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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Suspension | Brakes | Chassis > Strut Tower "mushrooming?"



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      05-22-2011, 10:48 AM   #1
fdriller9
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Strut Tower "mushrooming?"

Hey guys so I'm dropping my xi on OEM "i" sport springs soon and am going to be taking the reinforcement plate off my front strut assemblies. This should help get rid of the front rake on xis.

This is only a temporary setup. I just want to see how navigating NJ/NYC/Philly roads will be with a lowered car (I've already cracked my oil pan...on an xi, with 5 people in the car though). I will probably run this setup for about a year. After that I'm sure my xi shocks at 64k will be shot. Then I will move onto a set of coilovers.

Anyway that reinforcement plate is there to prevent "mushrooming" of the towers. When taking turns, the strut towers move side to side, laterally. This weakens the metal. There are strut braces attached somewhere to the back of the engine or firewall area. But I plan on getting a strut brace across the towers to help with the lateral forces that the strut towers see.

But what about the vertical forces? Hitting potholes and bumps in the road are surely the main cause for these vertical forces. This is most likely how mushrooming occurs....the lateral forces weaken the metal and hitting potholes makes the tower "mushroom." But the plate isn't connected to another part of the frame/tower. It's like a spacer....

In short, my question to you guys is: Has anyone experienced mushrooming on the E9x chassis? I know these cars aren't that old yet but soon they might see some of these problems.

EDIT: I'm 60% positive this spacer is found on both i and xi models. I checked realoem.com for a 330xi and 330i, same production date/country. They both had the reinforcement plate in the diagrams but they also both didn't have it listed in the parts list. This is why I put this in the regular suspension section and not the xi section.

Last edited by fdriller9; 05-22-2011 at 10:56 AM.
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      05-23-2011, 10:30 AM   #2
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No plate on my 335.
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      05-23-2011, 10:38 AM   #3
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you're talking about under the strut tower on the strut itself right? they are on every e90/92/93 i've seen, some guys take them out to lower them, and for anyone who says it wasnt on their car, its probably stuck to the underside of the strut tower or it was removed by the previous owner.

i don't know what that spacer really does in terms of support aside from spread the forces across i bigger "footprint" under the strut tower
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      05-23-2011, 10:52 AM   #4
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kev i dont think my e90 LCI xi had them... remind me if i am wrong though!
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      05-23-2011, 10:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeMans335xiE90 View Post
kev i dont think my e90 LCI xi had them... remind me if i am wrong though!
you had them!!! i remember asking you if you wanted them in or not when you did just springs, cuz taking it out lowers the front a very tiny bit more
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      05-23-2011, 11:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
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you had them!!! i remember asking you if you wanted them in or not when you did just springs, cuz taking it out lowers the front a very tiny bit more
ohhh thats right i forgot about that when we did the springs... silly me!
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      05-23-2011, 11:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin@AKMotorwerk View Post
you're talking about under the strut tower on the strut itself right? they are on every e90/92/93 i've seen, some guys take them out to lower them, and for anyone who says it wasnt on their car, its probably stuck to the underside of the strut tower or it was removed by the previous owner.

i don't know what that spacer really does in terms of support aside from spread the forces across i bigger "footprint" under the strut tower
Yes, under the strut tower.

I agree with your last statement. I think that was it's intended purpose. However I don't see it as being that helpful. From the looks of the diagrams on realoem.com, the plate is the same size as the strut hat....diameter wise.

I would think that if you wanted this "reinforcement plate" (This is how it's termed in my bentley manual) to alleviate some of the load on the top of the strut tower, it would either be wider or attached to some other part of the tower/frame.

I can't see how having a plate the same diameter of the strut hat, reinforces anything but the flex of the strut hat itself AFTER a tower has mushroomed.

Thanks for the responses guys.
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      05-23-2011, 11:32 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ********* View Post
Yes, under the strut tower.

I agree with your last statement. I think that was it's intended purpose. However I don't see it as being that helpful. From the looks of the diagrams on realoem.com, the plate is the same size as the strut hat....diameter wise.

I would think that if you wanted this "reinforcement plate" (This is how it's termed in my bentley manual) to alleviate some of the load on the top of the strut tower, it would either be wider or attached to some other part of the tower/frame.

