BMW M3 Forum (E90 E92)

BMW Garage BMW Meets Register Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Go Back   M3Post - BMW M3 Forum > E90/E92 M3 Technical Topics > Suspension | Brakes | Chassis
 
Post Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
      03-05-2012, 10:47 PM   #1
Sleeper519
Captain
 
Sleeper519's Avatar
 
Drives: 08 E92 M3 DCT
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Atlanta, GA

Posts: 721
iTrader: (0)

GC camber plates: Review of failed install(s)

Here is my tale of woe trying to get these installed on my E92 before my first track event of the season. First of all, let me state up front that this is not a bash on Ground Control at all. I understand them to be a reputable provider of aftermarket suspension parts and systems, and they have been very responsive to me in trying to resolve these multiple problems despite a great geographical distance.

I ordered my camber plates weeks ahead of time to avoid any last minute delays. I took my car to Forged Performance in Atlanta to install my StopTech BBK as well as the GC plates. They are expert tuners specializing in GTRs but also do Porsche and BMW, and provided me outstanding customer service. I received a call on install day saying it didn’t fit---spring perch on the plates would not fit on my springs. A call and e-mail photo to GC revealed that they had sent me “Non-M3” parts by mistake. Big bummer. Picked up car, great brakes though. GC ships new appropriate sized plates to me and we try it again 3 days later. I get a call from Forged that a bolt snapped off on install with very little force. Major bummer. As I mentioned in the other thread the bolts are supposedly tested to 50 ft-lbs but spec is for 18 ft-lbs. This one broke at 17. Ryan at Forged was kind enough to take and send multiple pics to GC and plead my case for me. Initially, GC balked at replacing the piece (single thin horseshoe bracket w/ the 3 vertical bolts), saying that it has been thoroughly tested and not considered a warranty item (??)—a $15 item on a $500 pair of plates. They did acquiesce and agree to honor the warranty and send a replacement part via next day air ($65 shipping on me). Now I’m in a rental car to get to work, and have paid labor for 2 installs and no finished product to show for it. Parts arrive, 3rd install completed with a *cautious* 17 ft-lbs of torque, I get call car is ready. Go to pick up, get under the hood to check work and notice said bolt is broken off and can be plucked straight out to the amazement of all. Forged had only test-driven car around the block prior to my arrival. Stranded, no car now, a gracious Forged employee gives me a courtesy ride across town to work (night Call at hospital—actually walked 2 miles home at 3:00AM), track event now in jeopardy. Nuclear bummer. Forged un-installs and replaces stock mounts. So now I pick up my car after a week and a half, having paid over $600 labor for 3 installs with zero to show for it, plus shipping costs, plus out of pocket rental car fees, plus incalculable hassle and heartache.

Another forum member here (Kaiv?) reported a similar bolt failure on install. Seeing this pattern, I wonder if its a flawed design. GC disagrees. Perhaps a bad batch or quality controls issue? Maybe, but I think this item in question is the weak link to theis particular camber plate. I’m not a mechanical engineer by any means so take what I say with a grain of salt. By attempting to keep the stack height stock (not raised), they shaved off the head of the one bolt that needed to slide over a lower plate. The headless bolt has only a few threads engaged into a very thin plate, with a small tack weld to support it. It failed twice at a fraction of the tested torque. If they redesigned it to allow the bolt head to stay, this would only raise the stack by 1/8” or so---1/4” at most---but would be so much stronger.
I discussed all this with Ground Control and they were very reasonable and sympathetic to my poor experience with their product. They agreed to refund my original purchase price but could do nothing for me, as expected, on any other of my incurred costs. The last conversation I had with Donovan was that they were looking at this as a bad batch of product and were seeking to improve quality control on this plate, or maybe looking into a possible engineering fault. Hopefully the GC techs can shed some light on this for all of us. He also told me to keep the plates that I have (despite being a worthless box of parts to me as is), and they will send me another bolted bracket when, and if, the kinks can be worked out. At this point I don’t if I would be willing to try it again or not. We’ll see. I just feel snake bit right now.
Attached Images
        
__________________

2008 M3 Coupe / DCT // StopTech BBK 380/355 / Pagid RS29 / Motul / Apex Arc-8 / BFG R1S / Ground Control / MS filter / Performance spoiler / BPM tune // Road Atlanta 1:39.80 / VIR Full 2:10.87 / Barber 1:42.20
Sleeper519 is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      03-06-2012, 01:52 AM   #2
kaiv
Major
 
Drives: E92 M3
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: San Diego, CA

Posts: 1,232
iTrader: (15)

Hey! I did run into the same issue (as I mentioned in another thread).

