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E46 Convertible
The E46 vert forum. Talk about dropping your E46 top here.

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Old 01-05-2014, 03:06 PM   #1
B_M_W
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Exclamation '02 BMW 330Ci rear wheel camber ?.?.

I've been having some tire issues with my BMW, first time I've had any wheel trouble since I got the car 7 months ago.
I did notice that the tires (the rear especially) seemed to be wearing suspiciously well on the outsides and seemed to be wearing the same in the middle, so I was skeptical..
My right rear had developed a slow leak, and so I had a replacement tire mounted until I could get a new set for the rear.. The replacement tire ended up catching a nail in it and developed a leak as well so I just said screw it, and had the tire changed for a new one since the other (left rear) seemed fine as far as tread.
When the guys at the tire shop lifted the car off the ground, they called me back and asked me which tire needed changed, I told them the one with the nail and leak. They proceeded to inform me that I needed to change the other instead and just plug the tire! I was astounded to hear this news and even asked to check the tire since I was confused at the situation at hand... Turns out, the left tire hardly wore down any at all except for the very inside of the tire, maybe an inch and a half or two inches of the inside tread of the tire was wore, the rest of the tire looked incredible; all the tread it had on it.!
The mechanic said that a lot of BMW have cambered wheels and I suppose I happened to buy one of the particular models with the cambered rear wheel.. is there any way to safely and without having to change anything about other components to the car, reduce the camber, or take the camber out alltogether so that I have a nice even tread wear on my almost $200 dollar a piece tires and actually get the full tread life out of them???
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Old 01-05-2014, 03:10 PM   #2
biMMer4.4i
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'02 BMW 330Ci rear wheel camber ?.?.

Rotate the tires on the rim itself every few thousand miles and keep proper tire pressure.


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Old 01-05-2014, 06:12 PM   #3
Max'd out
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^ only if the tires or not directional.
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Old 01-05-2014, 10:03 PM   #4
Tim30250
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Camber is easily adjustable. Sounds like you have too much negative camber if the insides are wearing unevenly. Rotation will not solve the problem if both tires are wearing on the inside. Just bring it to an alignment shop and have them adjust it.
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Old 01-06-2014, 01:35 PM   #5
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I've always had the opposite problem where it was wearing on the insides, even after several realignments. I finally told them to "overdue" the camber to compensate, and it fixed the problem. I often find that factory spec isn't always the best for your car. I also like to put my tires at 40PSI to prevent outside tire wear, but it depends on how you drive your car. I personally like to corner hard.
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Old 01-09-2014, 09:20 PM   #6
johnrando
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I know for ZHPs inner tire wear is very common.
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Old 01-11-2014, 10:52 PM   #7
biMMer4.4i
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^ only if the tires or not directional.
Very true, if you have staggered and directional tires you are stuck haha. Sounds like OP has finally encountered $35k used car maintenance...
Upon rereading the first post, it definitely sounds like an alignment is needed, as others have mentioned.


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Old 01-16-2014, 10:45 PM   #8
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make sure your rtab's are in good condition.... camber is ok, but add toe with that and you will eat your tires. I did both my rtab's and took out as much of the camber that I could. When you get on the gas, your rear tires are trying to propel your car forward. .. basically a "twisting" force and with worn bushings the tires will move forward toward the body- which adds toe to the rear wheels.
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Old 04-13-2014, 12:45 PM   #9
B_M_W
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Thumbs down Still not fixed even after alignment..

I went to my local alignment shop and had them do a 4 wheel alignment and told them I needed the rear camber adjusted..
They told me "sure, we can do that" - so I had them try and line it up..
When I went to get it back I asked if they fixed the negative camber.. and they said "we can't do it, you'll have to take it to BMW shop".. which they totally lied about in the first place but I think that is BS! Now I'm to the point where I am rather pissed. Are they really just that ignorant that they can't fix some negative wheel camber???!!!
Also, even though they did the four wheel align and supposedly fixed the toe in front, I have a slight (ever so slight, but it's still there nonetheless) pull to the right.. I feel like they just ****ed my car up even more honestly.. if not they didn't do their jobs right to begin with.
Any recommendations on somewhere other than a BMW shop that can help me out as they are doubly over expensive in comparison to anyone else?? This is frustrating me beyond belief and I'm tired of throwing $ down for people to "fix" a problem that stays the same even after work is done..
Thanks
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Old 04-14-2014, 07:13 PM   #10
johnrando
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Of course you can have them reduce the camber during an alignment for better tire wear (depending on what it's set at). But yes, as I said before, the E46s tend to wear out the inner tires. The handling would be different, but for normal DD street driving it shouldn't be a problem. Surprised they didn't mention that as an option. A good tire shop should be able to deal with that. I have heard of some alignment shops saying they couldn't, and to go to a dealer... but a dealer is not required. Wonder if camber plates would help with that. I'm not sure you could dial out ALL the negative camber. Maybe ask in the suspension forum.


