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I just got off the phone with Turner motorsport. The fellow there said the reinforcement plates are not necessary with e46 convertibles, that the issue is with other models. Any comments would be greatly appreciated as I'm getting ready to replace my rear shocks next weekend.

thanks
For $35, why not? The front strut tower reinforcement plates are likely more important, but I went ahead and threw the rear reinforcement plates into my order when doing mine.

Good price and peace of mind, and here's the ones I went with: http://www.ecstuning.com/ES2642686.
 

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For $35, why not? The front strut tower reinforcement plates are likely more important, but I went ahead and threw the rear reinforcement plates into my order when doing mine.

Good price and peace of mind, and here's the ones I went with: http://www.ecstuning.com/ES2642686.
Those are the ones I first saw when I started thinking about new shocks. Looks like they're pretty easy to install, yes?
 

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:thumbsup: Good luck! Rear shocks are extremely easy, and this may be more information than you need, but here are some extra links that might be useful: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?p=16424491#post16424491. Should give you a good idea of what to expect when replacing your shocks, as well as some of the other major components if you decide to keep going.
 

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Wow, that's a wealth of information. Thanks. I was planning on replacing the springs too. But they're a little pricey. So will test the ride first. Then move onto the front
 

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You can installed the complete rear shock tower reinforcement plates PN. 51-71-8-413-359 by doing the following.
1. Removed the torx screws to remove the "Folding Top Compartment". All screws are in the top storage compartment area, none in the trunk- 17 screws, T30 torx. Pull up on the front part of compartment, kinda snaps up, there is a connector on the passenger side that must be disconnected after you raise the compartment up a few inches. Slide the compartment into the trunk.

2. Pull the trunk liner back from around shock tower area (see photo's) and slide the Reinforcement Plates in as shown. On both sides (once they are over shock tower) you will need to raise the outboard side of the plate slightly to get the inboard side of the plate to slip under the convertible top bracket - then the plate will drop right into place on top of the tower. Passenger side plate slides in from the front.... the drivers side plate slides in from the rear. It's also recommended the chambered edge of the hole in the plate face down.

3. Unlike the coupes, sedans, etc. where you would raise the shock assembly into the tower and then drop the plate over the 2 shock mount studs I'm just about positive you won't be able to install these plates in the vert that way.... because of the convertible top mounting hardware, brackets, etc. around the shock towers these plates have to be slid in from the side and then dropped down over the shock tower as described above and then the shock assembly raised into place. The top of the shock and RSM studs would be in the way if in the installed position. The plates aren't going anywhere once the are dropped onto the top of the tower.

Bavarian Auto just posted this DIY ... they gave mention to E46 Fanatics ...my cat got resourced out though!
http://blog.bavauto.com/13192/bmw-e...rcement-plate-install-convertible-etc-how-to/
Great post! Im getting ready to do mine tomorrow & your post is an enormous help!
 
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