Originally Posted by kenwelch
Looking at your alignment readings you will note that the Right side front (problem location) has SAI numbers that are the same as the Left front. The problem is with the difference in the left to right Included Angle readings, the right side is less (13.4 degrees).
I found a great alignment diagnosis article by I-CAR:
Using the article on page 6 under the MacPherson Strut Suspension your problem is SAI correct
, Camber less
, Included Angle less
so the diagnosis is the Bent Knuckle (Spindle) and/or Strut.
BMW refers to the knuckle as the swivel bearing. To remove the swivel bearing the manual specifies several special tools for the replacement process.
If you study the chart on page 6 you will notice that strut tower (structure) damage would cause the SAI readings to be incorrect
In the 1980ís I was an I-CAR Certified Instructor and taught Auto Body Repair classes. I am still an ASE certified Master Collision Repair Technician. The I-CAR training materials are industry recognized and very well done. You might find the article helpful in getting the problem solved and educating the technician to your problem.
Was the wheel rim replaced during the accident repair?
There might also be run-out (bent rim)??
I was able to find out from the body shop just now that the wheel was reconditioned because of scratches. According to the body shop, they had it aligned afterwards and the camber was -1.4 on both sides. This makes me think that whatever is bent was not related to the accident and it may just be a coincidence that it's on the same corner. Or they're lying.
I had it aligned two days in a row at the same shop, so if there was a bent rim, I'd have to get really lucky to have the wheel in the same position two days in a row to get the same readings.
I think I'm going to have to do some measuring as shown in Figure 5 & 6 in the I-CAR PDF. I think it's most likely the knuckle or strut as you suggested.
Thanks for your help, Ken. I will keep this thread updated as I find out more.