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      12-20-2013, 08:27 PM   #1
terahertz
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Camber way off. What's bent?

So I went to get an alignment with swift spec r springs. I have pulled alignment pins.

Front:
-1.4 degrees left (max negative)
-2.5 degrees right (max positive)

I'm thinking something is bent on the right side, since it's impossible to have that much camber with no camber plates.

Anybody have an educated guess as to what could be bent?

Thanks
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      12-20-2013, 08:34 PM   #2
terahertz
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My best guess is that # 14 may be bent given that it looks like the upper arm and there's more camber than expected.

http://realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?...01&hg=31&fg=05
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      12-22-2013, 05:51 PM   #3
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Thanks, at least now I have something to look at. I'll probably get around to it after the holidays.
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      12-22-2013, 08:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terahertz View Post
So I went to get an alignment with swift spec r springs. I have pulled alignment pins.

Front:
-1.4 degrees left (max negative)
-2.5 degrees right (max positive)

I'm thinking something is bent on the right side, since it's impossible to have that much camber with no camber plates.

Anybody have an educated guess as to what could be bent?

Thanks
Your numbers seem incorrect. Both are negative, with a 1.1 degree difference from left to right. You have listed one as "max negative" and the other as"max positive"?

Do you have a scan of the alignment printout that you could post?
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      12-23-2013, 07:29 PM   #5
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This link to Hunter Engineering might help with your diagnosis:
http://www.hunter.com/videos/index.cfm?cat=2

Scroll down on the page under the title "Basic Alignment"
Watch the two videos titled:
Gross Alignment Errors
SAI-Included Angle

I was interested in seeing the total alignment numbers to help with your problem.
If you could post the alignment printout it would be helpful.

Last edited by kenwelch; 12-23-2013 at 07:31 PM. Reason: wording
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      12-24-2013, 05:42 AM   #6
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Hi Ken,

I got your PM and can post the alignment readings when I return home after Christmas as I do not have the sheet with me. The car was in a small accident on that corner and the fender was replaced. I assume that the wheel was hit and caused something to bend.

They had tried to even out the camber with the little adjustment that the car has (I have the alignment pins removed, so there should be maybe half a degree of adjustment?), but that was as good as they could get it.

When I said max positive and max negative, I meant within that adjustment range allowed by sliding the top hats of the suspension. I do not have any aftermarket camber kit.

I watched the two videos and they were helpful. I do think it's most likely the upper control arm or the spindle. I will post the alignment specs ASAP.

Thanks again,
Kevin
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      12-26-2013, 01:44 AM   #7
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The E90 M3 does not use an upper control arm.

Knowing that the car was damaged on the right side (passenger side) provides a few more possibilities for the excess negative camber. Here is a simple list:
1. The strut tower was damaged and not repaired. Possibly pushed in during the accident. A good body shop can measure the upper strut tower to confirm that the unibody is correct.
2. The suspension strut is bent. The alignment SAI or KPI readings will confirm damage.
3. The right wheel rim has excess run-out that was not properly compensated during the alignment measurement. You would likely have noticed a vibration or shake in the steering wheel.
4. The swivel bearing (lower part of the strut assembly) is bent.
5. There is always the chance that the alignment readings are incorrect as provided because of mistakes by the alignment technician.
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      12-31-2013, 07:46 PM   #8
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Here's the readout. The alignment was done twice, so hopefully it wasn't technician error.

I hope the strut tower isn't pushed in...
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      01-01-2014, 04:35 PM   #9
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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:
http://www.i-car.com/pdf/advantage/o...008/020508.pdf

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 1980’s 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.

Question: Was the wheel rim replaced during the accident repair?
There might also be run-out (bent rim)??

Last edited by kenwelch; 03-08-2014 at 11:57 AM. Reason: corrected link
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      01-02-2014, 05:23 AM   #10
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I've got vorshlag plates so can pretty much set my front camber independently. So when my front camber is set to 3.5, the right side camber plate still has a ways to go even though the left side is almost maxed out. This leads me to believe something is bent. I replace the right side shock absorber and both tension arms.

Now I'm thing of replacing both wishbones as well.

Am I just wasting money since my front camber is set to what I want and matches left and right? Do I need to know why the camber tops aren't at the same settings?
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      01-02-2014, 02:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E92inSG View Post
I've got vorshlag plates so can pretty much set my front camber independently. So when my front camber is set to 3.5, the right side camber plate still has a ways to go even though the left side is almost maxed out. This leads me to believe something is bent. I replace the right side shock absorber and both tension arms.

Now I'm thing of replacing both wishbones as well.

Am I just wasting money since my front camber is set to what I want and matches left and right? Do I need to know why the camber tops aren't at the same settings?
Go back and read the thread, watch the videos, read the PDF file on Diagnosis. Get the alignment readings done by a good alignment shop using quality equipment. Take the Diagnosis PDF with you to the alignment technician and he should be able to guide you on what needs to be replaced

Without the readings you are just throwing parts at an unknown problem.
The camber plates will not correct the SAI angle and Included angles if those are your problem.
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      01-03-2014, 05:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenwelch View Post
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:
http://www.i-car.com/pdf/advantage/o...008/020508.pdf

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.

Question: 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.
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