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      10-17-2016, 10:16 PM   #1
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Caster/Camber Plates to Reduce Tire Wear

I posted this in the general section, figure i post it here as well

Has anyone install Caster/Camber Plates on a 335I to help reduce the inner tire wear. I mostly use my 335I as a daily driver and I am getting tired of replacing tires once every 18 months of so (15K to 20K miles). As we know the alignment shops can not help, there is no way to get rid of the negative camber on the 335I unless you change the suspension. I figure the most affective way to do this is a caster camber plate and if I want to track the car in the future I can put in the camber I need and then take it back out.

Is someone has done this, which plates would you recommend using. Ideally I am looking for something which does not require much modification to the actually car like drilling holes and such.

I also read you can remove the alignment pin, most people seem to be doing this to get more negative camber, last time I had the car align they showed I had about -1.6 and the spec seem to show normal is -0.8. If I remove the pins do you think I can get back to a neutral camber.
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      10-18-2016, 11:01 AM   #2
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So much wrong info here!

-e9x doesn't suffer from too much camber
-camber plates only add more negative camber, at least they are desing for that purpose!
-if you have -1.6 that means your suspension is altered already, PO installed m3 parts I assume
-yes, you can remove the pin and adjsut camber alighly, few 10ths of degree
-most importantly -if you wear tires on the inside is your toe, not camber

I advise you to seek for more competent shop in your area.
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      10-18-2016, 12:03 PM   #3
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^^^ what he said.

When it comes to tire wear, camber plates are used for those driving aggressive enough to help reduce wear on the OUTSIDE of the tire; not the other way around.
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      10-18-2016, 12:31 PM   #4
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Okay, I should have said the car has the factory sport suspension and I am the original owner and have not modified the suspension any further. I have the car aligned every 6 months when I do my summer to winter tire setup. I got lifetime alignment from my tire shop so I know the Toe is good and within spec, they share with me the before and after numbers. Other than a few time when I took out a tire with pot hole the Toe has never needed any adjustments.

I also had BMW look at when the car was new and when through two sets of run flats and the answer was the car was in spec and expect to have inside tire wear which I put up with and got better wear on non-runflats.

If it not the toe and the camber causing the problem what else, I read the thrust bearing could cause issues, but I have check mine and they still firm and not movement.

I know the generally purpose of a caster/camber plate is for aggressive driving on a track and such. However I seen some camber plates with a positive adjustment so back to my original question, which the group here see to think the negative camber is not the cause of the inside wear.
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      10-18-2016, 01:23 PM   #5
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If you have -1.6 camber on stock suspension, you most likely have bent control arms. Also, what tires do you run? 20k miles seems pretty normal for run flats.
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      10-18-2016, 01:25 PM   #6
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-camber is not the main reason so tire wear, toe is.
-I would look into your inner/outer tie rods not thrust bearings on control arm.
-if they share the numbers that doesn't mean the numbers are accurate.
-when was their rack last time calibrated?
-have you/they compared the numbers from two separate alignment racks?

Alright, I will reiterate.
-go see more competent shop in your area.
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      10-18-2016, 01:36 PM   #7
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+1 it is toe that is wearing your tires.
Factory BMW toe settings are quite severe in order to keep the car handling on the conservative side. Reduce the toe and you will reduce the wear, however, alignment has much to do with vehicle dynamics. Adjust with caution. I run -0.1 degrees front total toe, 0.12 rear total toe with -2.7f and -1.1r camber and I have less tire wear than stock despite the crazy front camber. My car sees track time, thus those settings above. I didn't do it for tire wear, I did it to alter the handling characteristics to suit my driving style. Cars of this caliber are going to see accelerated tire wear. It's high power, rwd and high weight. It's just part of the game. Fwiw I replace tires annually from track use :P
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      10-18-2016, 01:39 PM   #8
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All that said, yes, you can get camber plates to reduce tire wear. It will make the car handle worse than stock with the way you are wanting to adjust it.
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      10-18-2016, 01:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro View Post
Okay, I should have said the car has the factory sport suspension and I am the original owner and have not modified the suspension any further. I have the car aligned every 6 months when I do my summer to winter tire setup. I got lifetime alignment from my tire shop so I know the Toe is good and within spec, they share with me the before and after numbers. Other than a few time when I took out a tire with pot hole the Toe has never needed any adjustments.

