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E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

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Old 02-23-2013, 10:26 PM   #21
IxIFelIxI
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 33
My Ride: 2002 330xi
Niiiice!!! Thank you sooo much on the update. Will look into that shortly.
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Old 02-24-2013, 02:34 PM   #22
White_Knuckles
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Washington (the state)
Posts: 1,566
My Ride: 2003 325xi
Wow, three shops to get her. Basically, "fix-all makes" shops are notorious for not getting our alignment right. My son (alignment tech) explained even their zooty system often has BAD calibration numbers come up on the local database information screen. This data is updated frequently but again is sometimes flat wrong. They have cheat sheets on cars and trucks where they've discovered a problem. His shop (a large West coast, tire store chain) will not align any Euro cars. Shop policy due to specialty tools and training issues.

So, it's safest to take your car to a specialist who will have the right numbers and experience the first time. (Sorry I didn't offer this advise earlier!)
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Old 03-03-2013, 05:44 PM   #23
330xigraham
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 16
My Ride: 2004 330xi
I was wrong. Now that I have had a chance to drive the car a little more and get over the mental factor new parts tend to induce, I've concluded the issue has not been fixed after all.

When I first got the car back from the shop, the car would still drift right. It required left steering input, but I told myself it was just road crown. But today I went out and tested on a flat parking lot and the car still pulls to the right. This is exacerbated if bumps or acceleration is involved.

So in short, nothing has changed, the car still pulls to the right, despite the alignment being correct. I trust the guys at this shop and after multiple alignments, I'm sure alignment is not the issue. The question is then: what can cause steering pull that does not show up in alignment?

Bent chassis? Rear trailing arm bushing? I question the rtab, because the shop did a pretty thorough inspection and did notice the front control arm bushings were cracked. Are faulty rtabs more difficult to notice?

It must be something bent that is not noticeable by the naked eye. Or requires dis-assembly to spot. This is what has lead me to a bent chassis.

I measured the ride height (I know how to do this correctly) and left v right (both front and back) are within the 10mm tolerance.

Would a bent strut cause this and not show up in alignment?

I'm at a loss. I've driven Porsches/Mercedes/Audis for 10 years and never had such an issue with a pothole as I have with this 3 series. Are e90s more robust structurally? E60s? I'm about ready to give up on this e46. It was a good smack but it wasn't THAT hard. (e.g. no bent rim). I live in the Northeast and potholes are a reality.

Last edited by 330xigraham; 03-03-2013 at 05:49 PM. Reason: bushing v bearing
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Old 03-03-2013, 08:32 PM   #24
jmo69
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 215
My Ride: 2003 325xi e36 328is
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Originally Posted by raydio View Post
Could have been worse. I just hit one on Monday and this happened..

From the back those look like the same summer rims I have, scary
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