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subframe reinforcement kits necessary or overkill?

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  • subframe reinforcement kits necessary or overkill?

    Hi guys, I'm about to order Bilstein/H&R Sport suspension and trying to figure out if to order subframe and swaybar reinforcements. A search shows complaints about installation and others selling off some pieces.

    The pieces in question (from TMS):
    Front subframe reinforcement kit (also avail from Bimmerworld)
    Front sway bar tabs (also avail from Bimmerworld)
    Rear sway bar tabs
    Rear Lower sway bar tab

    The list so far:
    Bilstein/H&R Sport suspension
    Rear shock Tower Mounts
    Front Upper Strut Mount

    Street car that might see a couple track days a year... And keeping the stock sway bars.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    If you'r not changing the swaybars, then you do NOT need these:
    Front sway bar tabs (also avail from Bimmerworld)
    Rear sway bar tabs
    Rear Lower sway bar tab
    as they are designed to enforce the structure (to cope with stiffer swaybars).

    The front subframe kits enforce the engine mounts in the subframe, not related to suspension. However, as the S14 is known to vibrate through the subframe, they may be a good idea to fit.

    Thomas
    sigpic

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    • #3
      I think the rear shock mount reinforcements are a good idea no matter what, it's just a big ass washer that's all. The sway bar links and mount points will actually experience less stress after the suspension upgrade because stiffer springs/shocks will allow less of the body tilt and therefore less tension on the sways. All this assuming the sway bars remain stock.

      I had my front sway bar link reinforcements welded into the strut housing only because it was way cheaper since they were out of the car.



      - Tire is the other control arm bushing.

      zhpregistry.net

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      • #4
        Subfrane are a MUST. All M3's I've worked on with exception with a 21.000km car had cracked subframe. I reinforce all my M3's.

        Rear top mounts I recommend the cheap one TMS does for $39.95 it does it's job of keeping itself together beautifully and at a fraction of cost of other fancier options.

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        • #5
          My lower sway bar mount was bent on both sides, so I had them reinforced. I had a Dinan bar at the time. My car is mainly used for autoX and track days.

          If you're running stock bars and bushings, probably you don't need to reinforce the sway bar mounts. To me I'll do them all just for peace of mind. It's a 20 yr old car afterall.

          -Fred

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          • #6
            My front subframe cracked around the engine mounts.
            If everything seems under control, then you're just not going fast enough...

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            • #7
              If you track it, reinforce it... "while you're in there"

              I've found you really need to torque all mounting points pretty well maybe even Loctite them. My diff got loose and cracked my rear sub.! I welded 1/8" steel plate onto a new one now
              Rich!

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              • #8
                M-tinker,
                Was it the front or rear Dinan sway bar mounts that bent? Were you useing the 19mm/16mm F/R sway bars like they currently sell?
                Thanks. I am considering changing to a Dinan suspension and am curious about your experience.
                Bill Z

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by lsupcar View Post
                  M-tinker,
                  Was it the front or rear Dinan sway bar mounts that bent? Were you useing the 19mm/16mm F/R sway bars like they currently sell?
                  Thanks. I am considering changing to a Dinan suspension and am curious about your experience.
                  Bill Z
                  Bill, it was the rear that was bent. The front is fine so far. Yes I was running 19mm/16mm F/R Dinan setup. PM me if you want more details.

                  Cheers,

                  -Fred

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jfl503 View Post
                    Hi guys, I'm about to order Bilstein/H&R Sport suspension and trying to figure out if to order subframe and swaybar reinforcements.
                    The pieces in question (from TMS):
                    Front subframe reinforcement kit (also avail from Bimmerworld)
                    Thanks!
                    Early E30 M3s had a reinforced front subframe from the factory, which was not the same as the standard E30 subframe.

                    The E30 M3 subframe was replaced by the standard E30 subframe in the BMW parts system 15 or so years ago. So I would suggest you do the subframe kits no matter how (or where) you drive your M3. The standard E30 subframe cannot take the S14 vibrations & stiffer motor mounts. As others have pointed out, most E30 M3 have cracked subframes.

                    Mike K.

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                    • #11
                      My subframe was torn, so I had the reinforcement pieces put it when that got fixed. So I am part of the torn subframe group. For the cost of the pieces themselves, it seems well worth it.

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                      • #12
                        Parts ordered! Thanks everyone for the input.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mike K. View Post
                          Early E30 M3s had a reinforced front subframe from the factory, which was not the same as the standard E30 subframe.

                          The E30 M3 subframe was replaced by the standard E30 subframe in the BMW parts system 15 or so years ago. So I would suggest you do the subframe kits no matter how (or where) you drive your M3. The standard E30 subframe cannot take the S14 vibrations & stiffer motor mounts. As others have pointed out, most E30 M3 have cracked subframes.

                          Mike K.
                          I am a bit confused, so were subframes that were installed at the factory reinforced? "15 years ago" only takes us back to like '95.



                          - Tire is the other control arm bushing.

                          zhpregistry.net

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I think the early ones were the same as the standard e30 and not reinforced. Then some reinforcement was added, however they didn't thicken the part where the mount bolts through, which is where it broke on mine. At which point it's easier to start with a non reinforced subframe to make the mods.
                            If everything seems under control, then you're just not going fast enough...

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                            • #15
                              Sorry to revive a 2 yr old thread but I am having the same issue. Can the Turner subframe reinforcement kit be installed without removing the motor?

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