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Discussion Starter #1
I need your help guys
Just replace both FCAB and left FCA and new front shocks and all the upper plates
Replaced FCA left bacause lower ball joint was shot.
I do have a little shake in the steering wheel.
I went for an alignment and I have positive camber on the right side.
Do i need to replace the right FCA?
All other are in spec after alignment steering wheel is straight and car isn't pulling on any side
 

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Does the alignment shop know how to properly align bimmers. It’s a real science. The gas tank needs to be full, the seats have to be loaded with weights, etc. the front camber is adjustable by knowing out the locating pin on the strut’s top bearing. The strut’s shaft runs through the bearing and held in place with a nut. This bearing is then bolted to the car. The alignment pin is located on the top of the bearing. The pin is next to one of the bearing’s bolts as shown in the link.


Where are you located? You really need to find an alignment shop that knows h PPI w to align a bimmer. As for the LCA, they should be replaced in pairs along with the bushings.
 

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E30M3 Race F10 535 R1150Rt M Coupe
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Please post the alignment printout.
Also a shot of the two front strut towers.
 

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Also, check your strut towers for mushrooming. I had one starting on my 1st alignment which made the camber adjustment not quite perfect. Fixed it when I installed new struts and the alignment shop was able to match both sides to factory spec.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Also, check your strut towers for mushrooming. I had one starting on my 1st alignment which made the camber adjustment not quite perfect. Fixed it when I installed new struts and the alignment shop was able to match both sides to factory spec.
The strut towers are straight. I mean both are the same. No mushrooming.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Does the alignment shop know how to properly align bimmers. It’s a real science. The gas tank needs to be full, the seats have to be loaded with weights, etc. the front camber is adjustable by knowing out the locating pin on the strut’s top bearing. The strut’s shaft runs through the bearing and held in place with a nut. This bearing is then bolted to the car. The alignment pin is located on the top of the bearing. The pin is next to one of the bearing’s bolts as shown in the link.


Where are you located? You really need to find an alignment shop that knows h PPI w to align a bimmer. As for the LCA, they should be replaced in pairs along with the bushings.
I have tried and measured the distance around the bolts and they look identical on both side. None of them is offset.
I am having some intermittent wheel wobble tho. It not constant. It's smooth sometimes and sometimes not I feel the shake in steering wheel.
The bushings are new. Only about 4 months old. Less than 10k KM
I am probably faaaaar away fron you guys.
I'm from Mauritius
 

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E30M3 Race F10 535 R1150Rt M Coupe
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Here is the print out
Can you repost a better image?
I ask about the shock towers, because I need to know if the shop removed the assembly pins out of the strut mounts?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Can you repost a better image?
I ask about the shock towers, because I need to know if the shop removed the assembly pins out of the strut mounts?
I will get you the images tomorrow.
For thr pins that is supposed to lock them on place then yes they are still there on both sides.
Should I remove them and adjust the camber?
 

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As best I can read that printout, you have almost no front camber on either side- as in, you're within a fraction of a degree of 0.

If the pins are in, then the shop could not have changed front camber, so why before and after are different makes me suspect error
(but I can't really make out what the 'before' values were, and half a degree is certainly normal error margins.)

As to what you SHOULD have, that's up to you- if you want it to be stable and steady in a straight line, you're fine.
You can toe it in by mm increments (see below) to make it increasingly stable- altho, with zero camber, 2mm is plenty.

If you want a bit less understeer and a bit more forward grip, knock the pins and suck the struts full in.
And set toe to just a tiny bit 'in'. You can measure- 2 straight edges across the tire, 2 tape measures, and get the front dimension
a mm or so smaller than the rear measurement. Check 3 times, rolling the car, just to make sure you're not reading tire irregularity.

That'll stick better and turn better, but follow ruts a bit more and drift more in cross winds. You can balance that by toeing it
in or out- tires won't wear much until you hit about 5mm total difference, if not more (depending on how flexy your tires are)

t
it's science right up to the point that it becomes personal preference.
 

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E30M3 Race F10 535 R1150Rt M Coupe
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I will get you the images tomorrow.
For thr pins that is supposed to lock them on place then yes they are still there on both sides.
Should I remove them and adjust the camber?
I need a readable alignment. It's almost never that a car gets a wheel alignment and the pins are still there. If...done to my standards.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
As best I can read that printout, you have almost no front camber on either side- as in, you're within a fraction of a degree of 0.

If the pins are in, then the shop could not have changed front camber, so why before and after are different makes me suspect error
(but I can't really make out what the 'before' values were, and half a degree is certainly normal error margins.)

As to what you SHOULD have, that's up to you- if you want it to be stable and steady in a straight line, you're fine.
You can toe it in by mm increments (see below) to make it increasingly stable- altho, with zero camber, 2mm is plenty.

