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E36 /7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 roadster and coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 12-21-2012, 08:08 AM
henryk59 henryk59 is offline
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Location: nc
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
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Mein Auto: 1996 zs, 2009 535i
Wheel Alignment problem

I took my z3 for wheel alignment and after the car was checked I was told the rear wheels are out of alignment (no prior accidents), I was also told that this car has no adjustments on the wheels. Any suggestions will be very much appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 12-21-2012, 08:17 AM
dougmcintyre dougmcintyre is online now
formerly updmst
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 660
Mein Auto: 2000 M Coupe, 1997 318ti
Find a better alignment shop - one that can tell you which bent and/or worn out parts need replacing.

Where in NC are you? In the triangle area Digital Chassis and Bimmer Performance Center (http://bimmerperformancecenter.com) would be good choices.
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  #3  
Old 12-21-2012, 08:23 AM
henryk59 henryk59 is offline
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Location: nc
 
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Mein Auto: 1996 zs, 2009 535i
Wheel alignment problem

I am located in Morehead City, the closest bmw dealer is in kinston which is about 50 miles away
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  #4  
Old 12-22-2012, 05:16 AM
dougmcintyre dougmcintyre is online now
formerly updmst
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
 
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Mein Auto: 2000 M Coupe, 1997 318ti
Quote:
Originally Posted by henryk59 View Post
I am located in Morehead City, the closest bmw dealer is in kinston which is about 50 miles away
Sorry I don't have any info about eastern NC.

But I had to laugh about the "50 miles away". In the 50 miles thru the Research Triangle Center traffic jam to my favorite BMW independent, I drive by two BMW dealers and who knows know many European speciality shops.

Yea, its a pain and hard to work in the schedule. But I always try to use the best shop I can find. Knowledgeable and experienced mechanics are worth the effort. Plus, paradoxically, they are usually overall the cheapest (shop rates at the low end of the scale, fewer mistakes, getting things right the first time, knowing which cheaper OEM parts match or exceed BMW parts).

Of course, DIYing whatever you can is the best option.

Last edited by dougmcintyre; 12-22-2012 at 05:29 AM.
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  #5  
Old 12-22-2012, 02:38 AM
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Pinecone Pinecone is offline
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Location: Maryland
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
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Mein Auto: M Roadster/M3
They are right, there are no adjustments to the rear.

What measurement is out and by how much?

And yes, if the are out, something is bent or worn.
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'95 Alpine M3 LTW
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  #6  
Old 12-27-2012, 01:14 PM
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vintage42 vintage42 is offline
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Location: Louisville, KY
 
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Mein Auto: 1997 BMW Z3 1.9 5MT
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinecone View Post
They are right, there are no adjustments to the rear...
In October when I was Z3-shopping, I looked at a 2000 2.3 at a used car dealer and bought myself a CarFax on it. The CarFax reported a serious accident and I am sure I remember that was followed by a four-wheel alignment.
Perhaps the rear alignment was not done by adjustments, but by a body shop :-(

Last edited by vintage42; 12-27-2012 at 01:17 PM.
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  #7  
Old 01-01-2013, 07:48 AM
freightdogfred freightdogfred is offline
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Location: St Thomas
 
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Mein Auto: 1999 Z3M Roadster
There are no adjustments for toe/camber on the rear wheels, unless a camber kit is installed.
I bought a Z3M, with similar issues, you've probably got some bent parts in there. Ireland engineering makes an adjustable camber kit, it may be enough to fix your problem but you might want to check for smoking/broken spotwelds in your trunk which indicate your subframe is starting to shift. Thankfully, my car is in the hands of Randy Forbes for a subframe reinforcement mod, the man is an artist. If you have subframe issues, get a hold of him, his mod is the gold standard. My car had only 10,000 miles on it and I had cracks in the trunk and broken spotwelds.
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  #8  
Old 12-22-2012, 05:53 AM
dougmcintyre dougmcintyre is online now
formerly updmst
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 660
Mein Auto: 2000 M Coupe, 1997 318ti
Oh, I forgot, check your ride height - free and easy, the perfect DIY. If the car is too low, the alignment will be effected.

See http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...re+ride+height and http://bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?p=608434 for instructions. The Z3 height measuring tool can be simulated with a small board and weight.
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  #9  
Old 12-24-2012, 08:24 AM
henryk59 henryk59 is offline
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Location: nc
 
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Mein Auto: 1996 zs, 2009 535i
Wheel alignment problem

I agree driving to the right mechanic is well worth the effort.
The measurements are left rear: camber -2.8, toe -2.7, right rear: camber -29, toe -10.

Your advice is very much appreciated.
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  #10  
Old 12-25-2012, 03:37 AM
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Pinecone Pinecone is offline
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I hope you mean -2.9 and -1.0 for the right.

And are those degrees or mm?

Camber is normally degrees, toe can be degrees or mm.

The left rear toe is a bit much. Could be worn bushings or a tweaked control arm.
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'95 Alpine M3 LTW
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  #11  
Old 12-26-2012, 06:06 AM
henryk59 henryk59 is offline
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Location: nc
 
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Mein Auto: 1996 zs, 2009 535i
Wheel alignment problem

Sorry, I made a mistake in the numbers, the numbers are in degrees:
left rear: camber -2.8, toe -.27
right rear: camber -2.9, toe -.10
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  #12  
Old 12-27-2012, 10:51 AM
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Pinecone Pinecone is offline
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Not that bad. A bit of extra toe on the left or too little on the right.

Don't know the specs off the top of my head.

OK, here is what I found. It has the Z3 Coupe specs.

No specific toe for the rear, just a total toe, and you seem to be in spec. And your camber is in spec, at the high end.
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'95 Alpine M3 LTW
'00 Dakar M Roadster
'02 Topaz M3
Red/White SRF #4 (Chassis 561)
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  #13  
Old 12-27-2012, 11:00 AM
henryk59 henryk59 is offline
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Location: nc
 
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Mein Auto: 1996 zs, 2009 535i
Wheel alignment

Terry, thanks for your response. Happy new year
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