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While I don't disagree that having one oddball strut isn't good, how exactly does a bad strut "change camber"? Camber is simple geometry and unless a strut is shaped like a banana or something the camber is going to be unaffected one strut to the next.
Different struts can have different damping capabilities. If one side responds differently to the other it's not too big a leap to antcipate an impact on the geometry of the front assembly at run time under load. That is when tires wear. not when the car is stationery. It's not simply a matter of component length and adjustment. length. If you were to change the FCABS using two different types of rubber you would expect it to impact the steering under load even if the geometry was perfect at rest. That's why it is always advisable to change these things in pairs.
 

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Different struts can have different damping capabilities. If one side responds differently to the other it's not too big a leap to antcipate an impact on the geometry of the front assembly at run time under load. That is when tires wear. not when the car is stationery. It's not simply a matter of component length and adjustment. length. If you were to change the FCABS using two different types of rubber you would expect it to impact the steering under load even if the geometry was perfect at rest. That's why it is always advisable to change these things in pairs.
This I don't argue, the rest is a stretch.
 

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This I don't argue, the rest is a stretch.
agree with you, the dampening on a different strut might be different, but it will still follow the same path under compression.

The brand of the strut is not the problem. That looks like a tire defect or damage from rubbing.
 

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agree with you, the dampening on a different strut might be different, but it will still follow the same path under compression.

The brand of the strut is not the problem. That looks like a tire defect or damage from rubbing.
I guess spring rate doesn't matter either huh? :facepalm:
 

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On an e46, I would not expect to find the original BMW shocks/struts, but if the others are original, then it is a safe bet that this corner has seen some collision damage that led to suspension replacement. The alignment should have revealed a residual problem, but my experience with alignment shops is that if you are not standing there watching them, they may "set the toe and let 'er go".

One shop went so far as to show me a faked up alignment report for my Volvo. The report said that the caster had changed before/after, but it happened that I had marked the adjustment bolts with a sharpie when I had replaced the struts, and they were in precisely the same position after the alignment.

Another possibility is a suspension bushing failure.
 

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To elaborate on how a damaged strut "could" be affecting this ... twin tube struts have the main shaft/piston moving inside an inner steel tube that's slightly bigger than the shaft, encased by the generous looking outer tube. I'm thinking, as has @RayPooley, the corner has sustained an impact with the kerb hard enough that the inner tube might have dislodged or loosened leading to all sorts of movement within the outer tube. Such movement would cause unanticipated camber changes with lateral loading. It won't be evident during the wheel alignment because the car isn't under lateral load when the aligning plates are mounted.

I've seen examples of this when I worked for two shock absorber importers in a former life. So while a good strut won't behave like this, a damaged twin-tube strut can.

I think we all agree OP needs to go to a well-regarded suspension business to have everything thoroughly inspected and corrected. Can anyone offer recommendations to the OP in his area?

I would definitely not return to a place that did a wheel alignment and the steering wheel was crooked - that tells me the road test was basically pointless and why would you trust an aligner who can't even tell if the steering wheel is straight?

Have I had this happen? Yes, at a BMW dealer who charged me $450 for a KDS II, the steering wheel was tilted 6 degrees! When I went back and complained the service agent suggested they take the steering wheel off and put it on a different spline ... WTF? I told him in no uncertain terms to do the alignment again until they get it right.

Of course I have never returned to that dealership for an alignment.

Lastly, install M3 caster bush inserts if they haven't been installed already, the stock bushes have holes each side of where the spigot presses in (improves ride quality) and they eventually fail making the LC arm floppy, whereas the M3 bush is solid rubber. I've had them on my 330Ci since 2007, the factory ones were buggered sometime before 90,000km.
 

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To elaborate on how a damaged strut "could" be affecting this ... twin tube struts have the main shaft/piston moving inside an inner steel tube that's slightly bigger than the shaft, encased by the generous looking outer tube. I'm thinking, as has @RayPooley, the corner has sustained an impact with the kerb hard enough that the inner tube might have dislodged or loosened leading to all sorts of movement within the outer tube. Such movement would cause unanticipated camber changes with lateral loading. It won't be evident during the wheel alignment because the car isn't under lateral load when the aligning plates are mounted.

I've seen examples of this when I worked for two shock absorber importers in a former life. So while a good strut won't behave like this, a damaged twin-tube strut can.

I think we all agree OP needs to go to a well-regarded suspension business to have everything thoroughly inspected and corrected. Can anyone offer recommendations to the OP in his area?

I would definitely not return to a place that did a wheel alignment and the steering wheel was crooked - that tells me the road test was basically pointless and why would you trust an aligner who can't even tell if the steering wheel is straight?

Have I had this happen? Yes, at a BMW dealer who charged me $450 for a KDS II, the steering wheel was tilted 6 degrees! When I went back and complained the service agent suggested they take the steering wheel off and put it on a different spline ... WTF? I told him in no uncertain terms to do the alignment again until they get it right.

Of course I have never returned to that dealership for an alignment.

Lastly, install M3 caster bush inserts if they haven't been installed already, the stock bushes have holes each side of where the spigot presses in (improves ride quality) and they eventually fail making the LC arm floppy, whereas the M3 bush is solid rubber. I've had them on my 330Ci since 2007, the factory ones were buggered sometime before 90,000km.
I have had the same experience with shop alignment. Got in the car, drove away and the steering wheel was about 10 degrees to the right. Went straight back and gave them a WTF? They just looked at me blank like I was a nutcase. These a55holes had no clue why I would be pissed off. I told them to do it again and actually had to tell them how. Idiots. The first thing you do when doing a front wheel alignment is center the steering wheel. Tie rod adjustments should be made around that.
 

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I have had the same experience with shop alignment. Got in the car, drove away and the steering wheel was about 10 degrees to the right. Went straight back and gave them a WTF? They just looked at me blank like I was a nutcase. These a55holes had no clue why I would be pissed off. I told them to do it again and actually had to tell them how. Idiots. The first thing you do when doing a front wheel alignment is center the steering wheel. Tie rod adjustments should be made around that.
I guess we're both cynical old bastards Ray!
 

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Makes me laugh (or cry) when I see such incompetence. I've had extensive barista training as it's one of my OCD "problems", and I had the misfortune of watching someone make coffee at the shops around the corner, first time I've been in there when someone walked in and ordered a coffee. So the person behind the counter took the order and payment, then proceeded ... it was hard not to burst out laughing watching such a horrible technique at almost every step.

I should have asked the customer how did it taste ... but I wasn't prepared to hear a "it's fine" answer.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
*update*....so this happened the shop to little to no strength put to it looks like PO replaced the left side and never bother with this side... 20181025_153233.jpeg

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This happened to me but at a more extreme condition as I am lowered. Same kind of cut and same part of the car. There’s a part of the fender towards the bottom of the arch kind of where it meets the bumper that sticks out. I’ve bent it flat on my stock fender and replacement fender. It stopped cutting the tire. Give that a try.


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Discussion Starter #36
The shop wasn't worried by the oil leaking out of the strut?
I'm pretty sure it's from the penetrator originally sprayed cause it's all dry there now. But I'll double check that I'm the am tho.

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