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Is the length of the slot the same on each plate? It could just be that they changed their marking scale and you happened to get 2 different markings.

As to the camber, many things could affect it. Firstly you'll want to make sure the plates are pushed in until they hit the inner side of the factory camber slots. Then push in your struts on the plate slot.
In a perfect world they'll be even, but BMW put slots on the strut towers so that they could make sure they are even. So a proper alignment is still required.

Also, your camber will look worse if it's not on a level surface.

You may also want to angle your plates like I did (inside and back (ie. towards your stereo)) to gain caster as well. This will give you better dynamic camber, which is great since it causes you to gain camber when you turn (when you need it) without having too much for straight line braking.

I haven't measured the slots yet, plan on doing that here shortly.

The alignment of my slides are different than yours so I expect to get much more caster out of my plates.
 

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I see what you mean. They're definitely different but not necessarily bad. In your set you get either more camber (100%) and no caster or 50% camber and caster.
On our set we get something like 75% camber and 25% caster.

Have you contacted Bimmerworld? They're usually pretty good about for support.
 

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Discussion Starter #103
Public service announcement on Warranty claims and getting additional parts:

Be prepared to wait a LONG time to get replacement parts. BW only carries full kits so no replacement parts from them so you have to go to ISC-NA directly. Everyone you talk to on the phone is nice but the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. I was promised tracking information on a rear bottom mount (had a shock leak oil, got the replacement shock body, but the locking collar was so soft it had fused the bottom mount on and therefore had to buy one to fix the shock) 3 days in a row on the phone and never got any. Then after being sworn I'll get the part before my track day last Saturday at NCCAR I got it the Monday after.

The office culture of the North America headquarters seems to be "tell the customer whatever they want to hear so they get off the phone and then get around to what you told them weeks later." I'm still very satisfied with the product but the service has been terrible all due to lack of honesty. If you don't have the part and need to get it from the factory, just tell me! Don't lie to me and say you have it then weeks later when I'm inquiring tell me it your inventory turned out wrong. Don't tell me I'll get a tracking number today and not send me follow-up explaining why you couldn't because you don't have the part you told me you'd send!!!!

End Rant.
 

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Public service announcement on Warranty claims and getting additional parts:

Be prepared to wait a LONG time to get replacement parts. BW only carries full kits so no replacement parts from them so you have to go to ISC-NA directly. Everyone you talk to on the phone is nice but the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. I was promised tracking information on a rear bottom mount (had a shock leak oil, got the replacement shock body, but the locking collar was so soft it had fused the bottom mount on and therefore had to buy one to fix the shock) 3 days in a row on the phone and never got any. Then after being sworn I'll get the part before my track day last Saturday at NCCAR I got it the Monday after.

The office culture of the North America headquarters seems to be "tell the customer whatever they want to hear so they get off the phone and then get around to what you told them weeks later." I'm still very satisfied with the product but the service has been terrible all due to lack of honesty. If you don't have the part and need to get it from the factory, just tell me! Don't lie to me and say you have it then weeks later when I'm inquiring tell me it your inventory turned out wrong. Don't tell me I'll get a tracking number today and not send me follow-up explaining why you couldn't because you don't have the part you told me you'd send!!!!

End Rant.

I feel your pain.....

It's this EXACT reason I tell forum members to buy Non-Asian made coilovers when they can. There's a reason why someone gets so many
Bells & Whistles at a cheaper price point, but it's not a good reason.



Rob43
 

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Discussion Starter #106

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Update, front right shock is blown (now 2nd shock to go) and leaking oil all over the wheel well. Probably not getting covered under warranty because it's 4 years old and shocks are only covered under a 2 year time frame. :/
 

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Update, front right shock is blown (now 2nd shock to go) and leaking oil all over the wheel well. Probably not getting covered under warranty because it's 4 years old and shocks are only covered under a 2 year time frame. :/
Sucks. Time to move up to a high quality double adjustable set that are fully rebuildable.
 

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Discussion Starter #109
So it turns out ISC had a front shock here stateside and I went ahead and had them ship it to me with new collars (after a lot of difficulty with the rear shock collars being seized up I wasn't going to try to reuse). I'll post some pictures when I get them off my phone to home computer. Really easy process once I separated the bottom mount and the shock body. It got me back to normal just in time for SVT Superfest at VIR which is a great 3 day event, I attend as a Track Club USA member since I'm clearly not in a Mustang. The car handled great, I ran down everything from new 5.0s to 350Rs, C7 Vettes, of course mainly driver difference but none-the-less these shocks really are great value.

