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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I did read about the cracking before I got the car, but I fell for the "such a low percentage" that BMW was putting out there... Plus it appeared to be the best BMW for the money at the time, and I much prefer a stick, so around here I was very limited. Now that I have had some time with this car I gotta say... not my favorite bmw, not even close, I could go on and on... but it does what a car is supposed to do. It's such a shame, its in fantastic condition otherwise, and it has been very easy to work on.

Anyway, I only see 1 crack at the rear driver side mount on the uni-body headed out toward the wheel. I had to look very very close to find it. I saw a small spot in the under coat that started my scraping away to reveal the crack. My questions are:

-How long do I have before it becomes an obvious issue, (how fast do these progress)?
-What are my chances that bmw will pay at this point (my dealer did give me hope over the phone)?
-Should I just throw in the towel and sell. Im never going to be fond of this bmw.

This is a '99 323


Thanks,
P e a c e
Kychucky

'99 BMW 323is
'00 Audi S4
'96 Saab 900 turbo
past:
'93 BMW 318is
'89 BMW 325is
'88 BMW 535is
'87 BMW 635csi
'84 BMW 318i
'69 VW bug lowrider
 

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I have no idea how fast they progress, I imagine it has a lot to do with how you drive it. You're a few months past the official end of the free subframe inspection, the dealership and/or BMW n/a might still take care of it for you. If not, Turner Motorsport sells a rear subframe reinforcement kit that in the hands of a decent body shop should make your car even stronger than it was from the factory.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Tangent, Im aware of the reinforcement kits... lots of labor there, the car is only worth $6k at best according to KBB.
 

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2005 330i manual transmission performance package
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Has your car participated in the subframe inspection and repair program, which ended Sept or Oct 2010? Was it inspected at a dealer?
If so, run back to them. Even if not, go to the delaer, let BMWNA know about your problem and try to get them fix it, cover in part, etc. There's nothing to lose in doing this, although it's hard to tell what is your chance - you are among the few that got this problem after the inspections ended. In at least one case BMWNA declined to step in, there was a thread about it here.
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The eary E46 models with manual trasmissions unfortunately are the most likely to develop this issue. This is why I filled the rear mounting point cavities with structural foam after the inspection program expired.
 

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Call BMW NA up and maybe they would consider it. Even though class action settlement is up, I heard they still do case by case basis. Just make sure you have all stock suspension, otherwise don't even bother.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I guess I will take it in and see what they say. Yup its all stock.

What is this 'structural foam' stuff?

THX
KYC
 

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Good luck, that's been my biggest worry since I got my car. Hope everything works out for the best, and keep us updated.
 

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I have to say foam sounds like a joke.. ever hear of the squeaky wheel gets the grease? If you cause a big enough scene they will fix it for you.. if push came to shove and you took them to court they would lose and they know it.. this is a defect in the making of the car and they will have to fix this forever and they know it.. they ofcourse will try their hardest to tell you otherwise, up to you if you accept it... just don't forget to have all stock suspension.. I would try to go in with stock wheels too.. wheels shouldn't matter but better safe than sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I gotta say, I think its over between me and this car. Right now I feel like spraying on a thick coat of under coating and passing it off to the next sucker. Geeze I feel so dumb. I just never imagined that BMW could make a mistake as glaring as this one. A first year engineering student could calculate the pull out on that area and specd. the correct thickness.... I was actually considering selling prior to having a close look anyway.

The things that really bug me about the car are perhaps what most people like. Im sure Im in a minority here, but the flattening of the torque curve with the vanos is just plain old boring. I miss the days when the engine 'woke up' at 3500rpms, or when the back end washed out along a nice curve. This car has no soul. The climate controls are frustrating, all that button pushing to make a change?!

I have always been thankful for the community that BMW can hold together and amazed at how everyone helps each other, I would not attempt much of my repairs with out this kind of support. But I dont see myself buying another BMW. This is my 6th BMW. Man I feel so let down. The issue now is I have not considered anything but BMW for so long I dont know what to do. The Saab and AUdi are my wife's cars.
 

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There was a news article about a guy who knew his car had no air bags.. he patched it, sold it AS-IS and people bought it for their kid's first car.. kid crashed it, died because no air bags and the guy lost everything.. he owned two buildings they attached.. Not sure what the laws are about knowingly selling something that is a hazard.. and you just stated you're intent so you may want to be careful or atleast look into the laws before you do anything.
 

