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Thread: E46 trailing arm pocket failure

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    Administrator ucfbrett's Avatar
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    Default E46 trailing arm pocket failure

    I don't know if there's a reinforcement kit available for the trailing arm pockets on E46 cars, but if there is and you race one, buy it and get it installed. This is a nasty incident:


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    Senior Member fatbillybob's Avatar
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    Based on my BMW hater thread some might think my first reaction would be to say, "That is some superior German engineering right there." But that is really not fair of me to say. I wonder if the known BMW sub frame support reinforcement that is universally done to make these cars race worthy also moves the problem to the next weakest link? As a chassis gets older stuff just breaks. That's the life of a racecar. Seeing things like this make me want to redouble my efforts to build a new racecar.

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    Going to need a new suit after that.

    20580046_1495737948.5704_funddescription.jpg

    Glad to hear driver is okay and working to get the car racing again.

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    http://www.trackhq.com/Banners/yellowsitesponsor.gif Blackbird's Avatar
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    This is a known failure too, Carl.

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    Senior Member fatbillybob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackbird View Post
    This is a known failure too, Carl.
    Nice!

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    Quote Originally Posted by fatbillybob View Post
    Based on my BMW hater thread some might think my first reaction would be to say, "That is some superior German engineering right there." But that is really not fair of me to say. I wonder if the known BMW sub frame support reinforcement that is universally done to make these cars race worthy also moves the problem to the next weakest link? As a chassis gets older stuff just breaks. That's the life of a racecar. Seeing things like this make me want to redouble my efforts to build a new racecar.
    Or buy a Radical
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    Senior Member fatbillybob's Avatar
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    I have thought about an sr3 in scca p1 or p2 or whatever. The sr3 is way easier to work on
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    BMW Master bawareca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackbird View Post
    This is a known failure too, Carl.
    Can you elaborate on this?
    Strangely this is the first one i see or hear of. There are a few 800+whp E46 M3s with many 1/4 mile runs and no such a failure for what I know. Must be related to a track car with slick tires and solid or PU bushings, when the G-forces are close to double the stock.

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    Senior Member KJSCV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bawareca View Post
    Can you elaborate on this?
    Strangely this is the first one i see or hear of. There are a few 800+whp E46 M3s with many 1/4 mile runs and no such a failure for what I know. Must be related to a track car with slick tires and solid or PU bushings, when the G-forces are close to double the stock.
    just google the title of this thread and you'll find plenty of articles, videos and posts on various forums and such on the topic.. not just track car related either.

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    It happens on the E36 too. I had this exact failure happen to me on an E36 M3 street car. I was just driving home from work one night and gave it a little extra gas while pulling away from a stop sign, and the left rear trailing arm mount ripped out of the body. I was only going 20-30 mph when it happened but I still came really damn close to taking out a whole wall of cars that was parked on the side of the street. That was the final straw that made me quit the BMW crack pipe.
    Last edited by jpreston; 05-27-2017 at 11:46 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KJSCV View Post
    just google the title of this thread and you'll find plenty of articles, videos and posts on various forums and such on the topic.. not just track car related either.
    Did that ^^^. Not much pops up regarding the E46 and RTA pocket failures.

    E46 pocket failures (unlike the E36) appear to be rare but they do exist. Maybe it is due to age? These cars are getting old now. Time to start warming up the welder.

    A good discussion of this incident is here: http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=583566.


    Mark
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    BMW Master bawareca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markn View Post
    Did that ^^^. Not much pops up regarding the E46 and RTA pocket failures.

    E46 pocket failures (unlike the E36) appear to be rare but they do exist. Maybe it is due to age? These cars are getting old now. Time to start warming up the welder.

    A good discussion of this incident is here: E46 RTAB pocket FAILURE, RACP (subframe) related - BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X).


    Mark
    I cant find many either. The guy with the terrible crash said he was running spherical bearings and many others mention solid bushings and/or limiters. Anyhow, looks easy and healthy to seam weld the pocket around and call it a day.
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    Senior Member fatbillybob's Avatar
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    I would plate it. That would not be much more work. The penalty for that failure it too high. Bmw engineers for the 4 year warranty period. People racing and using sticky tires and monoballs was never part of their design. They really seem to be engineering these newer bmws to be disposible. A bmw 2002 will outlive my kid's kid. A new bmw barely makes it out of the warranty period.
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    BMW Master bawareca's Avatar
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    Sometimes after year 2000 BMW oficialy (internally) downgraded the new car's expected life from 100,000 km to 50,000 km. However E46 is still on the good side of fun to dollar ratio with some known problems. As a matter of fact i dont see any alternative of it for what it is.
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    Senior Member bellwilliam's Avatar
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    Why did the guy who crashed the car said he had to also throw away Hans ? Is Hans like helmet and harness, that once you crash, you junk them ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellwilliam View Post
    Why did the guy who crashed the car said he had to also throw away Hans ? Is Hans like helmet and harness, that once you crash, you junk them ?
    That's news to me. I do know you can get them recertified by the manufacturer. Maybe his had obvious signs of damage?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bellwilliam View Post
    Why did the guy who crashed the car said he had to also throw away Hans ? Is Hans like helmet and harness, that once you crash, you junk them ?
    It seems to me you change the strap or recertify the HANS and you are good to go.
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    Administrator ucfbrett's Avatar
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    A new bmw barely makes it out of the warranty period.
    Just ask William! Get the extended warranty for when the factory guarantees run out.


    As a matter of fact i dont see any alternative of it for what it is.
    I didn't, either, and it's why I bought one. I really enjoy driving it, but the owning it part is less satisfactory. I still haven't fixed the wandering on mine, the right front window regulator is showing signs of giving up and the service engine light came on again last night on the way home from the airport.

    I'm still trying to get ahead of the deferred maintenance and repairs on it, but it has become more difficult now that I'm trying to do the same with the house we just bought. Oy.

    I was told the rear trailing arm pockets are more suspect in regions where salt is used to melt snow in winter. Like the northeast, where this video is from. All the same, I'm going to have to take a look at mine.

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    Window regulators are a fact of life on the 36/46. I think our MTBF on these is about 2 yrs. My wife can change one in less than an hour now.

    Just bring me the damn car already!
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    RaceTape Ninja Force McCocken's Avatar
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    RE: window regulators. Keep the window seals healthy and it extends the life of the window regulators. I try to clean and lube the seals on the wagon with silicon spray every 90-120 days. It helps allow the window to release and move easier.
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