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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Suspension | Brakes | Chassis > Anyone use this camber adjustment tool?



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      06-10-2012, 09:15 AM   #1
mlifxs
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Anyone use this camber adjustment tool?

Recently bought the Bentley Service manual. There is a section describing how to adjust the front camber. Not a lot of detail, but they describe a "special tool" to perform the adjustment, using the tool on the three top strut nuts. I'm thinking about pulling my alignment pins and increasing negative camber, if it's a manageable DIY.

I checked on Ebay and found a tool that looks very similar to the "special tool" in the Bentley manual:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/BMW-3-Series...r#ht_728wt_903

Note this example is not E9X (my bad) but ebay has others that are E9X that look the same.

Does anyone have experience with a tool like this?

The Bentley manual suggests setting toe first. I'm also wondering, if this tool does facilitate the camber adjustment, do I then need to go back and have the toe checked again?
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      06-10-2012, 12:03 PM   #2
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all you need to do is remove the alignment pin and slide the strut bolts left or right. There is really no need for a tool like that.
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      06-10-2012, 12:05 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike-y View Post
all you need to do is remove the alignment pin and slide the strut bolts left or right. There is really no need for a tool like that.
does doing so effect toe at all or does it stay unchanged with the camber adjustment?
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      06-10-2012, 03:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlifxs View Post
does doing so effect toe at all or does it stay unchanged with the camber adjustment?
Check & adj both to target after any suspension change, fairly easy.
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      06-10-2012, 03:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CALWATERBOY View Post
Check & adj both to target after any suspension change, fairly easy.
thanks for responding and sorry for so many questions on a basic topic.

I'm planning to have my car aligned after diy'ing a few things. I have an alignment contract but they will only put it in range and won't mess with max'ing out the neg camber. Was hoping to get them to set everything in range and then I thought, perhaps, I could max out the camber myself with a tool such as this (or maybe doing what a response suggested here). No idea how to adjust the toe myself, so I probably won't DIY the camber if there's a risk of putting the toe back out of spec (thus my question).

If setting camber does not change toe, I'll give it a try. Just don't want to chase my tail on it.
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      06-10-2012, 06:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike-y View Post
all you need to do is remove the alignment pin and slide the strut bolts left or right. There is really no need for a tool like that.
meh, i tried it last month, it didn't work. no change in camber.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mlifxs View Post
does doing so effect toe at all or does it stay unchanged with the camber adjustment?
according to the alignment specialist that worked with me, yes will affect toe. but you can fix toe easily, no setting for front camber.
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      06-11-2012, 07:53 AM   #7
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2006 BMW 325i  [4.58]
Because the struts are not mounted at a 90* angle the toe of the vehicle will change with camber adjustments.
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      06-13-2012, 06:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jntar View Post
Because the struts are not mounted at a 90* angle the toe of the vehicle will change with camber adjustments.
does that mean we can say anything about the camber / toe relationship ? ie "if I increase negative camber by x, I increase / decrease toe by y" ?
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      06-13-2012, 07:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlifxs View Post
does that mean we can say anything about the camber / toe relationship ? ie "if I increase negative camber by x, I increase / decrease toe by y" ?
Usually when you adjust one thing, everything gets out of geometry
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      06-14-2012, 11:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 335okc View Post
meh, i tried it last month, it didn't work. no change in camber.
Then something is wrong with your car, because that is the only way to adjust front camber on these cars unless you get camber plates.

That said, the stock range of adjustment is very limited, you won't get much (maybe half a degree more) with the stock adjustment.
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      06-14-2012, 03:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike-y View Post
Then something is wrong with your car, because that is the only way to adjust front camber on these cars unless you get camber plates.

That said, the stock range of adjustment is very limited, you won't get much (maybe half a degree more) with the stock adjustment.
i was swapping struts, normal height. i figured when i had the suspension out, i'd dremmel the alignment pin so i can push it all the way towards the engine.
i was highly dissapointed when my max camber number for the fronts is less than what i had 2 months ago. i wonder if i'm supposed to twist the tower mount or just push it in all the way?
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      06-15-2012, 12:05 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlifxs View Post
does that mean we can say anything about the camber / toe relationship ? ie "if I increase negative camber by x, I increase / decrease toe by y" ?
Y'know, I'd really like to have the equations for my 3's suspension.

Anyone????

OP - Unless caster is zero, which it is not on our cars, toe always changes with any change in camber.

The good news is: Toe's easily checked. It is adjusted by turning the threaded tie rods at each front wheel.
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      06-15-2012, 05:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CALWATERBOY View Post
Y'know, I'd really like to have the equations for my 3's suspension.

Anyone????

OP - Unless caster is zero, which it is not on our cars, toe always changes with any change in camber.

The good news is: Toe's easily checked. It is adjusted by turning the threaded tie rods at each front wheel.
thanks for this link. Need to watch it when I get home from work. Just had my alignment checked but not corrected. I may take a crack at adjusting my front toe and then get it re-checked where I have an alignment contract, to see if I'm doing the right thing.
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      06-15-2012, 06:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlifxs View Post
thanks for this link. Need to watch it when I get home from work. Just had my alignment checked but not corrected. I may take a crack at adjusting my front toe and then get it re-checked where I have an alignment contract, to see if I'm doing the right thing.
If you mod one, you gotta measure the other, back & forth until you're in the zone. Ya get a feel.

Adjusting toe, remember to check the tie rod at the spindle.
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      06-18-2012, 07:35 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CALWATERBOY View Post
Y'know, I'd really like to have the equations for my 3's suspension.

Anyone????

OP - Unless caster is zero, which it is not on our cars, toe always changes with any change in camber.

The good news is: Toe's easily checked. It is adjusted by turning the threaded tie rods at each front wheel.
Okay, watched your Youtube link, along with the 2nd and 3rd videos. Very interesting, have to try it out. When someone brings up Arc Tangents, I'm in

Got an alignment check. The shop cautioned me that their process was not BMW's (car not loaded with weight, gas). That said, my rear driver side toe is off a bit and probably needs attention.

I need to try this video method to see if it confirms the readings, with the car loaded. Then perhaps I'll deal with the "increase front camber" thing. Thanks a lot for the Youtube link.
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      06-22-2012, 05:43 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CALWATERBOY View Post
Y'know, I'd really like to have the equations for my 3's suspension.

Anyone????

OP - Unless caster is zero, which it is not on our cars, toe always changes with any change in camber.

The good news is: Toe's easily checked. It is adjusted by turning the threaded tie rods at each front wheel.
Got an alignment check after getting my wheels balanced. Driver rear toe was too high. Check did not load the car though.
Did the DIY alignment check shown in your youtube link. Confirmed the rear toe issue. Also loaded the car, but did so per my most frequent use (commuting alone). No measurable toe change. Didn't have good tools to check camber. Got under the car and adjusted the eccentric bolt to move toe back in the right direction.
Drilled out my alignment pins, adjusted by hand without the tool. Tried to go as negative as possible. My front toe went out on both sides, so tried to adjust it back with the tie rods.
Getting the toe right and keeping the steering centered was a little tricky. I'll get better at it.
I'll be taking my car to a tire store where I have an alignment contract to see if I made things better or worse. Very interested in seeing the camber vs the first check.

thanks again for the link, a good start for us who know little on this topic.
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