I also had BMW look at when the car was new and when through two sets of run flats and the answer was the car was in spec and expect to have inside tire wear which I put up with and got better wear on non-runflats.

If it not the toe and the camber causing the problem what else, I read the thrust bearing could cause issues, but I have check mine and they still firm and not movement.

I know the generally purpose of a caster/camber plate is for aggressive driving on a track and such. However I seen some camber plates with a positive adjustment so back to my original question, which the group here see to think the negative camber is not the cause of the inside wear.
You need to provide more information...

Are you concerned with wear on the FRONT? or the REAR? Also Are you talking about highway driving? or track driving? You need to answer these questions first or you'll keep getting mixed answers...

Stock front camber settings are pretty limited. You won't be able to get enough negative camber up front to cause the inside of the tires to wear prematurely. Are you seeing -1.6* on the front or the rear? You shouldn't be able to achieve more than -.8* front camber unless the car is modified, something is bent, or the alignment pins were popped out (alignment shop can easily adjust strut tower to reduce negative camber in this case)...

People use camber plates and add negative camber up front for performance driving. Performance driving causes the front tires to see a higher load (turning) which ends up wearing the OUTSIDE edge of the tire. Adding negative camber up front helps offset this uneven wear. However, when you're driving in a straight line on the highway negative camber causes more wear on the inside tread. Aligning to 0* front toe can also help reduce excessive tire scrub on the street (making tires last longer) but that comes with reduced straight line stability. That is why BMW specs front toe as a minimum of .05* toe-in.

I am guessing your issue is with the rear...

Rear tires are set as high as -2.0* negative camber from the factory... You will most certainly wear out the inside tread of tires first mounted on the rear of the car especially since these are your drive wheels (RWD). You can have the negative camber in the rear adjusted as low as possible, but it will be to the detriment of handling. You may also run out of toe adjust-ability if you run your camber too low.

Read this: http://www.bimmerhaus.com/tech/align.html

Let us know what your rear camber is set to... You can probably have it adjusted down to -.8* instead of the most likely -1.5* that it's at now... That will make your rear tires last longer. Also, have TOTAL toe-in in the rear reduced to .1* to .3*. I only recommend these settings for pure street commuter driving to save tires/$$. Gas mileage will increase too.
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      10-18-2016, 02:14 PM   #10
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Bent control arm would result in less negative camber since this is McPherson type.
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      10-18-2016, 02:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weehe126 View Post
If you have -1.6 camber on stock suspension, you most likely have bent control arms. Also, what tires do you run? 20k miles seems pretty normal for run flats.
I have run Continentals, Yokohama, BF Goodrich, no run flats since the first two sets and I have 130K miles on the car so been through a number of tires including the winter tire set up. The Yokohama has held up the best so far.
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      10-18-2016, 02:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feuer View Post
-camber is not the main reason so tire wear, toe is.
-I would look into your inner/outer tie rods not thrust bearings on control arm.
-if they share the numbers that doesn't mean the numbers are accurate.
-when was their rack last time calibrated?
-have you/they compared the numbers from two separate alignment racks?

Alright, I will reiterate.
-go see more competent shop in your area.
I would not disagree an other opinion would helpful. The place I went has done 4 of my cars and the BWM is the only one having issues so if they get that one wrong they would get the others wrong too. With that said, my son has a Mustang GT which is lowered 2 inches so he all kind of suspension issue that the previous own caused, just put in lowering spring and did nothing else. We put caster camber plates to help with the overly negative camber and put in bump steer tire rods ends to deal with toe issues with cornering under load. as well as heavy duty ball joins, and the same shop fix his problems and stop his tires wear which we was going through tires in about 10K miles.

