-05-2014, 11:11 AM   #6
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I ran into the same issue when doing my LCA's. I drove it for 2 weeks without I believe. Nothing happened. All it does is align the subframe geometry properly. You'll live if you have to wait until next weekend.
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Old 05-05-2014, 11:31 AM   #7
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The reinforcement plate is just that, it reinforces the frame for the car. Without it the frame can be compromised. Not wise to drive without it.
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Old 05-05-2014, 12:10 PM   #8
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All it does is align the subframe geometry properly.
As in "All it does is hold the bottom of the structure in place"? Did you baby it for two weeks, or drive it like a BMW?
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Old 05-05-2014, 12:57 PM   #9
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Old 05-05-2014, 01:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonaldE View Post
All it does is align the subframe geometry properly.
Oh is that all? Doesn't sound too important then...


But seriously - isn't this the optional part with the center jacking point that some cars don't even have?
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Old 01-14-2020, 11:56 PM   #11
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Now I understand why my car has awful suspension behavior. I bought it in 2004 with no reinforcement plate. It did have the debris cover though. Should I installed one?
It's an e46 1999 323i.
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Old 01-15-2020, 10:47 AM   #12
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USE NEW BOLTS. They are torque to yield. Trust me on this.
Tip: Instead of buying $42.00 worth of bolts (you are really supposed to replace them each time), buy these. I buy 50 at a time ($34) and then never have to stress about replacing them. These are identical specs to the factory fasteners:

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But seriously - isn't this the optional part with the center jacking point that some cars don't even have?
You are being sarcastic, right

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Originally Posted by mondrage View Post
Now I understand why my car has awful suspension behavior. I bought it in 2004 with no reinforcement plate. It did have the debris cover though. Should I installed one?
It's an e46 1999 323i.
This is the type of part you should DEFINITELY get from a pick n pull or a part out. $230 new, and even though the ones at the pick and pull may be dented and dinged, so will your new one in short order!

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Old 01-15-2020, 01:29 PM   #13
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Now I understand why my car has awful suspension behavior. I bought it in 2004 with no reinforcement plate. It did have the debris cover though. Should I installed one?
It's an e46 1999 323i.
your Ď99 323i probably has the triangular steel tube reinforcement brace. early non-sport sedans didnít get the plate.
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Old 01-15-2020, 01:39 PM   #14
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your Ď99 323i probably has the triangular steel tube reinforcement brace. early non-sport sedans didnít get the plate.
yes, that's what it has.
would it be better to have the plate?
would it be possible to bolt it on?

Something's amiss in my suspension.
Everything is new, but sometimes I get a lot of front wheel vibration and shimmy.
And somedays it's awesome. Like today. No vibration.

And the whole car feels undersprung.

I did mod the car to accept the M3 18" wheels. Had to cut the rear fender wheel flares.
Just waiting for my Koni Sport Yellows and will install Eibach Sportlines.
Also replacing all the rubber bits that go with it, including the strut tower mounts.

If the vibration continues, I might just have to look into replacing the Meyle CA and CABs that I bought.

The struggle continues...
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Old 01-15-2020, 01:44 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by mondrage View Post
yes, that's what it has.
would it be better to have the plate?
would it be possible to bolt it on?

Something's amiss in my suspension.
Everything is new, but sometimes I get a lot of front wheel vibration and shimmy.
And somedays it's awesome. Like today. No vibration.

And the whole car feels undersprung.

I did mod the car to accept the M3 18" wheels. Had to cut the rear fender wheel flares.
Just waiting for my Koni Sport Yellows and will install Eibach Sportlines.
Also replacing all the rubber bits that go with it, including the strut tower mounts.

If the vibration continues, I might just have to look into replacing the Meyle CA and CABs that I bought.

The struggle continues...
The '99 only has the triangular steel tubing as a brace...plus the aggregate protective shield to keep rocks from getting into moving things. You don't need another reinforcement frame, and you wouldn't have holes to bolt it into anyway. This isn't why your handling is as it is.
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Old 01-15-2020, 02:17 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by mondrage View Post
yes, that's what it has.
would it be better to have the plate?
would it be possible to bolt it on?

Something's amiss in my suspension.
Everything is new, but sometimes I get a lot of front wheel vibration and shimmy.
And somedays it's awesome. Like today. No vibration.

And the whole car feels undersprung.

If the vibration continues, I might just have to look into replacing the Meyle CA and CABs that I bought.
The struggle continues...
it would be a better brace. if it fits. I know some 2000 323iís didnít have it and they could retrofit it. but your early Ď99 may not have the bolt holes in chassis. you can look next time under it.

as for your vibration, thatís NOT the Meyle HD parts. they make it tight (what you want) but it may bring to light what was hidden in the soft worn-out CA/CAB parts you had before. vibration is usually wheel/tire out of balance (and since CA done), next check would be steering rack tie rods.
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Old 01-15-2020, 02:43 PM   #17
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it would be a better brace. if it fits. I know some 2000 323iís didnít have it and they could retrofit it. but your early Ď99 may not have the bolt holes in chassis. you can look next time under it.

as for your vibration, thatís NOT the Meyle HD parts. they make it tight (what you want) but it may bring to light what was hidden in the soft worn-out CA/CAB parts you had before. vibration is usually wheel/tire out of balance (and since CA done), next check would be steering rack tie rods.
I'm guessing it's the strut tower mounts.
Everything else has been replaced. Struts, control arms, CA bushings, tie rods, sway bar bushings, sway bar links, and every rubber bushing I found.
Both front and rear.
But I didn't replace the original strut tower mounts, or I can't remember if I did.
So, I bought all of that new.

When I go over uneven pavement, something makes clucking noises, and I've asked mechanics to check. Put the car up and everything.

Wheels have been balanced, and tires are new.
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Old 01-15-2020, 02:52 PM   #18
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There are a lot of sizes of sway bar bushings...I wonder if yours isn't tight and might be clucking?

The strut towers, when failing, seem to often 'present' as 'pirate ship creaking' when turning slowly. If it is the strut mounts, some have sprayed a lubricant in them to see if the noise lessens. If so, that's not a fix, but a diagnostic--time to replace them too.

Good luck.
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Old 01-15-2020, 02:55 PM   #19
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I will check the sway bar bushings.
Thanks,

It does make pirate ship noises.

And there was a clunking noise before that went away when I retightened the lower bridge.
But now a new and less loud noise creeped up.
I was thinking the strut mounts, but could be the say bars. I will check.

Thank you for your input.


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Old 01-16-2020, 08:33 PM   #20
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The vibration went away by itself.
Have no idea way.
Makes a clunk noise if I brake really hard.

No vibration.
My guess, is that that replaced all of this items in 2011 and along the years since. However the car has not done over 1,000 km since then.
So, perhaps theyíre getting worked now and got softer?

Who knows...

Waiting for my Konis and will also buy the Eibach sway bars (27/21) to match the Eibach Sportline Springs.

Thanks


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