Installing an X brace is easy, cheap as far as mods go and provides noticeable benefit to your E36’s handling. I got my X Brace from Circle BMW in New Jersey. You can mail order from them, as I did, or get it from your local dealer. Circle BMW and Pacific BMW are usually the cheapest prices around.
This is not the only how-to on the web, as you have may have already found. Check out Understeer’s picture-filled how-to for cars that don’t have nutserts (1995 and early 1996).
- X Brace
- 4x BMW M8 bolts
- 13mm wrench/socket
- 16mm wrench/socket
- ramps or a floor jack and jackstands
I wish I had pictures of the X brace install, but it’s so easy it should be understandable through writing. I installed it on two cars in less than an hour using nothing than the tools listed above. Note that you don’t even need jack stands to do this. With the car on ramps, slide under until you are looking at the bellhousing (where the transmission meets the engine). There will be a bar going laterally across the car in that area which will be replaced by the X brace. The bolts holding this bar in place are just like many others on an e36, 16mm. Take out the two bolts, remove the bar and put the X brace in it’s place, which should come with your new X brace. It’s a good idea to use Lock-Tite on all of these bolts.
You’re done! I took the long route to 7 Eleven and got a 52oz. Slurpee. You might test differently. However you choose to celebrate, remember to brake late, accelerate hard and test the horn.