I personally was just trying to avoid putting that much cost into the BMW because once to start modding you can not stop and this is my daily driver.
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      10-18-2016, 02:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro View Post
I would not disagree an other opinion would helpful. The place I went has done 4 of my cars and the BWM is the only one having issues so if they get that one wrong they would get the others wrong too. With that said, my son has a Mustang GT which is lowered 2 inches so he all kind of suspension issue that the previous own caused, just put in lowering spring and did nothing else. We put caster camber plates to help with the overly negative camber and put in bump steer tire rods ends to deal with toe issues with cornering under load. as well as heavy duty ball joins, and the same shop fix his problems and stop his tires wear which we was going through tires in about 10K miles.

I personally was just trying to avoid putting that much cost into the BMW because once to start modding you can not stop and this is my daily driver.
OK, why don't you answer the questions instead of continuing to speculate on something you clearly aren't understanding very well?

BMW alignment specs are a very broad range. Even though your car is "in-spec" it could still be aligned aggressively causing excess tire wear... You don't have to go throwing parts at the car for no reason...

Either post your complete alignment specs and provide more information about your tire wear issue or don't expect to get anything useful out of this thread. -1.6* in the rear is NORMAL and WILL lead to excessive wear on the inside tread (on the highway specifically). If you reduce rear negative camber you MIGHT need to install adjustable toe arms. It's that simple. There is no way you could possibly have -1.6* up front without modifications. So again, you need to provide more information to actually get an answer.
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      10-18-2016, 02:48 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bNks334 View Post
You need to provide more information...

Are you concerned with wear on the FRONT? or the REAR? Also Are you talking about highway driving? or track driving? You need to answer these questions first or you'll keep getting mixed answers...

Stock front camber settings are pretty limited. You won't be able to get enough negative camber up front to cause the inside of the tires to wear prematurely. Are you seeing -1.6* on the front or the rear? You shouldn't be able to achieve more than -.8* front camber unless the car is modified, something is bent, or the alignment pins were popped out (alignment shop can easily adjust strut tower to reduce negative camber in this case)...

People use camber plates and add negative camber up front for performance driving. Performance driving causes the front tires to see a higher load (turning) which ends up wearing the OUTSIDE edge of the tire. Adding negative camber up front helps offset this uneven wear. However, when you're driving in a straight line on the highway negative camber causes more wear on the inside tread. Aligning to 0* front toe can also help reduce excessive tire scrub on the street (making tires last longer) but that comes with reduced straight line stability. That is why BMW specs front toe as a minimum of .05* toe-in.

I am guessing your issue is with the rear...

Rear tires are set as high as -2.0* negative camber from the factory... You will most certainly wear out the inside tread of tires first mounted on the rear of the car especially since these are your drive wheels (RWD). You can have the negative camber in the rear adjusted as low as possible, but it will be to the detriment of handling. You may also run out of toe adjust-ability if you run your camber too low.

Read this: http://www.bimmerhaus.com/tech/align.html

Let us know what your rear camber is set to... You can probably have it adjusted down to -.8* instead of the most likely -1.5* that it's at now... That will make your rear tires last longer. Also, have TOTAL toe-in in the rear reduced to .1* to .3*. I only recommend these settings for pure street commuter driving to save tires/$$. Gas mileage will increase too.
I have not tracked the car in a long while, it is the daily driver at this point.

I am not having issues with the rear, the shop I use is able to get the rear to the point where it does not wear the insides until the centers are mostly wore through to the wear bar in the tire.

My issue is just the front at this point, and the last time they aligned which was the spring time the fronts were -1.2 on the right side and the driver side is -1.6

At this point if am willing to make the investment if it buys me more life from the tires and if I decide to track it again, I can put back the negative camber as needed.

As you point out most of my driving today is straight line highway with some twist and turns on back roads, but can not drive too fast due to road conditions.

Thanks for the help on this. I just want to get this figure out without too much trial and error.

Last edited by Maestro; 10-18-2016 at 03:01 PM.
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      10-18-2016, 02:58 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bNks334 View Post
OK, why don't you answer the questions instead of continuing to speculate on something you clearly aren't understanding very well?

