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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Suspension | Brakes | Chassis > Steering issues after new suspension install



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      09-10-2012, 10:05 AM   #1
daniyarm
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Steering issues after new suspension install

Just installed a set of sport springs with performance suspension V1 kit shocks on my 2011 328i. The ride is awesome, but installation sucked, I hate spring compressors.
Anyway, I have an appointment to get an alignment done tomorrow, but I am a little concerned about steering. First of all steering precision is gone, the steering wheel is tilted to one side about 15-20 degrees. And the thing that concerns me the most is that after a sharp left turn the car starts pulling to the right and steering wheel is straight again, but after a right turn the steering wheel is again uneven and the car drives straight.

Did I screw something up or is this normal until an alignment is done?

I tried to be extra careful with steering rods when installing the front suspension.
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      09-12-2012, 02:23 PM   #2
lacoa
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Sounds to me like a strut plate issue, almost like the bearing is bad/incorrectly installed causing binding.... Just a shot in the dark but that's what it sounds like to me.
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      09-12-2012, 05:49 PM   #3
daniyarm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lacoa View Post
Sounds to me like a strut plate issue, almost like the bearing is bad/incorrectly installed causing binding.... Just a shot in the dark but that's what it sounds like to me.
Right on the money!!!

Took the car in for the alignment and they had me walk through the install process. As soon as he asked how I installed the washer, we all realized that was the problem. I installed it with flat side up instead of down.
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      09-13-2012, 06:22 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daniyarm View Post
Right on the money!!!

Took the car in for the alignment and they had me walk through the install process. As soon as he asked how I installed the washer, we all realized that was the problem. I installed it with flat side up instead of down.
Glad to here you figured it out!!
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      09-13-2012, 10:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daniyarm View Post
I have an appointment to get an alignment done tomorrow, but I am a little concerned about steering.
Premature - alignment should cure all.

Competent person familiar wBMW's, please!
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      09-13-2012, 10:09 AM   #6
lacoa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CALWATERBOY View Post
Premature - alignment should cure all.

Competent person familiar wBMW's, please!
? I am confused as to what you are saying here....
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      09-13-2012, 02:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lacoa View Post
? I am confused as to what you are saying here....
Traveling today - not much time - didn't read all the posts!

What I was getting at: Frequently alignment centers the wheel; not sure to be fixed w/o precision adjust.
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      09-13-2012, 03:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CALWATERBOY View Post
Traveling today - not much time - didn't read all the posts!

What I was getting at: Frequently alignment centers the wheel; not sure to be fixed w/o precision adjust.
Ok I think I am getting it.... Are you saying to go somewhere that is familiar with BMWs so you get a good alignment?

Are you also implying that some places simply center the wheel? Cause if so I would turn that place into the BBB because that is in no way, shape or form an alignment of any kind....
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      09-13-2012, 06:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lacoa View Post
Ok I think I am getting it.... Are you saying to go somewhere that is familiar with BMWs so you get a good alignment?

Are you also implying that some places simply center the wheel? Cause if so I would turn that place into the BBB because that is in no way, shape or form an alignment of any kind....
Yes - places inexperienced w/BMW and aftermarket suspensions can cause real pain. Having had the displeasure, I now do my own alignment. Working out pretty well too!

On the last, part of a good alignment is a centered steering wheel. In most situations, on precision alignment the wheel will be centered. In a minority, bit o'tie rod adj needed. I'd be looking for problems if both tie rods had to be moved for centered wheel, but installing a new, not-worn suspension might do that given previous adjusts.
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      09-13-2012, 09:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CALWATERBOY View Post
Yes - places inexperienced w/BMW and aftermarket suspensions can cause real pain. Having had the displeasure, I now do my own alignment. Working out pretty well too!

On the last, part of a good alignment is a centered steering wheel. In most situations, on precision alignment the wheel will be centered. In a minority, bit o'tie rod adj needed. I'd be looking for problems if both tie rods had to be moved for centered wheel, but installing a new, not-worn suspension might do that given previous adjusts.
What equipment are you using for alignments?

Part of any alignment is having the steering wheel straight, again if you are not getting this then run, don't walk, away from this facility.... You would be concerned if both tie rods needed adjustment? What would make adjustment on one tie rod acceptable but adjustment to both a cause for concern??
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      09-14-2012, 02:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lacoa View Post
You would be concerned if both tie rods needed adjustment? What would make adjustment on one tie rod acceptable but adjustment to both a cause for concern??
If both had to be adjusted to center the steering wheel after alignment, I'd be looking for a reason, usually worn bushings or ball joints.

Previous adj as a suspension wears, maybe unevenly, can require re-centering the wheel when new parts are installed.
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      09-14-2012, 02:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lacoa View Post
What equipment are you using for alignments?
Started with water level, twine & jack stands; tape measure.

My technique has progressed - intend to post a DIY when satisfied.
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      09-15-2012, 07:23 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CALWATERBOY View Post
If both had to be adjusted to center the steering wheel after alignment, I'd be looking for a reason, usually worn bushings or ball joints.

Previous adj as a suspension wears, maybe unevenly, can require re-centering the wheel when new parts are installed.
You don't adjust the tie rods AFTER an alignment to center a wheel.... And you shake down the vehicle before and check ball joints because you would never align a vehicle with more than tolerable play in the joints, bushings, tie rods.
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      09-15-2012, 07:40 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CALWATERBOY View Post
Started with water level, twine & jack stands; tape measure.

My technique has progressed - intend to post a DIY when satisfied.
Are you just making toe adjustments? I know of a few guys with hot rods that do their own alignments but they are not really concerned with tire wear and extreme accuracy. I can't help but ask what your reason for it is. I like DIY just as much as the next guy but I cant help but leave this one to the professionals.... The accuracy of the newer alignment machines is simply incredible, which is probably why they are about $14,000. I can understand not trusting certain facilities but I would be spending time finding one I could trust and getting a good alignment. Just my two pennies....
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      09-16-2012, 09:21 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lacoa View Post
Are you just making toe adjustments? I know of a few guys with hot rods that do their own alignments but they are not really concerned with tire wear and extreme accuracy. I can't help but ask what your reason for it is. I like DIY just as much as the next guy but I cant help but leave this one to the professionals.... The accuracy of the newer alignment machines is simply incredible, which is probably why they are about $14,000. I can understand not trusting certain facilities but I would be spending time finding one I could trust and getting a good alignment. Just my two pennies....

Toe, camber; ride height.


Reasons:

Often as I like
Know it's done right
Have my own settings
Enjoy having the expertise

Working on accuracy - seeing I can be in BMW tolerances; gotta invent couple o'things like fine, fine adj for laser position/calibration. Worm gear & height adj turntable for that.


Oh, and I'm stubborn!

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Last edited by CALWATERBOY; 09-16-2012 at 11:31 PM.
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