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Thread: This is why shock tower reinforcement plates are a must

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Charleston SC
    Posts
    6,148

    This is why shock tower reinforcement plates are a must

    I took my strut bar off to start my shock swap and discovered severe deformation of the shock tower and a crack in the left side.
    I never installed reinforcement plates because I thought the design of my strut brace would keep the tower from mushrooming. Major fail on my part..
    Sure, it kept the bolts strait but did nothing to combat the upwards force of the shock mount on the tower. In fact, it may have actually exacerbated the problem by sandwiching the metal between the shock mount and the brace mount.
    I'm pretty sure that the ground lip that I hit on the 42 freeway while they were resurfacing is what deformed the top of the towers as it bent all 4 of my wheels. The crack is metal fatigue.

    In this picture you can see the shape of the shock mount imprinted in the tower.


    The top should be as smooth as this reinforcement plate.



    The crack is in a bad spot as it goes through two holes



    This is what my strut brace mount looks like



    It shouldn't be too difficult to fix. Just time consuming and something I wasn't expecting to have todo.
    Process will be to get the towers back to their original shape, drill out the ends of the cracks MIG weld cracks, dress the mount holes, grinding welds flat and respray the area.
    One the reinforcement plates are installed I shouldn't have to worry about it again.
    I'd recommend adding the reinforcement plates to any car not just cars with modified suspension. $20 for the plates = cheap insurance
    Dinan CAI &Throttle body, ESS Tuning TS2, Bimmerbrakes gen3 headers, UUC SSK & DSSR. Achilles oil pump, VAC oil pan baffle
    M3 Motor mounts, UUC Trans mounts, Modified clutch style LSD 3.15, TMS front subframe reinforcement, Koni Yellow sports,
    H&R sport springs,
    UUC sway bars, BMW Perf. Rotors, UUC SS brake lines, Hawk HPS pads, CSL replica wheels,
    Rotora strut bar, FXR HID conversion, M3 Mirror conversion, BSW stage 1 speakers

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    5,790
    OUCH!! That Sucks...
    BAVSOUND Stage 1 - UltraGauge - Valentine One - Orion V4's - ARC-8's
    TTFS Engine/SMG Tune/CSL 255 - SGT Headers/Sect 1/SCZA - Evolve Eventuri
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Portland, OR
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    Oof, sorry to see that! I thought that a solid strut bar would be sufficient protection against mushrooming, but apparently not. Glad to hear you're capable of fixing it though. Reinforcement plates was one of my early purchases, for this reason.

  4. #4
    Wow. I will be buying the reinforcement plates, I also thought a strut bar would be sufficient.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    VA/DC
    Posts
    14,426
    Thanks Rob. I have them on mine and need to install them on Colin's OB car.


    ---
    "ZHP is a garbage option anyway- just some cosmetic upgrades with a different cam and diff to claw back some of the performance lost fitting those hideous and heavy wheels. Any 330 with a 3.46 diff will smoke a ZHP every time. The whole Mafia thing reeks of childish behavior." - an e46f member

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Charleston SC
    Posts
    6,148
    If you think about it, the force from the shock mount is coming upward so it makes sense that the reinforcement should be on the inside of the tower. The reinforcement plate distributes the force of the shock mount over a broader area.

    I was thinking of putting a couple of rosette welds in to marry the plate to the tower but decided against it...
    Dinan CAI &Throttle body, ESS Tuning TS2, Bimmerbrakes gen3 headers, UUC SSK & DSSR. Achilles oil pump, VAC oil pan baffle
    M3 Motor mounts, UUC Trans mounts, Modified clutch style LSD 3.15, TMS front subframe reinforcement, Koni Yellow sports,
    H&R sport springs,
    UUC sway bars, BMW Perf. Rotors, UUC SS brake lines, Hawk HPS pads, CSL replica wheels,
    Rotora strut bar, FXR HID conversion, M3 Mirror conversion, BSW stage 1 speakers

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    22841
    Posts
    9,687
    Can't even Crack a joke about this.

    His - 2004 Imola Red / Alcantara 330i | 6MT | ZHP |

    Her's - 2005 Black Sapphire Metallic / Black Leather 330i | 6MT | ZHP |

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Charleston SC
    Posts
    6,148
    It's ok. It is what it is.
    My car is off the road for the winter so I can take my time on this and a few other things I have lined up.
    Dinan CAI &Throttle body, ESS Tuning TS2, Bimmerbrakes gen3 headers, UUC SSK & DSSR. Achilles oil pump, VAC oil pan baffle
    M3 Motor mounts, UUC Trans mounts, Modified clutch style LSD 3.15, TMS front subframe reinforcement, Koni Yellow sports,
    H&R sport springs,
    UUC sway bars, BMW Perf. Rotors, UUC SS brake lines, Hawk HPS pads, CSL replica wheels,
    Rotora strut bar, FXR HID conversion, M3 Mirror conversion, BSW stage 1 speakers

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Deale, MD
    Posts
    1,826
    Ahhhh! Sorry to see that you have more to do than originally anticipated. :-( Maybe M&M could lend a few helping hands...or jump up and down to bend the tips of the towers back in shape?

    Sent from my VS986 using Tapatalk

    -Brettski

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Charleston SC
    Posts
    6,148
    Just don't give them a hammer... Accuracy isn't one of their strong points
    Dinan CAI &Throttle body, ESS Tuning TS2, Bimmerbrakes gen3 headers, UUC SSK & DSSR. Achilles oil pump, VAC oil pan baffle
    M3 Motor mounts, UUC Trans mounts, Modified clutch style LSD 3.15, TMS front subframe reinforcement, Koni Yellow sports,
    H&R sport springs,
    UUC sway bars, BMW Perf. Rotors, UUC SS brake lines, Hawk HPS pads, CSL replica wheels,
    Rotora strut bar, FXR HID conversion, M3 Mirror conversion, BSW stage 1 speakers

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