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what your car is like 11 or 12 years old, how many miles?? there was a nationwide inspection and fix for over a year with it very well documented your 323i was highest on the failure percentage. did yu buy before/after and was it inspected ever?

many great suggestions above. i'd do most of them but if and only if you find that bmw won't cover it. would have the foam epoxy added into the floorboard cavity. this is a fix on small cracks and MUCH cheaper to do. if you figure it's only started to crack or you notice the crack after 11-12yrs then the epoxy foam should hold you long enough.
 

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An excellent DIY for installing TMS subframe reinformcement plates and injecting structural foam:http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=710760&highlight=subframe+foam+reinforcement
Please note this DIY is done according to the old TIS, the updated one uses different products: the structural foam has a different part number, although it still is a two component (2:1 ratio) epoxy product. The the old epoxy seam sealer is replaced with one based on polyurethane. Other than that, there are no significant differences.

I got pissed about the price of the BMW structural foam and after doing some research got Lord FUSOR-1908 - about twice cheaper. Most likely BMW gets its structural foam from HENKEL, which has similar specs.
 

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I would have to read over the Class Action Lawsuit in detail again, however, I think the only time limit was for "Free Dealership Inspections"???

I do not believe there was a time limit on their repair secenario?? I could be wrong though??

If the cracks are minor, the dealer would do the foam job only.

Also with you car value down in the $6k mark, if I was BMW and I was to do anything to help, if the damage required the floor pan replaced, I would actually buy the car from you rather than repairing it!!!

BMW at some point needs to quit fixing these cars as the value drops, it makes no sense to not buy the customer out, unless is sets up some other issue.

Hope you get some assistance with the problem, report back what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks 'Yall. I feel better already. I will proceed with my brake job with care as usual and then move on to crack. I will keep you all posted.

Trying to keep the faith.

KYC
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
yup, too late for any help from BMW. I phone BMWNA and BWM calims, and customer service. I got a decent quote from a local shop to repair, so we will do that.

One important thing I learned is that when you buy a car the previous owner has to let, in this case BMW know he has sold the car and to whom. THus, class action suits, recall letters and such will find you. In my case this was not done by my or the previous owner, so I never got any letters on notification... bumber.

Im still very pissed off. But hey, what can I do? I work hard to make driving less expensive for my family and still satisfy my auto taste. A repair like this throws the entire equation off.
 

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Great Attitude, What?

"Right now, I feel like spraying on a thick coat of under coating and passing it off to the NEXT SUCKER."

"I have always been THANKFUL for the COMMUNITY.... and AMAZED at how
EVERYONE HELPS EACH OTHER."

You gave us (me), a great idea! Let's ALL pawn off our broken crap on SOMEONE ELSE! Someone else. An unsuspecting stranger. An outsider.
Some sorry, know-nothing. Some rube. A nimrod. A pretender.

Then they can come crawling to THIS COMMUNITY,where everyone HELPS EACH OTHER out 'cause of the warm feelings and love we share for the marque and those who are drawn to it; the spirit, the friendliness, the get-togethers, the driving, the involvement, the fun... all of it.

Looks like your respect for community ends at your front door.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Rowdy Lee: - I agree I had it comming....thanks, . just had to get off my chest. "feelings" and "actions" are 2 different things.

I think you missed my last thread - I WILL fix it... Im pissed but getting over it.
 

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You got it easy, My drivers side pulled completely out, taking a lot of sheet-metal with it. I am installing the Horsepower Freaks kit as we speak and its really not that hard at all. If there was only a small crack in mine I would have just dropped the sub-frame a hare and slid all the reenforcement plates in, they will sandwich the original sheet-metal in between the plates and the mounts and should prolong the life of your sub-frame significantly. This should only cost you $150 for the plates. Labor is easy enough without the welding. I would also cut the holes in the trunk to access the tops of the mounts as this is where the problems usually start and do the welding procedure there. If you remove the trunk lining, cut the access holes you should only be looking at maybe $50-75 to get the tig welding done. Even cheaper if you have a friend with a decent mig welder.

If you dont take action it will get bad very quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
M5 wanna B - that sounds too easy.. SO, I can just use the reinforcing kit like washers? I can understand how that would help with a thrust load, but how does that help with pull out?
 

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