You are correct in your assessment of the issue. It is a weak link in this plate. 3 studs on the sliding part. One has the head shaved off to clear the plate. That's the one that breaks. It is indeed held only by a couple threads and a spot weld.

I spoke with GC and they recognized that this one stud is not very strong by design and said it has to be tightened with care and by hand.

They honored the warranty without issues though. I was worried I was gonna have to fight and argue that I didn't break it by over tightening but that wasn't the case. They sent me replacement parts right away via regular ground at no extra charge. I also asked for a spare one for the other side "just in case" so they sent me a pair.

I was a bit worried when I went to get my alignment done (since it has to be loosed/tightened) but I let the tech know and everything went smoothly.

I've since been to the track a few times without issues.



Anyways... I feel your pain. I installed those myself so I only wasted my own time and did not have to pay an installer again and again but either way it's a little disappointing and certainly unexpected coming from a company with such a good reputation. That and those plates aren't exactly cheap either... I'm glad I wasn't disappointed with their customer service.

Last edited by kaiv; 03-06-2012 at 01:59 AM.
kaiv is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      03-06-2012, 02:03 AM   #3
SlamMan
Captain
 
SlamMan's Avatar
 
Drives: ED 5/19/2010, Interlagos E90
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Denver, 303

Posts: 792
iTrader: (1)

Man that's a real bummer. I certainly understand your frustration. That sucks you're out so much time and money with nothing to show.

It looks like the failure was the bolt itself and not just the weld in the last picture since the end of the bolt is still in there. Remind me again, is this the short stack kit? The GC sleeve over kit I just pulled out doesn't have any headless bolts and I'm pretty sure the street plate kit I replaced it with didn't either. I'm pretty sure they all had the heads on the bolts.
__________________
I play real sports. Not tryin' to be the best at exercising. - Kenny Powers
SlamMan is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      03-06-2012, 07:09 AM   #4
Bubbles
Green Bastard
 
Bubbles's Avatar
 
Drives: ZCP-Powered
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Bishop Bend

Posts: 3,545
iTrader: (3)

OP-sorry for your troubles. I've been quietly shopping camber plates, not sure GC is on my list anymore. While GC seems to have been working with you, "kid gloves" should not be required for bolts tested to 50lbs.
__________________
Bubbles is offline   Cayman Islands
0
Reply With Quote
      03-06-2012, 05:42 PM   #5
Orb
Lieutenant Colonel
 
Drives: 335
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Canada

Posts: 1,734
iTrader: (1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleeper519 View Post
Here is my tale of woe trying to get these installed on my E92 before my first track event of the season. First of all, let me state up front that this is not a bash on Ground Control at all. I understand them to be a reputable provider of aftermarket suspension parts and systems, and they have been very responsive to me in trying to resolve these multiple problems despite a great geographical distance.

I ordered my camber plates weeks ahead of time to avoid any last minute delays. I took my car to Forged Performance in Atlanta to install my StopTech BBK as well as the GC plates. They are expert tuners specializing in GTRs but also do Porsche and BMW, and provided me outstanding customer service. I received a call on install day saying it didn’t fit---spring perch on the plates would not fit on my springs. A call and e-mail photo to GC revealed that they had sent me “Non-M3” parts by mistake. Big bummer. Picked up car, great brakes though. GC ships new appropriate sized plates to me and we try it again 3 days later. I get a call from Forged that a bolt snapped off on install with very little force. Major bummer. As I mentioned in the other thread the bolts are supposedly tested to 50 ft-lbs but spec is for 18 ft-lbs. This one broke at 17. Ryan at Forged was kind enough to take and send multiple pics to GC and plead my case for me. Initially, GC balked at replacing the piece (single thin horseshoe bracket w/ the 3 vertical bolts), saying that it has been thoroughly tested and not considered a warranty item (??)—a $15 item on a $500 pair of plates. They did acquiesce and agree to honor the warranty and send a replacement part via next day air ($65 shipping on me). Now I’m in a rental car to get to work, and have paid labor for 2 installs and no finished product to show for it. Parts arrive, 3rd install completed with a *cautious* 17 ft-lbs of torque, I get call car is ready. Go to pick up, get under the hood to check work and notice said bolt is broken off and can be plucked straight out to the amazement of all. Forged had only test-driven car around the block prior to my arrival. Stranded, no car now, a gracious Forged employee gives me a courtesy ride across town to work (night Call at hospital—actually walked 2 miles home at 3:00AM), track event now in jeopardy. Nuclear bummer. Forged un-installs and replaces stock mounts. So now I pick up my car after a week and a half, having paid over $600 labor for 3 installs with zero to show for it, plus shipping costs, plus out of pocket rental car fees, plus incalculable hassle and heartache.