BMW alignment specs are a very broad range. Even though your car is "in-spec" it could still be aligned aggressively causing excess tire wear... You don't have to go throwing parts at the car for no reason...

Either post your complete alignment specs and provide more information about your tire wear issue or don't expect to get anything useful out of this thread. -1.6* in the rear is NORMAL and WILL lead to excessive wear on the inside tread (on the highway specifically). If you reduce rear negative camber you MIGHT need to install adjustable toe arms. It's that simple. There is no way you could possibly have -1.6* up front without modifications. So again, you need to provide more information to actually get an answer.


First I keep saying it is not the rear, the rear is fine only minimal tire wear. I did not specifically look at the toe numbers and I will do that tonight. I just know they were set to spec, but as it was pointed out it may be still the cause of the issue and may need to be push to neutral point. I am starting to suspect something may be bent as well, as I said I took out a tires with pots holes so there could be damage. But the tire wear has been there since day one and BMW said it was normal and check everything over a few times during the warranty period.

Again it is only the front inners they have all the wear.
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      10-18-2016, 03:00 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro View Post
I have not tracked the car in a long while, it is the daily driver at this point.

I am not having issue with the rear, the shop I use is able to get to the point with it does not wear the insides until the centers are mostly wore through to the wear bar in the tire.

My issue is just the front at this point, and the last time they aligned which was the spring time the fronts were -1.2 on the right side and the driver side is -1.6

At this point if am willing to make the investment if it buys me more life from the tires and if I decide to track it again, I can put back the negative camber as needed.

As you point out most of my driving today is straight line highway with some twist and turns on back roads, but can not drive too fast due to road conditions.

Thanks for the help on this. I just want to get this figure out without too much trial and error.
Ok, so you need to figure out why your alignment is that out of spec up front.

If your camber up front is that negative, and you haven't modified the car at all, you've got something bent. Adjustable camber plates WILL help you dial in some positive camber to fix the current issue, but it appears you have another underlying issue that you should probable focus on fixing. You can pop out the alignment pins and adjust the strut tower outward to get that negative camber down a bit on the left side. Alignment pins are only good for .4* or so...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro View Post
First I keep saying it is not the rear, the rear is fine only minimal tire wear. I did not specifically look at the toe numbers and I will do that tonight. I just know they were set to spec, but as it was pointed out it may be still the cause of the issue and may need to be push to neutral point. I am starting to suspect something may be bent as well, as I said I took out a tires with pots holes so there could be damage. But the tire wear has been there since day one and BMW said it was normal and check everything over a few times during the warranty period.

Again it is only the front inners they have all the wear.
Actually you never once said whether you were talking about the front or the rear... You also never mentioned you blew out your front tires by hitting something. Sounds like you bent something for sure. Try removing the alignment pins and see how far you can adjust the strut tower to get you back into spec. Bring front toe down to 0*

Honestly, -1.5* still isn't that bad for street driving. That's what I am running now as a compromise between street and performance driving. Just 0 out the toe and enjoy the slightly flatter handling you'll get when turning. Use the alignment pin removal to even things back up from left to right. That's what I would do anyway LOL.
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      10-18-2016, 03:01 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro View Post
I posted this in the general section, figure i post it here as well

Has anyone install Caster/Camber Plates on a 335I to help reduce the inner tire wear. I mostly use my 335I as a daily driver and I am getting tired of replacing tires once every 18 months of so (15K to 20K miles). As we know the alignment shops can not help, there is no way to get rid of the negative camber on the 335I unless you change the suspension. I figure the most affective way to do this is a caster camber plate and if I want to track the car in the future I can put in the camber I need and then take it back out.

Is someone has done this, which plates would you recommend using. Ideally I am looking for something which does not require much modification to the actually car like drilling holes and such.

I also read you can remove the alignment pin, most people seem to be doing this to get more negative camber, last time I had the car align they showed I had about -1.6 and the spec seem to show normal is -0.8. If I remove the pins do you think I can get back to a neutral camber.
What is your current suspension setup? Any upgrades? Vehicle lowered?

