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F10 / F11 (2011 - 2016)
The sixth generation of the BMW 5 Series Sedan (F10) was produced from 2011 - 2016 with LCI updates arriving in 2014. In the US BMW offered a hatchback 5 Series Gran Truismo (F07) and the rest of the world also go a Station Wagon/Touring version F11.

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  #1  
Old 08-14-2019, 08:53 AM
poconosms1 poconosms1 is offline
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tire Alignment

Ok, I don't have many options to have a certified BMW Alignment where I live.

I talked to an indy, a high performance shop, and a local tire place about alignments on the BMW. we had an good conversation about the use of weights in the seats.

I drive my BMW like an old man - 98% of the time, I'll do 10-15mph above the speed limit.

Based on my driving habits, there's some doubt whether I need to take it 40 miles away to BMW or place that has the weights.

One high performance guy in my says he prefers to use string and a bubble lines because that's how he did it on the race circuit, but he does have the equipment to do it via computer.. The Indy says he has the computer, but doesn't deal with the weight issues any more.

I know I'm out of Alignment as my tires had bad wear and cupping.

Thoughts about not using the weights welcomed....
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  #2  
Old 08-14-2019, 09:06 AM
BabyUnicornTaco BabyUnicornTaco is offline
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I believe the new alignment computers can compensate for weights rather than having to add a weight to each seat. Having a weight in each seat may be a bit more accurate but I wouldn’t think of it as a necessity. Just my opinion.


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  #3  
Old 08-14-2019, 09:20 AM
poconosms1 poconosms1 is offline
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That's my feeling.

One Indy told me if I was taking it up to 100+, then he would recommend the BMW dealer do it.
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Old 08-14-2019, 09:32 AM
BabyUnicornTaco BabyUnicornTaco is offline
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If you live in the Poconos I know you have lots of winding roads. Might be a factor in what alignment specs you choose based on where you drive. Not sure. This is a good alignment thread. Worth the read. https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sh...668729?page=12


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  #5  
Old 08-14-2019, 10:19 AM
poconosms1 poconosms1 is offline
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thx. I'm beginning to think I need to do an alignment more often (and rotate) I HATE rotating tires - even with my impact wrench.
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  #6  
Old 08-14-2019, 04:05 PM
Autoputzer Autoputzer is offline
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The BMW dealer's alignment jigs that fit on the wheels attach to those five little holes between the lug bolt holes. Generic jigs clamp onto the lips and often scratch the wheels.

Front camber is adjusted by replacing the upper control arms. They sell three versions of each control arm changing the front camber by: +30', standard, and -30'. An angular minute (designated by a single quotation mark) is 1/60th of a degree. So, that'd be -0.5, standard, and +0.5 degrees. I'm going to get my right upper control arm change to bring the car back in front camber spec', and it will cost about $1000 at the dealer. If you go this route, have them return the original control arm.

These new machines are amazing. With care, e.g. using weights in the car, it's also amazing how accurate of an alignment you can get these days.
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  #7  
Old 08-14-2019, 04:25 PM
Autoputzer Autoputzer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poconosms1 View Post
thx. I'm beginning to think I need to do an alignment more often (and rotate) I HATE rotating tires - even with my impact wrench.
I look forward to rotating tires. I can accurately measure the tread depths in all four channels on the tires with my way-cool digital tread depth gauge with a 1/1000th inch resolution ($10 on-line), record the readings in my magic spreadsheet that calculates wear of each channel of each tire since the last rotation, wash the insides of the wheels and tires, and apply tire splooge on the inner sidewalls. Based on the wear data, I adjust the pressures for the next rotation stint. I can also see wear caused by misalignment early enough to save the tires.

I call this whole process "tire whispering." It's become one of my nano-hobbies in retirement. The result is that I can get 40k miles out of set of Michelin PSS's, and well over 50k miles out of normal "touring" tires. My top five mileages for sets of tires have been: 79k (Honda Accord), 74k (Chevy Silverado), 70k (VW Rabbit), 70k (VW Rabbit), and 68k (Nissan Sentra SE-R) miles. My average is about 55k miles.

I always keep the best old tire when I buy a new set, for two reasons: to have a sort-term spare if I shred one of the new ones, and to keep around the garage as (further) evidence of my genius.

