BimmerFest BMW Forum banner
1 - 20 of 58 Posts

·
Resident Curmudgeon
Joined
·
26,385 Posts
It was a miracle my tires lasted to 30k especially with a total front toe at .29, never saw such a high positive toe number on the front ? ( 0.63 ) - left front, ( - .035 ) right front ?
I'd actually be concerned the machine/car/rack was set up properly....

having said that, perhaps the saving grace was that the toe was off the same direction front and rear- positive on the left side, negative on the right. CROSS toe was therefore (somewhat) minimized.

It would seem like the car was kind of 'crabbing' down the road, if those before numbers are accurate.
 

·
Resident Curmudgeon
Joined
·
26,385 Posts
Where do you guys think I should go for the alignment?

I'm very nervous taking to a local tire shop because most of them are pretty trashy and the last time I was at a local one, I watched them ruin a set of rims of a Mercedes GL and they probably broke the rear diff by jacking up the car on it.

BMW dealer?
No

Also the tire place I went to allowed me to go over the alignment specs with the tech at the machine,
dealer service dept is shrouded in secrecy, no one past the secret door in the shop:yikes:
Get past the optics... I have one local tire shop I've used for many years. I am one of their 1%, in that they treat me and my cars really well. OK prices, sometimes they match tirerack, sometimes not, sometimes I bring in my own tires and they mount.

But on the specifics of 'finding the store to use the first time', I'd just stop by a few and see what vibe you get. Talk to a MANAGER, tell them you want specific settings and would like to be able to watch- perhaps from the open garage door if 'insurance' is an issue. The key will be not sounding like a BMW-hole, but sounding like an enthusiast who is looking for a more careful alignment. (I am always in jeans, T shirt, etc... doing my best Zelig...) Then time the guy doing the alignment 10-20 if he is nice, get his name, and come back the next time.

My 2 cents

A
 

·
Resident Curmudgeon
Joined
·
26,385 Posts
Took mine to BMW to have them verify the alignment specs as it was pulling some to the right and after the specs shared here. It took a lot of discussion with the SA before they agreed to hook it up. Initially they said the tires were all at different pressures which would impact this. Finally they hooked it up and now the total TOE looks worse after even when I specified to be set at .01 - .02. The camber looks WAY off 1.3 on the rear especially. I have no idea what Track Differential, Caster and SAI means and if it is OK.

Please help me understand these numbers prior to returning the loaner in the morning. What specifically should I ask for to change?
Your cambers look fine, 1'30" is the target, and you seem to be right there.

I posted in your other thread about the toe. it's like they simply nodded their head when you siad 0.01-0.02 then did a standard BMW "set it in the middle of the range" alignment.

The toe in the rear is worse (according to BMW it is fine, but according to me, worse)

I'd like to have a bit more camber up front, you are on the min range of the spec.

Of course they didnt give you what you asked for on any one of the 4 tires. Did it list 0.01-0.02 on the work order? bet not.

All the other stuff looks fine, IMO

GL

A
 

·
Resident Curmudgeon
Joined
·
26,385 Posts
Here my sheet from Allen tire co
Not a BMW dealership .
This was taken 2 days after purchase
Don't know what heck it says
All all I know is that my steering wheel was off center and car pulled to the right
Rides good now
How does it look to u guys
ARD:tell me the truth!
I always tell you the truth. :angel:

The end results of yours look nice an balanced. It was bad to start, esp the front toe. Now your toe is OK in front, a bit more than Id want in the rear (if you look at that, it says the max toe specified in the rear is 1/16, and that you are AT their max. I dont like this, combined with a tire that is cambered. Net result is the inner edge will cord. but, run that with close to zero toe and you will do much better.

IMO between the minimum BMW specd toe, to the maximum, tire mileage can range 40k down to 5-8k.

A
 

·
Resident Curmudgeon
Joined
·
26,385 Posts
Thanks for the quick feedback! Great to know that the toe is worse which is what I specifically talked to them about setting. Argh! I am going to explain to them this fact and request that they set it to the minimum of their range instead of making the total toe worse especially in the rear. Two things come to mind...

