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X5 E53 (1999 - 2006)
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  #1  
Old 08-11-2011, 12:42 AM
Solo man Solo man is offline
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E53 X5 rear wheels negative camber

Hi, has anyone modified their X5's rear suspension to compensate for the overly negative camber? I see that my 2003 X5 has slightly more negative on the one side than the other and would like to modify the lower link to get the wheel more positive. Anyone done this before and what does it involve? Was thinking of reaming out the holes on the chassis and fitting a modified washer to prevent the lower link from moving. What do you think? Advise/help will be much appreciated
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  #2  
Old 08-11-2011, 11:39 AM
CharlieHustle CharlieHustle is offline
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There are camber kits available for the E53 that can adjust the camber outwards, but performance will be slightly affected if you drive at higher speeds. If tire wear is your concern, consider having an alignment done and ask your technician to adjust the toe as close to 0 degrees as he can. They can also make minimum adjustments to the camber at the LCA bolts. If you have rear air suspension, you can have a BMW service center raise the rear 3mm-5mm to relieve any sag that may be causing the increase in camber. Regarding your issue of one wheel having more negative camber than the other, chances are the upper control link or lower control arm bushings need replacement.
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  #3  
Old 08-12-2011, 10:45 AM
Solo man Solo man is offline
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Thanks for the reply. Will certainly have a look see if the rear suspension bushings are shot. Had the wheelalignment done yesterday and it is now just within specs (my car has rear air suspension) Have swopped the tyres around on the rims to prolong the life and will be keeping an eye on tyre wear, especially as i am to undertake a 4500 km trip with three adults and two children to the Kruger National Park here in South Africa
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  #4  
Old 08-14-2011, 04:26 PM
bigwave bigwave is offline
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i dont have the problem, and i have even tyre wear (20 inch wheels with 315 wide tyres) and the lower adjustment cam is in the mid position, if you are having problems

you really need to get your suspension bushes etc checked / replaced

or get a better wheel alignment shop
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  #5  
Old 01-15-2012, 02:14 PM
TASSIEX5 TASSIEX5 is offline
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Hi I've recently bought a '06 X5 3.0d (manual) with 49000km on the clock. I've just changed the tyres at 71000 and they were the original Michelins. I now have Kumhos. The tyre technician adjusted the camber from heavily negative to virtually 0 and now the car isn't as solid on the road as it was. Does anyone have any thoughts on the tyre brand, the wear rate and the camber thing?
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  #6  
Old 01-16-2012, 01:52 PM
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petriej petriej is offline
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Get another alignment from someone else and ask for slightly negative camber. I'm not sure what the normal value is supposed to be, but I'm sure the new guy will have suggestions. Just tell him what kind of driving style you want.


I am TOTALLY jealous of your 3.0d manual. Wish we could get those here in the US.
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Jared, why don't you just put "It's Giubo" in your sig? Save a lot of typing.
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Originally Posted by e36 miguel View Post
this jared guy sounds intimidating lol.
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  #7  
Old 11-27-2012, 03:56 AM
thompsw thompsw is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petriej View Post
Get another alignment from someone else and ask for slightly negative camber. I'm not sure what the normal value is supposed to be, but I'm sure the new guy will have suggestions. Just tell him what kind of driving style you want.


I am TOTALLY jealous of your 3.0d manual. Wish we could get those here in the US.
I realize this is an old thread but hoping that someone has come up with a solution.

I have a 2004 X5 3.0 manual (not d) with 250,000 miles on it (perhaps that's my problem ?) with excessive negative rear camber. I believe that the correct camber range is -2 to -4 but I was running -6 at last check. I took it into BMW and they laughed (believe it or not) and said that I was nicely setup for racing. Nothing broken, nothing bent, nothing unsafe, just more tire wear. They said that no one bushing could cause that much variance and the only thing that they could do would be to start swapping parts but that it would be verrry expensive. Surprise.

What I really need to do is elongate the hole and stick a bolt in there to stop it from slipping back, but I'm leery of that kind of custom mod. Then again, the car is basically worthless at this kind of mileage. It's really gotten to the point that I'm just curious as to how long it will keep going !