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  #8  
Old 08-15-2019, 12:02 AM
MunichMark MunichMark is offline
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Just FYI that there is a fully adjustable upper wishbone available that is lower cost than the BMW fixed units. Meyle is the manufacturer.

https://images.app.goo.gl/L4iuHmmLtj9eYU456
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  #9  
Old 08-15-2019, 05:59 AM
Autoputzer Autoputzer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MunichMark View Post
Just FYI that there is a fully adjustable upper wishbone available that is lower cost than the BMW fixed units. Meyle is the manufacturer.

https://images.app.goo.gl/L4iuHmmLtj9eYU456
Good info'. Thanks.
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  #10  
Old 08-15-2019, 10:24 AM
Global-F10 Global-F10 is offline
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that's impressive. Would you please share what PSI you typically run your tires?

I understand you change the psi slightly during each rotation to adjust for wear accordingly.

Thank you

Quote:
Originally Posted by Autoputzer View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by poconosms1 View Post
thx. I'm beginning to think I need to do an alignment more often (and rotate) I HATE rotating tires - even with my impact wrench.
I look forward to rotating tires. I can accurately measure the tread depths in all four channels on the tires with my way-cool digital tread depth gauge with a 1/1000th inch resolution ($10 on-line), record the readings in my magic spreadsheet that calculates wear of each channel of each tire since the last rotation, wash the insides of the wheels and tires, and apply tire splooge on the inner sidewalls. Based on the wear data, I adjust the pressures for the next rotation stint. I can also see wear caused by misalignment early enough to save the tires.

I call this whole process "tire whispering." It's become one of my nano-hobbies in retirement. The result is that I can get 40k miles out of set of Michelin PSS's, and well over 50k miles out of normal "touring" tires. My top five mileages for sets of tires have been: 79k (Honda Accord), 74k (Chevy Silverado), 70k (VW Rabbit), 70k (VW Rabbit), and 68k (Nissan Sentra SE-R) miles. My average is about 55k miles.

I always keep the best old tire when I buy a new set, for two reasons: to have a sort-term spare if I shred one of the new ones, and to keep around the garage as (further) evidence of my genius.

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  #11  
Old 08-15-2019, 01:48 PM
Autoputzer Autoputzer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Global-F10 View Post
that's impressive. Would you please share what PSI you typically run your tires?

I understand you change the psi slightly during each rotation to adjust for wear accordingly.

Thank you
The door decal on my 535i says 35 PSI in the front, 39 PSI in the back, for speeds less than 100 MPH. My car came with Goodyear LS2 run-flats. I had to run them at 42 PSI and 47 PSI to get them to wear something close to evenly, and the ride was bone jarring. A friend at the BMW dealership I use says that edge wear (typically an "under-inflation" wear pattern) is common with LS2's.

I finally had enough and bought some Michelin PSS's. I first overestimated the pressure needed to get them to wear evenly. But, near the end of their lives I've settled in at 38 PSI in the front and 40 PSI in the rear, measured with the car completely cooled off, and the tires having been heated by sunlight, and at (or adjusted to) the morning low temperature.

I ordered Frau Putzer's 2018 X3 30i with non-run-flats, Bridgestone Dueler H/P Sport AS's. The door decal says 32 PSI in the front and 35 PSI in the back. I started out at two PSI over that. At 10k miles (two rotation stints), the average wear in each of the four channels was just about perfectly even. But, like the Michelin PSS's, the Dueler's came with 1/32nd inch more tread depth in the two middle channels than in the inner and outer channels. So, for the current rotation stint, I added another two PSI to each tire (now four PSI over the decal pressures). My goal is to have the two middle channels wear ~1/6 of 1/32nd inch more than the inner and outer channels over the rotation stint. This will have all four channels be about the same depth when the tires are worn out after six more rotation stints.

My tire whispering technique was limited for a long time by the limited resolution of the tread depth measurements. But, my new $10 digital tread depth gauge is the schnizzel.

It's important to pick pressures and stick with them for a period long enough to have the wear to be reliably measured. I'll stick with a set of pressures for an entire rotation stint (5k to 7k miles).