I came across a set of Bilstein Sport coilovers that need one rebuilt for the set to work. I asked James Clay, owner of Bimmerworld and friend, if I should transition to those from the ISC N1s and he said absolutely not. I'd probably have a more cushy street ride but they wouldn't perform nearly as well as the ISC on track.

So with that advice I've gone ahead and proactively ordered another front and rear shock to refresh my whole set up. It's only $75 for a replacement shock and $5 for a collar (if needed). Talking with a lot of racers and track enthusiasts, getting as much life out of these shocks over the last 4 years is actually really good. I'd guestimate I've had 50+ track days on these shocks and 4 years of daily driving (48k miles total).

I certainly was frustrated when I found out my shock was leaking oil before an event earlier in the month but I am back in full swing a fan of these.

ISC also let me know they had gone thru an admittedly poor season of customer service and availability of parts in part of 2016 and certainly this has been a different experience than when I got my rear shock replaced.
 

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So I have a set of the Track version in the mail, so I'll see what I get, but I thought I would relay what Bimmerworld just told me about the camber plates. Because of some of the posts above about camber and caster adjustment I asked them if the current model is camber only or camber and caster combo (as the OP has indicated) or what. They said they have seen this vary (kind of scary, not sure how that is possible from a manufacturer's standpoint) and that what ISC considers the correct plates are camber only, but some are machined at an angle which allow caster adjustment as well, which is good. If they are the "correct" plates and have no caster adjustment, and are sold as universal for all E46 models including the M3, they will have the factory amount of caster for an M3, which is more than a non-M has. So in other words, caster improvement for a non-M, and it doesn't reduce the caster on an M3. We'll see what I get with my roll of the dice...
 

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So I have a set of the Track version in the mail, so I'll see what I get, but I thought I would relay what Bimmerworld just told me about the camber plates. Because of some of the posts above about camber and caster adjustment I asked them if the current model is camber only or camber and caster combo (as the OP has indicated) or what. They said they have seen this vary (kind of scary, not sure how that is possible from a manufacturer's standpoint) and that what ISC considers the correct plates are camber only, but some are machined at an angle which allow caster adjustment as well, which is good. If they are the "correct" plates and have no caster adjustment, and are sold as universal for all E46 models including the M3, they will have the factory amount of caster for an M3, which is more than a non-M has. So in other words, caster improvement for a non-M, and it doesn't reduce the caster on an M3. We'll see what I get with my roll of the dice...
On my set, and I believe all that I've seen, the cast is only adjustable by rotation the plate, but you trade off camber adjustment when you do that.
So you either have 100% camber adjustment, 100% caster adjustment, or 50/50 camber/caster adjustment with the slot 45' between.
 

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So I got the typical camber only "version" of the plates. Based on what Bimmerworld told me about the caster, I didn't care. Except when I took it to the shop to have them installed, the shop tells me the opposite, that it will remove caster from my M3. I just called ISC and Bimmerworld and they both confirmed what the shop told me. FML

So - How important is this? Everyone talks about camber in relation to handling, tire wear, etc., but rarely do I see the merits of caster discussed. I know what it is, and I know typically when getting a performance alignment with plates that are adjustable, the caster is maximized. What happens to the handling if it's actually reduced from factory spec on these cars? Does it place further stress on the strut mount area of the chassis? ISC noted that they've sold a lot of these kits for track focused cars and never heard of a problem. The OP on this thread hasn't mentioned this. Does it matter?

I use my car for auto-x and track days mostly, and occasional back road fun, not a DD.
 

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So I got the typical camber only "version" of the plates. Based on what Bimmerworld told me about the caster, I didn't care. Except when I took it to the shop to have them installed, the shop tells me the opposite, that it will remove caster from my M3. I just called ISC and Bimmerworld and they both confirmed what the shop told me. FML

So - How important is this? Everyone talks about camber in relation to handling, tire wear, etc., but rarely do I see the merits of caster discussed. I know what it is, and I know typically when getting a performance alignment with plates that are adjustable, the caster is maximized. What happens to the handling if it's actually reduced from factory spec on these cars? Does it place further stress on the strut mount area of the chassis? ISC noted that they've sold a lot of these kits for track focused cars and never heard of a problem. The OP on this thread hasn't mentioned this. Does it matter?

