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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 02-17-2013, 07:33 AM
my99bimmer my99bimmer is offline
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Front end rebuild

I recently replaced the front control arms, control arm bushings, sway links, sway link bushings, and tie rods. Now the steering wheel is rotated a bit to the left. The top is at approximately at 10 o'clock instead of 12. It drives fine but is annoying. I still have to replace the steering swivel joint. It looks like I can rotate the steering wheel where I want it after I remove the joint. Does this sound right? Also, is it best to do it before I get the alignment done or do it after?
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  #2  
Old 02-17-2013, 09:18 AM
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jonesin jonesin is online now
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Best to do it after alignment.

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  #3  
Old 02-17-2013, 10:00 AM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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Absolutely do not re-center the steering wheel by removing it and then putting it back on. Doing so will cause you to have more available steering angle in one direction than the other (bad). The reason your steering is off is because the new tie rods you installed were not adjusted to the same length as the old ones you took off. You MUST get an alignment after doing this work. Get all of your parts replaced, then get an alignment.
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Last edited by ZeGerman; 02-17-2013 at 10:02 AM.
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:04 AM
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The steering swivel joint is only supposed to go on one way. There are alignment marks on the shaft and the steering box shaft that align with the slots in the joint's clamps. That's so (theoretically) the steering column shaft and stub shaft on the steering box remain in the same relationship.

The alignment shop is supposed to align the wheel setting to match the steering wheel while centered. You are never supposed to have to move the steering wheel to match the alignment.
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Last edited by hornhospital; 02-17-2013 at 11:08 AM.
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  #5  
Old 02-17-2013, 11:02 AM
my99bimmer my99bimmer is offline
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Glad I asked!!!! The right tie rod had a little bend in it. I got the new one as close as I could. Thanks for the responses!
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  #6  
Old 02-17-2013, 11:10 AM
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Also, make sure you get that alignment ASAP, and don't drive the car in the meantime. If you do, you will undoubtedly scrub the tread off of your front tires very, very quickly. If the toe angle is wrong (as is the case in your car), you can kill a brand new tire in under 100 miles, easily.
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1998 BMW 328is
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For sale: E30/E36 front sway links
For sale: OEM E36 328 catback

Last edited by ZeGerman; 02-17-2013 at 11:11 AM.
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  #7  
Old 02-17-2013, 11:15 AM
my99bimmer my99bimmer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeGerman View Post
Also, make sure you get that alignment ASAP, and don't drive the car in the meantime. If you do, you will undoubtedly scrub the tread off of your front tires very, very quickly. If the toe angle is wrong (as is the case in your car), you can kill a brand new tire in under 100 miles, easily.
The alignment is set up for Tuesday.
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  #8  
Old 02-19-2013, 03:05 PM
my99bimmer my99bimmer is offline
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Alignment done. Thanks again for preventing a big mistake!
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