If you want a bit less understeer and a bit more forward grip, knock the pins and suck the struts full in.
And set toe to just a tiny bit 'in'. You can measure- 2 straight edges across the tire, 2 tape measures, and get the front dimension
a mm or so smaller than the rear measurement. Check 3 times, rolling the car, just to make sure you're not reading tire irregularity.

That'll stick better and turn better, but follow ruts a bit more and drift more in cross winds. You can balance that by toeing it
in or out- tires won't wear much until you hit about 5mm total difference, if not more (depending on how flexy your tires are)

t
it's science right up to the point that it becomes personal preference.
Thanks for the informative reply.
The +0.47 camber on the right is negligible? Or would in be better if corrected?
 

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E30M3 Race F10 535 R1150Rt M Coupe
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I'm curious as to why you have a positive camber on the right side.
Removing the assembly pins for both sides could possibly see a change for the better. What's nice is this machine uses the same measurement as my Biessbarth German machine. (minutes)

If the assembly pins are removed and the 2 shock mount nuts are loosened; I would slide the right strut fully inboard. I would also slide the left side fully outward.
The adjustment potential for the struts is +/- 30' minutes. However the pins are in the middle of that range.
Hopefully you could realize a final camber number of perhaps: -01°06' left and +00°27' right?
Not perfect but having the two fronts closer together is better.

What's odd is the increase of "Setback Angle". The setback angle (although yours isn't too bad) is the difference of the measurement of center to center (C/C) of the left wheels compared to the right. Yours is slightly positive (+00°10'), meaning the C/C of the right side is closer. Perhaps a result of the positive camber and why that happened. (???)

We don't have E46 Compact here in the USA. I wonder why the rear camber has such a disparity? Both the before and after numbers have swapped. Also the rear toe (half toe) is out of specification.

It's very common to have a car on my alignment machine and the car is not perfect from many things owing to age, sag, potholes etc.
What we try to do is make both left/right side as close to each other as possible. When the left/right are close, the better the car will drive.

I'd imagine the car drives fine?
Do you know if they weighted the car down and took measurements of the ride height BEFORE performing the wheel alignment?

I realize that I'm tearing this to shreds, I'm just fussy about alignments. My attitude is if you're going to do an alignment and the adjustment potential is there, then just do it!
 

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Thanks for the informative reply.
The +0.47 camber on the right is negligible? Or would in be better if corrected?
Hmm, I read it as smaller than that- yes, I would correct that. But since I do my own
alignment work, it'd be 10 minutes to jack it up, punch the pin and move the strut top in a bit.
If I was spending money, I might put it off. It's not a lot, if you're just commuting.

I agree with Don, above- something's a little bit off, and it seems like the shop
should have removed the pins and moved the struts. Like him, I have found that
on our cars, the pins are no longer in the right place for truly 'proper' alignment.

t
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'm curious as to why you have a positive camber on the right side.
Removing the assembly pins for both sides could possibly see a change for the better. What's nice is this machine uses the same measurement as my Biessbarth German machine. (minutes)

If the assembly pins are removed and the 2 shock mount nuts are loosened; I would slide the right strut fully inboard. I would also slide the left side fully outward.
The adjustment potential for the struts is +/- 30' minutes. However the pins are in the middle of that range.
Hopefully you could realize a final camber number of perhaps: -01°06' left and +00°27' right?
Not perfect but having the two fronts closer together is better.

What's odd is the increase of "Setback Angle". The setback angle (although yours isn't too bad) is the difference of the measurement of center to center (C/C) of the left wheels compared to the right. Yours is slightly positive (+00°10'), meaning the C/C of the right side is closer. Perhaps a result of the positive camber and why that happened. (???)

We don't have E46 Compact here in the USA. I wonder why the rear camber has such a disparity? Both the before and after numbers have swapped. Also the rear toe (half toe) is out of specification.

It's very common to have a car on my alignment machine and the car is not perfect from many things owing to age, sag, potholes etc.
What we try to do is make both left/right side as close to each other as possible. When the left/right are close, the better the car will drive.

I'd imagine the car drives fine?
Do you know if they weighted the car down and took measurements of the ride height BEFORE performing the wheel alignment?

I realize that I'm tearing this to shreds, I'm just fussy about alignments. My attitude is if you're going to do an alignment and the adjustment potential is there, then just do it!
I am no expert in alignment and will check with the guys that did the alignment tomorrow amd prob woop their asses. But no he did not weight down the car or nothing.
Today I jacked the car up and removed the pin and moved the strut as far to the inside as possible.
My question is, should i do the other side too? I only did where the camber was positive.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I missed something. It's a normal sedan but with the m43b19 engine.
Maybe the right camber is off because I changed the LCA only on one side?
 

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E30M3 Race F10 535 R1150Rt M Coupe
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I would slide the right side inboard, and the left side outboard.
 
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