I use my car for auto-x and track days mostly, and occasional back road fun, not a DD.
Usually you want as much positive caster as you can get, as it adds dynamic camber. Dynamic camber gives you more negative camber on your outer wheel (and less on your inner) when you turn the wheel, which is just when you need it most.
The downside is that steering effort is increased. Way too much caster could prevent your wheel from returning to center on its own.
There are also weight jacking and other smaller effects.
http://www.motoiq.com/MagazineArticles/ID/1982/The-Ultimate-Handling-Guide-Part-8-Understanding-Your-Caster-King-Pin-Inclination-and-Scrub.aspx
 

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Ok, so update. I adapted the N1 to fit the Turner camber/caster plates I had, got everything installed, and it feels nice and tight. Here's a question though: The rear ride height is about 5/8" higher than I wanted, and I've got the spring seat screwed all the way against the perch. If I understand how this works correctly (and I may not), the spring and its adjustable perch determines the ride height, and the screw adjustment on the shock body determines the droop, so in combination they determine the suspension's effective range. If I'm right that means I can't go any lower, but I have a hard time believing that because I'm really not slamming it. Low yes, but not slammed. Shooting for 13.0" ride height in the back, which is a pretty common number. For a race car like the OP's I would be surprised if he wouldn't be as low as I'm shooting for.
 

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Which if you still have a factory FCAB, I recommend you upgrade to either the Powerflex poly BMW Control Arm Bushings | BimmerWorld or what I’m running which is the Treehouse solid delrin piece BMW Engine Performance | BimmerWorld They made such a great difference, it was a new car when I changed out the FCAB for the Treehouse from Bimmerworld.

With the oem shock out, it was easy to mount the ISC front assembly in the clamp, * note that the flat side of the sway bar mount on the shock faced the engine bay and the concave side faced out (otherwise you have the wrong front shock on the wrong side, yes there are sides!). Also the bottom of the shock will not go to the bottom of the shock clamp, there will be some space left. You don’t need to get it further than this down, it’s made to sit in the mount up to the flare in the ISC shock body, other suspension systems are like this as well. You also want to get the top of the camber plate up in the strut tower with the adjustment lines as such, or pointing towards the center of the car towards the outer corner of the front of the car. We used the jack to slowly position the top of the ISC assembly up into the strut tower in the engine bay. We got both shocks up and loosely mounted, not tightened down in the engine bay before connecting the sway bar linkage on the bottom to the sway bar. You never want to set the sway bar under load as in on the ground with one wheel not jacked up in the air. Once we had both front shocks in their clamps, up loosely in the strut tower mounts, and with the sway bar linkage attached to the ISC shock body, we raised up the shock using the jack on the spindle and set the top nuts on the bolts thru the strut tower brace. We elected to use the oem nuts up top rather than what came with the kit because they’re self centering. I’ll get to setting ride height later.
First (obviously) get the car in the air on jack stands, the higher the better to make your life easier, a lift would be ideal but since you have to get into the trunk area for the rear shock mounts tall jack stands are a great middle ground. Remove wheels.

A tip for the front shocks is to set the ride height using the gold rings to be equal on both. For example we got the top spindle to a point where we could finger tighten if needed against the spring, as in the spring wasn’t being compressed very much, set smaller spindle below that, and then had the one below that that’s against the shock body 6 threads down. Then after the car is set, you have an equal set to start working on measurements with.

Up front, you will disconnect the sway bar linkage from the sway bar, no need to disconnect it from the shock body to take the shock out. Take off the sway bar in the engine bay, take the bar off the mounts first, then take the nuts off the strut mount, as you’ll need to install them back individually to make life easy at the end. Then take out bottom shock clamp bolt (my vernacular) so the shock is now disconnected from the car. We ended up taking off the brakeline from the body as well as not to put strain on the s/s lines I have, the brake system only leaked minimal fluid since the system still had vacuum and we bled it before completing the job. We put the line back on as soon as possible to keep as much fluid in the system too. I took off the caliper clip and set it on my wheel so we wouldn’t forget to do the bleed, otherwise the first test ride we took might have been the last!

We compressed the spring using a mobile vice as seen so the shock would clear the fender now that the brake line was undone and the abs line was loose from it’s mount as well. We did use some pry-bar power because I wasn’t concerned about a scratch or scrape, but if you want to get the shock out with none of that feel free to take the front control arm off and anything else that is part of the assembly it’s mounted in, we just cheated a little bit. Once the shock was rotated out of the wheel well but still in the clamp, using the pry-bar to provide some help spreading the clamp, I twisted the oem shock/spring assembly out, work it out slow, no need to put stress on your FCAB and beware you may put some pressure on the bottom of your fender.
Excellent information! I just purchased ISC N1 for my E46 325i. Can't wait to install. You were very helpful. Thank you!
 
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