Another forum member here (Kaiv?) reported a similar bolt failure on install. Seeing this pattern, I wonder if its a flawed design. GC disagrees. Perhaps a bad batch or quality controls issue? Maybe, but I think this item in question is the weak link to theis particular camber plate. I’m not a mechanical engineer by any means so take what I say with a grain of salt. By attempting to keep the stack height stock (not raised), they shaved off the head of the one bolt that needed to slide over a lower plate. The headless bolt has only a few threads engaged into a very thin plate, with a small tack weld to support it. It failed twice at a fraction of the tested torque. If they redesigned it to allow the bolt head to stay, this would only raise the stack by 1/8” or so---1/4” at most---but would be so much stronger.
I discussed all this with Ground Control and they were very reasonable and sympathetic to my poor experience with their product. They agreed to refund my original purchase price but could do nothing for me, as expected, on any other of my incurred costs. The last conversation I had with Donovan was that they were looking at this as a bad batch of product and were seeking to improve quality control on this plate, or maybe looking into a possible engineering fault. Hopefully the GC techs can shed some light on this for all of us. He also told me to keep the plates that I have (despite being a worthless box of parts to me as is), and they will send me another bolted bracket when, and if, the kinks can be worked out. At this point I don’t if I would be willing to try it again or not. We’ll see. I just feel snake bit right now.
This looks to be a bolt material and welding issue (stress corrosion cracking) more than anything else. If GC is randomly using any type of steel material for the bolts then I would say good luck with that. Most fastener materials are not going to do well after being welded. I agree with the user the design is less than elegant and is kind of asking for trouble. A better design would be projection welded stud which is very low profile and clean.

I really see this as a minor issue so it should not scare anyone one away for this product.

Last edited by Orb; 03-06-2012 at 07:46 PM.
Orb is offline   No_Country
0
Reply With Quote
      03-06-2012, 06:33 PM   #6
TX335
Private First Class
 
Drives: 08 E92 M3
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: DFW

Posts: 156
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orb View Post
I really see this as a minor issue so it should scare anyone one away for this product.
Should or shouldn't?
TX335 is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      03-06-2012, 06:35 PM   #7
VictorH
Lieutenant
 
Drives: '09 M3
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: SC

Posts: 594
iTrader: (1)

Yes, I wonder too if the heat treat of the stud was affected by the welding. it doesn't look like the plate or the weld failed it appears to be the stud.

The other odd thing is why were the other two studs welded and then the plate was zinc plated but the stud without the head was welded on after the plate was plated? Seems to me that you would install and weld all the studs then send the whole thing off to be plated afterwards.

Sorry you've had such bad luck. I checked my studs tonight (and two track days weekend before last) and all nice and tight still. Hope you're able to find a suitable replacement.
VictorH is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      03-06-2012, 06:37 PM   #8
tibra1
Banned
 
Drives: 2011 ZCP M3 - 2007 335i crashd
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: NYC

Posts: 6,777
iTrader: (4)

Go with Vorschlags and call it a day
tibra1 is offline   No_Country
0
Reply With Quote
      03-06-2012, 07:00 PM   #9
Sleeper519
Captain
 
Sleeper519's Avatar
 
Drives: 08 E92 M3 DCT
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Atlanta, GA

Posts: 721
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by VictorH View Post
Yes, I wonder too if the heat treat of the stud was affected by the welding. it doesn't look like the plate or the weld failed it appears to be the stud.

The other odd thing is why were the other two studs welded and then the plate was zinc plated but the stud without the head was welded on after the plate was plated? Seems to me that you would install and weld all the studs then send the whole thing off to be plated afterwards.

Sorry you've had such bad luck. I checked my studs tonight (and two track days weekend before last) and all nice and tight still. Hope you're able to find a suitable replacement.
I wondered about the heat treatment too, whether that tempering would make the bolt brittle, since it appears that it was the bolt itself that broke, not the weld.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tibra1 View Post
Go with Vorschlags and call it a day
Does Vorschlag make an adjustable camber plate for the E92 M3??
__________________

2008 M3 Coupe / DCT // StopTech BBK 380/355 / Pagid RS29 / Motul / Apex Arc-8 / BFG R1S / Ground Control / MS filter / Performance spoiler / BPM tune // Road Atlanta 1:39.80 / VIR Full 2:10.87 / Barber 1:42.20
Sleeper519 is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      03-06-2012, 07:05 PM   #10
STALKER
Brigadier General
 
Drives: 2008 E90 M3
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Toronto, ON

Posts: 3,630
iTrader: (5)

I checked my plates today, my plates have the 3 bolts but none of them are shaved done, but they all have the one spot weld.

