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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 11-20-2012, 06:20 AM
BustedE36 BustedE36 is offline
E36 ///M3 Clone 328iS
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Thumbs up Alignment Question

So i take my car into leschwab to get an alignment and find out my front wheels are about 9 degrees off which is extremely off lol.. so i ordered new tie rods, already replaced everything else in the front end, and the guy there tells me that the alignment wont fix my inner tire camber wear, that i need new camber plates? I havent heard of this before as i have stock suspension not coilovers. so is he as stupid as a leschwab mechanic should be, or is he correct...If so can someone shoot me a link to the part?

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 11-20-2012, 06:27 AM
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jonesin jonesin is online now
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9*?

I'd say that you have something REALLY wrong/bent. Camber plates won't fix that.

Was your E46 bumper (opinion on personal taste withheld) the result of an accident?

Was that your car's first accident?
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  #3  
Old 11-20-2012, 06:39 AM
BustedE36 BustedE36 is offline
E36 ///M3 Clone 328iS
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It was in an accident, i was drifting hit a curb about 9 inches tall, replaced control arms, and wheel bearings. the new tie rod assembly should fix the rest of the negative degree, i assume. shouldent have frame damage it dosent pull to either side of the road even with the bad tie rods..just inner camber wear and wheel sitting about 45 degrees to the left..That was the only accident in my ownership, it was in a rear end collision and was totalled in 2006 but was inspected by a previous owner by a frame shop and body damage was fixed.
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  #4  
Old 11-20-2012, 09:12 AM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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The stock suspension does not have camber plates, but rather it has fixed upper strut mounts. The only way to adjust camber up front in an E36 with a stock suspension is to add shims where the lower steering knuckle bolts to the strut housing, but this adds negative camber (opposite of what you want). If you have excessive negative camber and do not have shims or camber plates installed, you have big problems.

PS: Les Schwab employees are notoriously dumb. Always double-check everything they say and do.
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Last edited by ZeGerman; 11-20-2012 at 09:14 AM.
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  #5  
Old 11-20-2012, 09:55 AM
ccmueth ccmueth is offline
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9 degrees off of which measurement? If I were at all skeptical of an alignment tech's ability (which I would be if a reading like that came up), I would at the very minimum ask them to sweep the car again. They shouldn't charge more, it takes 5 minutes if you're at all competent. What kind of wear are you experiencing? Is the worn edge feathered or smooth to the touch?
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  #6  
Old 11-20-2012, 02:15 PM
BustedE36 BustedE36 is offline
E36 ///M3 Clone 328iS
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alright found the write up for it..

Front Right TOE actual 6.85* Specified range is 0.04* to 0.13* (way out)
Front Right Caster actual 3.8* Specified Range is 6.1* to 7.1* (way out)
Front Right Camber actual -1.1* Specified range is -1.4* to -0.4* ( Within range for camber)
-------------------
Front Left TOE -8.63*
Front Left Caster 3.2*
Front left Camber 0.8*
---------------------
FRONT
Cross Camber is -1.9* spec range is -0.5*
Cross Caster is 0.6* Spec range is 0.5*
Cross SAl is 2.1* spec range is 0.5*
Total Toe -1.78* spec range is 0.08* to 0.25*

And for the tire wear question i can use a tire for about 1k miles then it goes down to wires slowly it doesent eat it away too fast. but at a decent amount.
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  #7  
Old 11-20-2012, 02:16 PM
BustedE36 BustedE36 is offline
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So i guess camber isnt my major issue, but mroe so TOE? why would the inner of the tire wear so fast then?
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  #8  
Old 11-20-2012, 02:39 PM
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Improper toe angle will scrub off tread with quickness.
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  #9  
Old 11-20-2012, 02:40 PM
BustedE36 BustedE36 is offline
E36 ///M3 Clone 328iS
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So new tie rods with alignment, new strut towers, maby fix the problem?
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  #10  
Old 11-20-2012, 02:52 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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New strut towers? Um, no.

Rather than buying parts willy-nilly, have your car inspected by a shop that knows which end is up. I've never heard of a car being out of alignment due to bad upper strut mounts.
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  #11  
Old 11-20-2012, 03:13 PM
mgoods50 mgoods50 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeGerman View Post
New strut towers? Um, no.

Rather than buying parts willy-nilly, have your car inspected by a shop that knows which end is up. I've never heard of a car being out of alignment due to bad upper strut mounts.
+1 - you have some issues that need to be addressed with equipment and knowledgeable techs.

"Toe": Look at your feet. Turn them outward like a cowboy- that's "toe out". Turn them inward like a pigeon-- that's "toe in". Either drags the tire along rather than tracking accurately. Save technical talk-- it's gonna have some, and thats okay-- you have waay too much.

For reference, here are my latest settings (keep in mind this is on a '95 M3)

REAR:
camber R -1.45
camber L -1.45

cross 0

Individual toe: 0* 29' (dang near dead center of "ideal")


Front:
camber R -1.5
camber L -1.4

individual toe L: 0* 5'
individual toe R 0* 5' (dead center "spec")


Alignment specs are like opinions- everyone has a particular setting they like best. You have a long way to go before getting into that depth though.

Good luck.
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Last edited by mgoods50; 11-20-2012 at 03:30 PM.
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  #12  
Old 11-20-2012, 05:07 PM
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i'll just leave this here....












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  #13  
Old 11-20-2012, 05:23 PM
mgoods50 mgoods50 is offline
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That's awesome- thanks for posting that. Even cleared up a couple of things in my foggy head...

BTW- I guess I've YET to find a decent alignment shop, 'cause I've always had techs look at me like I'm a total idiot when bringing a car in with concrete bags in the seat.

I'm a bit set in my ways of thinking the car should be aligned the way it is normally driven -- like my 200# butt in the driver seat, the weight of my wife in the passenger seat, and darn near a full tank.

You seem like an expert-- can you confirm my logic here is the best?

TIA

PS- that is aligned as per my specs-- loaded as I've described. You know what I mean.
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Last edited by mgoods50; 11-20-2012 at 05:24 PM.
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  #14  
Old 11-20-2012, 05:50 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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It isn't crazy to weigh your car down during alignment. In fact, I'd recommend doing this.

I also recommend having alignments performed at shops which specialize in track car preparation/setup. They usually don't charge more for alignments than any other place, and they know how to deal with cars which are low to the ground, and know about using weights.
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1998 BMW 328is
1966 Pontiac GTO
2007 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 5-door
View my photos: Caught in the Wild
For sale: E30/E36 front sway links
For sale: OEM E36 328 catback

Last edited by ZeGerman; 11-20-2012 at 05:57 PM.
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  #15  
Old 11-20-2012, 06:11 PM
mgoods50 mgoods50 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeGerman View Post
It isn't crazy to weigh your car down during alignment. In fact, I'd recommend doing this.

I also recommend having alignments performed at shops which specialize in track car preparation/setup. They usually don't charge more for alignments than any other place, and they know how to deal with cars which are low to the ground, and know about using weights.
Great recommendation-- thank you.

And, I'd bet they aren't as likely to take a pair of locking pliers to my pristine outer tie rod ends either. That seriously happened after I replaced my entire front end. I even painted everything for corrosion / rust prevention-- and greased the threads. So essentially, the car is brand spanking new and shiny-- and even has greased tie rod threads....

and...

After I quoted the wrench size-- this tool starts to go after my brand new tie rod end with a pair of locking piers. We almost came to blows.
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  #16  
Old 11-20-2012, 09:48 PM
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Here is another:

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...ght=crisscross
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