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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
As a result of doing steering work, my dealer did an alignment for me. According to the report, my front left wheel was set to -46' (minutes, not feet :p ) and the front right wheel set to 61'.
The specified front camber range for each wheel is -63' to -23', so both are within range.
But would you feel confortable with such a big discrepancy between left and right wheels (15')? Incidentally, the specified cross camber range is -30' to +30'. I'm just not happy cause I had it down to 1' (according to the previous alignment report) before this latest alignment, so to me they messed with perfection.
Would you have them realign? Am I being too picky?
 

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I don't know much about alignments, but . . . isn't the question really "How does it drive?" If it doesn't pull to either side, is there any reason to worry about the actual numbers?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
rwg said:
I don't know much about alignments, but . . . isn't the question really "How does it drive?" If it doesn't pull to either side, is there any reason to worry about the actual numbers?
Allow me to translate.
BMW specifies a camber range for each wheel: -63' to -23'.
The left wheel, at -46', is almost at the middle of the range. The right wheel, at -61', is almost out of range.
I wouldn't have a problem if both wheels where at -61'. The problem is there is a difference of +15' between left and right wheels. How much cross-camber is admissible? BMW also specifies a range: -30' to +30'. The ideal of couse would be a cross-camber of 0. The way it is, one wheel is tilted 15' more than the other. Maybe it's psychological, but I can swear if I look at the nose of the car, I can tell by naked eye that one wheel is more tilted. And that's what this thread is all about...
How does it drive? I don't think anyone can tell the difference even if it were 60' cross-camber. But the numbers do exist for practical reasons and they are there to ensure equal tire wear and such.
I guess I am being picky. But that's because I had a perfect alignment (all numbers were very close to ideal middle of the spec range) and I see this as a downgrade.
Oh well...
 

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Expect problems maybe...

Based on these numbers, I would expect:

1) The car should pull to the left when you let go of the steering wheel on a straight and level road and

2) The inner edge of the right tire will wear prematurely.

That's if the numbers are true. A quick way to eyeball it, other than just staring at the wheels, is to use a torpedo level. Make sure car is on a level surface with wheels pointing straight. Use the level vertically against the rims to check plumb. If the numbers are true, you should see the right wheel is leaning in at the top much more than the left. If you find that both wheels are equal in lack of plumb, then the alignment machine was out of caliabration (something I've seen before).

Good luck.
 

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You are aware, that a difference of 15' is 1/2 of a DEGREE, right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re: Expect problems maybe...

DrElectron said:
Based on these numbers, I would expect:

1) The car should pull to the left when you let go of the steering wheel on a straight and level road and

2) The inner edge of the right tire will wear prematurely.

That's if the numbers are true. A quick way to eyeball it, other than just staring at the wheels, is to use a torpedo level. Make sure car is on a level surface with wheels pointing straight. Use the level vertically against the rims to check plumb. If the numbers are true, you should see the right wheel is leaning in at the top much more than the left. If you find that both wheels are equal in lack of plumb, then the alignment machine was out of caliabration (something I've seen before).

Good luck.
Thanks for the comments.
We are talking about 15', not degrees.
Besides, it's within (although barely) spec., so the pulling and wear would be minimal over the lifetime of the tire.
Alignment machines nowadays use lasers. I don't think a dangling string or anything mechanical will prove the machine wrong, no matter how out of calibration it is.
I think I will try meditatation to solve the problem. :angel:
 
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