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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Suspension | Brakes | Chassis > Alignment store says adjusting lowered car is difficult.



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      03-15-2014, 02:30 PM   #1
YBMB
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Alignment store says adjusting lowered car is difficult.

Just got my car lowered with Bilstien shocks and H&R sports springs. I called today for a wheel alignment and the tire shop said that they may have to do a little bit of work since the car is lowered and the OEM specs will not apply to lowered suspension therefore I may get unusual tire wear. is this true??
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      03-15-2014, 02:44 PM   #2
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I have my car lowered on the b12 pro kit, I wasn't told anything like this and they aligned her in spec with no issues.
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      03-15-2014, 02:50 PM   #3
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Think of it this way...lowering the vehicle also lowers the maximum travel of the suspension. As the suspension moves up and down, the wheels tend to tilt in or out, and the front wheels can slightly change their toe-in/out. Because the range is lower, it doesn't change as much (because the lowered springs are stiffer, at least generally), so the half-way point, or sweet spot for the suspension changes. It's not the easiest thing to determine where that sweet spot is on the fly.
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      03-15-2014, 03:35 PM   #4
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Sounds like you need a new alignment shop.
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      03-15-2014, 03:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jadnashuanh View Post
Think of it this way...lowering the vehicle also lowers the maximum travel of the suspension. As the suspension moves up and down, the wheels tend to tilt in or out, and the front wheels can slightly change their toe-in/out. Because the range is lower, it doesn't change as much (because the lowered springs are stiffer, at least generally), so the half-way point, or sweet spot for the suspension changes. It's not the easiest thing to determine where that sweet spot is on the fly.
lol that explanation was...interesting.

Anyway, OP find a new shop. Sounds like a bunch of bozos at that original establishment.
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      03-15-2014, 03:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FCobra94
Quote:
Originally Posted by jadnashuanh View Post
Think of it this way...lowering the vehicle also lowers the maximum travel of the suspension. As the suspension moves up and down, the wheels tend to tilt in or out, and the front wheels can slightly change their toe-in/out. Because the range is lower, it doesn't change as much (because the lowered springs are stiffer, at least generally), so the half-way point, or sweet spot for the suspension changes. It's not the easiest thing to determine where that sweet spot is on the fly.
lol that explanation was...interesting.

Anyway, OP find a new shop. Sounds like a bunch of bozos at that original establishment.
Yea I have a feeling the people don't like me there too much. I want to go here since It's close to where I live and also they gave ma a 30 dollar coupon for any of their services along with 6 month warranty
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      03-15-2014, 05:37 PM   #7
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I'm sure there are at least a few places around you that offer lifetime alignments for not much more...call around and pick a shop you should feel more comfortable working with anyway.
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      03-15-2014, 05:42 PM   #8
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I took mine in today after giving the coilovers a week to settle. Glad I did because he said rear camber was over 3 degrees! First two shops I went to said they don't do bmw's?!?!?!
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      03-17-2014, 10:32 AM   #9
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I used to do alignments at a shop in college. The mechanic is giving you good advice, I'm surprised anyone lowering their vehicle wasn't aware that it would effect camber which effects tire wear if your car can't adjust to the lowering. i.e. cars have typically a few degrees positive or negative camber, when you lower it on a mcpherson strut typically it goes negative 3-5 degrees, in which case you try and adjust it back to spec. Depending on how low you went you may not be able to get back "to spec" in which case you'd have a few degrees negative camber and might wear unevenly. A mechanic who's being honest with you (like they were) is one to be trusted, not shunned; if you want to bury your head pretending they're just being mean, go ahead, but it's true. If they can't get you back to spec sometimes they make camber "kits" which are eccentric bolts which give you a few more degrees play in camber. While your at it look at toe in as that's an adjustment you can tweak to your preference. "to spec" may be driving miss daisey, a little negative camber helps your turn in on corners at the expense of a little tire wear. Lowering doesn't affect toe in/out but a lot of cars have a lot of toe in (imagine your toes pointing in) which keeps the car going straight, but harder to turn; flattening that out gives it a little more aggressive turning. Lots of articles, mechanic isn't lying to you.
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      03-17-2014, 10:44 AM   #10
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^^ Umm....no. If you lower a car with a double wishbone type suspension then yes, you get increasing negative camber as you go lower. Our cars do not have a double wishbone style suspension, however. So long as you don't tuck your wheel you can easily bring the car back to OEM specs for camber. Some folks actually prefer to add camber kits to INCREASE the negative camber setting to improve handling. As far as I know there is no camber kit out that is design to decrease negative camber as it is not needed.
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      03-17-2014, 12:51 PM   #11
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Tell them to use the settings for a car with sport suspension.
The difference between sport and non-sport was the shocks and springs.
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      03-17-2014, 01:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwzimm View Post
^^ Umm....no. If you lower a car with a double wishbone type suspension then yes, you get increasing negative camber as you go lower. Our cars do not have a double wishbone style suspension, however. So long as you don't tuck your wheel you can easily bring the car back to OEM specs for camber. Some folks actually prefer to add camber kits to INCREASE the negative camber setting to improve handling. As far as I know there is no camber kit out that is design to decrease negative camber as it is not needed.
Agreed.

