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      03-23-2011, 12:22 AM   #1
Black Stallon
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Self-Alignment done, Need camber answers?

So Im a UTI student and I did an alignment to the car (Stock suspension) like 1 month ago, like 3 weeks later I found out that the inside of the driver side tire is worn out to the nylon thread. WTF... we align this thing wrong so I bought new tires and align it today. We did camber/toe in rear and toe in the front it was all out of specs according to the machine.

But the problem is that we coulndt adjust camber because supposely u need a special BMW tool to adjust camber from the top of the car. Im not very familiar with this process. Do I have to take this to a BMW dealer to align!?
Or is this not the true way to adjust camber on our cars?

The way the tire was worn led me to believe that camber was too negative on the driver side.
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      03-23-2011, 12:44 AM   #2
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I'm no expert at this, but the shop I was used to go to did only Audi/VW/Porsche ..they had absolutely no problem aligning my car. I watched them align the car(I usually hang around back to learn) and I didn't see anything special that they used, nor did they get from the top of the car. I can't imagine there was a BMW specific tool.
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      03-23-2011, 12:47 AM   #3
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Are you talking about the front wheels? Simply loosen the three bolts on the strut tower. Adjustment is very limited, however. (ignore comments in the picture)

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      03-23-2011, 09:42 AM   #4
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There is very little provision for camber adjustment in the stock design, not enough to cause the result you describe. Your problem is in the toe adjustment.
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      03-23-2011, 01:58 PM   #5
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ok, So you do adjust it from the top. I'll check my tires in a week, to see if theres any excessive wear. In case I have to do this myself, I loosen the 3 bolt on top and then how would u adjust camber a bit more positive for example?
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      03-23-2011, 03:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Stallon View Post
ok, So you do adjust it from the top. I'll check my tires in a week, to see if theres any excessive wear. In case I have to do this myself, I loosen the 3 bolt on top and then how would u adjust camber a bit more positive for example?
Loosen the three nuts and push the top of the strut in for negative, pull out for positive. There is only 1.0-1.5 degrees of total movement, not much. The strut will move easier if both sides are lifted to the point of removing most of the weight from the suspension, almost off the floor. If you jack one side only, the stabilizer bar will place the suspension under a lot of tension, making movement in one direction very difficult. Assuming your suspension has not been damaged or altered, you should not need any more positive camber. In fact, full negative by the factory adjustment is rather routine, and not nearly enough negative to result in premature tire wear, which is almost always a toe issue.
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      03-23-2011, 08:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Stallon View Post
coulndt adjust camber because supposely u need a special BMW tool to adjust camber from the top of the car.
Yeah evidently the "special tool" my BMW dealer used to set the camber was a big old screwdriver because after I got my car back I pulled off the EDC cover and could see where they wrenched the suspension and slipped off bending the upper washer. Nice service.
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      03-24-2011, 07:33 PM   #8
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remember that unless you pull the pin, there is zero adjustment.
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      03-24-2011, 07:34 PM   #9
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but if the inside of your tires are wearing, that is more than likely toe, not camber. A bit of extra camber won't wear out tires in a few thou miles.
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      03-25-2011, 12:06 AM   #10
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thanks for the answers,
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      03-25-2011, 09:19 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elh0102 View Post
In fact, full negative by the factory adjustment is rather routine, and not nearly enough negative to result in premature tire wear, which is almost always a toe issue.
+1

Rears on my wife's Z4 wore down to the cords in 8k miles because toe was incorrect.
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      01-01-2015, 04:29 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitw View Post
remember that unless you pull the pin, there is zero adjustment.
Can someone please show the pin ?
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      01-01-2015, 01:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Stallon View Post
ok, So you do adjust it from the top. I'll check my tires in a week, to see if theres any excessive wear. In case I have to do this myself, I loosen the 3 bolt on top and then how would u adjust camber a bit more positive for example?
The Hunter Alignment equipment that you have at UTI includes detailed digital photo and video instructions for each vehicle listed in the specification set-up page. You can access the help procedures and specific BMW chassis height and weighting requirements during alignment. Just input your vehicle year, make, model and then you will have access to the information.

This is a link to the Hunter Engineering Alignment Video Library that will help during your alignment class:
http://www.hunter.com/videos/index.cfm?cat=2

1. Ask the alignment instructor when the equipment was last calibrated. IF the alignment equipment is out of calibration then you will not have a correct alignment when "finished". This has happened in my automotive classroom.

2. Find a BMW STEP program student that will help you with the BMW specifics for your vehicle. There might be BMW STEP training on your UTI campus.

3. Google this for the 4th Gen Chassis manual:
4th Generation M3 Chassis Dynamics
OR
http://prodcds.bmwuniversity.com/lib...20Dynamics.pdf

Enjoy the training.

Last edited by kenwelch; 01-01-2015 at 01:53 PM. Reason: PDF link
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      01-01-2015, 02:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E92M3GT View Post
Can someone please show the pin ?
Here is a link about the pin:
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=358576
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      01-01-2015, 02:00 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E92M3GT View Post
Can someone please show the pin ?
http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=521177

Includes pictures.
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      01-02-2015, 01:24 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SenorFunkyPants View Post
Perfect, thanks !
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      01-02-2015, 03:05 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Stallon View Post
So Im a UTI student and I did an alignment to the car (Stock suspension) like 1 month ago, like 3 weeks later I found out that the inside of the driver side tire is worn out to the nylon thread. WTF... we align this thing wrong so I bought new tires and align it today. We did camber/toe in rear and toe in the front it was all out of specs according to the machine.

But the problem is that we coulndt adjust camber because supposely u need a special BMW tool to adjust camber from the top of the car. Im not very familiar with this process. Do I have to take this to a BMW dealer to align!?
Or is this not the true way to adjust camber on our cars?

The way the tire was worn led me to believe that camber was too negative on the driver side.
Your camber is probably fine. It sounds like it's time to learn the old racer's trick of "stringing" your car. Once you figure it out, it's amazingly accurate and totally reliable.
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