Post your alignment setting would help us determine your problem.
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      10-18-2016, 03:09 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by bNks334 View Post
Actually you never once said whether you were talking about the front or the rear...

Ok, so you need to figure out why your alignment is that out of spec up front.

If your camber up front is that negative, and you haven't modified the car at all, you've got something bent. Adjustable camber plates WILL help you dial in some positive camber to fix the current issue, but it appears you have another underlying issue that you should probable focus on fixing. You can pop out the alignment pins and adjust the strut tower outward to get that negative camber down a bit on the left side. Alignment pins are only good for .4* or so...
Based on what has been shared, I am beginning to think the same thing. I am going to pull out all the old alignment sheets I have to see what the numbers were and see if it got worse with time or all of a sudden changed. I did not know about the alignment pin until last night I am going to see if they are still there.

You're right, I did not specifically say front, with the caster/camber state I thought it was obvious it was front not rear.

thanks

Last edited by Maestro; 10-18-2016 at 08:26 PM.
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      10-18-2016, 03:24 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro View Post
Based on what has been shared, I am beginning to think the same thing. I am going to pull out all the old alignment sheets I have to see what the numbers were and see if it got worse with time or all of a sudden changed. I did not know about the alignment pin until last number I am going to see if they are still there.

You're right, I did not specifically say front, with the caster/camber state I thought it was obvious it was front not rear.

thanks
Those numbers made perfect sense in the rear actually, lol. That's why I was suggesting the wear was normal and you should look to reduce rear camber and toe-in to the lowest specs if the additional wear bothered you that much.

Personally, I'd just pop the alignment pins out and even things up from left to right in the front. The amount of additional tire wear on the inside edge of the tire up front with -1* camber is hardly noticeable (you don't seem to mind how the tires are wearing in the rear). Like Feuer said, just bring total toe down to 0 up front and that should help a bit too. Cost = $0 and 5minutes to pop out the pins.
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      10-18-2016, 08:36 PM   #20
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Okay went home and looked at all the numbers and look back in time to some prior alignments here is what I found.

Front Camber on both side did get more negative over time, was around -0.8 on both sides. Now the driver side is -1.6 and passenger side -1.2. However the tire on the passenger side has always been far worse. I did speak to the alignment shop and they said something needs to be done about the negative camber due it being beyond the -0.8 spec. and said there was nothing they could really do. They obviously did not know about the alignment pin. They said they could not see anything wrong with the suspension, but obviously they does not mean anything.

Front Toe is 0.10 on driver side and 0.11 on the passenger side. For the most part it has been set around these numbers these numbers, so base on the comment that 0.05 may be better to address the problem and spec is 0.02 to 0.22 and I am not sure these are correct. I did challenge these at the shop and they said this is what the computer pulls up for the car.

The rears are as follow, Right -1.7 Camber and 0.12 Toe and left is -1.7 camber and 0.08 toe. I know they said they have trouble get the toe to be the same. I have minimal issue with tire wear on rear the center usually wear out at about the same time as the inside edges.

Front Cross Camber is -0.9
Front Cross Caster is -0.3
Front Total toe 0.21

Rear Cross Camber 0.0
Rear Total toe 0.20

I never quite understood those number and how it affected the overall car performance
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      10-18-2016, 08:41 PM   #21
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Here is picture of the passenger side tire, as you can see the inside edge is completely gone and have plenty of tread in the center and this tire has about 20K on them. If if adjusting the toe will reduct this, then I will tell the shop to set the toe to 0.05 then. But i still need to figure out what is causing all the negative camber.
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      10-18-2016, 09:10 PM   #22
justpete
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2011 BMW 328i  [5.00]
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro View Post
Here is picture of the passenger side tire, as you can see the inside edge is completely gone and have plenty of tread in the center and this tire has about 20K on them. If if adjusting the toe will reduct this, then I will tell the shop to set the toe to 0.05 then. But i still need to figure out what is causing all the negative camber.
Yep, that's a problem with toe alright.
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