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General E46 Forum
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Old 12-30-2011, 01:06 PM   #1
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I need help

I'm having alignment issues. I took my car to multiple dealerships and shops that claimed they could align bmw's. After trying they told me that they were unable to align my wheels. my left rear tire is at -2.2 camber and -1.75 it seems as if all my tires are off except the left front. Could there be a problem with something in the axle or whatever keeps the tires aligned that it is bent and if so how much do they usually run for.
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Old 12-30-2011, 01:13 PM   #2
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What are you having issue with. Stock camber on a sport package car for instance is about -1.7*, are you refering to your toe being out? does the car pull?

You will have to provide more information,.
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Old 12-30-2011, 06:23 PM   #3
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the left front has -.9 camber and .10 toe. the right front has -1.5 camber and .27 toe. the left rear has -2.2 camber and -1.75 toe. the right rear has -1.4 camber and .9 toe. i don't know because it took them two hours and they were only able to fix the toe of the left front.
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Old 12-30-2011, 07:50 PM   #4
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You took it to a bmw dealer for this?

It might just be that the shops didn't know what they were doing. There's an order for alignment...don't know what it is, but that's one thing...I think Camber before toe, but don't quote me.

Then, they need to either add weight (like 150 lbs in the front seats, 150 in the rear seat, and I think 50 lbs. in the trunk...that, or have a machine that compensates for no weight.

Mostly I think they didn't know what they were doing. If they can't align it properly, they should at least be able to tell you why. Maybe they couldn't break apart the nut on the tie rod (because they didn't try hard enough or didn't try because they wanted to sell you new tie rods. In the rear, unless you're lowered (are you?), you should have enough adjustment to get camber right. I thought toe for the rear was supposed to be 0, but maybe not.

Anyway, what did this shop tell you was the reason why they couldn't do better?

If there's an issue getting it right, it's either the shop or some parts, or both. Sorry, not much help, I know...I'm not a mechanic...but pretend pretty well at times! lol
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Old 12-30-2011, 07:56 PM   #5
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I have no idea if I am lowered or not. they told me that they were just unable to align them. they had the factory details for the alignments, but were unable to get the adjustments to that standard.
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Old 12-30-2011, 09:03 PM   #6
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For the front, alignment for toe is done by adjusting the length of the tie rods. As they get old they are near impossible to turn to adjust. This could be a problem. As for the camber, usually most semi competent mechanics with equipment can fix that, adjustment is done at the point where your strut connects to the frame with three bolts. All of this done by laser measuring sort of gadgets so not all who claim that they can, actually can do it properly. Take it to a good shop, you are in Maryland, in Philly and West chester there are plenty of decent places that specializes in BMWs that can get it done for you, check the regional forums.

For the rear, its the RTABs are the ones that hard to adjust but not as hard as camber.

Check your tie rods by raising the front of the car and see if there is any 9 oclock to 3 oclock nudge of loose movement, there are you tube vids for this test.

Also check to see if your springs and struts are good. It could be a blown strut, or strut head, you could check for fluid leaks or do a simple bounce test. Blown control arm bushings could also throw off the camber values.. It seems your suspension needs some maintenance in any case.

I am guessing you hit a curb or something while parking, or hit a big pothole awhile ago and didnt even realize it, thats how I learned so much about suspension, a big ****in pot hole.

Last edited by doshu; 12-30-2011 at 09:10 PM.
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Old 12-31-2011, 01:42 AM   #7
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op there could definitely be something bent, Have you inspected the subframe or any other part underneath the car. Id check around for things that look out of place. Your car could have been ran over a curb or something similar which could bend something and throw the alignment off.
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Old 12-31-2011, 02:36 AM   #8
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i have the same problem ! the shop told me i have worn out bushings. i got home and they look brand new ! they charged me $120 even though they did not do the proper alignment.
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