Mine are used with coil overs, not with stock springs.
__________________

2008 AW/FR E90 M3-SOLD
2013 991 C4S
STALKER is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      03-06-2012, 07:06 PM   #11
STALKER
Brigadier General
 
Drives: 2008 E90 M3
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Toronto, ON

Posts: 3,630
iTrader: (5)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleeper519 View Post
I wondered about the heat treatment too, whether that tempering would make the bolt brittle, since it appears that it was the bolt itself that broke, not the weld.



Does Vorschlag make an adjustable camber plate for the E92 M3??
Not sure if their plates will fit the stock springs. I think Harold@HP Autowerks will be able to help you on this.
__________________

2008 AW/FR E90 M3-SOLD
2013 991 C4S

Last edited by STALKER; 03-06-2012 at 07:13 PM.
STALKER is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      03-06-2012, 07:15 PM   #12
tibra1
Banned
 
Drives: 2011 ZCP M3 - 2007 335i crashd
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: NYC

Posts: 6,777
iTrader: (4)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleeper519 View Post
Does Vorschlag make an adjustable camber plate for the E92 M3??
They do but not for OEM upper perch...Click here

Vorshlag or HPA can help you on fitment for your suspension
tibra1 is offline   No_Country
0
Reply With Quote
      03-06-2012, 07:38 PM   #13
quads
Lieutenant Colonel
 
Drives: bac mono
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: racetrack

Posts: 1,643
iTrader: (3)

hey! you're in atlanta! let's get together sometime! I also had my GC plates installed by Forged. I've got st tropies and akra evo with ess blower
quads is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      03-06-2012, 07:46 PM   #14
STALKER
Brigadier General
 
Drives: 2008 E90 M3
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Toronto, ON

Posts: 3,630
iTrader: (5)

OP, which hospital do you work at? I did some of my training in ATL and was working there from 2009-2011.
__________________

2008 AW/FR E90 M3-SOLD
2013 991 C4S
STALKER is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      03-06-2012, 08:10 PM   #15
M3SQRD
Colonel
 
M3SQRD's Avatar
 
Drives: E92 M3s, R56 Cooper S
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: EC

Posts: 2,419
iTrader: (2)

Quote:
Originally Posted by tibra1 View Post
They do but not for OEM upper perch...

Vorshlag or HPA can help you on fitment for your suspension
I believe the OP is using OEM springs so Vorshlag camber plates won't work. Currently only GC makes a camber plate that works with OEM springs.
M3SQRD is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      03-06-2012, 09:20 PM   #16
Sleeper519
Captain
 
Sleeper519's Avatar
 
Drives: 08 E92 M3 DCT
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Atlanta, GA

Posts: 721
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4sevens.com View Post
hey! you're in atlanta! let's get together sometime! I also had my GC plates installed by Forged. I've got st tropies and akra evo with ess blower
Sounds good! I'd love to check out the ESS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by STALKER View Post
OP, which hospital do you work at? I did some of my training in ATL and was working there from 2009-2011.
I'm at St. Joseph's (Anesthesiologist---hence my username ). Trained at Emory Univ... a long ways back.
__________________

2008 M3 Coupe / DCT // StopTech BBK 380/355 / Pagid RS29 / Motul / Apex Arc-8 / BFG R1S / Ground Control / MS filter / Performance spoiler / BPM tune // Road Atlanta 1:39.80 / VIR Full 2:10.87 / Barber 1:42.20
Sleeper519 is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      03-07-2012, 01:54 AM   #17
Malek@MRF
BimmerPost Supporting Vendor

 
Malek@MRF's Avatar
 
Drives: E92 M3
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Irvine, California

Posts: 3,327
iTrader: (5)

Send a message via AIM to Malek@MRF
For those wondering, Ground Control will have a re-designed version of their camber plates to address this issue.

They shouldn't have any problem honoring their warranty on these failures, they have pretty good customer service.

Malek
__________________

BMW PERFORMANCE SPECIALISTS. Suspension. Forced Induction. Brakes. Race Preparation. Service. Alignments.
OFFICIAL PARTNERS: Öhlins. KW Suspension. Brembo. AP Racing. ESS Tuning. iND Distribution. Turner Motorsport.