1 - Is it worth the principle of the specific toe setting discussion and having it done to my specs?
2 - Should I have them move the front camber closer to 20?

After all it is my set of $1,500+ tires that they have now made worse. I wonder how many hundreds/thousands of miles this setup will now take off of them.
If it was only 'the principle', eh- there are more battles to fight. It will change your tire life. Especially since you discussed it with them...as I've said before, if you had just bought it in and said 'align it', and then at pickup you wanted to quibble, I'd say your SOL.

However. BMWNA is paying, so they may say 'we just do what BMW recommend, that is the extent of our obligation'... short sighted, nd truly what you are asking IS in the bmw specs.

Well, if they ARE going to have to redo it, might as well get the camber closer to 'target'.

You have a big V8 up there, right? The car will have a tendency to plow corners, rolling the tires and 'exposing' that outer edge- by going to a light camber, the suspension and tire will 'bite' and settle in as it gets loaded on a curve.

HTH

A
 

·
Resident Curmudgeon
Joined
·
26,385 Posts
Just talked with the SA and they are setting the specs to 0.01 - 0.02 for the toe and -10 for the front camber which is half of BMWs target of -20. Overall I will am very pleased by this and the shops efforts to make this correct to MY requested specs. I feel this setup will provide the best tire life.

Thanks for the assistance with this. I will post the final specs once received.
and report how it drives at highway speeds....
 

·
Resident Curmudgeon
Joined
·
26,385 Posts
Nope, I expect it to be fine. But noted ductman was talked out of the 'minimum toe' by an SA too lazy to redo it, claiming it would have issues 'at hghway speed'

:)

A
 

·
Resident Curmudgeon
Joined
·
26,385 Posts
Looking at my spec sheet the BMW camber target and range is as follows:

Rear at -1.3 +/- 0.15
Front at -0.20 +/- 0.30

So -1.10 is slightly under the minimum spec for the rear camber. I doubt this will have a noticeable impact but as you know ard's the real expert. I am guessing the back tires will set in a turn a little quicker especially with some load in the back.
You need to recognize that those specs are in 'degrees' and 'minutes'

so the 1 with a little circle, then 30 and a ' symbol is "one degree, thrifty minutes"

Each degree has 60 minutes. So it 1', 2', 3', ....59' then 1degree00'. (no symbol here)

Anyway, your numbers look in spec. The 1deg30min minus 15 minute equates to 1deg15 min...you are spot on it looks like: 1deg30min and 1deg28min.
 

·
Resident Curmudgeon
Joined
·
26,385 Posts
. Ard a member here suggested the proper numbers but Hendrick had to set it to "factory" specs, which was far away from where I was in settings.
My specs ARE WITHIN THE BMW SPECS!!!!!

If they tell you 'we can't' they are lying. IMO

The problem is that SC and dealers are lazy...throw it on the rack, if 'green' they're done. They dont want to do any more than the minimum.
 

·
Resident Curmudgeon
Joined
·
26,385 Posts
So what are YOUR recommended settings for a proper alignment all the way around...I've seen bits and pieces in threads but how about one thread that shares ALL of your expertise? I am headed to dealership in about 30 mins and would love to have this info....they are checking alignment and redoing if out...Thanks!
Use these:





with the following note:

Toe is "target 0 05 with a 'plus minus' of 0 05"...this equates to 0 dgrees 0 minutes up to 0 degrees 10 minutes.

Set the toe CLOSE to zero BUT NOT ZERO.

0 degrees 1 or 2 minutes. All 4 tires.

If they are measuring not in degrees, but in inches you want 0.01 to 0.02" toe in each wheel.

Camber I like in mid range. If you are tracking, all bets are off. You want more camber, different toe for turn in, etc...and you will not be concerned with tire wear.

People get all stupid about 'race stuff': Racers use this oil, so will I...or race cars have more toe so it must be better for my 30,000 mile touring tires. Etc.

You do not want zero toe, car will tramline and wander. 0.02 if you are overly concerned.

You can see from how BMW sets up the "target" at mid spec, mechanics think this is 'best'- it is not, in fact the spec is set this way to minimize labor and speed the process. It is easier to nail the middle of a spec, than to set it at the end.