Dave.
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  #8  
Old 11-27-2012, 08:32 AM
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Sadly it's probably all of your bushings. How long do you intend to keep the car? May be cheaper to just buy tires more often and swap between the rears.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hornhospital View Post
Jared, why don't you just put "It's Giubo" in your sig? Save a lot of typing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by e36 miguel View Post
this jared guy sounds intimidating lol.
2005 X5 4.8is Le Mans/Black/6spd Steptragic
1999 M3 Cabrio TiAg Metallic/Dove Grey/Black 5 Speed Manual
-------------------------------------------------------------------
1997 328iC Schwarz II/K/K 5MT SOLD 5/2012
2004 645Ci Mineral Silver Metallic/Black 6MT RIP 04/2011
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  #9  
Old 11-27-2012, 01:07 PM
thompsw thompsw is offline
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Originally Posted by petriej View Post
Sadly it's probably all of your bushings. How long do you intend to keep the car? May be cheaper to just buy tires more often and swap between the rears.
probably correct but I'd hoped for a magic bullet. How long do I intend to keep the car ? Well, as long as it's running without issues or major expenses, there's no real reason to get rid of it. In fact, it's become sort of a pet project, having replaced all the Control arms myself, other than the rear lower, last year. It handles well, runs well and I've been putting 40k miles on it per year driving between our cottage 250 miles north of Toronto and Florida.

Dave.
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  #10  
Old 11-27-2012, 01:23 PM
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petriej petriej is offline
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If that's the case, I would at least price out all the bushings. If you can install them yourself, you may be surprised at what it would take to get it back in shape. Though it may not solve the problem. That could be a dealbreaker.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hornhospital View Post
Jared, why don't you just put "It's Giubo" in your sig? Save a lot of typing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by e36 miguel View Post
this jared guy sounds intimidating lol.
2005 X5 4.8is Le Mans/Black/6spd Steptragic
1999 M3 Cabrio TiAg Metallic/Dove Grey/Black 5 Speed Manual
-------------------------------------------------------------------
1997 328iC Schwarz II/K/K 5MT SOLD 5/2012
2004 645Ci Mineral Silver Metallic/Black 6MT RIP 04/2011
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  #11  
Old 11-27-2012, 02:18 PM
thompsw thompsw is offline
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I checked into replacing the bushings but the ones on the lower control arms are not serviceable. I think that they're put into place before the part is welded together -- it's hollow. Those control arms are close to $500 each and are a bear to replace, and no guarantee that they would fix the issue.

I expect that once BMW got at it with their parts, I'd drop 5k. The car's not worth that much. Tires are cheaper !
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  #12  
Old 11-28-2012, 06:42 AM
HPIA4v2 HPIA4v2 is offline
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Take it first to good BMW shop for wheel alignment, tell the tech you want the least negative camber but still within BMW specification. The tech needs to put 150lb weight during alignment non BMW shop won;t know that. If any control arms/bushing is bad the tech would let you know instead of guessing.
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  #13  
Old 11-28-2012, 07:14 AM
thompsw thompsw is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HPIA4v2 View Post
Take it first to good BMW shop for wheel alignment, tell the tech you want the least negative camber but still within BMW specification. The tech needs to put 150lb weight during alignment non BMW shop won;t know that. If any control arms/bushing is bad the tech would let you know instead of guessing.
I wish. I took it to BMW, the camber adjustment is already turned to as little negative as possible, they put on the hoist and then called me in -- two techs looking at it but neither one knowing what was wrong.

I wasn't very impressed.

Perhaps they've never seen a 3.0 with 250,000 miles on it ?

Last edited by thompsw; 11-28-2012 at 07:16 AM.
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  #14  
Old 11-30-2012, 07:11 AM
RGriffin RGriffin is offline
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X5

I have the same issue (220,000.) Mine are about 10 degree off and cannot adjust camber to fix. I am going to purchase another set of control arms and modify them. I have not checked but wonder if the arm can be heated and reduce the bend in the arm to fix the problem. If not, I plan on cutting them and welding in some sort of adjustment (fixed or bolt adjusting.)
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  #15  
Old 11-30-2012, 07:25 AM
HPIA4v2 HPIA4v2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RGriffin View Post
I have the same issue (220,000.) Mine are about 10 degree off and cannot adjust camber to fix. I am going to purchase another set of control arms and modify them. I have not checked but wonder if the arm can be heated and reduce the bend in the arm to fix the problem. If not, I plan on cutting them and welding in some sort of adjustment (fixed or bolt adjusting.)
At those mileages you are due to change the rear ball joints for sure, search in youtube for "E53 X5 rear ball joint problems", a tech guy need to push the wheel carrier to check for play on those (you can't do it on the ground), just see the video then it's clear. Again I assume you 've gone to BMW specialist for alignment and can't dial in the negative camber to specifications.