Facebook | Instagram | Yelp! | Flikr | Contact | YouTube
Malek@MRF is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      03-07-2012, 06:22 AM   #18
bigjae1976
Takes threads off topic...daily
 
bigjae1976's Avatar
 
Drives: 11 E90 M3 Individual
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Milwaukee, WI

Posts: 5,234
iTrader: (11)

Garage List
2004 BMW M3  [4.50]
2011 BMW E90 M3  [5.00]
2013 BMW 328i  [5.00]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malekreza11 View Post
For those wondering, Ground Control will have a re-designed version of their camber plates to address this issue.

They shouldn't have any problem honoring their warranty on these failures, they have pretty good customer service.

Malek
In for details. I'm holding off on buying these until the re-design comes out. I'm always loosening and tightening those 3 bolts on my vorshlag plates on my E46...surprised this has not been a more common issue here.
__________________


Sponsored by Momentum BMW #593...We Bleed BMW BLUE!
bigjae1976 is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      03-07-2012, 07:49 AM   #19
Bubbles
Green Bastard
 
Bubbles's Avatar
 
Drives: ZCP-Powered
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Bishop Bend

Posts: 3,545
iTrader: (3)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orb View Post
This looks to be a bolt material and welding issue (stress corrosion cracking) more than anything else. If GC is randomly using any type of steel material for the bolts then I would say good luck with that. Most fastener materials are not going to do well after being welded. I agree with the user the design is less than elegant and is kind of asking for trouble. A better design would be projection welded stud which is very low profile and clean.

I really see this as a minor issue so it should not scare anyone one away for this product.
ORB, good to see you around again. Been a long time.
__________________
Bubbles is offline   Cayman Islands
0
Reply With Quote
      03-07-2012, 08:13 AM   #20
M3SQRD
Colonel
 
M3SQRD's Avatar
 
Drives: E92 M3s, R56 Cooper S
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: EC

Posts: 2,419
iTrader: (2)

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjae1976 View Post
In for details. I'm holding off on buying these until the re-design comes out. I'm always loosening and tightening those 3 bolts on my vorshlag plates on my E46...surprised this has not been a more common issue here.
It sounds like everyone, including me, that's using the GC camber plates with 2.5", 2.0" or 60 mm springs doesn't have this problem because all three bolts have their head welded to the bracket.
M3SQRD is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      03-07-2012, 12:21 PM   #21
Malek@MRF
BimmerPost Supporting Vendor

 
Malek@MRF's Avatar
 
Drives: E92 M3
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Irvine, California

Posts: 3,327
iTrader: (5)

Send a message via AIM to Malek@MRF
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjae1976 View Post
In for details. I'm holding off on buying these until the re-design comes out. I'm always loosening and tightening those 3 bolts on my vorshlag plates on my E46...surprised this has not been a more common issue here.
I have the new version being delivered this week for an E92 M3 that utilizes the factory tapered spring.

When I get it in my hands, I will snap some pictures of the differences. It will be here end of this week or early next week according to my rep at Ground Control.
__________________

BMW PERFORMANCE SPECIALISTS. Suspension. Forced Induction. Brakes. Race Preparation. Service. Alignments.
OFFICIAL PARTNERS: Öhlins. KW Suspension. Brembo. AP Racing. ESS Tuning. iND Distribution. Turner Motorsport.

Facebook | Instagram | Yelp! | Flikr | Contact | YouTube
Malek@MRF is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      03-07-2012, 09:48 PM   #22
bigjae1976
Takes threads off topic...daily
 
bigjae1976's Avatar
 
Drives: 11 E90 M3 Individual
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Milwaukee, WI

Posts: 5,234
iTrader: (11)

Garage List
2004 BMW M3  [4.50]
2011 BMW E90 M3  [5.00]
2013 BMW 328i  [5.00]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malekreza11 View Post
I have the new version being delivered this week for an E92 M3 that utilizes the factory tapered spring.

When I get it in my hands, I will snap some pictures of the differences. It will be here end of this week or early next week according to my rep at Ground Control.
Thanks. I have full confidence that GC will resolve this issue.

Where is the best place to buy them from?...once they get the issues sorted.
__________________


Sponsored by Momentum BMW #593...We Bleed BMW BLUE!
bigjae1976 is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
Post Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:46 PM.




m3post
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
1Addicts.com, BIMMERPOST.com, E90Post.com, F30Post.com, M3Post.com, ZPost.com, 5Post.com, 6Post.com, 7Post.com, XBimmers.com logo and trademark are properties of BIMMERPOST