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///M3 Forum
The BMW E46 ///M3 is the M version E46 and puts out an amazing 333 HP and 262 lb-ft of torque at stock specs! There are an amazing amount of modifications for both the coupe and convertible models so read up and get started modifying your cars today!

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Old 06-26-2014, 04:21 AM   #1
BMA747
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Suggested wheel alignment

Hi there, I've just purchase a set of 19" wheels 10"rear and 8.5" front and will be getting an alignment this week. With the previous stock 19's I had on the car felt a little understeery and squared off very abruptly after a little power slide. I'm hoping to achieve a bit more balance in the handling, does anyone have any suggestions with alignment values I can try out? (I do have Bilstein shocks btw) I do plan on tracking it from time to time but mainly street driving.
Thanks


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Old 06-26-2014, 10:49 PM   #2
Teslazerok
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8.5" front and 10" rear = understeer

Alignment won't really change that much.
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Old 07-02-2014, 11:47 AM   #3
api
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You are still going to have understeer because of the staggered wheel sizes. You can ask the shop who is doing the alignment to adjust your toe but you will then have a car that turns faster but darts when driving in a straight line. I would recommend just having a stock alignment set and use the staggered setup as a tool to learn how not to overdrive the car.

You could increase air pressure to the rear tires to get them to break free more and get the car to rotate in corners faster. It would not take too much air pressure increase to do this. I would not suggest this though as you can cause uneven wear on the tires.

Like I said, use it as a tool for now because when the car pushes you know you are overdriving the tires. You could always sell the fronts and buy another set of 10s for the front.

Hope that helps.
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MODS: 03 M3, 6MT, PSS9, AFE Intake, Euro Ceramic Coated Headers, El Diablo Exhaust, Turner Motorsports Rear Adjustable Camber Arms, AKG Diff and Subframe bushings, PowerFlex suspension bushings, Sub-frame Reinforcement, 18'x9' square setup & one driver that grins ear to ear everytime he is driving it
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Old 07-02-2014, 06:19 PM   #4
BMA747
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Thanks api, so ill be correct saying an even/squared set up achieves better handling and car balance?
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Old 07-02-2014, 06:42 PM   #5
Teslazerok
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A squared set up is definitely the way to go if you want to get rid of understeer.
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Old 07-02-2014, 09:31 PM   #6
api
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You will be amazed at how neutral the car feels with a square setup. I would suggest trying this out at an auto-x or track event. I loved my staggered 19" for appearance but the square 18" handle so much better.
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Old 07-02-2014, 11:32 PM   #7
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Damn and I just bought new wheels, I'm still going to play with toe and camber adjustments to try and reduce the sudden squaring of the rear, I've been reading suggestions such as less camber and toe in the front an less toe in the rear.
Does anybody have a ball point baseline setup I could try?
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Old 07-03-2014, 12:09 AM   #8
Teslazerok
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This will give you a ballpark idea.

Click image for larger version

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ID:	563949
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Old 07-03-2014, 04:26 AM   #9
BMA747
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Thanks tez, ill add this to some research I've done
Cheers
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Old 11-01-2014, 04:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teslazerok View Post
This will give you a ballpark idea.

Attachment 563949
the settings on that schedule are ideal for an E46 330i sedan on 17 x 8J wheels?

elsewhere i've read:
Your car will handle MUCH better (assuming you have solid suspension under the car) if you dial in as much negative camber as possible on your stock front end and get as close to zero total toe in front as possible.

that recommendation is similar to the Track Settings of that schedule

had done alignment a month ago, but it actually worsened handling a lot, more understeer and slower in corners, so i want to do re-alignment
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Old 11-01-2014, 04:54 PM   #11
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I have 2 sets of wheels/tires, one 8.5/10 staggered street setup and a 9.5 square setup. The square setup is a lot more neutral and waaaay ahead of the staggered setup, although my staggered setup has improved since I started running spacers. Regardless though the staggered setup under steers and will snap over-steer (it's not particularly forgiving).

I haven't messed with alignments a whole lot, but my street setup is -2.8F/-2R camber and about 1/16" of total toe in on both (can't remember it's on my alignment sheet somewhere), when I track I slide in the camber plates to -3.5F/-2R which should net some toe out (helps turn in). I would say that might be your best bet if you're trying to eliminate understeer, although with that much camber and toe-out you'll see a lot of wear and dartiness on the street. If you don't already have camber plates, you should invest in a pair. Just my 2cents...

EDIT: Just realized the OP's post is s few months old...don't know much about the sedan, hopefully someone else will chime in.
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Old 11-01-2014, 05:07 PM   #12
Indiana
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Ed, thanks, ye i'm definitely staying on my square setup

haven't got adj. camber plates,
without camber plates you still can get front neg. camber of -2° i think? or up to -2.5°?

month ago with bad alignment didn't check the numbers, trusted the mechanic! and also didn't know which settings were advised

settings now must be worse than standard, otherwise can't explain handling, will first try without adj. camber plates i think, esp. if you say too much neg. camber has got downsides on the street handling (dartiness etc)

just want to have proper setting for the street (not on track)

in that attachment i copied from above post, says these are settings for E46, so guess same for sedan and coupé

in post nr 3 here
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=916509
similar settings are suggested
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Old 11-02-2014, 12:08 AM   #13
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I can really only speak for the ///M, but it's the same chassis so I would think it's transferable?

I doubt you can get -2° camber without plates. I think stock at stock height you can get -1.3/1.4° and even after lowering usually in the -1.7/1.8° range.

Definitely get a proper read out of whatever alignment you get, a good alignment is all about how patient the tech is to get everything right and symmetrical.

Given that you're already square that should help some of the understeer, but they're fairly skinny and you've also got a longer wheelbase which will increase understeer (vs a coupe).

If you don't want to get camber plates just yet then at least max out your front camber (pull the pins if you have them - madrussian DIY if you don't know what I'm talking about), but you really should consider it if you're into any motorsport or aggressive driving. Rear camber you may want to keep at -1.0 if you can't get beyond the numbers above, the less rear grip you have the less understeer. As for toe I would run a bit more than what's in your link on the street, with that little toe the car will probably be a bit darty (as in it will handle fine but constantly want to wander with the road), I would suggest a minimum of 1/32" (0.075°) total toe in (so half that per wheel), or just a bit less. As for rear toe I haven't played with much so I would guess something in the 1/16" (0.15°) total range would be ideal.

Again mostly just guessing here, I don't haven't had a whole lot of alignment setups on my car, nevermind trying to guess for a sedan.
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2002 M3 CB Coupe 6MT

VMR 710 19's||| Apex ARC8 17's|||
Painted Reflectors ||| Clear Corners |||

SGT SRS Coilovers ||| Powerflex RTABs |||

More coming soon!

Last edited by M3_Ed; 11-02-2014 at 12:10 AM.
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Old 11-05-2014, 10:07 PM   #14
Indiana
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thanks Ed, will take note of this when i go for alignment, and will see what's possible without adj. camber plates
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Old 11-06-2014, 08:42 PM   #15
Teslazerok
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Yeah you definitely won't get over -2° camber with stock parts. Heavy negative camber only helps handling in very hard cornering, it isn't advisable on the street. Toe in will add stability, toe out will add quicker response and twitchiness. You should stay very close to 0° with toe on the street as it will badly affect tire wear.
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