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Old 04-13-2019, 03:01 AM   #1
chevale
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Default Installing euro under-dash shelves to North American 318ti.

Hi all:
I've got euro under-dash parts with shelves and tried to install the left one.




This is a part that suppose to protect driver's knees in case of the accident. After 20+ years it became hard like a stone.


When I removed three bolts holding the knee bolster, I found that behind it there is a huge bracket welded to the reinforced tube.






On the left side reinforcement bar is bolted to the body, but I haven't found where the right side of the bar ends and how it is secured.


If anyone installed the euro parts to North American car, I would appreciate the info how one can easy remove the reinforcement bar.
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Last edited by chevale; 04-13-2019 at 03:58 AM.
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Old 04-14-2019, 09:52 AM   #2
John Firestone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chevale View Post
... This is a part that suppose to protect driver's knees in case of the accident. After 20+ years it became hard like a stone.
It probably has always been that way and is still not so hard in a severe crash.

Far be it from me to discourage a fun mod, but the knee bolster addresses safety deficiencies revealed by an NCAP crash test of a Euro E36 sedan without the bolster. From the report you can download:

Quote:
... The driver's left knee struck the lower facia to the left of the steering column. Protection for that knee, thigh and pelvis was down-rated from 'good' to 'marginal': if the knee had impacted in a slightly different position horizontally or vertically, it could have hit the steering column or its adjuster locking bracket. The steering column, its adjuster or its mounting bracket could also have caused localised knee injuries.

The driver's right knee struck the facia to the right of the steering column. Protection for the knee, thigh and pelvis was down-rated from 'weak' to 'poor': if this knee had been in a slightly different position, it could have struck a steering column stabilisation tube or a facia support bracket. Such rigid structures could also have been hit if the knee had penetrated the facia further. Furthermore, the column adjuster or facia brackets could have produced localised injury, as could the brake pivot or column stabilising tube....
That was wearing a seat belt.

Last edited by John Firestone; 04-14-2019 at 10:05 AM.
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Old 04-16-2019, 12:08 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Firestone View Post
It probably has always been that way and is still not so hard in a severe crash.

Far be it from me to discourage a fun mod, but the knee bolster addresses safety deficiencies revealed by an NCAP crash test of a Euro E36 sedan without the bolster. From the report you can download:



That was wearing a seat belt.
Thanks, John! Interesting read. I noticed that some US/Canada BMWs from 80-ies and 90-ies had different panels on knee level, when compared with the same European models. Might be that safety standards are different.
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Old 04-16-2019, 09:49 AM   #4
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Europe had no effective safety standards until 1998, and that took forceful intervention by the the European Parliament against the recalcitrant European automakers. North American E36s are safer thanks to the then, considerably more influential, U.S. NHTSA [small NCAP PDF] and U.S. regulations.

EDIT: The regulations only limit injuries to the head, neck and chest (see S6.x). They also require a dummy stay inside the car. I suspect BMW added the knee panel after an older crash test, as part of the above, voluntary New Car Assement Program (NCAP).

Last edited by John Firestone; 04-16-2019 at 11:14 AM.
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