You're prolly back from the dealer by now, but it may assist someone

A
 

·
Resident Curmudgeon
Joined
·
26,385 Posts
1. Why do people think runflats are the devils tires???? There is nothing about a runflat that leads to reduced tire life. You want to argue handling, fine- but not tire life. Plus the mich latitide is a gret runflat, superior to other brands. On my X5 with 19" rims it handles fine- but I have other cars to play in, the X5 is the SUV. I got 30k out of one set of latitude RFTs on my 2010, and am at 27k on the current set, which are toast now but since they wont see rain for 4 months I have time to replace them. Another set of Latitude ZP (run flats) in the future. (I could probably post a 'tires wanted' and find someone who things the runflats are radioactive! :) )

2. Dealer probably believes in his alignment. He is being honest about the price. HOWEVER, two issues: First, the 'BMW weighting' procedure will give you a well aligned car if you drive it fully laden 90% of the time. DO YOU? I align the car weighted the way it will be driven, which is a 115lb driver and 75 lbs of horse crap in the back. (which is to say that I do no weighting...) Second, Dealer believe "mid spec" is their target. I dont. Those drivers/posters/members here and elsewhere that adhere to the "minimum toe for maximum miles' have validated that approach. Unless they agree to set it to the MINIMUM of the BMW toe spec, go elsewhere. You'll talk to the SA, he'l dutifully take notes, but then the master alignment tech will set it where he wants it and feed you some story about "BMW handling" or "these cars are made to perform" and 'you have to pay to play"..... Truthfully, I like standing with the guy- looking at the numbers, discussing what he is seeing, etc. You dont get this at a dealer. Give the guy $10 for 'putting up with me' and you'll develop a relationship with one shop which will serve you over time. IMO

3. Rim size doesnt matter.
 

·
Resident Curmudgeon
Joined
·
26,385 Posts
Do you rotate tire? I read on this forum that BMW does not do that. Also, how often do you check alignment? Once a year or once tire change/first time BMW?
Yes, I rotate tires.

Usually with new tires. With the first x5 I didnt do it, as I heard more horror stories I had my 2012 done when new.
 

·
Resident Curmudgeon
Joined
·
26,385 Posts
Horrific.

Really pretty amazing... incompetent not to have a baseline...that is essential to understanding what the car has done to your tires.

Too much toe upo front, too little on one rear and way to much on the right rear..
 

·
Resident Curmudgeon
Joined
·
26,385 Posts
Thanks for the feedback.

So, I called the alignment shop and they're going to have the owner redo my alignment (sounds like the owner has better knowledge of doing alignments). He's supposed to call me tomorrow so that I can discuss with him and plan to leave the car with him to do the alignment.

However, the woman I spoke to told me to buy extra nuts and bolts (the ones that need to be loosened in order to adjust the toe of the rear tires) in case if the bolt breaks when they try to loosen the nut to adjust the toe. She said it's happened in the past because the nuts are fused onto the bolts due to the harsh New England weather we have. I've never heard of this before...have you guys ever heard of this??
Your car is a 2012...not much fusing going on in only 2 years. You will be fine.

I just replaced every rubber component in the front of my E39M5 over the weekend, took it in for an alignment on Monday. Hung out with the guy and discussed numbers. 0.02 per tire toe. Camber and caster at mid range. It is really very, very easy.

(And I do plan on a summary post to add to lpcapital's DIY/FAQ thread...working on it.)
 

·
Resident Curmudgeon
Joined
·
26,385 Posts
Hi ARD,

These are my current alignment values.

What should I change, if any? Camber?
They got them to 0.0?? You may notice a slight 'wandery' feel. You want just a TOUCH of toe..0.01, 0.02.

Having the camber balanced side to side is nice. (front is a touch unbalanced) Also, you are at the minimum on the rear. Probably OK. It will help tire life, might trade off just a bit in how the car sits in corners.
 