EDIT: OK, I just read up on this. Front camber is more easily adjusted than rear in BMWs in general. Also, "most BMW's don't have much adjustment toward positive camber in the rear that would greatly affect tire wear", unless you buy camber plates (or what they call adjustable camber kits). Bavauto is where I read this, and they happen to have camber kits on sale.

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Old 04-15-2014, 02:29 PM   #11
B_M_W
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Thanks for the replies you guys.
The guys at the shops I've been bringing my 330 to all have something different to say about the camber & most of them are wrong. They just want to see me spend all my money at their business. I've heard everything from 'sure no problem to change the camber' to 'no, you'd have to take it to BMW shop to get anything done.'
I've since looked into aftermarket camber arms and it's my understanding that stock, there is minimal adjustment I can make, but if I put aftermarket arms on it, I can adjust them however I need. This will probably be my next course of action. I believe part of the reason I have as much camber in the rear end as I do is because the car has probably been lowered slightly from stock setup (I don't know how much though as I'm not original owner).
I still believe I can make an adjustment that will improve the tire wear, perhaps not set it to 0, but I believe the spec on the rear is setup at -1 degree on camber so as long as I can get it closer to that mark I'll be content with it. I think the aftermarket arms will be my best bet.
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Old 04-17-2014, 11:47 AM   #12
aarondb4
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I had the same issue with my 330, it would destroy the inside of the tires while the mid and outside were fine. Stock these cars will do that, lower them at all and it gets much worse.

The RTABS do play a part, if they are sloppy, it will not hold the toe adjustment under acceleration or braking and coupled with the camber will eat the inside of the tire.

The other issue is the car comes with a lot of negative camber from the factory and again, lowering the car makes it worse. There is very little adjustment for camber available in stock form, like half a degree if you are lucky. The answer is to get adjustable rear lower control arms. With the adjustable arms you can set your camber where ever you want it with the turn of a wrench. The arms are not terrible to install, you do have to drop the rear diff down a bit to get to the bolts, but it is not too hard of a job.

I installed the arms myself then took the car to the local BMW alignment expert and he set the car up to maintain some of the stock handling but to also reduce the inner tire wear. He asked me how I wanted it, my wife freeway commutes the car 50 miles per day so tire wear is more important to me than superb handling, it is not a weekend twisties car, so he set it up as such.

I got the arms on sale from Advanced Auto for $110, very cheap outlay to protect my tire investment.
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Old 04-17-2014, 11:51 AM   #13
aarondb4
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Forgot to add.

With respect to which shop to take it to. Yes you can use a BMW dealership if you want, they will definitely have the tools to get the job done, they may not be as enthused about the new adjustable arms you install.

My recommendation is to talk to a local indy shop and ask them where to go. There is a very very good indy shop close to me, they are very well respected and trusted by anyone with a BMW in a 300 mile radius. I called them up and asked where to get my car aligned. Believe it or not they told me to go to a Commercial Tire location. There is a guy that works there that is the quintessential expert on BMWs. They send all their alignment work to him. I called him up and he is the one who told me to install the adjustable arms and then bring the car to him. I had the car aligned previous to talking to him and the camber was still bad and the car pulled left. I installed the arms and took it to him and the camber is visibly better, no bad tire wear and the car tracks straight as an arrow.

Call around and see if there is a guru in your area.
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Old 04-17-2014, 08:59 PM   #14
SuperSleeper
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Excellent deal! Especially cause tires cost $125 or more a piece! Anyway, my local Big-O managed to overcompensate on the stock setup for the negative camber, and I have noticeably worse handling, but much better tire wear. Worth it for a daily commuter.
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Old 04-18-2014, 01:20 AM   #15
jaakkeeye
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wellcome to this forum site ,sorry friend i am not comfort for your question reply so please contect expert.
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Old 04-18-2014, 01:30 PM   #16
johnrando
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Originally Posted by SuperSleeper View Post
Excellent deal! Especially cause tires cost $125 or more a piece! Anyway, my local Big-O managed to overcompensate on the stock setup for the negative camber, and I have noticeably worse handling, but much better tire wear. Worth it for a daily commuter.
if you're SoCal, Globe Tire in Manhattan Beach really knows what they are doing, and they always have BMWs in their shop.
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Old 04-20-2014, 12:52 AM   #17
Nickvjr
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I took the negative camber out of the rears wheels using the adjustment bolt on the lower end of the control arm. I have 40k miles on my current set of Kumhos and the wear is excellent!
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