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DIY - How to install an E36 X-Brace on your TI
DIY - How to install an E36 X-Brace on your TI
A nice suspension upgrade for a low price
Published by BlackBMWs
01-20-2015
Default DIY - How to install an E36 X-Brace on your TI

I have done a few of these on my TI's and have not really found a DIY on this easy upgrade.



I have found my E36 X-braces by watching the Pick & Pull for E36 convertibles or Z3s and getting out there quickly. I have a impact wrench, 13 and 16mm sockets, rag and garbage bag I use for those retrievals.



For this simple DIY you will need:



Installation:
  • An E36 X-Brace
  • 6 BMW Nutserts PN# 51718175003
  • 6 M8 25mm bolts
  • 6 M8 washers



Tools:
  • 6 M8 1.50 Allen bolts (or regular M8 hex bolts)
  • 6 M8 nuts
  • 12 M8 washers
  • Red Loctite
  • 10mm open or ratcheting wrench
  • 8mm Allen socket and ratchet (or wrench if you are using a hex bolt
  • 13, 16mm sockets and ratchet/breaker bar
  • Ramps or stands
  • Floorjack
  • A file or rotary rasp to elongate the X-brace holes if needed
  • Handlight



An hour of time.



---------------------------------------------------------------------

Preperation:

Clean typically greasy X-brace

Prep the six compression nuts (Nutserts) for installation.





I did mine shortly after taking this shot. If you have time for the Loctite red to harden, use way less. I prepped these the hour of the install. In retrospect, I'd use half the amount of Loctite next time around. Two of the six bolts locked up pretty well. Four of the bolts released just fine.





Installation:
  • Raise up front and chock rear tires.
  • Remove the lower plastic underpan if you have one installed
  • Using the 16mm socket and breaker bar, remove existing cross brace.







A light coat on the Nutsert to help it not spin after installation.





Updated procedure: Tap the Nutserts into the front subframe. The holes are slightly smaller than the Nutserts. I used a mini 2 lb sledge I got from Harbor Freight to tap all six in. (I forgot to take a pic. )



Tighten the nut, not the Allen bolt. Make sure it's on tight, so the Nutsert won't spin. When the nut stops, you've crushed the Nutsert sufficiently. Reverse and extract the allen bolt.







Install the X-brace with the M8 bolts and washers on the subframe and the big bolts from the original subframe bar. I had to elongate the holes on the frame bar 1/8" to get the frame crossbar bolts to go in straight on one of the installations. I had to improvise with the bolts 5&6 (Center) with spares from the bolt bin.

The center Nutserts are used to secure the M undershield if you choose to use one. You actually only need four to secure the X-brace to the subframe.




Lower car, test drive and enjoy!
Tutorial Tools

  #1  
By eurohb on 01-20-2015, 09:24 PM
Default

Thank you! I will be doing this soon to my Ti so that i don't hurt the undercarriage !
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  #2  
By mnguyen84 on 09-07-2017, 03:10 AM
Default

pictures are broken D:
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  #3  
By BlackBMWs on 09-07-2017, 07:50 AM
Default

Yes, thank Photobucket.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  #4  
By 740isport on 12-28-2017, 03:15 PM
Default

To see the pics, use Chrome or Firefox and install the Photobucket extension onto whatever of the two browsers you use. I can see the pics on Chrome with the extension mentioned without issue.
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  #5  
By BlackBMWs on 12-28-2017, 03:41 PM
Default DIY - How to install an E36 X-Brace on your TI

Cool, magic! thanks Dave! Iíll give that a try.

Did the DIY help?

I will update the DIY to not drill out the holes in the front subframe, rather, tap the nutserts in with a hammer, (I used a two lb Harbor Freight mini sledge hammer) then use the Allen bolts to crush them.

I install six Nutserts now to accommodate the two M undershield mount points.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Last edited by BlackBMWs; 12-28-2017 at 03:50 PM..
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  #6  
By 740isport on 12-28-2017, 03:52 PM
Default

DIY will help, was just reading it over as I haven't installed the bar yet, but will after I get rid of the white one! Thanks again.
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  #7  
By sirius815 on 01-01-2018, 02:42 PM
Default

Got the part number for the nutserts?
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  #8  
By BlackBMWs on 01-01-2018, 07:28 PM
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sirius815 View Post
Got the part number for the nutserts?

PN# 51718175003.

Updated the parts list in the DIY as well. Cheers!
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  #9  
By BlackBMWs on 01-01-2018, 07:31 PM
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 740isport View Post
To see the pics, use Chrome or Firefox and install the Photobucket extension onto whatever of the two browsers you use. I can see the pics on Chrome with the extension mentioned without issue.
Thanks Dave! I can see the photos once again! I used the Chrome extension.

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