I can't see how having a plate the same diameter of the strut hat, reinforces anything but the flex of the strut hat itself AFTER a tower has mushroomed.

Thanks for the responses guys.
i dont see it doing too much more then maybe stiffening the three strut studs and providing the slightly bigger footprint.

i remember one vendor was going to make a stiffening plate for the top of the strut tower, basically just a big plate with the 3 holes in it and it sandwiched the strut tower between the strut and the new brace
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      05-23-2011, 11:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin@AKMotorwerk View Post
i dont see it doing too much more then maybe stiffening the three strut studs and providing the slightly bigger footprint.

i remember one vendor was going to make a stiffening plate for the top of the strut tower, basically just a big plate with the 3 holes in it and it sandwiched the strut tower between the strut and the new brace
Quick question....is the plate held onto the strut had by 3 nuts? Then the plate is held to the strut tower?
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      05-23-2011, 11:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ********* View Post
Quick question....is the plate held onto the strut had by 3 nuts? Then the plate is held to the strut tower?
no the plate just gets slid down onto the 3 studs, then slipped up thru the strut tower and the nuts hold it on
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      05-23-2011, 11:42 AM   #11
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Also I don't know if you knew this or not but this plate was apparently an option for the E46 chassis and it came with the "rough road" package.

I read that on another forum. So it looks like it's just a precautionary step by BMW.
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      05-23-2011, 11:44 AM   #12
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Quote:
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no the plate just gets slid down onto the 3 studs, then slipped up thru the strut tower and the nuts hold it on
That's what I thought when you said that the plate may be stuck under the strut tower.

But if you look here:


I looks like it gets bolted to the strut hat, then the plate is bolted to the tower.

Does the diagram not even resemble the actual plate?
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      05-23-2011, 11:46 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ********* View Post
That's what I thought when you said that the plate may be stuck under the strut tower.

But if you look here:


I looks like it gets bolted to the strut hat, then the plate is bolted to the tower.

Does the diagram not even resemble the actual plate?
i've never seen that version on a e9x car, all i've seen is a simple 1/4 round plate with 3 unthreaded holes in it that gets slid down the studs
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      05-23-2011, 11:47 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin@AKMotorwerk View Post
i've never seen that version on a e9x car, all i've seen is a simple 1/4 round plate with 3 unthreaded holes in it that gets slid down the studs
Ok well I have no experience with this yet so I guess we'll find out. lol

Thanks!
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      05-23-2011, 11:49 AM   #15
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Quote:
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Ok well I have no experience with this yet so I guess we'll find out. lol

Thanks!




here's some pics of what i've seen
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      05-23-2011, 12:07 PM   #16
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I had part numbers 2 and 9 and the paper like part/gasget. If the additional black spacer was stuck up in the tower I would think it would have fallen and hit the floor and i would have gone what is this, but I never looked up in the strut tower.
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      05-23-2011, 01:00 PM   #17
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My car has #6, which is like a big flat washer (shown in the pics above), but it definitely does not have #3, even though it shows up in the diagrams.

Maybe it's only on Xi's though. Could also be partly responsible for the additional ride height the Xi has.
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      05-23-2011, 02:35 PM   #18
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If you guys are looking for reinforcement, I would recommend you guys check out the CUSCO Strut brace/bar. A strut bar is designed to reduce this strut tower flex by tying two parallel strut towers together. This transmits the load of each strut tower during cornering which ties the two towers together and reduces chassis flex which will help to solve the issue your having. Here are a few more installed pics for you to check out.

[img]http://www.**********s.com/images/Products/Cusco/BMW-E90-aFe-Intake-Cusco-Strut-Bar-1.JPG[/img]

[img]http://www.**********s.com/images/Products/Cusco/BMW-E90-aFe-Intake-Cusco-Strut-Bar-2.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.**********s.com/images/Products/Cusco/BMW-E90-aFe-Intake-Cusco-Strut-Bar-3.jpg[/img]
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      05-23-2011, 02:53 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by **********s.com View Post
If you guys are looking for reinforcement, I would recommend you guys check out the CUSCO Strut brace/bar. A strut bar is designed to reduce this strut tower flex by tying two parallel strut towers together. This transmits the load of each strut tower during cornering which ties the two towers together and reduces chassis flex which will help to solve the issue your having. Here are a few more installed pics for you to check out.

Does this fit over the oem airbox?
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