Are all e46 subframes the same?

Last Update: April 20, 2022

This is a question our experts keep getting from time to time. Now, we have got the complete detailed explanation and answer for everyone, who is interested!

Asked by: Demond Emard
Score: 4.5/5 (59 votes)

No matter the shape, model or way it is driven, subframe cracks are inevitable. ... All E46 3-series models built roughly after Feb-2000 share the same Rear Axle Carrier Panel and there is no E46 entirely safe from 'subframe cracks'.

Do you need to reinforce E46 subframe?

Rear subframe and floor failures are quite common on the E36 and E46 models. However, every E46 on the road potentially needs rear floor repair and reinforcement and it's a absolute must-do for any track or race car project. ...

Will E46 M3 suspension fit non M?

the rear swaybar won't fit, but the springs, shocks, and struts will work just fine. If you're buying used, make sure you get the strut tops, the M3 versions are different.

How much does it cost to reinforce an E46 M3 subframe?

A typical subframe reinforcement will cost around $1,500 and if the entire floor needs to be replaced, you're looking at somewhere around $4,000-$5,000.

How much does it cost to replace vanos e46 m3?

Total cost for the new Vanos + labor (minus core charge for original Vanos unit from Dr Vanos) will be approx $600-$700.

The Infamous E46 Subframe Cracking

22 related questions found

How much does it cost to replace subframe bushings?

The cost for a new bushing ranges between $5 and $150, while the average labor costs are between $100 and $300. This means you're looking at a total of between $105 and $450 for one bushing replacement.

Do all E46 have subframe crack?

Despite the beliefs of some, all E46 3-series BMW's are prone to cracking at and around the rear subframe mounts. No matter the shape, model or way it is driven, subframe cracks are inevitable.

Do E46 have subframe issues?

The E46 might be the most popular M3 chassis to mod by enthusiasts, but like all cars, they have their common problems. Rod bearings, VANOS, or SMG pumps are not uncommon and not cheap or easy repairs. But the rear subframe issue is the real Achilles heel of the E46.

What is a cracked subframe?

An experienced auto body technician can repair minor cracks in a vehicle's subframe with ease. Many cracks occur because the metal contact points between the bushings and a vehicle's frame is too thin. As the rear suspension system is pushed to its limits through routine driving, the metal begins to crack.

What is an E46 BMW?

The BMW E46 is the fourth generation of the BMW 3 Series range of compact executive cars, which was produced from 1997 to 2006. First introduced in November 1997, the E46 was available in sedan, coupé, convertible, station wagon and hatchback body styles. The latter has been marketed as the 3 Series Compact.

What is a subframe on a car?

Back to Automotive Solutions Home >> The subframe is the structure below the frame that supports the axle, suspension and powertrain. For internal combustion engines, in the front, it is often referred as the engine cradle, or in some cases, the K-frame.

How do I know if my subframe bushings are bad?

When bushings wear, they allow more movement. The driver may feel a shimmy from the front of the vehicle, or hear clunking or rattling noises on rough roads, when turning the wheel or in hard braking. Drivers may also experience poor handling or loose steering.

Can you replace bushings yourself?

The car bushings most commonly replaced by DIYers are located on the lower control arms that connect the car frame to the wheel spindles. ... It's relatively easy and cost-effective to replace these bushings by yourself -- with the right tools and techniques.

When should subframe bushings be replaced?

Registered. If the subframe bushings are cracked or broken, replace them. If the bushings are not broken, do poly inserts. Use new subframe bolts if they come off (torque to yield) and purchase new plastic washers- PN 31329447, they'll be smooshed and cracked by now.

What is a VANOS issue?

The VANOS system concerns itself with keeping your engine performance on point, in regards to power, efficiency, and economy. When the system starts to fail, you are most likely going to begin to notice issues in those three areas such as: Loss of power in the lower RPM ranges. ... Rough idling/ increase in engine misfires.

What is a VANOS in BMW?

The BMW Vanos system is similar to the variable valve timing mechanism that is found in Honda vehicles. Essentially, the Vanos system helps engine timing adjust so that your vehicle can deliver both low-end torque and high-end power, rather than having to settle for one option or the other.

What is a VANOS on a mini?

To improve engine breathing at a variety of rpms, thus improving fuel efficiency, emissions and power, MINI engines are designed with VANOS, an acronym based on the German words VAriable NOckenwellenSteuerung or variable camshaft timing.

Is E46 a good car?

The E46 is very basic at its core, which helps with quick learning. Although there are some larger issues, like the subframe or lifter-tick, they are, mechanically, relatively reliable. Aside from the common maintenance needs of any vehicle with over 185,000 miles, I haven't had many issues.

Are E46 easy to steal?

Very easy, all someone needs is a ecu, ignition with key and mobilizer and your car is gone. A guy who knows what he is doing, all this can be done in 5 to 10 min maybe quicker.

How long do BMW E46 last?

If properly maintained, you can probably expect to get about 100,000 miles out of the typical E46 before major repairs start to become an issue. This is true of nearly all cars, however. Once you hit the 100k area, you'll need to replace things like water pumps, clutches, hoses, batteries and so forth.

Can I drive my car with a cracked subframe?

It's probably not safe to drive with a cracked sub frame. I'd keep it to speeds under 30-35 mph. Everyone has different tolerances for risk, but it were me, I'd do a claim through insurance and make sure its done right the first time. The risk is too high (IMO) to save a couple of hundred dollars.

Can a subframe be welded?

Yes , no problem at all with welded repairs to the subframe. Try to use the same thickness metal as original, this may vary on different parts of the subframe, the thinner parts being aprox 20 gauge and 18 gauge for thicker parts. These are probably best seam welded for strength.