The dreaded cracked front subframe…..

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“There are only 2 types of BMW 2002 front subframes. Ones that have broken and ones that are going to break.”

“It happens to all of them.”

“They all do this…eventually.”

“Anytime the subframe is removed from a 2002, the reinforcement should be done…no excuses.”

These are some of the things that were posted on the bmw2002faq and that were sent to me by my 02 guru friends. Makes it a little better knowing that it’s such a common issue and that people sell reinforcement kits for them to prevent it from happening in the future. BUT it’s still a total pain in the a$$ to have to deal with.

So the subframe is what the front suspension is bolted onto, as well as the steering box and the motor is bolted to it. Then as one unit, that is bolted to the frame of the car. The common failure is the drivers side motor mount. This cracks and the motor is only held down by one mount on the passenger side and gravity. Not stable at all.

Subframes are only a few hundred used and reinforcement plates are like $40…the thing is the subframe needs to be removed from the car, so that means removing the suspension, suspending the engine from above and pulling the subframe from below the car. Once out you can weld in the reinforcement plates and reinstall. I opted to fund a good used subframe and reinforce that rather than repairing my cracked subframe.

I was lucky enough a fellow member had one and was able to weld in the reinforcement plates.

New subframe, ready for paint with reinforcement plates. Motor mount reinforcement plate. Lower skid plate reinforcement.

The next step is to drop the car off at Vintage BMW Racing and Ken will get it installed. He will also put a coat of POR-15 or chassis paint on it to make it look somewhat nice.  If I was doing it as a show car, I would powder coat it and then use zinc bolts for a little bling.  No need for this driver…get it cleaned up and installed and get her back on the road with the peace of mind that this failure probably won’t happen for another 40 years.

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