Continental's seem to need more pressure to wear evenly. I'm on my second set of DW's on my Cobalt, and Frau Putzer had a set of DWS06's on her Honda Accord.

I'm reasonably confident in the accuracy of my pressure gauges. I recently tested five gauges (three 60 PSI gauges, and two brand new 75 PSI gauges). They all read within a half-PSI when measuring ~41 PSI. I have a 100 PSI gauge that was off by off about 1.5 PSI though.

The yellow cells on the magic spreadsheet are user input. The green cells are calculated data. Based on the rotation pattern the user inputs, the spreadsheet shuffles the tread depth data, which will be used as the baseline for calculating wear at the next rotation.

My latest version of the magic spreadsheet also accommodates doing a five-tire rotation using a full-size spare. If anybody wants a copy, PM me with an e-mail address that accepts Excel files as attachments.

Last edited by Autoputzer; 08-15-2019 at 02:21 PM.
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  #12  
Old 08-15-2019, 05:44 PM
Global-F10 Global-F10 is offline
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My winter set is the factory Msport 351's with LS2 ( unfortunately). They'll be replaced when worn down. I will set my PSI's as you recommend. Any issues with bubbling due to potholes?!

My summer set is 343's wrapped with Bridgestone Potenza. 285R 255F. I've been hunting for a good PSI. I tried the M5 placarded PSI but that was too low. Perhaps I'll run 40 in the rear and 38 up front for now


Quote:
Originally Posted by Autoputzer View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Global-F10 View Post
that's impressive. Would you please share what PSI you typically run your tires?

I understand you change the psi slightly during each rotation to adjust for wear accordingly.

Thank you


The door decal on my 535i says 35 PSI in the front, 39 PSI in the back, for speeds less than 100 MPH. My car came with Goodyear LS2 run-flats. I had to run them at 42 PSI and 47 PSI to get them to wear something close to evenly, and the ride was bone jarring. A friend at the BMW dealership I use says that edge wear (typically an "under-inflation" wear pattern) is common with LS2's.

I finally had enough and bought some Michelin PSS's. I first overestimated the pressure needed to get them to wear evenly. But, near the end of their lives I've settled in at 38 PSI in the front and 40 PSI in the rear, measured with the car completely cooled off, and the tires having been heated by sunlight, and at (or adjusted to) the morning low temperature.

I ordered Frau Putzer's 2018 X3 30i with non-run-flats, Bridgestone Dueler H/P Sport AS's. The door decal says 32 PSI in the front and 35 PSI in the back. I started out at two PSI over that. At 10k miles (two rotation stints), the average wear in each of the four channels was just about perfectly even. But, like the Michelin PSS's, the Dueler's came with 1/32nd inch more tread depth in the two middle channels than in the inner and outer channels. So, for the current rotation stint, I added another two PSI to each tire (now four PSI over the decal pressures). My goal is to have the two middle channels wear ~1/6 of 1/32nd inch more than the inner and outer channels over the rotation stint. This will have all four channels be about the same depth when the tires are worn out after six more rotation stints.

My tire whispering technique was limited for a long time by the limited resolution of the tread depth measurements. But, my new $10 digital tread depth gauge is the schnizzel.

It's important to pick pressures and stick with them for a period long enough to have the wear to be reliably measured. I'll stick with a set of pressures for an entire rotation stint (5k to 7k miles).

Continental's seem to need more pressure to wear evenly. I'm on my second set of DW's on my Cobalt, and Frau Putzer had a set of DWS06's on her Honda Accord.

I'm reasonably confident in the accuracy of my pressure gauges. I recently tested five gauges (three 60 PSI gauges, and two brand new 75 PSI gauges). They all read within a half-PSI when measuring ~41 PSI. I have a 100 PSI gauge that was off by off about 1.5 PSI though.

The yellow cells on the magic spreadsheet are user input. The green cells are calculated data. Based on the rotation pattern the user inputs, the spreadsheet shuffles the tread depth data, which will be used as the baseline for calculating wear at the next rotation.