Ocelaris: exactly which make/model car have you seen to call for "a few degrees positive camber" from the factory? Also, since when does lowering a car not effect toe in/out? During that job in college were you aligning cars and trucks or wheelbarrows and wagons
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      03-17-2014, 05:56 PM   #13
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Hi Guys
I wonder if anyone in the USA can offer advice.
Ive lowered my E91 MSport with Eibach Pro springs and got it aligned to the BMW Performance ZSP settings - Everything is OK except the rear camber. Target is 1o 50' camber +/- 25'. The lowest we can get is 2o 25'. There is simply no more adjustment on the lower strut.
The chaps doing the alignment suggested rebushing with K-MAC eccentric bushes.
http://www.k-mac.com/pages/newprods/..._bushes_00.htm
But they are only available from Oz.
I would have thought someone must make something similar in Germany, which is a bit nearer to me than Australia, but as yet Ive not found anyone.
I wondered what you guys use in USA.
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      03-17-2014, 06:06 PM   #14
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Go somewhere else. That shop knows how to follow set guidelines. You need a shop that understands what they are doing.
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      03-18-2014, 08:42 AM   #15
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Use sport suspension specs like others said. I aligned my car myself with another tech (hawk eye alignment machine). It wasn't too hard to get it in the specs I wanted. Since I have the M3 controls, the most camber I could've done was 1.5* F, couldn't get it down to 1.2* each side (M3 specs). Make sure they adjust camber though.

The only thing I'd worry about is seeing if your car is too low for the ramps.


Any alignment shop can align a BMW. These cars aren't special. Some mechanics really don't want to work on a BMW simply "cause BMW". A bolt is a bolt no matter how you look at it...
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      03-18-2014, 02:36 PM   #16
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The chaps I took my E91 to are well established suspension specialists. They do nothing else - mainly Porsche and BMW - road and race cars.
Its all a bit odd to me because the RH rear wheel could make the 1o 50' camber target but the LH could only get down to 2o 25' with full adjustment. So the RH camber was increased to balance it pending further discussions.

Other people seem to have obtained the ZSP settings with this setup easily, so I dont understand why the LH wheel wont adjust.

The car is true and square - we checked all that.

Any thoughts?
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      03-25-2014, 04:27 PM   #17
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Thanks guys I ended up going to the same place. Ill get them to do sports suspension specs while my alignment is under warranty. Sucks to not be able to use the gift certificate though I may call corporate to see if alignments are applicable.
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      08-12-2014, 02:26 PM   #18
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What would be a said proper shop? I want to go to NTB since they offer a lifetime one and I'm lowered with KW V3s. This is what I'm at right now.
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      08-12-2014, 02:51 PM   #19
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What exactly are you asking? Either way, that needs to be fixed. Way off the mark in all different aspects IMO.
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      08-12-2014, 06:05 PM   #20
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I meant what would be a proper shop to go ? One who knows what they are really doing ?
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      08-12-2014, 06:10 PM   #21
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I'm -2 all 4 corners , part of the lowered look/stance if you don't like abnormal tire ware, buy coils and correct camber kits.
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      08-12-2014, 06:11 PM   #22
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NTB is a joke. They set my previous car to Honda spec, except it is not a Honda. And they broke the hub caps covers 5 times while I was coming back again and again for them to fix the mess they've done. Finaly, the "lifetime" alignment was useless, I had to have the alignment redone at some place that knows what they are doing.
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