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Old 10-23-2013, 05:05 PM   #1
Dave
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-3.5 is the most neutral camber I can get?

I went in for an alignment after finally installing my long-dormant coilover kit and the guy (a trusted alignment-only guy, not a tire shop hack) says my Spindle must be bent from an accident or something, because even with my camber plates pulled all the way out, the best we can get to is -3.5.

Does that seem possible? How the heck could a spindle be bent? That thing is massive. (That's what she said.) To the naked eye both that and the control arm seem totally fine.

Pics of both sides attached... probably not of any value except to note how much negative camber we dialed in on the passenger side to create symmetry. Now I can chew through both front tires in a few months. (Worse: both tie rods are frozen so the driver side is also toed WAY out.)

I suppose I might as well go have some on-ramp fun with it while I can. -3.5... that's even more than people use at the track.
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Old 10-23-2013, 05:21 PM   #2
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I don't understand. you are at -3.5 and trying to get more negative camber? where do you want to be at? maybe a bent control arm. ever hit anything? what was your alignment before the coilover install?

i assume you're using camber plates?

accident history ?
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Old 10-23-2013, 05:38 PM   #3
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Seriously. Why go beyond -3.5.....

You should spend some time doing maintenance work. Bushings/balljoints. All of those things tie into your srancebrah business.

Your car will drive like **** knowing you have some busted components, the camber & what i can only imagine your wheel setup will amplify all of this.

And the tires dude.........the tires.
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Old 10-23-2013, 05:45 PM   #4
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Reading and looking at the pictures owns both of you. He wants to go more neutral, his camber plates are all the way out....meaning he is trying to go towards 0

OP, does it look that far cambered in? Bad machine?
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Old 10-23-2013, 07:51 PM   #5
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Yes, people, I want more neutral. That's why I said it in the title, and it'd be clear if you read the actual post. I've been on this site since the beta version, which means I'm a mature adult. I don't do that stance BS. Come on.

I have camber plates to go more negative, I'd rather be able to be at 0 and save the tires. I took it in and it was -3.5 camber and 66 (I think) toe. He was unable to adjust either.

It doesn't look as ridiculously cambered as those idiots that stretch 225s across 10s usually do, but it definitely was noticeable both before and especially after I swapped the setup in. No accidents that I know of and no visible damage. Changing the arms is in the middle of the long-term to-do list (all the rear rubber is the very next thing, and the pile is in my garage, but I wanted to do this then follow up in a while to see just how urgent that need is... this car is high mileage but it's all highway and miraculously the bushings all *seem* OK. I'm doing them anyway of course, as well as the entire cooling and power steering and fuel systems. Chris, is that enough maintenance for you?) but I hate doing arms (and have never attempted the spindle) and would rather not spend the money and time on that quite yet. But now I guess I probably will... that seems a much more likely culprit than the spindle.

Just checking if anyone thought there might somehow possibly be some way that there's a simpler explanation.
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Old 10-23-2013, 07:53 PM   #6
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OP, most people don't read the post comprehensively, they just like to jump to conclusions and teach people.

Is -3.5 the best you can get on both sides? Or just one side?
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Old 10-23-2013, 07:54 PM   #7
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Reading and looking at the pictures owns both of you. He wants to go more neutral, his camber plates are all the way out....meaning he is trying to go towards 0

OP, does it look that far cambered in? Bad machine?
+1
He said -3.5 is the most neutral camber he could get, not most negative.

Maybe one of your wheels is bent and he just happened to put the reflector right on the bend?
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Old 10-23-2013, 07:57 PM   #8
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Here are three photos of before I changed the suspension... with the angel eyes is a few months ago, same wheels. Without splitters is last summer when I bought it, same wheels, and sitting in the garage is last summer as well, but with a 265 square track setup (which makes the tires a bit more visible head-on).

I don't have enough of an eagle eye to say what amount of camber they looked to be at, but if I had a gun to my head I'd say it's worse this year than last.
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Old 10-23-2013, 08:01 PM   #9
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Well bends are definitely possible. These are the softest wheels I've ever owned. And I have had to straighten two of them. That one has passed every test it has gotten though. (Don't worry, these are on their way out this week... just bought a different set because I'm not going to keep spending money to try to put lipstick on a pig.) And this guy is good enough that I highly doubt he'd have allowed that to happen. Plus, yeah, it does look way off. If I can find some light I'll get a photo of it as it sits now, post-attempt.

The right side was fine. Just a tiny tiny amount of toe and the camber was fine. For the sake of symmetry we slid the plate in to -3.3. (You can see it if you look up at the top of the first photos.)
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Old 10-23-2013, 08:14 PM   #10
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-3.5 isn't that bad. But i'm not sure yours is a track setup.

It's hard to say what's going on here if -3.5 is the most "neutral" you can get. I wonder what the max is?

I also wonder what your alignment was like BEFORE the suspension install. If fine, you can attribute the problem to your camber plates. Maybe they're rotated the wrong way or something or just cheap parts (sorry, I don't know what you have)

Your biggest problem right now isn't the camber though, but the toe. Get new tierods on.

Check the documentation that came w/ the camber plates and ensure everything is rotated right. Worth a shot
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Old 10-23-2013, 08:35 PM   #11
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-3.5 is the most neutral camber I can get?

Swap the camber plate from left to right and you can get neutral .


