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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 05-02-2013, 05:23 PM
99M3vert 99M3vert is offline
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Location: North Carolina
 
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Mein Auto: 1999 M3
Alignment Problem Help!

Hi all, I am new to the forum here as I just bought my first BMW this week. I purchased a 99 M3 convertible. It will not align for some reason. I took it to BMW and got a 4 wheel alignment but now it is worse than before and it slightly pulls to the left. They said they couldn't get it perfectly on the front because my struts and bushings are worn which cause it to affect the angle. I looked at the struts and they appear to have never been replaced (170k miles on odometer ). When going over bumps the car is VERY stiff and shudders all over. Would the struts cause this rough ride and terrible alignment?
One last thing to note is that my M3 has 18" M6 replica wheels, would that affect the alignment possibilities? I can replace the struts but I need to know if this could be another problem before I go on a spending spree... Although the struts look like they are toast and could use replacing anyway. Any advice is greatly appreciated! Alignment specs below If it means anything.

REAR AXLE
Camber: left target -2.41' Left after measure -2.23'
Right target -2.41' right after measure -2.38'
TOE: left target 0.15' Left after measure .15'
Right target .15'. Right after measure .14'
Total target .30'. Total after measure .29'

FRONT AXLE
Camber: left target -2.00'. Left after measure -.48'
Right target -2.00'. Right after measure -1.29'
TOE: Left target .05'. Left after measure .06'
Right target .05'. Right after measure .07'
CASTER:Left target 6.58'. Left after measure 7.48'
Right target 6.58' Right after measure 7.04'
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  #2  
Old 05-02-2013, 05:33 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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Location: Seattle, WA
 
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Mein Auto: 1998 BMW 328is
The struts & shocks themselves don't affect alignment whatsoever, but if the upper strut mounts, ball joints, tie rods, control arm bushings, trailing arm bushings, etc. are worn out, it will be hard to get the car aligned. Generally speaking, everything I mentioned (plus the shocks & struts) should be replaced every 100k miles.

Your 18" wheels aren't going to negatively impact your ability to align the car, but they will contribute to a harsh ride.
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1998 BMW 328is
1966 Pontiac GTO
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Last edited by ZeGerman; 05-02-2013 at 05:35 PM.
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  #3  
Old 05-02-2013, 05:56 PM
99M3vert 99M3vert is offline
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Mein Auto: 1999 M3
That's kind of what I was afraid of, but I got the car for $2000 below book value so I don't mind putting a little money into it to make it right. The springs look like they are still in good shape with no rust or anything so would it be okay to reuse them? Other than the springs everything on the front suspension looks original and worn. At first I was worried I bought a junk car but the motor runs great, I'm just trying to get that smooth ride. I'm still curious as to why Bmw couldn't align it. The tech didn't straighten the wheel and now it is crooked plus it pulls now. The tires I have are 225/40/18 so they're not really wide enough to affect camber. Thanks for the quick reply also
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Old 05-02-2013, 06:08 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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Location: Seattle, WA
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 18,737
Mein Auto: 1998 BMW 328is
Yeah, you ran reuse the springs if they aren't rusty.

For most of the stuff you will need to replace, I'd recommend FCPEuro.com. They have pretty good prices and free shipping on larger orders. I'd also recommend Lemorder parts over Meyle.
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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
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  #5  
Old 05-02-2013, 06:15 PM
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drivinfaster drivinfaster is offline
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here...this will help.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...ight=alignment




df
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Old 05-02-2013, 06:19 PM
99M3vert 99M3vert is offline
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Location: North Carolina
 
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Okay awesome. Also my steering wheel makes a vibration when I rev the motor or accelerate and it has a faint wine for just a second. Steering also feels somewhat quirky. Thinking it might be the power steering pump or maybe something with the steering shaft. This is going to be my project car for a while lol. But yeah I am glad I can reuse the springs. I can spend the extra on the bushings and b joints. If only the previous owners would have kept up with the suspension... At least it will all be brand new before long
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  #7  
Old 05-02-2013, 06:39 PM
99M3vert 99M3vert is offline
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Thanks drivinfaster that was a good article.
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