Though a caveat, a good BMW specialist who can align BMW X5 will know how to check for worn rear ball joint, just saying...
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  #16  
Old 11-30-2012, 08:06 AM
thompsw thompsw is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RGriffin View Post
I have the same issue (220,000.) Mine are about 10 degree off and cannot adjust camber to fix. I am going to purchase another set of control arms and modify them. I have not checked but wonder if the arm can be heated and reduce the bend in the arm to fix the problem. If not, I plan on cutting them and welding in some sort of adjustment (fixed or bolt adjusting.)
RGriffin -- Ah ha ! Someone with similar mileage and the same problem !

Which control arms are you buying -- lower or upper or both ? The uppers have bends in them. I suspect that if you heat them they'll lose some structural strength. I was thinking that if the hole in the bracket for the lower control arm / camber adjustment bolt could be filed and elongated, the camber could be pulled back into something more reasonable. The resulting gap would need some weld or something to stop the camber bolt from sliding back.

Keep me posted ! If you do manage to cut & weld, I'll send you another set for mods .

HPIA4v2 -- yes, BMW looked at it, pushed and pulled at the wheels and didn't say that there was excessive play in those ball joints. As a matter of fact, I have the ball joints because I bought a package of parts, but they looked like a bear to install and BMW said that those alone wouldn't account for the problem.
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  #17  
Old 11-30-2012, 09:31 AM
RGriffin RGriffin is offline
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I think the upper control arm is the only one I will change. The lower might end up effecting the toe. My rear tires lasted for about 5000 miles for the last set. When I change all the parts last year I saved the used parts for a while and then threw them away. I knew that was a mistake to do. I do not think much strength would be lost and the arm is already designed to move.
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  #18  
Old 11-30-2012, 02:04 PM
thompsw thompsw is offline
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Originally Posted by RGriffin View Post
I think the upper control arm is the only one I will change. The lower might end up effecting the toe. My rear tires lasted for about 5000 miles for the last set. When I change all the parts last year I saved the used parts for a while and then threw them away. I knew that was a mistake to do. I do not think much strength would be lost and the arm is already designed to move.
You will have to change both upper control arms then. The lower one is the large one that has the camber adjustment where it attaches to the bracket on the far side from the wheel.

The forward upper control arm is where the toe adjustment is. If you only lengthen the rearward upper control arm, you won't be able to get the toe out far enough, I would think.
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  #19  
Old 12-17-2012, 02:40 AM
thompsw thompsw is offline
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I was talking to the guy who did the alignment the last time and he said that changing the camber at the lower control arm also affects the toe-in, so if I was able to enlarge that slot where the lower control arm is bolted to the bracket, I wouldn't be able to get the toe-in adjusted properly.
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  #20  
Old 03-13-2013, 12:02 PM
ronzoni89 ronzoni89 is offline
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I changed out the rear upper control arms on my 2001 3.0i X5, it really helped the negative camber (tires in at the top) issue and the excessive tire wear. I'm a DIY guy, wasn't the end of the world kind of a job, but definitely not for the faint of heart. The control arms were under 100 bucks apiece, I think I got 'em from BMW parts wholesale online.

Last edited by ronzoni89; 03-13-2013 at 12:04 PM.
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  #21  
Old 03-13-2013, 12:41 PM
thompsw thompsw is offline
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Did you, by any chance, compare the old and new control arms ? I had changed the upper rears and it didn't seem to make any difference but now I'm wondering. The front upper, i.e. the to-in adjustment, is now at its max. Any lengthening of the rear upper would provide lots of room to move that front upper. The alignment guy thought that I might have installed the wrong ones, but it didn't make any difference to the negative camber.
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  #22  
Old 03-13-2013, 12:47 PM
ronzoni89 ronzoni89 is offline
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They looked the same to me... Stamped metal halves welded together in the middle... I had the truck 4 wheel aligned when I was done and everything seems cool.... Goes straight down the road....
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  #23  
Old 03-13-2013, 01:21 PM
thompsw thompsw is offline
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Do you still have the old ones ? If you do, could you measure the center to center distance for me ? I threw away my old ones ... stupid !
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  #24  
Old 03-14-2013, 08:11 AM
ronzoni89 ronzoni89 is offline
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No I don't, chucked mine out too....
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  #25  
Old 03-14-2013, 11:41 AM
thompsw thompsw is offline
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I know that it's not easy, but if you "happen" to be under there, I'd love to know the bolt center to bolt center of the new ones ...

Dave.
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