RACP Guide, SME Weld-in Kit

Discussion in 'E46 M3 (2001-2006)' started by SME, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. 12 Aug 2019 at 3:55 PM #1
    SME

    SME On the path

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    Hi Cutters,

    I recently supplied and fitted all 3 SME RACP Options on a customer car and thought I would post up the pictures plus some additional information to show what's required for this and maybe shed some further light on the actual issue.
    Some of you may have seen it as an (almost) realtime Instagram story: https://www.instagram.com/s_m_engineering/

    The 3 RACP options are as follows:

    The weld-in kit
    [​IMG]

    The RACP X Brace
    [​IMG]

    The new Space Saver Braces
    [​IMG]

    This was the full kit of parts for this particular customer:
    [​IMG]

    So lets get into it:

    1. Using the template provided, mark the location of the subframe bush on the top panel (this won't be 100% because of manufacture tolerances but is a good guide and saves drilling up through the thread)
    [​IMG]

    2. Then mark the cut lines, 15mm from the ridge on the top and 15mm from the middle of the radius on the bottom, as close to the chassis leg as you can get on the sides.
    [​IMG]

    3. Remove the marked panel to gain access
    [​IMG]

    4. This then reveals what can only be described as an 'Epic fail' by BMW
    [​IMG]

    5. Now double check the position of the centre hole, as you can see below I was about 2mm off in this case
    [​IMG]

    6. Remove the subframe bolts (exhaust may need to be loosened to do the LH) and open up the pilot hole to +12mm to allow the new subframe bolts that are supplied in SME kit to come through and create a stud. I recommend using a cone or step drill as this does minimal damage to the subframe thread.
    [​IMG]

    7. Clean up the area and fit the laser cut steel plates, as you can see in the previous image I have already ground the top of the original subframe bush welds to allow the plate to sit flat (some trimming of the plates may be required, depending on your cut lines etc)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    8. Now some welding, then clean the surface so the brace will sit flat (next step)
    [​IMG]

    9. Trim and fit the brace, this is supplied TIG welded together
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    10. Then proceed to fully weld the brace (as much as possible) the two stitch welds shown in the middle will add even further rigidity.
    [​IMG]

    11. Final step for the Weld-in kit is probably the most time consuming, trimming and refitting the thin 'cap' or 'lid'. This is not a structural part but should go back in. The final finish is really personal choice.
    First one shown will be smoothed with filler and painted. Second shows @Nakamiki wanted to leave the brace slightly exposed. :)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    12. Fit up of the braces and drilling the X4 6.5mm holes in the turret/strut tower for extra strength.
    (images on next post due to 20 pic limit)

    I hope this not only show cases what SME do but also helps people to understand the RACP issue even more. It's been done to death but there still seems to be some misinformation out there, especially as new methods and styles are found to solve the same problem.
    The fitting instructions for the weld-in kit will be similar to this but a bit more in depth. I am in the process of making these and the fitting instructions for the Bolt-in X brace as a free download on the website. www.s-m-eng.com

    Thanks for reading.
     
    m3rosco and R60BBA like this.
  2. 12 Aug 2019 at 3:56 PM #2
    SME

    SME On the path

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    Images for Point 12. above

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Nakamiki, m3rosco and R60BBA like this.
  3. 15 Aug 2019 at 8:18 AM #3
    rosscoe

    rosscoe Achieved official socks

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    Your Motor:
    2002 estoril blue smg
    Colour Combo:
    estoril blue,black leather
    Looks fantastic that does..

    I'll get a set ordered eventually
     
    SME likes this.
  4. 16 Aug 2019 at 1:02 PM #4
    SME

    SME On the path

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    E91, E21, GT86
    Thank youuuuu :)

    Fitting instructions (for both kits) can now be found on the website for anyone that wants to have a look.

    https://www.s-m-eng.com/sme
     

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