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Old 10-23-2013, 08:47 PM   #12
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OK now that I look at this photo I can say for sure I'm nuts - I did definitely think "damn, that's really cambered in" when I first put the car down after putting the coils in.

As you can see, that's ridiculous. And it wasn't that way with the Eibach/Koni combo.

The ride height now is *slightly* lower in the front than it was before. But even if I jacked it up an inch I can't imagine that making too much of a difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mango
-3.5 isn't that bad. But i'm not sure yours is a track setup.

It's hard to say what's going on here if -3.5 is the most "neutral" you can get. I wonder what the max is?

I also wonder what your alignment was like BEFORE the suspension install. If fine, you can attribute the problem to your camber plates. Maybe they're rotated the wrong way or something or just cheap parts (sorry, I don't know what you have)

Your biggest problem right now isn't the camber though, but the toe. Get new tierods on.

Check the documentation that came w/ the camber plates and ensure everything is rotated right. Worth a shot
It's not a track setup. The coupe that I had these coils on was intended for HPDE, but my ex got it totaled. I suppose someday I might take it to Homestead, but that's not in the near future. I only put these coils on because I had a rear one explode (rust). Right now I just want them to be at sane street-able numbers. Fun, but not ridiculous.

And yeah... I'm giving the tie rods two attempts with PB blaster and then if that doesn't work, I'm going to do them (and accelerate the schedule on a rack swap and do them at the same time).

As for the alignment before... it pulled right and the wheel is a notch off center. That remains the case. Basically, cambering in the passenger side makes it a little better, but it's still clearly off.

They're TCK plates, for whatever that's worth. I happen to think that the thin gold piece with the bolts is kind of cheap (I snapped one off and had to pay $47 to replace it) but in general it seems well made.

Can a shock be bent? That's another thing he mentioned. These things seem pretty robust though.
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Old 10-23-2013, 08:54 PM   #13
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OK now that I look at this photo I can say for sure I'm nuts - I did definitely think "damn, that's really cambered in" when I first put the car down after putting the coils in.

As you can see, that's ridiculous. And it wasn't that way with the Eibach/Koni combo.

The ride height now is *slightly* lower in the front than it was before. But even if I jacked it up an inch I can't imagine that making too much of a difference.



It's not a track setup. The coupe that I had these coils on was intended for HPDE, but my ex got it totaled. I suppose someday I might take it to Homestead, but that's not in the near future. I only put these coils on because I had a rear one explode (rust). Right now I just want them to be at sane street-able numbers. Fun, but not ridiculous.

And yeah... I'm giving the tie rods two attempts with PB blaster and then if that doesn't work, I'm going to do them (and accelerate the schedule on a rack swap and do them at the same time).

As for the alignment before... it pulled right and the wheel is a notch off center. That remains the case. Basically, cambering in the passenger side makes it a little better, but it's still clearly off.

They're TCK plates, for whatever that's worth. I happen to think that the thin gold piece with the bolts is kind of cheap (I snapped one off and had to pay $47 to replace it) but in general it seems well made.

Can a shock be bent? That's another thing he mentioned. These things seem pretty robust though.
Yeah a shock can bend but not likely.

Interested if you know your exact alignment degrees (settings) before the suspension install. If it was fine, then theres something with the new parts you installed.

As mentioned above, try to see if the plates were rotated. Maybe shoot TCK an e-mail and ask how they should be installed. Or look at photos and compare to your car. Any pics of the plates installed on your car from the top?
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Old 10-23-2013, 08:56 PM   #14
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BTW worse case scenario, -3.5 isn't the end of the world.. -3 would be better. ideal if you can get a full degree @ -2.5 would be optimal, IMO. you don't want to go more than that.
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Old 10-23-2013, 09:53 PM   #15
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I don't know what the settings were before. It had been quite a while and it was long overdue. I just held out til I got new tires and ultimately ended up putting this kit on too when the shock blew.

But from the photos and from it jogging my memory, it was not nearly as severe before this install. And it was the same on both sides. Also, I'm certain the plates are on correctly, both because of self-confidence, their labeling, and the fact that they were already assembled and a straight bolt in 30 minute swap from the other setup.


Oh, **** me with a shovel... it's gotta be the shock. This suspension was on the ZCP when it got hit.

How the hell did that not ever even occur to me?

(I guess bent shock suddenly leaps to the front of the line! Amazing, though... it still functions properly. And it wasn't visibly bent. Or marred or damaged in any way.)
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:08 AM   #16
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Just spit balling here but make sure the shocks are all the way down in the pinch. If they aren't, that could be keeping them at an odd angle. I figure you've checked everything else

EDIT: As far as bent shocks, they can be fixed. I remember when I got in my accident the shop used a "shock puller" to straighten it. Of course this could just be a trick to get me to pay more but sounded legit to me.
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:12 AM   #17
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Swap the camber plate from left to right and you can get neutral .


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Old 10-24-2013, 09:35 AM   #18
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Foo, actually on my first attempt that was the case on the left side. If anything, not being down all the way would add positive camber though.
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Old 10-24-2013, 10:47 AM   #19
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Take a picture of the strut tops.

Some camber plates are designed for the non-M and they will give too much negative camber on an E46 M3.
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Old 10-25-2013, 07:16 PM   #20
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-3.5 is the most neutral camber I can get?

Also, need to check your shock mounts to see if they are mushrooming.


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