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Suspension & Braking Forum by BimmerWorld
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Old 08-27-2013, 03:02 PM   #1
basketball00011
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Better alignment or camber plates?

Hey guys so I just bought this 03 330ci. The previous owner put H&R coiloveds on it. Not sure which ones, but he set them to low as they can go. I just put tires on it (staggered) and got it aligned. But I can visually see my rears have excessive negative camber and can also see my front has some too. I just put FCAB in before the alignment and it handles a ton better with the alignment but I'm afraid of rapid inside tire wear.

Now the alignment shop said they got no way of printing out the specs for me. So now I know not to go back to them. But I'm a tech at a shop and we don't have an alignment machine so we get a discount thru these guys. Now I've done some more reading but am confused on whether I NEED camber plates/arms or not. What are your suggestions. If I corner hard it wants to under steer currently and I want more of an aggressive handling car.

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Old 08-27-2013, 04:52 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by basketball00011 View Post
Hey guys so I just bought this 03 330ci. The previous owner put H&R coiloveds on it. Not sure which ones, but he set them to low as they can go. I just put tires on it (staggered) and got it aligned. But I can visually see my rears have excessive negative camber and can also see my front has some too. I just put FCAB in before the alignment and it handles a ton better with the alignment but I'm afraid of rapid inside tire wear.

Now the alignment shop said they got no way of printing out the specs for me. So now I know not to go back to them. But I'm a tech at a shop and we don't have an alignment machine so we get a discount thru these guys. Now I've done some more reading but am confused on whether I NEED camber plates/arms or not. What are your suggestions. If I corner hard it wants to under steer currently and I want more of an aggressive handling car.

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Wow. You need to toss whatever garbage the previous owner installed on that car in the garbage. Your roll center is massively and negatively altered and no wonder why you car handles like crap. Way way way way WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY too low.

Last, you don't need camber plates to be at or near decent alignment specs. Don't get camber plates to fix problems, get camber plates to complement quality suspension components. Whatever you have on your car isn't it.

If they are quality, raise it up WAY way higher and go from there. these aren't hondas--there is plenty of adjustability for respectable suspension height.
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Old 08-27-2013, 04:56 PM   #3
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Wow. You need to toss whatever garbage the previous owner installed on that car in the garbage. Your roll center is massively and negatively altered and no wonder why you car handles like crap. Way way way way WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY too low.

Last, you don't need camber plates to be at or near decent alignment specs. Don't get camber plates to fix problems, get camber plates to complement quality suspension components. Whatever you have on your car isn't it.

If they are quality, raise it up WAY way higher and go from there. these aren't hondas--there is plenty of adjustability for respectable suspension height.

Okay, they are actual H&R's, i checked but yes it is extremely low, i know. Planned on lifting it back up in winter getting new rims anyways, but was gonna wait..
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Old 08-27-2013, 05:04 PM   #4
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Okay, they are actual H&R's, i checked but yes it is extremely low, i know. Planned on lifting it back up in winter getting new rims anyways, but was gonna wait..
You should do it now. Riding that low is dangerous and will also destroy your car including the suspension. I can provide more information on several levels of detail depending on how comfortable you are with explanations. But yeah it's not good. at all.
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Old 08-27-2013, 05:12 PM   #5
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Better alignment or camber plates?

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You should do it now. Riding that low is dangerous and will also destroy your car including the suspension. I can provide more information on several levels of detail depending on how comfortable you are with explanations. But yeah it's not good. at all.
More information is welcome. I'm no n00b when it comes to cars. (BMW tech for 2 years) just new to the lowering and coilover scene.


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Old 08-27-2013, 05:21 PM   #6
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More information is welcome. I'm no n00b when it comes to cars. (BMW tech for 2 years) just new to the lowering and coilover scene.


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Ok for one, (besides the info I gave you on drastically and negatively altering your roll center) what do you think happens to your rear inner upper and lower control arm bushings at that suspension height? THat's right, theyre going to prematurely wear (as if they aren't worn enough) that's part of the reason i recommend raising it asap.

there's at least 5 other issues i can think off off the top of my head that are even worse.
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Old 08-27-2013, 05:27 PM   #7
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Better alignment or camber plates?

I expect that to happen whenever lowering a car. I know my height will speed up the effect. My front bushings are all replaced. But I get what your saying. I know my handling is sacrificed as well.

I think I'm gonna look at getting rear camber arms and just putting them on once I'm lifted back up


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Old 08-27-2013, 05:40 PM   #8
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I expect that to happen whenever lowering a car. I know my height will speed up the effect. My front bushings are all replaced. But I get what your saying. I know my handling is sacrificed as well.

I think I'm gonna look at getting rear camber arms and just putting them on once I'm lifted back up


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Just curious what for?
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Old 08-27-2013, 05:45 PM   #9
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Better alignment or camber plates?

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Just curious what for?
You know now that you ask me. I don't know haha. Since if I lift it back up I should be able to get back to the specs I want.

I'm looking for an aggressive driving style. I want to get rid of under steer as much as possible. Without getting a square setup and front roll bar. Factory adjustments should be able to handle this right?


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Old 08-27-2013, 05:52 PM   #10
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You know now that you ask me. I don't know haha. Since if I lift it back up I should be able to get back to the specs I want.

I'm looking for an aggressive driving style. I want to get rid of under steer as much as possible. Without getting a square setup and front roll bar. Factory adjustments should be able to handle this right?


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Yeah you're best off refreshing the suspension, bushings included, and good tires.

Also i'd do a quad m3 balljoint install/mod on your car. since you are a tech, you know what that is
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Old 02-06-2014, 03:03 PM   #11
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Just curious what for?
The camber in the rear of the car is affected. Adjustable rear control arms/camber kits are required when you lower the car this much as it's affecting suspension geometry. Installing these parts allow technicians or said professionals be able to adjust within spec to correct said issues. What the heck do you mean " what for?" Ops car is pretty low, it's obviously too low. Don't ask questions you don't have the answer to. Learn. Grand superpatriot, heh. Ever wonder why you still aren't a mod after so long?

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Old 02-06-2014, 03:03 PM   #12
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Old 02-06-2014, 03:31 PM   #13
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You know now that you ask me. I don't know haha. Since if I lift it back up I should be able to get back to the specs I want.

I'm looking for an aggressive driving style. I want to get rid of under steer as much as possible. Without getting a square setup and front roll bar. Factory adjustments should be able to handle this right?


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Mango's right about the ride height. For best handling, you need enough suspension travel to absorb mid-corner bumps and stay off the bump stops. Hit the stops and you lose suspension compliance and traction.

Moderate lowering, along with increased spring rate and shocks designed to handle that spring rate, is really the way to go.

To reduce understeer, I'd set rear camber at stock settings, add a little negative camber up front (maybe -1.0 to -1.5 degrees for a street-driven car) and fit a larger adjustable rear anti-roll bar. Since the bar is stiffer, start at its softest setting (end links as far out on the bar as possible) and drive the car to make sure it's not too tail-happy. Still too much push? Move both end links in to the next adjustment hole, and test-drive again.
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