My latest version of the magic spreadsheet also accommodates doing a five-tire rotation using a full-size spare. If anybody wants a copy, PM me with an e-mail address that accepts Excel files as attachments.
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  #13  
Old 08-15-2019, 06:42 PM
Autoputzer Autoputzer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Global-F10 View Post
My winter set is the factory Msport 351's with LS2 ( unfortunately). They'll be replaced when worn down. I will set my PSI's as you recommend. Any issues with bubbling due to potholes?!

My summer set is 343's wrapped with Bridgestone Potenza. 285R 255F. I've been hunting for a good PSI. I tried the M5 placarded PSI but that was too low. Perhaps I'll run 40 in the rear and 38 up front for now
Don't overinflate the LS2's too much. The ride would be so harsh you'd risk damaging the rest of the car. Just let them die quickly of their inherent under-inflation wear pattern, and then get some tires worthy of a BMW.

At 30k miles on the OE LS2's, I had 6.75 to seven 32nds of an inch of tread in all the middle channels, and 5.5 to six 32nds inch of tread in the inner and outer channels. I could have got 50k miles out of them. But, it wasn't worth it. Getting those tires to wear evenly made me hate driving the car. I tried to sell those miserable tires, but nobody wanted them.

Potholes are rare in Floriduh. Our big problem is sink holes, which eat houses, hotels, and Porsche dealerships.

I did hit an intentionally dug pothole with my PSS's. The whack was so hard that my gas filler door opened. I didn't have any bubbles or wheel bends or cracks. But, the car was out of alignment. The car still tracked straight, but my tire whispering spreadsheet showed that I had a problem.

The Bubbaville Water Department has this nasty habit of digging a hole to fix a water main, then just filling in the hole with clay, and not coming back to put down asphalt until the clay is packed down by the traffic driving over it for a few weeks. That'd be fine as long as they add clay daily to prevent it from making a hole. But, they don't. Stupid is a religion down here.
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  #14  
Old 08-16-2019, 12:43 PM
monkeyman_69 monkeyman_69 is offline
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After buying my F10 a year ago I found a post that recommended 38/44, cold, both of which are higher than the B pillar sticker. After the RFTs wore down, I switched to Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+ tires. Only had them since Christmas. Haven't had them long enough to see if 38/44 is best.

Autoputzer's tire whisperer approach is spot on. Finding the right psi for your tires is key. My 318i back in the 90s ran Dunlops. Once someone told me the right psi setting, I got significantly more miles out of them.

I've been driving for 30+ years and always get rotations with oil changes. Last month my dealer installed a new steering rack following a collision. Since the timing was right, I asked for an oil change and tire rotation. The SA said BMW doesn't recommend rotations.
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Old 08-16-2019, 06:07 PM
Autoputzer Autoputzer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyman_69 View Post
After buying my F10 a year ago I found a post that recommended 38/44, cold, both of which are higher than the B pillar sticker. After the RFTs wore down, I switched to Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+ tires. Only had them since Christmas. Haven't had them long enough to see if 38/44 is best.

Autoputzer's tire whisperer approach is spot on. Finding the right psi for your tires is key. My 318i back in the 90s ran Dunlops. Once someone told me the right psi setting, I got significantly more miles out of them.

I've been driving for 30+ years and always get rotations with oil changes. Last month my dealer installed a new steering rack following a collision. Since the timing was right, I asked for an oil change and tire rotation. The SA said BMW doesn't recommend rotations.
BMW's gone back and forth (and side to side) on this.

The owner's manual for Frau Putzer's G01 2018 X3 says:

Rotating wheels between axles

Different wear patterns can occur on the front and rear axles depending on individual driving conditions. The tires can be rotated in pairs between the axles to achieve even wear. Further information is available from a dealer's service center or another qualified service center or repair shop. After rotating, check the tire pressure and correct, if needed.

Rotating the tires is not permissible on vehicles with different tire sizes or rim sizes on the front and rear axles.


My 2014 F10 5 Series manual says:

Rotating wheels between axles

The manufacturer of your vehicle advises
against switching wheels between the front
and rear axles. This can impair the handling characteristics.



Somebody posted a supposedly BMW owners manual page on another thread that said only rotate them front to back, not side-to-side.

The tire manufacturers all say that rotating the tires can extend their mileage and get all four tires to wear at the same rate.
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