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Old 12-08-2013, 04:51 AM   #1
bigdondero
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Default Strut reinforcment plates and strut brace possible?

I am new to the site. I have searched for a couple hours, but I have not found an answer, so I will ask some questions. I have a 1995 318ti with stock suspension, I think?

Is it possible/worth it to use a strut tower reinforcement plate combined with a strut tower brace? I ask if it is possible because the threads on the strut mount are not long enough to run both. Does anyone make a longer threaded strut mount? Has anyone simply replaced the bolts with longer ones?

The replacement strut mount that I ordered is about 3/8" taller than the one I took off my car. Yes, it is the correct mount according to Pelican Parts. Why is one taller? The new one has a longer bottom rubber piece than the old one. I would call Pelican, but they are not open on the weekends. I would like to finish this project this weekend.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Ben

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Old 12-08-2013, 05:57 AM   #2
MINIz guy
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Yes, it is possible to do the strut reinforcement plate and a strut brace. The plate goes between the strut mount and strut tower. The strut brace goes over the strut tower. The only issue you may run into is not having enough threads on the strut mount to secure everything properly. That should only depend on how thick the strut brace material is though.

The new mount is thicker because the rubber hasn't compressed yet. Your old mount is worn out and the rubber has compressed over time.
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Old 12-09-2013, 01:06 AM   #3
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Thanks Minizguy! I guess it was time to replace the suspension then. I am glad I am doing all the bushings, shocks, and struts. I currently have a racing dynamics strut bar that came with the car and I ordered the strut reinforcement plates. The threads are not long enough for both. Which should I use, the reinforcement plates or the strut brace? It is my daily driver with 2-3 track days a year. I know there is some reinforcement of the strut tower with the strut bar. Does anyone know of strut braces with thin attachment plates??

Does anyone know if it is possible to install longer threaded bolts on the strut mount??

Thanks for the help so far!
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Old 12-09-2013, 04:39 AM   #4
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I would use the strut reinforcement plates before a strut bar.

That being said, I have a sparco strut bar and it works fine with reinforcement plates and the standard length studs on the strut hat. The attachment plates are fairly thin on the sparco bar.
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Old 12-09-2013, 09:47 PM   #5
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I run reinforcements with the ACS strut bar that uses a bit of a thicker material. If youre using non-m strut mounts, you can install E90 strut mounts that have longer bolts and are hd for our e36s.

also, that looks like an e46 strut mount, the other hole is to hold camber in place.
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Old 12-09-2013, 11:29 PM   #6
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I was going to recommend the Sparco bar, too. Mine feels great. Best bar for the money in my opinion. John
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Old 12-10-2013, 06:26 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the help!! jca and spiderti, I also was looking into the Sparco bar. I am glad others think it works well!

Bluebimma, the notes that came with the strut mount said to remove the extra bolt for an e36. I am using non-m strut mounts. I might look into the e90 mounts. Are they direct bolt in? When you say hd for a ti, do you mean heavy duty?

Also, my strut compressor, cheap harbor freight one, does not compress the spring far enough to put it on the new strut. Anyone have any ideas on a better spring compressor? I run out of thread on the compressor before the spring is short enough to get threads on through the strut mount.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 12-10-2013, 06:33 AM   #8
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Just looking at it and it's size looks exactly like an e46 nonm mount. The e90 is aluminum, more dense rubber, same size as the e36, and uses longer studs because there is a factory strut bar on them. Clamp the spring hat and lowest coil possible and compress it, otherwise, you're kinda out of luck to get it on without improper install or difficulties.
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Originally Posted by bigdondero View Post
Thanks for all the help!! jca and spiderti, I also was looking into the Sparco bar. I am glad others think it works well!

Bluebimma, the notes that came with the strut mount said to remove the extra bolt for an e36. I am using non-m strut mounts. I might look into the e90 mounts. Are they direct bolt in? When you say hd for a ti, do you mean heavy duty?

Also, my strut compressor, cheap harbor freight one, does not compress the spring far enough to put it on the new strut. Anyone have any ideas on a better spring compressor? I run out of thread on the compressor before the spring is short enough to get threads on through the strut mount.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 12-10-2013, 03:25 PM   #9
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Bluebimma, thanks for the suggestion. I tried it on the spring hat; it didn't work. I have the cheap $14 threaded bar stock type compressor. I'll give it one more try today after work. Then, I think I will try to rent one that is a different style.

The e90 mounts sounds like it will work perfectly for what I need. Any recommendation on which brand? I noticed that some guy posted on youtube that he had issues with the Lemforder brand.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcFBndqRs9E

This might be just two instances, but any suggestions on brand would be appreciated. I don't think there is much choice other than Lemforder though?

Also, which part number for the e90, 31-33-6-752-735-M69 (1999-10/03) or 31-33-6-760-943-M69 (11/03-2005)? These are listed separately on the Pelican site as different production dates for the cars.

Thanks for all the help so far everyone!!
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Old 12-11-2013, 12:30 AM   #10
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I got mine off an 07 335i, dont know the part number but its OE
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Old 12-20-2013, 04:25 AM   #11
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Thanks for all the help everyone! I went with the mounts that I had already purchased. I also picked up a strut compressor. It is exactly like the one that Bavauto sells, but it was only $145 on Amazon. It is made by Questcraft. It worked well. I used that in conjunction with one of the cheap ones from Harbor freight. It only took me a couple hours to do both. I also decided to sell the strut tower bar and use the strut tower reinforcement plates. I might purchase a Sparco bar in the future, or try my hand at welding and make my own. I'll see how it drives in a couple weeks when I get back from vacation.

Would it be beneficial to use some thin washers on the strut mount bolts? It seems like the mounts are quite thin where the nuts go on top. Has anyone had trouble with this? Should I even bother?
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Old 01-12-2014, 06:58 AM   #12
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I got back from vacation and finally finished installing my springs/struts/shocks. My car now sits about 3/4" higher than before. That is unfortunate because the stance looks rather ugly now. I will be finding some lowering springs to put in now. I decided to run just the reinforcement plates not the sway bar. This added to the height of my car plus the new strut mounts. It looks like it could go off road now.

Last edited by bigdondero; 01-12-2014 at 07:13 AM.
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