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Old 05-07-2013, 07:04 AM   #1
MK153
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Do I need an alignment? Replaced LCABs and RTABs w/Powerflex

After replacing both the LCABs and RTABs this weekend with Powerflex ones - I am still noticing some tramlining and steering wander.

Should I get an alignment? Think that is related?

Also - someone should buy these (clearance HRE P40 reps) - they keep tempting me.....
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Old 05-07-2013, 08:12 AM   #2
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Short answer: yes. There is only a minute chance of bolting the stuff up with the right camber & toe.
Enjoy the feel!

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Old 05-07-2013, 09:12 AM   #3
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Yes, get an alignment. Make sure you go to a place that knows they can knock out the front camber alignment pins to get the camber in spec. Also, have you replaced your steering coupler before? That makes steering wandering feel worse (an old, worn coupler that is). Check out the wear on your front tires as well. Have had bad FCABs, you probably wore out your front tires and badly worn tires will tramline like no tomorrow.
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:06 AM   #4
karl hungus
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Try to go to a shop that does manual alignments and corner balancing. You don't need to have the car corner balanced - but I'm just saying that if you find a shop that does it, usually they do manual alignments and know their stuff. Also, swap out your steering coupler before you go for the alignment - it makes a big difference to complete the whole "package".
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Old 05-07-2013, 11:08 AM   #5
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Definitely align. Also don't worry about the strut pins. I think ever since I started mentioning this a lot a couple-few years ago, people started getting the wrong idea about it being a normal adjustment. Now everyone is mentioning it all the time. It's not meant to be used unless for cases where you've bent/damaged the unibody. It's a special-circumstances only adjustment. I wouldn't play with it if you don't have to. A lot of times the punch slips and i've seen lots of scratched/dented strut towers from botched attempts. Use it for "emergencies" only. Try to fix your problems by replacing damaged components first or straightening mushroomed towers.
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:31 PM   #6
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Definitely align. Also don't worry about the strut pins. I think ever since I started mentioning this a lot a couple-few years ago, people started getting the wrong idea about it being a normal adjustment. Now everyone is mentioning it all the time. It's not meant to be used unless for cases where you've bent/damaged the unibody. It's a special-circumstances only adjustment. I wouldn't play with it if you don't have to. A lot of times the punch slips and i've seen lots of scratched/dented strut towers from botched attempts. Use it for "emergencies" only. Try to fix your problems by replacing damaged components first or straightening mushroomed towers.
I had mine punched so I could run less camber in the front. It really helped with my tram lining. I only mention that the shop should actually know about it. That probably wasn't clear. If they don't know about that, then they haven't worked on many E46s. They don't really need to touch it unless, like you said, it's way out of whack. Even if your car hasn't been wrecked, left and right front camber will be different unless you take the pins out though.
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:36 PM   #7
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I had mine punched so I could run less camber in the front. It really helped with my tram lining. I only mention that the shop should actually know about it. That probably wasn't clear. If they don't know about that, then they haven't worked on many E46s. They don't really need to touch it unless, like you said, it's way out of whack. Even if your car hasn't been wrecked, left and right front camber will be different unless you take the pins out though.
Half a degree adjustment at best. I'll be getting $500 Vorshlag plates this year.
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:38 PM   #8
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well yes you should get an alignment. do it after you're done messing with suspension components.

as mentioned, don't rule out the tires as your source of issue
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:40 PM   #9
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Half a degree adjustment at best. I'll be getting $500 Vorshlag plates this year.
It was enough to get mine equal
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Old 05-08-2013, 10:37 AM   #10
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So I dropped it off this morning at a Midas to get the alignment done.

They called me a few hours later and said they couldnít do one because the DSC would need to be reset. They said they could do it - but it would be $400. I told them no thanks.

It is actually driving fine - I just don't notice a big improvement after replacing the bushings which was a major pain in the ass.

On a plus note though - they are removing my rear resonator =)

So I have two questions for you all:
  1. Any truth in the DSC needing to be reset after alignment? Any recommendations on where to bring it for an alignment in the STL area?
  2. To remove the RTABs - I rented the tool from Bimmerworld. I followed the directions removing the flange - and half way through extracting the bushing the threaded bar broke clean off where the nuts were.

    I was able to get it out - but the threaded carrier (what pushes on the bushing) is absolutely stuck on the now also broken threaded bar. I was basically cutting my own threads trying to get the thing off.

    Now my question.... Should I be entitled to any refund for the tool? I'm thinking that my $100 is just gone - but it didnít even do the job and I followed the instructions. I know others have done this without any drama (why I rented the tool in the first place). I haven't contacted them yet.

Thanks everyone for your responses - Todd
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Old 05-08-2013, 10:40 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MK153 View Post
So I dropped it off this morning at a Midas to get the alignment done.

They called me a few hours later and said they couldnít do one because the DSC would need to be reset. They said they could do it - but it would be $400. I told them no thanks.

It is actually driving fine - I just don't notice a big improvement after replacing the bushings which was a major pain in the ass.

On a plus note though - they are removing my rear resonator =)

So I have two questions for you all:
  1. Any truth in the DSC needing to be reset after alignment? Any recommendations on where to bring it for an alignment in the STL area?
  2. To remove the RTABs - I rented the tool from Bimmerworld. I followed the directions removing the flange - and half way through extracting the bushing the threaded bar broke clean off where the nuts were.

    I was able to get it out - but the threaded carrier (what pushes on the bushing) is absolutely stuck on the now also broken threaded bar. I was basically cutting my own threads trying to get the thing off.

    Now my question.... Should I be entitled to any refund for the tool? I'm thinking that my $100 is just gone - but it didnít even do the job and I followed the instructions. I know others have done this without any drama (why I rented the tool in the first place). I haven't contacted them yet.

Thanks everyone for your responses - Todd
1) you don't need any dsc reset

2) keep the tool and if it's MIS, just ask the MIS owner to send you a new threaded rod. he'll sell it to you quite cheap. then you'll own a nice tool
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Old 05-08-2013, 10:49 AM   #12
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Re: Do I need an alignment? Replaced LCABs and RTABs w/Powerflex

If the alignment was so far off that the steering angle sensor was faulting, that may need to be re synced, but that is very uncommon for regular suspension work. After installing coilovers on my old car dsc light came on then shut off itself after the alignment.

You are probably on your own with breaking the tool. Theres so many variables as to what can break it for a company to take responsability.

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