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      03-13-2013, 08:23 PM   #1
DansM
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ground control aligment issues

Ive been racking by brain trying to understand the reason why my car handles the way it does after my ground control kit was installed. After the installation i went for a drive and it pulled right hard. of course i knew i was in need of a alignment so the next day i called Weber wheel alignment for a appointment. I had the alignment done the next day and they did the best they could to get it aligned. The rear aligned fine but the front was a different story. this is how they explained the problem to me and it is evident from the way the car drives. "The car does not track straight and pulls right and left, (which is true). Whenever i make a right turn, the car will pull right after returned to center to travel straight. whenever i make a left turn the car will pull left after returning to center. Here is what i dont understand. They explained that it is doing this because of a bearing binding and not allowing it to get turned back to center. I dont understand this at all so i called ground control and explained the situation. They also didnt think that was the issue but an issue with the alignment itself. But, why would it drift right and left!? its as if the car wonders on the road, sometimes worse than others and sometimes very profoundly. It is very unpredictable and enoying. i tried tightenting the strut nut and the camber plate thinking that it was loose but that didnt help. I went for another alignment at a different place and the exact same thing accured. So, im at a loss and could use some advice or direction to take. Could it be the tires? I did buy wheels and tires and put them on at the same time and the tires are worn in the front however i would have never expected it to be so irratic. pleas help!
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      03-13-2013, 08:34 PM   #2
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Do you have a pic of your before and after alignment measurements?
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      03-13-2013, 08:45 PM   #3
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Do you have camber plates? I have the same issue and two alignment shops told me that the camber plates are binding and not letting the steering go back to its neutral state. I've had the problem for about 6 months and already got used to it but from time to time it gets annoying.
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      03-13-2013, 09:24 PM   #4
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Could you post some photos of the camber plates installed, both sides would be the best.

If your GC plates still use a BMW thrust bearing(pictured), they are prone to failure due to dirt and water intrusion and just can't take the axial load.

We have replaced many of these plates here at our shop due to the above issues.
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      03-13-2013, 09:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
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Do you have a pic of your before and after alignment measurements?
No but they claim that they are in spec. I trust them, they have been is business for 50 years and known for their work.
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      03-13-2013, 09:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZAJ View Post
Do you have camber plates? I have the same issue and two alignment shops told me that the camber plates are binding and not letting the steering go back to its neutral state. I've had the problem for about 6 months and already got used to it but from time to time it gets annoying.
I do have the camber plates. And that explanation was the same I was told.
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      03-13-2013, 09:42 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by HP Autowerks View Post
Could you post some photos of the camber plates installed, both sides would be the best.

If your GC plates still use a BMW thrust bearing(pictured), they are prone to failure due to dirt and water intrusion and just can't take the axial load.

We have replaced many of these plates here at our shop due to the above issues.
I used the ones that came with the kit however the picture your showing looks exactly like the one I installed. So what's the fix? Order the appropriate o e from GC? I bought the kit used and its possible I received the oem vs GC. I can take pictures but the kit is installed. What should I take pictures of? The tops or try to take a pic of the bearings?
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      03-13-2013, 09:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DansM View Post
I used the ones that came with the kit however the picture your showing looks exactly like the one I installed. So what's the fix? Order the appropriate o e from GC? I bought the kit used and its possible I received the oem vs GC. I can take pictures but the kit is installed. What should I take pictures of? The tops or try to take a pic of the bearings?
If you bought the kit used, that further validates what I mentioned. That bearing are likely okay as long as it has not been exposed to the elements, but once water and dirt gets in, it's all over.

If you are able to peek inside the plates, you may see the bearings. The bearings should be able to be replaced separately. They should be around $15 each.
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      03-13-2013, 10:23 PM   #9
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Where can I get the bearings? I remember installing the kit and the bearing came apart very easily. Meaning the two plastic halves. I guess that's what is bad. If you can kindly let me know where I can get them it would be a huge help. Also, is there anyway to protects the once installed to insure this wont happen again?
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      03-14-2013, 02:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Where can I get the bearings? I remember installing the kit and the bearing came apart very easily. Meaning the two plastic halves. I guess that's what is bad. If you can kindly let me know where I can get them it would be a huge help. Also, is there anyway to protects the once installed to insure this wont happen again?
If they look like the ones pictured above, you can get them here:

http://www.hpashop.com/BMW-Thrust-Be...st-Bearing.htm
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      03-14-2013, 09:13 AM   #11
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Is there a better one that ground control sells? Thanks for your help.
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      03-14-2013, 09:53 AM   #12
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Also how many do I need for the front? Only one per strut?
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      03-14-2013, 11:10 AM   #13
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I just looked in the wheel well and the only thing I could see was the aluminum hat that covers the bearing. So just the clarify, it's the bearing in the aluminum top hat that sort of sanwhiched between the two aluminum peices?
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      03-14-2013, 11:35 AM   #14
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Quote:
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Is there a better one that ground control sells? Thanks for your help.
No, unfortunately GC chose that bearing for their plates and only that particular bearing will work. There may be another bearing of similar dimensions out there, but will require some extensive search.

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Originally Posted by DansM View Post
Also how many do I need for the front? Only one per strut?
One per strut or plate.

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Originally Posted by DansM View Post
I just looked in the wheel well and the only thing I could see was the aluminum hat that covers the bearing. So just the clarify, it's the bearing in the aluminum top hat that sort of sanwhiched between the two aluminum peices?
The bearing in question is between the main plate and the spring perch, could be hard to see.
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      03-14-2013, 07:13 PM   #15
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Dont know much about these kits but, my e46 tckline coilovers had a small sleeve that goes on the strut shaft and fits inside the bearing bore on the camber plate, if these are missing you're gonna be riding on the bearings and they're gonna bind and not spin unless you force them. something to think about. Also over torquing the top nut can put a lot of stress on the bearings also
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      03-14-2013, 07:22 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by edwinm3 View Post
Dont know much about these kits but, my e46 tckline coilovers had a small sleeve that goes on the strut shaft and fits inside the bearing bore on the camber plate, if these are missing you're gonna be riding on the bearings and they're gonna bind and not spin unless you force them. something to think about. Also over torquing the top nut can put a lot of stress on the bearings also
TCK and GC plates are very different. GC use a very flimsy bearing that is prone to fail.
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      03-14-2013, 07:27 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HP Autowerks View Post
TCK and GC plates are very different. GC use a very flimsy bearing that is prone to fail.
got it, sorry I was just trying to help, thanks for clarifying
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      03-14-2013, 08:21 PM   #18
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Quote:
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got it, sorry I was just trying to help, thanks for clarifying
You are right on the TCK plates with the sleeve and the bearing. It is a much more robust design that sees very few failures.
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      03-14-2013, 09:44 PM   #19
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Ok I took apart the upper aluminum hat and checked out the bearing on both sides. Come to find out, the drivers side bearing was split, cracked and came apart just by removing it. Clearly this was faulty. Luckily I had 1 spare one for some reason, swapped it, and its 100xs better. I may swap the passenger side just to be safe but glad I found out what it was. Thank you very much for your help! And the link. Btw are these bearings a oem part from BMW?
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