·
Resident Curmudgeon
Joined
·
26,385 Posts
My understanding is that the factory does not align their cars for optimal tire wear, they align for handling ("the ultimate driving machine"), .
I very much disagree with just this sentence.... BMW does not align for handling. that is a lie perpetuated by lazy SAs to explain tire wear. They will trot out 'it helps turn in' but really it is nonsense for the way these cars are driven. 99% of this board, me inlcuded, cannot feel 0.02 verus 0.08 on an SUV.

The BMW settings optimize time- is it simply faster and easier for production to hit those numbers, and easier for shops as well 0.08 plus or minus 0.08. MUCH easier that 0.02 plus zero, minus 0.02. Much much easier and faster.

The alignment guy WILL spend an extra 10 minutes when setting so close to zero, He'll set it, check, adjust front and rear, resettle the car on the rack, check again- and find something moved a bit, so it needs a tweek.

THIS is why BMW sets it where they do- just aim to the middle, tighten it down and as long as it is "in the green" it is "perfect"
 

·
Resident Curmudgeon
Joined
·
26,385 Posts
ARD, will shops understand these requirements? I ask, because they seem not very specific, leaving room for error, which is what most posts above seem to show (having to re-visit the shops). What would be the recommended values? The two images you shared show different After Measurements, particularly on the Toe on the Rear axle.
I started a write up on alignment and jut havent finished it...

The problem isnt "understnding'. It is being firm in communicating your expectations. If you tell a shop to "hit 0.02 on each wheel", you dont take the car home if it isnt. No need to 'go back' It is when people are mealy mouthed about what they want, they have SOME feeling about minimum toe but just kinda give half assed advice to the shop- and to the service writer and not the actual mechanic- that they dont get it done properly. Service writer notes "Alignment- cust want min toe" what do you think customer will get?

I stand next to the rack, BS with the guys, talk cars, etc.
 

·
Resident Curmudgeon
Joined
·
26,385 Posts
Sure, I understand, but I'm not sure I understand enough to intelligently tell them what to do. Can you not the recommended values, and that will probably be enough for now. I looked at your screenshots, but they vary a bit. I spoke with an Independent shop yesterday and they said they perform BMW weighted alignments to BMW spec. I asked if they would set to one end of that spec., and they said they were willing to try, if the vehicle cooperated. I'll probably make an appointment with this shop, but want to make sure I give them the correct data.
So you want 0.01 to 0.02 per tire, each of 4, toe in.

Camber, mid spec and balanced side to side

Caster is whatever.

In terms of 'vary'...yes, perhaps you get 0.01 and 0.03. Or 0.03 and 0.02 or 0.02 and 0.02. These are all, basically, the same.

At least they are willing to try. My guy at Big O tire can hit whatever I want, he gets $10 or 20 for putting up with me.
 

·
Resident Curmudgeon
Joined
·
26,385 Posts
Had my alignment redone at a different shop and they got pretty close to the .02 I asked for.

With my prior alignment (see earlier post), I could see wear starting on the shoulders of the front tires after 3,500 miles.
Those are odd specs. Why does it let toe range from neg to positive number????

you want 0.02 Toe ***IN** not out.
 

·
Resident Curmudgeon
Joined
·
26,385 Posts
I was interpreting the toe angles to be IN....clearly, I'm missing something in reading these damn alignment reports...so frustrating how much of a PITA this process is. And, surprising how many places don't know what/how to do an alignment.
But it is rather simple. Inches or degrees, you want it AS CLOSE TO ZERO AS POSSIBLE BUT NOT ZERO, just a skootch negative. (technical term)

Since BMW specs this at 0.08 +0.08 many shops think "spot on is 0.08". They cant help it, it is BMWs fault for setting this as the target. Even the machines display the little icon with a "V" with steps- setting it with the indicator at the edge of that range makes guys think they are doing wrong. Then of course you factor in "this is the ultimate driving machine and EVERYTHING the BMW engineers do is to maximize driving" mentality, which causes people (dealers, SAs, mechanics, etc) to rationalize this stuff as 'must be for handling'. Add a few internet comments where race cars are set up with wild toes to help turn in, and you have confustion.

;)
 
1 - 20 of 58 Posts
Top